Your Boyfriend Watches Porn…Now What?


Guy Looking at Computer Screen and Looking HappyIn my heart of hearts, I would prefer to be in a relationship with a guy who doesn’t watch porn.  What I have found, however, is that it is very rare to find a guy who doesn’t watch pornography.  Even the ones who swear that they don’t usually do–they just try to hide it from you, fearing your disapproval.  Personally I’ve found that the easiest way to deal with the situation is just to accept that it’s going to happen at some point.  Not only would it be unfair for me to try to enact a porn ban, I suspect that I would just force a partner into a position where he would either have to lie to me or face my wrath on a frequent basis.  Of course, it would also be quite hypocritical of me to enact said ban anyway, as I have been known on occasion to read romance novels or, as I like to call them, girl porn.  Not only do many of them include quite explicit sex scenes, they all portray men in a highly unrealistic fashion–one that, as appealing as it may seem to be on the page, would actually lead any relationship involving me to implode violently in fairly short order.

It is worth examining, however, precisely why I–along with, I am certain, legions of other women and girls–object to a romantic partner watching porn in the first place.  If you were raised in a religious household or conservative town, you may object on religious or religiously-inspired grounds (yes, it is possible not to be a member of the majority religion in your area and yet still be affected by the morals found within that religion).  If it’s a question of religion, someone is either going to have to bend, or you’re destined for trouble.  Although I have seen successful relationships in which both people belong  to a different religion, those are by far in the minority and, I suspect, can only work in instances where one partner is far less attached to his/her religion than the other person.  Unless either the religions or the people’s underlying values are compatible, the relationship is unlikely to survive long-term.  If this is the case, porn may serve as a flash point that is itself indicative of a deeper and much greater problem.

Front Cover of a Romance NovelYou may also object to porn because you feel that it is demeaning to women, and further contributes to a culture in which men are encouraged to value women only for their looks.  Some forms of pornography are unquestionably demeaning to women, or can unconsciously lead men to have unrealistic expectations within their own relationship (“What?!  You mean you don’t want to have a threesome?!  But…but everyone does it, and if you really valued this relationship, you’d want to please me sexually.”)  If this is the source of your problems with pornography, I suggest that a compromise is in order.  Not all porn is exactly alike, and not all pornography is equally demeaning to women.  Apart from professional pornography, there is also amateur pornography, often–or so I’m told–featuring people  who are actually in relationships.  It might be advisable to attempt to steer your partner towards less-degrading forms of porn as a compromise.  (No, I still don’t like it, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and deal with it.  Besides, if he knows what’s good for him, he won’t go anywhere near my stack of romance novels.)

Men do not get any more unrealistic perceptions of women from porn than women get unrealistic expectations of men from romance novels.  Unrealistic portrayals of both genders abound in the popular media–television, movies, romantic comedies, ect.–it is impossible to avoid them all.  Pick your battles wisely, and only go down this road if you think that you can actually win and are willing to eliminate things from your life that you partner feels are demeaning to men.

You may also be uncomfortable with porn because you’re more sexually inhibited than your boyfriend.  While I’m not advocating that you become an exhibitionist, in this instance you might want to lighten up a little.  Your own inhibitions only serve to hurt both you and your partner.  Sex is fun, and a natural part of life.  You’re supposed to enjoy it.  It isn’t sinful and (apart from occasional blip–you know exactly what I’m talking about) isn’t supposed to be embarrassing.  It’s just remotely possible that you might actually come to enjoy watching porn with your partner–I know that several of my female friends do, and enjoy trying out certain of the more-manageable positions that they observed.

Happy Couple CuddlingYour final option is to enact your own personal “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which is basically exactly what it sounds like.  You’re aware that he watches porn, but you don’t want to know about it.  Depending upon background and inhibition levels, this may be your best option.  This is only advisable, however, if your dislike of pornography isn’t indicative of a larger problem that really should be addressed.  Although it is not advisable to keep secrets from your partner, sometimes it is best to keep your partner out of certain areas of your life.  By all means, let him know what you’re doing, but don’t demand that he accompany you every step of the way.  There is such a thing as over-sharing, after all.  Privacy is a good thing, especially in a romantic relationship.

 


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