What to Do When Your Spouse
Has an Addiction to Pornography
Dear Dr. Harley,
I read in a book about marriage and sex that a study showed women became as
sexually aroused as men when showed an explicit pornographic video. The book also had
some quotes from several wives saying that these videos got them "jump started" for
lovemaking even if they weren't in the mood. Do you think pornography can be useful in
a marriage, and if so, how much is too much?
Actually, explicit sexual videos or other forms of pornography rarely turn women on. That's why men
are far and away the primary customers of pornography. Once in a while I come across
a woman who finds them helpful sexually, but these women usually don't have much of
a problem to begin with. And in many cases, it isn't the nude men they like, its the nude
To answer your question, most women who watch pornographic videos with their
husbands do it because he wants them to. He seems to like it, so she goes along. Just
sitting with him watching a video, any video, is often enough to turn her on, particularly
if he is amorous while they are watching it.
Before you run out to buy pornographic videos, ask your wife how enthusiastic she is
about the idea. Unless you have her enthusiastic agreement (Policy of Joint Agreement), I'd forget about it. Besides,
springing it on her one night when you are alone together has all the makings of a gigantic
To test my theory, watch a romantic movie with your arm around your wife and see where
it leads. Most women are much more comfortable with that approach to lovemaking than
to watch naked actors doing their thing.