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Pornography: your questions answered
 We get lots of posts about pornography and masturbation. Many of you are worried about what it means if your partner uses pornography, or if masturbation might be reason you’re not getting as much sex as you might like. We’ve had a look at the science behind pornography and the effects it can have on your relationship, and we’ve answered some of your questions below. Is pornography bad for my relationship? This depends on your opinion of it. If you have a problem with pornography in general, then it’s unlikely you’re going to be OK with your partner watching it. This can have a negative impact on your relationship [1]. One way pornography can affect your relationship quality is by diminishing your self-esteem. If you aren’t happy about the idea of your partner using pornography, it can make you feel like you don’t matter in the relationship, or that you aren’t good enough. If you don’t mind pornography, or if your self-esteem is very robust, then it’s less likely to have a negative impact on your relationship [2]. Can pornography reduce sexual desire? Watching pornography doesn’t seem to reduce sexual desire. According to one study, pornography doesn’t take away your sexual urges, so it’s unlikely that this would be the reason a partner seems less interested in sex [3]. For more ideas on why sex might be off the table, check out our tips on being in a sexless relationship. Can we watch pornography together? Several studies have shown that couples who watch pornography together can experience improvements in their sex lives [3] [4]. As a shared activity, it can encourage you to talk about sex, creating a more open atmosphere for you to discuss your sexual desires and fantasies. While it’s important to remember that pornography doesn’t always present a realistic picture of sex, it can sometimes be a springboard for talking about what you like and don’t like [5]. How can we use pornography to talk about our relationship? Be open and honest about pornography. If you like using it, talk to your partner about why. If you don’t like it, let your partner know where you stand. These might not be the easiest conversations to start, but they can have a positive effect on your relationship by allowing you to learn more about each other. This can improve your sex life and may help make your general communication easier – couples who find a way to talk about their sexual desires in this way can even strengthen their relationship quality overall [6]. You may find that starting a dialogue around this helps you to be more open to experimentation, with a more varied and satisfying sex life. You can learn about each other’s likes and dislikes and talk about how happy you both are with the level of intimacy in your relationship [6]. Can’t I just use pornography alone? Yes, you can. However, it’s worth being aware that using pornography alone can lead to a decrease in sexual communication between you and your partner [6]. When sexual activity becomes secretive, sexual communication can too. Is there such a thing as ethical pornography? This is a tricky one, and a good question to ask yourself. While looking at pornography can be a healthy activity within your relationship, it’s important to think about where it comes from. You may not have considered whether the performers were paid for their work or even whether they have consented to do everything you’re seeing. It’s not always easy to find ethical material, or to know the background of the things you do find. One place to start might be the Toronto International Porn Festival, which has strict guidelines around its submission policy and encourages a diversity of sexual interests. It’s up to you and your partner to decide what you think is acceptable but, if you’re unsure about the ethics of a particular piece, the best advice is don’t watch it.   References [1] Maas, M. K., et al. (2018). A Dyadic Approach to Pornography Use and Relationship Satisfaction Among Heterosexual Couples: The Role of Pornography Acceptance and Anxious Attachment. The Journal of Sex Research, 55(6). 772–782. [2] Stewart, D., & Szymanski, N. (2012). Young Adult Women’s Reports of Their Male Romantic Partner’s Pornography Use as a Correlate of Their Self-Esteem, Relationship Quality, and Sexual Satisfaction. Sex Roles, 67(5), 257-271. [3] Brown, C., Carroll, C., Yorgason, J., Busby, S., Willoughby, J., & Larson, B. (2017). A Common-Fate Analysis of Pornography Acceptance, Use, and Sexual Satisfaction Among Heterosexual Married Couples. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 575-584. [4] Maddox, A., Rhoades, M., & Markman, G. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone or Together: Associations with Relationship Quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. [5] Daneback, K., Træen, B., & Månsson, S. (2009). Use of Pornography in a Random Sample of Norwegian Heterosexual Couples. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38(5), 746-753. [6] Kohut, T., Balzarini, R., Fisher, W., Campbell, L., Impett, E., & Muise, A. (2018). Pornography’s associations with open sexual communication and relationship closeness vary as a function of dyadic patterns of pornography use within heterosexual relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35(4), 655-676.
Article | pornography, masturbation
“Unrequited for 12 years”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My situation is ridiculously unusual. I am in a platonic loving partnership with a man for the past 12 years or more. No sexual contact exists between us because he has had no experiences yet plenty of rejection by girls when he was growing up. I have tried various ways to work through the the physical stuff yet simply hit a brick wall. I am immensely very attractive and very giving of my self to him in all other ways despite still having my own strong feelings for a man I knew - 12 years ago or more. This man isn't married yet in a long term relationship with a woman, he also has a strange complex relationship with his sister and likes to seduce young men to engage in sexual activities with him. He doesn't know that I know all of this yet am pretty certain his wife knows something yet way too protective of the falsehood family he appears to embrace. Whilst I haven't gone all out to let him know my feelings entirely nor to his wife, he has gone all out to let me know that he still likes me - can't say how because anyone could read my post and link stuff together. His attraction to me isn't superficial and does have history - never slept with him, yet the opportunities always there and both of us shared a meaningful, somewhat deeper human connection, his wife sort of figured out something was 'going on' yet nothing at all physical, despite him making physical gestures and comments that he wanted to make out with me. Over the past 12 years we now only bump into one another and still those feelings are mutual yet unexplored. Every time he sees me, beeps his horn at me etc.... He is locally known by a lot of people and runs a tenancy business . I love my partner wholeheartedly and never once cheated on him, yet these unexplored feelings for this other man plague my life - he is surrounded and protected by others, not because of me, yet because of other things I can't go into. I guess I am attracted to danger, who knows?
User article | someone else
“How to talk to husband about sex toys?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I've been married for almost a year and my husband's sex drive has diminished a lot. He is 39 and I am 29. We used to have sex about four or five times a week for about a year (about six months dating and three months married), but now we barely get it on once a week. He just switched jobs and we moved to a new country and I understand he is under a lot of pressure, but I know from his browser history that he has been watching porn about three or four times a week. I suspect he masturbates but I'm not sure. I don't pry, he leaves the porn tabs open and, as we share computers, I run across them. I've tried approaching the subject calmly and asking if he wants to try something new but he denies it and doesn't want to talk about it. I know he is curious about anal sex and toys from his porn searches, which are pretty softcore, btw. So i want to try some of them with him. The problem is... he is a typical christian macho man who says masturbation and porn are wrong even though he does it on the side. I am totally okay with both and we have talked about it, he knows I respect his privacy and as long as he is not choosing porn over me or getting addicted, I am fine with it. I am just worried now that he doesn't want to have sex with me but is watching porn often. Our sex life has been on decline in quality too. Honestly, using a vibrator, for example, would really be great for me too, since lately he just finishes in two minutes and barely even tries to touch me. I haven't let myself go, I've actually been exercising for over six months now and look better than before. I try to dress nicely for him and make myself up but he doesn't seem to care. I just want to make sex interesting again... for both of us. Should I even try to talk to him about it or would I be risking damaging his masculinity too much? How can I bring it up without hurting his masculinity? I am at my wit's end here... Thanks and sorry for the long post.
Ask the community | pornography, masturbation
“Social skills and team sports”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   One of the best after-school activities for kids is to participate in youth sports. Taking part in different sports activities over the school years can benefit kids in a number of ways. Not only they get great much-needed exercise from sports, but taking part in team sports also provide them with numerous valuable life lessons. It’s often encouraged that kids can participate in sports from a very young age. Take a look at how kids benefit from playing sports. Gaining social skills Social skills are best gained when children take part in team sports that require and enable them to interact with one another. Kids who are not talented athletes will still benefit from team sports as they will learn a lot by interacting with the other kids. Shy or timid-natured kids can learn a lot and improve their social skills by playing team sports. Team sports allow kids to solve problems by communicating with each other – listening and taking in others' ideas, and brainstorming together to reach a strategy. Kids can develop leadership skills by being a part of a team. The communications practice that they get goes a long way to help them in evolving their minds for future leadership roles. Getting much needed exercise Organised sports events enable kids to get mental and physical exercise. Their mind and body can get a great workout by taking part in sport activities. Outdoor recreational sports enable kids to create bonds with other children, making memories that last forever. Paying sports also acts as an excellent stress reducer, promoting healthy body and minds. Better academic performance Children who are more active in sports may show a greater success rate at school than kids who are not so active. Participating in sports may enhance fine motor skills in children. It can also refresh their minds, allowing them to pay better attention in class. Sports can help them by sharpening their focus and improving their memory. Team sports also teach kids how to follow instructions and directions, helping them to cope better at school. Forming friendships through teamwork Children's interpersonal skills are developed as they participate in teamwork. This helps them develop strong bonds and promotes a better social life down the road. They learn how to form friendships by supporting each other and working towards a common goal. It helps improve co-operation and leadership skills and teaches them how to accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Teamwork also makes sports more fun as they get to share the experience with other kids and they learn how to cheer each other on. Encouraging healthy competition Sport provides children with a healthy outlet for competition. Team sports teach kids how to compete with others fairly and how to give their best towards winning. It also teaches that while it’s great to win, it’s also OK to lose sometimes. They learn that practicing something enables them to perform better. They learn that, through discipline and hard work, they can fare better. Competition in sports also teaches them to stay positive even though the situation may not always be in their favor. For instance, if their team loses, they still need to remain positive to uplift the team’s morale. Reinforcing mental health Being a part of organised team sports teaches kids to be more self-aware and boosts their self-esteem. Teamwork makes them feel more valued and needed. It teaches them to think big and how to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves. Playing recreational sports can relieve stress and help them to combat anxiety. Parents can offer encouragement and compliments to children, rewarding them for their achievements. This can help build their confidence. Performing well at team sports can also earn the acknowledgment and respect of the teammates, actively building positive self-esteem. Learning to manage and organise time Sports teach children how to follow instructions. This helps them learn how to manage time for the different activities in their lives such as school, homework, house chores and other forms of recreation. They learn how to make time for each activity and how to make commitments based on the time they have allotted. Teaches them a good sporting attitude Participating in team sports is a great way to learn about the value of sportsmanship. They get to learn the importance of fair play and how everyone deserves a chance at playing. They learn how to play their part by taking responsibility and how to not argue if things don’t always go their way. One of the biggest lessons learned is how to lose graciously and not to brag if you win. The value of team play is emphasised and they can also learn how to cheer their teammates on. Learning to respect others Team sport can teach children how to respect the decisions of referees, umpires, coaches and other officials. This also enables them to build respect for themselves and to respect the development of their careers. Respect for other individuals helps them to establish positive habits throughout their lives. As parents, it is your responsibility to provide your children with positive experiences throughout their childhood, so that their development takes proper shape. Providing them with access to sports facilities can go a long way in ensuring that. Adequate sports experiences as a child can encourage kids to keep making healthy life choices. It also helps them stay actively involved in sports and have an energetic lifestyle. So, help your child to make the right choice by involving them in sports at a young age.
User article | friends, school
“He watches porn but never touches me”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I didn't ever want to have to talk about this, it's so hurtful, but here I am. My BF and I have been together eight years and it has been so amazing after ironing out the beginning, which should have just smacked me and clear then but nope. In the last three years – yep that's right, three years – we haven't had sex. Nor kissing with passion. I get the same smooch his mother gets! No tight snuggles, no lying watching a movie together. It's him on his phone and I watch TV alone. I have tried and tried to start something but it's play stupid and roll over game. After three years a person has been over-patient. It started as me trying to walk by him naked or spray my perfume on before bed, sexy panties. I'm a small woman, nothing has changed with me, and I get nothing from him, not even a rollover for a kiss. He faces away from me and turns his head to the side for my magical goodnight kiss. In the last seven months, I have started to say "I'm here why don't you want me"? But i get excuses or it gets turned around on me so I am made to feel bad. Now it's to the point of me crying and crying, "Why don't you want me?" "What can I do to change?". I was made to feel his sex drive was low and he is so sorry, blah blah blah.. Screw that! His sex drive isn't too low for porn! He hasn't been touching me but he sure has been doing it to porn... We have watched porn together. I'm up for it, for sure, to help get a little dirtier but when you don't touch me unless you have been watching porn... no thank you! And you know what kills me? After I sat many many times over and over like an ass thinking he would stop, he won't do it because I told him it makes me feel ugly and unwanted and just discarded that he doesn't get aroused by me but has to use other women? I thought "My man isn't like that, he will stop, he knows it hurts me, and he wont hurt me". Boy was I wrong. He not only keeps watching it alone but hides the page or clicks the home button when I walk in the room. Like I'm not a complete idiot. So again last night, people, I cried and begged him to please stop watching it alone. Touch me if you're horny, I'm right here, why aren't I good enough? And I get deny, deny, deny and now I'm crazy, I didn't see porn, he isn't watching that. I have problems, I'd better go see a counsellor. I'm an embarrassment, I'm being an Idiot... I'm told to f off, get out of his face, he's tired of my bullshit. Last night, I lay in bed with so much going on in my mind. I kept to myself, watched a movie and fell asleep. Woke up at 5:15 cause I rolled over and, hmmm, he was gone... strange. So I got up to pee and, lo and behold, there he was on the couch on his phone. As soon as he saw me, that phone was flipped over faster than you can imagine. So I asked, "Hey, wanna prove me wrong? Let me see your phone. Show me the last page you were on. Just one. Prove me a paranoid crazy woman, just show me something", and as I stood there crying, pleading to him to prove me I'm wrong he tells me he's tired and will show me later... And his phone is hidden. Weird how it isn't on the end table like it is every night for the last eight years!!! My last comment to him was, "If you can't show me your phone and prove me wrong, then I now know I'm %110 right. He isn't going to stop. He doesn't care how it makes me feel and what am I doing still writing this? No sex for three years, over-excessive pain and anger, that's how my life has been. But I do see I'm not alone. To any woman or man that has a partner that makes them feel this way in any shape or form – please don't keep hurting yourself by letting someone stomp on your trust and heart. You're amazing and don't let anyone tell or show you different. Sorry it's probably all over the map, I'm still shaking from this morning's hidden phone event! Someone, anyone, talk to me please.
Ask the community | pornography, masturbation, sexless
“Could my wife be gay?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My wife and I have been married for two decades. After our second/last child was conceived, my wife's libido dropped to zero. This was 15 years ago. When I told her that lack of intimacy and sex in our marriage was putting me on the edge of walking away she agreed to try to spice things up. She said that it was difficult to get in the mood because she was always so tired from work and household chores. I took the cue and took over all of the household duties, but still no response from her. I offered to watch some porn together to see if that would help and she agreed but only if it were all girls videos. When she would watch these with me she responded quite well! Without the video, if I would initiate contact by touching her she would have no physiological response. I don't think that she is aware of any of this, she certainly hasn't been willing to talk about it with me. But I started putting two and two together and I wonder if she didn't marry me to be able to have a "normal" life, be able to raise a family, and avoid all of the challenges of a non-standard nuclear family that she would have to face in a same sex relationship.
Ask the community | pornography, masturbation