Q&A: My Boyfriend Watches Porn A Few Times A Week. Should I Worry?

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QUESTION: It's normal for my boyfriend to watch porn a few times a week, right? I feel like I am over reacting to it. I feel more insecure about my body; but sometimes I think maybe it's more of a trust thing.., like I am worried he is cheating because he is watching this when I am not around. But I know he is home every night with me, he always tells me he loves me and he enjoys spending time with me. I worry that it’s going to interfere in our personal life. Should I be worried?

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Photo: Bonnaf

Television Set

Breaking It Down

It’s unlikely that porn itself will interfere with any couple’s sexual life. Some people don’t like porn and never watch it. Others rarely watch. Some like porn and watch in on occasion or even regularly. Some people integrate porn into their relationships in positive ways, and other people don’t.

This suggests that it’s not porn itself that’s the problem but how people feel about it and do or don’t talk with their partner about it.

For example, you mentioned that your boyfriend watches porn a few times a week but you also said that he watches porn when you’re not around. So how do you know that he watches it a few times a week? If he knows you don’t like porn, and as a result he only watches it in private when you are not there, he may be trying to be sensitive to your feelings and keep it away from you.

He gets to enjoy porn (likely as a part of his masturbation) and you don’t have to watch it or hear it or otherwise be exposed to it. As long as you don’t quiz him about his private porn watching or masturbation details, it doesn’t have to be a part of your life.

Your Concerns

The fact that your boyfriend loves you, spends time with you, and is home with you are all good signs of a healthy relationship. If you can express your insecurities and concerns with him, without making him feel guilty, those are also parts of a healthy relationship.

If you have concerns that he is cheating, I’d encourage you to ask yourself why. If the only reason you are worried he is cheating is because he watches porn, then rest assured that watching porn is not a sign of cheating.

On the other hand, maybe you’re worried about cheating because you’ve been cheated on in the past, or because one or both of your parents cheated, or because you’ve seen it happen often enough in your friend group or in the movies. If any of these are the case, try talking with your boyfriend about your insecurities and what could help you to feel more confident in your relationship.

Think About Your Needs

Finally, if porn use is truly a deal breaker for you but he wants to watch it, then maybe this isn’t the relationship for you. There are some men out there who don’t watch porn and, if that is very important to you, you may want to look for those men and be open, early on, about that mattering to you.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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