I just found out that my husband is interested in pornography on
the Internet. I was shocked and disgusted; then I lost respect for him. It
has affected our sex life. Is my husband's behavior healthy?
There are two parts to this question: one has to do with whether
pornography is healthy and the other has to do with the nature of the sexual
relationship between you and your husband.
Is pornography healthy? Porn is neither healthy or unhealthy. It is simply
erotic, sexually explicit material that some people find sexually arousing.
Some people use it as a form of stimulation when they do not have a sexual
outlet or fear sexual intercourse because of disease. Others use it as an
adjunct to sexual play with their mate.
Just as with any other activity, the "unhealthy" aspects are not in the
stimulus but in the manner in which the stimulus is used. Alcohol, for
example, is not unhealthy in and of itself. However, compulsive use of
alcohol is unhealthy. The same is true for pornography; if compulsively
pursued in lieu of available, safe sex, there may be a problem. If your
husband prefers cybersex to normal sex with you, there may be a problem in
need of professional help. It may be that your husband is not finding the
sexual relationship satisfying and rather than talking about it, he seeks
Assuming that you are having regular sexual relations with your husband, and
he enjoys cyber-porn, he may be simply adding spice to what he experiences as
dull or ordinary sex. It might be helpful to talk about this with him and
see whether you can spice up your bedroom activities. Some couples have
found pornography a fun and exciting adjunct to their sexual repertoire. It
may be that you and your husband have different attitudes about sex that
could be discussed.
You can read the articles entitled,
Sexuality and Sex Therapy
Making Your Marriage Work
, in our magazine.
Dr. Edward A. Dreyfus is a Clinical Psychologist,
Marriage, Family, Child Therapist, and Sex Therapist. Dr. Dreyfus has been providing
psychological services in the Los Angeles-Santa Monica area for over 30 years.
He offers individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults, divorce mediation,
couples counseling, group therapy, and career and vocational counseling and
assessment.His book, Someone Right For You, is available in the Amazing
Dr. Dreyfus can be reached at: (310) 208-5700.