It depends on the relationship and what you both agree to. It all depends on how comfortable you are with your habit and how your partner feels about it. Some people find the use of porn offensive and some people find it entertaining. Some people use it to explore new ways of having sex and others use it as a way of entertaining a fantasy that they might harbour. Either way, it is about what you can agree with your partner.
It always starts small
Use of porn may start as something exploratory but can grow to become a habit and then an addiction so there is always that danger. The brain chemistry changes with repeated usage and it creates neural pathways for a dopamine fuelled reward system. Repeated over years, the brain craves the dopamine and goes down a much familiar and well-travelled path to achieve it for its reward. It may have originated as an interest or curiosity, perhaps even a bit of sexual understanding, that went on to become a habit and then an addiction. When it becomes an addiction, it can destroy relationships and lives.
Digital technology has brought ease of access to pornography and has changed the way it is now accessed and used in the privacy of our homes behind closed doors. The hesitation or a sense of shame in visiting sex shops and reaching for the top shelf magazines has been removed. With this ease of access has come a widespread access that is changing expectation. Younger people are much more familiar with porn and there are less arguments in younger couples in relation to porn than older couples.
Give it some context
Is porn a problem can only be answered with some contextual information.
- Why are you using porn?
- How often do you use porn?
- Is there a pattern to your usage?
- Do you often view longer than you had planned?
- Is there a sense of shame when you use porn?
- Does your partner know about your usage?
All the above questions change the context of usage. It can go from being merely exploratory to being an addiction and anything in between.
Understand the impact
If you are or your partner are using porn then understanding its usage and how the other person feels about it is important for the health of the relationship. Secretive use only delays the problem until its discovery, it does not eliminate it. Some people rate viewing pornography as cheating and if this is your partner then you may want to think about what this will mean to your relationship should they find out.
Counselling is a great way of understanding what pornography means to you, if it is an addiction, understanding its impact on the relationships in your life and learning to deal with it.