So, as I've released myself from TSCC my opinion on many things has changed, sometimes dramatically... as I'm sure many of you can relate.

I was wondering about other people's thoughts on porn... have they stayed the same? altered somewhat? changed completely?  Or what?

I have mixed feelings about this subject and want some help sorting it out.

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This is a tough one for some reasons that are complex and personal.  That porn often involves exploitation of women and minors makes it unappealing from a humanistic perspective.  That said, eroticism in general including more explicit porn has been terribly helpful in keeping some things fresh in my own bedroom.  Given that the wife is still very TBM, this often leads to a backlash of guilt but we both admit that used together it can be "fun".  

 

Do I have traditional guilt over it anymore, because the body is sacred and all that?  No.  Not at all.  

 

I think that is about as far as I will comment...

I have mixed feelings about it too. For the most part, Mormonism aside, I find hardcore porn a complete turn off. Softcore is a lot better. I know logically that porn is nothing to feel/give guilt about, but it is hard to unbrainwash this fact.
My opinions on porn have not changed.  I realize it's a woman's choice to do that with her body.  And make a good living at it as well.  And maybe in this economy we'll see more desperate women going down that road.  I could understand that.  But I find it demeaning to make a living by getting men's genitals erect.  And I realize that economically some women are going to prostitute themselves.  But we're going down a slippery slope that can lead to danger.  Statistically, more prostitutes and women involved in low level type porn activity have a higher incidence of murder, and are less likely to be called in as a missing person than a woman who makes a living by not using her body to entice men.  Who exactly do you trust, if, say, you are a dancer at such an establishment?  Do you know who will find out where you live?  Are you more apt to find a more stable relationship than someone who works in a different line?  When discussing this with my daughter during her teen years, it was more of a safety issue first, and then the issue of thinking so little of yourself that you'd prostitute yourself out for money, or, money to get crank.
James, Would you support your daughter being involved in hard core porn?
No no, of course not. 

Let me explain further - eroticism good and I no longer shun it as "bad".  

Porn, well - perhaps we should define 'extreme', 'hardcore', ''softcore', etc.   I am not sure how to define these or how/if they differ from general eroticism.

And good or bad, it is taboo by some accounts and the taboo is often the real appeal.

I agree, though, that porn can be terribly demeaning and awful.  What if your porn is in print, however?  Erotic stories?  

My point is that after leaving Mormonism I am more open to eroticism and sexuality in general.  Does porn fall unto the realm of more accepted genres of getting turned on?  Perhaps.  And... This is important... It's NOT just the male being aroused. 

Perhaps I am sharing too much, but we are taking in black and white terms here when there is a lot of gray. 
My opinions on this haven't changed.  Porn was actually a source of major hurt in my marriage.  A guy I dated recently was into it, but I just couldn't bring myself to watch it.
HazelWings, I find it interesting that a woman can think she's really in love with a guy, but he has to think about somebody else, in a porn setting, to have sex with her.  I think for many, the porn aspect in our lives keeps honesty out of a relationship.  After seeing it over and over, so many times, it becomes the norm for a man, woman, or couple.  What ever happened to really being turned on by the guy or gal you are married to?  And someone who has to mentally use porn to get it on with his lady sure isn't going to go the honest route with her now, is he?

This is a complicated subject for me too. My marriage was effected by this issue and in the end it was my exhusbands inability to be honest with me about it that largely contributed to the break down of trust in our marriage. I was not nearly as hurt by his watching it as I was by his lying to me about it. We tried to work things out but it was too late. Looking back it's obvious that the whole episode was more of a symptom of our issues than the cause of them. 

 

Having lived through this experience and gotten some perspective on things I've realized that aside from the obvious issues with the sex industry, safety concerns, exploitation and the like. I feel that a big problem with watching porn is that it can so easily effect your relationship with your spouse.  It can turn what should be an expression of your emotions into something that only happens when you're in that "porn' mood.  Sexual excitement releases all kinds of chemicals in the brain and when you can click a mouse and get it instantly instead of having to learn to express your emotions sexually with your spouse, then it just becomes too easy and tempting to go the easy rout and click the mouse. Doing that can completely erode the sexual intimacy in a relationship.

 

Also, porn presents a very one dimensional and orchestrated view of what sex is. If you are an emotionally developed person then it probably isn't too detrimental but if you aren't it can make honest emotional sex almost impossible to achieve. I know this doesn't happen for everyone, some couples use it to jump start the titillation process, but for me personally I think the price is too high.  I don't think that I'm explaining this very well but I hope you see what I'm getting at. 

 

Having said all that, my attitudes toward nudity and erotic content has changed drastically since I've stopped worrying about keeping my thoughts "pure". I enjoy erotic stories, they are just words and all the "porn" happens in my imagination which means it's dictated by my psyche and not imposed on me, no one was exploited or demeaned by it's creation and I can read without feeling guilty at all.  And because erotic content no longer seems evil to me, I can watch a really sexy rated R movie and just enjoy it without feeling guilty. 

 

I guess to sum it up, I don't feel porn is necessarily wrong or evil for the sheer sexual eroticism of it but it can be dangerous in many different ways, both for those who make it and those who watch it.  

For myself, the release I seek and get from porn is different than when I'm with my wife.  For the most part, porn for men (and women) is just their stimulation of choice when they need to get their rocks off, just as an erotic book or good fantasy or mind porn in your imagination works for you.  I agree that porn goes too far when non-consenting adults or minors are forced into it, but otherwise see it as a healthy expression of our humanistic and animalistic natural selves.  To deny our sexual urges and nature is to deny a part of you.  I know of women who equally get off on porn as men, and/or enjoy sex over webcam.  If that's anyone's thing, more power to them.  I agree that the lying and deception would and should hurt more than the actual porn use.  It's unfortunate that religions push such extremes on us as to close communication channels and induce so much unnecessary guilt and shame.  Thanks for sharing your experience.

 "Doing that can completely erode the sexual intimacy in a relationship."   Cary, I can relate to your post.  My ex-TBM husband was addicted to porn during our 11 1/2 marriage.  We had broken up a couple of times prior to getting married because of his porn habit.  Being naive I believed that a temple marriage would actually *fix* this issue.  Priesthood leaders repeatedly told him to "Go to the temple,"  after he'd confessed to them. 

Our sex life was pretty frequent for the first few months then dropped to once a week, once a month, sometimes skipping months.  He wouldn't kiss or touch me and refuse to engage in any intimacy.  He'd already satisfied himself so he didn't put forth any effort in our physical relationship. Because sex was so infrequent and sporatic I didn't use any type of birth control. Plus it was wrong in the eyes of the church at that time.  I was extremely lonely....until I had our first child, a girl.  I again thought that being a father would *fix* him.  That he would change for her. I was wrong. Then we had a son.  I thought FOR SURE that a son would change him.  Wouldn't he want to be an upstanding man and great example for this son?!  Nope.  We went on to have 4 children together. 

During our marriage he would frequently visit strip bars, buy magazines, go to booths in sex shops. ....  To put it lightly he had and still has a sexual addiction.  

He would masterbate so much that his penis would get chapped.  So my views on porn; I think Cary is right that if you are emotionally immature that it can harm an intimate relationship.  It did mine.  I would never be in another relationship with a man who had a porn addiction and I will never again believe that I can change someone. The lies and dishonesty do hurt a marriage.  I know of couples who are not LDS or even religious who struggle with this issue.

 

 With all that being said, I don't believe it's evil.  I'm pretty neutral on the subject of what others do with their sexuality as long as it's of their own will.  I personally prefer a real relationship with a real person who prefers the same. 

Thanks for sharing that  LL.  

 

Things got progressively worse over time in my marriage, the thing that was so hurtful to me was the sense of rejection. I am a really physical person and enjoy sex a lot. I had a higher sex drive than my ex husband, or so I thought. We were fine in the beginning of our relationship although it was still less frequent than I would have liked but as the years went on and he got more sucked into the cycle of secrecy, excitement, release and then guilt without me being involved at all, eventually we were only having sex once every month or two.  When I tried to initiate things he often rejected me because he couldn't do it, he'd had and orgasms already that day. 

 

I always knew that he was looking at porn, honestly it didn't bother me much. If he had included me I might have actually been okay with that to a point, but when I tried to talk to him about it he would get so embarrassed and just lie to me. The last straw for me was the night he lied to me while we were having sex, he looked me right in the eyes and lied to me while I was at my most vulnerable.  It took a while for that to really sink in for me but looking back I knew then that he would never be able to have real intimacy with me.  He couldn't be honest enough, so I had to stop letting myself be hurt over and over again. I know it wasn't about me, it was about how uncomfortable he was with intimacy of any kind, especially sexual. But it still hurt. 

 

In my opinion there is hardly an emotion you can feel that won't have some kind of sex that would be appropriate for it.  entertainment sex, naughty sex, because your bored sex, emotional sex, make up sex, cheer up sex, celebration sex. It can be simple or involved, a quickie or a marathon but the most important thing to me is that it's real, honest and open.  Porn might be part of that on occasion but I won't ever be with someone who prefers to watch porn in private than come have sex with me again.

 

 

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