My fiance watches too much porn, in this week’s Dear Prudie extra.

Help! My Fiancé’s Daily Porn Habit Bothers Me.

Help! My Fiancé’s Daily Porn Habit Bothers Me.

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Aug. 9 2017 12:06 PM
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Help! My Fiancé’s Daily Porn Habit Bothers Me.

Dear Prudence answers more of your questions—only for Slate Plus members.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Thinkstock.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Thinkstock.

Every week, Mallory Ortberg answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.

Q. Fiancé’s porn habit: My fiancé and I recently got engaged after two years of long distance; he lives in the U.K., and I’m in the States. We have spent the past three months living together in England, and I will be moving over permanently in a few months. It has been wonderful living with the man I love, but I do have one complaint that I have addressed with him. I caught him looking up dogging sites and Googling “extramarital affairs” when he believed me to be asleep in bed beside him early one morning. We discussed it, and he said that it was never something that he would ever act upon, but, like with porn, it’s a curiosity. He promised to never betray my trust like that again and then felt so guilty about it that he took a half-day off work the next day so we could spend time together. He has kept his word, and I believe that he will continue to do so.

What bugs me now is the porn. Porn played a big part in a previous relationship, with my ex-boyfriend having an addiction and favouring his hand and a screen over me. My fiancé and I have addressed his porn viewing habits; before I came along, he was living on his own for seven years without any serious relationships, so porn was a feature. I have spoken with him about my past and how hurt I was, and he said that he would try to keep his “biological urges in check.” He wakes up before me, and that is when he tends to watch it. I would be more than happy to wake up earlier and have some time with him before work, but when I try to initiate something on a weekday morning, he brushes my hand away and goes off to his computer, stating that he “doesn’t have time.”

I want to spend the rest of my life with this man, but I am concerned about this. I don’t want to feel like he is choosing a fantasy over me. I think a lot of my concern and uneasiness stems from my insecurities and past, but at the same time I know that it affects our sex life at times. When we are together, we have a fantastic sex life, nearly every night, and he is very attentive; however, when we spend a couple of months apart, he goes back to his daily porn habit. Then once we are back together on the same continent, it takes a few days for him to “adjust and reset from uno to duo.” I know that viewing porn is relatively normal for people, but I do not think I’m comfortable with it inside of a relationship. I can’t help but think that I’m I making a bigger deal out of this than it is.

A: There’s not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach to porn; if it’s a big deal to you, then it’s a big deal to you! Someone else might not feel the same way, but this is your relationship, and you have to live in it. The habits of your current boyfriend you’ve described don’t sound terribly different from your last boyfriend’s. If that’s not going to work for you, then the two of you are going to have to figure out a better compromise than what you’ve got right now—which is your boyfriend making vague promises about “adjusting” and then brushing your hand away. What are you comfortable with? What are you not? What does your boyfriend consider an ideal, or at least reasonable, relationship to porn? Is he willing to be honest with you about what he does and doesn’t want (like, for example, not wanting sex in the morning and instead preferring to get off quickly by himself so he can get on with his day), even if he’s afraid he might hurt your feelings? Or does he say whatever he thinks you want to hear in the moment, then later does something else, leaving you confused and bewildered?

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