I recently found out my boyfriend has been watching porn. He has been lying saying he doesn’t. Probably to save my feelings. He has sexy photos of me and says he uses those but sometimes he wants to look at other women. They have beautiful bodies and sometimes my pics alone aren’t enough. Of course I feel insecure now. I told him to stop but according to your articles that is not something I should do? I’m just so confused and don’t want to be lied to over this. But it is hard to be ok with him doing it. I feel like he should only see my body. What do I do?

Responses

  • Michael Castleman says:

    I see three issues: his porn watching, his lying about it, and your insecurities because of it.

    Many women believe that men who are coupled watch porn only if they’re bad guys no longer attracted to their lovers and considering leaving them. I suspect this is a big part of the reason you feel insecure.

    Actually, ALL men watch porn, every one of them: your grandfather, your father, all your uncles, your brothers, every man you’ve ever been involved with, and if you have sons, eventually them, too. Researchers have tried to do studies comparing sexual attitudes of men who have and haven’t seen porn. They couldn’t find a single man who hadn’t viewed it. Not one—and they searched very hard.

    Men use porn for one reason and one reason only—as a masturbation aid. Most men masturbate a good deal more than most women. Many men stroke daily, some more than once a day. And masturbators are not just horny teens or lonely singles. They’re men of all ages, single and coupled.

    Masturbation is a key way that men self-soothe. Most women self-soothe taking hot baths, talking to friends, and shopping (“retail therapy”). Men are more likely to stroke. You may not understand this. You may think it’s odd or weird. But that’s how it is. Most men masturbate a lot.

    Masturbation requires erotic fantasies. Men’s own get stale, so they turn to the Internet where zillions of porn images and videos are available for free. Men overwhelmingly say that viewing porn while masturbating is NO indication that they no longer love their wives or girlfriends or that they’re considering ending the relationship. Plenty of women swoon over Tom Cruise and other movie and pop stars. Are they thinking of breaking up? Rarely. Men feel the same way about the images they see.

    Many women object to men masturbating, saying, “I should satisfy all his sexual needs.” Sorry, you can’t satisfy his need to masturbate, which, by definition, is a solo pleasure. He was masturbating long before he met you. Asking him to stop stroking would be like him asking you to stop looking in shoe store windows. He could say: “You have so many shoes. Don’t they satisfy you?” To which most women reply, “I am satisfied with my shoes. I’m just looking, just seeing what’s out there, and fantasizing a bit.” That’s how the vast majority of men feel about porn. I hope this helps you feel less insecure. His masturbation DOES NOT imply any dissatisfaction with your relationship. He’s just window shopping shoe stores.

    Now about his lying about it. In the best of all possible worlds, women would accept men’s porn viewing and there would be nothing to lie about. But our world is no utopia. Men know that many women hate porn and feel threatened by it. To spare their lover’s feelings and avoid relationship grief, they hide their porn viewing and stroking. That’s suboptimal, but to my way of thinking, understandable.

    Many women can’t get past the notion that porn is disgusting and degrading to women. If you feel that way, I probably can’t change your mind. But a great deal of research shows that men who watch porn are not women-haters or abusive or philanderers. They’re average normal guys who stroke to self-soothe do deal with the rigors of life. A good deal of research shows that men who abuse women see, on average, LESS porn than typical men. Your guy is not at all unusual. EVERY man views porn and strokes.

    What should you do? That’s up to you, but I hope you at least consider saying, “It’s okay.”

    I hope this helps.

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