When Partner Porn Pleases More Than Partner Pleases

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Why you should care

Because being in the movie you're watching is much better than not.


EUGENE, SIR: Where do I begin? I was married to the love of my life for six years. During those six years, she was in love with another man, a friend of ours who rejected her but eventually began sleeping with her. I was unaware, but I knew something was wrong. When the truth came out, I was broken inside and angry. Six years later after my divorce, I still haven’t been with another woman, but I do have an unhealthy porn addiction that I am fighting. The reason I’m concerned is because this last year, I realized how much I was into cuckold porn. But I hate myself every time after watching it and get very depressed. Is this normal? How do you suggest regaining my MANHOOD, for lack of a better word? I can’t sleep with or be with someone I don’t have strong feelings for. Every time I get close, I either get scared or they go running. — Lost at Sea

Dear Cap’n Howdy: Normal? When it comes to human beings, everything is normal. Or nothing is. Closer to what you’re asking, maybe, is: Is this helpful? And in short order, I’m going to have to say yes. You didn’t just choose any porn. You chose cuckold porn. For those not in the know, the setup for cuckold porn, whether real (actual married couples) or fake (actors acting like married couples), is all about a woman bedding a man or men who are not her husband while her husband watches in either some kind of participatory horror. Or delight.

This very clearly seems to me to be a way for you to both demystify what happened to you and come to terms with it in a nonstandard but totally understandable way. If I were to guess, I’d also guess that if your ex-wife had dark hair, a goodly portion of the women you’re watching in the aforementioned pornos do as well.

So, yeah. You are dealing with it. No therapist would recommend it, but they don’t know everything. Besides, you’re the final decider regarding whether it works or not. If it works, it’s helpful. If it doesn’t, it isn’t. However, your six-year failure to reestablish a functioning relationship with women that seem, by your accounting, to be interested, is a point of interest, even if it’s caught up in cart-versus-horse confusion.

By which I mean in your present headspace, you get close to women who presumably would have sex with you, but you can only have sex in the presence of strong feelings, but exhibiting these strong feelings scares you, or them, and everyone flees.

In the 12-step program, they advise you to avoid relationships if you’re new to recovery. Many don’t follow this advice, but it’s clear to me that your body is. Which is confusing your head. But I think this is also part of the process, this testing of the waters, since one thing remains clear: Nothing will be OK until it’s OK.

So keep doing what you’re doing. It’s all part of your process. A process of developing coping mechanisms that will let you reenter the gene pool without fear of drowning. Good luck.

Oh, and one more thing: Stop thinking what you had with your ex-wife was love. If you had a car that routinely failed to get you where you were going, you’d have a name for it. And it wouldn’t be “darling.”

Modern couple in bed

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EUGENE, SIR: Like many couples, we’ve made videos of ourselves having sex. And yes, it’s hot having sex while watching videos of yourself having sex, and it’s something I suggest everyone try. But these days I find myself doing something strange. I find myself wanting to masturbate to these videos more than I want to have sex with the man I’m having with sex in the videos. What does this mean/should I be worried? — MP

Dear Moving Pictures: Worried? Nah. Mmm … well … wait … maybe. First, thing let’s get this out of the way: Masturbating and having sex are as different as enjoying War and Peace as a book on tape versus actually reading it. Not better or worse. Just different.

So to extrapolate from how you masturbate and what you’re masturbating to, to having sex and who you’re having sex with, sort of makes sense even if it’s not sensible. They are more alike than any game you might play of Parcheesi, but comparing them here is the road to madness.

Masturbating to video of you and your partner seems healthy. You still attach some sexual significance to his place in your life and, in general, you’re freely choosing to explore your outside-the-relationship sexuality with him.

Wanting to do this instead of having sex with the actual man in your bed while you huddle off somewhere else to masturbate? That’s worrying. I get that video doesn’t complain or do any number of other human things, but you’re with a man, not a video facsimile of one.

So let’s chalk that up to COVID craziness or stress or momentary life difficulty and hope when things ease up, so does that.


EUGENE, SIR: Vegetables/fruits as sex toys: What’s your preference? — Sam the Man

Dear Sam I Am: My preference? While I’m a fan of salads, I generally find myself not so interested in vegetables. But wait … you said as sex toys? Well, like I said, I personally prefer salads, but this is not about me. This is about you. You and how unclear I am on what you’re needing here. If the question is whether I think vegetables/fruits make good sex toys, I’d say: some.

For example, cucumbers and bananas are better than grapes, but any of these things, when used with the vagina, having bacteria on them that might be unfamiliar to the vagina, can cause problems. If you’re going to use them anally, less of a problem. Just wash them well beforehand, use a condom on them, and while I’d suggest not cooking or eating them afterward, that’s just my personal preference for not eating dildos.

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