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Sexologist Isiah McKimmie on why people need porn to enjoy sex

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Welcome to Relationship Rehab, news.com.au’s weekly column solving all your romantic problems, no holds barred.

This week, our resident sexologist Isiah McKimmie helps a man struggling with his new girlfriend’s porn addiction.

QUESTION: I’ve started seeing a woman and I really like her. She’s cute and funny and we have great sex. The only issue is that she doesn’t seem to enjoy sex unless we’ve watched porn and it’s playing in the background. When we first had sex I thought it was kinky but now it’s become a habit that I don’t enjoy. I find porn distracting and I’d rather do without it. How do I get her to enjoy sex without porn?

ANSWER: It’s great that you’ve met someone you really click with, but it’s understandable that watching porn every time you have sex isn’t your jam.

You’ll need to start by letting her know that; you have a great opportunity here to initiate some open, honest conversations about sex that should deepen your relationship.

Why someone might use pornography to get turned on

Understanding why your girlfriend uses pornography might be helpful. Of course, the best way to find out what’s really going on is to ask her, but here are some possibilities:

Pornography can increase arousal

Women’s bodies need at least 20 minutes of foreplay in order to fully prepare for sex. Less than 20 minutes of foreplay increases the chance of pain during sex and decreases a woman’s ability to reach orgasm.

Unfortunately, many women feel pressure to become aroused quickly and worry that they’re taking ‘too long’ to reach orgasm. If you’re not spending at least 20 minutes on foreplay, she might be using it as a shortcut.

She may not be enjoying what you’re doing

Women often struggle to ask for what they want during sex – sometimes, they’re not even sure what they really like. Pornography might be covering this.

Watching porn can distract us from discomfort or shame

Sex can be confronting in its intimacy. It can feel less intimate and therefore less confronting to use pornography as a distraction during sex.

Pornography can become a habit that’s hard to break

Anyone can fall into a porn habit. Habitually watching porn can stop you being able to get turned on without it. It’s possible to break this – but your girlfriend will need to want to.

Talking openly about sex correlates with higher sexual satisfaction

Research shows that being able to talk openly and honestly about sex is a key factor in having a satisfying sex life. Only 9 per cent of couples who say they can’t talk openly about sex report being sexually satisfied.

Couples also report that being able to talk openly about sex correlates with being able to have other important but difficult conversations in their relationship.

Talking about this is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship, sexually and otherwise.

Give feedback about what you want

To move forward, you’ll have to be honest. When giving someone feedback on a sensitive topic like sex, consider using these three steps:

1 Start with something positive, for example tell her you’re loving getting to know her and think the sex is great.

2 Tell her what you’d like to change, but in a positive way, eg ‘I’d love to try some new things with you. Could we try leaving the pornography off next time and explore some new ways to enjoy ourselves?’

3 Show you’re genuinely interested in her feelings on the matter, perhaps asking questions such as ‘What do you enjoy most about sex?’, ‘Do you ever feel pressured to be in the mood?’, ‘Do you ever struggle to reach orgasm?’, ‘Is there anything I can do to help?’, ‘Do you always use porn to get aroused?’ ‘Have you ever had sex without it?’

How to get turned on without porn

If your girlfriend is struggling to get turned on without porn, suggest an alternative such as massage, dirty talk, longer foreplay, more mindful sex (where you concentrate on being more present and ‘in your body’), and even body mapping – where you discover new areas of pleasurable touch on each other’s bodies.

It can take time to develop new turn-ons – and your girlfriend needs to want to take these steps. I hope she’s open to it.

Isiah McKimmie is a Couples Therapist, Sexologist, Sex Therapist and Lecturer. To book a session with her, visit her website or follow her on Instagram for more advice on relationships, sex and intimacy.

If you have a question for Isiah, email relationship.rehab@news.com.au


Story Credit: news.com.au

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