Just Listen

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Why men use porn.

With the recent revelation of SEC staffers downloading porn and the fact that porn sites are among the most visited sites on the Internet, I thought it might be helpful to share what I have heard over the years from men in high pressure jobs about what porn does for them.

  • “It always works. I don’t know of any other thing I can do that so quickly releases tension. The relief I feel is more than the embarrassment or shame I feel.”
  • “When I am feeling tense as if the world has laid into me, I am not in the mood for ‘making love.’ I want to ravage someone as I have been ravaged and that is not a suitable fantasy or activity to do with my wife who is the mother of my children.”
  • “The less traction, the less purpose, the less meaning, the less effectiveness I feel, the more I feel like I am spinning my wheels, the more tension I feel and the more difficult it is to concentrate. Porn and – let’s face it – the masturbation that goes along with it is the quickest way to release that tension and (sadly) temporarily enables me to set the meter back to ’start’ after which I can begin to get some work done.”
  • “It’s not only about the sexual images, but also about a sexy and beautiful woman smiling at me, desiring me and saying to me, ‘Do whatever you want or like’ or ‘Your wish is my command’ compared to my wife or girl friend who when I reach over to try to initiate sex can give me a dagger like look that says, ‘Don’t even think about it!’”
  • “We’re lonely little boys, playing with our toys, trying very hard to not make any noise.”
  • “Meet Jane my mistress! (the husband blurted out as he pointed to his right hand, shamefully admitting to his wife that he masturbates more now than he did as a teenager and feels pathetic about it)”

What’s the solution? One solution is what we tell our children and what we were told in kindergarten… “Use your words.” What that means is that we should have a person or person(s) in our lives that we can go to and not only vent about what went wrong today, i.e. “I can’t believe what that miserable &$% said to me today” “What a f%$#in a$#hole so and so is,” but how we feel underneath, i.e. “I’m scared that I can’t keep doing what I’m doing” “I felt so incompetent today” “I felt so trapped today.”

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When you get past venting and get to emotionally exhaling* and feel cared about when you do, that’s the kind of relief that keeps on giving and makes pornography less of a compulsion and temptation.

* learning to listen to others in a way that enables them to emotionally exhale is the core theme in “Just Listen” (AMACOM, $24.95) which explains why as the subtitle says, “It’s the secret to getting through to absolutely anyone.”

Why Men Use Porn (and How to Get Yours to Stop)

Mark Goulston, MD, is the author of the new bestselling book Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.

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