Ask Anya: It's ImPORNtant to Communicate

The other day, I was asked a question that struck my particular interest because I feel I may have enough experience in my world to answer in a way that’d be helpful on a mass scale.

According to Verily, the online magazine, research compiled by Mary Anne Layden, Ph.D., director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania, adults who use porn are more likely than those who don’t to: rate sex partners as less attractive, be less satisfied with their partner’s sexual performance, desire sex without emotional involvement, try to get their partners to act out sex acts seen in porn, go to prostitutes, and, yes, among married porn users, have extramarital affairs

A reader sent this dilemma: “I enjoy online adult entertainment. I am also in a relationship; she doesn’t like that I masturbate to it. I feel that porn helps my sex game. How do I talk about this with her without her feeling threatened by me masturbating to you or any other adult performer?”

I’d first like to remind everyone, including myself, that we cannot control the way people react to any situation. We cannot control other people’s feelings at all. If porn is a part of your personal life, you must be able to share that in all honesty with the person you decide to develop a relationship with.

Be gentle in your approach. The question I received was from a male asking about his female counterpart. So in that scenario, remember that a woman has a special need to feel unconditionally desired and supported by her man. She may not get this feeling if he prefers watching porn for relaxation over spending that time with her; Especially if she does not understand why.

As a man, in your gentle approach, I suggest involving your lady in your cinematic experience, and pay attention to what intrigues her versus what makes her uncomfortable. Watching together can be surprisingly fulfilling. This way, you two will be able to exchange easy dialogue and come to common ground. This new wave of understanding should have the both of you much more open-minded than you were before.

Women, just as well, should understand how much different the process of masturbation is for men. With that knowledge, each person’s process of getting offshould be understood, respected, and seen with little to no judgement by his or her beloved partner. If a person can’t get past the Porn altogether, sadly, there’s not much you can do.

Personally, I was not as secure with myself or the idea of a man preferring porn before I got involved in the production of it. On the other hand, I’ve always had a certain curiosity and openness toward sexual experiences. Now, I see both sides from having been a “watcher” to becoming a performer. It takes skill, practice, agility, and camera crews with blinding lights to create a pornographic production. So if I can offer any advice that will be binding, it is this: DO NOT COMPARE PORN TO NATURAL INTERCOURSE!

Pornography is a great way to put on a show for an exciting experience. However, it’s not AT ALL the same as the rolling around, bodies intertwined, sloppy kissing, eye contact, speaking in tongues sort of organic sex. So take it for what is, and enjoy it. But, I would not advise pressuring anyone into feeling as though he or she has to mimic the actions of the actors in erotic films.

If your partner has not been reassured that his or her performance is satisfying, DO THAT. Communication is always key. Tell her what you like, without fear. If you withhold what truly sends your soul drifting, your relationship will be hell on Earth. Aside from all the things that bring two people together to consider themselves a couple, sex is an extremely important pillar. Make each other experience your highest levels of ecstasy through intimacy and I guarantee a relationship well done.