Why Does My Boyfriend Watch Porn When He Knows It Bothers Me?

By: Sarah Cocchimiglio

Updated November 09, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Nicole J. Johnson

Pornography is an intimate subject, and one that 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. A 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.

If Your Boyfriend Watches Porn And It Bothers You, There Are Ways To Talk About It
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Matters of sexual nature such as this get rarely talked about. Still, with the onset of increasing sexual awareness, sexuality and pornography, discussions are shifting to it and its importance in our everyday relationship. 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.

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?"

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 learn to navigate the challenge of addressing pornography use and addiction so you can move forward in a mutually fulfilling relationship with your partner.

Your relationship is about much more than your physical appearance, though that may be one factor. There is the emotional component that connects and ties you two together, making it a wholesome relationship. So if you don't want your boyfriend 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. There's a difference between being attracted to -- or even aroused by -- someone and acting on that attraction. 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.

Second, even if your boyfriend watches porn or wants to masturbate to it, 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 boyfriend watches porn doesn't mean that will change. 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.

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. 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. 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.

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Did you discuss the issue?

The bottom line is that you and your boyfriend need to have an open line of communication towards sex. 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. If you 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 relationship is 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. However, it's also normal to be fearful about having a conversation about boyfriends 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, then find a time and place for the conversation about your partner watching porn.

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 try to explore self and their sexuality. Porn could also be a form on which people deal with loneliness and boredom. 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.

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 name-calling either. Instead, use specific examples to clearly communicate how you feel when your boyfriend watches porn, and how it affects the relationship.

It is important to note that some couples watch porn together. It's not uncommon to hear a wife say, "I watch porn with my husband." 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.

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. If you feel it's degrading and your partner feels it's not a big deal, this may be a sign of incompatibilities in your relationship.

How Porn Affects Intimacy

What are your views on pornography?

Evaluate your views and values 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, 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.

If Your Boyfriend Watches Porn And It Bothers You, There Are Ways To Talk About It
Work On Your Relationship Issues With A Licensed Counselor Today

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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 negative 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 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. You care about your boyfriend, 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 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. Other research suggests a correlation between pornography and domestic violence. When pornography starts to control your life -- it's called an obsession, which could morph to an addiction that could ruin one's life if help is not sought on time.

In addition, mainstream porn tends to give men unreasonable sexual expectations of women, and porn may even perpetuate unrealistic beliefs and expectations regarding female orgasm and male sexual performance. Because of this, some men and women may even have self-esteem problems due to feelings of inadequacy with their sexual abilities. 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; there are both positive and negative effects that have been documented. 

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. 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.

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.

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. Porn affects not only their relationship but also the quality of their life. It could lead to unemployment, legal troubles like indecent exposure and even violence, financial difficulties, and low self-esteem.

Porn can end relationships, 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. 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. Relying on yourself to 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.

If you need to talk to someone, 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 relationship issues 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.

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.

Counselor Reviews

"The longer I work with Dr. Simon, the more grateful I am to have found a counselor who strikes such a kind balance between supporting and empathizing as well as challenging and coaching. She's been invaluable to the progress I've made individually and in my relationship."

"I've worked with Alyson for 1 month and it was my first time working with a therapist. From when I started, I feel so much better. I was dealing with frustrations in my relationship and I also was constantly stressed and anxious. Alyson showed me ways to communicate better in my relationship and how to work at them. She also helped me with stress management tactics and now I feel really good about how to handle my stress. I feel much less anxious now. Overall I am in a much happier place and obstacles feel like merely obstacles because there's stress-free ways to tackle life problems. Thank you so much, Alyson!"

Conclusion

Couples face many challenges, and learning how to fight the new drug --pornography can be a tough one to navigate. As you overcome this challenge, you can learn more about each other and grow as a couple. You may even enhance your sex life. If you are and your partner meets this challenge skillfully, your emotional closeness can deepen over time. BetterHelp counselors are here for you every step of the way.


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