In the dead of night, I heard a knock on our bedroom door. I opened it to find a very worried looking groom to be. This was a younger friend who was staying with us the night before his wedding (Let us call him Yossi). “What's wrong? Are you ok?” I asked. “No” was his answer, “I need to talk to you about something.”
Seated on our couch, he proceeded to confide about his weekly tradition of watching pornography as a young unmarried religious man. Now, the night before his wedding, he admitted to me “I don’t know what is real. Are all those images that are in my head from years of pornography the truth? And if not, how will I know how to please my wife?” My friend had never been with another woman, just as many observant men and women abstain from premarital sex, but these images had allowed him to virtually please and be please by many woman he had never even met.
The images of pornography that my friend enjoyed when single had stayed with him, adding a superfluous layer of difficulty and confusion to the normal challenges of a new marriage. Being that every young religious couple not only has to learn how to please their partner at the same time they have to learn how to have sex. Yossi’s additional challenge was to reconcile the images he had see in the pornographic films with what would be his true reality.
The one positive aspect of the situation that I was able to point out to Yossi, just a few hours before he would be charged with fulfilling the halachic obligation to please his wife, was that at least he had realized now that porn was nothing more than a Hollywood blockbuster without clothing and he should not enter his marriage taking sexual cues and fantasies from actresses who most likely fake the majority of their orgasms, and actors who take supplements to last for 45 minutes.
I have heard a wide range of opinions among therapists regarding pornography and the place it has or doesn’t have within loving relationships. Some say that it may be used to increase a couple’s passion, a source of ideas for couples stuck in a rut, and other opinions that clearly state that the potential dangers are far greater than any positives that may come from it. Some of these dangers include, increase in PE for men, dissatisfaction for woman created by lies and good acting on the part of the pornography industry and a lack of drive and interest in ‘normal sex’ with one’s partner.
Join the Boiyz Club this next week as we openly discuss these issues as well as many different opinions around pornography and its role in relationships today.