Is society’s increased acceptance of pornography resulting in women being less free in the marriage bed?
Was listening to an older Sexy Marriage Radio podcast, and a point was made that I found to be interesting. Topic was centering around a wife who felt dirty if she did any position other than missionary. Someone who had dealt with the issue in their marriage commented that the rapid societal acceptance and access increase to pornography was resulting in two different trends across society.
First, increasing percentages of men were more focused on positions other than missionary – almost seeing it as not a good option for sex. Second, increasing percentages of women were feeling like positions other than missionary were in a negative way demeaning.
It seemed the thought was that was true even among couples where pornography was not a first hand issue they dealt with because essentially every couple knows other people who have had negative experiences with pornography impacting their marriage.
If correct, that is almost counter-intuitive. I would think that increasing access and societal acceptance of pornography would normalize what they show and make people as a whole think of the acts depicted as less dirty. Instead, it seem men generalized may be seeing it that way, but women generalized are more seeing it as the acts are not about them as part of a couple but about their partner wanting who he sees in the porn. It was also interesting that the couple in this case was young and newly married, exactly the demographic that has grown up with porn all around them.
What are your thoughts? Is the trend of easy porn creating hang-ups in more couples?
(P.S. This is not an “asking for a friend” question. Porn is not a factor or existing in our marriage.)
I wish I could find that study, but I can’t. My thoughts here are from a woman’s perspective because I only have a generalized understanding of how porn affects men.
My first thought is that the correlation might not imply causation. A lot of trends have increased since the advent of not only the internet, but also smart phones and other web-connected devices. I see major differences in behavior as a result in my profession. Perhaps women are leaning more toward missionary because it’s the position that allows for more eye-to-eye intimacy. We get increasingly less of that kind of contact in our daily interactions, and it stands to reason that we might want it more during sex.
Assuming causation, women are increasingly more vocal about not wanting to be objectified. That attitude is now celebrated among many women, making it easier for us to take a stand than in the past. (See the MeToo movement.) If we feel women are being objectified, we’re less likely to participate. There is a general understanding that porn increasingly depicts violence against women. I understand that is in the eye of the beholder and may not actually be true, based on a couple of studies I saw. However, if there is a perception that men are getting their ideas from something that objectifies women – even indirectly – then I can see how more women would say no to those ideas.
I’ll just speak from my experience. When my husband was using porn, to me that was adultery and I felt betrayed at the deepest level. It made me not want to have sex with my husband at all. Now all of sex seemed violated and tainted.
As healing began to happen, I still didn’t want anything to do with anything “porny”. Engaging in sex was a mental battlefield and I was constantly battling intrusive thoughts of was this something my husband watched another woman do. The farther things got from missionary, the harder it was to engage freely, because it seemed closer to something my husband had watched in porn.
As I continued to heal, I had to face this issue and work out from under it, but it was HARD! It has been 13 years since my husband used porn and there are still times this creeps in and I have to pray and work through it.
Do you know if this among Christians or the general population?
For Christians, I can see it being so because we tend to swing to other side of the pendulum of anything we see as wrong. Porn is a sin, so lets swing to the far otherside of anything depicted in porn because we also must stay away from that, in case we slip into the trap of sin. 🙄
I think the original damage to women being open in the marriage bed is bad teaching. Teaching that sex is bad, sex is from the enemy and the like. Couple that with the way that parents keep their daughters away from boys in an almost fear like state certainly sets them up to fear what God says is good in marriage.
The opposite of this is teaching young women that sex is good in marriage and that it joins them to their husband in an amazing way. The opposite is parents taking the time to get to know the boys and young men that want to be friends with their daughters and carefully navigating it so that their daughters learn what good relationship is like within the safety of controlled activities.
I don’t think any of this on its own has to do with porn necessarily, though the bad teaching sets up the trouble. When a wife doesn’t want to have sex with her husband because porn also contains sex, it is throwing out the good with the bad.
Well said, DoveGrey.
In today’s world, books, movies, and cable television expose us to edgier sex than in decades past. Moreover, the access to visual sexuality – from sex scenes that titillate the imagination to soft porn and full-on pornography – naturally conjures up ideas and desires, particularly for men. God created us to delightfully pursue sexual satisfaction with our spouses. Exploration and experimentation with different ways to be sexually aroused and satisfied are innately given to us by our Creator. Sin has stained what God intended for good.
For example, decades and centuries ago, sex education was learned from the agrarian world. The predominant position for mating mammals is rear entry – cows, horses, rabbits, cats, etc. As a young boy in the late 50s and early 60s that’s how I thought men and women had sex. Even though my mother talked about sex and I grew up in a sex positive home, the terminology didn’t always align with my perception. Believe it or not, for years, I thought that the missionary position was the position that I observed in nature! After all, the males in nature chased the females and the females finally ‘gave in’ to rear entry sex. Missionary equated to submission, in my young mind!
Thankfully, as my young sexually active mind developed and I learned (without pornography) that the primary human position for sexual intercourse was face-to-face. How interesting is that! Could you imagine a naive young virgin man making love to his virgin wife on their honeymoon in the manner of mammalian nature? [We had lost our naivety before that glorious night and became one in the rapturous missionary position!]
My point is that there is nothing sinful in the doggy position any more than the missionary position. The same is true for more edgy sexual activities that are mutually desired and fulfilling. It’s the sin of pornography that has stained the loving acts of mutually gratifying and satisfying sexuality in The Marriage Bed.