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Is It Bad For My Boyfriend to Watch Porn

How to Deal With Your Partner's Porn Habit


Q: I feel very insecure about my partner watching other naked women in porn masturbate. How do I deal with it? I've been in a depression due to insecurity.


It's natural for this to bring out our insecurities in a relationship. We're taught to believe that our partner finding anyone else attractive means they find us less attractive, or it's cheating, it's something many of us have been faced with and felt the same. When we find our partner watching porn, we basically have 2 options:

  1. We have the right to make this a breaking point. We can explain to him how this makes us feel and that we're uncomfortable with it and ask him to stop watching. It might mean that you have to break up with him, but we do have the entitlement to make this a rule for what we want in a partner, and there are people out there who don't watch porn, so we could meet someone who doesn't cross this boundary.

  2. We can try to work on how we feel about it and try to see it in a less negative way. We can explain to them how it makes us feel, they can explain to us why they watch it and we can come to a middle ground where we feel less hurt, and we also understand more about why they watch it.


Masturbation is Healthy in a Relationship


A lot of people masturbate while in a relationship. I've been in a relationship for 5 years and I masturbate to porn/erotica fairly regularly. For me, watching porn is something so separate from the experience I have when I'm with another person. I'm almost never attracted to the performers or even notice them specifically, I tend to enjoy the story or just seeing people have sex, it's a natural thing to be turned on by.

So for me, it doesn't impact my feelings towards my boyfriend as it's something very different from attraction or sex with a real person. Similarly, my enjoyment of masturbating and desire to do it regularly, has nothing to do with my partner. It's a sexual relationship I have with myself and I will always have that, no matter if I'm single or not. Porn is basically just a tool I use to make those personal experiences more exciting.


Although my partner doesn't watch porn, I probably wouldn't enjoy thinking about him doing it. I know it sounds hypocritical since I watch porn, but sex and attraction bring out our worst insecurities and they're not always logical. I know from myself, that watching porn doesn't mean that someone is less attracted to their partner, but my feelings can sometimes say something else, so if it was me, I would ask my partner not to do it around me or let me know about it. Blissful ignorance is sometimes a good thing, especially about things where we logically know it's okay, but it makes our feelings hurt.


When Does Porn Become a Problem?


It's not a perfect answer, and for every person and couple, the situation will be different. In extreme cases, porn can become an obsession and can begin to create problems, so watch out for signs like:

  • They watch it every day and spend more and more time doing it

  • They ignore their responsibilities in the home

  • It's affecting their work, they work less, or have had complaints

  • They are not attentive to you or your family anymore

  • They don't want to touch you or have sex anymore

  • They only want to more extreme sexual acts they see in porn

  • They become violent or aggressive

Watching for the early signs, like spending longer doing it, and becoming less interested in your regular sex life, will help you avoid bigger problems. If you are experiencing this with a partner, be strong and know that you do not have to put up with it, even if it's your married partner. Communicate, let them know the things you've been noticing, and tell them that they need to stop or greatly reduce their porn usage. They can seek help with a sex therapist.


This is really the worst-case scenario. Most people who watch porn, do it in a moderate, healthy way, so don't freak out if you don't see any of these red flags.


How to Work on Your Relationship


A lot of issues in relationships can be healed with open communication, empathy, understanding, and time. Here are some suggestions of what you can do to start healing the pain you feel about this:

  • Talk to your partner honestly. Hearing his side can help as he can explain to you his reasons for watching, which I'm sure will be nothing about you or how you're not enough for him. It is also a good chance to explain how it makes you feel and you can hopefully find a way to reduce that feeling.

  • Watch it for yourself and masturbate. Once you are doing it for yourself, you begin to see that it's nothing about your relationship being bad or that you're not attracted to your partner. It's a personal experience for yourself and it's actually very healthy to do in a relationship. Check out our guides on porn and erotica.

  • Start reading more sex-positive resources, especially about sex work, porn, and erotica. Understanding it more and seeing further than the sexy naked bodies, can help you rebuild a healthier narrative around it.

  • Try to separate your feelings from your thoughts. If you've spoken to your partner and you understand what they're saying, and you've agreed that it's nothing about you, but you still feel really bad about it, acknowledge that your feelings are one thing and your beliefs are another. Knowing this can help you in times where your feelings are stronger than your thoughts, and it can help you deal with them.

  • Work with a therapist, individually or as a couple. A professional can give you a great perspective and space to be heard and have a fresh understanding of things.

  • Keep working on your own self-love. Our feelings of jealousy come out the most when we feel bad about ourselves, and having practices that develop our self-worth can help us when we need a confidence boost, and when we need to make boundaries.


It might take months, it might take longer for your feelings to change about your partner watching porn but it might get to the point that you decide it's too much and you need to walk away from him as his actions are hurting you too much. That is always your entitlement and you don't need to force yourself to change your mind about porn if you don't want to. You are already taking the first step to heal by reaching out for help, so I hope you are able to find some peace from this situation.


Talk About Sex in a Safe Space


If you'd like to explore your sexuality more and talk more deeply about issues like self-worth, body confidence, and sex, join our sacred circle. The circle is a safe space where we meet live once a month and work together throughout the month on a private chat group. This month we will be working on sexual confidence and will talk about shame, body image, masturbation, and so many more topics. If you'd like to join that safe space, click here.



If you've been affected by a similar situation; how did you deal with it? Leave us a comment below.


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