Is Watching Porn Cheating?

relationship counselling

I was asked this exact question recently and it is actually a tough question to answer. Is watching porn cheating depends on different factors. The way people feel about pornography differs from person to person and it may also shift over time.  The way a person feels about pornography can also change when they are in different relationships. Pornography is used in different ways, at different times, by different people. Therefore, the same person can have a different reaction to different partners. 

What do we mean by pornography?

Again, the word here is ‘difference. We will all have our own personal views and ideas about what the term ‘pornography’ means to us. For example, is it a topless woman, a naked man, sexual photos or an erect penis? Is it a video of you having sex with an ex-partner or a photo of a porn actress you follow on Instagram? Or is it a collection of graphic sexual videos? Do you use pornography occasionally or has it become habitual and compulsive?

In order to know if watching pornography is cheating, you would need to reflect on what your definition of cheating is. How do you define cheating and does your partner feel the same?

Discuss Your Boundaries

Each relationship is unique and expectations in each of these relationships will be different.  Some couples are completely open and accepting of pornography, it will form an exciting part of their sexual relationship. Others may not personally use it, but they are happy for their partner to use it for masturbation.  For other people, pornography will be seen as a betrayal of the relationship.  They may feel that their partner should not need to look at images of other people in order to get aroused. 

I believe it is important to talk about the rules of the relationship including sexual rules at the beginning of the relationship. That way each person can be clear about their partner’s morals, values, expectations and boundaries. Having these discussions early on in a relationship may prevent misunderstandings and conflict further down the line.

So, to answer the original question, ‘Is watching porn cheating?’, I’m afraid I don’t have the answer but you do. Sit down with your partner and spend time discussing what the rules are for YOUR relationship and then decide between you whether it is okay or not okay to watch pornography in your relationship.

If you find these conversations difficult, consult a relationship therapist who can help you discuss these matters in a safe environment. If you are struggling with your use of pornography and would like to speak to someone in confidence contact us below.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
× Send us a WhatsApp message