A question asked so frequently that is warrants an answer.
A few months ago, I presented an opportunity for my clients and subscribers to ask me questions concerning relationships and intimacy. Believe it or not, one the most frequent questions asked was: Does porn undermine intimacy?
To be really literal here, porn itself cannot undermine intimacy, BUT, choosing it over real intimacy certainly can.
Here’s what I see a lot… it’s a classic story in my work as a coach for men:
“Tom” is married for over 5 years and notices his wife’s dwindling desire. He begins to wonder if he can please his wife, in bed, and it weighs on him heavily.
He doesn’t know how to ask her, (and he’s afraid to know) so he spins a story in his mind that he’s not adequate in bed, or maybe she’s just not that into sex. He stops initiating lovemaking, and their connection weakens.
Feeling anxious, Tom turns to porn to feel better.
Tom finds it liberating to just watch. Nobody is judging what he does or doesn’t do. And even better, nobody has an expectation of being satisfied or feeling loved. For the first time in a long time, after his orgasm, there is no guilt.
At least that’s how it is in the beginning…
Tom is able to interact with multiple partners in one go and the thrill of the chase fills him with adrenaline. The orgasms seem more intense and pleasurable without the performance anxiety, and his imagination is fully throttled. He starts to crave a dose of this secret world, every day.
Contrast those feelings with “Erin”, his wife, and Tom feels tired before he even gets started. She feels like a handful. She needs reassurance, to be stroked and put in the mood — so much work! Where he used to enjoy seducing her and the whole warm-up process, which led to their lovemaking, his desire to connect with her now diminishes daily.
So let’s come back to the question. Does porn use undermine intimacy? It certainly can if it takes this trajectory!
And from what I know from coaching men, if Tom continues in this vein, he’ll require more and more stimulation to become aroused, and he’ll become less and less confident, as a lover, over time.
Story sound/feel familiar?