Porn for Two?

January 20, 2014

in Sexuality

One of the answers on the porn survey was “I only view porn with my spouse.” Some who gave that answer also said porn “Is okay if you watch it as a couple,” but most who are watching as a couple did NOT say they thought it was okay.

Couple Watching Porn © Ambro | freedigitalphotos.net

I must confess I have a bit of experience with this. At some point in the latter part of the 90’s, Lori and I got a few porn video cassettes (three I think). We were very picky about what we got, and we viewed them only occasionally – usually for a few minutes as foreplay. As I recall curiosity and “maybe we can learn something” were our reasons for trying it. We discussed it for a good long while before we did it. It was a short-lived experiment.

Having done this, I understand at least some of the reason it appeals to a man. Porn causes women to experience rapid and significant physical arousal, and we all know how great it is to find our wife really turned on. If getting her aroused is difficult, iffy, or takes a good deal of time, I can see why porn would seem like the perfect solution.

However, the long-term result isn’t usually as great as we think it will be. In the comments on the survey several women expressed dislike for looking at porn with their husband, saying things like “he pushes me to watch it” and “we have an ongoing fight about porn … i will either cave in or we will fight for days”. Twenty percent of the women watching porn with their husband said it’s always sin to look at porn, and only 53% said “Is okay if you watch it as a couple”. This means 47% don’t think it is okay to watch with their spouse.

This all lines up with other reports I’ve seen in which women say they watch with their man even though they don’t want to. Many feel it’s better to do it with him than have him do it alone while others just give into the pressure. Some have stopped being okay with it but can’t figure out how to stop doing it.

Many women find porn slowly reduces their interest in sex. Some are fine with it at first but then change their mind. Some are okay with it when they’re young, but less and less so as they look less and less like the women in most porn.

  • Does porn hurt every marriage where husband and wife use it together? Maybe not.
  • Does it hurt most? Yes.
  • Is it worth the risk? I don’t think so.
  • Would I do it again if I had it to do over? No Way! (When my wife read this, she said she’s sorry we did it.)

By The Way: Had several interesting emails on my Porn – again post which were sent to be shared. I will get them posted as anonymous comments soon.

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32 comments
partanon
partanon

A woman had a husband, she knew him, and he died. She had another husband, knew him, and he also died. Likewise a third, an on even to a seventh husband whom she knew, and he died. And while faithful to each husband, she remembered and fantasized the pleasure of each prior husband, while married with each subsequent one, and after they were all dead, she remembered with enjoyment the pleasures of the knowledge of each. So for whom did she lust, and when?


Answer: The question is mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.  For in the fantasy, they neither marry nor are given in marriage. For lust is not in the fantasy, but in the actual pursuit of what is real and forbidden, as did David lust for Bathsheba.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@partanon  Based on what Jesus said, David sinned before he touched Bathsheba.


Fantasizing about a former spouse when you are married to another is just a bad plan. 

hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

Mr.Shorty

Sorry I missed this yesterday.  Somehow it ended up in my spam folder ;)

I try to never say never.  I think it would be very hard to know if God was directing one to sin.  Especially with something like porn that is one of the enemy's favorite weapons to mess with Godly sexuality.  We are warned about following false teachers and I think that's something that should be considered with the utmost care and prayer.  I think it's safer to avoid the whole mess.

HotHolyHumorous
HotHolyHumorous

You make some fabulous points here, Paul. I agree that it's not okay for couples to watch porn together. Bringing both spouses in doesn't make it okay.


But I wonder why few people recognize or mention that porn movies are essentially prostitution. Two actors are PAID to engage in sexual acts for the titillation of the viewers. It breaks my heart to consider Christians supporting prostitution with the misguided notion that it will help their own sex life. There are other, better ways to become highly aroused with your spouse.


Thanks for the post!

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@HotHolyHumorous The problem with that is it does not cover all porn - more and more porn is done by "amateurs" and put on the Internet for free. 


I've had that argument used, and I've been told why animated porn is okay because there are no real people. 


How do we show the bigger picture, so there are no "loop holes"? I realise those who look for loop holes will usually find some excuse, but sometimes they entice others of weak faith.

HotHolyHumorous
HotHolyHumorous

@TheGenerousHusbandPaul, I agree that the reasons not to engage in porn are bigger than this. My comment was more of an "and another thing..." point. I do personally know people who have watched live, acted porn films "for our marriage" and never once considered their role in paying these strangers to have sex. 


But yeah, there's a much bigger picture and substantive reasons to avoid porn and the damage it causes to marriage. Agreed.

lovemarriagesex
lovemarriagesex

This is interesting, as are the comments.  My husband and I have watched porn together in the past (mostly soft-core) and it didn't really catch on for us either.  It's kind of a weird experience IMHO.  I don't think, generally speaking, porn is a good idea for either or both spouses.


As far as using porn as "therapeutic" as mentioned by Mr. Shorty, I AM a counselor (albeit not a sex therapist) and I can tell you that empirical evidence overwhelmingly supports the notion that pornography decreases a spouse's desire to have sex with their spouse and makes sex less fulfilling.  That being said, I have written before about how erotica (specifically, Fifty Shades of Grey) was beneficial to me personally when used very sparingly.  Of course, that is purely a personal anecdote and erotica, given the chance, can be just as damaging as pornography.


I think that it's best to leave sex in the marital bedroom and learn how to create the arousing effects of pornography in your own marriage.

hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

Mr.Shorty,


I would say "No way".  God designed sex to be between 2 people.  Watching others have sex is bringing someone else into the marriage bed.  I don't believe in any sex therapy that involves surrogates either, but secular culture allows this. 


Your question about medical doctors is interesting.  I would prefer a doctor that's a believer, but I don't generally ask.  I don't see that as the same thing however.


If a medical doctor suggested something sinful as part of my treatment, I would hope that I would decline.  


Sex is a gift.  If it's a gift God wants us to have, I believe He's big enough to find another way to help a couple rather than introducing sin to fix it.  Most likely the reason a couple is needing helping is due to sin (unless it's a medical issue.)  Sometimes it's sin committed by one or both and sometimes it's sin done to one or both.  


That would be like 2 wrongs don't make a right.  Address the sin that's causing the issue or fix the medical problem that's causing the issue.


Porn destroys, I don't believe it fixes anything, ever. 



MrShorty
MrShorty

@hiswifeagain  

Thanks for sharing your opinion.

In a discussion like this, do you distinguish between "porn" and "erotica".  Paul's survey seems to have focused on "visual" porn (videos/pictures), do you think this extends to literary "mommy porn?" It seems that there is a reasonable body of evidence for the successful use of what I have seen called "bibliotherapy" for women experiencing "hypoactive sexual desire disorder" (or whatever we are calling it this week). The idea is that a woman who struggles to feel any sexual desire may be able to pick up a "suggestive" book to read, which can prime the pump so to speak and help her overcome the lack of desire. Would you put this kind of thing under the same "no porn whatsoever" umbrella, or do you see this as something different?

hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

That would get a no way also. Unless it was written by her husband, intended for her and about the 2 of them only. In the same way I wouldn't consider video of a couple themselves, engaged in sex to be porn. Assuming of course it was filmed by the couple themselves.

MrShorty
MrShorty

@hiswifeagainSorry, another thought:


Along the lines of "2 wrongs don't make a right." One of the appeals of cancer treatment as a parallel to the treatment of sexual dysfunction could be exactly this issue. Most modern cancer treatments are built on the "evils" of chemical toxicity and/or radiation toxicity. I once spoke with a cancer patient who described chemotherapy along the lines of "filling your body with poison and hoping that the cancer dies while the rest of you survives." If you will, it is just like bring 2 wrongs (the cancer disease with toxic chemicals and/or radiation) and attempting (sometimes successfully) to make something right (the patient's survival with the cancer in remission).


Is it possible to successfully treat sexual dysfunction in a similar way -- bring in a "toxin" like porn, under the careful supervision of someone knowledgeable, as a treatment? Obviously you believe that it can't be done, and that is fine. I'm still weighing the evidence before I decide for sure (assuming I ever come to a firm conclusion).

hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

I understand the thought and intellectually it's an interesting argument. Can you find scripture to support that argument? If so, then we have something we could discuss. I think it will be hard to find examples where God directs someone to sin. If lying is a sin, I guess the example of Rahab comes to mind, but I still think it's a stretch.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@MrShorty @hiswifeagain  The problem with the idea is no one has done the research necessary to do it. Cancer drugs are known to be more deadly to cancer cells that most of the body. Additionally doctors know ways to counteract the damage the drugs do to the rest of the body.


One thing that has helped a lot of couples with their sex life is The Marriage Bed Message Boards - http://boards.themarriagebed.com/. This has often been called "positive peer pressure. Reading and discussing sexual issues with other Christians can have a profound effect over time. More than a few women have said this resulted in them going from disliking or tolerating sex to wanting as much as they can get. Of course the problem is getting people to try it.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@MrShorty @hiswifeagain  The survey defined porn this way: For this survey porn is full nudity, or reading material with graphic sexual content. So that would include "mommy porn".


Traditionally women were far more into written erotica, and men visual porn. Still both use both to some degree. 


I had a few "bedside books" when I was into porn as a kid. These were written for men, with a lot of sex and only enough plot to hold the sex acts together. I consumed much less of that than I did pornographic magazines, but I can recall it much better forty years later. I would say the books actually changed my thinking more than the images. However, back then the images were mild compared to what we have today, while the books described all kinds of things - thing we have pictures of today. Still, the written word can have a powerful affect - especially when the person is aroused.

MrShorty
MrShorty

@hiswifeagain  I realize that it will damage my credibility in a group like this, but, no, I know of no scripture that addresses porn in sex therapy. But, then again, I know of no scripture that addresses medical issues, setting broken bones, cancer treatment, etc. I guess that, just as I don't expect the Bible to be a complete manual on medical treatment, I'm not sure that I expect the Bible to be a complete sex therapy manual.

hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

@MrShorty @hiswifeagain 


I think you misunderstood me.  I didn't mean find scripture related to therapy or medical treatment.  I mean scripture that pertains to God telling us it's okay for us to sin or directing us to sin.  

MrShorty
MrShorty

@hiswifeagain@MrShorty 

On one hand -- is this a trick question? If God directs us to do something or says it is okay to do something, is it still "sin"? Kind of a circular logic thing, isn't it?

My first thought when I read this question was of the Israelites as they entered/conquered the land  of Canaan. Even though God had said "Thou shalt not kill" on Mt. Sinai, he commanded the Israelites as they entered Canaan to kill every man, woman, and child in many of the cities they encountered. I recognize that we often dismiss anything from the OT that we don't like on the grounds that it was part of the law that was fulfilled in Christ. It seems to me that there is at least some precedent for God making exceptions to commandments when it fits His designs and His purposes, and, I feel I should add, solely at His discretion and not our own.


I think that was the heart of my question to begin with. Do we believe that God makes an exception for therapeutic use of porn or not? It would appear that our conclusion is that God would never make this exception.

hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

I'm sure this question was probably directed at Paul, but I just have to ask anyway.  What conditions could porn be used to treat that wouldn't be treatable in some God honoring way?  Is the therapist a believer?

MrShorty
MrShorty

@hiswifeagain 

I don't really have any specific scenario in mind, nor am I conversant enough with the sex therapy literature to cite any case studies. It is more of a generic, philosophical question, so I will throw your questions back at you:

Would you say that porn/erotica is acceptable as a "treatment of last resort"?

I know I have seen this question get discussed -- how important is it that a therapist be a believer? We normally would not require that our cancer doctor be a believer before we will trust his professional opinion about cancer treatment. Is sex therapy different? Is it inappropriate to seek sex therapy from a non-believer -- regardless of his other professional credentials?

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@MrShorty @hiswifeagain Interesting question on therapists. Messing with someone's mind is a more personal thing that messing with their body, in my opinion. 


The danger is that the therapists will change our thinking. Putting ungodly ideas in our heads is one problem, but there is also the danger of giving one spouse new sexual ideas that the other spouse does not share. If the result is several sex acts now wanted by one spouse but not the other that is not helping anyone.


Some therapists are trained to be aware of these issues and have learned to work with couples in ways that do not violate their faith. I see this as a second best option, but sometimes it is the best choice available. 

MrShorty
MrShorty

@TheGenerousHusband@MrShorty@hiswifeagain 

quote by TheGenerousHusband: "The danger is that the therapists will change our thinking" In many ways, I think you are correct here. I seem to recall a discussion involving a therapist who specifically said that one of the "jobs" of a good therapist is to be in a position to challenge our thinking about whatever issue we are working on -- especially if our thinking is incorrect. I believe that this can be a real challenge, both from the therapist's perspective and from the patient's perspective, and why significant care needs to be taken in choosing a therapist. You want a therapist who will be able to challenge incorrect thinking that needs to change, while also respecting personal convictions (like whether porn is acceptable or not). Choose the wrong therapist, and you may come out of therapy with some unbiblical thinking. Choose the other wrong therapist, and nothing will change.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@MrShorty @TheGenerousHusband @hiswifeagain You pretty well cover it. There is a real potential danger, and that is why it is good to find out what any therapist believes. 


All to often therapy becomes a case of exchanging one problem for another. Some see that as progress if the "new" problem is less harmful. I suppose that is true, but it is a poor way to go. Much better to get rid of the bad and not pick up any bad to replace it.

MrShorty
MrShorty

I expect it would be a very small percentage of your respondents, but what do you think of a couple using porn in a therapeutic context. As with many prescription drugs, which can be dangerous when used without the supervision of a physician, do you think porn, when used to treat specific sexual dysfunctions under the supervision of a trained and qualified therapist could be useful?

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@MrShorty I understand your point, but I don't think it is exactly as you suggest. For many I fear the "side effects" would be worse than the benefits, and I don't know if you could know when this would be true without trying.


The other problem is there is very little control on content. It would be like getting drugs made in someone's kitchen. 


There are a few videos made specifically to help couples have better sex. We saw one of those during our experimenting. It had a group of experts talking, followed by a couple demonstrating. It was full on nudity, and I would call it porn, but it was not as graphic as most porn. Of course, the couples were all young and good looking.


Might such a product be of help for some couples? Possibly. However I think there are other ways to communicate the same information just as well and without the risks.

GenerousWife
GenerousWife

@MrShorty I could see couples creating their own written erotica to sound out sexual issues. The problem with porn is you're contaminating your sexuality with people who don't belong there. It comes in through your eyes and you can't just toss the images or the beliefs and perspectives that come with the plot and sex acts.

hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

Paul,


I'm just curious, so you can tell me to MYOB if you like, LOL. Did you not think of porn as sin when watching together?  Did you and Lori share the same justifications for why it would be okay?  What made you stop?


My dh and I viewed porn a few times early in our first marriage, but it never caught on thankfully.  I can't remember if I thought of it as wrong or not.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@hiswifeagain At the time, I would probably have said some porn was okay for some couples, - for those who could handle it. Lori and I both had justified it.


I can't say exactly why we stopped. It was always an occasional thing, and it became less and less common until we just did not use it for many months. I came across it where it was hidden and said to Lori something like "I guess we can get rid of this" and she agreed.


Part of the problem in my mind was the difficulty in finding something we were willing to watch. We set fairly limited standards, and even fifteen years ago it was difficult to find things that fit within that. We did not want porn affecting what we thought was okay or what we desired.


Another thing was I was concerned about becoming a lazy lover, and that is probably why I was not eager to use it often. That, and I wanted her to be aroused by me, not by porn.

hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

@TheGenerousHusband @hiswifeagain 


Thanks for the candor.  I think you were wise to get rid of it and wise to realize that you might become lazy in letting something/someone else arouse your wife.  :)

GenerousWife
GenerousWife

@hiswifeagain  I think a part of the reasoning was "educational." Some was "curiosity." We discussed a line over which we would not cross (which eliminated a fair amount of porn). We had seen R rated movies with sex scenes. This was just "a bit more." I had some sexual struggles. Would this help by letting me see happy sexual people?


Back then we were pretty alone. I think we just got overwhelmed by the lies of the day and somehow rationalized that we were OK. (Another reason for strong encouraging community to help you stay on track in your marriage.)

Eventually we drifted away from the porn. A part of it was discomfort over the porn for me. The plots were cheesy. The sex was pretty fake (even with the educational stuff) and I didn't like carrying around pictures in my head of other people having sex. They tend to pop up when you're having sex which feels pretty awkward.

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