Is It Ok To Watch Porn When You Are In A Relationship? -Laurie Shoats L.M.F.T. Real Life Solutions Counseling, Inc.

Warning **Adult Content**

Is It Ok To Watch Porn In A Relationship?

Ahhh…. the topic of porn. Some of you may already be uncomfortable reading this while others may be slightly turned on and others may be intrigued. Whatever reaction you are experiencing is perfectly ok.

With porn being so readily available, it is inevitable that the chances of porn interfering/enhancing your sex life are increased.

Is porn taboo?

Is it ok in certain circumstances?

Is it cheating if you watch porn?

Does it mean there are problems in the bedroom if you or your partner watches porn?

Can porn make things better in your relationship? Can it make things worse in your relationship?

Is there such thing as watching ‘too much porn’?

If my partner watches “kinky” or “deviant” porn does that mean that is what they want?

If I am the one watching “kinky/deviant” porn does that mean I am a freak?

The questions listed above have come directly from my clients. Feel free to refer to your own moral compass for the answer. One of the keys is to make sure that your moral compass is aligned with your partner’s. If it is not then some serious soul searching and communication needs to happen. If it is then proceed as desired.

I am Laurie Shoats and I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and I have been practicing for 30 years. I am the owner/therapist at Real Life Solutions Counseling, Inc. in Coral Springs, FL.

If I had to estimate I would say probably about 75% if not more of my couples bring up the topic of porn in one way or another. I would be remiss as a Marriage Therapist to not be able to address porn during counseling because the subject is so relevant today.

The best answer to the questions above is to see what IS and what IS NOT working in your personal relationship.

Do not compare yourself to your coworkers, friends, cousin etc. They may have very different experiences in their very different relationships. What is acceptable in one relationship may be completely off the table in another relationship.

I am not here to be the judge and jury because we are all living our own lives according to the “truths” we have told ourselves about the world and about relationships. Many of my couples find porn to be an exciting addition to their sex lives. Many also say it is a fun way to learn new things and explore what turns each other on. There is nothing wrong with that as long as there is good communication and trust, and both partners have agreed that porn is pleasurable.

I have other couples who have decided that porn is cheating and that their relationship will become unstable if porn is involved. This is also ok as long as both partners are on the same page.

Can porn become problematic? Well, like anything else, if not done in moderation then yes, porn can be an issue.

What is moderation, you ask? Moderation can mean that the activity does not interfere with any other aspects of a person’s life.

I have seen porn become an issue when a partner is lying about watching it. I have also seen problems when someone is spending money on it and their partner is not aware of it.

Another thing that research shows is that people who watch porn excessively over long periods of time experience challenges being intimate with their partner. There are several possible reasons for this.

Listed below are a few of them.

1. If the person (usually the male) is engaging in Solo Sex while watching porn then their body gets used to the feel of their own hand. Their partner cannot replicate that feel of a man’s own hand no matter hard much they want to.

A man’s penis can get very accustomed to achieving orgasm through masturbation resulting in difficulties achieving climax or even maintaining an erection with their partner. The remedy to this can take some time. Reducing or even eliminating (temporarily) the amount of self-pleasure is the way to get this back on track. Do this while increasing the frequency of sex with your partner.

I understand all of this is easier said than done. It takes professional counseling to rectify this situation more often than not.

2. Another challenge with porn can be that whoever is watching porn may be “brainwashing” themself to believe that the way sex is portrayed during porn is the way sex is “supposed” to be. When they engage in sex with their partner, because their brains are accustomed to the sex they see in porn, their minds/bodies have a difficult time responding to real sex as a result. This can cause problems in the bedroom and have a downward spiral effect.

3. Porn is sometimes used as an outlet for people who have a hard time connecting on an intimate or emotional level with their partner or if they have issues with low self-esteem.

Porn never judges or criticizes. It is always available. Porn does not say anything negative to you. It comes with no strings attached. Porn does not require you to put any effort into another person. Porn allows you to be a “selfish lover”.

This way of being is not sustainable for someone who wants to be in a healthy and sexually intimate relationship. The best thing to do in this situation is to seek professional counseling to discuss these issues.

Also, reading material by Esther Perel can help you unravel the intricacies of sex.

Are you struggling with issues relating to porn or sex?

Call me, let’s chat.

Laurie Shoats L.M.F.T. (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist)

954.802.1601

Real Life Solutions Counseling, Inc.

Serving Parkland, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Boca Raton, Margate and surrounding areas