My boyfriend wants us to watch porn together

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for three years. He is open about his interest in online porn. Our sex life is good, but he wants to spice things up. He suggested that we watch porn together. I don’t want to as the sites are aggressive. I’m afraid if I say no he will look for a new partner. Am I being prudish?

>>It is challenging when a couple has different sexual needs — he wants to make sex more interesting; you are happy with the status quo. Whatever the difficulty, it’s important to talk about what’s going on.

You say that you find the porn websites too aggressive. If this is not for you, then you have to say so. With sex, if you don’t want to do something and it is distasteful, be clear that you won’t engage in it. In some relationships, both partners are happy to look at porn and that is fine for them. However, many women find it degrading and don’t want to look at it.

Because porn is easily accessible on the internet, many people are using the sites to be aroused and turned on, and it becomes another sexual outlet. It is a fantasy world and men may sometimes feel they don’t match up to what is portrayed on screen or that their partners are not attractive enough.

But what we see on the porn channels is not about sharing and connecting — it’s often about dominance and submission. This is not the stuff of a healthy relationship.

I am concerned you think he might end the relationship if you say ‘no’. If there isn’t honesty and trust and your focus is on pleasing him, I wonder about your needs. Can you talk to him about your fear? If you really don’t want to do certain things, a man who cares for you is not going to leave you because of it.

Do both of you say that this relationship is important or do you feel powerless, especially in relation to the porn? If you can’t be open with him, tension is inevitable and both of you will lose out on an opportunity to deepen the relationship.

The majority of couples don’t communicate well about their love-making and are not open to exploring their sexuality with one another. Take this matter into your own hands. Talk about the relationship you would like. Then, be really frank about the kind of sex that works for you. Think about how you can spice up sex without porn. Can you, together, come up with an alternative that is comfortable and pleasurable for both?

So, what feelings would you like to experience when you are sexual? And what does sex mean to you?

Some couples like to look at an erotic film together as a prelude to a sexual encounter that is pleasurable and fun for both. If you two are really intimate, then talking openly about your views on porn, and your sexual relationship, may be easier than you imagine.

* Marie Daly is a sex therapist with Relationships Ireland; visit www.relationshipsirleland.com. Please send your questions to feelgood@examiner.ie


Lifestyle

The phrase “dupe”, short for duplicate, is used in online beauty communities to signify that a product is similar to a more expensive counterpart.The Skin Nerd: Products with star power, without the Hollywood price tag

Struggling to stick to your work routine at home? You’re not alone.10 tips for greater productivity working from home

Relaxing the rules at home has helped Karen Koster and her young family to get through lockdown, says Helen O'CallaghanEasy does it: Relaxing home rules the 'perfect tonic for kids'

Parents who homeschool must feel very confident of their choice these days, surely this global event will add to their number even after schools reopen. Their pioneering spirit isGet the Look: The eco-friendly beauty products you need to buy now

More From The Irish Examiner