Does Your Opinion On Porn Shift With Your Relationship Status?

Porn. For the most part, it is a culturally taboo word, unless of course you’re making a joke about it. I’m not a regular p*rn watcher myself, but I don’t judge those who do and happen to have had friends and partners who watch it consistently and see it as their go-to masturbation technique. I also know people who don’t want anything to do with p*rn and think it’s gross, disgusting and demeaning. People tend to be either all for or all against p*rn as a whole, and I began to wonder why, when we obviously have such strong feelings on the subject, is it something we don’t talk about? I reached out to our LD writers and asked them how they really felt about p*rn. Regardless of relationship status, I asked them, “What role, if any, does p*rn play in your sex life or relationship?”


When You’re Single

“I totally watch p*rn because I think it’s really interesting. It’s how I learned how sex works when I was a teenager. I had no concept of how a penis could fit into a vagina so that’s how I learned.”

“I’ve never considered p*rn controversial or taboo. I think that I saw that as a way of shaming people. I’ve always been pro-p*rn—I’m a bit of a hippy in the way that I see the body as an art form and I think no differently about sex or p*rn. I’m not sure I would date [someone] who didn’t or wasn’t willing to watch p*rn because that can big source of tension in relationships—if you’re going to be with me, you’re gonna have to be OK with the fact that I am a p*rn consumer. I have heard of guys being ‘reprogrammed’ by p*rn, meaning they’ve consumed so much of it that they can’t orgasm without it, which would be a tad concerning. I’m quite sure it happens to women as well, but mostly because it’s happened to me, which made me have to scale back. I wouldn’t be mad if my partner watched without me or wanted to watch with me. I think as long as you and your partner are grounded in the fact that p*rn is the pretty, painted version of sex, it’s cool.”

“I typically watch p*rn to help me get in the mood for masturbation. I consider self-love to be an important part of my life a single woman, and my go-to website is Lady Cheeky, a website made for women that focuses on body positivity. I find this to be a great outlet for me because it celebrates women’s bodies is an erotic yet empowering way.”

When You’re Dating

“I love when dudes watch p*rn and I like to talk to them about what kinds they like and why. It feels like part of really knowing your partner. Sometimes they clam up about it which I always think is interesting because they seem to also label it as negative… The last guy I slept with I asked about it [and he] told me that he doesn’t talk about it with women because they judge it… but I don’t actually think that’s true. I think [guys make] it up… [like] they’re scared their moms are still going to catch them or something… They’re embarrassed and them not wanting to share is… when I get irrationally jealous of it. I think it’s the same link to being embarrassed about liking rough sex, which I am also embarrassed [about because] I like it sometimes… I’m scared it’s anti-feminist.”

When You’re Committed

“I’m not a super regular p*rn watcher but my boyfriend is… I wouldn’t say that it’s an aspect of his sexual identity or that it has any impact on our relationship. He’s very open about it.”

“Not 30 minutes ago, I was cleaning out our closet and I found my boyfriend’s Fleshlight… I don’t have an issue with it. But then again the first thing I do when [my boyfriend] leaves the house is watch p*rn. Porn has nothing to do with your relationship. Sometimes you just want to touch yourself. It only becomes an issue when they look at p*rn obsessively but want nothing to do with you. It’s not an inherently bad thing and [watching p*rn] doesn’t reflect on you in any way. Sometimes sex with another person is a lot of effort. I don’t have to cuddle myself afterwards.”

“I was talking with my boyfriend last night and while I never watched p*rn regularly, he used to when he was single and I found out still watches it occasionally. While I knew he watched it before we were together there was something surprising/unnerving about knowing he still watches it now. We talked about it and for him it isn’t a ‘I’m not fulfilled in our sex life’ thing, and I’ve never thought p*rn to be taboo or shameful, but for some reason I immediately worried about what it said about him, me or us that the desire to watch p*rn is still there even in a committed relationship. After almost two years of being together [he] was really embarrassed to admit he watched it. He said he thought I or others would judge him. What got me was the, ‘You didn’t feel like you could share this with me?’ part. But after it was out there he seemed relieved that I didn’t judge him and I wondered if that fear of judgement is why people feel so ashamed or want to hide it.

I feel like the stigma goes back far into childhood experiences and even into the stigma of masturbation in general. I didn’t personally see it as an affair, because it was something that I knew early on in our relationship that he had [watched] while single, so I pretty much assumed he’d still watch some even when we were together. But a lot of people do see it that way. And admittedly it was a totally different experience knowing for a fact. Thinking, ‘Oh all guys watch p*rn.’ or whatever as a blanket statement is somehow more tolerable than, ‘My boyfriend watches p*rn.’ And what really got me thinking was—do I care because of what I THINK p*rn should represent in my relationship or because of what p*rn ACTUALLY represents to him, me and to our relationship? The myth vs. reality thing. The ‘If your man watches p*rn he’s all these horrible things.’ vs. ‘This is a bit of my partner’s sexual experience and we get to explore that together.’ thing.”

When You’re In a Long-Distance Relationship

“My boyfriend and I both still watch p*rn but we’re in long distance relationship so it’s a little different. We’re both really busy people with chaotic schedules and so it’s NBD for me. We’re currently taking a break from sex because I’ve had some PTSD come up from my rape so I’ve encouraged him to watch p*rn.”

When You’re Married

“I think that p*rn is in some ways super destructive. I dated guys who watched a lot of it through adolescence/early adulthood and I found myself sometimes disturbed by how it informed their ideas about women’s bodies and a woman’s role in sex generally. (My ex-boyfriend had noooo idea about how female bodies work and would try stuff that I was like, that f*cking hurts and isn’t sexy?! But I’m sure he saw it in p*rn.) My husband used to watch it when he was a teen and apparently doesn’t anymore, but I honestly wouldn’t care if he did—in short, because he is a feminist and I trust him not to be watching anything I would find morally objectionable.

See Also
muscles food

I don’t consider p*rn cheating AT ALL. I don’t care and I don’t need to know. But then, I should contextualize that my husband and I don’t have very strict rules about monogamy in general. We’re committed to our marriage but for us that doesn’t equate to ownership of each other’s minds and bodies.

I clearly have a mixed view as it depends on the content of the p*rn, but I don’t judge people who watch it or people who consider it cheating—each to their own. :)”

When You’re Divorced

“My ex-husband’s p*rn addiction is actually the main reason that I got divorced.  It has been proven to change the chemicals in the brain, just like drugs do. It can be highly addictive and destructive. In the end, his addiction made him emotionally abusive. If you want good research about p*rn and what it does to the human brain, I would check out Fight the New Drug. It doesn’t take a moral or religious stand, just research-based argument and personal testimonials.

It’s good to maintain an open conversation about it. Communication is essential to a good relationship… I think the problem with p*rn is that it literally lights up the same pleasure centers as drugs, so the viewer needs more and more or escalating levels of p*rnography, which then leads to addiction. It’s also generally a very secretive thing, which can fuel the descent into addiction. It’s hard to know exactly when something becomes an addiction, but in my ex-husband’s case it became something he thought about all the time. He would see the women in his life as objects rather than people. He could still function as a person, but he would use p*rn as a way to cope when bad things happened out of control. Not every p*rn user is an addict, but it tends hook people over time and after a while they can’t go without it.

It’s a hard line to figure out, especially since addicts usually deny the amount and level of p*rn usage and don’t see the damage that it does. I definitely respect all opinions, but I’ve done a lot of research and talked to neuroscience specialists who have done extensive studies, so I know a lot about the science behind it. I’m pretty passionate about making sure people understand the risks.”

View Comment (1)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll To Top