Does Porn Have a Place in Marriage? – From The Mind of Malaka

A reader sent me an email this week, asking me about my views on pornography as it relates to relationships that have potential to end in marriage.

“I know that you are not a counselor or any such thing. I am just asking in case you may have some insight into issues of this nature,” she wrote.

She summed my credentials succinctly. I am no counselor, and certainly have not been trained in the effects or porn or how to combat addictions. I do have a little insight, however, and at her request am sharing them today. I won’t take you into M.O.M mode for this one. If we took an imaginary trip into the porn world it would just end badly for all of us.

So your man is sitting in the closet with his pants down watching other people get off, eh? It’s not exactly the welcome home any woman looks forward to. Unless you’re a freak like that, in which case coming home to a room smelling like corn chips and hours’ old saliva is a greeting you look forward to. However if you are of the opposing sentiment, this can prove a real problem.

I think when it comes to porn, like anything, you have to set some standards and boundaries. You have to define for yourself and subsequently let it be known what you will and will not tolerate. For the irreligious couple who finds themselves contemplating marriage, God neither serves as a focus or a concern in their marriage or relationship.

The idea that consuming or watching porn is “sinful” is therefore not a concern initially and may be more easily tolerated, at first at least. The problem with porn is that it is driven by lust, and lust is never satisfied. Religious or not, one partner is going to end up getting hurt when the other’s sexual lust can no longer be satisfied at home.

I did some trolling on my reader’s twitter page and blog and discovered that she is a self-professed lover of Christ. She is very careful about concealing her identity, so all that I was able to glean or assume is that she is in her mid-20s, university educated, ambitious and is very much in love with her partner. She seems like a good girl. I don’t know much about her man, but if she is the “Jesus Freak” she proclaims to be, I can deduce that he is involved in church in some way.

He may not be active in the church, but at the very least he attends. It is estimated that 50% of all church going men watch porn religiously, with every pun intended. This is a problem because a) their focus is shifted from the pursuit of God to the pursuit or lust and b) it creates a warped reality of what love is supposed to look like. Men who consistently view porn, eventually to the point of developing an addiction, develop unrealistic standards for themselves and their mates. Most porn objectifies women while at the same erects idol-like images of men that these same women will do anything to please or to make feel desirable. That may work in fiction, but it has no place in reality.

The reality is after a hard day at work and paying bills, neither of you is going to have the energy to pursue the Porn Matrix. Given the little bit of porn that I’ve watched, the burden of conjuring and creating that reality is placed on the woman, and that’s not another job that a working woman needs on her plate. This is why men who become addicted to porn oftentimes seek their thrills outside of the confines of their homes into the waiting arms of the neighborhood or corner-side hooker. It is her (paid) job to satisfy that warped fantasy.

My reader said that she has spoken to the man she is a relationship with about his watching porn and has unequivocally stated that it kills her to know he does. Perhaps it’s my age and/or my experience, but that fact alone should answer any questions about what his watching porn is going to do to their relationship. If someone really loves you, they don’t continue to do the thing(s) that hurt you. That’s not love. That’s sadism.
It is generally well known that ‘harmless’ viewing of porn is an eventual gateway to more risky behavior.

Sex addiction is one of the hardest to cure, because our society is so driven by it. It is estimated that the average human being in the West is presented with 80 -100 sexual images – either implied or overt – in a day. As human beings become more desensitized to sex and nudity, it is only natural that the next progression would be to watching porn, then to more extreme porn, and more extreme and absurd until one day you and your husband are taking turns humping the family’s horse, asking yourself how on earth you got there?

So my dear reader, I say this to you: Decide what your boundaries are. If you have none, your mate will walk all over you. Define your limitations for every area of your life and don’t waver from them. The funny (and tragic) thing about us women is that we are so good at encouraging men that we eventually become the enablers for the same behavior we so deplore. We rationalize it by saying “Oh…he’s a really good guy except for when he does xyz.” No!

If you do not want him beating you, I am sure you have made that known. Would it hurt you if he hit you? Would you leave him if he did? If you do not want him chasing after other women, make it known. Would it hurt you if he did? Would you leave him if you discovered he was? If his watching his porn is so offensive to you, why stay? What are you afraid of? That one or three years invested will turn up to be a waste? Imagine 30 years enduring something so offensive and repugnant to you. What is the triumph in that?

From where I sit, you have two choices: Either develop a tolerance for porn and start watching it with him, or force him to abandon it altogether by getting the help he needs so that the pair of you can have a healthy, equally yoked future together.

Have you ever been addiction to porn or know someone else who has struggled with it? Am I off the mark? Can you have a healthy relationship with/be a porn addict? Chime in for my reader! Let’s get talking!

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