Ask Athena: My Boyfriend Doesn't Like That I Watch Porn | Ask Athena | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Ask Athena: My Boyfriend Doesn't Like That I Watch Porn 

Dear Athena,

My boyfriend said he would stop having sex with me if I kept watching porn. I don't watch a lot of porn, but I do like it — especially when he is away, and I'm alone and horny. He goes away a lot for work (like, for two weeks every month), and I am lonely. Even though we are in a serious relationship and I'm committed, I think it bothers him that the porn I watch sometimes has threesomes, and some of them have women. (We are gay men.) What do I do?

Signed,

Sex Strike Prevention

Dear Sex Strike,

Porn, shmorn. He should be thankful that you're watching sex acts rather than engaging in them when he's away. This guy sounds a bit too restrictive for my taste, but you're the one who has to deal with him. So, on to the advice...

First, try to see it from his perspective. Porn often features exaggerated, fantastical sex that can feel impossible to re-create at home. Maybe he's feeling threatened by that. Maybe he is bothered or confused by the content you're choosing. While watching a woman may be a turn-on, it doesn't necessarily reflect what you want in real life — but he doesn't know that. Bottom line: Porn seems like a simple method of release for you, but he's likely comparing himself to what's on-screen and feeling like he doesn't measure up. (Maybe literally!)

That said, withholding his affection and laying down an unrealistic ultimatum is unhealthy. And a quick chat isn't going to solve your relationship problems. I suggest you both see a couples therapist to help you sort out the reasons for his discomfort and fear — and create a realistic, mutually respectful system for managing your time apart. Maybe that means more phone sex or love letters. There's a trust issue here, and hopefully a professional can help repair and restore your partnership.

Act now. With your boyfriend's travel schedule, it's either figure this out or get out.

Yours,

Athena

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