I’m not making a judging on porn or porn use, but just an observation I had on a recent experience in regards to a fella. So: I move in a shared house with two other people, guy and a girl. The house is pretty bare, and due to a mix-up with providers, we don’t get internet for almost two months.
Let’s call the man K. K and I get on like a pair of things that really, really get on. We have so many ‘in sync’ moments (‘hey, I have the back catalogue of Babylon 5 too!’) it is slightly sickening. He makes me laugh. He laughs a lot. He looks me in the eye when he talks to me. He looks at everyone like he is interested in them, and listens intently to their thoughts and views. When he comes home from work (he works as a maths teacher) he talks with such enthusiasm about his job I can almost see the appeal of maths myself – no mean feat for someone who got an D at GCSE and still uses her hands to count.
Alongside all of this, there’s almost an instant physical and incredibly powerful attraction. It’s unusual for me to feel such an instant and strong attraction to a guy. There’s just something incredibly and alluringly masculine about him, like he’s set off some primitive hindbrain jabbering LIKE THIS MAN THIS MAN GOOD LOOK AT HIS MAN ARMS AND MAN CHEST AND MAN FACE MAN MAN MAN in my subconscious. Looks wise, he’s kinda on the rotund side, glasses, slightly unkempt beard, and probably a bit too much skull for his face (he probably needs it though for keeping all his maths brains in). He’s not objectively speaking, the most physically attractive of men. But for some reason he is to me. Everything about him leaves me smitten. Here’s another thing. He smells really good, although I can’t define the scent or put my finger on it. He doesn’t wear aftershave. I think it is just something about him. I make excuses to hang out with him and be around him, which is pretty easy when you live within ten metres of each-other. And I think he might like me too. I’m an old-fashioned kind of girl, plus I know that any sort of relationship with a housemate is disastrous for a shared house, so my rational and controlled self stops me from flinging myself into his manly man arms but wow. It was kind of enjoyable – and odd as it sounds, wholesome – just to be attracted to someone in such a spontaneous and natural way.
Then we get the internet.
Over the next month or so, things change so drastically it is weird for me to think about how I used to feel about him. He spends more and more time in his room, door locked, getting up later and later for work. He doesn’t look anyone in the eye – in fact, he doesn’t meet mine or anyone’s eyes much anymore. He doesn’t laugh much or seem to take enjoyment in anything. The interest and enthusiasm he had when talking to people, or about maths, or nineties sci-fi has disappeared. He’s made occasional but incredibly inappropriate comments about myself and my housemates to us that seem out of the blue and out of character. His skin looks grey and greasy. He was fast tracking his career and now he seems to be falling further and further behind. And for some obscure reason, streaming tv shows at about 8.30 pm becomes an absolute nightmare for me or my other housemate.
The indefinable attraction I felt for him disappears. He doesn’t smell good anymore. His eyes look dead. In fact, my bodily instincts have taken a U turn – instead of encouraging me to scoot up to him they are subtly warning me to stay away.
This could all be coincidence, of course. He’s still essentially the same guy and a good one, and I’m not suggesting porn has turned him into a bad person – just a less good and less attractive version of the man he could be. I’m not a scientist or psychologist or anything sort of ‘ist’. But I don’t think it is any accident there’s a correlation between getting the internet and this undefinable aura of man-ness disappearing. It makes me think porn is capable of altering a person’s body chemistry and bearing. I guess what I am trying to say is that I’m starting to realise how many people I’m surrounded by losing out, myself included, because of porn. I wonder how many missed chances there have been, because something is repressed or used up or changed by watching it.
TL;DR Was smitten by man with invisible manliness hormones, internet
EDIT: Trousers! Thanks for all of your replies. I’ll try and answer things more thoroughly tonight when I get home from work. To quickly answer a few recurring things:
“How do you know it’s porn?” – short answer, obviously I can’t know for 100 percent for sure, and I’m not sure shouting ARE YOU ENGAGING IN THE SIN OF ONANISM YOUNG MAN at his door is going to come under the auspices of ‘reasonable behaviour’ on our housing contract. However, I can say a) he’s not actually a big computer / internet user and he doesn’t play computer games. b) It’s mostly instinct…he just seems….off and kind of repellent in those times – like he stumbles out of his bedroom, won’t look me in the eye if I’m in the corridor at the same time, and rushes into the shower. c) when I have gone into the bedroom asking about general housemate stuff (always knocking first) I can him him hastily clicking and the screen is always a blank webpage when I go in…while he is sprawled with his laptop on the bed. Maybe he just has a thing for blank webpages, who knows. d) my housemate has picked up on the same ‘vibe’ e) his poor computer is riddled with malware, I keep offering to fix it (I work as a tech monkey) but he won’t let me near it. In my experience fixing computers, most of the time people get lots of malware and viruses is through porn pop-ups or internet incompetence. f) zombie eyes, weird ‘smell’.
A bit more explanation: I’m not making a moral judgement on porn or porn watching, or masturbation. It’s actually something I don’t think about much. I don’t look at porn but I guess that lots of people do either in the form of videos or erotica. For my own personal reasons, I haven’t had sex and I’m not sexually active in any way, as mentioned, I’m kind of old fashioned. Although there are always challenges to that, I’m actually very happy, and waiting for the right person and right situation. A note on the attraction I was trying to describe: I’m a bit concerned that some people are suggesting I tell him I was ‘super horny’ when I first met him and he should give up porn so we can get together. That’s a bit much. As weird as it sounds, the attraction wasn’t exactly a sexual one (although I’m sure it would have been the essential element developing sexual attraction), it was even more basic. It felt natural and non weird and very instinctive, operating, to invert a phrase, a ‘Me Jane, You Tarzan’ level. It was very much “You smell good. You are nice. For some reason I am besotted with all your manly manliness. Look, I’m wearing a dress, it’s nice, I like you. Look, I made you something with potatoes in. You smell good. Hi.” Obviously, I like his personality and had fun with him when we were hanging out, but I’m talking about something at a super basic level – something you could almost ‘smell’.
Edit 2: Work break! Some comments have asked how do I know about r/nofap? I read r/getmotivated and it was mentioned. I remember reading some threads on here and being fascinated by the male perspective on it all. Then I forgot about it, had this experience, and decided to post about it. I’m also starting to get interested in what internet pornography might be doing to the current generation in terms of relationships and attractions between the sexes.
[Also see comment below links]
Hello! I must comment on this because as former skeptic and wife of a guy who has been off porn and also off masturbation for a little over a month now, I can tell you with great confidence that the changes are real.
TL;DR: I had similar experiences. The changes are real.
A little over a month ago I was literally married to a shell of a man who had three basic emotions. Blank, frustrated and angry (not exaggerating here.) He wasn’t always that way and it happened gradually over time. I assumed it was me, something I did or simply that he wasn’t happy with me anymore. He didn’t want to do anything other than sleep, eat, play video games, watch tv (and obviously jerk off and watch porn.) He was always low energy and he was so easily angered. Our relationship was suffering and because we have no kids, I was seriously contemplating cutting my losses. I was sure he didn’t love me anymore. At the same time I felt he was depressed and I didn’t want to abandon him. I had hope that things could get better, but hope was dwindling.
Our sex life was horrid. I did it out of duty for quite some time but it became repulsive after a while. I can’t really describe why. I think partly because he treated me with such disrespect during the day and would climb on me at night and it just didn’t feel right. But even the sex itself was repulsive. I feel terrible saying that, but it’s true. He would get on top of me basically used me at as a blow up doll. It was like I didn’t even exist! He was just basically masturbating into me. I would sometimes go to the bathroom afterwards and stay in there to cry.
Then he read something about porn and admitted to me he thought he had a problem and asked for my help. He also decided no more fapping. He cried and talked a lot. He said he was terrible depressed and it got worse every time after he watched porn and it was getting worse. He said it wasn’t always like that, but it was now.
I didn’t know what to think. He never EVER talked to me about anything serious ever. He never cried or anything like that. So of course I supported him and offered to help in any way I could. We bought content filters and he made me set the passwords and stuff.
Flash forward 1 week. He was up earlier, happier, working harder. He was helping around the house (fixing things that needed fixing,) and asking me to do things with him like ride bikes and going out to eat. He started telling me how beautiful I was and how he was so upset with himself for not noticing or taking it for granted. This was followed with some down times of course. Moments of short tempers followed with pretty quick apologies and admitted he thought he was having withdrawals. Then he started working out everyday again. Helping with the garden after work and enjoying it. Things I never EVER expected him to do or enjoy doing, he did.
Then came the unexplainable. I WAS SO INCREDIBLY ATTRACTED TO HIM. I had not been physically attracted to him in years. No joke. He’s a good looking guy too. I just wasn’t into him like that. But all the sudden, like a ton of bricks I was hit with something crazy. He started kissing me a lot and his kisses sent all the tingles down my spine. Also, there WAS a SMELL. I wanted to be close to him just to smell his body odor. Weird, right? I know a lot of this had to do with the way he was treating me, but there was more than that. He was giving off something.
Needless to say our sex life has been amazing. I feel like a teenager again! Life is good. Like I said there were ups and downs for about 3 weeks or so but for a couple weeks things have just been up. Also he no longer gets easily frustrated, he likes working, He enjoys spending time with me and he is really engaging. He also works out a ton and his arms are looking amazing (just a little added bonus.)