My husband (to whom I have been married for nine years) and I haven’t had sex for more than two and a half years. When the dearth began, it seemed mutual. Our physical connection had never been strong, and he was highly interested in his hobbies (mostly watching movies and television). Because our connection had not been strong, I didn’t mind a short break. I just never dreamed it would last as long as it has. It is looking as though I will never have sex again, barring an affair or a divorce. (We do not plan to get a divorce, not so much “for the sake of the children,” but because we both wish to remain an intact family with those children. We like our family life, appreciate each other’s co-parenting, and could not afford to live separately.)
I have known for longer than the length of this dry spell that my husband is a porn user. I never liked it, but I also didn’t predict that it would cause an absolute end to our sex life. The very young women featured in his preferred porn look nothing like me; however, his choice does, at least, indicate that he is heterosexual, and I was under the impression that very many men managed to enjoy porn and also have sex in real life.
My husband is highly apologetic for his inability to have renewed interest in sex. I remain confused about his absolute lack of sex drive. His testosterone was somewhat low when tested a few years ago, and it probably became lower with age. However, it seems to be the case that his interest in porn is deep, but sporadic. He is trying to quit because he says it is a bad use of his time and he feels bad and dirty about it; he is politically progressive and does not (intellectually/politically) support the porn industry. He can go a month or two without using, but when he does use it, he maintains a real web presence about it, sharing with other men on various social media sites. He has a screen name and a persona. I would normally think that someone with such a deep interest in porn would, after denying himself for a few weeks, be willing to try real-life sex, as an alternative to nothing.
Based on what you know of men, sex, and porn, does this add up? I keep wondering if there is a reason for his reluctance that he is not telling me. I can see that he is lacking the vitality and lustfulness I have seen in other men. In a way, it is believable that he has no libido. Why, then, the very strong interest in porn?
FWIW, I spent the first half of this year trying to press the issue, by forcing him into a discussion that he strongly resisted. I then decided to seek therapy (just for myself), and through self work, I have reached a level of acceptance. I have learned to be nice about it. His answer is “no,” and I no longer press for discussion. I am largely focusing on other areas of my life, with the idea in the back of my mind that I will treat myself to a discreet affair once per decade until I am so old that it is impossible. That’s at least three affairs, if I maintain The Golden Girls as my inspiration. (I could have up to five if I channel my inner Sophia.)
I understand that you will not be able to endorse my plans for infidelity. Can you, though, offer insight into my husband’s sexuality?
Puzzled Over Porn