Now Reading
Does Your Opinion On Porn Shift With Your Relationship Status?

Does Your Opinion On Porn Shift With Your Relationship Status?

Porn. For the most part, it is a culturally taboo word, unless of course you’re making a joke about it. I’m not a regular porn watcher myself, but I don’t judge those who do and happen to have had friends and partners who watch it consistently and see it as their go-to masturbation technique. I also know people who don’t want anything to do with porn and think it’s gross, disgusting and demeaning. People tend to be either all for or all against porn as a whole, and I began to wonder why, when we obviously have such strong feelings on the subject, is it something we don’t talk about? I reached out to our LD writers and asked them how they really felt about porn. Regardless of relationship status, I asked them, “What role, if any, does porn play in your sex life or relationship?”


When You’re Single

“I totally watch porn because I think it’s really interesting. It’s how I learned how sex works when I was a teenager. I had no concept of how a penis could fit into a vagina so that’s how I learned.”

“I’ve never considered porn controversial or taboo. I think that I saw that as a way of shaming people. I’ve always been pro-porn—I’m a bit of a hippy in the way that I see the body as an art form and I think no differently about sex or porn. I’m not sure I would date [someone] who didn’t or wasn’t willing to watch porn because that can big source of tension in relationships—if you’re going to be with me, you’re gonna have to be OK with the fact that I am a porn consumer. I have heard of guys being ‘reprogrammed’ by porn, meaning they’ve consumed so much of it that they can’t orgasm without it, which would be a tad concerning. I’m quite sure it happens to women as well, but mostly because it’s happened to me, which made me have to scale back. I wouldn’t be mad if my partner watched without me or wanted to watch with me. I think as long as you and your partner are grounded in the fact that porn is the pretty, painted version of sex, it’s cool.”

“I typically watch porn to help me get in the mood for masturbation. I consider self-love to be an important part of my life a single woman, and my go-to website is Lady Cheeky, a website made for women that focuses on body positivity. I find this to be a great outlet for me because it celebrates women’s bodies is an erotic yet empowering way.”

When You’re Dating

“I love when dudes watch porn and I like to talk to them about what kinds they like and why. It feels like part of really knowing your partner. Sometimes they clam up about it which I always think is interesting because they seem to also label it as negative… The last guy I slept with I asked about it [and he] told me that he doesn’t talk about it with women because they judge it… but I don’t actually think that’s true. I think [guys make] it up… [like] they’re scared their moms are still going to catch them or something… They’re embarrassed and them not wanting to share is… when I get irrationally jealous of it. I think it’s the same link to being embarrassed about liking rough sex, which I am also embarrassed [about because] I like it sometimes… I’m scared it’s anti-feminist.”

When You’re Committed

“I’m not a super regular porn watcher but my boyfriend is… I wouldn’t say that it’s an aspect of his sexual identity or that it has any impact on our relationship. He’s very open about it.”

“Not 30 minutes ago, I was cleaning out our closet and I found my boyfriend’s Fleshlight… I don’t have an issue with it. But then again the first thing I do when [my boyfriend] leaves the house is watch porn. Porn has nothing to do with your relationship. Sometimes you just want to touch yourself. It only becomes an issue when they look at porn obsessively but want nothing to do with you. It’s not an inherently bad thing and [watching porn] doesn’t reflect on you in any way. Sometimes sex with another person is a lot of effort. I don’t have to cuddle myself afterwards.”

“I was talking with my boyfriend last night and while I never watched porn regularly, he used to when he was single and I found out still watches it occasionally. While I knew he watched it before we were together there was something surprising/unnerving about knowing he still watches it now. We talked about it and for him it isn’t a ‘I’m not fulfilled in our sex life’ thing, and I’ve never thought porn to be taboo or shameful, but for some reason I immediately worried about what it said about him, me or us that the desire to watch porn is still there even in a committed relationship. After almost two years of being together [he] was really embarrassed to admit he watched it. He said he thought I or others would judge him. What got me was the, ‘You didn’t feel like you could share this with me?’ part. But after it was out there he seemed relieved that I didn’t judge him and I wondered if that fear of judgement is why people feel so ashamed or want to hide it.

I feel like the stigma goes back far into childhood experiences and even into the stigma of masturbation in general. I didn’t personally see it as an affair, because it was something that I knew early on in our relationship that he had [watched] while single, so I pretty much assumed he’d still watch some even when we were together. But a lot of people do see it that way. And admittedly it was a totally different experience knowing for a fact. Thinking, ‘Oh all guys watch porn.’ or whatever as a blanket statement is somehow more tolerable than, ‘My boyfriend watches porn.’ And what really got me thinking was—do I care because of what I THINK porn should represent in my relationship or because of what porn ACTUALLY represents to him, me and to our relationship? The myth vs. reality thing. The ‘If your man watches porn he’s all these horrible things.’ vs. ‘This is a bit of my partner’s sexual experience and we get to explore that together.’ thing.”

When You’re In a Long-Distance Relationship

“My boyfriend and I both still watch porn but we’re in long distance relationship so it’s a little different. We’re both really busy people with chaotic schedules and so it’s NBD for me. We’re currently taking a break from sex because I’ve had some PTSD come up from my rape so I’ve encouraged him to watch porn.”

When You’re Married

“I think that porn is in some ways super destructive. I dated guys who watched a lot of it through adolescence/early adulthood and I found myself sometimes disturbed by how it informed their ideas about women’s bodies and a woman’s role in sex generally. (My ex-boyfriend had noooo idea about how female bodies work and would try stuff that I was like, that fucking hurts and isn’t sexy?! But I’m sure he saw it in porn.) My husband used to watch it when he was a teen and apparently doesn’t anymore, but I honestly wouldn’t care if he did—in short, because he is a feminist and I trust him not to be watching anything I would find morally objectionable.

See Also

I don’t consider porn cheating AT ALL. I don’t care and I don’t need to know. But then, I should contextualize that my husband and I don’t have very strict rules about monogamy in general. We’re committed to our marriage but for us that doesn’t equate to ownership of each other’s minds and bodies.

I clearly have a mixed view as it depends on the content of the porn, but I don’t judge people who watch it or people who consider it cheating—each to their own. :)”

When You’re Divorced

“My ex-husband’s porn addiction is actually the main reason that I got divorced.  It has been proven to change the chemicals in the brain, just like drugs do. It can be highly addictive and destructive. In the end, his addiction made him emotionally abusive. If you want good research about porn and what it does to the human brain, I would check out Fight the New Drug. It doesn’t take a moral or religious stand, just research-based argument and personal testimonials.

It’s good to maintain an open conversation about it. Communication is essential to a good relationship… I think the problem with porn is that it literally lights up the same pleasure centers as drugs, so the viewer needs more and more or escalating levels of pornography, which then leads to addiction. It’s also generally a very secretive thing, which can fuel the descent into addiction. It’s hard to know exactly when something becomes an addiction, but in my ex-husband’s case it became something he thought about all the time. He would see the women in his life as objects rather than people. He could still function as a person, but he would use porn as a way to cope when bad things happened out of control. Not every porn user is an addict, but it tends hook people over time and after a while they can’t go without it.

It’s a hard line to figure out, especially since addicts usually deny the amount and level of porn usage and don’t see the damage that it does. I definitely respect all opinions, but I’ve done a lot of research and talked to neuroscience specialists who have done extensive studies, so I know a lot about the science behind it. I’m pretty passionate about making sure people understand the risks.”

Kirstie Renae

Entertainment Editor at Literally, Darling
Kirstie is an actress, writer, and dog mom currently living in Austin, TX. She proudly celebrated her two year anniversary with Literally, Darling in June of 2015! Kirstie enjoys binge watching TV shows, stock piling books, drinking boxed wine, enjoying a perfectly put together playlist and above all- time with her family and friends. In addition, Kirstie is an advocate of self-care and therapy. She believes we are all here to share our stories and finds meaning in doing so through her art.
Kirstie Renae

Latest posts by Kirstie Renae (see all)

View Comment (1)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll To Top