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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
“Why doesn't my husband want 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 have been married for 12 years. My husband and I are happy, we do not have a perfect marriage but who does? From the start of our marriage we never had much of a sex life, even as newly weds. We would average maybe four times a month on a good month. He is not very affectionate toward me either. I had never felt attractive in my marriage, I am always the one who initiated sex and most of the time I got turned down. He does not kiss me and never performed oral sex for me at all, but expects it from me every time and sometimes just that for him and nothing at all for me. Later I found out he was watching porn A LOT. This broke my heart, because he never wanted me. About nine years and two sweet daughters later I found out that he was cheating - it was a one night thing. He swore that it meant nothing, in order for me to stay I demanded he tell me eVerything. I also found the other woman and talked to her about it. The stories matched up - apparently the plan was to cheat with her but he could not get an erection despite her best efforts. I asked him if he had kissed her (which he never kisses me) and he had - not only that but because he couldn't perform he gave her oral sex! He never does this for me! Well of course i was very upset and left him. He was devastated and apologised and said he would be a better husband and do all those things for me blah blah blah. So for my children and the fact that I love him we worked it out. He has done much better - he still will not kiss me but he will occasionally do oral. And he is more affectionate and I can honestly see that he is trying more than he ever has. Our sex life was great, 5-6 times a week and much more passion than ever before. But for the past two weeks he has not touched me, despite my attempts. When I asked him about it he said he was just in a down spiral (I forgot to mention he has cycling bi-polar disorder) and that his sex drive decreases when he has a down phase, so i tried to understand and be supportive, but I checked his phone last night and his history was absolutely full of porn! So his sex drive is decreased but he can watch porn and not want to have sex with me? I do not understand this and it makes me feel disgusting! I even offered for us to watch together but he did not want to do that. My body has changed a lot since having our children, and he knows how insecure I am about it. He says my body has nothing to do with it it's just his bipolor decreasing his libido. But i don't know about that seems like if libido was decreased it would be decreased for everything not just your wife, and be perfectly fine for porn. Can anyone help me understand this?
Ask the community | pornography, masturbation, sexless
“Haven't had sex in two months”
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. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hello. New to the group here... We have been together, 12 years, my husband says he is very much attracted to me, and basically wants no other. Our sex life, I believe was very good. Porn, not an issue, toys, not an issue, exploring, not an issue. But for him, he has not had an interest in sex in at least two months. Yes I have mentioned it to him. Yes I have said I miss having sex with him. I am a very sexual person. We have had relationship issues in past, but i believed we were past. Apparently not enough to where it has now affected our sex life. He drives trucks and yes i am with him in truck 24/7, but i do go home every 4 weeks for a few weeks to handle appointments. No, he is not one to be a cheater or even consider cheating. I am truly his world and his true love. I just would really like us to have our sex life back. I have even gone to the point of telling him i have my vibrator with me in the showers these days and its not an issue for him where as in the past it would have been. I have lost weight. I am not a big girl, I am a medium size person. I am attractive, so far so say, yes, sexually looking. Just he has no magnetism towards me, and i remember so long ago when we first met, he had his ex-wife living with him, and they were not sexual, that is how i feel at this point. We live together, sleep side by side, and have no sexual contact. But he says he will never be without me. I so desperately want our sex life back...i am a very sexual person and need want my husband... HELP... I'm at a loss here.
Ask the community | sex, communication, sexless
“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
“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
“Sexual insecurity after getting an IUD”
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 am aware that a lot of questions on this site already revolve around what I’m going to talk about now, and that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of people left commenting but I have the strong urge to talk to someone about this and I don’t want to bother anyone in real life with it. My boyfriend and I have only been dating for roughly a year but there already seems to be an issue in the bedroom – he’s my first serious boyfriend and we lost our virginitys to one another. That being said, in the beginning we were (as to be expected) very ‘eager’ to do it, numerous times a day, multiple days a week all that good stuff. We had some issues concerning birth control (me going on the pill and having really extreme and bad reactions to it) and I ended up getting a copper IUD inserted because my body just seems to be very sensitive to hormones. Since then, I haven’t been ‘in touch’ with my body – I’m a naturally very insecure person and suffer from a few mental disorders that make me very sensitive and anxious especially when it comes to my physical appearance. It’s been this way since the very beginning (because it’s a ‘me’ problem) i.e. not being able to do certain positions because I’m too insecure that you could see how fat I must look (even though I know that I’m actually pretty skinny after having lost a bunch of weight due to mental reasons), not being able to perform oral on him because I’m too scared of not doing a good enough job – the list goes on. But since I had the IUD put in (or maybe not, I can’t remember too well honestly), I’ve grown more and more ashamed of my own body – the reason is that now, I produce a lot of ‘fluid’. No idea if it’s because of the IUD (I’ve heard women say that they experience excessive wetness after having that) but to me it seems like that’s the only logical explanation. It’s just too much. The worst part about it is that because of the excessive fluid, the friction gets less and less – I’ve done kegel exercises, I’ve tried researching in every way I could (and I’m 17 and was a virgin before him so), I’ve started beating myself up about it so much to the point where the thought of sex isn’t fun anymore. It stresses me out. This is also because he said something once, not in a mean-spirited way or to hurt me, but it was something along the lines of ‘…why aren’t you as tight as you used to be?’.. He has never said it again, never purposefully made me feel bad about myself and he does always try to show me that he’s attracted to me and that I’m not an ugly piece of shit but that question has stuck with me. Even though it’s been over half a year, even though he’s never mentioned it again, even though I explained to him that it was the excessive amount of lubrication my body was producing that made it feel like I was somehow ‘loose’ (or I really am haha fuck me) – it’s stuck in my head. I deal with a lot of insecurity just because of the way I am and how I was treated previously, and now I feel absolutely sexually inadequate. I feel like I’m a disappointment as a woman because all a woman needs to be is sexually desirable and the perfect ‘fuck doll or else she has no worth – and even though I know that not to be true and stupid it’s still so evident in our society and it only adds to me feeling worthless. And now that his sex drive has also decreased over time (He started a business a few months ago so he naturally has less free time to spend on me which is something I can fully understand) it only adds to it. I never initiate sex because of how insecure I am and how scared I am of being rejected (also it just turns me on more to be ‘submissive’ in the bedroom if anyone knows what I mean) and so it only happens if he’s in the mood. We joke about me having a really high sex drive and wanting to go pretty much anytime of the day but deep down it really bugs me and makes me feel like I’m not right or dirty or not desirable enough since we’re always taught that men are supposed to be the ones to crave sex and women are supposed to be the gate keepers and only put out every once in a while. I feel like it’s not normal that he doesn’t constantly want sex, and because it’s my first relationship I have no idea what other people are like. When we do have sex I get very bad performance anxiety at times and generally don’t enjoy it as much as I think I could (I’ve never had an orgasm when we had sex, only a full number of 3 times during our entire relationship when he performed oral on me which is something I normally don’t let him do because I’m too insecure and ashamed of my body), which is also why I think I would be able to go for round 7# or 10# or 65# - because I don’r really get fully satisfied. I can also see that most of these problems are my own fault because I 1) don’t initiate 2) never let him do oral in the past and now I don’t think he’d ever try again because I rejected him so often 3) I purposefully make it about him and his pleasure because I feel so uncomfortable and I just want to know that I pleased him, no matter what I feel. We now have sex maybe once every two or three weeks which is way too little for me – it gets me to the brink of insanity honestly. We’re 17 for christ’s sake. I’ve reached a point where if he tries touching me I get extremely anxious and just want him to stop, I don’t find myself attractive and I constantly remind myself of how much better other women look, how their butt’s are way bigger, how their boobs are more plump, how their stomach’s are more flat – the list goes on. I feel like I’m doing something wrong, like I’m not desirable enough to make him want to have sex with me – at the same time, I usher his hand away when he touches me, because I’m too scared of him feeling or seeing any sort of imperfection and finding me disgusting for it. I’ve brought to his attention that I want to have more sex and how it makes me feel, he said he was sorry and that he’d try his best but that he’s got a lot to do because of his business and such which I totally understand. I still feel like he just plain and simple doesn’t find me hot. I feel like I’m not woman enough to please him (even though I know that’s stupid and sexist, it’s somehow ingrained in my head). I don’t want to talk to my friends about it because I know for a fact that their problem is their boyfriends constantly wanting sex and them not being in the mood, which only makes me feel worse in comparison. I’m starting to refuse to have sex even though I want it to bad because I’m too scared of doing a bad job (there have been several really awkward situations which I guess is completely normal and he just laughed it off but that type of stuff haunts me forever) I also don’t want to talk to him about this again because I don’t feel like he understands or deems it a big issue, especially since I have already talked to him about it and I can also acknowledge that I’m the problem, not him. I must seem like a total mess but since I don’t expect anyone to read or comment, I guess it’s okay to be honest.
Ask the community | sex, intimacy
“My partner watches porn instead”
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 with my partner only two years and have had a baby together (six months old). I understand having a baby probably changes things sexually, but I'm not convinced that's all it is here. I've been through his search history loads of occasions and know he watches porn now and again and it really fucks me off. Not because I have a problem with it because I don't – I enjoy watching porn too – but want it to be something we do together or even he does when he's putting out even. But no!!! I can instigate sex and he just acts like he's not interested all the time. In fact I'm always the one that does, never him. He's not very affectionate towards me and just shuts off when I try to talk to him about it, does not say a word. Doesn't assure me he's happy with me or anything. This morning I was wondering around naked, then in underwear for a good hour. I could tell he was playing with himself under the covers and had a look on his face like I might actually get lucky, but no. I started to get bored of him ignoring me as always and popped down stairs for five mins as soon as I was gone. He watches porn on his phone and had a wank. WTF. For me, physical contact is a must and I can enjoy porn and masturbating all day long but on its own is just not satisfying enough. I'm so sick of feeling hurt and upset and betrayed. I'm far from perfect like all of us however I'm not that bad and am a confident person generally not easily threatened by other females, but with my partner now I just feel I'm not good enough for him. He seems so much more interested in any other girl except me. And it's tearing me up inside. I feel mugged off and don't really understand why he's even with me really. Just to make clear, I'm very open about how I feel. I've said on so many occasions I'm happy with him watching porn but feel uncomfortable when he doesn't want sex with me and does it behind my back. I've said I'd like to watch it with him but get the feeling the reason he doesn't want to is because he watching girls that are nothing like me??? The fact he goes silent when I ask any questions about it drives me mad and the saying 'silence speaks a thousand words' is so very true, I believe. I just don't know what to do? I have literally tried every possible way of talking it over but he just won't have it. I've tried just ignoring and not letting it get to me in case I might seem a bit needy and I've tried being upfront and to the point, but nothing's working. The problem is I feel like I want to go elsewhere to get my satisfaction. Every women needs to feel wanted and I don't at all. I've never felt so low about myself in my life and it's not because I'm unhappy with me – it's the way he is with me. I was in a 12-year relationship before this and never once had a problem like this. I just don't know how to deal with it other than end it. Or go elsewhere so I can give him a massive 'fuck you' as he clearly doesn't care enough about my feelings to even try to resolve this? I just want people's opinions. Am I being over the top or am I absolutely right to feel this way? And how do I deal with it? And him? Please? I feel a bit pathetic but I can't stop thinking about it and can't even bring myself to go anywhere near him any way as I do feel like he's cheating on me almost.
User article | pornography, masturbation