My Boyfriend Is Always Watching Porn & It Makes Me Uncomfortable!

Deep Throat

“What are your thoughts on porn?

It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time, and it seems like every relationship I get into I have continuous fights about the boyfriend hiding porn from me. It makes me feel inadequate, like I’m not good enough or pretty enough. I’ve been told time and time again that it’s just what men do, but if it hurts us, why do they do it? I’m so tired of feeling like I have to compete. Have you ever had these issues? Any advice would be much welcomed.”

Let’s get something straight. Your current boyfriend — & all those who came before — doesn’t watch porn to hurt you, upset you, make you feel bad or unpretty. He is not watching it because he finds you unattractive or inadequate. He does not secretly wish he was dating Jenna Jameson. He watches it because he is human, & because watching pornography is totally natural & normal.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Secondly, this whole situation stems from your massive insecurity & self-esteem issues. You need radical self love bootcamp, stat!

No one is asking you to compete with porn, & no one is saying you’re not as beautiful as those women. You are conjuring that all up on your own!

I’m sure that even the husband of the Most Beautiful Woman In The World ™ has a bunch of bookmarks that he likes to visit when he has some time to himself. The main thing you need to realise is that your boyfriend’s pornography habit has NOTHING to do with you. Even men who are perfectly satisfied & sleeping with their dream girl every night STILL enjoy looking at porn. They are immensely visual creatures. They are hard-wired to seek it out.

You are emotionally pummeling yourself for something over which you have NO control. It’s very normal — especially when you’re young — for a man to have a higher sex drive than a woman, & looking at pornography is a very efficient way to deal with that.

A lot of guys just watch porn for the release, & most of the time, they would rather be having sex with YOU!

Elvis

As often happens, I took your question to Twitter & polled the responses.

@brutalcupcake said, “We watch porn when we want to get off, not to create personal expectations (which I think is what women fear).”

@mollycrabapple said, “I think its like a man saying his wife can’t watch Mad Men because Don Draper makes him feel inadequate. part of being an adult is going “yes there are people prettier/smarter/more talented than me, but I’m good on my own”. You’re not oppressed by something just because it makes you feel insecure #feminism”

@messwithtess said, “i know girls who feel that way cuz they feel if they’re “doing their job” boys shouldn’t need porn, so they feel inadequate..”

@adelesor said, “If a guy wanted a pornlike relationship, he’d just be single with his hand. I’m sure he’s with her for her brains and substance.”

@seanbonner said, “ask her if she’s insecure when her BF watches moves about female secret agents or comedies staring women? Same thing, dif subjt. remind her its all fake entertainment but in real life her BF wants to be with her. Fantasy is just fun and not real life.”

@verhext said, “I think if you aren’t comfortable with something your partner does you should keep looking. No one HAS to be ok with porn.”

Molly makes an awesome point. There are always going to be people who are smarter, sexier, wealthier or whatever than we are, & at the same time, there are always going to be people who are not as smart, sexy or wealthy as us. Does it make a difference in our daily lives? No, not really. Knowing, for example, that you have a higher IQ than the guy down the road is not exactly a source of pride or security. It doesn’t alter your reality in any way. You still have problems. We all do. So, what I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter where you are on the sliding scale of beauty, intellect or wealth. We all have our issues.

Comparing yourself to other people sucks & it hurts. Some people are caught in a constant loop of comparison with others, & ultimately, they are always trying to be someone they’re not. It is such a waste of life. You can only be you. Everyone else is taken!

You need to whip out your radical self love bible & start building up your idea of who you are. Get really familiar with your strengths, your beauty & your sexuality! It is unique & incomparable. There is no need to feel insecure or jealous about other women… ever. There is no competition. It’s all in your head.

You don't have to be perfect

You are probably not going to enjoy hearing this, but I’m going to say it anyway. If there has been a porn issue in every relationship you’ve been in, you need to look at the patterns closely. The only constant is you. The problem is not them — it is you. It is your insecurity that is causing ripples.

Being in a relationship should not be — & is not — the death knell for your sexual attraction to other people or different situations. While most of us like the idea of monogamy, the reality is that even people in the most committed relationships still fantasise about other people, have things they like to get off to alone, or indulge in delicious perversions that maybe their partner doesn’t enjoy.

When I masturbate — oh yeah, I went there! — that doesn’t mean I love or desire my boyfriend any less. When I look at porn — oh yes, I do! — I’m not comparing my boyfriend to anyone in the video. Hell, there are pictures of Bettie Page all over the house, & I’m not crying about it! She is gorgeous, & I love myself enough that I’m not threatened or intimidated by a picture.

Seriously, this all comes down to self-esteem. If you don’t work on loving yourself, I promise that you are going to have this problem with men for the rest of your life.

Ellen Von Unwerth

It’s true: I am pro-porn. I don’t really enjoy most “mainstream” porn, but we all have our tastes. I love Sasha Grey & Stoya & Mandy Morbid, anything by Andrew Blake (did you know Dita Von Teese has been in a bunch of his movies?), & a lot of stuff by Vivid Alt. A lot of it is wonderful — a brilliant escape into an unreal world.

So, you fight with your boyfriend about porn. Now, I know this might sound like the very opposite of what you are interested in, but have you ever tried watching porn with your boyfriend? It’s pretty fun. Once you get past giggling, it can be a good way to get a party started! Browsing the adult section together can be hilarious, & if this is your first time, maybe you should be allowed to call the shots on what you want to see. Violet Blue has some amazing smart porn suggestions for women; it’s a fantastic place to start.

Look, they always say that if you can’t beat ‘em (ho ho! Le double entendre!), join ‘em… right? My point is that porn doesn’t have to be something he engages in alone. If you’re feeling left out, why not ask if you can join in?

I also think that maybe part of the reason you’re so uncomfortable with him watching porn is that you don’t know what he’s looking at. Is it lesbian porn? Group sex? Transsexual? Perhaps if you actually get to see it with your own two eyes — as opposed to imagining the absolute WORST thing, like you probably are now — you’ll feel less panicky about it.

It’s extremely rare — & pretty much unheard of — that two people in a relationship will have the exact same sex drives, fantasies & desires. It just DOESN’T happen. Your sexual profile is completely unique, like your thumbprint. It is made up of all kinds of things, & it changes over time, too.

As long as your personal sex life isn’t suffering because of his porn consumption, you’re pretty golden. If your relationship is sexless but he’s in his own private heaven every night, then that is clearly an issue. You’d want to look at what’s preventing intimacy — & the exchange of bodily fluids — between the two of you.

Ellen Von Unwerth

It’s worth bearing in mind that relationships are definitely about compromise. There are surely things you do which drive him crazy (leaving nail clippings on the table, not rinsing your dirty dishes, never making the bed, or whatever), & so maybe this is just one of those things you’ll choose to grin & bear.

Tamera (@verhext) has a point when she says that if you’re truly uncomfortable with his behaviour, you should keep looking. I would estimate that about 90% of men look at pornography from time to time. Everyone has their dealbreakers — maybe porn is yours. It’s definitely possible that there is someone out there who is more suited to you — though asking about porn consumption in your opening gambit might be a bit much!

Whichever way you go, I believe that people have a right to be who they are, & for a massive percentage of men, looking at porn is part of who they are. When I got your email, I did some research to see how other women had dealt with your issue (because trust me, the way you feel is extremely common). Several women said that when they confronted their boyfriend, he said he would stop… & then continued to do it in secret.

“This is one piece of advice that I will give to all the ladies that do not like the viewing of porn. Do not buy or encourage him to get an iphone or anything with internet access. My boyfriend did quit looking at porn on our computer but started on his iphone. He can watch porn at anytime and anywhere. The bathroom, work, ANYWHERE.” (Source)

This woman has got it completely twisted. You CANNOT control your boyfriend — or anyone, for that matter! That is not your right. He is a person, not a dog to be trained! When you try to control people, all you create is resentment & bitterness. It will lead you both down a sad, ugly, destructive path. Even if you somehow put your boyfriend on a “masturbation starvation diet”, he would still find a way to get off without porn (when he wasn’t secretly hating his life). Be pleased that he is looking at some naked stranger. The alternatives, like thinking about some woman he knows in real life, or actually going out & DOING all those things, are much worse!

Masturbation is 100% normal, & villifying someone for engaging in it, or demanding that they stop indulging in their perfectly normal behaviour, is so wrong. The more you get caught up in needing your partner to live up to your expectations, the worse your relationship will be. Seriously, it’s time to live & let live! How harmful can a solo orgasm really be?

There are no quick fixes, but you have some choices. You can either leave your boyfriend & prepare to go through this with the next 3,000,000 men you date… or decide to fall in love with yourself so much that other women simply cannot intimidate you. Oh, or I suppose you could become a nun!

If what you want is reassurance that you are beautiful & fuckable, TELL YOUR BOYFRIEND THAT! Ask him to provide you with that! Any good guy will be thrilled to give you that kind of feedback.

You are a gorgeous, smart, articulate woman with gobs of fantastic qualities. THAT’S WHY HE’S WITH YOU! There is no need for you to worry that he wants someone else or thinks that you’re a horrible person. But I get the impression that no matter what he says to you, you’re going to continue feeling bad about yourself until you do something about it. Only YOU have the ability to change your perceptions about who you are, & how beautiful you are… & clearly, the time has come!

The simple fact is that no matter how much it may upset or disgust you, something as basic & instinctual as masturbation is never going to go away. So you might as well learn to live with it… & maybe learn to enjoy it, too!

Extra for experts: This is a great example of discovering your boyfriend’s secret porn stash & having a totally honest, open conversation about it. Here is a guy’s point of view, which I totally agree with.

Note: I have edited some parts of this article for clarity! It was — of course — not my intent to come across as being sexist or offensive!

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