Should I Be Concerned If My New Guy Is Into Porn?

Dear Evan,

I met this guy online and he is incredible. One thing though, I saw a bunch of porn magazines in his bathroom. Should I be concerned?

Tarry

Dear Tarry,

Uh, no.

And for the sake of having a blog post longer than two words, I’m going to try and think of five reasons that you shouldn’t be too concerned.

  1. He masturbates. The porn helps to stimulate him. It would be far stranger to if he didn’t have porn. When your sexual peak has passed you by at age 18, when your hormones are no longer raging, and when you’ve had your fair share of sex, it takes more to get yourself going. Magazines don’t even work for me anymore. Good for him.
  2. He left it out in the open. This is not a guy who feels he has something to hide. Isn’t that much better than a guy who has an alphabetical stash of DVD’s piled up in the recesses of his closet?
  3. He’s comfortable in his own skin. I remember going to a writer’s house back when I was 24 years old and seeing a Playboy in the bathroom. I thought it was so edgy to display it in the magazine rack. And he had a wife who let him do this! Years later, I can’t understand why I found this so remarkable. My Playboy sits in the magazine rack next to my toilet. My girlfriend and her best friend were just citing the Norman Mailer piece in this month’s issue – her best friend read it at her boyfriend’s place. Honestly, ladies – there are some really good articles in there.
  4. He probably isn’t going to be vanilla in the bedroom. A guy who fantasizes in a healthy way is more likely to mix it up a bit.
  5. He openly appreciates the female body. We can discuss airbrushing, fake boobs, unrealistic standards, the male gaze, and the negative societal impact of pornography – all of which is valid – but the simple truth is – men look at breasts with slack-jawed wonder. Better to understand this very base desire than to fight it every step of the way.

I’m sure there are more reasons, but it doesn’t much matter. All that matters is if YOU’RE okay with it. If you’re not, all of the above rationalizations won’t mean a thing to you – and are most likely to piss you off.

But I’ll tell you, whenever I hear about a woman who takes her hubby to a strip club on occasion, I think that’s pretty cool. Instead of trying to enforce the unrealistic fantasy that he’ll never have eyes for another woman, she brings him to a source of temptation, gets him all hot and bothered, and allows him to indulge in fantasy for a night, before taking it out on him in the bedroom. That’s not just sexy; it’s smart.

Moreover, it’s far healthier than the alternative approach: “Look at another woman and you’re dead!”

Moreover, it’s far healthier than the alternative approach: “Look at another woman and you’re dead!”

Denying someone the right to do something is a sure ticket to resentment. Just ask any disciplinarian parent who’s had a kid rebel by smoking pot or getting an earring. The fight to prevent the act is far worse than the act itself.

To be clear, my “endorsement” of pornography isn’t a blanket statement. Porn can absolutely be problematic. If your guy knows the name of every porn actress, it’s a problem. If he has a lifelike doll that sits with its mouth open in his closet, it’s a problem. If he blows half his pay check at the strip club, it’s a problem. If he locks himself in his room for hours at a time to please himself while you’re in the house, it’s a problem. If he’s into violence or treats you in a manner you don’t want to be treated, it’s problem.

But if he’s got a Playboy next to the toilet?

That just means he’s a guy.

1
0

Join 7 Million Readers

And the thousands of women I've helped find true love. Sign up for weekly updates for help understanding men.

I hate spam as much as you do, therefore I will never sell, rent, or give away your email address.

Join our conversation (50 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 31
    Janie

    Evan, for the most part I agree with this one, except one part. When you say take your man to a strip club and let him get all hot and bothered then bring him home to "relieve" him – isn't this an open invitation for him to fantasize about someone else while he's having sex with you? As a female, I have been self-conscious of that feeling of doubt at times, especially being in a long-term relationship with a guy who's only had one sex partner (me). Women do not want to feel like rag dolls or second best, like they are just filling in for some fantasy. I think the porn industry has ruined sex because it's so available and guys are so overstimulated by it they can't have a normal sex life with a woman. Magazines were one thing but everyone and their grandmother can get loads and loads (no pun intended) of free porn with the click of a mouse these days.

  2. 32
    Joe

    @ Janie:
    I suppose no woman ever fantasized about someone else while having sex with her man?

  3. 33
    Karl R

    Janie said: (#31)
    "I think the porn industry has ruined sex because it's so available and guys are so overstimulated by it they can't have a normal sex life with a woman."
     
    Porn is kind of like alcohol. I can have a glass of wine every night without adversely affecting me, but some people destroy their lives with it. When I'm between relationships, I'll watch porn regularly. When I'm in a relationship, I'd much rather have sex. Fortunately, my girlfriend shares my desire for a very active sex life.
     
    Janie asked: (#31)
    "isn't this an open invitation for him to fantasize about someone else while he's having sex with you? As a female, I have been self-conscious of that feeling of doubt at times,"
     
    Most of the fears you express are simply fears. Could your boyfriend end up fantasizing about someone else during sex? Sure. That could happen even if he's never looked at porn. Porn stars aren't the sexiest women around. They're just the women who have sex in front of a camera. He's much more likely to fantasize about a movie star, a hot woman at the gym….
     
    It's also my understanding that women fantasize during sex as often men. So think about how often you fantasize about other men during sex, and realize that your boyfriend probably fantasizes about other women a the same amount.
     
    And if it makes you feel like a second best rag doll for him to be fantasizing about other women that much, then why are you subjecting him to the same kind of behavior?

    1. 33.1
      Jenn

      That’s a big assumption. She didn’t say whether or not she fantasizes about other guys so I would say it’s not fair to jump to conclusions that she’s being hypocritical. Anyway, it’s my opinion that if you need to fantasize about another person while you’re having sex with someone you supposedly love, there’s something wrong. Why are they not enough for you? Why can’t you just be in the moment with them, focusing on the real person you are with instead of some airbrushed  living blowup doll? If you need the fantasy in order to enjoy a real life person, whether you are a man or a woman I think there’s something not quite right going on. 

  4. 34
    Bill

    @Janie #31

    I dated a woman (in our 30's) who liked taking me to strip clubs – she loved to see my reaction to the girls, and the great sex we had afterward. She saw it as a fun, exciting and harmless shared experience. So not all women think as you do – it's all about perspective. (Note-I never once said I wanted to go to a strip club, this was all her idea.)
     
    That you have issues of feeling self-conscious doesn't mean the man your with doesn't love how you look, how you smell, and how you feel. Guess what – if a man is still having sex with you he likes how you look, how you smell, and how you feel! Hell, he's chosen you over other women (including those strippers at the club you're comparing yourself to). He went home with YOU, not them!
     
    Your statement that "…guys are so overstimulated by …[porn]… they can't have a normal sex life with a woman." speaks of a naivete about sexuality and is rather insulting to men. That's the same kind of argument that Prohibitionists used – that some group (in this case men) can't control their base instincts so need to simply be kept away from some "thing" that makes them lose control. Why would you want to be with a man who can't manage his own base instincts and desires? Not a very trustworthy man, eh?
     
    Quite simply – Men do not experience arousal the same way you do. Men are [gasp!] different than women!
     
     

  5. 35
    Jessica

    I never had a problem with porn mags until my last boyfriend…  We dated for 7 years and I just broke up with him a few months ago.  He hid it from me, and i was amazed at what I found after I realized he was hiding them!  So I never fully trusted him, because he hid stuff from me.  Now I am dating someone new, and I’m madly in love with him.  He has a lot of magazines and they are all over his house…  They are spread all over the garage, magazine racks are full in each bathroom and there is even a large stack in the living room…  So, do you think that I should be concerned?  I wasn’t really at first, because he didn’t hide it, but the other night he got a new one in the mail and he opens it up, smiles and says Nice!  OOOOOO  Boobies!  Right in front of me.  It actually kinda hurt my feelings! 

  6. 36
    sasha

    porn — so juvenile and pathetic. that’s all i have to say about that. and after he jerks off to his little magazine or dvd he rolls a big fat one. grow the hell up already.

  7. 37
    Denise

    Bill #34

    Very good post and this is what men talk about when they say they want a woman to ACCEPT them for exactly who they are. 

    There are things that are instinctive on women that I’m sure many men just don’t get; men tend to just accept things though, rather than bad mouth them or make the woman feel like there is something wrong with her.

    Men and women are equal, but different.

  8. 38
    sasha

    Men and women are different. Women tend to GROW up after a period and men tend to have the privilege of staying little boys with frat boy tendencies.
    Of course that’s not an absolute. But men are typically fantasizing about screwing the girl behind you in line at the Walgreen’s. Accept that? Yeah…And knowing that is supposed to make us want to love and cherish you and share a mortgage with you. Hmmm…doesn’t seem that appealing.
    But apparently most women do accept that because THEY are so pathetic. They’ve GOT to get married and GOT to have a baby. If women expected more, perhaps they’d get more and better out of their male partners.
    Perhaps men should expect more out of themselves and rise about their base, childish instinct to put their penises in everything but donut holes.

  9. 39
    Denise

    Sasha, I’m sorry you’ve been so badly hurt by men. I’m not sure where the hostility is coming from in regard to women, but I’m sorry about that as well.

    Hopefully over time, you’ll be able to refocus your thoughts and attitudes to be more positive and accepting of men and women, how they are built, how they are at their reptilian level in their brains.  There is NOTHING anyone can do about men and women and how they are instinctively.  Being angry about it and saying ‘should’ is called suffering – trying to control the uncontrollable.  Suffering makes us very unhappy and frustrated.

    Yes, maybe things SHOULD be different, but they are not and never will be.  Do you want to be RIGHT or do you want to be HAPPY?

    You might want to consider continuing to focus on Evan’s materials and answers to the questions women pose to him, along with a lot of the really great comments by both men and women.  I mean, you came to this website for a reason, I’m assume it’s because you want to learn and grow and ultimately be happy, with or without a man.

  10. 40
    sasha

    Thanks for the advice Denise. Following the herd isn’t for me. Expect more, get more.

  11. 41
    MixTapeJ

    I agree with many of the aforementioned comments. I personally don’t see porn as a major issue unless it is being abused. There were plenty of instances discussed that are definitely red flaggers. I’ve been with my partner for about a year now. We’re an inter-racial couple, crazy in love! I “stumbled” upon his porn collection a few months back and was quite hurt that none of the chics resembled me even remotely- complete opposites- all Caucasian! My head-space was pretty bothered by it, and still gets warped about it from time to time. We do have a great sexual relationship, and all, but I don’t know if my feelings toward his choice in pornographic viewing should be and/or is a problem. I would love to hear other’s thoughts about this….. And also, how to address the situation.

  12. 42
    Sasha

    MixTapeJ just illustrated the bottom line – sex is great and all, but her FEELINGS about how she sees him and their relationship has changed. Can it ‘change’ back? No, it can only change into something else. You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.
     
    MixTapeJ, if all the girls looked like you, would that REALLY make you feel better? It is flattering for a while, but at the end of the day, if you aren’t ok with porn (not saying you aren’t) it’s going to be a problem, unless you are as ‘enlightened’ as everyone else on this site appear to be.
     
    I, too, am in an interracial relationship. He used porn before I met him and still does. I took off my rose colored glasses and see things for what they are. Sex is sex. What is the big deal? If people sit around staring at other naked people, which takes the focus off the person you should be saving your sexual energy for WITHOUT the help of porn, then sex is just something to do because I’m bored, or have to do because he wants it.
     
    I am sure I will get slagged for that comment. But, hey, it’s only screwing, right?
     
    Good luck to you. I hope you can find a way to either deal with it and be okay about it or leave. Those are your only options.

  13. 43
    Sonia

    When your guy kicks you, naked, out of the room so he can watch porn, you know it’s a problem.  That’s also when you realize that you need a new boyfriend.

  14. 44
    Sonia

    #31. I’ve had that problem.  My boyfriend regularly talks about other women and how hot they are; recently he came home from hanging out with his friend, dragged me to our room, and proceeded to pound the living daylights out of me.  As I was sitting up with a big smile, he said: “I saw SO MANY good-looking girls earlier today!” and proceeded to tell me in detail about them.  I thought, ‘Geez, way to make it obvious what you were really thinking about just now…’  I tried to let that one go, but by now, I’ve stopped feeling like sex is special for us, because he clearly thinks about other girls most of the time.  I can accept that, but in turn, unfortunately, I don’t try as hard for him anymore.
    #32. Unfortunately, no.  When I’m with my boyfriend, I can only fantasize about him.  Maybe this is a problem, but oh well.  He should be honored to know that he’s the sexiest guy I can think about.  And it’s not even because he’s movie star gorgeous or whatever: it’s because of the connection we have both inside and outside of the bedroom.  I can’t ogle movie stars because I don’t know their true character: it’s personality that’s a turn-on for me.
    I get that men are encouraged to and enjoy looking at porn and other women …Really, it’s practically shoved in my face everyday.  But after a while, you’ve got to wonder – if you’re so into other women, what the heck are you getting out of being in a relationship with me?
    I don’t remember the last time my boyfriend said I was pretty, let alone hot.  Or anything else positive, except that I’m a good mother to our son.
    And when that thought eventually sinks, I’ll really wonder what I’m doing in this relationship too.

  15. 45
    Helen

    If that’s all you shouldn’t worry, I think. Men are not that complicated and overemotional about sex, it is like food for them. This way it is way better if your guy is into porn; otherwise, imagine what you would feel if he was into other women while you are not around. 
    The fact he is not hiding it may mean he feels rather relaxed when you are with him. Or maybe he wants you to take him the way he is right from the start. I guess it is great.
    I personally just freak out from men who are carefully hiding something, afraid of being caught.
    Porn for a man is quite normal. The problem is when he starts replacing you with it.

  16. 46
    Sarah

    I”m a female and have personally been looking at porn for pleasure since I was 12. So, growing up and dating men who watched it never seemed threatening to me since I knew what drove them to look at it. However, when I was 18 I started dating this guy who told me right off that porn was a big part of his life. I thought, “it can’t be that bad” since I had no idea how bad it could be. I wanted to emulate some of the pornstars as girls above mentioned and he would constantly tell me how he was just “jaded” with traditional sex and needed more variety. He would masturbate anywhere from 5 to 10 times a day, but we still had an active sex life. He just wouldn’t “finish” sometimes. I loved him and wanted him to be happy though, and this drove me down a path of BDSM when I was 18. I don’t know if I was really “there emotionally” yet at that age to be doing the kinds of things we did. In my head, we had a relatively normal relationship beyond the sex and so I rationalized that it wasn’t that bad. Looking back though, it wasn’t healthy to feel like I needed to be something I wasn’t and a lot of that was from the amount of porn he was watching. He wasn’t cheating on me or giving me STDs, so it wasn’t “THAT” bad, but it wound up being a dissatisfying relationship and since then I haven’t viewed sex the same. It isn’t that I’ve been abused or anything, but once you start down that slope of “what else can I do to broaden his horizons” you wind up pushing your comfort level to the limit and any innocence will be gone.

  17. 47
    JoeK

    Sonia #44
    If he’s talking about how hot other women are to you after sex, somethings not right. Have you *told* him how that makes you feel? If you don’t tell him, he ain’t changing. You gotta talk about it.

    Now I’m not saying his behavior is your fault – personally I find his behavior pretty bad. He sounds like a callous ass. BUT, if you want to continue a relationship with him, the only chance for improving it lies in YOU opening the discussion and letting him know how much it hurts you. If he’s unwilling to listen, you have your answer.

    It doesn’t even really matter what the subject is – if you approach your partner looking for help with a problem in the relationship, and they don’t engage, they are showing how much they care/don’t care about you.

  18. 48
    JoeK

    @Sarah $46
    “…but once you start down that slope of “what else can I do to broaden his horizons” you wind up pushing your comfort level to the limit and any innocence will be gone.”

    I’m not sure I understand the “innocence” you’re referring to. Could you clarify/expand a bit?

    Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>