By Melissa Ruff
This month we’ve been exploring some of the common “permission based” questions we get from people on a weekly basis. Questions that quite honestly, don’t help anyone.
If you are a woman, maybe you’re wondering if taking those sexy photos for your husband is okay during his recovery from porn or if it will trigger him to use again.
I get it.
It sounds innocent enough.
I mean, it is photos of yourself for your spouse.
Technically speaking, you are staying in the lines of what should be accepted into a marital sex life. But, there are some reasons it may be a no go.
Here are a few of thoughts to ponder through before doing something like this:
1. What are YOUR motives in having these photos done?
I know that may seem like the answer is simple, but it’s not. When I was in the midst of my husband’s addiction to pornography, I thought that maybe having sexy photos done of myself would curb his appetite for other forms of pornography.
It did none of that.
In fact, he continued to look at porn AND my pictures to find his pleasurable result.
I just contributed to him looking at pictures and masturbating to them. When it comes down to it, he said that it felt like I was giving him PERMISSION to continue in the addiction.
Another motive that I had, but just didn’t realize, was so I could feel “as good as” the women in the porn he liked. Pretty twisted, right?
Think about it: when our husband’s look at pornography, it makes us feel less than. We feel like we don’t measure up somehow. This is not the truth in any way, shape or form.
Our husband’s pornography addiction truly has NOTHING to do with us.
Yet, we still feel unworthy at first. So, in my entangled web of thoughts, I figured that I could prove to him and myself that I do measure up through giving him what I thought he needed.
That idea backfired and only left me feeling used.
You may have not even thought about what the photos could do to you and YOUR recovery.
Taking the photos, and then seeing the pleasure that your husband would undoubtedly get from them, could cause some triggers of your own. I know that it set off all the internal triggers of not feeling good enough, having no worth, being a sex object, being a less than wife and reliving all of my husband’s actions.
If those motives sound familiar, you probably should not be taking sexy photos. Don’t go backward in your recovery. Go forward.
2. Pornography addiction is just that: ADDICTION. With any addiction, there is a cycle.
According to Rob Weiss, LCSW on January 20, 2015, in Sex Addiction Expert Blogs, pornography, and sex addiction cycles look like this: Triggers – Fantasy – Ritualization – Behavior- Numbing – Despair-Triggers.
This means that there are triggers which begin a behavior that leads to the end pleasurable result that leads to despair which starts the cycle all over again.
If your hubby is struggling or has struggled with pornography this cycle is true for him. Addictive behavior has triggers. Some of those triggers could simply be “sexy” photos.
While the photos would be of you, the photos could still cause the addictive behavior cycle because they could very well be a trigger. If you are anything like me, the last thing you want to do is possibly trigger your husband to use again.
Be an advocate for HIS recovery, not a stumbling block.
3. Lastly, when having Boudoir photos done, it possesses the questions of who is taking them, how are they being stored and where (if you are) are you getting prints?
If anyone other than your husband is taking the photos, you are allowing someone to see you in a way that is reserved for only your husband. In this day and age of technology, if you are storing the photos on any device, that leaves the door open to your photos accidentally making it onto the internet.
If you are having the photos printed, who is printing them?
If you are printing them anywhere outside of your home, you are again allowing other people to see you in a way that only your husband should.
If you are printing them at home and storing the physical photos at home, what actions are you taking to ensure your children (or anyone that is not your husband) will not get a hold of them?
All of the actual steps to have the photos need to be thought through thoroughly.
Bottom line here: While there may be some gray areas, if you are looking to spice things up in the bedroom, try to always do it in the flesh together.
Buy some nice lingerie and wear it in person for your husband. Start having conversations about your sex life with each other. Open up the door to honesty and deep conversation.
Instead of spicing it up through actively condoning masturbation, start creating some real intimacy.
Real intimacy will make your marriage better!
Build up a deeper, genuine relationship. Taking pictures can never compare to the REAL thing.