Boyfriends, Girlfriends, and Porn


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Dear Sophie,

I found out my boyfriend watches porn, so I tried watching it. I can see why people enjoy it but for the most part it seems unrealistic and really womanizing. I know it’s silly but knowing he watches it makes me feel like I’m not good enough.

Yes, porn has a tendency to be absurdly unrealistic. Honestly, that’s part of its allure (at least for some people), because really the point is just to see people fucking in order to provoke immediate arousal. In unrealistic porn (which is to say, most porn), nobody cares about the plots or the characters or even the foreplay, for god’s sake. That doesn’t really mean anything about how these same viewers might approach sex in real life. Usually, they know it’s pure fantasy and treat it as such.

As regards your other remark—you’re absolutely right, a great deal of porn is “womanizing,” by which I assume you mean it caters to what the typical straight male wants. Or, at least, what he’s supposed to want. So, mainstream porn usually entails huge fake boobs, bleached blonde hair, long fingernails, and lots of gratuitous moaning. And, you know, that’s fine, and some people are genuinely into it, but in the interests of fairness, you should know that not all porn is like that. There really is porn to fill just about every niche, and if you’re interested, you might feel a little better if you researched it.

But I think so far I haven’t actually addressed your real point, which is that your boyfriend’s porn habit makes you feel sexually inadequate. I can promise you this: the fact that your boyfriend watches porn has absolutely nothing to do with how much he loves you, or how good you are in bed. Nothing. Most guys with girlfriends (and plenty of girls, too, let’s be real) watch porn. I won’t say all guys, because there’s basically no way that’s true and I really hate making generalizations, but definitely a ton of them do. And the reason for that is because they get horny and want something to jerk off to, and their girlfriends simply aren’t available for that purpose 24/7. I would be willing to bet quite a lot of money that any good guy, given the opportunity, would not in a million years trade his own beloved girlfriend for the most notorious porn star.

There’s no need to take my word for it, though. What you really should do is talk to your boyfriend. Don’t be accusatory—just tell him what you’re feeling, and why. Sometimes what you need is just to hear him say, “My darling and the earnest desire of my loins, I live for the feeling of your silken skin and long, flowing hair under my strong and manly hands. The only problem is that sometimes I need to see some pussy and your infinitely superior and goddesslike vagina is not currently in my vicinity, so I am forced to make do with these poor substitutes. I worship and adore you, my dearest one.” And if it makes you happier, you can request that he keep his porn viewing on the DL and hide the evidence, so that it’s not so much of an issue for you to worry about.

Got a problem of your own? Tell me about it at my Formspring.