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How It Feels to Finally Be In a Relationship with Someone Who Doesn’t Watch Porn

By April 1, 2020 No Comments

Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.

Recently, a Fighter sent us this story that details how she found porn-free love after years of toxic relationships. Her current partner watched porn at the beginning of their relationship, but one conversation changed that.

Hey there. I just wanted to reach out and see if my story might be of use for your platform. I’m not sure how to best start out.

I’ve been following FTND for many years now, but recently was encouraged to open up more and not be afraid to talk about something that I’m rather passionate about.

I have been exposed to porn in a variety of ways, and all of them had very different outcomes. The first time, I had just turned 14 years old, and my then-boyfriend took me into his bedroom and turned on the TV. He had porn playing on the screen, telling me he wanted to have sex with me. I immediately said, “NO,” and told him how uncomfortable I was. His response to my protesting was raping me multiple times on multiple occasions.

Related: 4 Ways Porn Warps The Way Women View Themselves

During these times, he told me no matter how pretty I thought I was, how much my future boyfriends told me they thought I was beautiful, that I would never compare the women on the screen. I could do everything in my power to please my partner, but I would never be enough. The first time happened over several hours.

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Healing from the initial abuse and trauma

The first thing that shocks me is how this occurred about 16 years ago, before the masses turned to the internet. How addicted to porn this 15-year-old boy was during this time period when it was rather difficult to obtain that level of pornography. To this day, I am unsure of the fate of this individual, but I can only hope he received help.

After finally making my way to the police, obtaining a restraining order and sending his boy away, I started rehabilitation with counselors, therapists and taking sex education classes for many years, trying to regain my sexuality.

Related: Is Watching Porn The Same As Cheating On Your Significant Other?

I discovered I developed PTSD, because nudity in movies, or certain noises, would trigger me. I also developed BDD, or Body Dysmorphic Disorder, where I constantly worry if I looked okay. I look at the other girls around me and wonder why they’re so beautiful, while I would pick apart everything I hated about my body.

Through the years, I was able to learn about the harms of porn. As the internet grew, I discovered FTND and my resources multiplied.

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Ready to find love again

Fast forward to when I was 18 years old, and I decided I was ready to date again.

The boy I met was kind, educated, and we shared quite a few hobbies together. We dated for the greater part of 8 years, eventually marrying. We did not move in together until after we were married… and it wasn’t until we shared the a life together that I discovered that he watched porn rather frequently on the computer.

Related“No Harm In Looking, Right?” A Study Of Porn’s Impact On Self-Esteem

I took a step back, gathered information, and entered a conversation with him with a level head, hoping I would be able to have a heart to heart connection. Discussing how porn warps what real sex is, it changes how you look at people, it fuels human trafficking. The result? He said he didn’t plan on stopping because it was natural, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of sex and watching others have sex.

I am in no way ashamed of sex. But the way porn depicts sex is something far from natural.

As time when on from that conversation, I tried not to not be bothered by it, but it’s difficult to move forward when he had little interest to have sex because he just finished watching porn before I got home from work, or he would completely lose his erection halfway through sex.

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I decided to try watching it with him a few times to see if it would make me more desirable to him—which only resulted in triggering my PTSD and making the situation worse, and ultimately our relationship started to flounder.

He did not want to seek help, he looked at porn as natural… but he was disappointed to find I couldn’t stomach it. He tried coaxing me a few times saying, “Babe, it’s different with me. We can have fun. I’m not raping you like your last boyfriend did.”

…very romantic, huh?

Related: Can Watching Porn Be Healthy For You?

We ended up divorcing right at our third year of marriage… a total of 11 years together. After that experience, I had decided to focus on myself.

Afraid to jump into love again

A few months later, most unexpectedly, I started talking to a guy who but all redefined what a relationship should be.

He was thoughtful, a great communicator, hard-working and we shared the same love of laughter and family. I was rather cautious at first—by rights, I had full reasons to be. Because of my past, I doubted if I was ever capable of having a normal relationship.

Related: What I Did When I Found Out My Boyfriend Watches Porn Behind My Back

As our relationship flourished and things started to become serious, I started to see a few signs that worried me, having seen it before in my marriage. He would briefly lose his erection midway through, he didn’t seem very interested when I tried to initiate sex. I found out he, too, watched porn on a regular basis.

My first instinct was to break it off immediately because nothing good can come from this. I was plagued with what to do. I was so mad at myself for putting myself in this situation again.

But once again, I took a step back… I looked at what we had built together in this relationship and decided it’s always worth a chance to talk about it.

I gathered up information, took a breath in, and talked to him.

The talk of a lifetime

I was awkward, fumbling over my words as I tried to express my concern to him.

Related: 5 Tips For Talking About Porn For The First Time With Your Partner

Not the fact how I felt like I wasn’t attractive enough, but it goes deeper than that. I explained how I wanted our sex life to be the best it can be. How porn desensitizes you to REAL sex. How porn is directly linked to sex trafficking. How you don’t know if the people on the screen are actually consenting or not.

He listened to me. Intently. Asking the occasional question.

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He took me by the hand and said he was more than willing to give up watching. He honestly doesn’t know why he watched it in the first place, it was just a habit that formed long before he met me. He had no idea the problems porn could create because he was simply unaware. He expressed gratitude for me bringing all the information to light for him.

And he quit cold turkey that day.

Three weeks later, he opens up to me saying how grateful he is because he noticed almost an immediate response to how much better he feels. He sleeps better at night. He feels more focused. And our sex has gotten so much more intimate and intense.

RelatedEven After My Divorce, I Don’t Believe Porn Is A Dating Deal-Breaker

Since then, he has become an avid supporter of me and my passion for trying to spread awareness of the harms of porn. He has no shame wearing the FTND wristband every day as a reminder. We keep each other accountable.

Yes, my PTSD and BDD get the best of me some days. But we have full open communication of how we are feeling.

Never give up fighting for your love and being kind

I made 2020 the year that I will get out of my comfort zone and pursue the things I am passionate about. I started to wear my “Porn Kills Love” shirt with confidence. And my boyfriend encourages me to reach out to FTND in regards to my story, and how it has changed his life.

I want people to be encouraged. I was faced with porn again and again in my life. And just when I was going to run the other way… I decided to try again, and was fortunate enough to have one of the most profound relationships.

Please, never quit trying. Even when you are met with resistance or ignorance, be kind and patient. I have had a few awkward moments with friends when they notice my #PornKillsLove sticker on my phone case… they ask how I’m not embarrassed by it. I simply say, “I only want to spread love and awareness.”

Related: Here’s Why Those Who Struggle With Porn Aren’t Bad People

I believe a lot of people are simply unaware of the harms of porn, it just takes the right time and place for them to listen and understand.

I really hope you are able to use my story in any way you choose that would be helpful. I only ask to use it anonymously, using my initial “M.” I want other people to see that there is hope. And it possible to develop meaningful relationships in light of the porn epidemic.

With love,

M.

Relationships can outlast a porn habit

Did you notice the difference between M’s partners? One of them had no interest in learning about the harmful effects of porn, and the other was ready and willing to listen and make an informed choice.

We applaud this Fighter for tackling this awkward issue with love, honesty, and clarity. It’s not every day that we hear stories like this one with happy endings, and we think her experience raises important points: it’s okay to be upset by a partner’s porn habit, asking the right questions can make a world of difference, and being armed with the facts about porn’s harms is massively important.

Related: Why The Goal Of The Phrase “Porn Kills Love” Isn’t To Shame

In a committed relationship, having the porn conversation is a must in a society where sexually explicit material has become so accessible, normalized, and mainstream. Be as open and non-judgmental with your partner as possible when talking about porn. Odds are they have a past with it to some degree, so do your best not to make it a big deal.

In a world where a porn habit is normal and even expected, not everyone knows or understands how harmful it can be. A conversation where you warn them about the negative effects could be their first! What matters more than if they’ve ever struggled with it is how they feel about porn after they’ve learned the harmful effects.

Solid relationships are built on communication and the ability to talk about things that matter to both parties. When the time is right, talk with your significant other about porn. You’ll be glad you did.

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