He Doesn't Think He Has A Problem . . .

Submitted by SurprisedFiance on
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After 4 weeks of using Webwatchers to record activity on our family computer, I learned that my fiance (age 37) who "never, ever masterbates and can't remember the last time I watched porn" was averaging PMO 5 times per week. We have been together over 4 years, and our sex is amazing, with a frequency of 4 - 5 times per week. This was a complete shock to me, especially given how direct and unnecessary the lying was - unnecessary because I am very open-minded sexually. We use to watch porn together occassionally, we have our favorite stripper at an all-nude club, have had threesomes, etc. He admits to around 3 years of this - he doesn't know exactly how long. Sometimes he does it twice per day, and there were times he knew I'd be available within 20 minutes but instead chose to PMO and be in bed before I'd get back home. Anyway...we are where we are now and he knows that I know. He is very determined to make the relationship work, and while he has given up porn 100% (over 2 weeks now), he is struggling with the MO. He hasn't done it that I know of (of course, he lies), but has had several urges. While I'm on reuniting and YBOP, he's researching the medical sites that of course say MO once per day is not a problem. He wants someone to give him an EXACT number of how many times per week is "normal" and "ok". His regular therapist is working to find someone locally that specializes at least somewhat in this addiction area. His testosterone is being tested soon, etc. He firmly believes that because he only accessed porn to masterbate (averaged 6 minutes per session), and didn't spend hours per day on it, he was/is not addicted to porn. Not to mention that he has given it up now and hasn't yet found himself in the fetal position. But let me say this...since I've known him he would have an occassional panic/anxiety attack (started about 10 years ago)once every 15 -18 months. He had one last Saturday and one again today. He thinks it's because he just went back on his Paxil, from what I've read on here, I believe it's a reaction to the "cold turkey". He has never had them at this frequency. Does anyone have any opinions/experiences I can share with him that might get us both on the "right track" here?

Missing something?

Your fiance is lucky to have such an open-winded partner. Threesomes? Nice.
I might be missing something, but why is your fiance not allowed to MO? He has given up P, and I thought there was general agreement that MO without P is OK. Is it not okay with you? If you're having amazing sex, I assume he is not having ED issues, so I'm not sure what the problem is.

Thanks, Batman. I'm not sure

Thanks, Batman. I'm not sure about the MO - is it ok? And at that frequency? From what I've read on here, my thought is that if he is addicted to porn, he should maybe stop everything - at least while rebooting. I would not mind MO every now and then, but not when I am available. No ED issues YET, but I'd rather be proactive and avoid it from happening vs. dealing with it because he continues to masterbate too much. What do you think? P.S. We had two threesomes, mistakenly with people we know - not a good idea Wink

Some Red Flags

Hi. Welcome to the site.

I agree with Batman. Fiance is pretty lucky to have someone open-minded and committed enough to work through a PMO habit and reach out and seek help on his behalf.

Some red flags went off when I read your post.

Paxil. If he's on Paxil, he is on his way to sexual dysfunction, PMO or no PMO.

I was on Paxil/Zoloft for 13 years and I saw the whole range of sexual side effects first hand. At first it was being able to have sex for hours before I orgasmed. Then it was not being able to orgasm without some intense "supplementation" (enter porn). Finally, impotence.

So the fact that he is taking a SSRI will only complicate things in relation to porn and masturbation. A terrible mix.

It's worth exploring other treatments for his anxiety as soon as possible and definitely worth getting off of them as soon as realistically possible.

Also, the fact that he is turning to the (clueless) medical mainstream for counsel about masturbation reveals a deeper denial about his issue.

I'm no doctor, but I have the answer to his question.

If he has a beautiful, sexually permissive, sexually adventurous, open-minded. loving fiance with whom he can have amazing sex any time, the EXACT number of times per week that is "normal" and "ok" to masturbate is ZERO.

My RX reads: "Are you fucking serious? Use some common sense, dude."

The only thing driving him to masturbate is a compulsion based on an imbalance in the brain. If you're new to this site, it might sound like militant dogma, but no one here is out on a mission to rid the world of masturbation (or porn).

The goal is re-balancing brains that have been damaged by excessive exposure to porn and depleted by excessive ejaculation so that we can experience the joy of real intimacy again.

It seems like there's a new influx of worried girlfriends, wives coming here to find information that will help boyfriends...who are all in denial.

I admire you a lot for trying to help your man. My sincere hope is that the two of you work things out.

I don't know if this helped. I hope it adds something productive to the dialogue you're currently trying to have with your fiance. Thanks for your bravery to ask for help with this.

Good luck.

Huge Help

Free - thank you so much for taking the time to reply. Much of what you say is helpful, and some leaves me with more questions. He has been on Paxil for probably 10 years, when this issue "blew" 2+ weeks ago, we discovered that in the past year he had only filled his prescription 4 times - so the same as not even being on it, well below the theraputic range. From the standpoint of just general "getting along" - I will say that this past year has been the roughest, not really bad, just noticely different. From what I read, P and M are both depressants and he was not taking his anti-depressant. 3 strikes there! If he stops with the PMO, and therefore it's not mixing with the Paxil - is it ok to stay with the Paxil? Wait - reviewed your reply, you're saying it will cause issues regardless, right? Right now he can go "forever" - as long as I want/need him to, but as soon as I give the ok, he then takes maybe 10 minutes. Maybe the porn step is identical to yours. Step three - impotence??? Please continue helping...I'm not sure how to go about replacing the Paxil. The medical community will not help with that of course. Any ideas??? Thank you again!

Your sweetheart

can save himself a trip to the doctor. Doctors are trained to say there is no such thing as too much masturbation...even when someone masturbates his way into sexual performance problems. His need for porn and his ability "to go forever" could  be signs of desensitization.

But here's the bottom line: If he doesn't see a problem, he's not going to change his behavior. You can't do it for him. You will push him into lying.

Porn is not sex. A porn addiction is not a sex addiction. Sex is 3-D. Porn addiction is a pixel+novelty addiction. And the cravings it sets up are not true libido. I don't know if he is an addict, but he can consider the symptoms in this post...so he knows what to watch for: Are You Hooked on Porn? Ask ASAM

All the best!

Thanks Marnia...I do not

Thanks Marnia...I do not believe he is a sex addict, but I do believe he has a PMO addiction based on everything I've read on your site. He has watched Gary's power-point presetations with me, and does believe the brain can be changed, etc. The problem is that he does not believe HE "was" addicted since he has apparently been doing this for at least three years and has had no significant negative reaction after nearly 3 weeks off porn. But again, he had a panic attack twice in 8 days - very unsual for him. He is OCD (as well as ADD), so he needs "black & white" proof, which I know we can't give him . . . so frustrating! But this site is absolutely phenomenal! One thing I've learned that I didn't plan on - it is shocking how many very young men are suffering with this. It seems that my daughters will likely be dealing with "desensitized" mates to a much greater extent that I am unless something changes fast in our society - which I do not see happening. But one problem at a time for me I guess...thank you again!

I agree that your

daughters are definitely going to be dealing with this issue, perhaps firsthand. Females, too, can desensitize their brains: Vibrators and Other Pleasures: When 'Moderation' Fails

Not sure if this will persuade your guy, but here are self-reports of guys struggling with withdrawal. WITHDRAWAL

And remember...you don't have to be an addict to be experiencing related brain changes. It's a slippery slope. People become addicts gradually. That's why we all need to know the symptoms and signs of desensitization and so forth. Easier to nip the problem in the bud at the start than down the road.

Other red flags

include the fact that you used a program to spy on your fiance's computer use. I'm no therapist, but doesn't that speak to trust/control issues? Also you say you don't want him to masturbate when you're "available". Lots of couples have healthy sex lives but still float their own boats once in a while - it's not a zero-sum game. (To be clear, I'm talking about MO without P). Just my non-expert observations and opinion.

Please re-read my post - it

Please re-read my post - it is a shared family computer, not my fiance's computer. The only member of this 8-person blended family that has their own computer is my 18-year-old college-student son. The reason I started using the program is because my 14-year-old daughter's first high-school crush (private Lutheran high school, btw) happened to be on a 15-year-old young man that was having very inappropriate conversations with her via a facebook account that she created without my knowledge. I had the password to her "normal" facebook account, which is (in my opinion) responsible parenting. Her father was letting this boy come visit her on his weekends, despite knowing that the boy told my daughter they could never officially date because he was use to having sex and she didn't want to. So he would not date her, yet on facebook chat was begging her to skype with him topless, give him blowjobs after school, and much much more. This is a girl that til then had only watched several PG-13 movies - she had now been exposed verbally to what many see on Pornhub, and I'm not exaggerating. This was discovered when she inadvertantly left her secret facebook account logged in on the family computer. Let's just say that dad is now more focused on parenting . . . So, yes, I could be called controlling by some, and I'm ok with that. This experience reminded me that children are much more savy than we give them credit for, and knowing the dangers of ANYTHING online (not just porn), I downloaded a free one-week trial from work the day after this all blew. And before I got home at 5:00 P.M I realized I had another problem on my hands!! So, as you can see, there is often much more to a story that really isn't relevant to the question being discussed (does he have a problem?), but that I don't mind explaining when someone is taking time out of their day to try to "help" me find an answer. As far as "trust" - yep, that is an issue - a big one! While I gathered data for a month in order to gage the extent of his problem - I came up with clever ways to ask questions (example: while watching Whitney Cummings stand up routine "Money Shot"). And everytime he said "I can't tell you the last time I watched porn" or "I can't tell you the last time I masturbated, I don't need to...". Anyway, I do appreciate observations and opinions, that's why I'm on here. Including his therapist, no one thus far has been able to understand why he needs to float his own boat 5 times per week when we have what he also describes as amazing sex AT LEAST 5 times per week, probably more like 7 on average. The only reason I would not want him to do it once in awhile is if that would pose a problem with his "rebooting" if he in fact does have an addiction - either to porn and/or to MO. If he needs to reboot and is successful at it, then I could care less if he does it at a "normal, non-damaging" rate - but as far as what I've read, that rate is yet to be defined. But to clarify, if I am available AND willing and he chooses to have sex with himself - that is not ok! That's just how I feel about it . . . I am navigating unchartered waters and I do appreciate everyone's opinions and thoughts, even if I do not agree with them. So thank you for taking the time to read, and especially the time to respond. I would love to hear more about your story - how long have you been a member on this site? Do you have your own blog, etc?

I apologize for jumping to

I apologize for jumping to that conclusion about your motivations for computer monitoring. I also hope I never have a teenage daughter! Must be incredibly stressful right now.

I just joined a few days ago. I think anyone can see my first blog post (which now strikes me as dry and mechanical yet uncomfortably explicit and forthright) by clicking on my name.

O is highly addictive

Why does a drug addict want more of his drug even though he gets a daily shot? Given that orgasm is as addictive as heroin, the question is who isn't addicted?

I only realised what a grip orgasm had on me when I tried to quit. Many addicts say they are not addicted and they can quit any day. The decision to quit has to come from him. I cannot imagine going through this process just because someone told me to, though some people may be able to pull it off.

I agree with

all of your points...he seems to be on board that porn can damage the brain - he buys into that, and has quit porn. However, for him porn is the ONLY demon here and he has ALREADY successfully banished it (3 weeks in - you gotta appreciate his confidence anyway!). He doesn't really deal with this much at all except in our counseling sessions, and any time he does spend on it (even in therapy) is trying to find that elusive magic number of how many times per week he can MO without it causing a problem...translation, how many will I "approve of" if he can find support for it? Thing is, I am smart enough to know that he will do it ever how often he wants (or "needs" is probably the better word choice)and I will not even know...and I believe that continuing to do it let's say twice a week because someone with "authority" says it's normal and healthy - will lead him back to his old ways of 5-6 times per week. So I will NOT be signing the "permission slip" regardless of the credentials behind it. I'm just not. So he is either going to have to get the help he needs, or lie to me - eventually will get caught, and back to square one. Not going to ride that merry-go-round.

Hey SF

I am glad my post was helpful in some way. Reading your questions, I wish I could be more of a help.

You are right about the 3 strikes. Realize that it works in the inverse too. The idea is that by eliminating porn and excessive ejaculation (porn permanently and masturbation temporarily), his brain will normalize and with it, his moods and anxiety spells. Eventually, he can maintain a healthy mental/emotional without the meds. I say this because he obviously can function without high doses already. It seems like a crutch for him. If I could get off after 13 years, I know he can.

Here's a documentary you might want to check out and introduce him to:


I am not an expert in recovery; my struggle to quit PMO continues, but I have experienced small miracles in my mood and outlook in just a few weeks away from PMO, and I know he (and you!) will benefit if he stays PMO free for long enough.

When the porn and compulsive masturbation is under control, a healthy lifestyle (exercise, meditation, lots of bonding behaviors a la Karezza style lovemaking) will be how you replace Paxil.

Marnia is right. As committed as you are to figuring this out, he has to be the one to put in the effort.

If I was planning to lead a long, happy life with a woman, fixing this would be THE priority before we got married.

Good luck! I hope you guys get through this.

Thank You Again . . .

. . . for the input. I really, really appreciate your time. I watched the clip and will watch the full documentary with my fiance this weekend. If the healthy lifestyle can replace his Paxil, he will be on board - Kevin Trudeau's book is his favorite. He is commited to the relationship, but wants to believe he does not have a problem. I know Marnia IS right, I just fear that he won't be able to get there on his own. And by there I mean "admitting the problem" - or at least the extent of it. The night this was all revealed, he immediately said he would give up the porn (and has to my knowledge), but kept repeating how he has been taught his whole life that masturbating is normal, healthy, etc. And rather than agreeing to give up MO, he is on this quest to find out how often he can do it without damaging "us". He says he has not done it since this all came out, however I do know this is one thing he will lie about. Although given his two unlikely panic attacks a week apart, I think he just might be telling the truth. And in 3 weeks I have noticed a difference in him, but I'm not sure if it's the lack of PMO, the Paxil taking effect again, or both. . . but I like it! How far along are you in the process? I wish he would take the initiative to educate himself as you have . . .

Not sure if these would be of interest,

but as I listened to the men here talk, it made me dig around to learn more about masturbation. That has resulted in these posts:

Ejaculation: How Often for Good Health?



 Masturbation, Fantasy and Captivity



WEIRD Masturbation Habits



Today’s ejaculation advice may be wrong for our species


Hi again.

He has been taught his whole life that masturbating is normal. So was I. We were taught wrong.

Turning to mainstream medicine, mainstream education, or pop culture for the truth has not always yielded good results.


Excessive and compulsive masturbation is not normal or healthy. And his obsession with looking for a pink slip that will allow him to continue to masturbate while he has a willing partner is proof that he needs to examine his attachment to masturbation in a new light.

I educated myself because I had no choice. After decades of PMO addiction and self damage, I was impotent, heartbroked from a failed relationship, and suicidal.

I found this site and YourBrainOnPorn about a year ago. Since then, my life has been one failed PMO reboot after another. Some longer than others. But I am empowered by the scientific data I found on YBOP, supported by the amazing people on this site, and I know what I have to do.

Since the start of this year, I've been doing okay and hope to finally heal myself of this curse. Thanks for asking.

Please refer to the links Marnia provided. The information I discovered on this site and YBOP has changed my life.

I am glad you are noticing a nice difference in your fiance lately. Hopefully it is a sign of better days to come.

Take care.

I so appreciate

your candor and knowledge. What you write is exactly how I feel...but a "peer" clearly offers validity that a mere disgruntled partner cannot. Now if I can just get him to read it!

Thanks for the link. Imagine

Thanks for the link. Imagine if we all just stopped taking any drugs...talk about a revolution. Massive economic sectors would collapse. There are perhaps no safe drugs. The brainwashing and greed is deep. Researchers might even believe what they are claiming. It all plays into psychosomatic illness, which tracks in-vogue conditions and spreads in the same way as epidemics. A person's mindbody can become ill from the professionals telling them they are ill. There is something to the old "suck it up" and focus on the fundamental needs approach because there is nothing wrong with you.

Patents, economic desperation, etc. combine with the government's insistence that we need all this super-medicine. It's a game of control. Non-drugged people are much harder to control. It's difficult to persuade someone on these drugs to consider that they don't need these drugs, especially compared to persuading them that they need another drug or something else from the global marketplace. Drug users’ exacerbated problems spill over onto those that are not using drugs. I’m sure those surviving family members had “disorders.” And politicians wonder why America is falling behind.

Doctors, et al. are often sellouts like just about everyone else. It’s not only psychiatrists. Experts get much more respect than they have earned. Until that changes, I don't see a solution. Appealing to authority is a failed model. Law hasn’t kept up. It’s just another authority pretending to provide after-the-fact protection so we don’t need our own knowledge. Informed consent is not adequately documented in many cases and fails to consider manipulation by doctors. A doctor would make much less if he spent the time to fully teach every patient. Brainwashing runs so deep such that it’s normal to use pills at the slightest twinge . . . using these pills is a natural progression.

Only the US and New Zealand (among Western countries) allow direct to consumer TV drug ads. I’ve never asked a doctor about a drug from TV. If I ask about things like nutrition, they have no clue what to tell me. Did they ever wonder about anything or were they too busy cramming in more science than they need for their specialist job?

Maybe this will break when we accept that everyone is defective. That’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

It’s sick that one has to educate children to know that they should and how to say no to such screenings. It’s a bit like the sterilization laws or ability to commit people that fell by the wayside when sense prevailed. I’ve not really researched vaccination. This makes me wonder. I probably will when the time comes for childhood vaccines. Nancy Reagan says “Just say no.” Big pharma isn’t exempt from that rationale. Has anyone noticed how this saying has almost disappeared?

Perhaps we might be more mindful about using OCD/HOCD here. We don’t want to encourage anyone to run to a psychiatrist. Maybe we should rename HOCD.

A major negative to this nonsense is that it keeps good people from becoming doctors and real science from happening. Einstein did his most notable work in the Swiss patent office and not in the university halls that he later walked. He might not have done that same early work in a university environment.

don't know if this will help

I have been on the other side of this. I masturbated to porn and my wife never knew. She knew I masturbated, I suppose, but she didn't care (and doesn't care) and never gave it much thought. I don't think she cared much about the porn either, although probably more out of ignorance than anything else.

I wasn't into video porn, but written story erotica type porn. But I never thought it was a problem until recently. My whole life I've functioned okay sexually but I would say it hasn't been great, and I've had occasional ED, and I think it is all related to porn now that I have thought about it and read up here.

My wife still doesn't care but I take full responsibility for my own issues and on my own I stopped all masturbation and all porn use. Also started Karezza with my wife. It has been really wonderful. But the point is, I took full ownership of this, and my partner did not nor did I ask her to.

I think any real change has to come from him, I guess is what I'm saying. I have experiencd being the "pressuring partner" in this and it can sometimes backfire on me and I've had to learn to really lighten up and just let my partner have their space with things. I'm doing that now with Karezza and my partner, letting her have her space and trying not to impose my wants and needs and values on her. It's tough but it's far better than the other way, the controlling and needy way, which comes all too easily to me.