My husband and I have been married 30 years with a healthy sex life. But 3 months ago he began with the mobile porn sites from his phone, to the house PC and has since joined a lot of dating sites and casual sex sites. He has always been a great lover and we have had what I thought was awesome sex. We experiment, etc…I am no prude. I was blindsided when I saw his email account. His profiles had him SEPARATED LOOKING FOR FWB, NSA, FOR DISCREET RELATIONSHIP. Far worse was the desperation in his communications with the women he admired. Messaging them from work or home when I was not there.

I have read his profiles and conversations and I am lost. I told him I knew. He states he “got caught up” but I believe he would have gone through with the hook ups if he had any takers. Needless to say, I am devastated, my self-esteem shot. I have tried to give him the best sex of his life, started dressing more sexy, even have a brazillian, but I am 48. Can I really compete with the other women out there? Is my marriage over? Does he really want all those things I already give to him from someone else?

Responses

  • Michael Castleman says:

    The short answer is: I don’t know why your husband has suddenly become infatuated with casual sex sites.

    The longer answer is that he may or may not actually be interested in following through on the ads he posts or answers.

    If he is, his chances of meeting anyone are very slim. The posts from women may or may not be real. Some are just stealth ads for porn sites. Others come from criminals who hope to lure horny guys into secluded spots and rob them. If that happens, I bet he’d reconsider his little hobby. Or if the ads come from real women, zillions of guys reply, and what are his chances of being selected?

    It’s also quite possible that he’s not really interested in following through on hook-ups, that he’s simply engaged in a particularly vivid fantasy. You mention that you’ve been married 30 years, so I’m guessing that he’s over 50. Older men develop two sexual issues–balky erections and trouble with arousal. When these occur, some men decide that sex is over for them–and their wives often write to me in despair. Other men decide that what they need to get turned on and get it up is more vivid fantasies beyond their own imaginations. Some view porn. Others visit casual sex sites.

    You say you can’t compete with the women in porn or on casual sex sites. But you are NOT in competition with them. You’re the real flesh-and-blood woman he loves, the woman he’s been married to for decades. The women in porn and on casual sex sites, they’re fantasies, daydreams, masturbation aides. And in the highly unlikely event that he did meet one face to face, what would they really share? The woman he shares his life with is YOU.

    You can confront him, demand marriage counseling, whatever, and I’m confident he’ll vow that it was just a passing fancy and that it’s over. Then he’ll probably return to it taking more care to make sure it stays secret and you don’t find out.

    Now I sympathize with your distress and your loss of self-esteem. But I also believe in freedom of fantasy, and see no problem with anyone, man or woman, having fantasies of sex with people other than their spouse. In fact, surveys show that sex with someone else is the number one sexual fantasy. I believe that it doesn’t matter where a man gets his appetite as long has he comes home for dinner.

    It’s funny–I never get questions from men asking why their wives read romance novels or see romantic comedy movies or attend concerts by hunky heart-throb guys. Women enjoy fantasies of “others” too, and men don’t seem to mind. But I’ve gotten lots of questions like yours, from women who believe that fantasies by the men in their lives threaten their marriage and their self-esteem. If it’s any comfort, the research shows that in the overwhelming majority of cases, men who view porn or do what your husband is doing love their wives, value their marriages, and have no real intention of stepping out with some surgically enhanced bimbo who loves to prance around naked. The men are just looking for fantasy material, masturbation aides. For more on this, I suggest you read Is My Man a Porn Addict?

    Again, I’m sorry you’re in such distress. But your husband is about as likely to win the lottery as he is to hook up with anyone who advertises on casual sex sites. I’m guessing he’s not even really interested. All he probably wants is vivid fantasy material to help him cope with middle-age sex challenges–balky erection and flagging arousal.

  • albal says:

    Michael , I find it interesting that you offer advice yet say something like you don’t see men complaining about women watching movie stars or reading romantic novels!

    I have heard this argument before and would hope that someone offering advice would be more informed about the LEGITIMATE reasons many many women take issue with porn. I assume you are informed of the latest research by professor Gail Dines that showed 88% of mainstream porn showed some form of violence against women, which included spitting on, slapping and name calling. Or the plethora of research that shows a man’s use of porn negatively impacts his partners self esteem.

    Rather than ignoring or minimizing these facts, it might be helpful to include them so affected women don’t get made to feel wrong for their feelings.

    It’s always amazing to me how pro-porners are all for free speech and anyone’s right to choose what they watch UNTIL a woman stands up and says she wants a relationship without porn. No, I’m not religious and no, I’m not offended by nudity. What I am offended by is a world where everyone is pretending that the majority of porn is not demeaning to women. Women catagorized by body parts whilst often we see overweight middle age men (often faces not shown) having sex with the typical 20 year old porn star.

    When people start talking about the way women are affected by porn they need educated skilled advisers. I truly hope you will consider becoming one as something tells me you can expect many many more letters about this issue from women

  • Michael Castleman says:

    Dear Albal:
    You have every right to your beliefs, but I respectfully disagree. I sympathize with women who feel demeaned by porn, I really do. I also believe they don’t understand that porn is FANTASY. Basically it’s a masturbation aid for men who get bored with their own fantasies.

    Yes, I’m familiar with Gail Dines. In my humble opinion, her anti-porn activism seriously misrepresents x-media. Like other anti-porn activists, she contends that porn contributes to rape. But we’ve been participating in a huge natural experiment that shows the opposite. Until the Internet, around 1997, porn was rather difficult to obtain. But since then, with a billion+ porn pages on the Web, it’s super-easy to obtain. If Ms. Dines and other anti-porn folks are correct that porn contributes to rape, that it demeans women, that it makes men less sensitive to women, then we would expect the rate of sexual assault to have increased after 1997 when porn became so much more readily available. So what actually happened? All credible statistics (FBI, Census) show that sexual assault rates today are significantly LOWER than they were in 1997. In other words, porn does NOT contribute to rape.

    I don’t expect this to alter your view of porn. You’re free to believe whatever you like. I believe that porn is a masturbation aid for men who want new fantasies. I also believe that in fantasy, everything is permitted and nothing is wrong. Which is why I have nothing against men who use porn.

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