Is Watching Porn While in a Relationship Cheating? 

In this changing world, everything from two decades ago has been replaced by new and improved versions of the past, and that includes porn. I hope you can understand what I’m getting at. There are even options for virtual dating! 

It’s very difficult to distinguish between what counts as cheating and what doesn’t, everything is so accessible. So, it’s time to redefine the terms of the relationship. 

What is cheating in a relationship? 

Cheating is the act of being emotionally or sexually unfaithful towards your partner with whom you are in a monogamous relationship. It is the act of hiding something intentionally from your partner. It does not have to just be physical or sexual intimacy with someone else, it can also include emotional infidelity.  

Representation of cheating

In emotional infidelity or cheating you turn to someone else emotionally rather than your own partner. There is a sort of disconnect created due to this. 

Porn and other forms 

In this cyber world, cybersex is an easy commodity to come by. There are different forms of explicit, adult content online, such as: 

Imagery of porn
  • Pornography 
  • Cam girls 
  • Only Fans 
  • Hentai 
  • Sexual content in video games
  • VR  

It can be confusing to navigate through so many different types. Users tend to describe it as a form of sexual exploration. It feels new and exciting territory in terms of sexual experiences. 

But on the other hand, your partner may feel betrayed or left out. They believe that they should be the source of your sexual pleasure. 

Is porn cheating? 

Blurred out porn

Everybody wants to know the answer to that question. If you are hiding your pornography from your partner, then yes, you are cheating. Cheating is not just sexual acts with someone else, people agree that it feels like cheating when there are lies and secrets involved.  

These lies and secrets can cause an emotional drift or a distance between partners. There is emotional distress experienced due to the betrayal of trust and lack of honesty.  

In any form of cheating, deception is involved. Deceiving the partner to spend more time on porn rather than spending time with them is a sign of cheating. 

During masturbation, oxytocin is released. This causes a feeling of bonding. Over time with excessive porn use people can even get attached to their computer or phone screens due to this feeling. 

Signs that pornography is negatively affecting the relationship 

  • Pornography use is excessive to a point where there is no time available for lovers to be around each other 
  • The user engages in less frequent sexual experiences with the partner 
  • The partner views porn use as a betrayal of trust 
  • There is a decrease in relationship and sexual satisfaction 
  • The partner may be feeling threatened by pornography 
  • The partner may feel replaced 
  • There is a decrease in emotional trust  

The problem with demonizing pornography 

People should not be quick to write off porn as evil. There are a few benefits to porn use, such as: 

  • Self-exploration- you learn a lot more about your likes and dislikes in bed through experimentation and self-exploration 
  • Porn use can indicate or guide you towards your kinks or sexual fantasies that you may want to play out with your partner 
  • Sharing or talking about porn can be a very intimate experience  
  • For some, porn is their first encounter with sexual learning and many deem it normal to use 

How to talk about porn with your partner? 

A couple talking about porn

Sit down with your partner and ask them what their views on porn are. Ask them if they watch it and how frequently do they use it. If you watch it too, tell your partner your views on pornography and how often do you use it.  

Make sure to ask your partner how they feel about your porn use and you must share your feelings likewise. After hearing each other’s thoughts come to a mutually agreed upon decision whether to continue using pornography or not.  

If the two of you decide to continue using it then lay down the rules to how often and when to use it.  Let your partner be aware of the things that make you uncomfortable. 

So, is it cheating or not? 

It depends on each relationship. For some people, porn is outright unacceptable. For others, one partner may agree that it is cheating and the other may say that it is a normal part of life.  

I would suggest having an open conversation to set some ground rules to ensure both parties are happy in the relationship. There is a third type of relationship where they believe pornography use to some extent is quite alright and no real people or feelings are involved. (Does Watching Porn Count As Cheating?)

An open discussion 

It is very important that partners outline what they are comfortable with and state their beliefs to each other. This is beneficial as it brings out a certain level of trust and builds communication skills in a relationship.  

Set boundaries which may either be rigid or flexible according to your preference. These are the boundaries that you do not want your partner to cross. Crossing boundaries can cause a lot of distress and may even trigger panic attacks or emotional breakdowns. 

To some, watching porn maybe be acceptable but cam girls may feel a little too real. Therefore, state your boundaries.  

Excessive use of porn does have negative impacts on a relationship. This can even lead to porn addiction. Therefore, it is important to err on the side of precaution.

It is best to keep your partner’s boundaries in mind so that they may feel safe in the relationship.  

If you believe to have issues in your relationship due to pornography use, it is best to approach a couple’s therapist to understand the issues that are hurting your relationship. 

References: 

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