Reader’s Request Fridays: Watching Porn Together

April 26,2013

Welcome to Reader’s Request Fridays. As a reminder, I addressing one reader email every other week.

This week I received a question from Melinda*. She writes, “my boyfriend of six months recently asked me to watch porn with him. I can’t help but feel strange about this. Is this something couples frequently do?

Hi Melinda,

Thanks for the question. Porn can be a triggering topic for a lot of people, so I can sympathize with the fact that  it’s bringing up a lot of feelings for you. The first thing I can tell you is that couples watching porn together happens pretty frequently. A fairly recent study found that approximately 45% of couples look at porn with each other. That same study also found that unmarried couples who shared their porn habits reported having more committed and sexually satisfying relationships than couples who hid their porn from each other.  It makes a lot of sense; being able to have open and honest communication about sex is an integral part of a healthy relationship. Watching porn with your partner is a great way to bond and open up conversations about sex. You may find yourselves getting aroused by different things, or being surprised by your similarities. You can talk about which sexual acts, positions, or fantasies look appealing to you. You can reenact what you’re watching as you’re watching it. You can get inspiration for new things to try. You can laugh together over bad dialogue or poorly constructed plots.

I think it would be useful for you to take some time to consider exactly why you’re feeling “strange” about looking at porn with your boyfriend. There are a multitude of reasons why it may be off-putting to you, and each specific reason holds it’s own meaning and potential solution.

I hope this helps you with your decision!

* Names changed for privacy

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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

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