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My boyfriend Watches More Porn Than He Tells Me

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My boyfriend Watches More Porn Than He Tells Me

I think my boyfriend watches much more porn than he lets on. Should I be concerned?

Not necessarily.

Whether there’s cause for concern depends on why there is deception (if there is deception), and not in the fact that we’re talking about porn. It would concern me just as much if he’s not letting on how much candy he eats behind your back, or how much he’s obsessed with a TV show.

In other words, the object of affection/interest/obsession is not a problem – there are plenty of ways to consume porn, eat candy, or watch TV without it being a problem. But there are only a few healthy reasons for hiding or deceiving your partner about anything.

If indeed he is being deceptive, is it because he wants privacy? If so, that’s OK. Does he feel like it’s a man thing, an alone thing, or something just for him? That’s OK too. In fact, it’s healthy for couples to have some separation, to have worlds where you travel alone. It creates room to keep growing (yes, even through porn) and a reason to keep getting to know each other.

Or is it that he feels a bit embarrassed? Or think (or know) that you’ll judge him? Or believe that you’d try to stop him? These are OK and understandable. And also changeable.

If you don’t have a strong repulsion to porn, and you wish that your boyfriend would be more open about his use, I’d suggest you make more room in your relationship to talk about porn. You can be indirect and curious, just to open the topic, “How old were you when you first saw porn? I hear that boys these days are watching it at 10. I found my parent’s tapes when I was 13 and was totally confused”. You can be direct and open, “Hey love, just so you know, I’m cool with you watching porn. I know that some guys hide it because they think they have to. But I don’t want you to hide it. And I’ll still give you privacy”.

If you have a strong repulsion to porn, I would suggest that you do some work for yourself, to get a more realistic idea of what porn is and can be. You don’t have to love porn or watch it, that’s not the goal. But you might benefit from a more peaceful relationship to it. Many people feel repulsed by what they imagine porn to be – perhaps informed by a few things they’ve seen that disgusted them or hurt them – and they remain wounded and easily inflamed by the thought of it. And this sensitivity becomes a problem when loved ones can’t be open with them, for fear of judgement. Here is a great article on feminist porn.

What would concern me is if he’s hiding it because he is become dependent on (a.k.a. addicted to) it. Porn use, like any substance use, becomes a problem when you don’t feel normal or can’t carry out daily functions without it. Often porn dependence comes with behaviors you can spot: Startle responses when you walk into a room unexpectedly, unexplainable spending, reluctance to travel (and be away from the source) or agitation when away, sneaking out of bed or unexplained absences, and dissatisfaction or disinterest in real-life sexual scenarios (because they pale against porn). If you do notice these kinds of patterns, have a conversation about it ASAP. Here are some ideas on how to intervene.

And of course, if you don’t feel strong repulsed, and he’s not being particularly deceptive, and you’re not feeling left out, there really is no cause for concern!

Have a question on your mind related to sex? Send them in to editorial@simplysxy.com


Karen B. K. Chan is a sex educator, emotional literacy trainer, and speaker in Toronto, Canada. Above all, she’s dedicated to widening the definitions of what’s erotic, cultivating ease and acceptance, and proving that emotional literacy, play, and honesty are sexy. Read the rest of her profile below!


Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock

Karen B. K. Chan

Karen B. K. Chan is a sex educator, emotional literacy trainer, and speaker in Toronto, Canada. Above all, she’s dedicated to widening the definitions of what’s erotic, cultivating ease and acceptance, and proving that emotional literacy, play, and honesty are sexy. She works with individuals, parents, service providers, and groups, and has taught in the sex and sexuality field for over 15 years.

Her current projects include delivering sex education in schools — for students as well as parents and teachers; video projects that challenges the idea of normal; workshops of all kinds, including ones that complement her 5-minute youtube video “Jam” (which envisions sex as a lifetime of jam sessions); developing tools to shift sex ed away from (sexual) activity and towards experience and meaning; and germinating the idea for a children’s book series on feelings.Karen is also ecstatic to sit on the jury for the 2014 Feminist Porn Awards, which gives kudos to films and videos that depict agency, pleasure, desire, connection, communication, and diversity.

Get in touch with Karen via email at karenbkchan@gmail.com

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