Post # 1
I’m hoping that the bee world can help me out. Because honestly I’m about ready to thump my husband in the head. And I’m pretty sure that will only lead to more problems, so instead I’m here, asking for advice.
What is the P word? Porn. It’s something that is so prevalent in our society that most people have seen at least a few graphic images. And it’s something I rarely have an issue with when it comes to my husband. Maybe I’m weird, but him looking at a naked woman when I’m sitting there looking too doesn’t bother me. Comparing and/or laughing at someones obviously fake sexy face is something that I feel fine with. What I can’t tolerate is the part where he now thinks it should be a nightly thing. And that if I say he can’t look, then he acts like a child and says he doesn’t want to be around me.
I realize most people are going to jump to the conclusion that he’s addicted and we need marital help and everything else. But he does have a bit of a point when he says he’s tired of my ambiguity on the subject. Most of the time I’m fine with him looking. Today it irritated me and I said no. Some of the time he looks, we both get ‘happy’ and it’s “boom boom” time. Sometimes he takes matters into his own hands. And sometimes I get so frustrated that if I see one more naked boob I want to slap him.
Which I realize makes me sound completely neurotic and that I’m giving mixed signals. But when it comes to porn is there really a solid line? I see it as something that can enhance our time together, but not something that should be a necessity. I guess really I’m just trying to figure out if I need to say no to porn completely, just accept it as a natural thing, or keep acting like a nutter and going back and forth?
Any ideas? Am I the only one out there that has a husband that looks openly?
Post # 3
Maybe there should be limits on it but it seems like you both enjoy it so I wouldn’t cut it out completely. I look with my husband sometimes but I don’t want him looking at it constantly.
Post # 4
Is he wanting to look at it nightly interfering with anything? For example, is it interfering with some activities you would rather do with him? with his household chores, his work, his health, his social life, etc? If it interferes with nothing, then you should just let him look even if you’re not in the mood that particular day. It’s like his alone time or him playing a video game that you don’t wanna play with.
However, if each time takes like 3hrs or signification amt of time (maybe 3hr is an exaggeration?), & u only want to look at it …e.g. twice a week, I can understand how his wanting to spend a good chunk of time every single day can interfere with your relationship. don’t know if what I’m describing fits the problem u’r describing….
Post # 5
Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with limiting porn – it’s much healthier than either extreme. It’s just like anything else – I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if he goes out with friends or plays video games once in a while, but if he does this nightly, clearly you would have a problem with it. You are not neurotic or a nutter!!! Try explaining it to him that way.
Anyway, once he understands that you don’t mind it occasionally, maybe you don’t need to set explicit limits (x times a week, etc) and he can limit himself all on his own. But if that doesn’t happen, I think that agreeing to a limit is completely fine.
Post # 6
If he looks at it nightly…it kind of sounds like he might have a dependency on it, which I don’t think is healthy, especially because you say he acts sort of defensive/childish if you occasionally ask him not to look at it. In any event, you are uncomfortable with his habits and you can’t just let it simmer as he continues his nightly ‘thing’.
Do you think that if he stopped viewing porn, your sex life would improve, stay the same, or go downhill? And does he need to view porn to get turned on? In that case I would say he definitely has an unhealthy dependency. I would highly recommend talking to a couples sex therapist, they will help your husband work through just why he needs to look at porn every day and how your attitudes about his porn habit fluctuate and why, and then help you set up goals and boundaries that you both can respect and be comfortable with. Sometimes talking through these sorts of issues just can’t happen without a mediator between even the most skilled communicators in a romantic relationship.
Post # 7
I think I’m with GirlWithARing here – as long as he’s not choosing porn over being intimate with you, then it should be fine in moderation, but if he’s spending hours and hours on it every day and it’s interfering with other things, then it’s an issue the same way doing anything else for hours and hours every day could be. (I for example used to spend a lot of time on video games when single, but when you’re in a committed relationship you cut down those sorts of things if they are hurting how much time you can spend together.
I think you need to present it as an issue about the amount of time involved, rather than any sort of morality thing about porn. I suspect he’ll respond much less defensively if it’s handled that way.
Post # 8
Thank you for your responses and support! 🙂 This is what I love best about the hive.
To clarify, he doesn’t need to look at it to get aroused, and we are intimate without it. He can go for days without looking. I don’t think there would be any change in our sex life if porn was cut out completely. I think it’s become a habit more than anything. I don’t know how to explain that there are some days, even weeks, where it doesn’t bother me a bit. And then there are days when it really gets on my nerves. I don’t know how to make him, or help him accept, that this is how I am about it. And how I’ll probably always be. I know it’s not fair to say one time it’s fine, and the next it’s not. And he always asks for permission first. It’s not like I catch him looking at porn when I’m not around. It’s strictly when we are together, and I know he’s doing it. I just don’t know how to make how I feel clearer so that he understands. There are days when it bugs me, and days when it doesn’t.
Post # 9
I know it sounds crazy but my fiancé decided to stop viewing porn, totally of his own accord (I swear I had no part of it, I was totally knocked for a loop when he told me), and our sex life improved dramatically. His expectations became more realistic, his engagement in foreplay and stuff was a lot more noticeable, and he was up for it more often in general. Now, I know for a fact that he was only an occasional porn viewer, and when he watched it, he’d watch amateur stuff, so it wasn’t like the fake tits/bimbotastic misogynistic crap, for the most part. But when he stopped watching it, our sex life improved dramatically simply because he learned to be 100% happy with OUR sex life. So sorry but I do think that even a small amount of porn can get in the way of the best sex possible for couples, especially if both partners aren’t 100% okay with it. This doesn’t mean I’m saying that couples can’t enjoy porn together, or that you can’t have good sex if one of you views porn. I’m just saying that I had assumed that watching porn was something every guy did, and prior to his cessation I’d told Fiance I would understand if he watched it occasionally, just as long as he didn’t do it daily or develop some sort of obsession. But he recognized that it was affecting our sex life and made the decision to stop, and boy am I glad he did. It did have some sort of effect. So to say that it’s somehow not healthy or too extreme to watch no porn seems a bit nuts to me. But what I really think is important is that both partners have their voices heard and should meet some agreement about how much porn is enough.
Post # 10
Not trying to start drama, but why does he feel the need to ask permission to view it? Is that something that you request? I don’t know how I feel about him having to ask to look at it.
If he looks at it alone he still “clears” it through you? That seems odd to me. Maybe its just his way of trying to be respectful and give you a heads up? In which case, I think thats great, but then he should not throw tantrum if he gets told no.
What I’m getting at is that I think its a bad idea for any marriage to have elements of “permission granting”. You shouldn’t “let” your husband do anything (go out with friends, watch porn, etc). Your husband should choose to do those things and then you should discuss whether its okay with both of you. But for him to have to ask permission, that sets a precedent that puts you in a “mommying” role. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I would decide whether you are okay with him looking at porn or not. Then, if your answer is yes, stop having him “ask permission” to do so. As long as you and he have decided it is okay, then let it go. He shouldn’t have to ask you.
If you two (together) decide that you are not comfortable with porn, then cut it out completely cold turkey.
The permission-granting and denying stuff to me is bad news though.
Post # 11
texaslawgirl: Thank you for your perspective! I hadn’t thought of it like that. His asking me I think started out of respect. Before we were married we didn’t live together, and while I knew he looked at porn occasionally, it didn’t bother me. Now that we are married and living together, I think it’s his way of making sure that it won’t bother me. He knows that sometimes it gets on my nerves when he does. I think I need to decide once and for all what I want. Is is something I can live with, and if not how to express that. The problem is mostly me. A lot is tied to my own insecurities. Most days I don’t care, but there are those days when I feel insecure about myself, and my body, and I don’t like it at all. I don’t know that there is a way to have it both ways. Where he can look and I can be fine with it, even on those days when I feel less secure.
I appreciate your feedback because I hadn’t thought of it as mothering him. We just have a general rule that when we want or are thinking of doing something that the other person has objected to in the past that we run it by eachother. Whether it’s porn, or my shopping habits, or him going out with a friend I don’t like. I’ve always seen it as a sign of respecting eachother and being open. “I’m thinking of doing this, how do you feel?” and then depending on the response we make a decision. Sometimes he still goes ahead with whatever he wanted to do, and so do I, even if the other person objects.
The part I hate is that what started as something simple has escalated to a fight. Because I this point, although I know I have my hand in it by not being decisive either way, I really want to tell him to get his head out of his ass. 🙂
Post # 12
Well for starters, there is NOTHING wrong with not wanting your husband/FI/SO looking at porn. A lot of women feel that the industry as a whole is disrespectful to women and they don’t want any part of it. I can see where they are coming from. I don’t personally feel that way, but everyone has different limits that they are comfortable with. You have to decide what yours are.
Maybe you will decide that you don’t mind porn, but you would like to be present when you guys watch it (ie make it a couples thing). Or maybe you will decide that since you still have days when it makes you feel icky, that it is better to find a new way for yall to connect sexually.
I think if you didn’t have a problem with it before, and he has been accustomed to looking at it before (like 99.99999% of all guys!) then maybe the best thing to do would be to find a way to make it work for you. Try to figure out what is making you uncomfortable about it. Is it that you feel like it is taking attention away from you? Do you connect it with immaturity on his part (I sort of felt like “Oh my god, why is that necessary??? Grow up!” moments with my ex-FI when he would be looking at it). Try to figure out what irks you about it.
Also, if you can experiment and find a way to enjoy it/appreciate it on your own that would be awesome. I think there is a time and place for porn– even for girls! I watch it myself– there is nothing wrong or shameful about it! but I do have *very* specific porn taste, lol. If you can find a type that turns YOU on (without him!) then you will be able to kind of *OWN* it, you know? It’s like if your SO is really into motorcycles and you never get what the big deal is and sort of resent him for it. Then one day you find a bike you love and what do you know? Now you love motorcycles too!
I think its awesome that he is so respectful of your relationship. I would try to find a way to steer it out of the permission asking role though, and look into seeing if there is a way you can make it work for you. Porn can be fun 🙂
Post # 13
Hmm…I think texaslawgirl by and large gave great advice, but I don’t know that the motorcycle analogy is a good one. There’s a difference between resenting your husband because he watches porn and you find it degrading to women, or disrespectful to you and an impairment in your relationship because it creates unrealistic expectations or a sexual/physical desire for some female other than his own wife and merely resenting that he spends so much time with his bike. Unless he needs some psychiatric evaluation, he’s not going to physically/sexually desire his motorcycle. I remember a time in a previous relationship when I asked a boyfriend how he’d feel if I spent a lot of time ogling and masturbating to naked men on the internet and he admitted he would not like it at all. So it almost seems like a resentful thing to do to try to get into porn just because he does, not like it would cause less resentment on your part OR his. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with women watching porn if they’re in a relationship if their partners are okay with it, I just think that can be a tricky situation.
I still recommend couples counseling…I have just found a third party perspective to be so helpful for some things, and if you can’t quite flesh out precisely why you feel the way you do and what makes you fluctuate on your tolerance of your husband’s porn habit, it could really help.
Post # 14
Thank you to everyone for your help and support! Hopefully we’ll find our way through this and come to some kind of an understanding. 🙂
Post # 15
Hmm… I can see both of your points, his confusion and your dilema. Maybe put it to him like this ‘Its like using a vibrator everytime we have sex, now and again its fun, but it can get tiring doing the same old thing over and over’ and how would your SO feel if you wanted to use it everytime? Maybe like he wasn’t enough?!
Post # 16
It isn’t my area of expertise, but all I can really say is to sit down with him and talk to him about it. It seems that most women are comfortable about the whole porn thing, though it goes completely against everything that I am. Perhaps I am too self conscious or just that I might not have an open mind to the whole thing, but if there are days that you have a problem with it, tell him that the two of you should do something different. That maybe tomorrow will be different. But when it comes down to it, only you can decide when and how much you can take of porn, and as your SO, he has to respect your wishes. But as the tables can turn, you have to respect his as well, and come to a mutual decision.