Is my habit wrong?
Trying to not get overly detailed or long-winded…
I am a Christian, male, in my thirties, married to an amazing woman.
When I was younger I was really into porn. I preferred amateur video and audio porn. I would imagine that the women, who (in the videos at least) were very attractive and outside of my league, were interacting with and excited about me. I began to want to post pornographic videos and/or audio files of myself with the fantasy that some hot woman would view these and admire me sexually. I (thankfully) never did this. However, I did film myself and make audio recordings while… doing stuff. I would watch / listen to these and fantasize that I had posted them and this is what some girl was seeing and hearing. For me, the thought of being nude and performing sexually for a gorgeous woman, and making her extremely aroused was the biggest turn on.
Long story short, I did kick the porn habit and also deleted the videos and audio files of myself (never posted even one). That was several years before I met my wife.
When I got married, my wife was very laid back about my body, and is not always in the mood for sex, although she is very devoted and I know she loves me.
Often, I feel that her sexual attention is more of a transaction of devotion than an act of passion. There was one instance where she was very passionate, but I am not sure how to recreate that experience.
She also is overweight and does not really take care of herself and try to look her best. She is not very confident in bed or out of it. I wish she could take better care of herself, but I don’t want her to feel I am not satisfied with her.
I sometimes feel sexually bored. She doesn’t initiate often, and although she listens when I talk to her and will give me sex if (she is able) whenever I ask, I’ve not asked very often because it just feels like “duty sex”.
A few times I’ve tried to live out my fantasies by stripping for her (she asked me to please stop cause it was awkward) or mb-ing in front of her (she looked like she was just watching out of duty and not out of genuine interest – and when I was done, she said “that felt awkward”).
With that said, I’ve started recording videos of myself again, being sexual alone in the house while she isn’t home or is sleeping. I still haven’t posted any of these (trust me, if the fear of actually doing something like this was bad as a college student, it’s worse now — I don’t want to ruin my marriage), and I haven’t gotten back into porn either — but I find it to be my most satisfying sexual experience to watch my videos while mb-ing and imagining that someone (I try to imagine my wife, although sometimes I admit I think of an imaginary woman — but not anyone real or anyone I’ve seen) is extremely aroused at my body.
I feel embarrassed but I don’t know what else to do.
Is this outlet okay as long as I don’t post anything and keep it private, or is it a sin, or in any way unhealthy for my marriage?
Although I know my wife loves me, sometimes I wonder if I should have been more concerned during our courtship when she told me she didn’t feel any intense physical feelings of attraction for me, although she did say she loved me and found me handsome.
I just feel like there is no alternative since I can’t magically make my wife feel something she’s not feeling towards me, but I still want to feel sexual fulfillment without crossing any boundary lines that shouldn’t be crossed. I enjoy my habit, it feels safe and does not put a demand on my wife, and so I am more relaxed sexually and can better adapt to her libido and level of interest in intimacy. But I’m just not sure if I may be doing something wrong that may cause problems later.
It sounds like you two need to communicate, even get a third party involved to help if you struggle with it. It’s better to try to correct this now rather than wait until things get worse and become more ingrained habits, and you both get hurt even more.
I do want to praise you for trying to find a way to fulfill this desire with your wife. When I started reading, that was going to be my first suggestion, and then I got to the part where you did try that.
It sounds like your wife needs to grow and find more understanding about sex and about a man’s sexuality, and probably even her own as a woman.
Is she willing to read? There are great books that might help and several Christian blogs around sex and marriage.
Some questions to consider…. how does this activity affect your relationship with Christ? How does this activity affect your relationship with your wife? Does it draw you closer to either or does it seem to put a wedge between you and them?
I personally don’t think that what you are doing is wrong, in and of itself, but it’s the heart behind it that matters. Is your sexual desires mastering you and you’re a slave to them? Is fear &/or passivity keeping you from leading in your marriage, whether it’s leading in uneasy coversations or getting help or even being open and honest with your wife about your needs?
One more idea, my husband leans towards an exhibition desire, which is what I see in what you have shared. There is a book out that is called The Fantasy Fallacy, I can’t recall if it is geared towards men and women or just women, but it talks about finding the root behind our fantasies. There is usualy a heart desire that we are longing for that gets expressed through our fantasies. I would suggest that you check out that book, do some praying and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal what is truly going on, and do some deep soul searching. If you can figure out what drives this desire or need, you can then heal from it, or find understanding on how to deal with it in a holy and more constructive way. Don’t just treat the symptom, take care of the root.
I think you are on a path that will lead you back to porn. Cherish your wife. Find out about her needs and her feelings (you’ll find great information on this forum to help with that) and work on communication with her. You can improve intimacy with your wife. Start by meeting her needs and make her feel loved and valued. Also remember to pray your way through this.
Thanks to all of you for your answers… I have a lot to think and to pray about. I also just read a post called something like “Obstacles to Intimacy for Women” and the questions and answers seemed to be describing my wife exactly. I am moved to tears. Glad the Lord brought me to this forum.
I have a lot of praying and seeking the Lord to do, but I feel I am beginning to see things from my wife’s perspective, rather than just my own.
Thanks for sharing your struggle. It is a complex one. More than give you answers, I have a few questions.
How can you help your DW feel loved and appreciated for who she is?
What can you do to enable her to love herself and be comfortable in her own skin?
In what ways can you “sacrifice” your sexual desires or at least “fast” for a while in order focus on the other aspects of a healthy marriage relationship? Perhaps you are doing this and only shared with us the part that isn’t going so well.
But I’m concerned that this aspect of the relationship is pretty major for you and then in a negative way, for her too. I don’t think your videos and fantasies will help. Instead they might be revving up your sexual desires and expectations of your wife to unattainable levels.