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kroika's essay: Pornography and Sexual Health
January 2, 2008
12:04 am
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free2choose
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Bev,

U asked:

"I consider excessive viewing of pornography and porn addiction to
fall under the category of "excessive sexual behaviour".
With the epinephrine (noted in an earlier post) that has locked in the
earlier arousal or fear and adrenaline, wouldn't seeing scenes in porn that
trigger locked in memories do the same thing to a person who has suffered early sexual trauma? "

I want to answer, but I do not follow the question.

I once went to SA. Sex Addicts Anonymous. (Don't laugh, that's a real 12 step group!)

I went, origionally, because of some of the issues between me and an ex. See, back then, sex was a VERY VERY important tool for me. Sex, and only sex, made me feel safe (as in, they aren't gonna leave me/they really love me if they are fucking me), loved, wanted and worthy. I got VERY good at being a lover and keeping the woman I was with satisfied, because I thought if I did, she would not leave. But then it got to where the only thing I believed was sex. Sex meant "Ilove you", words meant nothing, they were just lies.

So of course most women donot want sex EVERY night. So the trouble came into play on those nights where she "was tired" or "had a headache" or whatever.

I went crazy. I became CONVINCED that she did not love me, did not want me, I was doing something wrong, she was gonna leave!!!!!

Then, because I could not face, nor cope with my irrational fear, Igot angry. Enraged!!!

I yelled, screamed, threw things. I poutted, I cried, I whined, I begged. I took sex from her even when I KNEW she was doing it just to shut me up.

I made her feel guilty for not sleeping with me. I used my own cutting to manipulate her into feeling guilty or sorry for me so she would sleep with me.

I HAD to have sex to feel loved and wanted, even when I knew she really didn't want it.

That's pretty fucked up, right.

Know what happened?

See, she had been molested as a child, so she had issues too.

Well, one day, she lookedat me and said, "E, when you do that, youmake me feel like HE did."

I wanted to vomit right then and there on the fucking bedside!

But did that stop me.

Nope.

I didn't deal with that issue until AFTER she finally left me. After I got sober.

So I went to SA.

But the shitty thing...

Child molesters go to SA. Rapists go to SA.

See, it's ALL considered "sexual addiction."

I stopped going to SA after about 15 or 20 meetings. Thelastone I went to I had to listen to a guytalking about how hard it was for him to keep his hands off his own step-daughter.

I wanted to cut his fucking balls off and shove em down his throat.

It's hard to be a "sex addict" and to be a survivor of sexual abuse.

But you know what, for the research I have done, many survivors go on to become abusers.

I do not NOW PRESENTLY call myself a sex addict, nor a porn addict. Not like I still refer to myself as an alcoholic/drug addict.

I guess that is because I now "understand" the motivations behind my behaviors. And I guess in a way, I consider my behavior "abuse-lite"(to steal WD's terminology).

Abuse-lite???? Maybe so, but her words have haunted me to this day.

I don't want to be in the same class as those people who hurt me.

But at times, I can see that some of my past behavior put me pretty damn close.

LOL. Whew.

If you haven't gathered from today's sessions...I was PRETTY fucked up sexually for awhile there!

ahhhhhh.....

Still feel those twinges of shame sometimes.

But hopefully, somebody out there understands.

Anyways, hope this was helpfull. If you want more, ask more.I am an open book. It keeps me honest, and it keeps it real.

January 2, 2008
12:34 am
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hey ((((f2c/ Erica))))

"SA. Sex Addicts Anonymous. (Don't laugh, that's a real 12 step group!)"

I've been reading some of the links bev posted, and learned about some other 12-step groups for related issues.
There's SLAA, Sex and Love Addicta anonymous, and CoSa for partners of sex addicts, to name but two.

It's all about shame, isn't it, at the core? That's what drives the addiction, drives the acting-out.
And for the codependent partner, a core of shame as well. Not the basis for healthy sexuality.

Healing from shame is profound work, and you've done so much and done it so well, (((f2c))).
I can't write much for now, but just wanted to respond and let you know
how much I am loving everything you're writing.
You are a shining star of self-awareness!!!

January 2, 2008
12:56 am
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"You are a shining star of self-awareness!!! "

LOL, thats what my therapist tells me!!!!

Sometimes she looks at me like Iam so crazy.

I say....WHHHHAT?

She says, "Really, Erica. Whatdo you need me for, you have all the answers!"

I'm like....OHHHHHH,no! I need you, believe me!!!!

But I get what she means.

It's all inside, you just can't be afraid to look.

January 2, 2008
1:10 am
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If I had to use one word to sum up my childhood, that would be it.

Shame.

When I FIRST got into treatment, a counselor told me:

"The difference between Shame and Guilt is that you feel guilty for Things you've done...You feel Shame for who you are."

I'll NEVER EVER forget that as long as I live.

Shame almost killed me. It drove me to self-destruction.

I still sometimes, everynow and then, go OUT OF MY MIND with it. I still feel it's tug on a daily basis. But I am not LOST in it anymore.

God... I hate it.

I hope I NEVER, EVER say or do something to make my kids feel shame.

I believe that it is STILL the root of my incureable self-doubt.

It's like a cancer.

Soul cancer.

January 2, 2008
9:14 am
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sleepless in uk
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Wow this formatting is a

problem!

hey mrs 2choose..how's it going?

I like the distinction between shame

and guilt. I struggle with that too.

You know, I really don't get this. I don't understand how anyone on

an anonymous site can make

assumptions about someone's

competency, professional or

otherwise. 'A nurse engaging in

harmful behaviour'?...How so? WD I

believe you are also a nurse, as was

I in a previous incarnation. Do you

not see that your behaviour could

by some be perceived as harmful?

But, nursing aside and speaking as

a member of the human race, I really

don't understand why it is so

incomprehensible to anyone that women

are offended by images of other

women being subjugated or humiliated.

I have 3 beautiful daughters. I

want them all to know how wonderful

and beautiful sex can be. I want

them to understand that sex with an

equal, loving partner is one of

the most beautiful experience they

will ever have. The most wonderful

and the most awful experiences I

have had have been sexual. When

a man stops seeing the woman he is

with as unique and special, and

sees her

only in terms of his own

gratification, sex is abysmal. The

most wonderful lover I have ever had

was so intent on being with ME that

his lovemaking was exquisite. And

therefore I was the best lover I

had ever been. Or knew I could be.

I amazed both he and myself. I felt

loved and needed and very very

beautiful. I just havent felt that

before or since and consequently

have not been the lover I know I can

be.

My point is that porn generally does

not portray the image of a woman

cherished or cared about. It uses

insulting language and harsh cruel

adjectives. Even the blurb about

the movies is derrogatory towards

women. It is made for the consumption

of men who like to dominate women.

I am really at a loss as to why any

healthy, respectful person just

doesn't see that. I know we are

entitled to our opinions, and I try

to respect the opinions of others.

But that kind of goes out the window

when it comes to abuse and I see

most porn as being very abusive

towards women. I really don't want

my daughters subjected to men who

see those kind of images as healthy.

That is the behaviour that I

consider might be injurious to others

January 2, 2008
9:16 am
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Bloody formatting!

January 2, 2008
9:32 am
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ha ha... formatting. Bloody hell, eh.

But otherwise -- Bravo, blackie!!!
Thank you for speaking up as the mother of daughters in this sexually unhealthy society.
My beloved niece is the mother of sons... beautiful sweet little boys who are so full of trust and love
And I hope so much that they are not going to stumble across porn on the internet
and have those kind of images branded into their minds. I would consider that traumatizing
and very liable to have a negative impact on their sexual health.

January 2, 2008
9:34 am
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p.s. where the heck have you been, scouse mousie? I believe there's a present waiting for you in the kitchen.

January 2, 2008
11:19 am
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* * * * * * * * * RETURN TO NORMAL FORMATTING * * * * * * * * *

SC removed free2choose's post with the "primal scream" that caused the formatting change. She emailed it to me without the 'scream' and gave me permission to repost it with an explanation. Because there have been so many posts since the one that free2choose was responding to, I am going to put them both here so all future visitors to this thread can read both and understand how those two posts started the sequence of what has gone on here the last few days.

OK, here goes.... I dunno, the margins still look too wide to me... and my mouse is acting up.... but let's give it a try

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

bevdee 28-Dec-07

Here are some more ideas to consider -

http://www.everystudent.com/wi.....toxic.html

"In your search for intimacy and love, pornography is an empty substitute for real love.

Porn's outlook is shallow. Real relationships are not built on sex, but on commitment, caring and mutual trust. In that context, like fire in the fireplace, sex is wonderful. Being with someone who loves and accepts you, someone who is committed to you for your whole life, someone you can give yourself completely to, that is what makes sex really great.

Porn - A Big Business
It's a big business that makes a lot of money and doesn't care how. They'll show you whatever they think will make you come back and buy more. "There were 11,000 porn video titles last year verses 400 movie releases from Hollywood last year...[and] 70,000 pornographic web sites." (New York Times, May 20, 2001, "Naked Capitalists")

Porn's Image of Sex
One of the most vital parts of mental environment is a healthy idea of who we are sexually. If these ideas are polluted, a critical part of who we are becomes twisted. The porn culture tells you that sex, love and intimacy are all the same thing. In porn, people have sex with total strangers -- people they just met. All that matters is my satisfaction. It doesn't matter whose body I'm using, as long as I get it. Porn gets you to think that sex is something you can have anytime, anywhere, with anyone, with no consequences.

What Sex is Really About
The problem with porn's shallow perspective is that relationships are not built on sex, but on commitment, caring and mutual trust. In that context, like fire in the fireplace, sex is wonderful. Being with someone who loves and accepts you, someone who is committed to you for your whole lives together, someone you can give yourself completely to, that is what makes sex really great.

Effects of Pornography: The Lies of Porn
You can't learn the truth about sex from pornography. It doesn't deal in truth. Pornography is not made to educate, but to sell. So, pornography will tell whatever lies attract and hold the audience. Porn thrives on lies -- lies about sex, women, marriage and a lot of other things. Let's look at some of those lies and see just how badly they can mess up your life and attitudes.

Lie #1 - Women are less than human
The women in Playboy magazine are called "bunnies," making them cute little animals or "playmates," making them a toy. Penthouse magazine calls them "pets." Porn often refers to women as animals, playthings, or body parts. Some pornography shows only the body or the genitals and doesn't show the face at all. The idea that women are real human beings with thoughts and emotions is played down.

Lie #2 - Women are a "sport"
Some sports magazines have a "swimsuit" issue. This suggests that women are just some kind of sport. Porn views sex as a game and in a game, you have to "win," "conquer," or "score." Men who buy into this view like to talk about "scoring" with women. They start judging their manhood by how many "conquests" they can make. Each woman I "score" with is another trophy on my shelf, another "notch" in my belt to validate my masculinity.

Lie #3 - Women are property
We've all seen the pictures of the slick car with the sexy girl draped over it. The unspoken message, "Buy one, and you get them both." Hard-core porn carries this even further. It displays women like merchandise in a catalog, exposing them as openly as possible for the customer to look at. It's not surprising that many young men think that if they have spent some money taking a girl out, they have a right to have sex with her. Porn tells us that women can be bought.

Lie #4 - A woman's value depends on the attractiveness of her body
Less attractive women are ridiculed in porn. They are called dogs, whales, pigs or worse, simply because they don't fit into porn's criteria of the "perfect" woman. Porn doesn't care about a woman's mind or personality, only her body.

Lie #5 - Women like rape
"When she says no, she means yes" is a typical porn scenario. Women are shown being raped, fighting and kicking at first, and then starting to like it. Porn teaches men to enjoying hurting and abusing women for entertainment.

Lie #6 - Women should be degraded
Porn is often full of hate speech against women. Women are shown being tortured and humiliated in hundreds of sick ways and begging for more. Does this kind of treatment show any respect for women? Any love? Or is it hatred and contempt that porn is promoting toward women?

Lie #7 - Little kids should have sex
One of the biggest sellers in pornography is imitation "child" porn. The women are "made-up" to look like little girls by wearing pony tails, little girl shoes, holding a teddy bear. The message of the pictures and cartoons is that adults having sex with kids is normal. This sets the porn user up to see children in a sexual way.

Lie #8 - Illegal sex is fun
Porn often has illegal or dangerous elements thrown in to make sex more "interesting." It suggests that you can't enjoy sex if it isn't weird, illegal or dangerous.

Lie #9 - Prostitution is glamorous
Porn paints an exciting picture of prostitution. In reality, many of the women portrayed in pornographic material are runaway girls trapped in a life of slavery. Many having been sexually abused. Some of them are infected with incurable sexually transmitted diseases that are highly contagious and often die very young. Many take drugs just to cope."

bevdee

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

free2choose 29-Dec-07

I AGREE with every LIE she listed. All 9 of them. I have been saying this OVER and OVER and OVER for years
now, here in this forum, fighting with the same person, WD.

WD, you said: "Moving right along, I also believe that your average person is, by definition, in every measurable way, average. And as best I can tell,
your average porn movie pretty much reflects the values and desires of the average person".

If the "Values and Desires" of the average person is to objectify, dehumanize, denegrate, humiliate, and abuse women, then we have a SERIOUS freaking problem here!!!! I find when you continually argue that porn
is not the atrocious, disgusting, filthy, oppressive industry that it is, it makes me want to freaking hurl!!! If you see NO PROBLEM with women being called whores and sluts, if you see no problem with women getting "gang-banged" and "ass-fucked" until their anuses are huge, inflamed gaping holes, if you see no problem with women on their knees in front of men
shooting ejaculate all over her face and in her eyes while calling her a slut and a filthy whore...well in
my opinion that makes you a woman hating, mysogenistic, abusive monster.

All men AND WOMEN who like that shit are abusive, mysogenistic monsters!!!!
Ultimatly, you are a man, and u will NEVER understand what it is like to be a woman. You will never ever
understand what Bev means when she says: "The gut distaste that a majority of women feel when watching pornography, a distaste that, incredibly, is no longer
fashionable to admit, comes, I believe, from the gut knowledge that we and our bodies are being stripped, exposed and contorted for the purpose of ridicule to bolster that *masculine esteem* which gets its kick and sense of power from viewing females as anonymous,
panting playthings, adult toys, dehumanized objects to be used, abused, broken and thrown away."

BevDee, RIGHT ON, 100% TRUTH. That is pure TRUTH talking!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ KROIK and BEV.... Thanks for all the interesting articles and quotes. Ahhhhhhh, I've been trying for DAYS not to do this but I'n like a
fucking fish taking the bait. It makes me want to scream and cry and hit things.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhh...

January 2, 2008
3:27 pm
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MsGuided
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This thread is very compelling, and once again is moving so rapidly.
The previous post and the final quote from Bevdee>
"The gut distaste that a majority of women feel when watching pornography, a distaste that, incredibly, is no longer fashionable to admit, comes, I believe, from the gut knowledge that we and our bodies are being stripped, exposed and contorted for the purpose of ridicule to bolster that *masculine esteem* which gets its kick and sense of power from viewing females as anonymous, panting playthings, adult toys, dehumanized objects to be used, abused, broken and thrown away."

I felt that too(disgust)when I got into the really disgusting hardcore stuff.And yes there is far too much out there.
I stopped watching because i felt the degrading aspects in porn were too prominant.

What is the result of being viewed as a slut, whore and plaything?
How has a womans sexual liberation been turned on it's head into rampant exploitation of her body parts, image, sexuality?

Once a woman crosses over into sexual freedom how much respect does she gain and how much does she loose?

It seems to me everything that women do to become emancipated from a form of slavery, is challenged and used against her/us.

The increase in hardcore Porn films, AND don't exclude the ammount of violence and rape scenes in Movies and TV shows, matches the ammount of power and freedom women obtain. We are gaining ground and the images in media and film are gaining ground too.
The Middle East turmoil reflects this too. Fundamentalist branches of Islam don't want women to be free. They use direct violence on it's citizens to enforce their male dominance agenda.
womens emancipation is being forced down in various ways all over the planet.

I certainly feel luckier to be here, but some of what is happenoing here is much more clandestine and insideous. It is subtle, and plays with our subconscious minds.
Women in Afghanistan (for example) are abused with supression, women here are abused with extreme sexual freedom.

Does anyone notice or get what i mean??

In North America we think we are free, yet we are subjugated to a far more sophisticated realm of abuse that reaches us through our media based culture.

Yes I was raised a "naturist" (the true name) or nudist, but showing your body parts here sends another message altogether.
A nudists mindset reflects physical freedom without that exposure meaning you are signalling a sexual encounter. Usually only in hot weather are people totally exposed. Many wear T-shirts, or a wrap. It is about choice and having no rule set for clothing.
Nudity here ( even skimpy clothes, bikinis, low rise jeans and belly shirts) means you are available and advertising that. IT is ALL sexual.

Strange, very strange.

January 2, 2008
4:11 pm
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Here's an idea. Why not give various porn a rating by some mutually agreeable association?

Like they do with restaurants and 1 to 5 start hotels with AAA and such?

Raunchy, nasty, skin-crawling awful porn could be rated at half-star to one star.

If you want to experience a truly low-cost, bottom-rung of society porn crap....you get what you pay for. (Just don't complain if you feel some "crab-like" nasty itching afterwards....for you have choosen to "go there.")

Upwards to the 5 star type of porn.

Like great hotel rooms....wonderful, tasteful and respectful to all involved.

The "upper-echilon" vs "the bottom rung of society."

Maybe there just has to be a grading scale for all of this...........

January 2, 2008
4:29 pm
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Not to beat this dead horse, but I knew I wasn't crazy!! I blame the format, and lack of time!!

Worried_Dad

1-Jan-08

"Hi Bevdee,

I don't recall saying that free2choose was being abusive."

bevdee

1-Jan-08

"WD

I apologise, I thought you did, but that was someone else. Glad to hear you are having a swell day."

Worried_Dad
29-Dec-07

"Hi Free2choose,

I can put up with your violence, your projection and your abuse for a little longer. I get it: anyone who does not agree with you 100% is going to be a target of yelling and name calling and accusations. "

January 2, 2008
4:31 pm
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TruthB

I think that's part of the problem - rating or defining it. There has certainly been contention over that in this thread.

Good to see you.

January 2, 2008
5:16 pm
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bevdee,

Reading a link from you always makes me smile 🙂

(Good to see you too sweetheart!)

You know...my sense is that it is always a good thing to reflect back on history and understand its entire ramifications on various matters at hand in order to somehow apply that learning to the present situation/situations.

No different in this topic.

There is just a whole range of opinions and such on various matters throughout time...which - gone freely and without societal recourse would probably have left many more species to inevitable extinction had it not been for the few "rebels" at the time that said....."hold your horses here ....Charlie."

Let's get back to the basics.

Let's really get back to the basics....and make certain type of societal actions "un-couth."

Like the wearing of endangered birds feathers in one's hat in the late 1800's society (excuse spelling) "snubbed."

This is a GOOD THING.

This proves what society views as to what is acceptable behavior and what is not!

My thinking is that we just have to simply "snub" porn and "smut" as strictly "low-class."

Something that is truly acknowledged....but in the end....like flaunting those endangered bird feathers....truly "not acceptable" by the vast majority of societies' standards.

Which is really what it is.

Low class.

A much lower class.

Really.

Afterall.

If some human wants to identify himself/herself with the purely BASE classification of having no more than an animal instinct in the area of sex....then so be it.

Just know - that these types of things and behaviors are frowned upon in the general society as being BASE and are much lower on the general rung of what that old neo-cortex had in mind from the get-go.

To RISE above that animal instinct in lieu of the sanity and commonplace dignity so much afforded....at least - in this particular space and time....to the vestiges and visceral meanings to apply and engage in a certain amount of self-control which would and should indeed distinguish us from the common place animal.

Afterall, is not the neo-cortex developed in vain....in this particular respect???????

(I should think NOT!!!!!!)

Not really.

Otherwise......WHY IN THE WORLD would we EVEN BE questioning all of this to begin with?????????

I ask you.

Our GUTS KNOW what's right and what's wrong. I don't care how any which way you choose to slice it.

We know already.

Our guts know.

Have known all along.

So why....all the fuss already??????

Let's just get HONEST with ourselves people......OK?

Really now.

No fricking bullshit already!!!!!!

OK?????

(yeah - i thought that you would eventually see it my way.....)

bottom line.

January 2, 2008
10:11 pm
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TruthBTold....

U TELL IT!!!!

Woohooo, I like what u had to say. Thanks!

"Our GUTS KNOW what's right and what's wrong. I don't care how any which way you choose to slice it. "

Can I get a "AMEN"?!?!

January 2, 2008
10:12 pm
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Sleepless....

YOU ROCK, baby!!!

I love you!

Thanks for all you said!

January 3, 2008
1:28 am
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"Our GUTS KNOW what's right and what's wrong. I don't care how any which way you choose to slice it. "

Can I get a "AMEN"?!?!

AMEN, SISTER!!!

January 3, 2008
9:03 am
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sleepless in uk
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AMEN!

January 4, 2008
9:06 pm
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EHFEMME!

January 5, 2008
2:20 am
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MsG, :o))

ehfemme indeed!

August 3, 2008
4:22 pm
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Bump

August 3, 2008
6:03 pm
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Thanks for bumping this thread, Needtoheal.

Just to clarify for anybody who is interested in reading the essay referred to in the title of this thread, you need to click on "View all posts" at the top left of the screen, to see this whole thread. (Clicking on "view first post" won't work because the essay is posted in several parts for ease of reading.)

My best wishes to anyone who is reading this because of a partner's compulsive use of pornography. I also recommend you check out http://www.RecoveryNation.com to read the stories of others who are facing this challenge to their relationship, and to find healing for yourself.

yours truly, kroika

November 29, 2008
4:14 pm
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Bumping

November 29, 2008
4:47 pm
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Thanks, soofoo

November 29, 2008
5:51 pm
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Hi folks,

What a surprise to see my old essay bumped up again. Note to anyone new to this, in order to see the whole essay you will have to click "view all posts" at the top left of the screen. ("View first post" only will not do it, as the essay is posted in several segments.)

Since writing that essay I have continued learning about pornography and sex addiction. Gradually more is becoming known about this phenomenon. Since this thread is up again, I'll add some new content. Here is the introduction from a new book on the subject, called The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography by Wendy Maltz, LCSW, DST, and Larry Maltz, LCSW.

. . .

Introduction

"I don't like alcohol. I've never used drugs. I don't like tobacco. That's not my thing. My thing is porn. -- Alex"

Twenty-five years ago, we'd never have written a book on pornography. Back in the 1980s when our practices treating sex, intimacy, and relationship problems were just getting started, we truthfully weren't that concerned about pornography. Like many others in our field, we felt that while porn was often crude and degrading, most of it was essentially harmless. In fact, when we would go to sex therapy training and read journals and materials in the field, it was often suggested that X-rated videos and pornographic stories were something we could recommend to our clients to help them become more intimate with their partners.

But our view on pornography began to change in the mid 1990s. It was then that we started seeing a troubling increase in the number of clients coming to us with porn-related problems that were interfering with their ability to maintain healthy relationships. It soon became clear how easily sexual interests and desires could be twisted by pornography, away from real intimacy, and twoard technological devices, people, and situations that didn't actually exist. Porn's emphasis had moved from helping couples become more sexually intimate with each other to arousing the users to have a sexual relationship with it.

That's an important distinction: unlike many early erotic videos, magazines, and books that were produced to help spice up lovemaking for couples, porn began to offer itself as the object of desire. Today's porn teaches users to think only about body parts and specific sexual actions, robbing them of the ability to experience romance, passion, and emotional and physical closeness with a real partner. It competes with partners as a sexual outlet.

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