I’ve never written a reply to something like this but this is so incredibly true and important I really wanted to say something.
Being a woman who has fallen into this trap for the majority of my 31 years of being sexually active and having one boyfriend and one ex husband who were porn addicts, I feel like I have the life experience to confirm everything you’ve written. What I’d really like to thank you for, however, is the eye opening perspective you’ve given me.
I have four children (well, all but one are legally adults now) and two are boys. I’ve raised my sons being very open, honest, and encouraging discussion about any topic with me and I’m very proud of them for doing just that. Both had the inevitable experience of getting “busted” looking at porn that prompted my porn speech. Probably not the typical port speech a boy gets from his mom.
Sex is extremely important in a relationship for many reasons. Men and women each have different reasons for the most part but regardless, it’s vital to a healthy relationship. For me, and I think many women, it’s the closeness and intimacy. I’ll comment later how what you’ve written enlightened me around that last statement. I’ve told my sons this and told them that porn may seem harmless but it’s changing their perception and it desensitizes them. You see a pair of boobs so many times and so casually and the scripted sexual encounters that it becomes the norm. It’s nothing special anymore. Just seeing a woman’s body doesn’t have the impact it should when they do this in real life because they’ve seen it so many times before. But worse than that, it gives men the wrong expectation of what sex is, could, and should be. I focused on what damage it could do to them as far as feeling like they were getting the short end of the stick when it came to size or performance or what most women are really like. It could lead to disappointment and doubting themselves. And even worse than that, if they’re in a relationship with someone, that person will always feel like they aren’t enough to satisfy them so they have to look elsewhere to be completely satisfied.
I was in “mom mode” during these talks and trying to protect my sons but you made me think about something I hadn’t. The part about them not learning real cues for pleasure vs acting just to please someone. Sadly, that happens in the real world too, not just in porn for the very reasons you mentioned. Women somehow learn that making sure a man is pleased and happy in bed is far more important than their own pleasure.
As I mentioned, I’ve fallen into that very trap and to some extent will always live there. It’s not just in my sexual life but in my life in general. I want to make people happy no matter what I want or feel. I’ve been called a “pleaser” and of course I like making people happy but after a lifetime of that, with no one ever reciprocating, you start to feel some resentment. You wonder at what point is someone going to ask what you want and soon realize that they may not. If you’re in the right relationship, that healthy relationship I mentioned before, you’re comfortable enough to discuss what you want. You’ll be listened to and allowed to be pleased. I’ve met my share of men who claimed they were “pleasers” but I can say that every pleaser I’ve met had no problem taking the role of the pleased without even being asked.
After reading what you’ve written, that closeness and intimacy I referred to before feels different. I have to be more careful to not confuse that and extract some closeness and intimacy out of making sure my partner is being pleased, if that makes any sense. If that happens, I’m not really getting what I need — I’m pretending, yet again, to get what I want out of doing what makes someone else happy.
At almost 47 years of age I still don’t have it figured out. I still lapse into “pleaser” mode and forget that I deserve to get what I need and want as much as anyone else.
So thank you again. I hope people read what you’ve written and at least stop and think about it and discuss it in their relationships. As natural of an act as sex is, it can also be the most awkward and uncomfortable topic to discuss but it’s only when you get brutally honest and talk about it that you have the most amazing experiences. You don’t see much discussion taking place in porn.