Dear Ty

As of 2017, popular porn site PornHub was home to over 173 years worth of video uploads. Illustration: Rame Abdulkader.

Dear Ty,

Last week I came home earlier than expected from work and caught my partner off guard. They were scared, but I was horrified—I caught them watching porn! It caused a bit of a fight and I’m not sure where to go from here; I feel a bit neglected. Where does porn fit into a relationship? Help!

—Pondering Porn

Dear PP,

What you just witnessed your partner doing is extremely common. Chances are, you’ve done the same.

A study from 2014 found that one in eight Canadians admitted to watching or purchasing porn in the past year. Here, the term “admitted” is key— a whole 26 per cent of those surveyed refused to answer the question, and that stinks of suspicion. As one headline on the study put it, “as many as 7 in 8 (sic) Canadians are liars.”

So while watching porn may be extremely common, your dilemma still remains: does one’s love for porn have to end when a romantic relationship begins? That’s where things get tough, and it’s ultimately between you and your partner to decide how to walk across this narrow line.

The best I can do is provide you with the perspectives of those on both sides of the argument.

First things first though: just because you caught your partner enjoying some porn, that doesn’t mean they’re no longer interested in you, are no longer attracted to you, or no longer love you.

At the most, my assessment is that your partner was horny and in the heat of the moment: nothing more, nothing less.

After all, there’s no denying that humans are an especially horny clan: we are, after all, the species that takes the record for the most orgasms in an hour (a whole 222) and for having the most sex in a day (one pornstar hooked up with over 900 different partners in a single night).

Branching off this perspective, many couples enjoy watching porn together as a form of intimacy. If you’re interested, I’d really recommend giving this a try.

It’s a great way to gather some new positions and practices to bring into the bedroom and make for an especially steamy fuck. Other partners note that watching kinky porn is a great way to break the ice on the sometimes awkward conversation over fantasies and fetishes, opening up new channels of dialogue. Some partners even like making their own pornos, for both private and public consumption, but that’s a question for next week’s edition of Dear Ty.

On the opposite side of the debate, some might say that watching porn while in a relationship constitutes, in some way, shape or form, cheating. I wouldn’t take it this far, but that’s up to you. In my view, this kind of mindset towards porn reinforces the myth that your partner can only ever feel sexual feelings towards you, a claim simply impossible to hold up. You need to keep in mind that your partner may experience sexual feelings towards other people (including porn stars) but they’ve chosen you!

In the end, if your partner’s porn-watching habit really does make you uncomfortable, all the power to you. Your sex life is totally yours to own and not mine to dictate. Let your partner know you feel uncomfortable and explain your reasoning why and hopefully that should clear the air. Happy fucking!

Love,

Ty