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Porn: Fiona’s story

Fiona talks about the impact porn had on her relationship, and on her self-esteem.

I started seeing my ex at the age of 22. He was 10 years older than me and we’d known each other since I was 14.

He was one of the older lads that had a car, he used to beep and wave at me, and made it clear on many occasions that he fancied me. He even came on to me in a local nightclub when I was 17, despite the fact that he was married.

I had a one year old daughter when we first got together. Her relationship with her daughter’s father broke down a few months before, and her new partner was very supportive during that difficult time. 

He began to introduce pornography early on in our relationship. He would run me a bath and bring wine and then initiate sex, and during foreplay he would put on a DVD.

As time went on I realised more and more that the sex life we shared was very one sided and not in my favour as I had originally believed. I do not believe now that it was a healthy relationship – either emotionally or sexually. 

Pornography became a huge part of our lives. He would use the internet to masturbate in the morning before I was even awake, he would look at men’s magazines whilst at work and he would turn on the internet or use DVD’s during intercourse.

I believe pornography affected our relationship right from the beginning but I did not realise at the time.

As time went on he would introduce video recorders, anal sex, sex toys, vegetables and would ask me to drop my towel when his friends came over (I drew the line at this).

I began to suffer from depression and told him on many occasions that I felt worthless and that I felt like I was not enough for him as he was always looking at other women. He would pretend to understand but things would go back to normal within 24 hours.

He would never agree that pornography was an issue for our relationship despite the conversations that we had had and its obvious impact on our sex life. I tried to encourage him to have relationship counselling but he did not want to as he didn’t feel that there was a problem.

I found it very hard to admit to anyone what I had been through, I felt ashamed, I still felt it was my own failings as a woman and being unable to satisfy him that had led to this behaviour.

However, despite my experience, I am still open-minded about porn. I have used it on occasion if masturbating alone and I feel it’s a case of each to their own.

Help and Support with porn

If you feel like porn is becoming an issue in your relationship it can be really difficult to talk about, and you might feel worried about what will happen if you do – but that shouldn’t stop you getting help. 

The Mix website offers great advice on what to do if you find pornography on your partner’s computer and how to talk to your partner about it.

Relate offers dedicated counselling to the partners of pornography users through live-chat, online messaging, webcam and telephone support. 

If your partner needs help and support in addressing their use of pornography, Thinkuknow has some general advice, and Sexaholics Anonymous UK offers free, confidential workshops throughout the UK. 

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