Pornography: Addiction and Communication

shutterstock_71881093  Pornography is something that many people avoid conversation about. The truth is, many of us have watched/saw porn at some point in our lives, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is perfectly normal in this day in age, with pornography being just a mouse-click away. Pornography is being used for a way to find our sexual selves, explore fetishes and situations which we may not experience in our own lives. Pornography is also being used as a way to enhance our sexual pleasure.

Pornography is very much a double-edge sword. On one hand, it is a great way to spice up your sex life, enhance your solo sessions, and allow you to explore your sexuality in a way which might not otherwise be possible. On the other hand, many of the women/men give an unrealistic goal for your sexual partners, both in their technique and their physicality. In reality, there are not many women other than adult actresses that look, dress, and act like they do in pornography. For men, this can definitely be a problem.

With unrealistic expectations due to the adult film industry, men are often left unsatisfied with their sex life. There are many men who can watch pornography and still have great sex, however, there are also those who seek out more “pornography-style” sex with partners. Not many women are willing to participate in the kind of sex these men are looking for, and this is where pornography becomes the prefershutterstock_68280889ence for these men.

Pornography addiction is a real and serious problem. There are men who will sit and watch pornography for hours on end, finding satisfaction in that aspect of their sex life rather than in a partner that can reciprocate. Pornography addiction can make it difficult to become aroused by a partner in real life, leading to more sexual dysfunction which can cause the person to distance themselves even further from real-life sex.

Pornography can cause a lot of problems in a marriage if there is not an open line of communication between both parties. Let’s expand upon this using an example.

Frank and Louise have been married for 13 years. They have 2 children, 12 and 10. Frank says their sex life died pretty quickly after Louise gave birth to their second child, and admits that he watches porn frequently. He says that he is still very much attracted to Louise, but just finds that she is often “too tired” or just disinterested. Frank states that he enjoys having sex with Louise, but he would enjoy it if it happened more frequently. Louise says she misses being intimate with Frank, as they once had a very active sex life. Louise, however, has trouble initiating because she finds that Frank does not seem that interested in her. Louise knows that Frank enjoys porn, but does not know how to talk to him about it because he gets defensive and shuts down. Both are adamant about loving the other, they just long for intimacy.

Основные RGBNow this is a classic case of lack of communication. Because the lines of communication are closed between Frank and Louise, they don’t know that they both want the same thing- a healthy sex life. Frank is clearly uncomfortable speaking to Louise about watching pornography. Louise doesn’t seem to have a problem with Frank watching porn. She does however have a problem that it is done in secret. She also feels intimidated by the adult actresses because her body does not match theirs after having two children. Frank’s obsession with the porn is the easy way out for him. He doesn’t have to engage in a conversation about porn with Louise if they don’t talk at all.  If Frank and Louise could have an open and honest conversation about porn and their sex life, they may just find their spark again.

When pornography goes from watching to addiction, it can cause some serious social, spiritual, and emotional problems for the person that is addicted. We need to keep in mind that the men and women in porn do not experience real sexual intimacy like you do with your partner. This sexual intimacy is coupled with a willingness to be vulnerable and honest. Shame often keeps us from having open and honest discussions with ourselves and others, but watching porn is nothing to be ashamed of. It is perfectly normal to engage in a behaviour that fills a primal need. Pornography is like most things in life- good in moderation, but potentially dangerous when abused.

The Codependent Relationship: Spouses

shutterstock_84732829 As I discussed in a previous blog, codependency is when both parties are dependent on one another in order for the relationship to function. Codependency can occur in any and all relationships, and it affects all relationships.

The codependency that occurs between spouses is unique because of the dynamic of the relationship. Because of the romantic aspect of this relationship, often times the spouse is controlled through affection and attention. This means that the addicted spouse will try and control the other using affection, sex, and giving them attention.

Codependency is dangerous in any loving relationship, but especially between spouses as physical/mental/emotional abuse is often involved. Abuse is used to control by shutterstock_121262254striking fear into the other person, causing them to behave in a way that will please the other to avoid the abusive behaviour.

Spouses engaging in codependent behaviour often times try to “cover” for the addicted spouse. They will lie to friends and family about their spouse’s behaviours. If the spouse holds a job, they will sometimes go as far as to call in sick for their spouse when they are too hung over or sick from withdrawal to go to work. People in this position will do anything and everything to make sure that their relationship will stay together.

In these relationships, no matter what lengths the addicted goes to (lying, stealing, cheating, abuse, etc.), their codependent will continue to allow them to be a part of the relationship and treat them in a way that is toxic. This can go on for many years, however, it is possible to recover from codependency. Toxic codependent relationships can be combated in several different ways, and listed below are just a few.

  • Remove yourself from the relationship

  • Seek counselling

  • Attend family/couples therapy during the addicted’s treatment

  • Make a safety plan if abuse is involved

  • Know what the signs are of codependent behaviour and recognize when it is affecting your life

Codependency is not something that will never stop. There is hope for recovery, but like recovering from an addiction, it takes a lot of hard work and it is a lifelong commitment. Take control, transform your behaviours, and learn to live a life you love.

International Women’s Day

WomenHoldingWorldWe are mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, homemakers, lawyers, and doctors. We wait tables, change diapers, kiss boo-boos, and run households. In a day and age where gender roles are not nearly as clear cut as they used to be, it can be hard for the younger generations to remember how hard women throughout history had to fight to get the same basic rights as men. And in many parts of the world, women are still discriminated against.

International Women’s Day (IWD) serves as not only a reminder, but a celebration of the contributions of women throughout history. It is a day that connects women not only locally but internationally, through events held across the world in celebration. It is a day of activism, artistic expression, and most importantly, appreciation for women around the world.

The history of IWD starts in 1908 in New York. It was a time when women started to band together and protest, demanding better hours, fair pay, and voting rights. The early 1900’s saw the beginning of what most labeled as “radical ideologies”. Women fought and won the right to vote, although in many workplaces today there are still many barriers for women as far as pay and promotions are concerned. The first ever National Women’s Day was observed across the US on February 28th, 1909. The celebration of NWD continued on the 28th of every February until 1913, when it was changed to International Women’s Day. Women rallied in Russia on the eve of World War I and observed their first IWD. It was then changed to March 8th and has been observed in many European countries since that day.

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From 1908 until now, women have made great strides in obtaining equality and fair treatment in countries all across the world. IWD has become a holiday in many places around the world, mirroring the status of Mother’s Day. It is an important celebration and day of appreciation for all of the important women in our lives. It is also a day of inspiration and solidarity between women, showing that we are powerful not only as one but as a collective. We have made great strides since the early days of the feminist movements, and we continually strive for true equality for all.

So how can you celebrate International Women’s Day? Below is a listing of local events.
Toronto
Missisauga
Barrie
Markham
More Events In Toronto

To get information on events going on in other parts of Canada and the world please visit http://www.internationalwomensday.com/events.asp .

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““A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”
~Diane Mariechild