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Sian Confidential: Please help me understand my partner’s obsession with porn

Dear Sian

Please help me understand my partner’s obsession with porn. When I first met him, we were like rabbits and it was all very exciting, which I guess is normal during the honeymoon period. Two years later, we live together and still have sex four or five times a week, although it would be more if I agreed to it.

From previous relationships, I consider this a lot. On the nights that we don’t, he stays up late and I have recently caught him watching porn on his iPad and masturbating.

I decided to try and catch him out a few times to see how regular this is, and it’s a lot. He also follows a lot of provocative girls on Instagram that I think are porn stars.

I usually only agree to have sex because if I don’t he will go and watch porn instead, and ultimately I’m worried that if he’s that highly sex-driven he will go else-where.

Gabby

Dear Gabby

It is not that unusual for men to look at porn; it could either be an addiction or just a high sex drive – it doesn’t necessarily mean he needs other women to satisfy him. Actually, the fact that he uses porn when sex with you is not available hints that he doesn’t see cheating as an alternative. A lot of men (and women) like using porn, but it’s more prevalent in men and we believe it’s because they are turned on more visually than women.

Addictions form when the pleasure/reward system in the brain becomes compromised. When we over do anything, whether it’s a drug or an activity, and become desensitized to dopamine (our pleasure chemical), we develop a dependency on that thing, needing more and more of it to give us the same dopamine hit as before. If this is the case, then he may need professional help.

He could also just have a very high sex drive. Have you spoken to him about your concerns? There needs to be open communication in a relationship in order for it to stay as healthy as possible. Unless you ask him the questions you want answers to, you will always wonder and think the worst.

At the moment there doesn’t seem any evidence for infidelity. This could be his “thing”, whether it’s an addiction or just a high sex drive, and has NO reflection on you in any form at all. Don’t let this affect your self-esteem – your worth does not go up or down depending on how many times you have sex, or how many times your partner wants/needs to ejaculate!

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