How deep of a discussion of your porn addiction do you have with your significant others?

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by latch_lens, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. latch_lens

    latch_lens New Member

    The TL;DR version: if you're suffering from porn addiction, how much do you discuss with your significant other? I feel like in true honesty, the women (or men) in porn that you have become addicted to watching have 'outclassed' most real-life people, so being completely open and honest with your partner might be hurtful for them if you explain the depths of your porn addiction and the fact that they no longer are enough to stimulate yourself?

    I'll try to keep my introduction and backstory (relatively) short for my first post, but I'm a 34 year old straight male and have grappled with confidence and deep seated shame issues around women most of my entire life until fairly recently. I have attributed this to growing up with an overbearing and controlling mother who herself I think has/had some of the same issues. Anyways, after a handful of short dating relationships that did not progress to the sexual stage, and three one-off sexual hookups (the first of which was in my late 20s!) where I was unable to either have or maintain a complete erection or reach orgasm, I'm currently in my first serious relationship with a woman and have been seeing her for about 10 months. I'm close enough to her now to feel completely comfortable, open and honest with her, and after a few fumbling attempts at sex with her in the few first months of dating where I failed to attain and hold a full erection, I opened up and spoke with her about my issues regarding women, sex, shame, dating, relationships, etc. She ended up giving me space sexually and had stopped initiating anything that could lead to sex for quite a few months as she felt a little awkward about me feeling awkward and not being able to perform. I have not really felt an incredibly strong desire for sex most of that intervening time, but have tacked that up to subconscious remnants of shame and not knowing how to approach her for sex in a non-awkward manner or something that doesn't come across as 'objectifying' or brutish/uncouth. Anyways, after another failed sex attempt and deep conversation earlier this week where she stated that our lack of a sex life was the only thing she's hesitant about moving forward, I decided I needed to really buckle down and start diagnosing my problem and working on fixing it. For the longest time, I sort of figured it was related to feelings of shame around being attracted to women combined with a lack of 'real' sexual experience, but seeing as how I'm open with her and attracted to her and I recognize the absurdity of my shame towards woman being a construct of poor upbringing combined somewhat with cultural attitudes towards sex, low confidence/self-esteem and a recursive lack-of-experience-at-my-age hangup, I figured it may be more related to a lifetime (16 years) of relying on HSIP to satisfy my sexual urges. It was a long time ago, but I seem to recall a lot of my first HSIP experiences were just of images, then progressed to video where it has stayed. My viewing habits now often require browsing through dozens or hundreds of videos opening somewhat interesting looking ones in tabs. Over the last year or so, probably since I met her, my porn use has dropped off quite a bit, but I still use it while bored and it feels good to release. Every once in a blue moon I do have a desire for masturbation and ejaculation, but I feel like a lot of the time it is just through habit or boredom. I just went through a phase of a couple weeks where I didn't watch porn at all and didn't feel any addictive draw, and thought maybe I just have low libido or something. Last night and this morning I masturbated to HSIP somewhat compulsively thinking maybe that would return my libido to allow me to have sex with my girlfriend but realized that given the number of videos I opened and closed as they weren't really turning me on, I've become desensitized to 'normal' turn-ons and need a bigger and bigger stimulus to achieve orgasm. I'd like to mention that this appears to be my problem to my girlfriend, but I'm worried that it may hurt her if I mention that even though she is a beautiful woman with a great figure, it's not enough of a stimulation compared to years of HSIP. How have you guys (and girls?) broached your addiction with your significant others? Anyways, that's my first order of business I think (nailing down my issue as previously I thought it was just a mental block from shame/performance anxiety/inexperience) but looks like lots of good info here with people with similar issues to work on things going forward and the journals might be therapeutic as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  2. doneatlast

    doneatlast Active Member

    Yeah, your porn brain is fooling you into thinking that small amounts of porn, just the right dose at just the right time will somehow help. It won't return your libido, but just hijack it further.

    I have no experience talking about it with a significant other, and will refrain from trying to comment on that too much. I will state the obvious that if you do tell her, you're going hard mode. I can't imagine you telling her, and the result of the conversation not being that you need to make fully quitting a priority in life. In fact, whether you tell her or not, and whether you stay together or not, the constant piece here is going all in on quitting. Not just cutting back... all of it. Don't expect immediate results, and don't tell your lady friend to expect immediate results either. Love it or hate it, it will be a game of patience and perseverance. That said, if you're looking at 6 months plus of awkwardness, you can either tell her or offer her another explanation...
     
  3. latch_lens

    latch_lens New Member

    Quitting is definitely a top priority in my life - she mentioned that our lack of sex has been the only real holdup she could see going forward, and I let her know they problem hasn’t been anything about her, or any physical issue on my end, but just a mental thing I’d need to work through. I had figured it was just remnants of deepseated shame and awkwardness and lack of experience and told her this, but now am thinking it is likely porn addiction having led to loss of libido and the need for more extreme stimulation combined with a lifetime of very self-specific masturbatory techniques (she has tried giving me a handjob and blowjob several times with no arousal whatsoever - it does not feel as good as my own hand). We had gone about six months with out any sort of sex and have both been pretty happy in our relationship, but I’ve realized that I haven’t been putting much thought or conscious effort into ‘curing’ myself and it seems like it’s been in the back of her mind at least (she’s in her early 30s and would like to have kids), even if it hasn’t been a big holdup or something to cause an immediate breakup. She’s mentioned she’s a typically sexual person and has had sex with her partners in the past maybe on average three to four times a week but sounds like she hasn’t really been a ‘hookup’ person to satisfy needs in between relationships (not sure how long those gaps have been though). I guess because I’ve been real-life sexless for basically my entire life and PMO has been my satisfying outlet combined with not having a long term relationship where real-life sex has been a legitimate option, I haven’t had to think much about this, and recently when I’ve cut back on porn and masturbating, I know realize that I don’t have much desire. I’m pretty certain I’m not asexual, so I’m pretty certain I just now have a libido problem combined with an arousal problem caused by both over stimulation from porn fantasies and specific penis stimulation issues cause by a lifetime of being used to my own masturbatary touch.
    I’ve taken my other short term relationship breakups/ghostings in stride, but I feel like this may be hard on me if my sexual problems lead to a breakup. I feel like the heartbreak may be worth it if that happens anyways as at least I’ll have found my problem and will be working towards resolving it.
     
  4. latch_lens

    latch_lens New Member

    And I have told her I masterbate and use porn, and she wasn’t grossed out or turned off by that, but at the same time when I had that conversation with her about it, I didn’t think porn addiction and my masterbation habits were at the root of the problem.
     
  5. doneatlast

    doneatlast Active Member

    Well, that seems like it would be the harder part of telling her. Telling her that you think it is causing your issues seems like the easier part, but I hope others with more direct experience will weigh in.
     
  6. latch_lens

    latch_lens New Member

    The more I've been reading around this forum and other similar ones, I'm thinking porn may have been the 'solution' to my mother-derived issues with women, confidence, shame, etc. So while porn might be the direct cause of my ED with my gf, I think it links back to other issues. I still think abstaining from PMO will likely be incredibly beneficial for me as I rewire my brain to be primaly attracted to her. I'm still up in the air about how or if I should approach my mom (and dad) about my issues. I've become a very private person now, and haven't even told them about my girlfriend even though I live less than an hour away and see them on average once or twice a month. My mom isn't as irrational or controlling (or possibly even bi-polar?) once I moved out for college 15+ years ago, and the damage I feel like she has done to my psyche has only gradually come to light. She probably does not even know that I have issues and that I have resentment towards her for how I was raised. Given my privacy, I don't have 'deep' conversations with my parents so I feel like our relationship is a little shallow. Broaching all this baggage with them might open things up greatly for a more open, 'normal' relationship to develop, but at the same time, it might hurt them greatly. I don't think my mom meant to or realized the damage/neglect she did to my emotional health growing up, so this might all come as a shock to her. Maybe just introducing my girlfriend to them might get the ball rolling and I can sort of have an 'alternative' discussion with them see as I've never told them I've dated anyone before (they've never asked if I have been or why I haven't been dating and never had any discussions with me growing up about girls/relationships/sex). A lot still to digest and think about...
     
  7. yourfriend

    yourfriend New Member

    friend,

    good to know the kind of understanding and patience your lady friend showed so far, she comes across as someone sincere about making it work.

    now you also know where is the problem and what you have to do about it to make things beautiful for both of you.

    I have some info for you, based on my struggle with porn and later coming out of PMO and all the mental stuff attached to it.

    explore 'inner engineering', just google it. this will help you. this helped me immensely over the last 1.5 years. transformed me completely, I could come out of porn and all the baggage that comes with it, felt inner joy for the first time in my life. All i would say spend some time evaluating it and find it for yourself.
    #UnplugWithSadhguru

    wish you the best.
    your friend
     

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