Porn. I can recall many a conversation with girlfriends about the moment they discovered that their guy watched porn without them. Whether this came in the form of Playboy centerfolds or an account on any a number of the porn sites out there, it always both mystified and terrified friends of mine that their seemingly “normal” partners would be jerking away to the perfect curves of porn stars.

It’s not a surprise to anyone that much mainstream porn is designed to whet, mold, and create male fantasies – not only about the female body but also about the type of sex they “should” be having. Ian Kerner, author of the book Passionista coined porn “fast food sex” because there really isn’t that much thinking that goes into taking it in.

A couple of years ago, the film Don Jon was released. The story stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johannson. Gordon-Levitt is a porn addict and is often dissatisfied with real-life sex and real-life women’s bodies. When he falls for Johannson (the type of women who fulfills all his porn-defined dreams) and realizes she also is not like those porn stars, he has to come to terms with his porn addiction.

While porn addiction is a real thing and should be taken very seriously, enjoying porn as a way to relax or stimulate sexual thought is not necessarily a bad thing. This becomes the crux of the matter when discussions about self-pleasure (whether it’s visual or physical) happen in the context of relationships.

Everyone has heard stories about people abusing porn or only finding pleasure in masturbation, which makes us all terrified that our partners will stop having sex with us or will stop finding pleasure in having sex with us. However, this isn’t usually the case, which is why I always try to comfort my friends when they find out that their partner *gasp* also masturbates or watches porn from time to time 

Here’s the great, often unknown thing about porn… There are so many different types of porn, that you’re bound to find something you like. And, even more, watching porn with your partner can indeed be a very, very good thing. 

Though I’m not a frequent porn watcher, when my partner asked if he could show me a site that he really liked, it took me back to being a teenager. I used to stay up, using laundry folding (my chore) as an excuse to watch those HBO soft porn films after everyone had gone to bed. I remember being entranced at how confident the women were, how much the man desired her, not to mention amused at the horrible dialogue and acting. But I also remember feeling naughty for doing so and how that naughtiness spurred a sexual awakening of mine of sorts.

So, here I am this weekend and finding myself watching again. While, at first, I wasn’t sure what to expect, this is what I ended up finding…

Our sex following the porn watching was hot. I felt more confident in bed. I channeled my inner porn star and it inspired me to try out different positions, to talk dirty, and to be more present in the moment. It felt freeing, honestly. If you’re still hesitant, here are some more reasons to try watching porn with your partner.

1. Shared Sexual Experience

A sex life is so much more than just having penetrative sex together. When you opt to watch porn together, you’re doing something sexual (thinking about it, talking about it, et cetera) together, which is incredibly bonding.

2. A Little Fantasy

If you aren’t sure how to discuss fantasy with your partner or what turns you on, porn can help you both feel more open to highlighting the things you did or didn’t like in a particular porno. He might be all about threesomes but maybe you just really like seeing creampies. Discuss!

3. More Foreplay

We all know it’s hard to get into that sexy space at the drop of the hat. But when you decide to make porn a part of your foreplay, it helps prime the brain (the organ primarily responsible for that) to be ready (and excited!) for sexy time. Bring it on!

4. Window Shopping

Okay, so we know he’s hot. And clearly, you’re hot. But other people are hot and that’s okay. It is not the kiss-of-death if he thinks Scarlett Johanssen is banging or if you’re totally turned on by the dude with the ridiculously large dick in the porno you’re watching together. Being attracted to other people means you have a pulse. Watching ridiculously hot people fuck on screen teaches you that it’s okay to look… And then touch each other.

5. Honest Conversations

Not only will watching porn together spark conversations about your kinks and fantasies, but it’s sure to spark honest conversations about real life sex. At the end of the day, porn is for entertainment, and just as you know that rom-coms are not accurate about relationships, neither is porn for sex.

Now you know why you want to watch porn with him, but what if you’ve never watched porn before and you have no idea where to look? That’s okay and it actually gives you a lot of space to explore the kind of porn you like.

First of all, ask him. Most likely, he already has a few go-to sites that he might want to show you. At this point, he probably has favorite models or types of porn that always gets him going. A lot of times, you’ll see a remarkable resemblance between the models he likes and yours truly… you!

If you’re liking what he’s showing you already, then that’s great! You have a good place to start from and probably have some idea of what turns him on. 

Okay, but what if you’re not liking what he’s showing you? There has been a pretty active anti-porn campaign in the U.S. that essentially claims that porn is degrading, demeaning and treats women like objects. And while it’s true that there are porn videos that you will find that do objectify women, there’s plenty of other porn you can find, including feminist porn or porn sites specifically for women that will get you wet without making you feel bad.

While it might seem a little weird at first to turn on some porn and watch people boning together, you might just find that it helps you release your inner slut. And in the end, what’s wrong with that?!

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