Porn doesn’t necessarily bother me, but the medium does?
November 20, 2017 9:07 AM   Subscribe

My boyfriend watches porn, which doesn’t normally bother me. But why do certain mediums he watches it on bother me? It feels a lot more personal and I’m not sure if/how to address it.

I don’t want to police his habits. It’s not like the porn has substituted any intimacy. He is very vocal in his love and attraction to me. Our sex life is pretty great. He’s the sweetest guy. I myself watch porn, though I try to find those that are directed by women. I’m not bothered by him watching porn videos on a website where it feels really impersonal.

Not sure if most are familiar with Snapchat on here. On there, you can pay for an account where a porn actress may send you videos personally. Or they may just post on their “story” for anyone who added them to view, so you don’t have to pay for it. You can also do similar things on Instagram, where a porn actress may have a personal account and post private videos or pictures there. You don’t have to pay for these all the time, but you do have to request to follow them.

I found out about this because you can see who your followers are following on Instagram (it’ll just pop up in the “liked” feed.) I saw that my boyfriend was following a lot of nude accounts. I brought this up and he said “Oh! I’m sorry. Let me unfollow them, I don’t want people seeing that on my personal account.” I didn’t follow up to see if he actually unfollowed them but I don’t really want to check. And then when we were sitting on the couch, I saw that he was following a lot of either porn or just random women on Snapchat, and their story icon had nude pictures. I think he may have added a lot of them when he was single, but he may have added some recently, who knows.

This bothers me somehow. I can not pinpoint why. Videos on pornhub wouldn’t bother me. He isn’t addicted. He still puts me first.

But my Snapchat story is right next to those naked women. And my Instagram picture of me and some friends is right below the woman who is butt naked when he scrolls down his feed (well, this was before I asked him about the Instagram thing. Snapchat has been recent though.) Along with stories of his friends and families and etc. Somehow this feels like watered down cheating but I LOGICALLY KNOW IT ISN'T. It’s not like he is chatting with these women, I know that for a fact. I know my insecurities are popping up because those women look nothing like me, yet there’s quite a few of them. And whenever he says how beautiful and attractive I am to him, I can’t help but think “are you sure? I don’t look like xxprincessxx that you just stared at today.” So why am I so bothered?

Other times that I have felt similarly uncomfortable was when we were watching a movie, and he would audibly go “hmmm.” When the actress appeared on screen in scantily clad clothes. It’s like he does it unconsciously, because he does the same thing to me in person. But I wish he would just keep it to inside his head. We’re all attracted to people but I don’t want to know about it all the time. I don’t bring this up because it doesn’t happen very frequently and I don’t want to seem like a prude.

I’m not sure how to address this because I’m not entirely sure how to explain why *this* kind of porn bothers me but not the others? I don’t want to police anyone but I also know I will continue to be uncomfortable. Should I ask him to be way more discreet, perhaps create an Instagram or Snapchat account which he only uses for porn? That way I don’t notice who he’s following/liking on my own account. Any help or advice would be great.
posted by socky bottoms to Human Relations (33 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
It makes total sense why Snapchat and Instagram bother you but videos don't. The video does not take the form of personal interaction any more than looking at Playboy would for a guy 30 years ago. Even though you know intellectually that it's not personal, the form is the same as it is when you are being interactive with him. I think it's totally reasonable that you want him to limit porn viewing to things that are not social media in any way if it makes you more comfortable.
I would be a little put off by the "hmmmm" thing too if that's also exactly how he expresses his attraction to you. It doesn't sound like he's doing it in a way that's being a jerk, just not aware. But instead of telling him to stop it, you could maybe also try to express finding people in the movie attractive and share your inner lives that way, instead of competing with these unreal figures. But only if that feels OK to you.
posted by velveeta underground at 9:19 AM on November 20, 2017 [6 favorites]


Police the fuck out of your monogamous SO interacting with porn stars on social media. He needs to get his head out of his ass and stop having a constant stream of sexualized women being beamed directly to his phone.

He sounds borderline addicted if he’s following these women where people can see it (wtf).

Part of why these get him off is the thrill of the fantasy connection. Fuck that.

(My ex did this too and he was spending a ton of cash to “interact” in various ways so keep an eye out for that).
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 9:20 AM on November 20, 2017 [43 favorites]


Also this might be irrational but it’s irrational for him to care about following porn stars on Snapchat so...
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 9:21 AM on November 20, 2017 [6 favorites]


I can see why this bothers you. Instead of the sexy images and videos being partitioned off into some sort of private porn zone, these social media sites make consumption of sexually charged images much more casual and part of day-to-day life. It's not weird to feel ambivalent about that. You have already come up with a pretty generous compromise that separates the porn out again with a private, dedicated account. If you truly feel that will make you feel less icky about it, go ahead and ask him to do that.
posted by merriment at 9:25 AM on November 20, 2017 [12 favorites]


I think it bothers you because now his porn is a constant part of his day, as opposed to a separate thing he sets time aside for. Like with Pornhub, you go specifically to that website and it's compartmentalized. With IG and Snapchat, which he's looking at throughout the day, his porn is front and center all the time. This would bother me too. One of the options you listed, having him create separate accounts for this stuff, could work if you trust him completely. But it would still feel a bit too personal for me -- because in these media he has the opportunity to interact with the porn actresses. In traditional media, he does not.
posted by yawper at 9:26 AM on November 20, 2017 [16 favorites]


One of the options you listed, having him create separate accounts for this stuff, could work if you trust him completely.

Speaking as an IT dude - he should be doing this anyway. It's really common for people to blend their personal and work accounts to some extent and any lack of discipline on his personal account could be... let's say problematic in a professional context. It happens all the time - I'm not speaking in a hypothetical sense.

He really should create some sockpuppet (heh) accounts for his private stuff, even if you had no issue with it all.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:40 AM on November 20, 2017 [19 favorites]


I think Yawper is onto it: this is less about the medium of the porn and more about the fact that the porn isn't a separate part of the rest of his day. Watching porn is normal — but so is keeping it separate, both regarding privacy (why the hell doesn't he have a private account for that?) and regarding the rest of your life (porn shouldn't be a key component of loading your main social media feeds).

I'm a stripper, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt if you want. I certainly don't think that interacting with a porn star or webcam model is necessarily "cheating" — but that doesn't mean that you have to be okay with it, and it doesn't mean you're a "prude" if you're not okay with it. You are entitled to set your own boundaries. This makes you uncomfortable.

I think you should communicate this to him. You're okay with him watching porn, but he needs separate accounts, and it shouldn't be bleeding over into your movie time or dinner date. You are entitled to not have to wonder if he is watching porn every time he picks up his phone.

You say that you can't figure out why this bothers you, and that he isn't addicted. I think it bothers you because this is odd behavior for a normal "healthy" porn habit. I think it's your spidey senses going off. I don't think you're crazy for being uncomfortable. That doesn't mean the relationship is over, but it does mean that you should talk about how it bothers you.
posted by Peppermint Snowflake at 9:55 AM on November 20, 2017 [41 favorites]


Somehow this feels like watered down cheating but I LOGICALLY KNOW IT ISN'T

FWIW, I think it is. This is like the epitome of normalized sexual objectification of women on a daily basis, and you guys are practicing it in your relationship.

I probably have too much bias, but think about it: Talking to women marginalized into taking their clothes off to survive is his normal for companionship via social media. I realize society has made this normal for men, much like it used to be normal to have mistresses. But I'll say it again: talking to women marginalized into porn (what? because you're not actually spilling your disease-gifting fluids into/onto her, it's not prostitution?) is his normal. These imaginary people are probably filling more of his companionship needs than you realize. I personally would be creeped out and very sad.

I have no idea how you will navigate this without facing the reality he's probably more attached to this personal practice than he is to you (no matter how many nice things he's learned to say in real-life interactions). If he was actually happy with you, why would he need to keep interacting with women as if it's normal to have "friends" whose socioeconomic survival is limited to occupations where "bright eyes go dull". He probably believes he's "empowering" them, via being the great North American nice guy who is civilized because when he pays to access naked women, he uses a credit card. He's a digital john for gawd's sakes, and because it's not a bathhouse/stripclub, he's got you almost convinced this is within an acceptable realm of "normal". Take care however this plays out. I do hope he is actually as affectionate for you as you obviously feel he is, based on your description.
posted by human ecologist at 10:06 AM on November 20, 2017 [11 favorites]


There's nothing irrational about your feelings here, unless you guys are into sharing your porn habits with each other, and it sounds like you're not, it's really weird that he has it rolled into his other social media accounts like instagram and Snapchat. It does suggest something compulsive, the average person wouldn't want their regular social media contacts to know what they are beating off to on Instagram, most people prefer to keep those things private. He's either utterly clueless about how common social media apps work, or this is a compulsion that he doesn't know how to control. Or both! I generally never recommend trying to police someone's private habits, but this is definitely worth a serious conversation.
posted by cakelite at 10:07 AM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


Your feelings sound perfectly reasonable to me, but I hope that you don't feel you're responsible for coming up with a persuasive explanation. It's perfectly fine to just say "please cut that out, it bothers me".

Most people, even those with partners who may be fine with porn in theory, still take some basic level of care to hide their porn use. Even if there's not necessarily any shame involved, it's the social norm and it's just considerate, like not chewing with your mouth open.
posted by floppyroofing at 10:30 AM on November 20, 2017 [5 favorites]


As a voice of dissent, I would like to point out your boyfriend is actually consuming porn in one of the most ethical ways possible. Pornhub is the bane of a sex worker’s existence, especially if that sex worker is a cam girl / makes most of her money from selling her own clips. Pornhub is stolen content and no money makes its way back to the sex worker. Buying from them individually ensures they receive most of the money for their efforts.

As far as “cheating” and how uncomfortable you are with this behavior, that’s a different story. You are allowed to feel as uncomfortable about this as you feel, and it’s okay if it’s a deal breaker for you.
posted by fireandthud at 10:32 AM on November 20, 2017 [12 favorites]


Thank you all for your responses. I don’t feel as irrational! How would be best to bring this up? Or script it? (These help me.) Would “Boyfriend, I noticed you had a few porn Snapchat accounts, etc. I didn’t think it would bother me but it does. It feels really personal and intertwined with normal life as opposed to just watching it online. Can you make a separate account for viewing that stuff?”

But...if I’m honest, I would rather him just not have porn options on Snapchat and instagram. Which really makes me feel like I’m about to place some kind of ultimatum, which doesn’t make me feel comfortable. Seems like one of those things if he says “No, I don’t want to do that.” I’ll just have to accept it. Or “Sure I’ll do that.” But he could hide his viewing. Maybe the middle ground is a private account because it seems he’ll do it anyways.
posted by socky bottoms at 10:42 AM on November 20, 2017


“I’ve been trying to figure out why the Snapchat/Instagram porn ladies give me the creeps when traditional porn stuff doesn’t. I think it’s two things. One is that the porn bleeds into normal daily life, so that whenever you pick up your phone its possible you are looking at a porn star. Another is that it feels more like a personal connection — rather than watching a movie, you are interacting with these women on some level. It makes me feel bad to see my Instagram posts next to theirs.

Anyway, all told, I would feel more comfortable and happy if you weren’t blending porn and social media. Would you be OK unfollowing these women on social media and just watching them in movies?”
posted by hungrytiger at 11:05 AM on November 20, 2017 [8 favorites]


The fact that you're so nervous about bringing this up is really worrying to me. You should feel comfortable asking him to do things for your mental health and well-being, even if they're not "perfect" or "rational" or "reasonable." He should feel free to gently say no, of course. But you should not feel bad about asking him to do something nice for you, something that will make you more comfortable as his regular sexual partner.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 11:07 AM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


If he's not willing to adapt his sexuality to options that don't make you uncomfortable, there's something wrong with the relationship.

He likes porn because it arouses him. Fine, okay. There is nothing wrong with wanting easy access to that. You, however, are allowed to be unhappy that he *actively seeks out* arousal from sources that have no connection to you, that are, in fact, directly competing with you for his attention, like IG and SC, which are part of his social life, not an isolated hobby that he has to address separately from other interests.

There's no cheating going on here, but there is a firm case of "I don't care if you're happy as long as my dick is hard."

(As a thought exercise: would he be equally fine with you doing the same? There's not as much in the way of male porn for women, but there are some wow-amazing pics of naked and near-naked guys available. (I have gay friends who show me these things, and I am grateful for them doing the work of tracking them down.) Does he think "porn is fine and does not interfere with a relationship" or does he think, "porn is fine for guys?")

Sort out in your head exactly what makes you unhappy about this - don't try to equivocate with "well, it SHOULD be okay for him to look at..." It bothers you - that should be important to him. Sorting out why it bothers you (because you think it'll lead to cheating? Because you feel he'll be fantasizing about someone else when he's intimate with you? Because you'll feel insecure and inadequate comparing yourself to porn stars? - any or all of these are valid reactions), and make your demands based on what actually bothers you, so that when he's asking, "what parts can I keep and still have a good relationship with you," you have an answer. Do you care if he's looking at it, as long as you never see it? Or do some kinds bother you more than others - mass-release porn is okay but IG isn't because it's too much like him having a relationship with her?

Don't flinch back from making demands. Make them as politely as you can, but you do have the right to say: this is what I need in a relationship.

But be aware that if his reaction isn't, "how can I do this and still have you be happy" but "you shouldn't care what I look at if it doesn't affect you, so I'll agree to hide it and not mention it," that's a big warning flag for future problems.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:07 AM on November 20, 2017 [8 favorites]


I'm with fireandthud - the "personal" part of this is that sex workers are directing their own careers that they are monetizing in some way. PornHub steals content as one of the least evil things they do. I follow a lot of sex workers on Twitter - their public accounts for work, yes but - mostly their more personal accounts where they talk about their cat, and politics, and make jokes about their job. I promise you they are not personally interacting with your partner even if they respond to him. They view him as a customer, like someone who works in food service considers the people who order hamburgers.

I don't think you're wrong to feel anything you're feeling. Everyone gets to make their own lines for partnership and get to define what monogamy (or whatever set up they have) means to them. Some relationships are absolute zero porn. As someone in a relationship that is probably the most opposite of that you can get, I think it's a totally fine boundary to have if everyone agrees to it. There is nothing wrong with setting a limit for yourself and if he agrees, for your relationship (or decide if this is a deal breaker) like any other issue.

I just wonder if instead of thinking of this from your boyfriend's point of view, you view it from the model's point of view, in an effort to understand working conditions and ethical consumerism, etc, if him just having separate accounts and not browsing them while you guys are hanging out would satisfy your uncomfortableness. I would also encourage you to not think of most sex workers as people coerced into their professions. That is an opinion that comes from people who only read sensationalized fringe accounts. They are no more coerced or marginalized into their jobs than people who work tech support of fast food and they generally make far more money for their time. Learning to respect the people who do this work might help you not find it so off putting. But again, it's totally fine if you do.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 11:08 AM on November 20, 2017 [13 favorites]


Followup: Maybe he doesn't need to change anything about his viewing habits, as long as you're reassured that he knows that's a fantasy life. Maybe if he calls you, texts you, emails you to say, "I saw this porn and I wished it were you and me; I would love to [do this specific act] just the way it happened in the movie because you'd love it so much" - maybe that's the compromise: he can do porn as long as he remains invested in your sexual life, the one the two of you share.

There aren't any specific rules about what's okay here; the important thing is figuring out what'll make you happy with the relationship. (And him, but you're not in charge of figuring out what'll make him happy.)
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:10 AM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


I promise you they are not personally interacting with your partner even if they respond to him. They view him as a customer, like someone who works in food service considers the people who order hamburgers.

Right, but he doesn't think of it that way. That's part of the fantasy they are selling. That is what would bother me, not that I actually think these women are sitting there waiting for a like from randomdude390
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 11:10 AM on November 20, 2017 [21 favorites]


Oh and having said all that, I have my own weird lines. If someone is posting naked content not for money, like on r/gonewild, I ask my husband not to speak privately to them and not talk enough in public to them that they recognize who he is. To me, it's important if the person getting naked is working or not. I don't mind dancers or him going to clubs to see them, but I would mind if he just hung out with someone while they did that for free? Does that make sense? We all have our boundaries and there's nothing wrong with yours. But also, pay for your porn and have him pay for his.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 11:12 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Right, but he doesn't think of it that way. That's part of the fantasy they are selling.

Maybe, maybe not. Not all people think that way. Many are super aware that it's all theater and still like seeing the show. Regardless, I just thought perspectives from the side of the Insta/Snap models would be an interesting thing to mull over while deciding what parts are actively upsetting to you and what lines you need to draw for your own comfort.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 11:14 AM on November 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


One of my closest friends is in the adult industry, and she and her husband make their living off of people who understand that their work is WORK, and that is valuable and deserves to be compensated so they can, you know, eat and pay their rent and stuff. It sounds like you're conflating his willingness to consume porn ethically with making an emotional connection with the people who make porn, and that's the issue you're having and that you want to talk about. It sounds like you two have a really good relationship and that he does prioritize you in all the ways that matter. Please don't insist that he treat other people in a way that devalues their labor, because it won't solve whatever problem you're having and in fact reinforces a lot of regressive ideas about sex work.
posted by bile and syntax at 11:59 AM on November 20, 2017 [7 favorites]


there are plenty of ways to pay for adult content that doesn't entail following performers on Instagram and Snapchat or interactive cam shows, it isn't an either/or kind of thing.
posted by cakelite at 12:36 PM on November 20, 2017 [11 favorites]


Absolutely there are more options! I am reacting to "Videos on pornhub wouldn’t bother me." because I personally find that more bothersome and less ethical, so maybe consider that when figuring how you feel about porn usage generally and your partner's in specific. If someone is ok with PornHub as a default but is against vectors that happen to benefit the models more, then I think there is more to think about.

I also don't think a lot of people realize there is a part of PornHub that is monetized for the performer through membership accounts and those can operate more like Insta/Snap/Cam, where the performer is getting paid something or using it as advertising, and also sending out messages, etc. Most people don't use PornHub that way, but that is there too. Just saying 'don't use this or that social media for porn' likely won't get to the root of the feelings.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 1:16 PM on November 20, 2017


interacting with women as if it's normal to have "friends" whose socioeconomic survival is limited to occupations where "bright eyes go dull"

I know that this is a heated topic, and that it all comes from a good place of wanting to validate the OP's feelings, but I'd gently ask that commenters take care not to perpetuate harmful stereotypes about sex work, sex workers, and even their customers. The OP didn't do any of that in her question, and said herself that she watches porn. I know the intention is to look out for women ... but this statement and some others in the thread have been poorly phrased.

We can definitely address the OP's discomfort and validate her feelings without diving into all of the stereotypes. Thank you! :)

... I would like to point out your boyfriend is actually consuming porn in one of the most ethical ways possible.

I agree with fireandthud too: When consuming porn, it is important to do so in ways that consider and encourage the sex worker's own agency. Social media accounts are a critical way to do that. Sex workers use social media to "humanize" themselves and their colleagues. They're promoting their brands on social media, to be sure, and thus not saying *everything* on their minds — but a lot of them are also acting like real people here and there and having conversations about issues in the sex industry. The more people that see us as real working people deserving of the same respect they'd give to real working people in other professions, the better and safer our industry will become.

With this in mind, my inclination would be to ask him to separate his accounts and see how that makes you feel, before asking that he stop following sex workers on social media altogether.

Again, as a sex worker, I come at this having seen the goods and bads and highs and lows of a very complicated industry. But as much as I might like, our natural feelings don't always make allowances for these complications. You're not crazy for having these feelings.
posted by Peppermint Snowflake at 1:24 PM on November 20, 2017 [20 favorites]


It sounds like you know what you want here. You seem to be saying it makes you uncomfortable when he is looking at women in a sexual way in front of you. You also seems to be good with it done privately. I think your idea of asking him to keep it private is clearly within a GGG concept. Unless he is specifically getting something out of your seeing this, I suspect he will be perfectly happy with the slight adjustment to make you more comfortable.

This doesn't sound like a very big ask, and it really doesn't sound like policing to me. You are asking for a slight modification.

Pogo_fuzzybutt makes a good point, he probably wants to be keeping this separate for other reasons as well.
posted by Oceanic Trench at 1:25 PM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


I guess I just don't see why a woman is somehow responsible for her partner not consuming unethical porn. She's not making him go to PornHub to fap. Less personalized porn bothers her in the context of her relationship agreements and comfort surrounding monogamy. The fact that PornHub doesn't bother her in that context is completely distinct from her giving some kind of ultimate-responsibility stamp of approval to PornHub. That's his job because he's the one doing the consumption. If he's relying on her subjective feelings of discomfort to determine his ethical stances re: porn then he needs to grow up and take responsibility for his recreational activities.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 3:24 PM on November 20, 2017 [15 favorites]


[As usual folks, AskMe's not a place for general discussion of a topic, so please address answers to the OP.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:42 PM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


There is definitely less personal porn produced by individual sex workers and sold by individual sex workers. Maybe you could ask him to try those sites, and see if it makes you feel more comfortable than the individual attention he gets from the models on Snapchat and Instagram.

Ethical consumption of porn is everybody’s problem, because sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups on the planet. She is uncomfortable with one facet of his usage, and since their relationship seems very strong, they can talk and come to an understanding. That compromise doesn’t need to continue to hurt sex workers. Popular porn hosting sites also often host illegal content like revenge porn and child porn. Encouraging hits to their sites isn’t good in any context.
posted by fireandthud at 3:42 PM on November 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


why would he need to keep interacting with women as if it's normal to have "friends" whose socioeconomic survival is limited to occupations where "bright eyes go dull".

Yet another huge eyeroll to this from another one of the mefi sex worker demographic. Flagged for being offensive and also a derail.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 6:34 PM on November 20, 2017 [5 favorites]


Maybe having a separate porn account is like bathroom etiquette. You know he poops, and you don't judge him for it, you poop too, and major props to plumbers and sewage workers, but you just want him to shut the bathroom door and flush so you don't have to see it, ever.
posted by Former Congressional Representative Lenny Lemming at 6:37 PM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


One more from the mefi sex work squad weighing in:

This might be bothering you so much because one of the more "normal" and socially accepted ways for people to consume porn involves them being about as impersonal as any consumption of professionally distributed media. When you go see a movie in a theater or watch Stranger Things on Netflix, there is absolutely zero personal interaction taking place with any of the actors or cast&crew of that media. That's the cultural baseline for the way people interact with video: as a totally personally detached audience with multiple barriers between the consumer and the people making the product. Youtube and Snapchat are changing this paradigm, but the old school (or sites like PornHub, which are even more detached from the source) are still the social norm, and I think that's why your boyfriend consuming his pornography through social media feels "like watered down cheating." Buying porn directly from sex workers and performers via their personal social media is the most ethical way to do it and make sure they are actually paid for their labor, but it also removes those barriers of the former mainstream of video media use, where there are no links between the user and the product. Getting his porn through social media where there's the possibility of direct one on one contact with the people in the films he's being stimulated by might feel like your boyfriend is taking more steps to pursuing personal relationships or interactions with these women than you are comfortable with, even if his actual relationship with this material is more like buying produce from a living wage CSA rather than a big box grocery store. (sorry, I'm sure you can think of a better analogy.)

All that being said, having his porn in his instagram feed is a display of pretty poor boundaries (even he knew this and apparently didn't have it set that way on purpose) and generally kind of tacky, and I don't think you're in the wrong for being uncomfortable about it. If you are concerned that he is actually camming or talking with these women, that's a different story, but I agree with everyone else that the best course of action here might be to ask him to make a private porn account that you aren't going to have to see.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 9:44 PM on November 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


I’ve been in a similar situation before. There are two main things that made me uncomfortable about the Instagram/Snapchat following.

First, the possibility of real life interaction. It’s what those apps are designed for. Even if we know it’s very unlikely that he’ll strike up a close personal relationship with any of these professionals, it’s possible. You know he’s sexually attracted to them and the means to make contact makes you uncomfortable. This is a totally valid trust issue.

Second, the level of engagement with the medium and its integration with daily life. He goes from being a casual enjoyer of porn to a porn connoisseur. He follows particular women. He’s not private about it. He knows their names. He knows their body parts. This isn’t wrong in and of itself, but I get the feeling you’re more in the casual enjoyment camp? Porn is peripheral to your life and central to his. This to me is a compatibility/values issue.

You can reach an agreement that tinkers with these issues - separate account, sockpuppet name, no videos directed specifically to him. But I think at your core, you want him not to want this level of engagement with porn. Because, like me, you find his level of interest in it a bit yuck. But, like me, you think it makes you seem like a bit of a prude to say so.

It’s ok to ask for him not to do any of this anymore. It’s also ok to consider whether you would prefer to be with a partner whose values are more aligned with your own in this area.
posted by wreckofthehesperus at 12:19 AM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Thanks all for the advice and reassurance and for giving me things to think about in the porn industry! If anyone is following this, an update. I used the script provided here and expressed that this more personal, daily use of porn bothered me. He was a bit taken aback and then said he would unfollow them (also said he has been slowly unfollowing them as they pop up in his story feed, but forgets to keep doing this. I believe him, he has memory issues due to a brain injury.) so...it turned out to not even be a big deal, although I feel relieved and also glad that I was able to discover and express something that bothered me, and realize that’s ok to do. Thank you.
posted by socky bottoms at 8:29 AM on November 21, 2017 [6 favorites]


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