Married men and porn

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...

Men - in the last 3 months, have you willingly sought or viewed porn?

I have not viewed any porn.
205
18%
I have slipped a few times. My wife knows.
132
12%
I have slipped a few times. My wife does not know.
207
18%
I have slipped many times. My wife knows.
106
9%
I have slipped many times. My wife does not know.
149
13%
I am addicted. My wife knows.
97
9%
I am addicted. My wife does not know.
68
6%
I look at porn, but I don't think it's wrong. My wife knows.
50
4%
I look at porn, but I don't think it's wrong. My wife does not know.
33
3%
My wife and I look at it together occasionally.
62
5%
My wife and I look at it together regularly.
23
2%
 
Total votes: 1132

sunny82

Postby sunny82 » Sun Jan 01, 2006 1:57 am

I guess my point is this.....

The fact that a woman wants to be the "only one" loved and desired the "one" he desires to see. When he indulges in other vices it cuts to the core of her self.

Maybe this shouldn't be how she should feel. Maybe it says she is finding her worth in something other than God.

But is it not true that a much of a mans esteem is rooted in his ability to provide for his wife?


Maybe I'm just really twisted.

But I guess I'm trying to find a way a man can understand how it feels for the shoe to be on the other foot.


Would it make a difference if she "could" find something he could relate to?

ToWantNot

Postby ToWantNot » Sun Jan 01, 2006 2:41 am

Well as a Man, i want to be the only one my wife desires, if my wife was looking at other men and lusting for them it would hurt me i suppose just as much. So that is right on par. But i suppose if a Woman makes her husband feel guilty about providing what he cannot then she is wrong for doing that.

ponca_paul

Postby ponca_paul » Sun Jan 01, 2006 8:16 am

towantnot wrote

this is not a good comparison
because these are "things"

what many dont understand is that in porn women become the "things"
and not a real person.

I am not justifying or condemning porn, in some marriages it may have a place if used by the couple

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Devoted2Dearling
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Postby Devoted2Dearling » Sun Jan 01, 2006 8:54 am

Lust for material things and lust for porn are related, I'd agree. For one thing, they are both adultery against God, not just one's mate. But the analogy between them doesn't work well, as others pointed out.

I have seen some women I know cause their husbands to leave God's call over wanting a home in the 'burbs with the white picket fence. And that is a sad thing.

But for my nickel, I'd say the closest parallel between porn and something else would be a drug addiction such as cocaine. Porn really has that sort of addictive power, and I don't think those of us who've only tweaked around with it really comprehend the world those who are immersed in it experience.

Blessings,
d2w, sitting here in bare feet w/ wet hair while I'm supposed to be getting out the door to church!
See: http://www.cbeinternational.org
"Because you're mine / I walk the line" - Johnny Cash

sunny82

Postby sunny82 » Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:24 am

I'm just weird, always looking for analogies......

I was only looking for a comparison not ammunition or anything like that.


Sin is sin and whether we believe it or not everything we do that is sin effects those around us even if it doesn't seem so immediately.


Thanks for the feedback!

:wink:

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Devoted2Dearling
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Postby Devoted2Dearling » Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:43 pm

sunny82 wrote:I'm just weird, always looking for analogies......


I think all of us do that, not just you! :wink:

I was only looking for a comparison not ammunition or anything like that.


Right. I didnt' think you were.

blessings,
d2w
See: http://www.cbeinternational.org

"Because you're mine / I walk the line" - Johnny Cash

fullquiver

Postby fullquiver » Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:18 pm

Paul, back in November you posted that a woman's feelings of being inadequate/unable to measure up are not a good argument against porn use b/c he knows that his use of porn has nothing to do with her appearance or sexual availability. I understand that you are saying it may be an ineffective argument, but it also seemed you were making light of those feelings. Regardless of whether the wife's appearance or behavior have anything at all to do with the "need" to look at other women, or whether men compare their wives to porn stars, those feelings are very very real. I have had 5 children. I'm soft in the middle, have stretch marks, and my body shape has seen more changes in the last 10 years than Michael Jackson's nose. It is very very difficult for me to accept that I am not being compared to the airbrushed, surgically enhanced, probably childless beauties who also happen to have boundless sexual energy (someone has to take care of those 5 kids). I don't think it's okay for a husband to ignore those feelings of inadequacy just b/c he thinks they are irrational. Using the analogy no one liked, I could spend hours looking for homes and furnishings well out of our price range, and my dh would quite likely feel that he is unable to meet my expectations IRT lifestyle. That inadequacy really is similar to how the wives of men who use porn can feel. I can tell him all day long that I don't really expect to live in a million dollar home, but if he keeps finding house plans on the coffee table, he won't believe me.

ToWantNot

Postby ToWantNot » Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:36 am

ponca_paul wrote

what many dont understand is that in porn women become the "things"
and not a real person.


Mybe to the offender they are just things, but to the offended they are much more, this is why i dont thinks its a good comparison, not because of what who can provide, but because of the effect of the "looking at porn" can have on the other person, and i think that effect cant be compared to wanting something you cant afford and making someone feel badly about it.

I recently confessed to my wife that i had looked at porn and other women in the past and she didnt want to talk to me for 2 days and i couldn't understand why, untill Jerry pointed this out to me

Vanna

Postby Vanna » Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:44 am

I grew up in a household where I found my Dad's porn stash at a young age- 7 or 8. I looked for it and read it for years. Amazing what you can learn from those magazines, but I won't go into that. :shock:

My Dad always told my Mom he got it for the articles, but she never believed that in her heart- hmmm... I wonder why? Years passed and the porn stayed, and I watched it break my Mom's heart. All those big boobed women with those perfect fried egg nipples, as if any wife in the real world could compete with such a fantasy?!! My Mom struggled with inadequacy issues due to her appearance and my father's backhanded love. :oops:

She invested decades with this man, stayed with him through alcoholism and a horrible work schedule, lugged the family all over the world, not to mention absorbed all the emotional abuse, and then to add insult to injury he couldn't be satisfied by looking only at her?! Eventually he was unfaithful, and she even stayed through that and forgave him. ::bh

In later years my mother finally stood up for herself and she, my husband, and I burned his porn stash, and there was a shocking amount of really sleazy stuff, but it all began in the early years with just a subscription to Playboy and Penthouse.

Here they are in the last decades of marriage, he can't even get it up anymore, probably a health problem of some sort, and my mom calls in tears saying she found porn on the computer! Who is this guy who calls himself my father??! Why can't he just love my Mom after all these years and all they have gone through together... why isn't it enough??? :evil:

If my husband ever resorted to porn it would kill me. :( :( Ironically the name I selected for this site is the name of a model from a lingerie ad my hubby kept in his Army locker until he met me, he took them all down and when the guys asked what he was doing he said he had someone much more beautiful now and didn't need Vanna anymore... ::luv ::luv

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Devoted2Dearling
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Postby Devoted2Dearling » Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:03 am

Good post, Vanna and all...

Reminds me of a quote I read years ago about porn. Went something like this:

"Pornography has taken the fig leaf from Adam and Eve's loins and placed it over their faces."

That, to me, is the bottom line on porn. Completely depersonalizing....

And Vanna, you made me laugh with the "fried egg" thing! ::rofl

Blessings,
d2w
See: http://www.cbeinternational.org

"Because you're mine / I walk the line" - Johnny Cash

luvinher

Postby luvinher » Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:08 am

Someone mentioned four things which viewing porn breaks, and one was trust.

I'm not sure some wives hold a correct view of what trust is. Men are imperfect and WILL fail them, at various times in their live, and you could kiddingly say that's that's what they ought to trust in. However, to be clear what is wrong and unfair...it is expecting a 100% perfect superman. I'm not saying that justifies anything on the man's part, I'm just saying women have to replace that trust thing with something like "he will to the best of his abilities try to honor God and love me" and then IF a failure happens it should NOT be quite so hurtful.

luvinher

Postby luvinher » Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:19 am

Sunny82, regarding the house and cars, you might do well to look up the greek word epithumia and see where it is used in the Bible and where. Sometimes it is a good thing. Sometimes bad.

It is used in Matt 5:28 and so you might figure out that it embraces more than what people commonly see as physical lust.

For women epithumia-ing houses and cars, passages like Gal 5:17, James 4:2 and 1 Cor 10:6 might apply. Is such adultery? I think probably not.

Btw, I've worked through Matthew 5 here previously, and I do not think the Matt 5:28 lusting is ground for a divorce. But I think what it shares with the wife-car, housing thing is that it can be a form of idolatry.
Last edited by luvinher on Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Vanna

Postby Vanna » Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:16 pm

Okay... call it what you will... but as a wife if my husband is looking at another woman's "image", "photo" or "artistic rendition" and he is jerking off, then as far as I'm concerned he might as well be in bed with her. He is taking his physical pleasure (no matter how limited) with another woman. No amount of scripture, pieces of scripture, translation of scripture, or interpretation of scripture will change that for me.

In our marriage, trust isn't about looking for Superman, trust is knowing that my husband will take the heart I have placed in his hands and do all he can to cherish and protect it, in return I do the same with his heart. Is he perfect, am I? No, but he cares for me and does not deliberately continue to do things that he knows hurt me... not because I force him or hassle him or guilt him, but because he really loves me. His choice makes his efforts real treasure in our marriage.

Yes, as a result I am quicker to trust again if he slips, but that isn't blind trust it is a choice I make because I know he wouldn't intentionally hurt me. ::luv2

MarkS

Postby MarkS » Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:17 pm

Wow! it's encouraging to read luvinher's points above. While I've profited from scanning the whole thread, luvinher's words resonate at every point with my studies and those of many better-studied scholars. In short:

1. Lust is "neutral" (can be used of both bad AND good desire).
2. Even the Holy Spirit is said to "lust" (as translated in the KJV).
3. Lust for a woman not rightfully yours is wrong.
4. Lust, although serious - as spiritual adultery - is not a divorceable offense. (As hatred and cursing - spiritual murder - are not capital offenses.)
5. Inordinate lust for "things" is NOT adultery (except as it is idolatry, which is spiritual adultery against God, one's first spouse - see the story of Israel!).

...and what is seldom addressed (by nervous theologians?):

6. Sexually desiring one's betrothed wife the night before your wedding may not be "ungodly lust."

Thanks, for the gist of 1-5, luvinher!

MarkS

Postby MarkS » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:18 pm

Vanna wrote:Okay... call it what you will... but as a wife if my husband is looking at another woman's "image", "photo" or "artistic rendition" and he is jerking off, then as far as I'm concerned he might as well be in bed with her. He is taking his physical pleasure (no matter how limited) with another woman. No amount of scripture, pieces of scripture, translation of scripture, or interpretation of scripture will change that for me.

Anyone who is insensitive to how (many?) women feel about men's - and especially a husband's - use of porn...is unwise.

I doubt one of of our best writers could do justice in 1200 words to the torment and struggle wives go through. Perhaps this is especially so in cases where women have been sexually abused (physically) or had a dark family history associated with porn (such as Vanna's).

We can hardly be blamed for our high emotions (and I don't just mean women here). In this climate, some of the most difficult questions can hardly be asked.... They are not "politically correct." We are apt to jump all over each other, imputing motives that may not exist. Unfortunately, then, those questions never get asked (or are quickly cut short). This leaves the issue of "lust" artificially simple, where it's easy to just hate it all...and anything associated with it. (Or to love it and dismiss the well-rooted concerns of the despisers.)

A sampler of questions that don't get asked (or considered very carefully):

1. Granting that it's wrong to lust for another woman via her "image," is it wrong to find a cartoon sketch appealing? (An illustration which looks like no one in particular.) For instance, when I was a teen, I found the wife in "Blondie" (comic) to be extremely appealing and imagined finding a wife of similar figure & personality (and, frankly, I didn't care whether she had blonde or brunette hair! and no, I didn't think her waist would actually be THAT small!).

2. Is it wrong to be aroused by a mudflap? (Of course, I'm talking about the abstract figure of woman found on certain mudflaps - ha!)

3. Is it wrong to be aroused by the *concept* of woman? (Without any particular woman, picture, or illustration in mind or before the eye.)

4. Did any of you ladies find it easier to appreciate your brother's (or friends') admiration for other women (SI, posters, Maxim, Playboy) than to accept it in your husband? (Of course, this has nothing to do with whether it is *right,* but simply, sincerely, probes deeper about the emotional effects, etc.)

5. Did any of you ladies discover Playboy (or early pinup) from an early age - and think, "Wow! those women are beautiful. I want to look like that when I grow up." And, later, with reasonably balanced body perspective, think, "I do sometimes look that good"? (I have read of some who do.)

6. You've been married 20 years... What if - for your wedding gift - you had given your new husband an airbrushed painting of YOU (in your nubile, pre-childbearing years) in erotic pose (or old, Coca-Cola-style pinup)? would you be revulsed by your husband...

a. "finding it erotic"? (but not becoming physically aroused)
b. "finding it arousing"? (but nothing more)
c. "jerking off to it"?
d. "jerking off while gazing at it AND thanking you for being such a good wife and raising 5 children"?
e. (if you have a terrible accident that leaves you paralyzed without sexual function) "jerking off to it while speaking sweetly and endearingly to you of his deep gratitude and lifelong commitment to caring for you"?

7. When a woman is "carried away" with a romance novel - a non-sexual but graphic one - and she imaginately "swoons" when the hero saves her from danger and kisses her deeply - is this anything like a man's reaction to porn? (by *graphic* I mean it contains vivid visual description - such as that the hero has brown hair with peculiar haircut, uses a certain gel, while the heroine has a pageboy hairstyle, ballet limbs and a beauty mark on her hip)

8. How alike? (the woman's and man's reaction)

9. Is it wrong for a woman to become aroused while reading the setting/plot above?

None of this is said to blur the real, deeply affecting issues of porn. In fact, it is my opinion that failure to deal keenly with questions like those above blocks us from understanding more deeply the real issues...and their rightful effects!

Porn - and our response to it - is more complex and more *complicated* than we admit...or even reckognize. That doesn't make it *right.* But it does suggest that there is danger in oversimplifying. It may turn out that our reactions are - in some cases - more severe than they ought to be. And, in others, too sympathetic.

And some of our righteousness might turn out to be "self-righteousness." Let us be sure our *love* or *hatred* of a thing is not based in our own self-absorbed rationale or feelings. And I mean that toward men and women, pro- and anti- porn crusaders.

Waiting for arrows and slingshots,
Mark

amf

Postby amf » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:27 pm

Okay... call it what you will... but as a wife if my husband is looking at another woman's "image", "photo" or "artistic rendition" and he is jerking off, then as far as I'm concerned he might as well be in bed with her. He is taking his physical pleasure (no matter how limited) with another woman. No amount of scripture, pieces of scripture, translation of scripture, or interpretation of scripture will change that for me.

In our marriage, trust isn't about looking for Superman, trust is knowing that my husband will take the heart I have placed in his hands and do all he can to cherish and protect it, in return I do the same with his heart. Is he perfect, am I? No, but he cares for me and does not deliberately continue to do things that he knows hurt me... not because I force him or hassle him or guilt him, but because he really loves me. His choice makes his efforts real treasure in our marriage.


Great post, Vanna! I guess men will never experience anything quite like the stab in the heart this issue brings about for many (most?) women, unless they've actually been cheated on by a loved one. There are no words, and maybe no analogies, to fully capture the feeling of betrayal and inadequacy that porn leaves in its wake. A woman can be left with countless images that whirl around her mind till they make her feel crazy. By the way, thanks for the many related posts that are scattered around the board from Devoted, Jerry, and others. It makes me feel heartened that there are men who empathize and who seem to "get it", who understand porn to be the worthless, destructive junk that it is.

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Postby Devoted2Dearling » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:30 pm

luvinher wrote:

Btw, I've worked through Matthew 5 here previously, and I do not think the Matt 5:28 lusting is ground for a divorce.


Interesting assertion. But at least potentially, Jesus does a number of things in the sermon on the mount re divorce. One is to establish that adultery is a heart matter, not just a physical one. If a man lusts after a woman in his heart, he commits adultery.... Two is that adultery is grounds for divorce. Therefore, a simple "if a equals b, and b equals c, then a equals c" bit of logic will reveal that "If lusting after a woman in one's heart equals adultery, and adultery equals permission to divorce, then lusting after a woman in one's heart equals permission to divorce."

It is a good idea not to take those verses lightly. I'm not suggesting that permission to divorce is where the Christian is to stop. Rather, the whole set of issues surrounding grace, repentance, and forgivneness comes into play. And there is also the issue of what Jesus was doing in the sermon on the mount, namely, attacking the legalism of the Pharisees & Sadducees with a revelation of just how stringent the law of God really is, and that it applies to the heart rather than mere outward actions. Thus, no man is free from adultery under Jesus' definition (except Jesus), nor is any woman. The punchline? If you're going to live by the law, you'll be crushed by the law, because you absolutely cannot fulfill it. It is beyond broken humanity's grasp.

But again, that doesn't overrule adultery as a real reason for a woman to leave her husband, nor a man to leave his wife. And if grace is flouted over and over and over again (say via long-term porn use), I do think the option of divorce is a live option, based on the Sermon on the Mount. Prayerfully, it is not an option that will be exercised. But it is a real option, and in some cases, may even be the right option (terrible option, but right).

Blessings,
d2w
See: http://www.cbeinternational.org

"Because you're mine / I walk the line" - Johnny Cash

sunny82

Postby sunny82 » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:41 pm

Wow!

What a great opportunity for discussion!

I really appreciate everyone willing to be open and honest and actually take the time to put some real thought into the issue.

Since some of us are so involved in this issue let me throw yet another monkey wrench in the pile and ask another question.....


:roll:


So what constitutes porn?

amf

Postby amf » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:41 pm

OK, folks. I'm now convinced that there is little hope for women living in a world like this. If men are getting aroused by cartoons and mudflaps, then I totally GIVE UP!!!

Sorry...end of vent...I'll bow out now.

luvinher

Postby luvinher » Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:12 pm

5 pages of discussion, and "what is porn" hasn't been tackled yet?

I think if a man opens a medical reference book and seeks to become aroused to the point of lusting, then that book is "porn for him." For other people that book might not be porn.

Can a campaign by a religious group to "ban porn" succeed? Would they be able decide whether mud flaps or medical books are porn? Would they be able to come up with community standards (like the ones used once obscenity)? Kind strange thinking how invaded our society is now compared to a few decades ago.

Anyway, all I can say at the moment is that I think the "porn for you" idea fits best for a Christian discussion board.
Last edited by luvinher on Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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