Friends who view porn?

Submitted by Celeste on
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Do you have any friends who look at porn? It seems like this site is fairly anti-pornography. Do you feel comfortable maintaining friendships with people who are still into porn or do not see it as wrong? How does this work for you?


I have friends who do use it -

Probably more than I know. Only three persons in recent memory has mentioned it. One guy has mentioned that he only gets it from a site that's like netflix, he pays a fee. This guys wife is a writer, and her books/short stories have explicit sex scenes in them (I've read them, and her work is excellent.). She's still my favorite female person on this planet. One of their best friends (an acquaintance of mine) regularly visits strip clubs. Now that I think about it, there are more folks, and honestly, and they are all adults, and unless they come to me asking for help, it's not my place to judge them.


Goddesses like inspiring men to conquer dragons.

Great question

Most of my male relatives and friends are porn users. I've made some inroads though. My brother has reduced the amount he uses and my sister who also used to look at porn doesn't any more.

As for friends who look at it...there's a difference between "use and abuse" even with porn. On principle I'm anti-porn but I realize there are people out there who have different opinions than I do about it and that doesn't mean I cut them off. That said you might have to judge for yourself just how *much* someone is into it. If I knew someone who was *making* porn (for a profit)...they would be off my list of people to hang with. If I knew someone who was into porn and had porn all over the place that would also be a bit much for me. Most of the people I know who use it, hide it. At least the ones I've actually talked to about it.

I've had some really good conversations with people since quitting. I am also proud that I haven't relapsed for over 30 days and I'm confident that trend will continue for some time.

I'm also glad to hear from you, hope things are well with you.

Not sure that I'd call it anti-pornography

Rather I'd call the site enlightened about pornography.

Even with my past issues, I do not judge people based on their viewing of porn. It would be hypocritical of me to do so since I struggled with it in the past. There are many quality people on this forum struggling with porn and everyone works together to help each other.

All that said, every person gets to determine who to surround themselves with. For instance, I'll admit that I do not have any friends that are smokers. My dad died early of cancer from smoking and my wife is allergic to smoke. That changed my position on smoking radically. Are smokers bad people? No. I just made my own decision on who I associate with.

With porn being so far out of control right now, I actually want to be more involved to help others. Some of the experiences I read on this forum are very difficult and those people need support.

Yeah, I think

Celeste knows we're not necessarily anti-porn...just pro balance.

@ wfk Your support is very helpful.

@ Celeste Do your friends try to get you to watch porn with them?


have to figure the answer to this out for themselves. However, if someone has slipped into an addiction that has rewired his/her brain, chances are he/she will be very vulnerable to related cues for a long time. So this may mean zero porn is the right answer for those folks.

Brains are different

Some people drink daily but don't become alcoholics.

The key in both cases is how the brain morphs (or not) in response to intense stimulation. But it's also true that people can cross that line after a while, even if they seem to have no problems for a long while at first. Talk to your friends in five years.

Many guys here used porn happily for years before they started hitting a wall. Some, for example, didn't recognize any symptoms until after highspeed became available. Or until their use escalated for some reason - such as becoming single again.

Isn't it more complicated than that?

Living in one's head too much and over relying on porn for a sex life isn't good. But can this be overdone? Isn't it a little more complicated than that? What about other aspects? Confidence? Anxiety? Physical/Mental/Emotional health? Stress? Other habits? Opportunity? Like being around compatible prospects? Time? Overdoing porn probably inhibits natural responses, but all of these are going to be factors.

I don't think I am. Sorry

I don't think I am. Sorry if it sounded that way. Are there things that might drive one to too much porn that would be equally as important to consider? I had a time when I felt very out of sync with my circumstances and probably relied on porn and fantasy for an extended period of time, for example. Porn wasn't the answer, but it wasn't the real problem either.

Have you ever read

"Addiction and Grace?" It's a book by a shrink who worked with addicts for years. The first part has a brilliant discussion of how addiction affects the brain.

One of the things he also said is that therapists who discuss issues with addicts instead of helping them stop using (first) are doing their clients a huge disservice. An addict is looking to rationalize his continued use, and if he can discuss things until the cows come home, on the theory that his discomfort (need to use) will magically disappear when he hits upon the perfect "issue" and resolves it, he will.

Meanwhile, the changes in his brain that are causing the cravings, and often many other symptoms in his life, are not getting a chance to heal...because he's still using.

We are not counselors by profession. People come here because they have decided they want to stop using. That is their first priority. When they get their brains back to normal sensitivity, they are well on their way to recovery. Mysteriously, in the process, a lot of their suffering and issues resolve themselves.

That's not to say that they don't have "issues," and some more than others. But they will do a better job of resolving them or doing fruitful work with a therapist if their brains are back in balance and their addiction is in the past.

Of course people are free to discuss most anything here, and that goes for you, too. But first things first, if you know what I mean.

But then why not just say

But then why not just say that porn is generally not healthy for consumption, whether you are addicted or not and irrespective of moral and social issues? In other words, isn't it OK to be "anti-porn" on pure health grounds?

My other point was simply that giving up porn might be a good start for some people, but if the goal is to find someone to have a satisfying relationship, there are a lot of other factors to consider.

We're not

interested in moralizing—or being anti-porn on *any* grounds. We interested in helping people understand how the "harmless" superstimulation of Internet porn can change *some* brains because it has the power to cause addiction processes in the brain. What they do with that information is up to them.

We agree that if the goal is a satisfying relationship, there are other factors. This website is about some of those other factors. But most of our porn using visitors have other priorities than relationships for the moment.