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Can I Have a Healthy Sexual Relationship After Porn?

In the full Candeo program, we have a special “Student Forum” where our Students from around the world can talk with each other, ask questions and offer advice. Recently, a new Candeo Student expressed some confusion about pornography and healthy sexuality. Below is his question from the forum, and then some excerpts from the responses he received from other Candeo Students.

I feel very confused. I came to the Candeo program because I have problems with pornography which means that I willingly seek sexual arousal through these materials. But then how come I feel so uneasy and unsure about sex and a marriage relationship? (by the way, I am single.) Is there anyone out there who feels like I do? Or is there anyone who used to feel like I do, but now understands what true love is and the true meaning of sexual relationships?

Student Response–
In my experience, watching porn and seeking sexual arousal through porn pushes people in the opposite direction of what real life, real connection and real intimacy are all about. As I have experienced people who have problems with porn, they are usually lonely and it is very hard for them to connect to other people and feel the joy from that connection. As I went through the levels of the candeo program, the tools helped me to come out of my shell and start to put aside my old habits, feelings and the ways I used to think about people.

The more I go on into the higher candeo levels and implement the tools and lessons in my life, I am more aware of what happened to me during my years of porn addiction, and now how much I really love to connect to other people. True love is in the opposite direction of porn. The more a person indulges in porn the less understanding and feeling of the joy they have of true love for others. In my experience, the years of porn cannot even barely compare to the joy and happiness coming from true love.

Another Student Response–
Porn take’s what is the truth and distorts it in all ways. An interesting experience I had a month or two ago was connecting with my siblings. I had such a false view of intimacy that I only thought that intimacy=sex, no questions asked. I have listened to a lot of Candeo podcasts and am on level seven currently. I don’t remember what level connecting with people is talked about, but I really liked it. One afternoon I started to have a talk with two of my siblings. The conversation turned to communication, emotions and the role sex has with both of these. I normally would have left due to the nature of shame and guilt I had about the topic of sex. This time I was able to stay and I even shared a thing or two on the topic. The thing is that it was an intimate conversation with my siblings. That was a big breakthrough for me because I thought it was impossible to be intimate with a sibling or a friend without there being sex.

This has opened my mind to what love is versus what I had always thought it would be. I am single and have had my share of one night stands filled with nothing more than lust. Because of those experiences and all the porn viewing I do fear when the time comes for me to marry I wont be able to have a healthy relationship. However the more I work on connecting with family and friends the less I worry about the negative aspect of things because I am building up the positive side of my life.

One More Student Response
I know that my perception and understanding of intimacy has been grossly distorted because of pornography. Now that I’m quite a ways into my recovery, I can look back and see how confused I was about relationships and sex because of porn. Real intimacy needs trust or it starves and dies. Porn has no trust, it is just two people hired to do a job for money, hence the lack of any intimacy in porn. We think we are finding intimacy when we watch porn, but it is just the brain seeking the relief it wants through a chemical release. We are seduced into believing that these people are speaking to us, and our brains go for it, but it isn’t real. Most of the actors in porn actually despise us. I believe that your feelings will change with time because I know that my understanding of relationships has as I’ve progressed through recovery.

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