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Old 09-03-2011, 02:50 AM
Cheesehead100 Cheesehead100 is offline
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Default Polyamory perspective on internet porn?

What's the polyamory perspective on internet porn? I think it's fun. My wife thinks it's not cool because there's no love involved. Before poly came up, I could understand her issue about porn - because I should be thinking about her and her alone. Now it doesn't seem so clear.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:21 AM
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I could understand her issue about porn - because I should be thinking about her and her alone. Now it doesn't seem so clear.
Ok, never understood this thinking. Internet porn is no different than any other porn, including romance novels. Just my opinion.

Last edited by SNeacail; 09-03-2011 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:44 AM
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Ok, never understood this thinking. Internet porn is no different than any other porn, I including romance novels. Just my opinion.
I agree My hubby likes to 'look' at stuff on the internet, I personally am more turned on by written material.. but when you come right down to it, its basically the same thing.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:30 AM
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Just as there is no specific polyamorous Lifestyle, there is no official polyamorous opinion on porn, internet or otherwise. Individuals make their own decisions about what is acceptable in their relationships. You can wave the poly flag and use it as an excuse to do lots of things your wife takes issue with, be a total asshole if you want to -- but at what cost to your marriage? Remember, the focus of polyamory is having multiple loving relationships. Sex is a part of loving relationships, but not the only thing, and not the main focus. Always ask yourself if what you're doing is ethical and loving toward the people in your life and you'll know if that is acceptable in poly.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:41 AM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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I think your wife is making up excuses for why she doesn't like porn. "There's no love involved" seems like a rationalization. Does your every sexual thought have to involve deep feelings of affection and attachment? That just seems like way too much to ask of a regular person.

In fact, since you're poly, you're probably juggling not just love for her but also loving feelings for other people at the same time. That's a lot of pressure. In some ways, masturbation/porn is just a nice break from that--a sexual release that has nothing to do with love. That's kind of the point.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:05 AM
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In some ways, masturbation/porn is just a nice break from that--a sexual release that has nothing to do with love. That's kind of the point.
Well, ipso facto, masturbation involves self love, if you're doing it right. It could also involve love for your partner(s), if you think of them while jilling off.

Personally, I can see a link between porn positivity and being poly (or any other kind of non-mono lovestyle). If you're confident enough to not feel threatened by your partner loving and having sex with another live human being, looking at porn (alone or together) could be seen as an enhancement of one's fully embraced, positive sex life and fantasy life.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:07 AM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Originally Posted by MichelleZed View Post
I think your wife is making up excuses for why she doesn't like porn. "There's no love involved" seems like a rationalization.

...
I don't think this is at all fair, Michelle. A lot of poly people, and I am one, choose to keep sex to within loving relationships. That is why I choose to identify as poly rather than as a swinger.

I do not use porn, online or on paper, for this reason: I find it directs my mind towards women as bodies rather than women as people, and I prefer to think of my partners as whole people. I do read some romance novels (perhaps unusually, as a man) and find these different, precisely because the sex there is in the context of a loving relationship (whether short term or long term). I think I would enjoy a love film that included very explicit sex scenes: again the issue for me is putting sex into a loving context.

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Originally Posted by Cheesehead100 View Post
What's the polyamory perspective on internet porn? I think it's fun. My wife thinks it's not cool because there's no love involved. Before poly came up, I could understand her issue about porn - because I should be thinking about her and her alone. Now it doesn't seem so clear.
I think you are missing your wife's point here: she is not saying your sexual thoughts should be for her and her alone. (Maybe she was never saying that). What she is saying is that she would prefer it if you chose to keep all your thinking about sex to the context of loving relationships, with her and with others.

That is a point of difference between you as a couple: I am not going to say one of you is right and the other wrong, it is a difference you are going to have to work out between you as two people. Even if there was a poly line on porn, it would not help you as a couple: the issue is that you think about sex in different ways, and how you deal with that difference within your loving relationship.

And finally: to be clear to anyone else who does use porn: I am not saying it is wrong to do so, I am saying that I have made a different choice from you. I would expect a partner to respect my choice, even if they had made a different one.
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Last edited by trueRiver; 09-03-2011 at 10:17 AM. Reason: added response to OP
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:57 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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Okay, River, thanks for educating. I think you have a healthy approach to this--even though your thoughts about sex seem to want to dwell on romantic love only, you don't expect the same of your partner.

I think that's good, because nobody can or should expect to control their partner's thoughts. If Mrs. Cheesehead really is asking that Mr. Cheesehead keep all his "thinking about sex to the context of loving relationships, with her and with others," (we'll have to ask her if that's what she meant) then she is asking something impossible. Mr. Cheesehead can't keep all his thinking about anything to the context of anything. We can't control what we think about, and if we try, we're just pathologizing perfectly normal brain processes.

We can have boundaries about what kind of actions we will tolerate from our partners in relationships, but it is not reasonable to have boundaries about their thoughts.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:11 PM
trueRiver trueRiver is offline
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Originally Posted by MichelleZed View Post
Okay, River, thanks for educating. I think you have a healthy approach to this--even though your thoughts about sex seem to want to dwell on romantic love only, you don't expect the same of your partner.
That is not quite right. I choose to focus my thoughts on sex towards the romantic channels. That is a choice.

One of the ways I implement that choice is by not looking at porn, which tends to direct them in another direction. This does not entirely stop the process of sometimes thinking about objectising sex, but over time it makes it happen less often, and for two reasons.

Firstly, by not looking at porn, I do not get those porn-provoked sexy thoughts, which in my experience never involve loving relationships

Secondly, the less often my thoughts go there by my direction (looking at porn), the less often my mind drifts that way at random.


Quote:
I think that's good, because nobody can or should expect to control their partner's thoughts.
No, but on areas where we feel there is a moral issue we might expect a partner to take responsibility for controlling their own thoughts, as far as is possible.
Quote:

If Mrs. Cheesehead really is asking that Mr. Cheesehead keep all his "thinking about sex to the context of loving relationships, with her and with others," (we'll have to ask her if that's what she meant) then she is asking something impossible.

Mr. Cheesehead can't keep all his thinking about anything to the context of anything. We can't control what we think about, and if we try, we're just pathologizing perfectly normal brain processes.
Again, only partly true. We cannot control the thought that comes out of the blue, but we can do a huge amount to control what kinds of thoughts we have over a period of time. If the wife believes that sex outside of love is wrong (as opposed to simply being a choice), then it is entirely consisent with that if she says "I prefer you not to use porn because it encourages inappropriate thoughts".

To feel the force of this, suppose (contrary to what we are talking about here) that what was being looked at was child porn, for example. One reason some people object to its existence is that they feel it encourages inappropriate thoughts, and that in turn those thoughts encourage inappropriate actions.



Quote:
We can have boundaries about what kind of actions we will tolerate from our partners in relationships, but it is not reasonable to have boundaries about their thoughts.
Again, if you mean casual thoughts, I agree.

If you mean thoughts that are actively encouraged by the partner seeking after those thoughts then it can be entirely reasonable. Again, think about the position with child porn, if you believed it made the corresponding actions more likely.

And now think back to the mainstream internet porn we were discussing. Many people (some feminists and some others) believe that porn objectises women, by which they mean that looking at porn makes the viewer more likely (in their opinion) to treat women as objects in future. Someone who honestly believes that would be quite reasonable if they said to a partner that it was behaviour that was unacceptable to them.
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Last edited by trueRiver; 09-03-2011 at 02:18 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2011, 02:19 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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Originally Posted by trueRiver View Post
To feel the force of this, suppose (contrary to what we are talking about here) that what was being looked at was child porn, for example. One reason some people object to its existence is that they feel it encourages inappropriate thoughts, and that in turn those thoughts encourage inappropriate actions.
Yeah, though the more pressing reason to object to it is that, unless it's a cartoon, they use real kids to, you know, make it.
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