This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship, a new relationship, a long-term committed relationship, or even a marriage, you might have questions about pornography and where it comes into your relationship.
For some people, it is a light-hearted fun way to spice things up in the bedroom with their partner. For others, it’s the dreaded conversation that they fear having whenever they catch their partner watching p-rn without their consent.
So, is watching it in a relationship considered cheating? Read on to find out.
Is Watching P-rn Cheating?
The answer to the question “is watching p-rn cheating” is that it simply depends on the relationship. There is no one set rule for every relationship in the world, and in all reality, p-rn is a very popular entertainment option that millions of people watch per day.
In a relationship where someone has made it clear that they would prefer their partner not to watch it or to not watch certain types of it, it may be considered cheating to them if their partner does it anyway.
However, many people believe this type of rule in a relationship to be cruel or controlling. At the end of the day, the rules in your relationship depend on you and the person you’re with. If you both agree that you don’t want the other person to watch and that it would be “cheating” if they did, then you have your definition.
However, if you haven’t communicated to your partner that you don’t want them to watch it and you find them doing so, it’s hard to get upset with them or label them as a cheater, as they likely didn’t know how you felt.
What Do I Do if I Don’t Want My Partner to Watch P-rn?
If you are feeling that you would prefer your partner doesn’t watch, the first step is to communicate this to them. It can feel scary to bring up such a sensitive topic, but it’s essential that you open the dialogue and let your feelings be known.
Your partner may say no, which is something you need to be prepared for. If your partner refuses to stop watching, you’ll likely have to decide whether you want to continue the relationship or not, knowing this. You shouldn’t try to call them names or shame them.
In the end, setting boundaries for yourself means letting go of things that do not serve you.
What Do I Do If My Partner Doesn’t Want Me to Watch?
If you’re the partner that wants to watch and your partner doesn’t want you to, you ultimately have to make a decision. Some partners will be more willing to stay or compromise with you. Perhaps you can come up with an agreement. Some couples agree that p-rnography can be watched as long as it’s free, ethical, and not a page of a sex worker.
If you can’t come to a compromise, you’ll want to think about how important it is to you to be allowed to watch in your relationship. Will you feel like you’re hiding a part of yourself? Do you feel worried that you won’t be satisfied with your sex life? Do you simply not want to be controlled by your partner?
Communicate your feelings and needs and see if you can come to an agreement. If you can’t, sometimes the best thing for you both is to move forward.
Alternatives to P-rnography
Here are some of the top alternatives to using it in your relationship:
- Watching together as a way to spice up your sex life
- Having your partner record videos or take photos for you in place of it
- Recording the both of you together and watching it later (with consent)
- Exploring kinks or other sexual fantasies
- Seeing a sex therapist
Getting Help: I Think I Have a P-rn Addiction
Finally, pornography addiction is a real issue, and it can be difficult to break free. If you feel that you’re struggling with this addiction, help is available. You can see a sex therapist or addiction therapist to talk about your addiction and how it negatively affects your life.
You can also include your partner in sessions for full transparency if you wish to. Finally, check out this excellent advice column for more information on addiction.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you and the person in your relationship to understand whether you’re struggling with an addiction, whether you’re compatible, and whether either one of you considers watching it to be cheating.