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Porn and couple relationships

Tags: porn

Do you feel like your partner watches too much porn, or prefers watching porn to being physically intimate with you? You’re not alone. On theCoupleConnection, many of our users come to the relationship forum to voice concern over their partner’s porn viewing habits:

‘My boyfriend recently admitted he is addicted to porn and watches it a minimum of four times a week. It has been seriously affecting our sex life for the past eight months, as we barely have sex. He’s admitted that sometimes he prefers to watch porn and look at other women and masturbate than have sex with me’ – forum post ‘Boyfriend addicted to porn’.

‘He would lie about watching porn, he watched it about five times a week minimum but normally more - he lost count’ – forum post ‘Boyfriend recovering porn addict’.

‘He will go almost a week without having sex with me but he watches porn every day and claims he’s getting ready for me’ - forum post ‘What to do’ .

This can be distressing, but it can be useful to know why your partner is watching porn, and how to discuss the issue.

Why a partner may turn to porn

Sex in a couple relationship goes through peaks and troughs. There will be times when you and your partner’s desire for sex and intimacy are mismatched. During these times, one partner may turn to porn as a substitute as their sexual needs aren’t being met.

Porn also offers the viewer a degree of control over their sexual experiences. They are able to fast forward, pause and rewind and see all the ‘best bits’ in order to become aroused. In real life, two partners are rarely feeling the exact levels of arousal during any given moment during sexual contact. What feels good for one may not feel good for the other and so on.

If one partner is finding sexual arousal outside of the couple relationship, it can make the real life partner seem almost irrelevant. It’s important to know the difference between having a sexual experience and being in a relationship in which you give sexual enjoyment to one another.

Talking about it

When you are concerned about your partner’s porn watching habits and want to confront them about it, try not to come across as judgemental. Take the opportunity to be honest with yourself and explain to your partner why you find this upsetting and why it is affecting your relationship. You may find some of the skills in our How To Argue Better course useful when you have this discussion.

Is your partner addicted?

If you are worried about the amount of porn your partner is watching, and suspect he or she may have an addiction, ask yourself the following:

  • Have you noticed a change in their behaviour?
  • Has your partner become withdrawn?
  • Is he or she no longer interested in physical intimacy?
  • During physical intimacy, does your partner seem distant?
  • Does your partner spend a lot of time or money viewing/buying porn?

 

If you have answered yes to the majority of these questions, you may want to talk to someone, your GP or a relationship counsellor, and ask to be referred to a sex therapist. They will help you both with what is going on and help you to recover your relationship.

Another step may be to log-in to our Listening Room service and speaking to one of our fully trained online helpers. Learn more about the Listening Room here.

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Comments

  • User-anonymous Nickname-Z Flag

    On my opinion 'porn' is not bad per se. it is the way it is used.
    Form my experience, I was on a sexless relationship,, she did nto want at all, or maybe 'your have one minute to come right now' thing, if I do not turn to porn I had became crazy. At least I did not had to think about her rejection.
    But as a later discovered, men need to be carefull about using porn, as it can turn us down on an actual sex act with your partner.., it is way different how we get excited with porn, or with your partner.

    And I tried everything a man can do, but simply she refused to be with me.. but she did not have a problem not liking sex, as after we divorced she had a lot of sex with few bf.

    I married again with a woman that was perfect, she had no problem taht I touch her or to touch me everyday, at least a little.
    I did not have the need to watch any porn at all for the 4 years I was married. Basically as we always and everyday at least touch each other at least a little, as soon as we both were in the same room in a situation to have sex , I was always hard and ready for what she wanted.
    Unlike my first wife that her presence 995% of the time meant rejection, si I had it always down, I had anxiety, and men have physically to unload, or mother nature do it for you on 'wet dreams'.

    Unfortunately, my second wife competed wit my children for my love ( That was a red line I told her before we married ) and I am back with wife 1 for the kids. but she is in intimacy as her worst with me - maybe I have not seen the worst.
    After 4 years watching no porn, and thanks to Don Jon movie (2013), I found a free web site than without it I would just go crazy... but again, that is a killer when she wants me to do her within 2 minutes every 6 months, not touching her, lights out, and few inches away form her. Basically she just want a 20'' guy that can get hard on command, and end within one minute. porn is not good to achieve this.

    my 2 cents

    Thu 31, Dec 2015 at 7:04pm
  • 10616519_10152229413280448_8358102735009211211_n Foreverinlove14 Flag

    When my boyfriend and I first got together it would not only upset me but make me feel unwanted when he would rather watch porn and masterbate rather than have sex with me. And after a very long time just feeling hurt or arguing about it, I actually asked him why he does it. And it had nothing to do with him not being attracted to me or wanting to have sex with me but with him not having the energy to have sex or wanting to just do it alone. And after talking to him about it things changed and he began including me in his alone time. Over the years I would watch porn with him just to see why he enjoyed it so much and he would ask me what I would like to see and if it was something that turned me on. To my surprise it did and it's been over 4 years of us watching porn together (not often, maybe a few times a month) and it's something that we do as a couple. It actually made our relationship stronger and I no longer get upset or hurt when he watches it alone. which may be daily or weekly, mostly when he's alone at home. I don't feel like porn should become a problem in a relationship if it's done in moderation and if it's truthfully talked about with your partner.

    Sat 21, Mar 2015 at 10:00am
  • User-anonymous pink_lily09 Flag

    leaving him is the best this thing you should've done ..go on with your life without him..

    Fri 6, Feb 2015 at 12:07pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    SEXPERIENCE, SEXPIRMENT, PORNSATION
    I know this is long but it's interesting!

    Hello, I have been in a very loving but strange relationship for three years on and off (like a light bulb). I am 28 years old, modeled most of my life and have an amazing sex drive. I love to watch porn, but with (moderation). I masturbate frequently as well without it. However, I started dating a gentlemen that just turned 50. He is very well established and so I am. The funny thing is, I actually noticed from the very first time we hooked up; that he had a serious problem. And, as time passed by I realized that this man actually is very much into porn. The moment I walked into his house he turned on the TV in the kitchen and "vuela" porn!!! I was not surprised because I watch it too, but it just seemed awkward to display it on the first date. I am was born and raised in Poland we are a bit more open minded so I simply said "nice".Anyways I noticed a repetitive pattern. He wouldn't cum, which "wow" me because, I love to climax, so the longer the better! He told me that he masturbates, and I said ok just as long its not taking away from my sexual livelihood we are good . He said that he toned it down. I didn't think much of it considering that I am 148 lbs he is 300 lbs. And sex was ok, but he was absent in it. He would be like a log laying there and even make comments on how the women in porn were so into it and always ready. This actually made me wonder. I started to see him more often because he is one of the smartest man I have ever met and I admire him. To make the story short he asked me to move in with him and I did. I sold all my stuff (big mistake) quit my job and was financially capable of taking care of my self and the bills in his house. But I was right, his porn was out of control. I left early that morning to go to the office and literally came back in an hour in a half to "fondle with him" and sure enough he was stroking his captain full blast volume and HD porn. I said ok, bad timing I felt stupid . I get it we all need it. Considering that we had sex the night before 2 hours and he couldn't climax. I didn't bring this up to him because I didn't want to traumatize him so I left the house. But, you see this was a problem for many years. Which would explain why he is alone! I just happened to get caught in the middle of it. A couple weeks past and I just had to ask him, how often do you do it he says " not often". But I actually walked in on him 12 times in my three months living with him. Then towards the end I was so frustrated with him that I blew things out of proportion and confronted him. This is the only argument we ever had. I took a bad approach because I was flustered and at this point ready to cheat. He was very aggressive and gave me every excuse in the book. He likes it, everyone does it and he was in rage. I apologized for my behavior. Then, I would pretend to be sleeping and he would go to the bathroom and jerk off. That was a slap on the face and he blamed everything on me. A week later I moved out. I was DEVESTATED, because when I asked him "do I satisfy you"? He said sometimes and then he said he wasn't that attracted to me to begin with. WOW, I moved on I continued my life I have nothing against porn and I am actually very knowledgeable in this area. What frustrated me in this relationship was the LACK OF ENERGY HE HAD, I would watch him because I am very visual not even emotional. He had no drive the boner was there do to Viagra but he was just not there. I can understand the overweight part and lack of oxygen which the faster he moved the faster he got agitated and it would be no boner. I like kinky, freaky stuff and not once I had an issue like this with anybody. My point is that one, of the greatest pleasures life has given us is sex. This is also the very basic instinct and motivation for all living things. Sex plays a major role, it surpasses the drug industry. It’s the most natural yet very dynamic aspect of our lives. Touching, feeling, smelling, tasting and visualizing; a combination of all our senses that is synchronized. The neurons, that dispatch the message releases a chemical called neurotransmitters into the synapses. These neurons in your brain act like a ping pong ball bouncing, from one neuron to another. One thing in common, that all of these neurons segment is to keep us “pleased”. He watched so much porn that he wasn't able to climax with regular, oral, anal all the time or even hand job. I tried to give him oral and it took 1:15 minutes for him to climax, and he said "you don't understand how long its been" I earned a trophy :). Porn is not for everyone, if you start using porn and still can have a sexy spicy and freaky sex life and love your lady. Not a problem Gentlemen you can beat it until it falls off. But when porn becomes, your priority and your life style is surrounded by it. You might as well just stay alone. There is no "porn addiction" it's not in the diagnostically statistical manual of mental disorders, but it could be qualified as "OCD". Dopamine levels, novelty and hard core sex is great, especially because it's a click away. From the evolutionary stand point man are supposed to have sex with as many partners, so we don't extinct. Until recently, scientists believed our brains were fixed, their circuits formed and finalized in childhood, or "hardwired". Now we know the brain is "neuroplastic", and not only can it change, but that it works by changing its structure in response to repeated mental experience.
    One key driver of plastic change is the reward centre, which normally fires as we accomplish a goal. Remember at the beginning of my discussion I mentioned dopamine over and over again. Here is why! A brain chemical that is highly addictive “dopamine”, is released, giving us the thrill that goes with accomplishment. It also consolidates the connections between neurons in the brain that helped us accomplish that goal. As well, dopamine is secreted at moments of sexual excitement and novelty. Porn scenes, filled with novel sexual "partners", fire the reward centre. The images get reinforced, altering the user's sexual tastes. Many abused substances directly trigger dopamine secretion – without us having to work to accomplish a goal. This can damage the dopamine reward system. In porn, we get "sex" without the work of courtship. Now, scans show that porn can alter the reward centre too. This doesn't happen to everyone, just like some people can drink alcohol and be happy. And others drink alcohol and act foolish and belligerent. Ladies this has nothing to do and I understand this can make you feel low and completely disregarded. I left him, he came back after 5 months in tears and proposed to me. I never once contacted him. I simply moved on. I accepted the ring, because we both admitted we had fault at what was happening INCLUDING ME. But that same pattern started again and the excuse this time was I work to much. I did travel out of state and I understood he was lonely. But at this point I ha absolutely noooooooo attraction to him at all. I was the one watching porn and masturbating, essentially I rejected him. I said " I am turned of by you". He didn't want to speak or talk to me and once again I got up, left the ring on the kitchen counter and left. So two months later he comes back. Wow magnificent energy not even sexual. He went to the gym lost weight changed his eating habits. I did hurt him, because he knew he had an issue and failed to mention it to me. So it's nice that I gave him that self gratification of making me cum like a nympho and deliver a boost to his ego, but what's in it for me? I am supposed to feel like I can at least make my "alpha" cum and feel like I am needed for something. It's been two months and he is back to his same old pattern, slowly. He has an issue, I am too young for this. I tried so once again I am leaving, but this time for good. I

    Fri 2, Jan 2015 at 6:56pm