Hello Dr Joe,

I'm a MSS and I'm gay. I went to therapy for two years and I feel very confident about myself now. However, I started a relationship 4 months ago with a wonderful man: he's super special, he cares about me and he has been very supportive about my past. At the beginning, the sexual chemistry was incredible but lately I have changed. I have always watched gay porn and my sex energy has been always good. For him, this is a huge deal and he was very offended to find out I was watching porn while dating him.

At some point, his sexual energy was too much for me and I felt offended. I felt he was only looking for sex. He want sex at least 3 times each week. I told him I was feeling like a sex toy! I must add, his penis size is bigger than the average so penetration is always painful. Maybe this is why I prefer looking at porn???

I'm confused because I know he is not trying to abuse me but I get mixed feeling about sex with him.

Dear MSS and Porn,

It sounds like you did some very good work in your individual therapy and became confident in yourself as an individual.

Relationships take us to a deeper place within ourselves than any form of therapy, self-help book or spiritual practice can ever take us. I have noticed that no matter how much work my clients have done on their own in individual and group therapy, there is another level of work in romantic relationships. In fact, most relationship experts talk about how healthy dependency in relationships transport us back in time to when we were most dependent in our childhoods onto our parents and other caretakers.

Given this, it is possible that as you were moving forward in the relationship with your boyfriend it was taking you to places which needed further healing and possibly could have been raising the sexual abuse issues again. When you say you were feeling like a “sex toy” and that you thought “he was only looking for sex” and that you felt, “offended”, sound like how many sexual abuse survivors feel during their abuse and following their abuse in their adult relationships.

It could very well be that you are right about him. I would just want you to make sure that you are not in your projections of him. The way to do this is to tell him how you feel and be open and honest with him.

Tell him his penis size hurts and that you need to go slower and perhaps engage in other positions or not have anal sex at all for now. Tell him you are concerned he is more interested in sex than you and that you are open to the fact that this could be a manifestation of your sexual abuse but that you are feeling this way and need to work it through.

His wanting sex 3 times per week in the beginning of the relationship isn’t necessarily unusual or abnormal. In the beginning of most relationships, sexual chemistry is always good. Internal hormones and chemicals are being released as the result of new love and attachment which causes people’s sex drives to increase. This doesn’t mean you have to keep up with him and it doesn’t mean that he sees you as a sex toy either.

Are you saying you prefer porn over sex in a relationship? That is not healthy if you want a boyfriend. It is fine to use porn in a relationship if it doesn’t take away from your sexual energy from your boyfriend. I would talk with him about this as well and explore what his issues are with porn. Why does he feel he is competing with the porn? Is that his issue or is that real from your preferred interest in the porn over sex with him? Pornography can be an intimacy blocker. Porn is easier to have a relationship with than a human being. Make sure that is the not case with you.

I suggest you talk with him openly and honestly about all of this. It sounds you already did about your past abuse which is great. Now bring it to the present and see if you and he can work it out especially because it sounds like you really like each other.

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