By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS
An article in the popular magazine Women’s Health outlined three reasons why couples should watch pornography together. Obviously, the writers and editors of Women’s Health don’t have a lot of experience in seeing how couples who watch pornography together can quickly see the erosion of their relationships.
Carla and Jonah started counseling after she found sexually graphic text messages that he had been sending to women he met in chat rooms. He would later confess to her that he had had online sexual encounters with three different women in which he would masturbate while reading the erotic text they exchanged back and forward.
Carla was devastated and rightfully, so felt betrayed and humiliated. She could not understand how Jonah would need to engage in such activities especially since they had an active sex life that included watching pornography together on a regular basis. What she did not realize was she was enabling his sexual addiction by condoning the use of pornography.
Abusing sex with activities such as pornography provides a level of stimulation for men that they don’t achieve with their partner. Therefore, in order to heighten sexual intimacy between a man and a woman, there should be no outside stimulus that interferes with the natural bond that God designed.
Getting back to the Women’s Health article, the first reason for encouraging couples to watch porn together is, so the male partner doesn’t have to hide his addiction. I could not agree more. Men should not be hiding their pornography addiction, but instead, they should be encouraged to bring it out of the darkness and into the light. And once in the light, they can see pornography serves as a distraction from emotional distress they are suppressing.
A woman who discovers her husband has been secretly watching pornography and agrees to start viewing it with him immediately raises a red flag for me. There is one of two things going on with that woman. Either she is afraid that telling him she doesn’t want him watching porn will drive him away from her, or she has suffered from emotional and/or physical trauma in the past that has left her seeing nothing wrong with women being used and humiliated. Each time she watches pornography with her partner, another small piece of her dignity is stripped away.
Reason number two given for couples to view porn is “it can turn you on big time.” They are right pornography is designed to mentally and physically stimulate people. However, the point being overlooked is people are designed to stimulate people. Individuals who build a relationship based on true emotional intimacy discover they also have a strong physical attraction for each other. This is a natural response God designed for us to experience.
“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” Proverbs 5:18-19
It is your wife’s breasts that should satisfy you and not looking at another woman’s breasts. There is something very strange about the concept of preferring to watch a woman on video while you are in the presence of a real one. Basically, what this says is the emotional bond between those couples is not fully attached. And over time the likelihood of further emotional separation is extremely high.
According to Women’s Health, the final reason for couples to watch pornography together is it will “inspire you to speak up in bed.” Basically, couples are being told they need outside stimuli in their relationship in order to have the courage to discuss sex. But again, if a couple is struggling in communicating to each other their sexual needs and desires, it is most likely a sign they struggling with their communication in other areas of their relationship.
Pornography-sex lacks genuine connection. It is not possible to be entirely focused on your partner if you are engaging in pornography. And if a couple is not engaged with each other in the bedroom there is a very strong chance they are not fully connected outside of the bedroom. Instead of bringing pornography into your bedroom consider bringing God into your marriage.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
Introducing God to your marriage will open your eyes to a new way of connecting with each other, both emotionally and physically. There will be no need for the three-ring circus in the bedroom, but instead, you will find gratification and wholeness in each other.
Couples and pornography simply don’t mix. Just ask someone like Carla.
Eddie Capparucci is a licensed, Christian counselor with a private practice in Marietta, GA, and he specializes in the treatment of sexual and pornography addiction. You can see more of his writing at www.SexuallyPureMen.com. His latest book, “Going Deeper: How the Inner Child Impacts Your Sexual Addiction” will be released in February 2020.