Is It A Problem If My Boyfriend Watches Porn

By Sarah Cocchimiglio|Updated September 6, 2022

“I found porn in my boyfriend’s room. Now what?”

People watch porn. If your boyfriend is one of the ones seeking sexual satisfaction by looking at people naked, you may have felt betrayed.

Pornography and a person’s porn consumption are intimate subjects, and can be uncomfortable to bring up, even in a close relationship. If you suspect that your boyfriend or husband is watching porn, it doesn't mean that he doesn't love you or doesn't find you attractive. An online therapist can help you begin a difficult conversation by helping identify what bothers you, and what solution you want to propose. With or without a mental health diagnosis, therapy can help you improve your relationships, develop emotional awareness, and set healthy boundaries.

Are You Worried About Your Boyfriend’s Porn Habits?

A Topic That's Not Often Discussed

Matters of a sexual nature, such as porn viewing, are rarely talked about. In recent years, with the onset of increasing sexual awareness, sexuality, and pornography, discussions are shifting to it and its importance in our everyday relationships. Talks centered on watching porn can be a sensitive one and not just among couples. The first thing you need to know is that because your partner watches porn -- it doesn't mean your partner doesn't care for you or find you attractive, or that he’s seeking sexual encounters beyond what the two of you already have. It may help him give you the affection that you want.

Porn consumption is part of a billion-dollar industry; there are a lot of partners out there who are concerned about their partner developing a porn habit. These people ultimately find themselves asking the same question: "Why does my boyfriend watch porn when he knows it bothers me?" They may have mixed feelings about it and don’t know what to do.

In this article, we're going to discuss the reasons your boyfriend or husband may be watching porn. We'll also give you some tips on having a productive conversation with your partner about your partner's porn habits, unrealistic expectations, and how to fight the new drug that is porn addiction. After reading this article, you can form your own opinion and learn to navigate the challenge of addressing pornography use and addiction, so you can move forward in a mutually fulfilling relationship with your partner. You may also be able to improve affection and loneliness with relationships.

Relationships between two people is about much more than their physical appearance, though that may be one factor. For many couples, there is the emotional component, complete with intense feelings and affection, that connects and ties you two together, making it a wholesome relationship. So, if you don't want your partner to watch porn because you don't want him to find anyone but you sexually attractive, then your intentions are misguided.

First, it is completely natural for your boyfriend (and for you) to find other humans attractive. This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have affection towards them. There's a difference between being attracted to -- or even aroused by -- someone and acting on that attraction or desire. Many people consider their partner watching porn as a form of cheating. Whether or not porn is cheating in your relationship is up to you and your partner's discretion. In an effort to fight the new drug that is porn addiction, it's important to note the following: for porn to be considered an addiction, it has to have a debilitating effect on the relationship or the porn user's life. This is the main difference between casual use and too much use.

Second, even if your boyfriend watches porn or wants to masturbate to it for sexual gratification, he likely has no intention of having a sexual relationship with someone else. Most people don't watch porn because they're looking for a relationship with the people on-screen. Your sexuality is only one component of why your partner chose you and continues to choose you. Just because your partner watches porn doesn't mean that will change. He will likely still show you affection, even if he watches porn. The sexual images he views in porn are designed for specific purposes, and they probably have nothing to do with you or your relationship. Porn isn't the enemy. Think about if he shows affection for you after he watches porn videos. If he does, he likely doesn’t have feelings for the people he sees when he watches pornography.

Why Does My Boyfriend Watching Porn Bother Me?

Look within yourself and consider if you might be jealous about your boyfriend watching porn because of the attention he gives to other sexually attractive people. Keep in mind that this isn’t affection, like he shows you. If so, it's important to understand that jealousy is often based on your own fears, such as the fear that your partner will leave you for someone else and you will experience loneliness. If this is the only reason why you want your boyfriend to stop watching porn -- you may have a much bigger issue. Talk to your partner about these fears and be honest about why you really want him to stop watching porn. He may be able to reassure you that his porn usage has nothing to do with being dissatisfied with your relationship or lusting after a porn star. Healthy relationships involve talking to each other about your feelings and making compromises.

Did You Discuss The Issue?

The bottom line is that you and your boyfriend need to have an open line of communication towards sex and affection. This is especially true if your boyfriend watches porn. If you've been dropping hints about your dislike for his porn habits and that you want him to stop watching porn -- there's a good chance he is not picking up what you're putting down about his porn usage. You may keep thinking, "Why does my boyfriend watch porn?" If your boyfriend watches porn and you're worried, you need to talk to him directly about your concerns about his porn usage and how it's affecting you, your affection towards him, and your relationships.

Relationships are worth having this difficult conversation. If you don't address it, thinking that it's "no big deal," things could potentially get worse when unrealistic expectations are set. It could set you up to feel betrayal later as well. In short, if your boyfriend doesn’t know how you are feeling and what you expect, it isn’t fair to judge him or get upset about the things he does that you don’t like. He may not know that there is a difference between the way he feels about porn and the way you do, and he might not notice a difference in the affection he is giving you.

However, it's also normal to be fearful about having a conversation about partners watching porn if you're concerned it could bring up conflict. To make the conversation easier, it's a good idea to have a real-life plan with steps to take when your partner is watching porn. Outline what is critical for you to address, including the reasons you feel porn is harmful to your relationship and the affection you feel for him, then find a time and place for the conversation about your partner watching porn. Discuss his pornography consumption with him and what your concerns are. Don’t hesitate to talk about how the affection is lacking or you are on the verge of loneliness, if these things are relevant.

In the long run, people watch porn for a variety of reasons. Some have a higher-than-normal sex drive and watch porn for this reason. Others watch porn (or have watched porn) because it's a hobby or other form of entertainment. To some, porn is helpful in trying to explore self and their sexuality and could teach them about affection. Porn could also be a form on which people deal with loneliness and boredom – or your boyfriend could feel insecure or not know how to express affection. This could often lead to a porn addiction too. Watching porn could also be as a result of peer pressure. For example, your boyfriend watching porn could be because he has a friend who watches porn with his girlfriend, and they claim it improves their sexual chemistry. He may even watch porn because you two are in a long distance relationship, and he’s seeking sexual gratification, considers it a replacement for in-person affection, or uses it for masturbation, without having an affair. Keep in mind that both males and females watch porn.

During the discussion, speak directly to your boyfriend, and speak matter-of-factly; don't focus solely on your emotions. Don't finger point or start name-calling either. Instead, use specific examples to clearly communicate how you feel when your boyfriend watches porn, and how it affects the relationship. For instance, if he is on the internet frequently looking at porn and this is affecting your feelings and affection for him, this is what you should talk to him about. It may be a surprise to him that you are upset about his porn usage.

It is important to note that some couples watch porn together in their relationships. It's not uncommon to hear a wife say, "I watch porn with my husband." Listen and try not to interrupt him, and understand that he has his perspectives. It's not about being right. It is about understanding each other and trying your best to make the relationship work and rebuild you affection for one another.

If your boyfriend refuses to acknowledge your concerns or watches porn behind your back after saying he won't, then you should consider the possibility that you are not compatible partners. Alternatively, you could try mediation with a professional couples therapist or sex therapist to get to the bottom of the issue and hopefully improve your affection towards each other. If you feel it's degrading and your partner feels it's not a big deal, this may be a sign of incompatibilities in relationships. It may indicate that he is using porn as a coping mechanism, which could also become problematic in interpersonal relationships.

How Porn Affects Intimacy

In some cases, pornography can threaten emotional and sexual intimacy and affection in relationships. Emotional intimacy is the deep connection that close friends have with one another; it is the ability to have open, honest, and straightforward communication. Sexual intimacy, on the other hand, involves sexual behaviors and affection, including touching, kissing, or intercourse. If you feel like your boyfriend's pornography habit is affecting the intimacy and affection in your relationship, you have every right to be concerned. He may not see any harm in browsing a porn website and indulging in the porn world. On the other hand, you may have conflicting beliefs about the porn industry (and it really is a big deal to you). Since relationships are about finding the middle ground, you should talk to each other and listen to one another’s point of view before deciding how to handle the issue.

At first, you may feel hurt as it could feel like your trust as being breached. That alone could cause you to distance yourself from your boyfriend and withhold your affection, making it a bit hard to reach out to your partner in that regard. This can cause you to be distant from your partner, and if the offending issue (in which case is porn) is not addressed in a timely manner, it can further create room for doubts, a loss of affection, and uncertainties in your relationship.

Sexual intimacy and affection are just as important in relationships as other aspects, and pornography threatens that as well. When it comes to sexual intimacy, there are several reasons why watching porn can affect the regular sex and true affection that occurs between you two.

Someone who watches porn may need more sexual stimulus than usual to achieve the response that the pornography evokes. In this case, affection alone may not cause them to become aroused. Some may even begin to have certain unrealistic expectations from their partners, especially when it comes to sex and physical appearances, further widening the rift between the couple.

Normal sex in a relationship can also become less interesting for the porn user. By watching porn behind your back, he may be turning away from you sexually, but it's also an emotional betrayal. He's keeping a secret, and this also could be causing you to experience loneliness. This can be doubly frustrating if he's watching porn that's considered even more risque than the norm or repeatedly watching the same porn star over and over again. This could be a major factor in affection and whether it lessens or not. If your partner's pornography habit is affecting your sex life, or causing loneliness, then you need to take action. You might want to start with your understanding of porn and what you think of it. This would help you in narrowing down what you want and whether you can compromise for your boyfriend watching porn.

What Are Your Views On Pornography?

Evaluate your own feelings, values, and views on pornography. Ask yourself if watching porn has always been a big deal for you -- or if there is a situation that caused you to feel this way.

  • What would it mean to accept your boyfriend's porn use?

  • Would you consider watching pornography or pornographic materials together?

  • Does porn conflict with your values?

  • Why do you really want him to stop watching porn?

Looking back to when you were young, there have been times when you rebelled against certain values or changed your mind as you've learned more about yourself and the world. Your beliefs about porn could evolve, or it could be a deal-breaker. Don't try to force or get yourself to watch porn, solely because they enjoy it. If you eventually decide to watch porn with your boyfriend, do it because you want to.

Your religion may affect your beliefs about porn. Are you Christian and struggling with the morality of pornography? You may have very clear beliefs about the way God feels about sexual activity outside of marriage. Having sex with lots of girls (like porn stars) may have been frowned on in your upbringing or early life. If your boyfriend shares similar religious beliefs, and he too acknowledges the wounds that may be caused by pornography, you might consider getting help together. If he's also struggling, you can work to heal and rebuild trust together.

Perhaps you're upset about your boyfriend's pornography use because you are concerned about the certain harmful effects. For example, most mainstream pornography sexually objectifies women. Some even lean towards sexual violence against women, which can distort anyone's perception about women. Research shows that watching mainstream porn tends to produce stronger attitudes supporting violence against other women. In an effort to fight the new drug (that can be porn if left unchecked), it is crucial to have important conversations with your partner about porn and relationships. You care about your partner, and it is completely understandable that you're worried about these facts. It's natural to want him to stop watching content that may support violence toward women.

Another study designed to fight the new drug found that as men watch porn more, they tend to value women's rights and feelings less. The study also shockingly suggested that the results were similar among women; the more porn women watched, the less they supported women's rights. This indicates that it happens, no matter the gender watching the pornography. Other research suggests a correlation between pornography and domestic violence. When pornography consumption starts to control your life -- it's called an obsession, which could morph to an addiction that could ruin one's life and relationships, if help is not sought in time.

In addition, mainstream porn tends to give men unreasonable sexual expectations of women, and porn may even perpetuate unrealistic beliefs and expectations regarding affection, the female orgasm, and male sexual performance. Pornography is not a realistic depiction of healthy relationships. Because of this, some men and women may even have self-esteem problems due to feelings of inadequacy with their sexual abilities, which could in turn cause loneliness and unhappiness. If this concerns you, talk to your partner. You might gain more confidence in him if you share your concerns openly. He might also be willing to watch more realistic porn with less misogynistic portrayal of women if watching porn really isn't a big deal for him. It's important when you're talking about viewing porn that you understand it's a nuanced issue or course of action; there are both positive and negative effects that have been documented. All the effects of porn viewing are not necessarily negative for men.

Is Your Boyfriend Addicted To Porn?

Porn, just like alcohol and illicit drugs, can become an addiction if it is having negative effects on your life and relationships. You may be surprised that it's called a drug. The aim of the individual addicted to porn is more than the euphoria that an orgasm could give. Some even begin to lose interest in having sex with their partners. They may prefer engaging in masturbation while watching porn.

People who are addicted to porn tend to find it difficult to stop watching it. It becomes somewhat like a compulsion to continue watching. They become progressively irritated and frustrated when they cannot get access to it or can't continue viewing it the way they usually do. The strain of being in front of a screen can get to them as they experience headaches, neck pains, back pains, and even eye pains. These symptoms can give you a clue between the difference in casual porn viewing and an addiction.

Is your boyfriend struggling with porn addiction and its consequences? It can manifest in different ways, but the signs are really telling on the state of your relationship. Your boyfriend may start becoming distant, having unrealistic expectations of you during sex, lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities, and even forgoing them to watch porn. Many of his plans may involve porn. Porn affects not only their relationships but also the quality of their life. It could lead to unemployment, legal troubles like indecent exposure and even violence, financial difficulties, loneliness, and low self-esteem.

Porn can end relationships and change lives, but it can also ruin your boyfriend's ability to enjoy sex altogether. For some men, a porn habit can keep them from being a healthy sexual partner. For example, he could become dependent on porn for sexual arousal or to achieve orgasm. This can make it difficult for affection to take place naturally. Have you talked about how porn is affecting him, not just you? He may be struggling with his porn use, but unable to initiate that conversation. Porn addiction tends to affect ejaculation as it was reported on NoFap that 19 percent of the 27-31 year old that masturbates to porn experienced premature ejaculation; 31 percent of them had difficulty reaching orgasm, and 34 percent experienced erectile dysfunction.

How BetterHelp Can Help

Addiction is never easy to come to terms with, and porn addiction even more so. Because this is such a sensitive subject with potentially far-reaching consequences, a simple conversation may not solve the problem, in some relationships. Relying on yourself to set your own boundaries, discard all pornographic materials, and your boyfriend making a firm promise to you against porn may not be so effective, as it is an addiction problem. Getting expert help could be a turning point in your relationship and be an effective away to express your feelings and regain affection.

If you need to talk to someone or develop coping mechanisms, you may want to consider counseling, or you may want to try couple's counseling with your boyfriend. This is true even if you're one of the millions of women who declare " I watch porn with my husband" (or boyfriend). Many of BetterHelp's over 4,000 licensed therapists specialize in issues within relationships and regarding affection, and sex therapists are prepared to fight the new drug that is pornography addiction. BetterHelp have helped several couples just like you get through sex-related issues like erectile dysfunction and porn addiction that is affecting a couple’s lives.

Read on to learn what people in similar circumstances say about their experiences with BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues in their effort to fight the new drug that is porn addiction.

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