My Partner Uses Porn, Should I be Worried ?

Should I spice up our sex to compete with partner’s porn use?

Q. My partner of five years has started watching online porn. He says it’s harmless light entertainment. I should be grateful he is not having an affair, but it feels like competition. Our sex life has been fairly relaxed — which I’m happy with — but maybe I should spice things up? What do you think?

A. When a male partner in a committed long-term relationship starts to use porn, he is often surprised by a negative reaction from his partner. Many feel they are entitled to look at what they like, saying that everyone is watching porn and that it is harmless. But when the woman in the relationship feels it is anything but harmless, then there is a problem.

As humans, we are adept at rationalising our behaviour. Porn is readily available on the internet and is very seductive. This may be fine for him, but for you it is not. You are rationalising the situation by saying if he was having an affair with another woman, things would be really worse.

If this was the case think about the feelings you would have. You would be shocked and betrayed that your partner was having sex outside of the relationship. But instead of sex with another person, he is having sex with a virtual reality.  His relationship is with porn. It is always there, always ready, never has a headache, is never tired, and there is a variety of live images.

Many of the porn sites are quite aggressive and many women find them disturbing and feel they objectify women. It is a fantasy world in which men and women don’t match up to what is portrayed.  I don’t know if you have seen what he views, but many people are not comfortable with how they depict women. This is crucial for you because your partner is now viewing porn, an industry that objectifies women and men.

I think you both have to understand how critical this is for you. The buzz from porn is so great that usage can escalate. For some is can be like a drug. You may not feel as secure as you did. Intimacy may change. If someone spends a lot of time on the computer, there is less space for intimacy in the relationship

Porn isn’t a problem for everyone, but, in your case, you are concerned and the two of you need to evaluate the effect it has on your relationship.  I am concerned that you think you should spice up your sex life to compete with the virtual reality. I believe you are on to a loser before you start, because you are not being true to yourself.

Many couples spice up their sex life because they don’t want to be in the same routine, but it is their intimacy that they care about. In your ‘real’ relationship, you need to work together to explore what it means to be intimate. Talk about the relationship you would like and be open about the sex that works for you. You don’t have to act like a porn star.

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