It was 2 a.m., but I couldn’t sleep. After tossing and turning for what seemed like hours (but was only about a half-hour), I turned on the light and started reading.
That’s when I heard a mini-commotion in The Kid’s room.
“Good Lord; I think I heard The Kid masturbating this morning,” I said to Sara, calling her on my lunch break.
“I’m surprised you haven’t heard him before, given his age,” Sara observed. “Was he doing it to porn?”
“How should I know? I certainly not going to ask him!”
“Because you know he’s watching it, too.”
“Duh! He’s a guy.”
“Just don’t let him watch too much porn, or no girl will ever satisfy him.”
“Do you really believe that?”
“I do, don’t you?”
I don’t know. My gut (a little looser than usual lately but, hey — it’s a post-holiday gut) says no: How can a guy prefer to watch porn and whack off instead of having a real-live naked babe writhing all over him? I watch porn and as nice as it is to see hard-bodied men with rather, uh, generous members going at it, I’d much, much rather have a guy with a member of normal size (oh, OK, I’ll accept larger, too) naked in front of me.
So this fear about porn seems silly to me. But now sexuality counselor and author Ian Kerner warns that guys are masturbating way to much, and women are suffering because of it:
(M)en are masturbating 50 to 500% more than they would normally without Internet porn. So if a guy normally masturbated once a day, he might now be doing it two or three times a day. …
(T)oday’s woman faces more challenges to her sexual satisfaction than ever before. An increasing number of men are suffering from a syndrome I’ve dubbed Sexual Attention Deficit Disorder. Just as people with real ADD tend to be easily distracted, guys with SADD have become so accustomed to the high levels of visual novelty and stimulation that Internet porn provides that they’re unable to focus on real sex with a real woman. Men with SADD tend to find themselves getting bored or impatient during sex, and suffering from mechanical “male-functions”: They may be physiologically aroused and even have an erection, but they’re not at peak mental arousal. Guys with SADD may also simply lack the mojo for real sex because they’re depleted from masturbation. They’re not running on a full tank, physically, mentally, and certainly not sexually.
“Depleted from masturbation?” What a great way to be exhausted!
But I’m not sure about this SADD thing. I’ve been bored and impatient during sex from time to time — haven’t we all? That’s why women fake orgasms; they just want the guy to get it over already so they can go to sleep!
My problem with porn addiction isn’t the porn; it’s the addiction. Anything in excess — drinking, drugs, gambling and, yes, porn — is unhealthy. But, it’s the “excess” part that’s unhealthy, not the activity.
So, what’s the “right” amount of porn to watch? 15 minutes a day? A week? And how many times should guys be jacking off? Daily? Weekly? Kerner doesn’t say, and maybe that’s the problem — there’s no right amount for everyone; it depends how it’s impacting your relationships, if it’s impacting your relationships.
At least Kerner gives teen guys a buy; a few times a day isn’t excessive for them, he says. I’m sure The Kid will be relieved.
- Is porn a big problem fin your relationships?
- Are men masturbating too much?
- Are women?
- Would you rather watch porn and jack off, or have a willing naked person in bed with you?
- Have you ever been bored and impatient during sex?
© Cristian Ilie Ionesc – Fotolia.com
“So, are you and Sean getting together tonight?” Mia asked me as she, Sara and I trudged up the Matt Davis trail.
“Nah, The Kid’s with me tonight.”
“So?” Sara asked.
“So, he doesn’t sleep over when Trent’s with me. You know that.”
Sara stopped abruptly. “Still? Are you kidding me?”
“Haven’t you guys been together for, like, years?” Mia asked.
“Yeah, about three or four, I guess.”
“So why can’t he sleep over?”
“Kat, that’s crazy!” Sara insisted. “You guys are in a committed, monogamous relationship. You know Trent knows you guys are having sex! Why not be out in the open about it?”
I have no problem being open about a lot about sex with The Kid — just not about my personal sex life.
And, really, what kid even wants to think about his
or her parents having sex?
It’s just one big eww!! Most kids think they’re parents stopped having sex when the last kid was born, and they didn’t enjoy it anyway. So if I were still married, my sex life most likely even be an issue.
But when you’re a divorced parent and dating, it’s hard to hide what’s going on, beyond just the noisy sex thing. Having a man who’s not quite our dad, but more than a family friend shuffling over to the breakfast table in his jammies, bed-hair and morning woody — or that look on a guy’s face that only comes from having taken care of that — feels a little too in your face. And there’s always the chance that a kid’s going to accidentally see a boyfriend or girlfriend naked.
Of course, Trent knows what’s going on. But, I don’t feel like I have to fill in the details for him
- Is it OK for a boyfriend/girlfriend to sleep over when you have kids?
- Does it matter how long you’ve been together or how old the kids are?
- If one of your parents did that while you were young, how did you feel about it?
Photo © Angelika Bentin – Fotolia.com
“I need you,” Sara said with a certain sense of urgency on the cell phone.
“I just love when someone says that to me, but, you know, usually a guy.”
“Well, perhaps you just need to broaden your perspective, Kat.”
“Ha! What’s up?”
“I’m ready to try online dating again. Help me come up with a profile.”
And that’s how I found myself on a recent weeknight at Sara’s house, each of us in front of our laptops, some hummus and a glass of wine looking at the profiles of other 46- to 52-year-old women to see what Sara was up against. No problem with a SexyMama smackdown, but Cook4U (she’s cute, too) could
“OK, so, what’s your philosophy on life?”
“You know it — every day’s a blessing.”
“Sara, you can’t say
that. I mean, you just can’t. What a cliche!”
“But, it’s the truth! You know that’s me.”
And it is Sara, 100 percent. So are these
— energetic, bubbly, fun-loving, loves to travel, lives life to the fullest, good friend,
sexy. Yet she just can’t say any of that on an online profile. Well, actually she could, but I would never tell her to do that. Because it wouldn’t work in her favor. At all. It’s a total turnoff and people read more into a simple statement — “loves to take off on spontaneous trips” could mean high maintenance.
And as we went though the rest of Sara’s dating profile — interests, movies, etc. — I realized that there was a lot of things she just couldn’t say. Or she could, but …
That’s the weird thing about online dating — you can’t be totally honest.
And coming from an online dating fan who couldn’t even care less about a guy’s cliche online dating username or header — let alone his income — that’s saying a lot.
Most people think online profile dishonesty is about age or using old pictures. But even if you’re trying to describe yourself honestly, there are certain … buzzwords … that make someone sound inauthentic. If you truly are comfortable in jeans or jammie pants while watching a DVD on the couch and also happen to be totally comfortable in a LBD (that’s little black dress, for you guys) and f-me heels (self-explanatory?) at a social event — as I am — well, do you actually say that? No, of course not!
Even though it’s the truth.
Unless you look at creating an online profile as a challenge, which it really is. It forces you to say those things but in a more creative way. And, when you think about it, it forces you to think about yourself in a more creative way, too. That’s not so bad.
But for the people who aren’t able to do that, it’s all about the picture. Or is it all about the picture regardless?
- What do you pay attention to in an online dating profile?
- What words turn you off or on?
- How do you describe yourself online?
Photo © Milan Stanic – Fotolia.com