Dear, how to do it once or twice a month, I look over and see porn playing on my husband’s computer. We’ll just be watching TV and I see it playing on mute, even though he’s slight angles his computer away from me. He doesn’t seem to go, masturbate afterwards or try to initiate anything with me. I know he uses porn to masturbate. I do, too. And we talk about it openly. But I’ve gotten no indication that he has any sort of addiction. Our sex life is great and normal. I’m not upset and don’t really care to confront him about it. But what is this signed? I don’t get it.LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE

S2: It could be so many things

S1: he’s just doing it for the articles.

S2: Yeah. You know, there’s absolutely no way to tell, you know, confront is one way to have a conversation. I’d say it’s towards the extreme end of ways to converse, saying, Hey, are you aroused or are you watching this for some other reason?

S1: Right? There’s a piece on Mel about this. Why do people watch porn when they’re not masturbating? And you know, there are no real. I mean, it’s a pithy kind of article. It’s back from three years ago or so. There are no real solid takeaways. I think probably different people would do that for different reasons. Something suggested both, maybe from this article and just in general, is that you know, people might be giving themselves something to remember. You know, he’s not getting up immediately and going to masturbate, but that doesn’t mean when he masturbates in a line that he won’t be thinking of what he was watching. It could be a kind of slow-motion edging. You know, this could be kind of like building up part of his process. You know, I think also it’s probably soothing to people who habituate it, you know, who just get so used to this medium that they have that’s so present in their life that it makes sense to have it in some kind of ambient context. Porn addiction is not recognized by the DSM. Certainly, there can be problematic porn use. Someone could conceivably use so much porn that it affects their lives. Usually, that’s what we talk about when we talk about addiction or compulsion. Is this getting in the way? Is this something that you wish that you weren’t doing, but still can’t seem to stop

S2: with all of it, whether it’s porn use or a certain sexual specific or even food? It’s like weed. Is this harming your body? Is this harming someone else? Is this getting in the way of your life? And if the answer to any one of those is yes, then it is a problem and needs to be dealt with. Yes. But I just can’t get on board with porn addiction.

S1: When we talk about addiction, it just doesn’t really apply per se.

S2: You know, when we use that word, we’re talking about it like it’s a diagnosis, right? And the thing about psychiatric diagnoses is they don’t want to, like, stick every label that fits on. Yeah, they want to find the combination of conditions that most succinctly cover most of the symptoms. So like porn addiction, there’s something else that’s more valid within the psychiatric community that’s at play.

S1: Yes, totally. There’s too little information. There’s too little data. There’s too much lacking in the foundation of the very concept of porn addiction to say, Oh, this is an indication that he is quoted addicted or has a problem. There’s too little information to be able to say like, Oh, this indicates a real issue. It could indicate a kind of preoccupation.

S2: Yeah. And like they say, they know the husband uses porn to masturbate. They do, too. They talk about it openly. So like, if they lean over and go, Hey, husband, what’s up with watching porn right now? And the husband goes, I just can’t stop. Yeah. Then like, go to a psychiatrist, right? Right now. And if they’re like, it’s porn addiction and their treatment works great. Yeah, awesome. Right? Do let me know. Yes.

S1: Yeah. And also, I think also asking that question would allow you to take the temperature of whether or not there’s an issue, because if this is something where he slams his laptop, she gets angry, doesn’t want to talk about it, et cetera. It’s like, OK, there’s an issue that you don’t want to face now, you know, potentially. So, you know, it’s a kind of canary in a coal mine situation, probably something like that. Definitely. As Stoya has said, investigate a little bit more. This is the kind of thing. It’s unique and idiosyncratic enough that it seems like a completely reasonable thing to have a discussion about. You notice that you’re in a living situation. I mean, I talk about any number of things with my boyfriend, you know,

S2: you know, if you remove the sex from it, if you saw your partner watching sports on their laptop while the TV’s on, you may be like, Hey, do you want to put the sports on the TV? Yeah, it makes sense to comment on it for like 15 different reasons.

S1: Yes, definitely. Yeah. Try not to be intimidated and just initiate the discussion. Well, moving on. Let’s hear our next question, dear.

S3: How to do it. I am a straight woman in her mid-thirties. However, a few years ago I had a threesome with a friend and his wife. And it was truly a wonderful experience. After a lot of soul searching and discussing it with my therapist, I came to terms that I am a straight woman who likes sex with men and women. I’ve now shared my sexual desires and history with three boyfriends. The first declared it gross. The second I disclosed too early in the relationship, and he became obsessed with it to the point where our relationship became only about sex. The third was convinced I’m grappling with my sexuality and that I would eventually realize that I’m gay. None of these was the ideal reaction. I’m looking for a relationship with a man who is open to incorporating my attraction to women into our sex life, whether it be for fantasies, real-life threesomes or anything in between. My questions are these. When is the right time to share this information in a relationship? Any pointers on how to effectively communicate my enjoyment of both sexes? And did I misstep in my sharing? Or is it a matter of finding the right partner who will enjoy my sexuality signed? It’s not that complicated.

S1: I don’t think she misstep, I think that she got Delta City hand of men.

S2: Yeah, sometimes life just lines up a string of negative coincidences. And I do think that’s what happened, and I think it is a matter of finding the right partner. Yeah.

S1: People come to you with their misconceptions in a relationship and they have ideas about the world. And if you exhibit certain qualities, they’re going to put you in a box and say, Oh, well, you’re like, you know, bisexuality does not exist, so there must be something wrong here or, oh, you’re into that, you must be a nymphomaniac. You know, like all of this stuff, people are just going to give you their shit. That’s just like finding the right person. That’s just like relationship one on one.

S2: Yeah. And it’s unfortunate and uncomfortable. Yeah. But people react really strongly to things that deviate from they’re not usually conscious ideas of what sexuality should be. Totally. Dating is a gauntlet.

S1: This brings up an issue of when to disclose them, because I think you could take one path and say, well, in our immediate relationship. You know, even if you’re not monogamous, I don’t think it’s uncommon to have a period of time at the beginning of monogamy or fixation when you get into a relationship that is effective monogamy. And so maybe that information is so relevant. You want to create a foundation. You want to foster a relationship before you kind of like, let it all out. The issue with that is that once you work on that and then build on that and then reveal this and still are interfacing with their conceptions and misconceptions, then you just wasted all that time.

S2: Yeah. When I’m dealing with specific factors that could cause a person to react in some very extreme and varied ways, I like to get it out of the way upfront immediately.

S1: So you say like, I’m a pornographer,

S2: definitely by the middle of the second date,

S1: OK? That seems like a reasonable marker.

S2: Frequently, it’s discussed before. Then, like when I initially meet them, yes,

S1: you’re often recognized, too.

S2: Yeah, I’m often recognized and I did spend some time on the apps. But I generally prefer to date people who are like friends of acquaintances and so they already know, sometimes by the end of the second date. And if not, then like, definitely by like the fifth, you can get an idea of whether they’re being like fetishizing about it and not someone you want to be dating.

S1: And again, everyone needs a filter. If you’re out there trying to meet people and you are meeting a lot of people, there’s got to be some way for you to determine whether this person is right or not for you. And the downside is that this requires thick skin. You’re going to be hearing shit that’s going to allow you to make good decisions, but it might be bad information or maybe negative information. That said, these people are telling you, in so many words, I am not the right person for you and thus doing you a favour in the long run.

S2: Yeah, but definitely give yourself permission to take breaks. Hmm. Yeah, because it can be intense and disheartening to run into so many strange reactions to an expression of something that’s fairly typical about your sexuality. And so like, when it gets exhausting, just do something else for a few weeks until you feel curious.

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