Author Topic: TED talk on sex starved marriages  (Read 1209 times)

Emerald Blue

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TED talk on sex starved marriages
« on: October 26, 2016, 08:25:34 AM »
https://youtu.be/Ep2MAx95m20
*there is no mention of porn in this talk

This is worth watching, especially from the perspective of being the partner of a porn addict.

My husband's sexually unavailability coincided with the beginning of his porn habit and eventually became so infrequent. He never initiated sex and eventually being turned down became a way of life. The crucial thing is HE NEVER MADE THE EFFORT. Never never never. Just as described in the talk, disconnection and distance happened. I felt very alone and it was even harder to bear knowing that he was interested in masturbating to images and fantasies of other women.

I always feel I have to take issue with the typical male porn addict assumption that it is the female partner's unavailability that "drives" them to use porn. That they think they've got this high sex drive, and they must satisfy their "needs". Bullshit! Porn is a selfish, self indulgent pastime. It creates a lack of ability to connect with their intimate partner and the more they do it, the more disconnected they become.

I found it interesting that the therapist giving this talk suggests that one partner should put themselves into the position of what it feels like to be the other. Now.... how many porn addicts do that?! In my experience, once my partner had a porn habit he didn't even try, and just as in the video, all the shared "together" time, the love notes, the little gifts, the compliments, it all just evaporated.

From what I see here, it's almost always the porn addict who is responsible for the sexless marriage. Eventually the partners give up trying because the message is "I want porn. I'm not that bothered about you."

« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 07:08:08 PM by Emerald Blue »
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

cuppatea

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Re: TED talk on sexless marriages
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2016, 02:38:26 PM »
Before we had kids hubby use to turn me down a lot, in the end I started feeling like I had some freakishly high sex drive and I stopped initiating so much cos it does suck to be turned down. Well of course now I know he was looking at porn even back then, and he'd probably already masturbated that day and wasn't interested. But what gets me is high sex drive was one of his reasons now, and I'm like if you had a high sex drive wouldn't we have more sex? and if not now (cos it is harder with little kids to make the time) that at least that would have been the case prekids when I was wanting sex more than him. In fact I've said my sex drive is just as high now, really I've just been going without cos I had respect for my marriage and settled for his apparent low libido when unbeknownst to me he was having sex with the PC at every opportunity.

All the effort went out of our relationship too, probably on both sides to be fair. After our 4th was born 3 years ago it just seemed the gap got wider and wider and I was feeling incredibly alone and stressed out, every time i asked for help I didn't get it, we didn't spend any time together as a couple, nothing, basically strangers in the same house and not much more. Our eldest has disabilities and he did nothing to be involved in learning about that even though I tried, he was totally disengaged from me but also from the kids. When this all blew up and I found out I told him how unhappy and alone I had felt and he had no idea, he thought we were still a happy family. He had become so self absorbed he failed to see how unhappy I was, even though it was patently obvious.

I'll watch the talk later when the kids are in bed, our relationship wasn't sexless before this, sex was sparse though 1-2 a month, the sex we had was still good though it wasn't porno like and he wasn't selfish in bed.

Emerald Blue

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Re: TED talk on sex starved marriages
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2016, 07:46:48 PM »
It took about 8-9 years of porn addiction before our sex life fizzled out with him being unable to finish and losing his erection on the occasions when it did happen, but by then sex was so infrequent, like 3 times a year, and I was getting used to being turned down. I just couldn't take the rejection any more so I stopped trying. I didn't need X-ray eyes to see through the door to find out  what he was doing when he was on his computer. He was going back to that shit and shutting me out, yet he never made the slightest effort for me.... WTF did he expect? As far as I was concerned he wanted to be left alone with his porn. If that's what he wants, I said, he can have it.

The way I thought was, I can't force him to want me. It was fucking miserable. I mean, my own husband couldn't even get it up for me. He turned me down more often than not. He couldn't even finish unless I was facing away from him and eventually he couldn't finish at all. I felt like shit. Like I said in the double standards post, I masturbated on one occasion he was home and he must have heard me or something, and he had the nerve to be angry at me? I couldn't have sex because he chose porn over me. But I couldn't bring myself to orgasm because he didn't want me to do that. In the end masturbation just made me feel even lonelier and fantasising about sex only reminded me of what I'd lost.

The video is right. When you give up on sex the emotional intimacy slowly disappears. He learned his lesson. So did I. There's so much more to recovery from porn addiction than broken down erectiions. I hope you get something out of this video, cuppatea.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

cuppatea

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Re: TED talk on sex starved marriages
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2016, 02:41:45 PM »
I watched it and found it interesting. I think those feelings of rejection and the pain it causes is certainly something I've felt, i felt it went turned down by him prekids and I've felt it acutely now knowing that he was picking porn/masturbation over having sex with me, that cuts deep, whatever his issues it still hurts me deeply.

Emerald Blue

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Re: TED talk on sex starved marriages
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2016, 07:20:37 PM »
I'm glad you found it helpful. I did.

The difficulty that porn creates is that both partners reach the conclusion that the other one isn't interested in sex any more. Or sex with each other. I eventually lost my sex drive because I couldn't take the hurt of rejection any more. My subconscious mind protected me from further pain by flicking the off switch. In the end I didn't even think about it much, except as a distant memory and then I'd feel the loss. I just accepted it as my fate. So it would be true if my husband said I wasn't interested in sex any more but it took years of HIS porn addiction and years of feeling rejected – no, actually being rejected by the only person I was 'allowed' to have sex with – before I switched off completely.

The difference between me and him was that throughout the years he could have all the porn he wanted and what's more, he went to the effort to protect his activities from me. As far as I was concerned he was getting his "needs" met elsewhere.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it