The types of sex in porn may cause partners to feel inadequate and affect their self-esteem as they compare themselves to their porn-using partners’ fantasies.
Most men think of their pornography use as a solitary activity, which doesn’t affect anyone besides themselves. Some will consider the ethical implications of the porn industry and will try to find porn that isn’t exploitative of its actresses. Few will consider the effect pornography use may have on their partners.
Pornography, much like Hollywood movies, portrays fantastical situations and activities which could be dangerous or harmful if attempted in real life. However, while most viewers will instinctively understand that they cannot learn how to drift from drag race movies, some men don’t understand that the kind of sex in porn is unrealistic or that it might harm their partner.
When men watch pornography and then attempt to emulate the kinds of sex they see portrayed with their spouse, it can make wives feel as if they aren’t inherently desirable, that their bodies aren’t capable of satisfying their husbands, or that their husbands don’t care about their well-being as much as they care about their own pleasure.
Some men may think that watching pornography with their partners can help bring them “on-board” with the fantasies portrayed by porn sex. Desert Solace Co-founder and Family Liaison Jerri Jorgensen warns these men to watch for signs that this shared porn use is building a “counterfeit” sense of connection.
“Is (shared porn use) working for you?” Jorgensen asked, in a recent interview. “I would say for a lot of wives that I talk to, their husband enrolled them into (viewing porn sex) because then he’s covered. ‘Well, she’s doing it with me,’ instead of isolating himself.”
Just because men aren’t using pornography in isolation doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll build a genuine connection to their spouse. Husbands should be careful to check in with their wives to make sure they’re enthusiastically enjoying the physical connection in their marriage, especially if pornography is part of the picture.
For men who find that their connection to their partner is suffering, but that they can’t stop using pornography, it may be time to consider treating their porn use as an addiction.
Pornography addiction recovery facility Desert Solace treats people whose pornography use causes them or their partners significant distress. By focusing on human connections, Desert Solace hopes to help those who use pornography to escape from their emotions and keep their partners from seeing their more vulnerable side.
“The opposite of addiction is connection,” Jorgensen explained. “It’s connection with our loved ones, with our spouses, with our kids. We have guys that graduated our program and go, ‘Oh my gosh, my kids know who I am now because I’m present.’”
Jorgensen asked that those who are holding back on seeking pornography addiction treatment due to shame tap into their inner courage to reach out for help.
“Coming out of that shame and stepping through it takes a lot of courage. But the courage is there; sometimes we just don’t tap into it,” Jorgensen said. “We’ve got to step through that shame and step through that fear to get to the other side. The only way out is through. That’s the only way out. You can’t go under, around, or over.”
Desert Solace is an inpatient addiction treatment center in St. George, Utah. Desert Solace specializes in the treatment of pornography and sex addictions. Additionally, they offer treatment programs for gaming, gambling and substance abuse. Their inpatient facility for porn, sex, gaming, gambling and substance addictions features professional, licensed counselors, a professional chef, equine therapy and more. With ongoing outpatient support for patients and their loved ones via phone calls and online messaging, Desert Solace believes in involving the client’s family in the pornography and sex addiction recovery process.
Note: Article contributed by KHTS AM 1220 & 98.1 FM
Spouses’ Self-Esteem Affected By Pornography
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