Dating Vs. Porn Addiction

Alex Robboy, CAS, MSW, LCSW
Individual, Couples & Family Therapy
IMAGO Certified Marriage Counselor
AASECT Certified Sex Therapist Supervisor
Founder & Director of the Center for Growth Inc.

Posted by: Alex Robboy
CAS, MSW, LCSW Individual, Couples & Family Therapy IMAGO Certified Marriage Counselor AASECT Certified Sex Therapist Supervisor Founder & Director of the Center for Growth Inc.
267-324-9564

Dating VS Porn Addiction: For many people, using porn is a component of their overall dating behavior and repertoire.  For some, however, that relationship with porn turns into an addiction and these individuals begin a relationship with porn rather than a dating relationship.  Many become “stuck” and are essentially more comfortable “dating porn” than being intimate with a real person. If you feel like intimacy is more rewarding with porn than with your partner (ie girlfriend, or lover) assessing how your behavior and is contributing to the relationship problem is useful.   Frequently the lack of forward movement in a dating relationship (or marriage) may be an early sign of an emerging porn addiction. This article is designed to help you emotionally explore your dating relationship(s) and evaluate the healthiness of your relationship with porn. In what ways is your relationship with porn helping or hindering your “real” relationship(s).

To help you assess your own relationship with porn we have put together a list of questions to answer.  You will focus on things such as how long you have been using porn, what it means to you, how it fits into your overall values system, what need is it filling, and what difficulties do you feel you are experiencing with dating due to using pornography. To develop a clear understanding of your relationship with porn, it is necessary that you are honest in your answers to the questions.  Some questions may be challenging to answer and may require a slight amount of rewording on your end to have the actual question make sense or the questions may automatically bring up a range of feelings that you have been trying to avoid for some time.  The myriad of feelings are normal and healthy, as long as you commit to thinking about each question openly and honestly.  However, do not over analyze the questions.  Go with what you gut tells you is the honest answer. Be as straight forward as possible.  Remember, this article on dating and porn addiction is designed to help you evaluate where you stand with your relationship with porn and dating.  After you have accurately assessed your situation you will be in a better place to decide upon a plan of action.  No one knows the “right way to life.”  There is only your way.  Only you know what feels good to you.  Remember, no one is passing judgment on you accept yourself.  Our hope is to help you derive the most sexual pleasure possible and lead a healthy sexual life.  It is only you that has the power to direct your future.  Our job is to help you make the best decision for yourself. We hope you enjoy our sexual assessment tools!

Evaluating your relationship with porn.

  •  Does your dating life suffer because of your use of porn? 
  • Does your dating life suffer because of your use of sexual fantasies?  (Sexual fantasies include thinking about a positive experience you had with your wife, or someone you dated in the past, or some sexual image you remember from online or even simply your imagination. Sexual fantasy is anything not truly happening).
  • Are you able to orgasm from masturbation without the use of sexual fantasies? In other words, can you orgasm and be completely in your body.
  • Are you able to orgasm from sex with a lover without the use of sexual fantasies?
  • Are you more comfortable with sexual fantasies, sexual images than you are with your girlfriend or boyfriend?
  • Have previous relationships ended because of your use of porn / sexual fantasies?
  • Do you feel like you’re spending excessive time, energy and money on porn?
  • If you stopped all usage of sexual fantasies for a day, week, month, year, how much extra time would you have saved?
  • Do you want to scale back your usage of sexual fantasies, but feel like it’s not possible to enjoy yourself sexually without it?
  • In what way does using sexual fantasies or porn fit into your values system?
  • Do you use porn or sexual fantasies in your head with your girlfriend or boyfriend?
  • Who in your world uses sexual fantasies in their head for sexual excitement? Your parents? Friends? Peers?
  • How does using porn or daydreaming about sex with your wife fit into your model of healthy sexuality?
  • What is one of your earliest memories of using sexual fantasies to become sexually excited?
  • How do you feel about this memory?
  • How do you feel about your most recent memory of using sexual fantasy to become sexually aroused?
  • Who have you shared your sexual fantasies with?
  • How did you begin using porn?
  • Do you rely on porn for sexual excitement?
  • What happens when you masturbate without porn? Which is better?
  • How long have you been using porn? Who knows about your history with porn?
  • Describe your early sexual experiences?
  • Where there any patterns?
  • In what ways have you sexually matured?
  • In what ways do you feel sexually stunted?  Or at least have not been developed in the way that your friends have developed skills in.
  • What emotions do you associate with your early sexual experiences?
  • And now what emotions do you associate with your sexual experiences?
  • How long have you been in a “relationship” with sexual fantasies (including those of your wife) and / or porn?
  • How much time and effort are your putting into your relationship with porn?
  • Which needs are being met with porn?
  • What needs are being met with your girlfriend or boyfriend?
  • Describe the kinds of impressions your friends and potential partners have about you and your sexuality? What information are they privy too?  
  • What information is kept private? If there is a distinction between what you do, and what others know about you sexually, how does that keep you safe?
  • Do you feel ashamed, guilty, or remorseful after looking at porn or using sexual fantasy that is completely manufactured in your head?
  • How do you make sense of the feelings that do come up?
  • What do you get out of porn emotionally, physically, and socially?
  • What is your comfort zone with porn? Are all kinds of pornography created equal (child pornography, sex with old people, masturbation, group sex, snuff films, sex with animals, sex amongst fat people, bi-racial sex)?
  • Who should be using porn? At what age?
  • How many hours a week of porn is acceptable? Healthy?
  • How many hours a week of porn do you want your lover to use?
  • How many hours a week of sex with your lover is desirable? Healthy?
  • Should porn be kept private and done alone? With friends? In a group? With a spouse?
  • What sexual behaviors are outside your comfort zone?
  • Are you replacing a relationship with a real person for one with someone on screen?
  • Have you felt disappointed by potential partners because they haven’t lived up to your sexual expectations?
  • Is porn part of your sexual relationship?
  • What is attractive about watching porn?
  • What is unattractive?
  • What do you feel like you are missing from porn?

 

Evaluating your dating relationships.

 

  • Is your relationship fabulous? If so, in what ways does this relationship meet your needs?
  • Do you feel like you are missing out?
  • Are your friends in relationships and you’re not?
  • Do you long to have someone special to share your life with?
  • What is your time spent with porn to dating ratio?
  • What do you get out of dating physically, emotionally, and socially?
  • What have your dating experiences been like overall?
  • Do you have a positive or negative connotation of dating?
  • What are you afraid of about dating?
  • What are you enjoying about dating?
  • What types of dating situations have you been exposed to already: single dates, group dates, online dating, blind dates etc.?
  • Do you feel pressure to date, marry, and start a family?
  • Do you wish to delay that stage of your life?
  • What has caused your past relationships to fail?
  • Are you currently in a relationship?
  • Do you feel like you have failed at dating in the past?
  • In what ways would you desscribe yourself as a sucessful dater? 
  • In regards to intimacy, what has been consistently with all or at least most of your dating partners?
  • Are you confused by society’s dating conventions?
  • What parts of society's dating conventions resignate with you? How has it helped you become the best you possible? 
  • Do you feel like a worthy partner? In what ways?
  • What do you have to offer a short-term girlfriend / boyfriend?
  • What do you have to offer a long-term partner?
  • What do you want from a long term partner?
  • What have you learned from your previous relationships? Or current relationship?
  •  Have you found someone who had the qualities you are looking for?
  • How does porn fit into your view of dating in the short term or long term?
  • Are you satisfied with your sexual relationship with your girlfriend / boyfriend? 
  • Which sexual needs does she or he meet?
  • What needs are not being met in this relationship?
  • What needs are being met? 
  • What has stopped you from becoming engaged to this person?

Take some time and reflect on your answers. In what ways do you see porn helping your sexual relationship evolve with your partner? In what ways do you see porn stunting the sexual growth between the two of you?  Can you share your answers with your date?  If not, why not? Isn’t she / he the person that should know this side of you? What makes your uncomfortable, ashamed, embarrassed, or sad about your answers? 

 

Need someone to talk with.   Help is available. Call 267-324-9564 to speak with a sex therapist in Philadelphia today.