My Marriage Survived Pornography Addiction

Content Warning: sexual descriptions may be triggering to some readers.

I’m going to shove this right out there now. To save you guessing, or to save you reading behind the lines.

I was addicted to porn around ten years ago.

It was like any addiction as soon as I engaged with it, the rush of endorphins filled my brain with a craziness that could only be described as an insane need for fulfillment. If I couldn’t get it on the internet I would be straight round to the video store buying my daily addiction-fill like some maniac heroin addict ready for his next spike. It was one of those things that I look back at and I’m really not proud of. You know? I don’t talk about it much either because it nearly split up Natalie and I right at the beginning.

Porn is a touchy subject. Adored by men everywhere and hated by a good few women. I’m going to try and tactfully plough through this landfill with an open mind, and with a care to whom I am speaking. Because I’ve been through the best and the worst of the situation. I have a pretty good idea of why it’s really bad. But before you angrily click away at my dismissal, stay a moment. Hear me out.

I saw my first hardcore porn movie years before I first had sex. And this is bad. This is bad for many youngsters because I expect I’m not the only one. I could remember cheekily grinning whilst myself and three other boys loaded up porn on my friend’s computer whilst the parents were out. These were the days when computers had only just advanced to playing movies on the monitor. No less than a few months had gone by before porn was readily available–and to kids like us. All four of us were virgins. We had no experience or idea of how actual sex was, or felt like. And there was this porn movie in front of us, shaping our minds of how it should be. Some muscle clad meat head aggressively pounding his insanely large chunk of flesh into a little, submissive woman.

And that’s how it is for most men. Porn is aggressive. If it ever taught me one thing, it taught me that I should be dominant, angry and nasty. And that I should have a humongous member. To say that it made me feel insecure about my manhood is an understatement.

I was raised by my mum. I had no dad to sit with me and educate me on proper love with a woman, the natural progression of things and that sex shouldn’t be scripted, manipulated or aggressive. That what we see on the screen is no reflection of what actually happens.

I wish my real dad had taken me aside (because he was no stranger to sex with women) and said, “Son, this whole porn thing? Take it with a pinch of salt. Women aren’t actually like that. They want to feel connected to you during sex.”

But he never educated me one bit on anything. Only how to drink lots and be an arsehole.

During my transition away from pornography use, I sat there and read tons of posts on forums and scholarly articles on the subject. It seems the general consensus between men is that it’s a visual aid and has no representation on any relationships or future relationships. Whilst I sort-of agree with this, they consistently fail to take into regard any of the negative sides to this. For instance:

  • 75 percent of human-trafficking is porn-related. By actively watching it, you’re supporting the trade.
  • Watching porn desensitises us to the act of sex.
  • Women are held to unnatural standards in the looks department.
  • What you’ve seen on TV just isn’t going to happen in the bedroom. Trust me.

I tend to feel one of the lucky people. I stopped watching porn because my partner despises it. In a relationship, it’s a two-way thing. It’s give and take. So when it upset her, I stopped. And I feel blessed in a way. Because since I’ve stopped it a few things have happened to me internally.

I am no longer desensitised to the female body. I see every female as a beauty in some form. I can see women for their imperfections and their perfections. And I no longer feel the need to “dominate.” My wife’s body in the bedroom is so intoxicatingly breathtaking that it excites me beyond recognition. You see, since I’m no longer desensitised to the act, I get extremely aroused. I appreciate what I have, and most importantly, I have experienced multiple simultaneous orgasms. Yep. Men can have them.

All of the above totally wouldn’t have happened if I were still watching porn, looking for the quick fix and getting excited over dominating a woman. I truly wouldn’t have found out what it would be like to truly bond in bed, to be at one with my partner. To take peace in myself that we are together for life.

That’s something porn doesn’t teach you.

Raymond Baxter is a Scotsman in England who spends his days as The Relationship Blogger and his nights as the Open Thought Vortex Team Wizard. When he’s not mixing love potions, you can find him vlogging, Tweeting and writing his way whole through deep truths and self-compassion. Read more from Raymond at his site, therelationshipblogger.com.