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Sex With Susannah: “My Boyfriend Watches A Lot Of Porn”

I’m 26 and my boyfriend is 29, and we recently moved in together after dating for about two years. Things are going great except for one thing: my boyfriend watches a lot of porn … at least, it seems like a lot to me. Before we lived together, I knew he looked at porn periodically, but since we moved in together I’m realizing that it’s more frequently than I thought — like, three or four times a week. Lately, he wants to incorporate it as part of our foreplay, watching together before we have sex and then trying out some of the stuff they do in the videos. I’m fine with some if it, but not some of it. I’m worried that since my boyfriend watches so much porn, he’s going to lose interest in me. I guess I’m wondering why, if he loves me and is satisfied with our sex life (like I am), he feels the need to watch so much porn, and does he truly expect me to do all those things he see the porn stars do?

You are not alone in your problem with your porn-watching man. Newsflash: a lot of dudes watch porn, and a lot of the time women aren’t so sure how to deal with the knowledge that their dude is spending his spare time staring at big-boobed blondes getting it on with well-endowed dudes. It can be a little disconcerting. So, what’s a girl to do? Well, other than accepting the fact that dudes watch porn, the answer isn’t cut-and-dry.

Once upon a time, I went out with a guy who watched a fair amount of porn. Now, at the time, I, myself, was doing a fair amount of writing about the adult movie industry, and it would be wrong if I didn’t confess that because I wrote about the industry, brown boxes of free adult movies used to show up at my front door (care of the UPS dude), and I used to actually bring some of it over to said boyfriend. You could call me an enabler! And you would probably be correct. At the time, it all seemed so innocuous. I was a sexually astute, like, totally empowered, pretty sexually in touch woman (or so I thought), and my man watched porn. What man doesn’t? Yet, when it comes to porn, it can be a slippery slope, indeed.

After a while, by which I mean several years, porn became what I began to perceive to be an issue. He got kind of obsessive about it, and, like anyone getting obsessive about something, he began to hide it. For a variety of reasons — that our relationship was getting strained, that our sex life had cooled off somewhat since the early days, that my own relationship to pornography was changing — it became an issue for me. It sort of felt like porn was the other woman, if the other woman looked like a VHS tape, or a DVD, or a downloaded video clip. Eventually, it started to skeeve me out, piss me off, and the whole thing came to represent something else in the relationship that was bothering me: why was he paying so much attention to [insert other thing] and not to me?

That your dude is watching porn isn’t inherently a bad thing. It becomes a problem when it begins to affect your relationship. And it sounds like that’s what’s happened here. Now, it’s like there are three of you in bed, you, him, and all the crazy stuff he’s watching people do in adult videos that he wants you to reenact in your shared bed like you’re starring in “Me and Him Do It Like Porn Stars.” Blech. What’s not happening is him tuning in to you sexually. So, fittingly, you’re tuning out. Your feelings are justified, fair, and understandable.

Guys are visual creatures, and I don’t think a man who watches a “normal amount of porn,” whatever that may be, is something a woman needs to freak out about. But you’ve gone beyond that point. What to do now? It sounds like his thing for porn has become a bit of a dealbreaker, and the only way to deal with a dealbreaker is to test it out and see if it breaks. Sit your man down for a heart-to-heart porn talk. Tell him that you understand sometimes he watches porn, and that’s OK (if it is), but, frankly, it’s starting to bug you, and it’s starting to interfere with your ability to be satisfied in the sack. The bottom line is that when it comes to porn, it’s you or the porn. You kind of have to give him the opportunity to choose, even if that feels risky. If he chooses porn, tell him to drop me a line, and I’ll see if I can hook him up with a porn star, and he’ll find out pretty quick that the reality of porn is a far cry from the fantasy. If he chooses you, kudos. Tell him to lay off the porn, and then reconnect by figuring out what each other really wants sexually, so he can leave the porn behind.

Got a sex question? Send it to susannah@thefrisky.com.

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