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Found out DH watches porn - should I be this upset?

(102 Posts)
justkeeponsmiling Thu 31-Jan-13 00:02:25

Earlier on today, I stumbled across the evidence that DH watches porn online on our laptop. I confronted him (by text - I know it's bad but he was out) and he admitted it but we've not spoken about it since.
I feel so upset. I'm usually very open-minded - we have sex once or twice a week and I feel it's good quality sex, if u know what I mean. There's the occasional toys, we don't always switch the lights off... u get the drift. We have even watcged some films together, although this is quite a few years ago now!!!
I thought we were doing pretty well in that department - we've been together for 11 years and have three kids and both work.
In principle, I'm not against porn and it would never have bothered me if I had walked in on him masturbating, I would have just laughed it off.
But the thought that he sits downstairs masturbating over Cindy taking it hard from behind while I'm out to work or asleep upstairs really upsets me.
I thought I knew him and all of a sudden I realise I don't know him at all.
Also, I can't imagine having sex with him again - I bet he plays the clips over and over in his head while we do it, the thought makes me feel ill.
Am I being a hypocrite? I just feel really hurt and betrayed.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Feb-13 17:52:02

Carmen, are you saying it has never been "proved" that there is coercion/abuse involved in the making of porn ? I don't mean all porn, I mean some porn.

But since you can't be sure which bits are coerced and which bits aren't, then you are in effect accepting that the person(s) on screen could have been abused but that it doesn't matter because you don't know which they are.

cronullansw Fri 01-Feb-13 19:24:45

www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/6709646/All-men-watch-porn-scientists-find.html

www.cleo.com.au/why-more-women-are-watching-porn.htm

People - of both genders - watch porn apparently. And as you used to watch it together, I'm surprised that you are surprised about him watching it now....

carmenelectra Fri 01-Feb-13 19:31:25

No anyfucker I'm not saying I don't care personally. I mean the regular user of porn probably are under the impression most pornstars are not coerced/abused. I guess any sane person would not watch if they knew a woman was being abused

AnyFucker Fri 01-Feb-13 20:11:53

Carmen, you have missed my point

But hey ho,, lots of people do

carmenelectra Fri 01-Feb-13 21:57:27

anyfucker didn't miss your point. Think you referring to fat that I said dp and I occasionally watch porn.

If that's what you meant then yes, I guess I am as guilty as anyone for turning a blind eye to the fact the women are not necessarily doing it of there own free will. However, this is really difficult I know, but I can't boycott all porn as i believe most is done without coercian.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Feb-13 22:06:20

"most"

how much of "most" is ok ?

50% of the participants are happy to be there, doing all the things they are expected to do satisfy the ever-escalating needs of the porn-consumers ?

75% ?

90% ?

99% ?

if only 1% are trafficked 15yo's from Eastern Europe who won't get a beating if they submit, is that OK ?

cronullansw Sun 03-Feb-13 00:23:02

AF - slightly off track here, but is your dislike of porn based solely upon the abuse of women, or are there other aspects of porn that influence your position?

I ask not to provoke a row, or derail this thread, but to try try to get a better understanding.

AnyFucker Sun 03-Feb-13 15:51:08

Cronulla many of our recent exchanges on here have ended in discord and there is certainly no love lost between our posting styles, so I would not consider it a productive use of my time to lay out in detail all my personally-held social and political objections to the rise of the pornified society.

However, I would like to direct you to a fairly gentle article written by Naomi Wolf some years ago now, that examines how porn not only damages women, but also men. Read it carefully with an ear for her nuanced views. She attacks no-one and has only understanding and sympathy for a society being damaged by the rise of "porn culture".

I would also bring your attention to the first "comment" at the end of her piece, which perfectly illustrates to me why women (and men) need to be vocal about this, and also why it makes me so fucking angry sometimes.

article here

Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion about porn. In the OP's case, it sounds like she has never actually told her DH that she dislikes porn and would prefer him not to watch it - and that she has previously watched some porn films with him. Therefore it is not unreasonable for him to assume that she would be OK with him watching some in private. IE, he is not deliberately setting out to indulge himself in a way he knows his wife would be upset about. So when she talks to him and says 'I am unhappy that you watch porn because [her own reasons for not liking it']' then she needs not to make it too much of an attack on him. He may well say 'I'm sorry you're upset, I won't do it any more' and stop watching porn. Or he may feel that what he chooses to look at is his business and that she is not entitled to police his behaviour to this extent. Hopefully between them they will be able to reach an agreement that they are both happy with.

Oh, and just in a general way: I think some people get confused between 'most/all men watch porn' and 'most/all men have seen some porn'. I think most people have seen some porn at some point in their lives. That doesn't necessarily mean they liked it or they want to see any more. Though I would be a little bit hmm at someone who hates and objects to porn and has never, ever seen any.

Also, another way to look at this issue is: some people are vegetarians or vegans, and passionately believe that eating meat is wrong. How much of a right do such people have to forbid a partner or family member to eat meat, ever? If someone married to or living with a devout vegan chooses to eat meat while out of the house/away from the partner, should that be reasonable grounds for punishment or ending the relationship? I am not comfortable with the idea of anyone insisting on obedience from a partner when there is a disagreement over an issue and it is possible for the partner to indulge his/her (legal and regarded as acceptable by substantial numbers of people) preference without inconveniencing the other partner.

Abitwobblynow Mon 04-Feb-13 07:49:56

I was slightly surprised to hear Bobbi saying porn is no big deal.

Really? I am not at all surprised that OP feels hurt and betrayed. Regular use of porn is sexually acting out OUTSIDE the marriage bond. Private porn use IS a betrayal.

Porn does reduce women to objects. The fantasy of porn does increase narcissism (selfishness, self-absorbtion). Porn does impact on marital sex negatively.

If you look at that horrific case of the Ohio football team, where did those young adolescents get the scenario which they acted out? (kidnap, rape, anal rape, holding the unconscious girl from her hands and feet like a sack, the contemptuous treatment the whole way through to her dumping on her parent's lawn)

From their parents' relationship (the old way children got clues from how to relate to others)????? Really????

Keep kidding yourself that porn is no big deal, that from the ghastly Rhianna onwards, that women are not increasingly being portrayed as sexual objects there for men's benefit.

Bobbybird40 Mon 04-Feb-13 14:28:20

bitwobbly - if private porn use is a betrayal, is thinking of another woman when you have a wank also a betrayal? Surely the line is drawn in terms of betrayal or not if there is physically another person involved?
On the Ohio football team thing, do you really think that if those guys had never watched porn they would be actually be really nice blokes? I doubt it somehow. Moreover, if porn were to blame - or, rather, could act as a catalyst for - rape and sexual violence, wouldnt we have seen a signfiicant upturn in such violence since the advent of the internet. Without checking, I am fairly confident that we havent.
Like I say, it isnt a big deal - it is just people having sex in front of a camera.

badinage Mon 04-Feb-13 14:57:04

Seeing as all the recent studies show that the average age of first exposure to porn is 11, the porn pre-dates boys becoming blokes, nice or otherwise.
So yes, if you've grown up watching women being used as fuck toys devoid of the ability to feel physical pain, then it might affect how you treat women in real-life.

Since the early nineties, there has been a significant upturn in reports of sexual violence, with women's charities stating that actual reports are the tip of the iceberg as so much goes unreported, especially sexual violence within relationships.

What we can't yet prove is cause and effect, but we can have suspicions about it and refuse to engage with an industry that abuses women and depicts them being abused.

EuphemiaLennox Mon 04-Feb-13 15:14:52

Porns threads on MN are rarely helpful to the OP.

They invariably become an opportunity for the porn haters to air their views and restate all the evils of porn vs the porn is no big deal everyone does it you're just uptight brigade to have a bunfight.

I think SGB is speaking the most sense on this thread for the OP. In fact, strangely, I usually agree with SGB on most sex issue threads, despite being married monogamous and happy.

OP - I experienced a similar thing. Thought our sex life was good, thought I was open minded, watched porn together in past...and then discovered he was looking at porn on line, and got really upset.

I too felt it was inconsistent or illogical of me to feel this way, but it somehow felt seedy for him to do this alone as if this type of sex is secretly what he's into. Not sure if that make sense to you??

We talked about it. In fact we rowed about is because he did look at it again a few times after I'd told him I was upset, and then when he realised it was a big potentially serious issue between us he stopped. I think before this he viewed it as something harmless.

I think you have to talk to him, try to convey how it makes you feel and why. Listen to what he says, let him explain why he looks at it and how he views it, I suspect he'll think it's not a big deal and will be surprised that it is to you.

Then decide together what will work for the both of you. Do you want him to promise to never look at porn again? Can he live with that? Will you feel happy if he tells you when he's looking at it so it's not secret? Will you be happy to agree that's it's only something you want to do together?

My DH and I have also talked a lot since about the dangers of porn, porn addiction, how destructive it can be to marriages, the effects on people in the industry and the pornifciation of society and the worry that has for our kids- and I think he's come to see it is potentially a damaging route to take.

Just get talking and you'll probably find it will bring you closer together.

AnyFucker Mon 04-Feb-13 15:24:37

Well, I am certainly glad I didn't spend too much time stating my views for the perusal of the delightful cronulla who hasn't even acknowledged my reply to his personal questions.

cronullansw Mon 04-Feb-13 20:04:35

My darling AF, I'm terribly sorry I hadn't wasted some of my life sitting here breathlessly waiting for you to release your pearls of wisdom so that I could respond instantly, but I was very interested to see your link and thank you for making the effort, I actually do appreciate it.

I had a quick read through it and decided that I really needed time to give it full consideration, in stead of making a snap response. I'm sorry to say, rl has been interfering in this process, but I will do my best smile

As for blaming the internet for porn availability, well, yes and no. Yes, obviously it makes it easier to access, but porn was around before the net and pretty easy to find too.

I think it is the case that dv, rape and abuse existed before the net days too. Is it not possible that such cases are more widely reported these days as society has - too slowly - realised that dv / rape is unacceptable? Is it possible that we are blaming current influences for preexisting issues?

AnyFucker Mon 04-Feb-13 20:19:28

It's ok, cronulla, I am not interested in your response so don't knock yourself out

You asked me (me, personally...not inviting a wider discussion) where I was coming from, I gave you an indication of that.

now, I don't think you need me to tell you where you can insert your "pearls of wisdom" smile

GoSuckEggs Mon 04-Feb-13 21:28:55

"Really? I am not at all surprised that OP feels hurt and betrayed. Regular use of porn is sexually acting out OUTSIDE the marriage bond. Private porn use IS a betrayal.

Porn does reduce women to objects. The fantasy of porn does increase narcissism (selfishness, self-absorbtion). Porn does impact on marital sex negatively."

What a croc of shit! How can you say that 'private porn use IS a betrayal' - In your relationship it might be, But that is not to say that everyone considers it so. DH and I do not consider each others private porn use a betrayal, we each like to watch different things.
Porn has no negative impact on our marriage, we watch it together and separably - quite happily.

badinage Mon 04-Feb-13 21:45:43

As for blaming the internet for porn availability, well, yes and no. Yes, obviously it makes it easier to access, but porn was around before the net and pretty easy to find too.

No, the sort of porn that's available for free on the net and is regarded as mainstream now really wasn't around before because of censorship.

I think it is the case that dv, rape and abuse existed before the net days too. Is it not possible that such cases are more widely reported these days as society has - too slowly - realised that dv / rape is unacceptable?

I think society has always thought rape was unacceptable, hasn't it? Mind you, the amount of rape porn that's on the net now does make you wonder.....

Aren't we all more educated now innit?

The saddest line, for me, in the OP is we have sex once or twice a week and I feel it's good quality sex

there's the rub eh? Porn fucks up sex lives. In the long run.

I feel for you justkeeponsmiling but the good news is, you keep the kids, he keeps his rotten little habit.

And you have the pleasure of explaining to the children why you left him.

Knob.

cronullansw Mon 04-Feb-13 23:44:09

Badinage......

* Censorship still exists - you know the 18R rating thing? Pretty much unchanged for 30+ years. And thats worked really well hasn't it? It's really kept that mainstream porn out of the hands of the easily influenced. smile As for 'extreme pornography, the first snuff movie referenced, which surely is the most extreme pornography, dates back to 1971. I don't think Mr Berners Lee had quite got the wonderful world wide web up and running at that point.

* Didn't it used to be that - legally - a husband couldn't rape his wife? So apparently society hasn't 'always' thought' rape to be unacceptable.

AF - I said a polite thank you - you then tell me to ''insert my pearls of wisdom'. That really is so well mannered of you.

badinage Tue 05-Feb-13 00:47:51

Yes I'm well aware that censorship still exists - but it doesn't exist on the internet does it? That's the point.

Are you seriously suggesting that the average 11 year old in 1971 had easy access to a snuff movie, or that there was pressure on boys in society to watch snuff movies, in the same way as there is now for them to watch porn?

Yes Rape in Marriage was recognised as a criminal offence in 1991, but my point was that it's never been widely regarded as acceptable even when shockingly it wasn't criminalised. Having got married myself many years before that piece of legislation, no-one I knew then regarded marital sex without consent as anything other than rape and everyone knew that men who did that were utter scum.

Cronulla, there is no such thing as a snuff movie (ie people being murdered purely for the purpose of making pornography and selling it). The 70s film called 'Snuff' is a notorious fake that, these days, wouldn't convince a six-year-old.

It is very unlikely, even now that the Internet is the Home Of All Evil, that people are really murdering women just to make porn. To be blunt, the risks outweigh the benefits. Massively. It's possible that someone might label a film clip as Real Murder, but the sensible criminal would simply steal footage from something gross like Saw or Hostel and intercut it with standard footage of fucking. Piracy is, after all, much less serious a crime than murder.

picard476 Tue 05-Feb-13 19:41:45

why should a woman keep the kids UnlikelyAmazonian?

cronullansw Tue 05-Feb-13 22:33:42

SGB - I do completely agree, it's fake, like so much porn; fake tits, fake hair, fake orgasms. I mentioned Snuff as a genre to show that extreme shit was out there before the internet was around to demonstrate that pron was around before the net.

And Badinage - I'm so glad you agree with me on both my points, even although you haven't actually realised you agree.... censorship is futile and I never said rape was acceptable, I merely pointed out that societies views of rape and dv have, quite correctly, evolved and that could be the cause of us seeing an increase in reported dv and rape cases - example; females abusing men used to be virtually unheard of, now it is accepted that it takes place.

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