Ask A Sex Therapist: My Boyfriend is Into Kinky Porn, What Do I Do?

by Cay L. Crow

My Boyfriend Is Interested In Kinky Porn

Man sitting at computer view is from over his shoulder

Dear Cay,

One day I found my boyfriend looking at porn online. Then I noticed some of the porn was pretty kinky stuff. Nothing illegal, just kinky. When I confronted him, he said that he was just searching the Internet and he looked out of curiosity.

About three weeks later, I found a hidden box with three kinky porn DVDs. I confronted him again. He was furious, turning the focus on me snooping around. He told me that the DVDs were from a previous relationship which I found to be a lie. I found the web site on his computer where he purchased them. When I told him about finding this, he lied again. He said that maybe he lied because he didn't know what to say; he was embarrassed.

I don't know what to think. Could my boyfriend just be turned on by something not accepted as the norm or could he actually be interested in something kinky like that? I am confused and frustrated. Your help would really be appreciated. C.S., San Antonio

Porn Use In A Relationship

C.S.,

Porn is often a fraught issue for couples but it does not have to be. It is time for you and your boyfriend to have a frank talk about porn use in this relationship.

Let me begin by challenging your definition of “kinky.” Did it occur to you that what you might define as “kinky” is quite normal for him? Who is the final say on what is “kinky” anyway? People are endlessly creative when it comes to sex. People also have limits in terms of what they will or will not try sexually. If you think that he is watching this type of porn because he wants to engage in such behavior, you could be wrong. Maybe he is just curious. There is a big difference between someone's fantasies and the reality of their sex life. Fantasies are often very taboo and socially unacceptable - that is what makes them so exciting. The allure of the forbidden is powerful.

Most men keep their porn use private (not secret, there is a difference) because it is often paired with masturbation. Like most men, your boyfriend probably experienced shame around his masturbation habit. When you confronted him about it, he may have felt judged and responded by lying. You need to focus on how you feel about the issue, not what he is doing with porn.

What are the “rules” if any about porn use in your relationship? Porn is so readily available that many people watch it; to relax, to masturbate, or just because they enjoy it. Did the two of you discuss how you each feel about porn before you got together? It is absolutely necessary for couples to talk about the role porn will play in their relationship.

Porn is an exaggerated and unrealistic portrayal of sexuality. Porn is to sex as movies are to life. Movies take life and blow it out of proportion. Porn does the same with sex. Ask yourself what your concerns are about because this is a multidimensional issue. It is too simple to say that porn is the problem because it is not. Instead, this is about the meaning you attribute to your boyfriend watching it. Do you think it means something about you? That you are not enough for him sexually? I hear this often from women. It simply isn’t true and is more an expression of your insecurity than his porn use. Are you afraid that he prefers watching porn and masturbating to having sex with you? If so, this is also not accurate. Most men would prefer having sex with their partners.

And in spite of what you might read in the popular media about porn use, it is not addictive or dangerous, none of that crap is supported by good, solid scientific data.

Talking To Your Partner About Porn

What concerns me about your relationship with him is that there seems to be a lack of trust. I have to wonder if this is one issue of many. Why do you feel the need to check up on him? And why does he feel the need to lie to you? Is this an ongoing pattern? Why all the secrecy? At the very least, you may want to address these issues with a therapist. If therapy is not an option, then try being as honest as possible with him. Tell him that you are having trouble feeling secure in the relationship because of all the secrecy and sneaking around. Do not accuse but simply tell him how you feel. Start your statements with "I" as in, "I am afraid of what this means about our relationship" or "I feel as though you do not trust me." etc. You cannot control how he responds, but you can control how you communicate what is going on for you.

I highly recommend the book, ,His Porn, Her Pain: Confronting America’s Porn Panic with Honest Talk about Sex by Dr. Marty Klein for couples wanting to have constructive conversations about porn use in their relationship.

CAY L. CROW, LPC, AASECT-CERTIFIED SEX THERAPIST

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