Internet porn is a very serious relationship destroyer. On the surface, many men and boys seem addicted to it. And while there are some women and girls who are addicted, women and girls find themselves badly affected by what is happening to the males in their lives. Let’s look at some suggestions for handling this.
Looking at porn online is a different experience from having an affair. At least, with the latter, there’s a real person involved. Online porn means that there’s no one there except what’s in your mind. (One digression here: This will get worse as we get more authentic virtual reality.) Online porn means that you’re creating an image of the perfect sexual other—in terms of looks and performance. Your present partner will never be equivalent. Neither will you. Moreover, in real life, both she and you will get older. So the “person online” will be chasing ghosts.
Meanwhile, what happens to the present relationship? Aside from costs and time spent away, the person online will find himself (most of you are men) more satisfied with the online sex rather than the real sex. A recent set of articles in New York Magazine noted that many men were having to fake orgasms with their live partner for many reasons. They find the porn “better,” and they may have spent hours masturbating to a screen image. They may also find themselves personally “engaged” with their online mistress.
The live partner may find herself ignored, distanced, and unfulfilled. She may want to compete with her fantasy of his fantasy. While there’s nothing wrong with trying to spice up one’s sex life, no one can win at this competition game. The New York Magazine articles said that teenage boys were learning about sex online, and so teenage girls were being forced to attempt to become teenage boys’ adult fantasies at ages when they shouldn’t and couldn’t try to compete. Also, they can’t win.
Can anything be done? An adult couple can go to a therapist to find out non-porn ways of satisfying each other and deal with other relationship issues. One man in the above articles went “cold turkey” and was able to find real sex satisfying again.
What to do? A likely failure is to try to restrict teenage boy’s computer use, or more usefully, provide real life ways to teach boys about healthy sex.