Pornography Consumption In Relationships

Dear Dr. Fran, how does being honest about pornography consumption with a partner lead to greater relationship satisfaction? Jack S.

Dear Jack, okay now, you’ve got to come clean with me….or at least with yourself.  Is one of you a little kinky while the other isn’t?  I’ve heard everything in my private practice from obsession with feet, toes, armpits, belly buttons, on and on.  More specific info would be helpful.  Being honest about pornography use with a partner indicates that the person is comfortable with their own sexuality and the things that sexually titillate, stimulate, arouse, and turn-on their excitation.  Secrecy about pornography consumption can be felt as a betrayal and raise mistrust, suspicions, and put a wedge of distance between the partners.  Therefore, honesty is required, and open dialogue is the glue that holds people together which leads to greater relationship satisfaction.  In a case where a partner would need to come forward about their pornography consumption a few questions come to mind.  Why it is that it was kept discreet in the first place?  Is it because their partner is inhibited and might judge them for this type of behavior?  Does the person feel shame about their own pornography usage?  These are important questions to ponder.  Depending on the answers the individual comes up with it may or may not be so easy to talk to their partner about this.  Sometimes, it helps to retain the services of an experienced therapist or counselor to help the couple open dialogue about their sexual likes and dislikes.  Often, it takes a skilled professional to do a thorough dating and sexual history with each partner to help each one assess themselves.  When both partners are equally open sexually and emotionally it can be exciting wonderful foreplay to watch pornography together.  Often, watching can stimulate ideas, themes, and scenarios that can illicit spontaneity and adventure for the couple.

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