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Advice – My boyfriend watches too much porn [NSFW].

“We [25F] [23M] are in a long distance relationship and about 3 months in while staying at his parents house for a week I walked in on him watching porn while he said he was packing for a trip. Ever since then I noticed a pattern of him watching porn or looking at explicit photos of women behind my back. I say behind my back because I told him that while we are apart I don’t care if he watches porn but to please not do it while we are together in person. He agreed to this. Almost every time we had/have sex it is initiated by me. He often can’t maintain an erection during sex either. This worried me and I made the mistake of checking his internet history to find he had been watching porn while I was in class, at work or sleeping. Every time I bring it up he tells me he won’t do it or blatantly denies it. I’m not really sure what to do at this point anymore. The people I confided in told me that they think it’s best to break up but is there another solution?”

/u/nvbii, /r/relationship_advice.

Photo by Huỳnh Đạt on Pexels.com

Dear NVBII,

There is a major communicative and sexual disconnect taking place in your relationship with your boyfriend. The fact that he is dishonest with you about his porn usage actually reveals a bigger issue than whether or not he can maintain an erection. At least his inability to maintain an erection can be explained away by his porn usage. His inability to be honest with you about how his porn usage is impacting your sex life is very concerning. I wonder to what extent that hesitation is a manifestation of social conditioning that porn usage is to be ashamed for and how much of that is determined by your personal perspective on his porn usage.

And let’s talk specifically about his porn usage. Different folks masturbate differently. But a lot of guys do masturbate because there is a lot less pressure to perform in masturbation. You only have to please yourself and your eyes and hands are basically doing all the work. Adding more pressure around his performance is only going to drive you further and further apart. I get the sense that you’re very bothered by his dishonesty as much as how his usage affects your sex life with him. If this is how he likes to conduct his own sexual headspace, then this might just reflect mismatch on sexual chemistry. You’ve already communicated your expectations around his porn usage (“Since we are in a long distance relationship, please limit your porn usage so that we can have more intercourse when I’m in town.”), so the next steps might be to reiterate your agreement. Have him recommit to the agreement you’ve made and hold him responsible for breaking your agreements.

I also don’t think you made a mistake in checking his browser history. Dan Savage often says snooping isn’t wrong when the act of snooping is justified (even retroactively). You found what you needed to find – evidence of broken agreement – and the best thing to do is to address what you found.

Photo by Markus Bürkle on Pexels.com

I strongly disagree with your people that you need to breakup. So I’ll provide a couple alternative solutions in place of a breakup.

It is always surprising to hear to what extent male sexuality is linked to the ability to maintain an erection. That if we cannot get or stay hard, then we are somehow less of a man. Truth is that male sexuality is much more than just our genitals, just like female sexuality. We have larger erogenous zones that isn’t just our penises, despite what mainstream porn claims. We are much more than our penises. We have fingers, tongue, lips, and other body parts to which we can augment with sex toys.

Your boyfriend is much more than his penis. If your boyfriend really cannot maintain an erection during intercourse, he has fingers, tongue, lips, and other body parts to which he can augment with sex toys to help please you. If you feel that genital penetration (or at least simulation of) needs to happen in your sexual intercourse, he can always wear a strap on to simulate penetrative intercourse. If he refuses to wear a strap on, he can always hold a dildo with a flared base near his pelvic area to simulate the same sensation of penetrative intercourse. You might have a deeper issue if he further disregards your sexual needs by refusing to please you in other ways – orally or digitally – while he pleases himself through masturbation.

If none of these alternatives above work for you and your boyfriend, kindly remind your boyfriend that long distance relationships are hard enough without that sexual disconnect even in close proximity. If your boyfriend continues to disregard your sexual needs in place of his own immediate satisfaction, ask yourself if all of this is a price of admission worth paying to be in this long distance, sexually dysfunctional relationship with your boyfriend.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com.

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