Counseling Men Blog
Advice for men – and the women who love them!

How Deceptive Sex Addiction Symptoms Can Really Be

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Wed, Feb 22, 2017

Part 2 of 2

If you want to have sex all of the time that must be a sex addiction symptom, right? Not necessarily. After all, don't most men want sex all of the time, and certainly they can't all be addicts. Actually symptoms of sex addiction are more complicated than this and don't always have an obvious connection to sex.

In order to better understand sex addiction symptoms, let's go back to the first article in this two-part series, Could My Husband Be a Sex Addict? In it we looked at several men who could possibly be viewed as being sex addicts. Terrence, Mike and Steve all struggle with their sexual behavior in different ways.
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Could My Husband Be a Sex Addict?

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Thu, Feb 09, 2017

Part 1 of 2

When people or their partners are trying to understand a behavior they think is a problem it's common for them to latch onto a term they think describes it, but sometimes in the end doesn't. Just like when we search on Google for something we often find that we have to refine our search term from what we originally thought would work. Sex addict is such a term that frequently gets misapplied and misused.

As an expert in men and their behavior I deal all of the time with people wanting to learn what makes a person a sex addict (both women and men). Frequently when people encounter behavior that is either new or different from what they believe is 'normal' they look to give it a negative label. This is especially true with the subject of sex and leads to men in particular being labeled a sex addict when it really may not be the correct description.
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Real-Life Pornography Statistics Explained

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Wed, Aug 10, 2016

There are a lot of out of date and inaccurate pornography statistics on the web. Surprisingly, counter to the high level of usage, not much scientific research has actually been done on porn use, and its effects on viewers and their partners. If you take a look around you'll find a lot of numbers from the early stages of the Internet, like the late 1990s and early 2000s, but not much that's more current and reliable.

It turns out that nobody wants to talk about porn, even scholarly researchers. The limited pornography statistics that are available are almost entirely based upon self-report. In other words, asking a man, "do you look at porn?" Asking someone to be honest about something they do in secret, are ashamed of, and do everything to hide is naturally going to be fraught with the potential for error.
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How Porn Hurts Your Partner

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Thu, Feb 11, 2016

Part 3 of 3

One of the things guys don't think about is how looking at porn affects their partners. It's very easy to think that porn is harmless and doesn't hurt anyone, but neither is true. The truth is porn hurts your partner - whether or not they admit or even know it.

A lot of men ask me how can porn hurt her when it has nothing to do with her? That's a good question. First, most women don't believe it doesn't have anything to do with them (as we'll see below). Second, as I wrote about in the last article about how porn can be bad for you, porn changes us and those changes affect our partner too. Lastly, it causes us to act in ways that are not loving.
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Is Porn Bad For You . . . Really?

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Thu, Jan 28, 2016

Part 2 of 3

It's natural for men to want to look at women, right? Yes, it is. Men like to look at women, whether they'll admit to it or not, and especially naked women. So is porn bad for you? Yes, it is.

How can porn be bad if it's just a way to do something that comes naturally? That's a very good question. Let's look at some real-life stories about porn users to learn how. Below are a few excerpts of submissions we've received from women whose partners watch porn. Following each story I'll give some feedback and explanation for each situation. If you're asking, is porn bad for you, hopefully these people's stories will help you see how it can take a natural desire and change it in ways that are unhealthy.

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Looking for Porn Addiction Help? Here It Is.

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Wed, Jan 13, 2016

Part 1 of 3

We hear every day from both men and their partners who are looking for porn addiction help. Men want to find out how to stop looking at porn, while the women in their lives are trying to understand why their men watch porn and how to help them stop.

Porn is so common, but also so misunderstood. It's becoming more and more accepted as normal in our society, yet causes tremendous problems that are most often unseen, overlooked, or ignored. Men finding women attractive and desiring to look at a naked woman is normal. However, viewing porn takes this natural desire to a whole other level and changes men in unhealthy ways.

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Why Does Porn Feel Like Betrayal? 3 Reasons Why

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Wed, Jul 29, 2015

A lot of women want to (or feel like they have to) be okay with porn viewing by their partner, but struggle with the feelings they have about it. One common feeling is of betrayal. But why does porn feel like betrayal?

It's not at all uncommon to feel this way. Many women struggle in secret with their feelings and have no idea that there are thousands and thousands of other women just like them in the same situation, wrestling with the same feeling of betrayal about porn and wondering why.
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Is Porn Erectile Dysfunction Fact or Fiction?

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Fri, Feb 27, 2015

is-porn-erectile-dysfunction-realPorn is a pretty uncomfortable subject for nearly everyone to discuss. Something that typically accompanies porn viewing that can be particular embarrassing is masturbation. And now a new problem has surfaced around porn and masturbation in the form of porn erectile dysfunction.

But wait a minute, isn't it just older guys who have erectile dysfunction? Yes, that is usually true, although men of any age can have this problem. Porn erectile dysfunction, however, is a new problem, different from regular ED, and it's affecting men of all ages.
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Porn Side Effects Aren't Always So Obvious

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Tue, Sep 30, 2014

It seems that every day porn becomes more and more acceptable in our culture. Sitcoms make fun of it and comedians joke about it like it's a normal thing all guys do. Men tell their partners when they get caught that "every guy does it" . . . "it's a guy thing." But porn side effects are never mentioned along with these endorsements.

Yes, there are side effects to porn, and they're not good ones either. Porn should come with something like the Surgeon General's warning on cigarette packages. "Yes, most men watch porn, but porn comes with side effects that will harm you too."
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Why Men Watch Porn - 8 Things Women Need to Know About Internet Porn

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Tue, Jun 17, 2014

So why do men watch porn? The answer is not as simple as you may think. Most people immediately think it's because men like, want, or are "obsessed" with sex. Those are some of the reasons they're drawn to porn, but not the real reasons why men watch it.

Understanding the reasons why men watch porn is not as important as knowing the negative effects of looking at porn. Both men and women often believe that "all guys watch porn" (not true) and therefore it must be okay (it's not). Watching porn negatively affects the guy watching it, as it does  his partner, who usually feels he is cheating.
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