My cheating boyfriend told me he was a sex addict. Was it a disorder – or just an excuse?

When I found out my partner had been lying for years, my whole world shattered. Did calling it an addiction mean I had to forgive him?

The vacuum cleaner is laid out like a snake on the living room floor – an image of domesticity I will come to remember as representing the unravelling of that home. I have always loved this room for its large, south-facing windows that could bring warmth to my face even on the coldest of winter days, but the summer sun today is suffocating. It is one of those mornings when the leaves are perfectly bright and the sky clear light blue. The outside world is beautiful, but mine seems to be breaking apart.

Just moments earlier, I was arguing with my partner about the division of household labour. Frustratingly, I have fallen into a stereotype – vacuuming around him while he’s on his phone. But this morning is different. He asks me to sit with him on the sofa; he wants to tell me something big, something personal. I leave the vacuum cleaner on the floor.

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‘It stopped me having sex for a year’: why Generation Z is turning its back on sex-positive feminism

The movement championed the right to enjoy sex and was supposed to free women from guilt or being shamed. But now many are questioning whether it has left them more vulnerable

Lala likes to think of herself as pretty unshockable. On her popular Instagram account @lalalaletmeexplain, she dishes out anonymous sex and dating advice on everything from orgasms to the etiquette of sending nude pictures. Nor is the 40-year-old sex educator and former social worker (Lala is a pseudonym) shy of sharing her own dating experiences as a single woman.

But even she was perturbed by a recent question, from a woman with a seven-year-old daughter who had caught her new partner watching “stepdaughter” porn involving teenage girls. Was that a red flag?

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The Lovers’ Guide at 30: did the bestselling video make Britain better in bed?

It featured an erect penis, and could be bought on the high street. The groundbreaking film changed attitudes to sex and censorship – paving the way to the Pornhub era

The second sexual revolution began 30 years ago, on 23 September 1991, with the release of an educational videotape called The Lovers’ Guide. The revolution’s unlikely figureheads were a film producer who had been making how-to videos about gardening and pets and cooking, and a 56-year-old doctor, while their ally was an American former TV and theatre director who had become Britain’s chief film censor.

The producer was a man called Robert Page, who had been approached by Virgin – which had recently started making condoms – to make a sexual health film for men that explained how to use one. There were two difficulties with that. The first was that no erect penis had been shown on screen in Britain. The second was that Page had no interest in making a film about penises. The censor – James Ferman, the director of the British Board of Film Classification from 1975 to 1999 – took care of the first issue.

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‘Sex isn’t difficult any more’: the men who are quitting watching porn

Addiction to pornography has been blamed for erectile dysfunction, relationship issues and depression, yet problematic use is rising. Now therapists and tech companies are offering new solutions

Thomas discovered pornography in the traditional way: at school. He remembers classmates talking about it in the playground and showing each other videos on their phones during sleepovers. He was 13 and thought it was “a laugh”. Then he began watching pornography alone on his tablet in his room. What started as occasional use, at the beginning of puberty, became a daily habit.

Thomas (not his real name), who is in his early 20s, lived with one of his parents, who he says did not care what he was doing online. “At the time, it felt normal, but looking back I can see that it got out of hand quite quickly,” Thomas says. When he got a girlfriend at 16, he started having sex and watched less pornography. But the addiction was just waiting to resurface, he says.

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How does porn impact men? | Modern Masculinity

A report published in January showed that parents of teenagers were either in denial or unaware of what their children watched online. With porn being more accessible than ever, the Guardian journalist Iman Amrani asks men how and why they consume porn and whether they think it has an impact on them and their relationships. Through responses from viewers, conversations with friends, and interviews with the journalist Jon Ronson and the female porn performer Casey Calvert, the latest episode of Modern Masculinity explores how taboos around can porn make life more dangerous both for viewers and performers

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