You enjoy porn. Porn in every imaginable flavor is within a few keystrokes from your phone, tablet or computer. Porn, over the last several decades, has impacted more than just our sex lives. Over the last decade the porn industry drove technological development in areas such as web cams, streaming video, and e-commerce. Accessibility makes it almost mindless for guys to incorporate porn into a solid role in their sexuality. Studies show that women as well are significant supporters of the porn industry.

If porn is such a first string player in our economy and culture, why do our partners freak when porn shows up as important in our sexual pleasure?

It’s not difficult to understand because we impose a social distinction between the sex life we imagine we should have and the sex life we really enjoy. That social distinction grows to a chasm when we allow sex partners to believe things about our personal sex life that are not true.

It’s easy to see why your sex partner freaks when learning about your porn practice because you allowed them to make a number of assumptions. It’s not entirely your fault that this happened. We’re all conditioned to look through our fingers this way and not only sexually deceive important people in our lives but set ourselves up for potentially explosive encounters when the truth about our porn is discovered.

Why Your Partner Freaks About Your Porn

Here are three of the most common assumptions you may have allowed your sex partner to believe about your love of porn.

FIRST ASSUMPTION ABOUT YOUR PORN

You view porn because I’m not sexually adequate for you.

“No, Baby, you’re all I ever wanted! You complete me!”

This assumption is likely true because there is a bizarre notion in the west that a sexual partner in a long-term relationship or marriage should meet all of their partner’s sexual and erotic needs and desires.

Here are a few common beliefs people have about sexual relationships:

  • They should fill the shape of their partner’s sexual imagination.
  • They are the sole reality of your fantasy.
  • Now that they have one amazing naked body in their life, they will have no interest in the image of other bodies.
  • Your sexual imagination and fantasy is all about them.
  • A long-term relationship reduces erotic interest to a level easily manageable by a single partner.

If you have difficulty visualizing these points in you and your partner’s sexual relationship, the assumption is probably true for you. You do view porn because your partner is not sexually adequate for you.  No one person can fill another’s social, emotional and sexual needs. You are sexually more complex than that. A sexual partner can be, though, a very important facet of a sex life — just not the totality of it.

Porn, in this case, is another facet; another component of your complex erotic existence.

“One man’s pornography is another man’s theology.”
Clive Barker

SECOND ASSUMPTION ABOUT YOUR PORN

You compare me to what you see in porn.

“No, Baby, I would never do that. You are more amazing than anything I see!”

The fact is, we compare and contrast everything. It’s what our brains do. This assumption is likely true as well.

Remember that porn is entertainment. What we do with our sexual partners is imagined, conceived and played out with our real life sex partners. Porn is imagined and never played out.

Porn makes real life sex even more real.

Perhaps that’s the appeal of porn. It’s not real. It’s fantastic in the sense of science fiction or drama. Bodies more perfect than life and sexual positions few of our bodies could achieve and staying power few of us have ever known. Porn isn’t real.

The sex we enjoy with our partners, though, is real and comforting and what we are able to do and imagine and concoct in our own sexual environments and relationships. What we do is the reality of our own imaginations and unlikely to show up on our computer monitors.

Porn, like all entertainment, is a place in our imaginations where you contrast real life sex with fantasy. Porn becomes more fantastic. Real life sex becomes more real.

THIRD ASSUMPTION ABOUT YOUR PORN

You’ll want to do what you see in your porn.

“No, Baby, that’s not true! Those people are crazy. I’d never want to do that!”

Maybe.

In this case, porn is a little bit like education and a little bit like an art studio. I like to think that our erotic selves are part creativity and part curiosity. We get ideas from everywhere.

  • Friends suggest sexual things they’ve tried.
  • Magazine articles suggest sexual ideas.
  • We visit sexuality websites for new sex ideas.
  • Porn provides sex ideas.

Yes, it’s absolutely possible that you’ll see something in your porn that you will want to try with your partner. Why the hell not?

Sex naturally leads you to curiosity and creativity. It means you’re alive and growing. A sex life grows and morphs into new things and old things pass and are revisited later. Sex changes with changing needs, curiosity and changing bodies and minds. Let it change and fit who you are.

“I’d love to write some porn, but I don’t know if I have the right engines. When I was a young man and I was tempted to write porn, imaginary parents would appear over my shoulder and read what I was writing; just about the point that I managed to banish the imaginary parents, real children would lean over my shoulder and read what I was writing.”
Neil Gaiman

All three assumptions present a threat only in a context of minimal sexual disclosure. Usually, a threat can be alleviated by more and accurate information.

If you assumed that porn will be a threat to your partners you might have attempted to protect your relationship by keeping porn under wraps. If on the other hand, your partner was aware of your porn life, your fantasy life and your masturbatory adventures, and still enjoyed a lively erotic and sex life with you, there wouldn’t be any threat.

How To Tell Your Partner Why You Love Your Porn

What you need to provide now is non-threatening information and not a compelling argument. Your partner needs to know that porn is not in any way about them. You need to tell them the truth.

Here’s how:

Tell Them You Have Two Lives

That’s right. Tell them that you have a personal sex life which is healthy and alive. Your partner should too. If they don’t, tell them to get a life. It’s unfair to expect another person to provide a sex life for you.

The reality of a lively relationship is when two people bring two complete and healthy sex lives together and create a new sex life. Each has their own responsibility for their personal life. If a personal sex life suffers, the life together suffers. The responsibility is on each of you.

If you want porn to be a part of your personal sex life, and it gives you enjoyment, your partner will appreciate it if they see that they will gain if you are sexually happy.

We all watch porn; we don’t acknowledge it. Porn exists in a parallel universe, a shadowy otherworld. When you force anything into the shadows and underground, you make it a lot easier for bad things to happen, and a lot harder for good things to happen.

Cindy Gallop in an open letter to David Cameron, British Prime Minister

Tell Them You Have Enough To Go Around

If your sex life together is suffering in any way, it likely has nothing to do with porn. It also, likely has nothing to do with masturbation. It probably has more to do with failure to say what you want or think.

Porn is seldom a substitute for a sex life just like masturbation is not a substitute for a missing sex life. A personal sex life is distinct from a sex life with a partner. A personal erotic and fantasy life is as critical as connection with a partner.

Porn does not reduce a person’s sexual capacity. When a person’s solo sexual life — their enjoyment of their own body and lively fantasy and erotic imagination — is secure and growing, a sexual and erotic relationship with a partner is much more likely to be secure and growing.

Give Them Reasonable Detail

Should you tell all? This is where porn meets disclosure and rights to privacy. If you handle this point well, you can mitigate issues of browsing history and looking over your shoulder.

Honestly disclose enough detail about your personal sex life to cultivate trust. If you expect truth from your partner, give truth. Encourage your partner to ask questions. If you dare, invite your partner to view some of your porn with you and explain what you see and enjoy.

Remember the difference between personal aspects of your life and private space in your life of which we disclose little. Each of us requires corners of life where we are allowed to be completely alone and private. Ask your partner to respect that as you respect their private space.

Should you promise to stop porn or at least reduce it? What other part of your life do your quit or cut back on because your partner feels threatened by it? Does it work? Likely not. We need to respect, encourage and trust our partner’s erotic life. Some of it needs to be personal. Some of it needs to be private. Learn to trust one another.

Feature Photo by Oliver Thomas Klein on Unsplash

Photo by Elena Cordery on Unsplash

Photo by Trevor Paterson on Unsplash