Is It A Problem If My Boyfriend Watches Porn

Updated January 20, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Pornography and a person’s porn consumption are intimate subjects and can be uncomfortable to bring up, even in a close relationship. If your boyfriend is one of the ones seeking sexual satisfaction by looking at people naked, you may have felt betrayed.

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, are rarely talked about. In recent years, with the onset of increasing sexual awareness, discussions are shifting to sex’s importance in our everyday relationships. Talks centered on watching porn can be sensitive, and not just among couples. 

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.

Just because your partner watches porn doesn't mean they don’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.

Why Your Boyfriend Might Watch Porn

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. Relationships between two people are 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. This emotional connection may be part of what causes you discomfort when your partner watches porn. 

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 experiencing aesthetic or sexual attraction and acting on that attraction or desire. 

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; the sexual images he views in porn are designed for specific purposes, and they may have nothing to do with you or your relationship.  

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 may see it as a hobby or form of entertainment. To some, porn helps explore self, sexuality, and affection. Watching porn could also be 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.

It's important to note that if your partner’s porn consumption is having a debilitating effect on your relationship or their life, it may be considered a porn addiction. This is the main difference between casual use and too much use.

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 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 bigger issue. Talk to your partner about these fears and be honest about why you 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.

This communication is especially important 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. Talking to him directly about your concerns about his porn usage and how it's affecting you, your affection towards him, and your relationships can help you fully address these issues and resolve them.

It's also normal to be apprehensive 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 plan with steps to take when talking to your partner. Outline what is critical for you to address, including the reasons you feel porn is harmful to your relationship and how it affects you both, then find a time and place for the conversation with your partner about watching porn. 

During the discussion, speak directly to your boyfriend about the facts of your situation without putting the focus solely on your emotions. It isn’t helpful to finger-point or start name-calling; instead, consider using specific examples to communicate how you feel when your boyfriend watches porn, and how it affects the relationship. It may be a surprise to him that you are upset about his porn usage. 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 your 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. 

Is Your Boyfriend Addicted To Porn?

Porn, just like alcohol and other substances, can become an addiction if it is having negative effects on your life and relationships. Individuals addicted to porn may be seeking the euphoria that an orgasm could give. Some may 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. The strain of being in front of a screen can also cause to them as they experience headaches, neck pains, back pains, and even eye pains. 

Porn addiction can manifest in different ways, but the signs are telling on the state of your relationship. Your boyfriend may start becoming distant, have unrealistic expectations of you during sex, lack interest in previously pleasurable activities, and even forgo them to watch porn. Many of his plans may involve porn. 

If you suspect your partner may be addicted to porn, consider encouraging him to seek professional help.

How BetterHelp Can Help

If you need to talk to someone or develop coping mechanisms, you may want to consider therapy. Online therapy from BetterHelp can help you gain confidence in yourself and properly address issues with your partner through healthy, open communication. It can also offer you an external source of professional support, which can help you identify why your boyfriend’s porn habits may be an issue for you and him.

Recent research has proven that online therapy is effective in a variety of situations including couples therapy and addiction recovery. In fact, it has been shown to be just as effective as in-person therapy solutions for a fraction of the cost and time commitment.

Takeaway

While porn in and of itself is not necessarily dangerous, an excessive intake of porn can put stress on your relationship and on your boyfriend’s life. Additionally, discomfort with a partner watching porn can stem from a wide range of sources, and should be addressed with mature, open conversation. Professional support through online therapy from BetterHelp can help you and your partner to work through these conversations and, if necessary, treat addictive behaviors for a healthier, happier life. 

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