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Thursday 09 April 2009

"I think my boyfriend is addicted to porn"

Posted in: Family Matters
By - 5th January 2008

Jacquie Grant affectionately known as the "tranny granny", Jacquie's had a colourful life which has seen her go from being harassed by police and arrested on the streets of King's Cross in Sydney in the late 1950s, to a happier life in New Zealand, where she has fostered more than 60 children, and now has numerous grandchildren. Jacquie lives in Hokitika.

Bill Logan is a counsellor, celebrant, gay activist and revolutionist in his fifties, Bill's been on the Gay Helpline in Wellington since 1982, was a co-founder of the NZ AIDS Foundation, and played a significant role in the struggle for homosexual law reform.

Tom Hamilton is Rainbow Youth's Executive Director, and also has several years experience working within LGBT communities in Australia and the USA. Tom also has extensive knowledge about community law, support work and counselling.

Previous advisors include secondary school teacher Carol Bartlett, gay activist Jim Peron,"Out & Proud" ambassador AJ Marsh, ex Youth Coordinator for Rainbow Youth Rob Marshall and editor Jay Bennie.

If you have a question you'd like to put to our panel, please complete our

Michael E from Christchurch writes:

I have a problem. I think my boyfriend is addicted to porn. He doesn't notice me anymore and he's always on the computer. I know what he's looking at after I go to bed! I want your advice.

Bill Logan responds:

Of course it is entirely reasonable for you to be concerned if your boyfriend is not noticing you and not coming to bed. The real question is probably whether this fall-off in his sexual appetite for you is acceptable to you, or if you would prefer to end the relationship.

In most relationships there is a fall-off in sexual appetite over time, often with one partner's sexual interest declining faster than the other's. And in many relationships there is a renegotiating of norms, including bedtime rituals, porn use and even outside sexual adventures.

The idea of addiction might not be very useful here; there are many happy, fulfilling, intimate relationships where one or both partners look at a fair bit of porn. Of course it would be addiction if the compulsion to look at porn were getting in the way of how your boyfriend wants to spend his time, but as far as we know the problem is that the porn is getting in the way of how you want him to spend his time. You want him to spend more time in bed playing with you, and it's fair enough that you tell him so quite plainly. But if he doesn't want to come to bed—if he hasn't got the desire any more—then there's not a lot you can do.

AJ Marsh responds:

Dear Michael, the first thing to do would be to talk to him about it. If he's willing to talk to you about this, you should ask him why he'd rather look at porn than look at you. He might believe that your relationship isn't very sexual or that you're not paying him enough attention. It could be a simple case of give and take on both sides. Have you tried watching porn together? It's one of those things that not everyone would admit to but you know that everyone's doing it. If he's not willing to talk to you about it, and it remains a problem for you, I'd re-evaluate how much you want to be in a relationship with him.

Jacqui Grant responds:

Sounds like your relationship has gotten to that old married couple stage and boredom has set in, seems like your boyfriend is looking for a bit of stimulation and fantasy, well why don't you give him something to fantasize about?

A bit of spice never hurts, find out what he is looking at and you be it when he least expects it, be sexually unpredictable, and invent some roles to play I'll bet he will go for it lets face it the fantasy playing out in real life is better than a few pictures. - 5th January 2008