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TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1678
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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I am more turned on by porn than skyping my distance

Customer Question

I am more turned on by porn than skyping my long distance boyfriend and being intimate with him there. he says i do not crave him and lust for him and he groups love with lust although i see them separately. he is very upset about it to the extent he feels neglected, rejected and unattractive and resents me because of it. i don't know how to change, to make myself crave him.. i do find him attractive but i can only really get turned on when i see him in person. how can i repair this?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

You have a pretty big challenge to do what you want to do. If I understand your phrase "more . . . porn than (by) skyping . . being intimate with him there" correctly, you're comparing porn videos with which you have gotten used to self-pleasuring with visual experiments with self-pleasuring while looking at your long-distance boyfriend (doing something designed to pleasure him AND turn you on simultaneously). The porn videos may well have intercourse and other twoperson sex acts into which you can project yourself however you wish. But skyping with your BF only show you a one-man sex-act, with you not actually present. (Please correct me if my assumptions are not right.)

It is normal for porn videos to excite the viewer more intensely than in-the-flesh sexual encounters, especially when the porn performances have been chosen to fit & assimilate the viewer's long-practiced internal sex fantasies, because the solo-viewer has willingly programmed her own sexual reactions to match the visual&auditory performance. onscreen

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
well, yes, but do you think it's possible for someone to let say, like bitter things when really they don't? i wish i could get turned on by him and get as excited as i do with porn, but it's not as easy as simply willing for it.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

You are IN CONTROL of what you've chosen to match yourself with in solo porn sessions; but in skype sessions you have to try to adjust your self-pleasuring and erotic performance to your BF--who has to try to adjust his to you: Yet self-pleasuring usually feels better when its pacing and performance are entirely under the solo-pleasurer's own control. So the chances of a highly intensifying couple-viewing performance at a distance are slim. And this is especially frustrating when you have your fully developed porn-&-fantasy-performance for comparison.

Normally, when a couple has sex together in the flesh, one or both partners may use prepracticed sex fantasies inside her-or-his own mind to intensify arousal for part (or even most) of the build-up towards orgasm. But other parts of the preorgasmic interaction may be purely spontaneous--unscripted--or even cuddle-, massage-, play- or loving-emotion-oriented; and the orgasms themselves can be driven by pure animal energy with no accompanying fantasy.

When sex fantasies--or mental reruns of porn scenes--are played in one partner's mind, she/he may never share them with her/his partner: Because a major problem with solo porn and self-pleasuring practices happens when the controlled performance/videoscene that one person likes does not work for the other. So the one whose fantasy-scenes don't work for the other usually needs to keep them to himself or herself.

You've hit on the key problem. I could go into much more detail, including some psychological background to porn habits. But you may just BOTH need to keep your turn-ons that are turn-offs for the other inside your own heads.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

It's 4 am for me. But I was continuing to write more when you wrote back. I've also found among some students and grown men who shared sex secrets with me that it can work Sometimes to act out your sex fantasies with your partner, but it can make one or both of you feel like play-objects. And couples that act out sex fantasies with increasing intensity can then experience sex as an addictive activity, and that can easily "burn out" their love. FOR SEX IS MORE INTENSE THAN LOVE typically. And a porn habit serves to split sex and love.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
from what you said,.. it's not possible for me to alter what turns me on then? to change my preferences and getting more excited over my bf? Does love and lust really come together?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

I have also not yet written what is normally the problem mentioned when porn habits are discussed: that the partner who prefers more unscripted sex-scenes always feels devalued and excluded by the porn-preference. I'll answer your last question.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

IT IS POSSIBLE FOR you to alter what turns you on. (But you're very limited by using only the visual&verbal one-person scene over skype. Many of us grow up with sex fantasies that don't fit very well with what turns our current partner on. Both boys and girls can come into adolescence and beyond with sex fantasies originating in childhood events (which I could explain, but not tonight) that they can't act out and therefore have to rerun in their heads when having sex in person with BF. If either partner does not want to acquire a particular scene-or-sex-move as a turn-on, she or he should be able to say "No" and the other needs to find ways to 1. keep the scene/move inside for brain-arousal, and 2. gradually learn how to use the bodily erotic excitement to "overflow" into or "infect" the movements, sights, rhythms & other sensory behavior that's actually happening between them--so she/he can gradually become infused with sexual excitement for that momentary activity that pleases the other too.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

When you are stuck with using skype to have sex with your BF, you are basically stuck with trying to make "porn-films" as solo-performances for each other to simultaneously self-pleasure. That's a severe handicap--more or less trying to contrive a simultaneous porn habit with each other.

Given the problem I mentioned before about the danger of visible acting out of porn-scenes actually "burning out" love: you could try something else--old-fashioned "Phone-sex." Because then you could each keep the parts of your sex fantasies secret & in your own head that make the other uncomfortable instead of turned on, and just use the words that the other likes.

And again, if you DO want to build up lust for a sex-action or -image that is a turn-on for your BF, then you can use the 1-2 method I wrote up above, which is a standard approach for adjusting one's sexual fantasy world to mesh more effectively with the physical world you share with your lover. 4:22, going to bed. I'll check back around noon EST.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

Some people are more able to have sex in a porn-performance style AND at other times in a more unscripted love-to-lust-to-love style. (Yet most intense couple interactions develop into somewhat repetitious (that is "scripted) behavior. Making relationships durable usually includes developing mutually satisfying choreography in intimate interactions. Sex & love are more separable for some people than others. Sex does feed & intensify love, but if it feeds too often and too intensely on itself it can wreck the agenda of love to build a lasting bond.

That love-agenda includes: Absence (separation distress), anger, fear, awkwardness- shame/hurt-all 4 are also very valuable in building the strength of love. Yet distance-relating thru virtual reality messes with some of these powerful feelings, and may give sex more power by comparison.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
that was very helpful thank you. but the issue is that he's incredibly turned on by me- just my voice would give him a hard on. and thus he cannot understand why i do not have the same reactions as him. he expects me to be equally responsive if i do indeed love him. i talked to my brother about this for a guy's perspective and he said that the problem does not lie with me but with my BF, and that i cannot change who i am or how i feel. that a compromise is the only way or else the relationship will have to end. that's why i'm trying to find ways to get turned on by him, if possible. like forcing yourself to believe that a mediocre dish is your favorite. because he has such strong feelings and lust for me and i cannot return such lustful intensity, i am in a dilemma.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
just to say, what turns me on and my bf are honestly quite in sync, it isn't an issue of having different fantasies. we are open and comfortable with each other on that issue. it's just i turn him on and for me, porn turns me on instead. and he doesn't like that. for me, i separate lust and love.. and for him, he groups them together.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

I need to think about your most recent to-the-point comments, because they make the issue more specific to what turns you on. And I want to address that very carefully, but I'ts too late for me to concentrate carefully enough.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

So I'll be back tomorrow to finish this.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
alright sure, thank you
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

Here it comes. I talked with my therapist-wife for around 2 hours about this, and we had a good meeting of minds & experience. So thanks for the opportunity to explore your subject thru intimate experience of & with both men & women. I'll number the paragraphs in my summary.

1. Psychologists dealing with heterosexual couples are united in seeking to help couples unite sex with love in order to make marriages both durable and satisfying. Yet many Gay couples and "open marriage" (aka "polyamorous") couples agree to allow extramarital sex, esp for men who are more driven by sex (aka "addicted") but expect it to not develop into Love. This attitude is culturally accepted in many countries, such as among the Sherpas (mountainclimbing baggage carriers) in Nepal, who don't mind extramarital sex, but won't allow such sex to include sleeping overnight, because that's reserved for marriage (because in physiological fact co-sleeping leads to womb-mate or litter-mate like bonding). Keeping up a Porn solo-sex habit is similar enough to having extrarelationship sex--because Porn objectifies the sex partner in your imagination--that it's always experienced by the flesh&blood partner as a form of cheating, and potentially a preparation for later sex escapades with others outside of the relationship. So your BF's reaction is as normal as yours would be if he told you HE was more turned on to HIS visual&vocalized sex fantasies than he was to you.

2. It is totally normal for Women to use sex fantasies dating from their early or late childhood or from adolescence to build up their sexual excitement like winding up a spring to make their Orgasms very satisfying. Most women who have accepted their natural right to construct and enhance their own orgasms will use sex fantasies this way. So it's natural for you to know that your solo porn-with-self-control experiences are better than trying to get aroused by watching your BF do something, or talk dirty etc.

3. But the vast majority of women don't tell their fantasies to their partners, because to take part in those fantasies would turn their partner into a "supporting actor" as a "sex-tool" in their private orgasmic buildup, not a real, independent, and spontaneous autonomous person--a "sex-object" instead of a "subject with sexual, physical, mental and emotional aspects coming into play spontaneously.

Now I have to go to do errands and a gym work out. But this is only 3 out of the 9 paragraphs I've sketched out to write. I'm sure I'll write more than you want to learn, since I'm guessing you're in your early to mid-20s, and some of what I'm going to explain later is not ever taught to fully-grown adults. But I want you to have a chance to get inspiration from a mature psycho-spiritual model of what life & love are all about. So hang on till later tonight. I'll plan to finish around 9 or 10 EST, so it won't be 3am like it usually is for me.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

Well, that worked out the same tonight as always. I forgot that after my workout and shopping for both daughter and wife (home at 11:45pm) I had to cook for my daughter and myself (she was freaked out with pain and anxiety about more pain) and then watch X-files with her, followed by Jimmy Fallon. So now I'm going to finish it, because I'm ready.

4A. Now to focus on porn and skype: Vision affects the brain faster and habituating further strengthens its pathways to stimulate sexual arousal.. 4B. But habitual visual fantasies may wear down so more stimulation is needed; and often that increase is achieved through pain, fear, shame/humiliation: So S & M cfhoreography increases the stimulation of eroticism, but this constructed intensity destroys love ecause it's ALL performance with players as objects, not as real spontaneous people.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

Oh no. I just lost all paragraphs between #5 and 9 after an hour of writing, and it's too late to write them over again. So I''ll wait until tomorrow, since I have them outlined already.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

OK, this time it's only 1:15am and I did a trial run last night. So it should be better than it was then.

5A. Touch is a major portion of sexuality, and when touch is missing and one compensates for that by raising the intensity of visual imagery stimulation, the highly dramatized porn scenes will easily outshine the more spontaneous, amateurish and individual-instead-of-couple dramas you try to put on for each other. So your efforts to make skype-sex as arousing as porn-sex are bound to be disappointing and sometimes also meet with awkward interruptions -- when perhaps your "willing suspension of disbelief" for the sake of building your arousal suddenly trips over an false-move by your partner or his reaction to a move of yours that disturbs his hopeful sex-trance. Usually, even when a couple is habitually together for sex it's not normal for sexual rhythms of arousal to fit neatly together: most women need to go inwardto their imaginary sex fantasies to optimize their arousal buildup, so they can be interrupted by their partner's needs, and they may also need to alternate between slowing down or pausing their stimulation and gathering speed--so each partner need to compromise and make their own peace with not having the pacing work optimally for them --or play the "you go first then I'll go" game

5B. To build up a really good sexual choreography you need to have days and nights together so you can have the full sensory banquet including touch. Long distance relationships research has found that couples can keep their passion flaring up intermittently if they manage to get together for a few days every 1-2 months; AND if each of them has a life that is sufficiently engaging and fulfilling without romance , and this is more likely to be feasible if they have interesting work and they're old enough to know what they want to be doing with their lives and are going in a right direction for themselves. This is more likely to be true when they're over 30 or involved in highly developmental work, like grad school, medicine, ladder-climbing career paths.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

6. If lovers aren't able to be together to increase the interweaving of their lives, their love/mating dance may reach a plateau of development and not grow any further towards marriage (this need not be judged either good or bad, But) a very old Indian Psychology (Vedanta) discovered that root-emotions appearing in love (aka "desire," "passion" or "excitement," "anticipation") are experienced over time on the growing edges of your personality, or where your personality is expanding, like the new palegreen leaves of a vine or bush in the Spring. So you can feel love-like energies when you're trying out new activities or extending yourself in your career, artistic efforts, etc.

Sexual expansion IS one way to provide this "growing edge" of your personality IN your relationship. But sexuality is too narrow to satisfy that need for growing edges for long. Sex is too repetitive, esp when your model for optimal sexual intensity is one or two porn sequences; in fact a repetitive habit that is much more satisfying than any other possible routines is the practical definition of Addiction. Sex can be considered a "good addiction" like exercise, especially since both of them are satisfhying at the outset because they stimulate endorphins, the biochemical basis of joy in the moment. But if your sexual practice prevents you from enjoying intimacy in a couple or makes you unable or unwilling to develop a compromise "couple dance" that satisfies both of you to a comparable extent, both physically and emotionally, then it's an addiction that interferes with couple intimacy instead of fostering and intensifying it.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 9 months ago.

7. Now we're about to take a peek at the purpose of love in relation to the meaning and purpose of life. (Probably way too grownup for your interest or your brother's, since you're probably both well under 30, if not even a little under 20.

Some variety of love is what you're also feeling when your personality is growing in one direction or another, because love IS the emotional energy that transforms your personality and thus the fuel that propels you through the changes that are the adventure, surprises, tumult and bliss of your own unique life-path. So if your love- energy for pairing doesn't keep you growing into marriage, possible childbirth and/or further individual personality expansion in work and creativity and sharing the newness of your growthstages with a partner (such as new understandings & meaningful knowledge or life experience seen also thru the other's perspective & stories--If new life doesn't keep arising, then the love energy goes flat like fizzz on a stale soda.

8. Love decays when it is not used properly: as the fire for transformation of your personality on the paths of psychological and spiritual (same thing) development that is unique to you.

9. So porn-sex is a repetitious brief blaze that rivals and blows up the fuel that would otherwise support the progressive fire of love. Since birth control and Women's Lib enabled the sexual revolution, Plenty of people have enjoyed the freedom to play around with sex without allowing it to propel them into the yoke of marriage. People can now learn to separate sex from love in teen years and continue that for many years; and some never find out what they're missing. Some folks prematurety exposed to sexuality in childhood or adolescence have had unconscious emotional forces interfere with their normal instinctual growth.

But the opportunities to develop in an intimate pairbond that normally begin in the late teens and twenties offer the chance to steer oneself from the solo-sex habit towards the mating dance and its surprises and (difficult but ultimately rewarding) personality transformations.

So if you want that, go back to #2 & #3, and firsgt of all, STOP telling your BF that porn is more attractive to you for sex than he is. Just "edit that out" of your conversations with him. Or, if you're not going to have enough in-person time anytime in the near future to build an authentic intimacy, then chalk your relationship's dead-end up to spatial and technological barriers. And start over with someone you can have and really hold.

4:40 again. Feel free to ask or comment on anything I've written. I don't expect you're ever heard that a larger purpose of love is to propel us through the growth changes that can improve our personalities repeatedly throughout our lives. Not to maximize material wealth, power or success. Or sexual pleasure. But this is the purpose of the PROCESS of love, not the value of any particular person as the target for love, but the value of LOVING in itself, whether sexual or Platonic.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hey,
Thank you so much for your advice.

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