What It Feels Like When Your Boyfriend Looks At Porn

When I was 15, I dated a guy who was into some really weird stuff.

The first time he introduced the concept that he was into porn was kind of neutral. I didn’t know what to think. This was a guy I really liked. Was  porn a big deal? Isn’t that what the world told me was true, anyway? So really this was just confirming that he was normal.

katnisssad

Oh, that word. Normal. As if I wanted to date a normal guy. Or be a normal girl in a relationship with a normal guy. 

Anyway, the less I thought about it, the more okay with it I was, so I stuffed it down. He still liked me, right? He wanted me AND these anonymous women. Besides, the women were fictional. And this is just his thing. How could something as individual or singular as me possibly be enough for a man?

Of course, that made me a little less neutral and a little more sad.

 

Dawsonsad

And that’s the moment it started. The thought process that encouraged me to continue my bad behavior in all of the rest of my relationships and into the psychological infertility of my 30s:

I could never be “enough” for a man. I’m one of many “things” he needs to be satisfied. That is my role in a relationship.

Note: I am responsible for my own behavior. I don’t mean to say this thought process or this person’s actions caused my own. Only that this thought process encouraged me to make bad decision after bad decision. 

Which lead to the final emotional stage of dating a guy who is into pornography:

sad

It didn’t help that this particular first boyfriend had sexual issues of his own. He couldn’t “finish” with me, that part was solo. It was also often “solo” in an abusive way toward me (more on that in the future maybe).

When I asked him what he thought about when we had sex, he said “It’s probably better if I don’t tell you.” The affection between us was more like a science experiment than not (maybe to see if he had feelings? Which he didn’t). And for some strange reason that would never fly now, I let it continue.

The Argument Begins

This scenario inspires my most basic argument against premarital sex, especially for young adults. God designed sex to be giving. Life-giving. Love-giving. Intimacy-giving. But how many teenagers do you know are capable of giving life, love, or intimacy to anyone, let alone a member of the opposite sex that they find attractive?

As a former sexually active teenager and later-in-life middle school teacher, I can confidently say “Nope, nope, nope.”

Teenagers are confused. Teenagers are experimental. Teenagers are not in a giving state (and if they are, it’s a self-sacrificing, unhealthy, “give you all of me so you can rescue me” kind of giving).

When you have sex with someone because you’re excited, you’re lonely, or you’re curious, you aren’t taking  into account that person’s humanity. You’re only factoring in how a person (who quickly becomes a resource to you rather than a person) can help you meet your needs. The feelings of love are closer to feelings of obsession. The things you do are out of obsession and extreme desire…. not love.

In my case as an overweight young person in elementary school and middle school, my newly attractive 9th grader self was primed for being grateful for male attention. Any kind of attention. And so when it finally came (in the form of a screwed up but funny and attractive guy), there was little that I wouldn’t put up with.

Later Effects In Life

Can porn really do all this damage? Not alone. Clearly a lot of my issues come from being tied up with this person for several years and creative formative relationship habits with a person who did not have my best interests in mind.

But porn is a serious threat to having a reciprocal relationship between a man and a woman and it does a lot of damage on its own. It made me question my worth in a relationship, and it made me feel that even though “real sex” was pretty okay, it’s not quite as good or as attractive as pornographic sex.

For more scientific reasoning, I’ll point you to Fight the New Drug, a wonderful organization that helps promote the truth about pornography in relationships and in society.

My Message

Wives, sisters, girlfriends: speak up. Porn is not okay. Porn is not acceptable. A porn addiction is to be treated like any other addition, with compassion and intolerance. It’s not “a little something” or “his thing.” It’s a destructive force in your relationship and it’s got to go. Porn creates unresponsive and unreciprocal relationships, and the continued use leads to even more unresponsiveness and unreciprocity. Stop the pattern.

Husbands, brothers, boyfriends: you’re here to love and protect the women in your life from emotional, physical, and psychological harm. Who is protecting the women in pornography? Who is protecting your wife, girlfriend, or sister from guys like this? Which side do you want to be on?

My heart goes out to any man who was exposed to pornography at a young age and developed an attraction to it. That’s got to be impossibly hard to face up to. But at some point it’s up to you to evaluate your habits, decide if they’re healthy for you and your loved ones, and make an effort to change. Please consider changing. Please be one more guy on this planet who will try to avoid letting what happened to me (a 15 year old girl with several older brothers and a loving father) happen to a woman in your life that you love.

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