Comparing in the Bedroom

Yesterday I talked about the danger of comparing your wife to other women. Today, let us apply that to sex.

To whom do we compare our wives sexually? To the women we see in porn. The majority of men reading this have intentionally looked at porn in the last two months, and almost all of the rest have seen a fair amount of porn at some point. The younger you are, the more porn you’ve likely seen, especially if you had Internet access by your teen years. Most of us have seen a great deal of porn, and like it or not that has affected how we think about sex and what we sexually desire. 

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The real problem is porn is very different from real sex. I recently read an interview with a couple of female porn “stars” and they said porn is just entertainment, and nothing like real sex. The women who do it know first-hand what they do in porn is not what they want or do in real life – but do we? We say we get it, but I don’t think we understand how far apart the two are.

  • Porn is short on foreplay, and kissing is especially absent.
  • Porn is rarely slow or gentle.
  • Because porn acts have to play to the camera, the range of positions is limited and includes a good bit of contortion.
  • Porn never ends with “Not tonight” (Unless he won’t take no for an answer…)
  • The acts seen in porn don’t match what real women most desire.
  • The women in porn don’t struggle to climax. Either they do with ease, or they aren’t expected to.
  • When women climax in porn, they do things real women don’t do when they have real climaxes.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Please don’t think you’re immune to this, you’re not. When I married Lori, I had been free of (magazine) porn for a decade and yet I see places where it still coloured my sexuality.

If you’ve seen porn, you’re comparing your wife to those women, and your sex life to those acts. The more porn you’ve seen, the worse it is.

What can you do?

  • First, admit you’re comparing.
  • Consider admitting it to your wife. If it’s going to cause a huge problem maybe you shouldn’t, but please don’t let your pride keep you from doing it when you should.
  • Cut off the source of the problem. My favourite web site for this is Be Broken.
  • Fight comparing. This is a long-term fight, and you’ll have good days and bad days – stick with it.
  • Change how you think, replace poor thoughts with good thoughts.
  • Learn to enjoy sex as it naturally unfolds.
  • Work to learn what your wife wants and enjoys sexually.

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13 Comments on “Comparing in the Bedroom

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting a link to the BeBroken site. I have a feeling that some awesome things are about to happen in my life. I’ve been trying to break these awful chains for almost 30 years. God is still in the miracle working business.

  2. Unfortunately Paul, it’s not just porn that I can tend toward comparing my wife to.  I’ve all but given up following because there I read of so many Christians who enjoy all manner of things in their sex life that I wish I could enjoy with my wife but she’s frankly not interested.  And when I suggest something I might have read on TMB, she responds with “you just saw that on porn” or “quit comparing me to them, I don’t like that” and that’s the end of that.  So even good resources like TMB can cause this kind of comparison.

  3. It’s like realizing that even an innocent JC Penny catalog, with a bra and panties ad, can have a negative affect on trying to escape your porn addiction.

  4. onewomanman
    I can see how it would be easy to assume that some of the marriage and/or sex bloggers or commenters have a “perfect” marriage or marriage bed.  A picture of “perfection” is painted (unintentionally, I’m sure!) because the public is not privy to all the exchanges of a marriage.  I think the intention of most marriage bloggers is to be a source of encouragement IN the struggles vs. a model of perfection.  This side of heaven, I don’t think there is a “perfect” marriage or marriage bed.  Every marriage is a work-in-progress (with one of the primary purposes for marriage being our sanctification – becoming more Christlike.)
    The real enemy of relationships – and gratitude – is expectations.
    It’s expectations that ruin relationships. Expectations destroy friendships. Expectations produce anger and bitterness. Expectations damage contentment. Expectations produce disappointment.
    Certainly your wife knows that you think of her as a disappointment – she hasn’t lived up to your expectations and therefore she’s not “good enough”.  For any woman it would be a challenge to “enjoy all manner of things in their sex life” with someone who compared her to other women and then indicated disapproval – even if only very subtly, like through making suggestions. (Intimacy requires vulnerability in a safe place of acceptance.)
    The solution is to give your expectations to God and ask Him, by faith, to give you whatever He wants you to have.  And, instead of comparing your wife to the woman you wish she was (perhaps pointing out the speck in her eye?), a good place to start is by comparing yourself to the kind of husband you are called to be (possibly removing a plank from your own eye?)
    It is so much more blessed to give than to receive.

  5. TheGenerousHusband How is this valid?  Honestly, reading TMB I see all manner of things that are borderline according to biblical standards.  Additionally, onewomanman gives no hint as to what has been suggested to his wife.  We need, as husbands, to love our wives (the active ‘agapeo’).  And if this means that we give up our ‘wants’ to become one with them and grow into the likeness of Christ in the area of sex, then we need to follow the leading of Christ through our wives.

  6. timeout1 TheGenerousHusband You will not I said “If she is never going to change”. That is not right, but if it is his reality then reading things that makes him even more upset at his wife is not helpful for anyone. 
    No, we should not have to give up our wants, but sometimes it is the loving and right thing to do. If the other choices are divorce, adultery, or constant fighting, then letting those things go is a correct sacrifice, IMHO.
    Again, I said “If…”

  7. I’ve seen it blogged lately that Happiness = Reality – Expectations.  Porn is one way expectations exceed reality in an unhelpful direction. Right now, so are these blogs.  Maybe I just need to be satisfied with the once-a-month-in-the-wee-hours that she’s willing to offer, and stop hoping that there might be something more to marriage than sharing of lodging, logistics, and children.

  8. oldandtiredHappiness = Reality – Expectations is an interesting thought. I think there is some solid truth there, but I see it as more complex. Still, for your situation, I think you are right.

  9. Best I can say is if your spouse (I figure wives could be reading this too) isn’t providing what you desire sexually then you should go to God and ask him to help.  Also ask that he keeps your desires biblical and honorable to your spouse.
    That will also help to not covet other sexual lives.  Includes the fictional lives of porn people too.

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