#SexColumn: Is there a place for porn?

By Time of article published Jul 23, 2021

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By Sharon Gordon

My house has become the place where discarded adult toys and porn movies come to retire or die. I now have boxes of movies and I’m getting ready to leave them on the pavement to be collected by those who want them. And then I thought – my neighbours are going to think that I have a porn addiction! I don’t mind them knowing I watch porn, I just don’t want them to think I have any sort of addiction, It’s bad for business.

I often get asked if watching porn is okay. The short answer is yes – everything in moderation. The expanded question is -

"My boyfriend really likes to watch porn. I wouldn’t say he’s addicted or anything, and he wants us to watch together, but I’m not into it. We have a good sex life otherwise, and I want to figure out a way to make this okay, but some of my friends say that it’s not normal to watch porn when you’ve got a girlfriend, and even if it is, I don’t know how I can get into it."

Answer:

This is a very common question and concern. Let’s start by dispelling a major porn myth; there is absolutely nothing “unhealthy” or abnormal with watching porn in and of itself.

As long as we’re talking about legal adult movies, and as long as everyone who is watching is consenting, there is nothing inherent in pornography that makes it bad. That doesn’t mean that people do use porn in unhealthy ways, watching too much of it or becoming obsessive about it. But people do this with drugs, work, even sports.

Sex therapist Marty Klein says that no one in a healthy sexual relationship would choose porn over sex with their partner. Notice the qualification of “healthy”. It doesn’t sound like this is happening in your relationship, but it’s still worth pointing out that if you feel like you’re being passed over for porn, there’s definitely a problem, although it may be more a problem with the relationship than the porn.

The way that you each feel about porn, and the role that porn has in your relationship may be unsatisfactory to you, and you have a right to expect your needs to be addressed.

The first thing I want to suggest is that you talk about it. Without being judgmental, it would be interesting to know what he likes about porn. I use the pronoun he simply for convenience. She can be watching porn just as easily as he.

Is it the fantasy? Are there things he sees that he wants the two of you to try? Is it boredom or habit?

I also think you should take some time to think about your feelings around porn. Is it something you are interested in at all? If so, there are some key things to know about picking movies that might help you out.

If you are not interested in making porn a part of your sexual relationship, are you okay with your boyfriend still watching it sometimes? If it feels absolutely wrong to you, can you explain these reasons to him?

Sexuality is so complicated, and it goes so deep, that it is unlikely we will ever share all our partners’ sexual interests.

To some extent relationship is about compromise, and this may be a time when one or both of you will have to meet somewhere in the middle.

Porn has also got to be seen in context. Men do not last for hours and hours. They have fluffers on set t ensue that the erection arrives on time. Women use lube and make groaning sounds to disguise their boredom.

I once met a man who felt inadequate because he couldn’t meet the expectations, he’d assumed in a variety of porn movies. I told him that if he believed porn was real sex then I was allowed to believe that romantic comedies reflected real love and relationships. That put to into perspective.

No one ever talks to us about how to have great sex, so we use porn to teach us. The sadness is we learn all the worst traits. I recently spoke to someone who is doing erotic content on social media and her point is that if porn can teach you all the bad habits, it can be used to change patterning and teach new skills that make sex better.

Porn can help if your libido needs a bit of a boost. I honestly don’t know anyone who ever watched a porn movie from start to finish. We don’t really need very much to get the juices flowing.

I do think there are people who can become addicted and if this is you – do get help because like with every other addiction it will destroy your relationship. I always giggle when I’m asked about what I learnt from porn, my answer: It has given me an unreasonable expectation of how long it takes the plumber to arrive!

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