5 Questions To Ask About Porn On Valentine’s Day

Love, Sex

On Valentine’s Day, give the gift of communication. Why not start talking about porn?

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Valentine’s Day—the ultimate day of romance, fairy tales, and absolutely ideal intimacy. This year, how about something else—how about honoring your relationship and your sexuality by doing a reality check on an issue that complicates, confuses, and frustrates a lot of people?

Porn. His porn.

Rather than pledging undying love, or pretending you have the world’s first perfect relationship, take a chance. Use your sexual intelligence--and enhance your relationship's. Ask your mate some questions about one of his little habits. It’s a Valentine’s Day gift for both of you. The goal here is communication and closeness, not criticism or conflict. So caution: only ask if you really want to know.

“Why do you watch porn?”

You may assume you know exactly why he does, and you may be right. Or not. There’s only one way to find out. But if you really want to know, you have to convey curiosity, not criticism.

One thing we know about fantasy: it’s a way of participating in a wide range of sexual experiences without consequences. That’s why almost no one fantasizes about partners and activities that are easily available to them. Why fantasize about what you can have, when you can fantasize about something that you’ll never have (Angelina Jolie, double-jointed triplets, your wife’s sister—or brother)? 7 Must-Read Sex Tips

Is his porn watching about you? I don’t know. Probably not. He was enjoying porn before he met you, right?

“Is there anything you see there that you want us to try?”

Most of us enjoy fantasies that we don’t actually want to act out. Sex on Times Square, or with the Green Bay Packers, or with twins may sound like fun, but the reality of it is usually totally different from the fantasy (like sex on the beach). Besides, the very thing that makes a fantasy enjoyable—it’s scary, or dangerous, or completely contrary to your values—may be the very reason you don’t want to do it in real life.

That said, if your mate enjoys watching something that he wants to do and you don’t, you don’t have to do it—and he doesn’t have to stop watching it or fantasizing about it.

“Doesn't it make you desire me less?”

Porn usually turns men on, not off. When men don’t desire their partners, it’s not because the women can’t compete with a picture; it’s about something deeper. Is it him, is it you, is it the format of the lovemaking? When people lack interest in an experience they assume they won’t enjoy, that doesn’t require an explanation—it’s common sense. Why someone doesn’t expect to enjoy sex with his partner—now that’s an interesting question. Couples Who Watch THIS Together Are Waaaay More Committed

Your guy knows your body isn’t perfect—he doesn’t need a porn video to realize that. And he knows that, like every woman, you have preferences, moods, a complicated history, and the occasional inconvenient emotional need. The characters in porn films have none of those. If your guy doesn’t understand the difference between movie characters and actual people, you have a much bigger problem than porn.

 “Why are you secretive about it?”

Some of the secrecy is about masturbation. If you two aren’t open about that, it’s unlikely that you’ll talk easily about porn. Some of the secrecy may be in response to your instructions: “keep that junk out of my house,” or “if you watch that stuff, I’m outta here.” If he wants to keep you, and feels his porn is harmless, secrecy might seem like a good compromise. Dishonesty eventually costs more than we expect, but it often seems like a good idea at the time—like faking orgasms.

If his secrecy is about his shame or guilt about either masturbation or porn, you are in a unique position to comfort him, help him grow—and enhance your intimacy.

“Are you interested in how I feel about this?”

If the answer is no, feel free to ask why—not because he has to justify his lack of curiosity, but rather to satisfy yours. If he does tell you, you could learn plenty about your relationship: his fear of conflict; your difficulty in talking about your upset, your insistence that you know what’s in his head better than he does.

If the answer is yes, say “great!” and suggest a time later in the week. Why wait? After five questions, it’s time for a break. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Dr. Marty Klein is a marriage counselor and sex therapist. His new book is Sexual Intelligence—What We Really Want From Sex, and How to Get It (HarperCollins).

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