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Does Watching Porn Equal Cheating?

January 18, 2010

Let’s eat cake recently wrote an article over at SexGenderBody about whether watching porn equals cheating. I recommend you check out the article, if only for the insane conversation that ensued. I mean it, insane. If any of you are actually able to sit there and read the entire comment section, I applaud you. I agree with Let’s eat cake that watching porn does not equal cheating, but a lot of people out there would disagree. One story that I heard recently was particularly over-dramatic, in my opinion anyways. As it was told to me, a friend of a friend of mine was gone out-of-town for work (yes, work) and while he was gone his girlfriend came upon some porn in their apartment. Now, this wasn’t a huge collection of porn by any accounts and it was rather vanilla (as the kids say) in terms of content. 

Cutting to the chase, the chick FREAKED OUT. I mean, she really freaked out. She called her boyfriend at the hotel where he was staying with the two other guys who were on the job with him and basically started to call him a perverse freak. She was breaking up with him and throwing his stuff out of the house, because she actually thought that he was a sick dude for presumably masturbating to some regular ol’ porn. I don’t know this girl personally, so I can only guess at her reasoning, but as you would have it this guy was devastated and crying his little eyes out. He suddenly felt ashamed for masturbating (at this point I don’t even think it was about the porn), he had to leave his job in the middle of construction to go home and resolve this situation. The poor guy even felt the need to ask his boss whether it was normal that he, you know, had a couple porn mags and would occasionally jerk off to them. 

Personally, I am much more sympathetic to the guy in this situation than the girl. I think she clearly overreacted and must have some deeper issues somewhere to have reacted so vehemently to him masturbating to porn. To me, claiming that porn is equal to cheating is like saying that my imagination is equal to cheating. I can conjure up an infinite amount of sexual imagery in the confines of my mind and I certainly don’t consider that to be cheating on someone. 

Of course, the context matters, right? Let’s say I’m in a committed relationship with someone and I was constantly fantasizing about a specific person in my life to whom I was sexually attracted to, that might be a sign that there’s a problem. From my point of view, I wouldn’t necessarily be doing anything wrong as long as I didn’t actually want to pursue something with that person, but if the tables were turned and the person I was in a relationship with was frequently sexually fantasizing about someone else, I would definitely have a problem with it. Perhaps, I’m insecure and it would simply be a case of jealousy. I don’t know. I do know, that I would prefer my partner get off using sexual imagery of strangers who don’t have a personal connection to our actual lives. Either way, from an objective point of view, I maintain that our thoughts, fantasies and desires belong to us and cannot be censored or restrained by another person or we risk loosing something valuable in the process: our imagination. 

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2010 10:07 am

    I agree. Porn is not cheating. Masturbating is not cheating. Fantasy is not cheating. I would never break up with a guy if I found out he watched porn. I would break up with a guy if I found out he never masturbated though. That’s just weird.

  2. January 19, 2010 10:40 am

    “I would break up with a guy if I found out he never masturbated though. That’s just weird.” Hehe, that made me laugh.

  3. naturegirl1 permalink
    January 19, 2010 11:12 am

    Coming from me, you may find this odd, but if I caught Phil having a quick wank all on his own (whether to porn or not) I would certainly feel a tiny bit peeved! It’s not something I would feel needed some form of admonishment, but I would wonder what was missing from our relationship that he should need to have a wank in secret! Like you, I would question the mentality of any guy who claimed to have not masturbated, but I would hope that Phil would only feel that need if we were apart for some length of time. Hell, I would feel that need too under those circumstances!

  4. January 19, 2010 11:41 am

    I definitely understand where you’re coming from, especially since you guys seem to have a really active sex life. A sex life where you seem to share everything with one another, but I personally think that masturbation (to porn or not) whether it’s alone or with your partner is a healthy part of even the most active and great sex lives. I mean, for sure sometimes people masturbate alone while in relationships to satisfy a need that isn’t being meet, but I think that’s another conversation all together. Even if you have the best lover in the world, masturbation continues to be a part of our sexuality. I think it’s something separate that you do for yourself (for many reasons) and not necessarily as a poor substitute for sex.

  5. January 19, 2010 2:28 pm

    @Naturegirl –

    It is a common misconception that people masturbate more when their sex lives are lacking. The reality is quite the contrary! It has been shown that people with healthy, active sex lives masturbate MORE than people who are not . A quick search on Wiki: Contrary to conventional wisdom, several studies actually reveal a positive correlation between the frequency of masturbation and the frequency of intercourse.

    Plus, I’m not trying to burst any bubbles here, but the liklihood that your parnter is masturbating when you’re not around is pretty high. Women have this habit of making everything about them. If he is masturbating, it’s because it’s healthy and good, and isn’t a reflection of his feelings for you in any way.

  6. naturegirl1 permalink
    January 20, 2010 2:19 pm

    Probably a valid point, but as Phil & I do pretty well EVERYTHING together, neither of us get much time apart these days. I know I don’t (couldn’t) masturbate at work & I know he gets no opportunity to do so either. We indulge in mutual masturbation as part of foreplay, sometimes use masturbation as a substitute for intercourse, so I just wouldn’t see the need for him (nor me) to resort to a hand job in private during the little time we spend apart. Like I said, if we were apart for days (like we used to be when we lived in London & he worked all over the UK) then yes, I know I indulged & I know he did too. We would not be human if we didn’t! We have such a varied & adventurous sexlife that I feel he shouldn’t need to have a wank. Unless of course he’s reliving some particularly erotic memory…..I hadn’t thought of that!

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