Ask Wendy

Why Does My Husband Watch Porn?

Reprinted from September 16, 2017
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My husband says he’s happily married to me, and he’s faithful, so why does he need to watch porn?

This is a hard issue for many women. We often don’t find out that our partner/husband/boyfriend uses porn until we’re living together and we stumble upon it. And there’s a predictable response many women have (anger and hurt feelings) which causes a predictable reaction from men: they stop watching it. No! That almost never happens!! What really happens instead is they go on the down-low. And this is not what you want, because it will cause distance and a lack of intimacy in your relationship if he feels he needs to hide things or lie to you.

So if you can’t stop it, and if you’re hurt by it, let me see if I can give you the “why” and also help to reframe it to see if you can live in harmony with your porn-viewing man.

He watches porn because he needs variety, and he promised you he’d be faithful. Maybe those nude women in the pictures and/or videos are doing you a service — they’re your help around the house. They help keep your husband in good shape, giving him what he needs and creating arousal and sexual tension that he’ll bring straight on over to YOU.

It’s common for women to ask, “Why aren’t I enough?” or “Why does he have to be attracted to other women and does he like them more than me?”

Wifey, you are an entirely different experience than porn. You’re the whole home-cooked gourmet meal, while porn is Fritos and a Coke (damned tasty but not satisfying). When people consume porn, it’s stimulating but not fulfilling. It’s not as satisfying as when he has sex with you.

We worry the women in porn are more accessible and available than they really are. These ladies are not in your community (unless you live in Los Angeles or can throw a rock at San Francisco’s Armory building). They are not moms at your son’s school. They aren’t his colleagues, and he doesn’t want them to be! Porn consumption is a safe container to experience diversity, arousal and titillation, and then it’s O.V.E.R.

We women anthropomorphize everything! We worry that these are real women that your man is going to Google-stalk and then run off with. To him, that’s preposterous.

That’s about as real a possibility as the relationship I was in when I was a little girl. At age 10, I had a poster of Shaun Cassidy on my wall. The boys my age had Farrah Fawcett posters on their walls. The boys and I were having two very different experiences.

Boys looked at Farrah and thought she was pretty. They knew they were looking at a colored image on a 22 x 28” piece of paper on their wall.

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