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How to Talk to Your Partner About Porn

2022-06-28
min read
How to Talk to Your Partner About Porn

How to talk to your partner about porn: what do you say? How do you bring up the conversation? If the idea of talking about it feels awkward, intimidating, or exciting, you’re not alone.

Let’s talk about three different ways to have the conversation in three different scenarios.

First, how to start the conversation.

How to start a conversation about porn with your partner

 

Starting a conversation about porn might sound scary, but it doesn’t have to be.

Reflect on your feelings

First, take a deep breath (or as many deep breaths as you need). What feelings come up when you think about having this conversation? Nervousness? Shame? Excitement? These are all normal.

We live in a society that teaches us to feel ashamed of sexuality and porn. That can make talking about porn pretty challenging.

Remember: there’s nothing shameful about porn, and there’s nothing shameful about sexuality. Nothing is wrong with you if you watch or don’t watch porn. Talking about sex and porn might feel awkward, but it can actually be a wonderful way to connect with your partner, explore new sexual fantasies, and have fun together.

Set a goal

Before you start the conversation, think about what you’d like to get out of it. Are you hoping to learn more about your partner? Are you interested in watching porn with your partner? Or are you trying to help your partner understand something new about you?

Going into the conversation with a goal or goals in mind can be grounding.

Be mindful of where and when you bring up porn with your partner. If your partner has just had a long workday and is feeling exhausted, you might not get the open conversation you’re hoping for. Starting the conversation in bed might feel sexually charged. If you’re out for dinner, your conversation might be limited by a waiter stopping by to refill your drinks. Try to choose a place and time where you can both be comfortable and open.

Open the conversation

Then, go ahead and start the conversation. Here are a few opening lines you can use:

  • Are you open to talking about something a little sexy and taboo and right now?
  • I know this might seem random, but I’m curious to talk to you about porn. What are your past experiences with it?
  • Have you ever watched porn before?

How to talk to your partner about porn if they’re turned off it

If your partner is turned off by porn, approach the conversation with acceptance and curiosity.

Even if you love porn or are hoping to watch porn with your partner, your job isn’t to convince your partner of how they should feel.

Instead, ask open ended questions and listen with compassion. You can try questions like:

  • What was your first memory of learning about porn?
  • How do you feel about porn now?
  • How do you feel about me watching porn?

Meet them where they’re at. Talking about negative sexual experiences can be vulnerable. Empathy and curiosity go a long way.

Here are some affirming things you can say to your partner:

  • That makes sense
  • I can totally see why you would feel that way
  • I didn’t know that. Thank you for sharing!

If you make your partner feel seen and heard, they’ll be more likely to hear you out, too. Plus, you might get to learn more about your partner’s sexual past, triggers, and what’s likely to make them feel safe and turned on.

Hopefully, they’ll get to learn about you, too. Win, win.

How to talk to your partner about porn if you’re concerned about their watching habits

If you have questions about your partner watching porn, you’re not alone. A lot of people worry about things like how frequently their partner watches porn or what types of porn their partner watches.

Again, your job in talking to your partner is to understand them better, not to judge or shame them for their porn-watching habits. Even if you’re hoping to change their mind about something, compassion and curiosity will get you a lot farther than shaming.

Try asking questions like:

  • What were some of your first experiences with porn?
  • How often do you watch porn?
  • What role do you think porn plays in your sex life?
  • What do you like about porn?
  • How do you go about finding porn you like?

As you listen and hear your partner out, you can ask follow up questions, like “Have you heard of ethical porn?” or you can affirm them for being honest with you by saying, “Thanks for sharing that.”

Myths about porn and partners

There are a lot of myths about porn that might make you worried about your partner’s porn-watching habits. If you feel like you’re competing with porn (or a sex toy) for your partner’s attention, let’s clear that up. According to sexual psychophysiologist Nicole Prause, “Interacting sexually with an actual person is very unique physiologically from non-human stimulation.” Despite what we’re taught, sexual technology doesn’t rewire your brain. Aka, you’re not competing for your partner with porn.

In fact, couples who talk about porn together and watch porn together tend to be more sexually satisfied than couples who don’t.

Regardless, if you’re not feeling sexually satisfied, that’s its own conversation worth having (and we’ve got a guide for talking about what you want with your partner, too).

If you’re worried about the types of porn your partner watches, let them know why, but also be open to learning from them.

Reminder: It’s totally healthy for you or your partner to fantasize about things you might never want to try in real life. Just because you’re into it on-screen doesn’t mean it’s cause for concern. When in doubt, ask open ended questions to learn more.

If you want to chat with your partner about ethical porn, reading our ethical porn guide together can be a great starting point to help you both clarify your values. Reading about ethical porn together = relationship goals.

How to talk to your partner about porn you’d like to watch with them

If you’re interested in watching porn with your partner, you’re in the right place. We’ve got a whole other article talking about exactly how to do that.

You can bring up the idea just like you would any other sexy idea: ask. It can be as simple as, “Have you ever thought about watching porn together?”

Then, see what they say and be open to possibilities. Whether they’re into it or not, it’s brave and sexy to open up a conversation about trying something new. Plus, you never know where it’ll lead in the future.

Need a film to get started watching together? Try starting with U Up. In the film, a long distance couple gets steamy over Facetime. They’re so hot, so affirming, and so into each other. It’s the perfect film to start you off on a long and happy journey of watching porn with your partner.

Enjoy. ❤️

 


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