Can Watching Porn Affect Your Sex Life?

Is watching porn okay? If a guy likes to watch porn should his sex partner be concerned? Is it healthy or normal for a guy to watch porn frequently when he has a girl friend and a great sex life?

These are very common questions and concerns in men-women relationships. Let us first clear away some confusion about porn and its effects on building a healthy sexual relationship. A study by a group of scientists at the University of Montreal found that men watched porn that matched their own image of sexuality, and quickly discarded material they found offensive or distasteful. Porn did not have a negative effect on men’s sexuality. Porn hasn’t changed their perception of women or their relationship, which they all want to be as harmonious and fulfilling as possible. Thus there is nothing abnormal or unhealthy with watching porn as long as we do not get too obsessive to the point that we choose porn over sex with our partner.

If this happens you should consider your feelings about porn. What makes you so obsessive about porn that your partner feels left out? Is it something about your partner that you are not happy with? Is it due to boredom or an escape from a relationship that is steadily losing some “sparks”?

In this case, you need to sit down to talk with your partner about the issues and concerns in the relationship. The talk must be in such a way that it does not lead to the pinning of blame or assigning the causes of the problems in relationship on her. The goal here is to work together with her to solve the problem. Putting the blame on her will only cause her to get defensive and leading to argument. If you find yourself unable to work this out alone, it could be helpful to talk to a counselor or sex therapist.

However in situation when you have a normal sex relationship and both of you has different views on porn and she is not satisfied with the role of porn in your relationship, there is also a need for both of you to sit down and talk. You need to ask yourself what you like about porn. Is it due to fantasy? Are there things you see from porn that you want both to try together? At the same time, she can also sort out her thoughts about porn. Is it something that interests her at all? If so, she can pick those adult movies that meet her individual taste which can later progress to the stage that both of you can together choose the type of porn to watch together. If she does not like the idea of having porn a part of the sexual relationship, she needs to explain the reasons and a compromise is needed in order to break this deadlock. If both of you can honestly share with each other feelings about porn and porn watching, the concern about the effects of porn on relationship can go away.

The Disease of Sex Addiction II

Many people resist the notion that sex addiction is a disease. But in The Minnesota Model, a seminal book on addiction recovery, Spicer points out the similarities between chemical dependence and the disease concept. Borrowing from George Vaillant’s The Natural History of Alcoholism, Spicer shows how chemical dependence, like a disease, cuts across cultural and socioeconomic lines, is progressive, has specific signs and symptoms, and has a recommended course of treatment. In our view, sex addiction is no different. Here’s why:

Does Not Discriminate

First, like other diseases, sex addiction is an equal opportunity disease. It could care less about your race or culture. It doesn’t care about the fact that you’re young, middle-aged, or elderly. And it doesn’t care if you’re broke or wealthy. It’s a debilitating disease that affects people from all walks of life without discrimination or prejudice.

Progressive

Second, like other diseases, sex addiction is progressive. The frequency, intensity, and measure of risk increases with time. Masturbation may progress from once-a-week to three times a day. What began as a once-a-year trip to get an erotic massage turns into a twice-a-week event. The need for greater intensity leads to greater risk-taking. In the process, sex addicts contract sexually transmitted diseases, get caught in sting operations, and even commit suicide. Spicer writes that “people with a disease find their responses are less flexible.” The sex addict’s response to the normal ups and downs of life become progressively confined to a single, destructive response: the search for sexual satisfaction.

Has Recognizable Signs and Symptoms

Third, like other diseases, sex addiction shows certain signs and symptoms. Addicts often display some of the following symptoms: a deep feeling of shame and guilt following acting out behavior, constant obsession with acting out, and general malaise if unable to engage in the behavior. They also show the following signs: an inordinate amount of time spent in the pursuit of and recuperating from sex, unsuccessful attempts at stopping their behavior on their own, and decreased engagement in social, professional, or recreational activities. Once people acknowledge that they need help, they complain of having most, if not all of these signs and symptoms.

Has a Recommended Treatment

Finally, like other diseases, the diagnosis comes with a set of specific interventions that promote recovery. In its simplest form the prescription is this: individual therapy, group therapy, and 12-step meetings. In the process of participating in these relational activities, one needs learn about their disease and the tools needed to recover from it, how to manage their emotions without acting out, and maybe most importantly, how to be honest with themselves and others. When sex addicts follow the suggested course of treatment, it’s our experience that they recover to live happy and meaningful lives.

Same-Sex Couples Must Plan Carefully

Uncle Sam gives the best wedding presents. A Simon Pearce vase is divine, but it pales in comparison with the married filing jointly tax rates and unlimited marital estate tax deduction.

Regrettably, even though they embody the same levels of love and commitment, same-sex couples do not receive these gifts from Uncle Sam.

Financial planning for same-sex couples is rife with difficulties. Few states provide rights to same-sex couples, and among those that do, the rights are not uniform. (See below.) The federal government currently denies all marriage rights to same-sex couples, though that may soon change. Because of numerous gray areas, all such couples need financial planning, especially if they have children. Plans must make the couple’s intentions very clear in the event they are contested. They should also be revisited often to stay current with legislation.

Given the complicated variation among states, moving or traveling can be especially treacherous. If you do not live in the state where you were married or if you plan to travel extensively out of state, some key planning moves can ensure that your relationship and intentions are respected.

Generally, hospitals allow visitation rights to spouses and other family members. If the state does not recognize your relationship, your partner is not considered a family member. He or she may therefore be denied visitation rights and the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf.

To prevent this situation, execute a power of attorney, which permits your partner to act as your agent in both health and financial matters. Although it can be inconvenient, you should carry a copy when you travel. Do not assume that the arrangement will be respected in other states, particularly if it differs significantly from that state’s power of attorney forms; however, such documentation should help the healthy partner present his case to hospital staff.

States that allow same-sex marriages or that provide an equivalent often have intestate rights for surviving partners. These allow for a portion, if not all, of the deceased partner’s property to pass to the surviving partner, even if the deceased did not execute a will. However, a state that does not recognize the relationship will not have these rights. If you die without a will in one of these states, your partner will not be provided for from your estate. Your property will instead pass to your biological family based on the state’s laws.

The first defense against this is to have a will that provides for your partner and your children. Make sure your family members are aware of how you would like your property to be distributed after your death to avoid surprises and potential will contests. You may want to include positive statements as to why you choose to leave property to your partner instead of your biological family.

You can also dispose of assets outside of your will, where possible. Retirement accounts, life insurance policies and trusts pass to their beneficiaries outside of the probate courts. Titling property as jointly owned with rights of survivorship will permit the surviving partner to inherit the jointly owned property.

Your will should also make clear your intent regarding burial arrangements and that your partner should be granted possession of your remains upon your death. Typically, the deceased’s remains are given to the next of kin. If a same-sex relationship is not recognized, the surviving partner will not be deemed a family member. He or she will not be granted authority over the body and its disposition. Historically, courts have respected the deceased’s intent and therefore it is important to have support for your last wishes.

States permitting same-sex unions will usually permit non-biological parents to sign a child’s birth certificate as a parent. However, this does not necessarily provide full parental rights, especially in states where the relationship is not recognized. Adoption by the non-biological parent is a potential solution. This is particularly important in the case of a medical emergency and intestacy. Without adoption, the non-biological parent might be denied the right to make medical decisions for his or her child or to visit the child in the hospital. Should the biological parent die intestate, the non-biological parent may not be granted custody by the state. Furthermore, if the non-biological parent dies intestate, the child might not be eligible to inherit from him or her.

When executing estate-planning documents, same-sex couples have less room for error than heterosexual couples. You do not want the legitimacy of the documents to be challenged. If they are overturned, the state’s laws are unlikely to create your desired outcome. Therefore, choose a financial planner and attorney team that is familiar with the laws regarding same-sex couples. Also, your documents and plans should be reviewed often to stay current in the highly dynamic legal environment.

Divorce is difficult for any couple, regardless of sexual orientation, but it is even more so for same-sex couples. A married same-sex couple may not be able to divorce if they reside in a state that does not recognize their marriage. Furthermore, states that do recognize same-sex partnership typically have residency requirements for divorce. You can get married while on vacation in Massachusetts, but the reverse cannot be done.

In states where same-sex relationships are not respected, the split is more like dividing a business than a family. A stay-at-home partner’s contributions to the family unit might not receive the same weight when dividing assets. As unsavory as it is, it is important to plan for potential divorce. Pre- and post-nuptial agreements can make the process less painful and allow the partners to move on with their lives more quickly.

The rights of marriage dissolve with divorce, but special planning arrangements do not. In the event of a separation, same-sex partners will need to undo the extra measures they have put in place. This includes making new wills, naming new beneficiaries on retirement plans and insurance policies, and revoking health care proxies and powers of attorney. Adoption of children is permanent, and the partners will need to reach some sort of custody agreement.

With the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in question, the federal government’s anti-same-sex marriage stance appears to be weakening. This may encourage coordination of state laws and make planning easier. When Uncle Sam finally gives this wedding present, same-sex couples will no doubt send a most heartfelt thank-you.

State Laws Vary for Same-Sex Couples

Marriage, Domestic Partnership and Civil Unions:
A handful of states have acknowledged the inequity of separate treatment, and have provided same-sex couples with the same rights, privileges and responsibilities of heterosexual couples on the state level. Five states – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont – and the District of Columbia permit same-sex couples to marry. Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey allow, or will in the next year, civil unions, which are equivalent to marriage except for the name.

Nevada, Oregon and Washington offer domestic partnerships with rights similar to those of marriage, while Maine’s and Wisconsin’s versions provide limited rights. Wisconsin’s Constitution was amended to ban any legal status that is substantially similar to marriage for same-sex couples.

California has the most complex state legislation. California allowed same-sex marriages for a few months in 2008. This ended when the state passed Proposition 8, which amended the constitution to ban future same-sex marriages but did not retroactively revoke those marriages entered into before its adoption. Therefore, California recognizes some marriages as marriages. It currently allows for a version of domestic partnerships between same-sex partners that is virtually marriage with a different name. These partnerships even come with community property rights, which automatically split ownership of certain property and income between the two partners.

Tax Status and Inter-State Recognition:
Generally, states that permit same-sex marriage or an equivalent recognize similar commitments from other states. Again, California is the most complicated, as it will only recognize marriages from other states entered into before Proposition 8 passed. Marriages performed after its adoption are recognized as having the same rights as marriages, but cannot be called marriages outright. Other legal relationships that are similar to California’s domestic partnership arrangement are also recognized.

California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Vermont have also allowed same-sex partners to file joint income tax returns for 2010. In these states, same-sex couples can benefit from the wider tax brackets that married couples enjoy. However, this can be administratively burdensome, as the married filing status cannot currently be used on the federal return.

Nevada, New Hampshire and Washington do not have individual income taxes. The Delaware, Hawaii and Illinois civil union laws were not in effect for the 2010 tax year.

Maryland, New York and Rhode Island recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, even though they do not permit them. However, none of these states permits same-sex couples to file joint tax returns.