“For flavor, instant sex will never supersede the stuff you have to peel and cook.” – Quentin Crisp

I think Quentin Crisp was really on to something when he made this statement.  I mean, this really is the difference between pornography and a loving relationship in a nutshell.  Pornography is instant gratification while relationships take time, effort, and investment.  Of course, we do live in an “on demand” culture so what’s wrong with instant?  Instant requires no long-term commitments, no patience, and no sustained effort.  It’s just there when you want it.  Instant works with iced tea, right?  Why not sex?  The truth is that while “instant gratification” has its appeal, it will never replace or hold up to the satisfaction of a healthy sex life in the context of a loving and committed marriage.  Here are a few reasons why.

First, porn is a hamburger (not even a quarter pounder) while healthy marital sex is a fillet.  Porn is quick, fast, and offers no lasting satisfaction.  When you get done your “quality time” with your tissue box do you ever say, “That was amazing … I’m totally satisfied!”  The answer is probably not.  I’d guess it’s more like, “That did the job but I wish I would have found a better scene or held out just a little bit longer before I fired off the ol’ rocket.”  I’m not going to tell you that every time you have sex with your wife it will be “the best ever” but if your sex life is healthy it should be satisfying.  Why?  Because it’s more about intimacy versus a quick hit.  Sex with my wife gives me a sense of appreciation from her that a computer screen can’t ever offer.  It is an incredible bonding experience physically, mentally and spiritually.  Porn may be instant but the satisfaction it offers pales in comparison to the enjoyment I get from sex with my wife.

Second, porn offers no companionship.  A healthy marital sex life not only gives spouses pleasure but it gives them a sense of companionship.  When you get done with your porn what do you have?  I mean besides some guilt, shame & a small mess to clean up.  Porn doesn’t ask you how your day was.  It doesn’t want or care to hear about what you think or feel.  Porn will never come along side of you when facing hardship and say, “It’s OK … we’ll do this together.”  Porn quite frankly doesn’t give a crap about you or your life; it’s there whether you want it or not and the only thing it cares about is the money it generates.  It may sound strange, but I’m very thankful that when I get older and less “viral” that I will still have an amazing companion who’s also my lover.  When you are 70 walking down the beach porn won’t be there to hold your hand and see the sunset, your spouse will be.  Porn may be easy but it doesn’t offer anything lasting like loving companionship.

Third, porn is isolating while marital sex is a joint venture.  Most people are social creatures by nature.  We rather enjoy life’s moments with others instead of by ourselves.  Would you rather go to a football game by yourself or with some friends that you can high five when your team scores (btw, why do we do that?  It’s not like we had anything to do with it)?  Hardly anyone says, “Hey I’m going to grab a beer after work … please don’t join me!”  When we go out to eat it’s always better with someone even if it is our crazy uncle because at least we don’t have to sit at a table alone while the wait staff stares at us with puppy dog eyes because we look lonely and pathetic.  Likewise, sex with your spouse is a shared experience.  You are enjoying it with each other … not just by yourself.  Porn however is not like this.  You don’t hear guys saying, “Hey after work let’s all go back to my house, watch some porn and masturbate!”  Porn is a very lonely and isolating experience.  It’s just you, your computer, a bottle of lotion and some paper products.  There is no shared enjoyment whatsoever; no conversation about how good the sex was and what you liked the best (unless you talk to your computer – that’s a whole different issue).  Why settle for the isolation of a porn fueled masturbation session when you can experience sex with a spouse who’s mutually enjoying the experience?  Again, porn may be quick and easy but it’s a solo venture.

These are just three reasons why healthy sex in the context of a committed and loving relationship trumps the instant gratification that comes with porn and masturbation.  Maybe you don’t care about these things.  Maybe you like it just being you in front of a computer screen with your pants around your ankles.  That is your choice.  However, I assure you that in the long run porn will never completely satisfy nor will it offer any long term benefits.  It’s fast food sex that comes with no happy meal.  You can do better!

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