True Story: I Struggle to Think I’m Enough for My Boyfriend When He Watches Porn

By KC

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.

Her story shows that porn undermines trust and love in a romantic relationship and can be a roadblock in allowing intimacy to grow.

Hi FTND,

If you want, I’m perfectly fine with you posting this. I just want to say thank you to all of you for actually doing this. I got into porn when I was younger and didn’t know any better, I found it interesting and I was curious and it became really addicting. Then I stopped once I got into my first relationships.

Porn began to give me a really bad view of how I was physically, and frankly, I would only just watch it to admire the girls I know I never could be. Where I live and go to school everyone openly watches porn, and you’re weird or a liar if you say you don’t, so it’s considered completely normal. But I realize now it’s seriously the worst thing, especially when you’re in love.

I’ve been in a relationship for three years, and the guy is totally amazing. He’s probably one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. After being in an emotionally abusive relationship and switching to a guy that actually treated me nicely, never had I felt so beautiful and cared for. The day after I lost my virginity (basically, the moment I trusted my boyfriend the most) I discovered SO MUCH porn on his iPad when he let me use for the first time. I felt so betrayed, not good enough, and so hideous. And that was about a few years ago.

Related: The Science Behind Why A Partner’s Porn Habit Hurts, And What You Can Do To Heal

I’m still not over it, and I haven’t been able to trust him ever since because he said he’d stop, and about every few months, it comes back and haunts me. He feels awful about it, he gets erectile dysfunction issues from it, but he tells me he can’t stop and it tears me apart. His porn habit brings deceit, arguments, bursts of anger and a lot of unnecessary and avoidable pain into our relationship.

Ever since I’ve constantly found his hidden stashes of porn, I’ve been constantly obsessed with my body, comparing myself to photoshopped beauties and unhealthy standards and I still don’t feel like I’m good enough. Especially considering the fact it’s so normalized to watch porn in my social circles.

I can’t enjoy sex with him anymore because I’m too self-conscious to the point it’s painful for me. I over-think about it, and how I look nothing like the girls he watches on screens and fantasizes about. EVERY TIME we have sex I THINK ABOUT IT. Yet whenever he wants to have sex, I still give it to him even when I don’t want to because I’m so scared of him going back to porn and comparing me to animated characters or plastic women who are being manipulated into these situations.

Related: 3 Reasons Why NOT Watching Porn Is The Most Sex Positive Thing You Can Do

I can’t stress enough how much it means to me that you guys are considering porn to be like a dangerous drug that destroys relationships. I feel as if it’s just as bad as alcohol or drugs.

I still struggle to trust him, I still struggle to discuss it with him, and I still struggle to love myself because of porn. It’s destructive and it scares me because I could end up losing or leaving someone very important to me because of it. I’d love to tell him that his little sisters, who he loves so much, may go through the same thing. They might grow up and get a boyfriend who compares them to porn, or tries to make them look more like a porn star. And then those little sisters or daughters are going to feel just like me… That they are not pretty enough, and that they will never be enough because of the IMPOSSIBLE standards created by porn.

Related: My Boyfriend’s Obsession With Porn Fueled My Eating Disorder

It really doesn’t matter who watches it and when or where. If he didn’t watch porn all the time, we wouldn’t have most of the issues in our relationship. About a good 97% of our issues came from porn. Otherwise, I’m convinced that none of it would’ve happened. Porn really does kill love, and I’m just trying to keep my love alive.

The open discussion about porn and its obvious negative effects needs to start now. Thank you for starting to change the conversation.

G.

Why stories like this matter

Stories like these are too common, unfortunately. Porn doesn’t just hurt those who watch it, it hurts the partners of those who watch it, too. Also, what starts as a curious experiment can spiral into something you never could have imagined, adding to self-image and self-esteem issues along the way. In the end, it’s just not worth it.

A recent study released in January 2019 shows that women whose male partners watch porn on a regular basis are more likely to report symptoms of an eating disorder.

Not only that, according to some studies, when a person frequently consumes pornography, they’re far more likely to feel less satisfied with their partner’s looks, sexual performance, and willingness to try new sexual acts. Why all the sudden disappointment with one’s partner? It’s likely due to the fact that porn promotes a completely fictional version of how people look and behave, and makes it look like an exciting reality—one that their partners often feel they can never live up to.

And you know what? People shouldn’t feel like they have to live up to porn’s unhealthy standards of being nonstop exciting and unrealistically beautiful for their partner. That’s not healthy for themselves or their relationship. And that’s not real love.

Guys get insecure too.

This is not just a single gender issue. Let’s talk about how porn affects men’s self-image as well. For men who think consuming porn could somehow make them feel more manly, sexy, or cool, think again.

In one study done on both straight and gay men, viewing pornography was correlated with higher levels of body dissatisfaction. Pornography exposure was correlated with social physique anxiety for gay men and a higher tendency of developing an eating disorder.

Related: True Story: What Porn Taught Me About Being Gay

In a similar more recent study, a group of college men who consumed porn rated how they viewed themselves in terms of body satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and overall emotional well-being. After analyzing the data, it turns out that guys who view porn are much more likely to have anxiety in relationships and withdraw from them more than guys who aren’t viewing porn. Their sense of emotional security was lower overall than guys who do not view pornography. Not very sexy, is it?

It only makes sense that, like women, guys can also be more insecure about themselves after viewing porn due to the inaccurate portrayal of bodies and sexuality. Research also shows that guys who consume porn report feeling more inadequate about their sexual performance.

Also, negative body image among boys/men isn’t the only thing fueled by the idealized male bodies they see in the media, but also by the idealized images of women. This study found that men were more self-conscious about their own bodies after viewing magazines featuring photos of sexualized, scantily clad women.

Choose love, not porn.

Is it really anybody’s goal to make themselves or their partner feel inadequate, insecure, and unattractive? Of course not. Porn promotes all of these ideas and perceptions. Instead, choose real love that builds you up and truly appreciates you and your partner for exactly who you both are.

The post True Story: I Struggle to Think I’m Enough for My Boyfriend When He Watches Porn appeared first on Fight the New Drug.