Dating A Heavy Porn User?

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Today's butt-kicking erotic entertainment can cause mysterious symptoms

Porn addiction effects

More people, regardless of gender, are making heavy use of today's highly erotic Internet porn, cybersex options and sex toys. In fact, that new person you're dating probably is, too.

Sexual experimentation is no cause for shame, but whether or not you think synthetic erotic stimulation is a good idea, it pays to be aware of the side effects other couples report. Otherwise, you may be blindsided by unexpected relationship trouble, and end up blaming yourself for something that has nothing to do with you, your sexiness, or your proficiency between the sheets.

Synthetic stimulation can trump lovemaking

Do you believe that, "People won't turn to cybersex/Internet porn if they can have as much sex as they want with another person of sufficient libido?" Perhaps that was once true. It no longer is. The bald truth is already the stuff of comedy routines. Yet it can be disconcerting when your partner opts for artificial stimulation even when you're ready and willing to pleasure him or her.

Said a male friend about a recent date, "At least I'd like her to give me a chance before she pulls out the vibrator." And here's a female perspective:

I am considered good looking, keep fit, and look a lot younger than my age. I used to not mind when my husband watched porn because I like it too, at times. But now he would rather watch it behind my back. I don't get it. I want to do all those things in videos with him but he would rather just jerk off. I am lonely and horny. I am so tired of not having sex with a person anymore that I am seriously considering leaving. He has become over stimulated and can no longer have regular sex. I can't live a sexless life.

Why would anyone prefer synthetic sex to a real mate? Because its constant novelty, or superhuman vibrations, make possible an intense drug-like high that no familiar mate can match. Although an artificially produced high is not as deeply fulfilling as sex with you, it can be more compelling under certain circumstances.

To understand how this bizarre, science-fictionish situation arises, you need to know a bit about the neurochemistry of the brain's appetite mechanism and how it interacts with today's hyperstimulating sex aids. Briefly, each new video, hunt for the perfect image, sex toy buzz, cybersex encounter, and your awesome oral sex all release a neurotransmitter called dopamine. It's the "Gotta get it!" neurochemical behind all addictions. One man explained how Internet porn affects his brain:

The dopamine rush is crazy with Internet porn. It just overwhelms the brain and you are practically cumming without even doing anything. It's a very intoxicating feeling.

Unfortunately, too much dopamine can dysregulate the brain's dopamine response, leaving a partner soon feeling cranky, anxious—and desperate for another dopamine infusion by the fastest, laziest means. In that state of mind, even the most loving mutual encounter can seem like work. Internet porn or a vibrator, however, will supply a fleeting dopamine fix in a heartbeat. Both porn and sex toys have the power to override normal sexual satiety mechanisms in the brain. This means a whole lot of dopamine is released, numbing some brains to pleasure (decreasing sensitivity to dopamine).

You see the problem? In such a situation, your partner's dopamine-driven use of synthetic stimulation is no reflection on you or your great lovemaking.

And actually, as Davy Rothbart explains, porn-star sex can be a turn-off. It can get in the way of savoring partnered sex's more nourishing gifts: affectionate touch, sensual smells, and companionship. Bottom line: Today's good lovers can hit a wall that was foreign to their ancestors: Your mate may be thoroughly sexually satiated—and yet still seeking intense synthetic stimulation to ease cravings that stem from dopamine dysregulation—while you stand by somewhat helplessly.

Lack of sexual responsiveness during sex is common

Women are beginning to report that vibrator and/or porn use makes them less sexually responsive to normal stimuli.

I couldn't believe how effectively my vibrator got the job done. It worked TOO well. Within a month, I could no longer orgasm with my boyfriend, and a few months after that, I couldn't even do it with my own hand any longer.I tried masturbating to [porn] once. The stimulation was so intense that I came in less than one minute (not at all like real life!). Real-life sex will never be able to measure up to that. If I started regularly using Internet porn, I would end up as one of those people who can no longer get turned on without it.

At the same time, more men are reporting that Internet porn and live chat can gradually dull their sensitivity. In fact, a recent Italian survey confirmed that heavy porn use is behind growing copulatory impotence (sexual anorexia) in young men. One result of numbing the brain's sensitivity to pleasure is sexual performance problems (sometimes masked as a need for novelty or vigorous stimulation with more pressure than bodily orifices can safely deliver on a regular basis).

Erectile dysfunction during copulation is becoming so common among heavy porn users that men on forums have begun advising each other that it's normal to need vigorous manual stimulation and Internet porn to sustain an erection. (It's not, and those who give up porn generally recover their potency.) 

I used to have a healthy sexual relationship with my wife until I got hooked on porn and masturbation. I thought I could have the best of both worlds but eventually it caught up with me. Now I am experiencing erectile dysfunction problems and it's really messing with my mind and dick, which only gets halfway erect leading to embarrassing experiences.

Another guy:

I am in my mid-twenties and have had a problem getting and maintaining an erection with sexual partners since I started looking at porn almost daily six years ago. I have gone to various GPs down through the years and have always been told I have no physical problem.

Weak erections can lead to unsafe sex

Here's one man's story:

I could always have sex on (my) command, but in recent years I've watched porn a lot. I am now having erection problems. There are several girls who would sleep with me, but only with condoms (rightfully so). Last month, I tried to have sex. She did all she could in terms of foreplay, but finally she got frustrated and allowed me to penetrate her without a condom. Once in her, my erection began to solidify. Then she felt bad and got me out of her. "No condom," she said, "no sex." It showed me that when desperate enough anyone could engage in risky sexual behavior. This is not OK.

On the way home, I actually cried. That sex would have created the intimacy both the girl and I needed, something we both hadn't had in a while. It would have brought us together. As I write I am noticing the trend. Girlfriend and masturbation but no pornography: erections. Girlfriend and masturbation to pornography: weakened erections and unsafe sex.

Partner preoccupied with pornA 2002 study reported that 32% of young condom users had erection problems resulting in unsafe use. By 2006, the number was up to 37%. Was an increase in porn consumption a factor? Could it be a factor in the hazardous barebacking increase in the gay community?

What's really causing that relationship disharmony?

Both the hidden need for synthetic stimulation when dopamine responsiveness drops and the lack of recognition of how hypersexual stimulation erodes sexual responsiveness, can cause partners to make flawed assumptions about what is creating relationship tension.

I've started speaking to my ex again. We had a good conversation about my porn addiction. She had no idea I had this problem. Nor did I, though. She mentioned how I had appeared distant during sex, and I explained it was not because I was not interested in her sexually but because I had been so over-stimulated that she would have needed to be juggling with her feet, sucking off a horse and rimming a [transsexual] for me to be stimulated during sex with her. It makes me rethink the whole relationship. At the time I thought our problems were all her fault due to her paranoia [that I was distant because I was having an affair], whereas my habits were a major factor.

Another man:

Last summer I entered a relationship that I thought would be the end of my PMO behavior. Instead, it only lasted six months. The first couple months were great; I wasn't watching porn or masturbating. But I found myself going back to PMO when we weren't together, or on nights when we were not having sex. I didn't think this would harm our sexual intimacy or relationship at the time. But it did. I began to lose interest in her sexually even though physically she is my type. This way scared the shit out me!

Finally, here's a woman commenting on the months it took for her partner to restore normal function:

Our healing process has been a miraculous adventure. I say "our" because being with a recovering porn addict is definitely a joint endeavor. As any woman might suspect, it can potentially activate some blind spots when it comes to insecurity on her part as well as his. Facing these fears head on AS THEY COME UP is key, and I cannot overstate how important this is.

For those of you men out there who fear you have killed your penis for good via furious masturbation: Fear not. It really does come back. Good god does it come back. He swears that I "made his penis bigger or something," and yes, it is a massive and pulsating wonder. As flattering as it is to hear him say it is my doing, it is simply a product of a healthy sexuality and restored sensitivity. Years of damage have now been reversed.

Extreme sexual stimulation hijacks normal human mating behavior in ways that our culture hasn't yet widely acknowledged, but which are actually fairly predictable given the sensitivity of the human brain to hyperstimulation. So if your relationship fails because of today's butt-kicking erotic entertainment (and you're not yet ready to try something new), chalk it up to experience—and don't doubt your attractiveness.

Comments

Thx for doing this guys.. <3 Girls against porn

A friend of mine told me about this NoFap thing and I feel so happy to see the counter sitting at 31,133 fapstronauts! :) Faith in humanity restored!

My last relationship was with a guy who was seriously addicted to porn. This caused so many issues in our relationship and sex life and it seriously fucked me up personally. It was so painful to see him struggle with his addiction. I wanted to believe that he could change, but he deceived me so many times that I couldn't take the heartache anymore. After 2 years of an otherwise amazing relationship, I had to end it. Now I'm still afraid of starting a relationship again.

Anyways, I know you guys are probably doing this for your own wellbeing and stuff, but I just wanted to thank you on behalf of girls who have been hurt by guys's porn addictions. We appreciate your efforts to break this addiction guys. Keep it up and don't give in! :)

Inability to fall in LOVE because of years of PMO! Hope NoFap helps!

It feels like having an evil curse put on me that I, a very emotional and romantic person, have not been able to fall in love with a girl for the last 9-10 years. I am romantic to the point that I cannot have one night stands or sex without feelings, and even though I have tried loving and having deep, meaningful relationships with girls throughout this time, it has never really worked out well, not even once! This is all because of nothing but PMO. I, who is too emotional to have sex one night stands in real life, have in the background an ugly P addiction where I am addicted to scenes that exclude even the slightest sign of any emotion! Will you look at the contradiction?

This unfortunate, ill-fated addiction has made effective use of all of its means to kill any means in me by which I can feel and express feelings of real romance and emotion against a real person. I think that is all there is to say and it is very saddening for me now, because it took me some long years to fully realize that.

I believe that many of you guys and gals have experienced this very same curse upon themselves. I hope that we may soon have this problem solved through NoFap, but as this problem may have had deeper impacts in our subconscious (like our deeply rooted, unconscious perception of women as sexual objects), I hope to make use of all means by which to dispell this curse. I'd love to make effective use of all of my means to kill any means of this addiction by which it has kept me from having that wonderful feeling of butterflies in my stomach, which I once used to have when I was younger and in love! Oh how I so miss those days and the young, clean, pure heart that I once had, it's such a burden on me!

Folks, any feedbacks, contributions and/or advices on this topic, on love and how PMO keeps us away from love and how we can win love back, shall be so well appreciated! Best wishes to you all!

GUY 2)

Yes, I know that feel. Lived joyless for a good 10 years myself. I've been coming to a lot of realizations concerning this recently also. You can never go back and change the past, just have to learn from it and make the best of the relationships in the future.

GUY 3)

I know exactly what you mean. I can't tell you the last time I felt 'butterflies in my stomach love' for someone. I'm 30. I can't remember the last time I didn't see a woman as something other than a sex object. I really want to change this, because once-upon-a-time I was genuinely attracted to intelligent, creative, culturally-aware women.

Now I just look at women and wish I could f*k them, and then feel kind of angry and resentful that I can't. I look at women as sex objects, but I have such low self-esteem and such bad social anxiety I've never had a one night stand or any opportunity to treat someone as a sex object.

In fact, women seem kind of repulsed by me. And to be honest I don't blame them.

Don't get me wrong, deep down I don't think a one night stand is anything to aspire too. But my point is, I'm bloody sick of seeing women this way. I hate myself for it. I want to see women as people again, not just objects. I want to feel love, and experience a real connection. I want to crave intimacy, rather than fetishistic sex. I want to make love, and love the person I am making love to.

I really hope this happens soon.

Basically, I don't want to think of women as objects anymore... not even of those who purposely present themselves as such. This will sound sociopathic (and I think it actually is) but I was having a hard time acting towards and thinking about women as... you know... persons. Porn and my own fantasies destroyed my ability to apprehend them as beings with feelings, with need of sincere affection, with a dignity which demands utmost respect (as with every human being)...

Enough about OP's and their stories. NoFap community, what's your story?