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Wise Guys: Can a Woman Get Her Man to Quit Porn?

Tue, Nov 29, 2011

Advice, Wise Guys

photo via flickr

Advice from three of EMandLO.com’s guy friends. This week they answer the following: “Can a woman ever get her man to quit porn?” To ask the guys your own question, click here.

mark_luczak_100Straight Engaged Guy (Mark Luczak): There are probably a lot of eventual branches to this question, depending on the reasoning behind her wanting him to ditch the porn in the first place. To generalize a few: she perceives it as a flavor of cheating, she thinks porn itself is simply dirty or immoral, or she just wants him all to herself!

But if we assume that porn is basically just a tool for self-satisfaction, and if we allow that self-pleasure is pretty much healthy when practiced with a method and frequency not actively destructive to the relationship, or one’s overall life responsibilities and priorities, then to ask him to unequivocally give it up might be treading into dealbreaker territory more than necessary, as would anything, sex-related or not, that either party would likewise desire that the other quit completely.¬†Similarly though, if this one particular issue really does means that much to her, perhaps it’s something he could indeed concede, in the interest of the fulfilling entirety of the relationship.

daniel_100Gay Single Guy (Daniel): Honestly, I don‚Äôt think so. Unless it is an addiction, as in, he spends more on buying porn than, say, rent — then yes, perhaps. But I think attempting to do so really requires asking yourself why you are demanding he give up porn? Is it affecting your sex life in a detrimental manner? Is there insecurity at the center of such a demand? Porn is mostly — if not entirely — about fantasy, and thus, a woman, I think, should want to engage with her man about what kind of porn is he into, and what it is about the porn he watches that is so compelling. You never know how that can improve their own sex life and relationship as a whole.

Straight Committed Guy (Johnny): No, a woman can’t ever get her man to quit porn. She can get him to hide it. She can get him to lie about it. All this subterfuge will naturally reduce the amount of porn he watches. But quit? Not happening. Porn was there before you. Porn plus my right hand is my oldest and truest lover. It’s been there for me through dry spells. It’s been there for me through heartbreak. It’s encouraged me to stay home and whack off when faced with real, actual temptation from another woman. Don’t pick a fight with porn. It’s a losing battle for everyone involved.

If you feel you must address your man’s porn, here is what you may reasonably ask:

  1. Don’t look at porn on my computer.
  2. Clear your browser history.
  3. Don’t do it if we’ll meet up later — it leaves you drained.

To gentlemen readers who get hit with the ol’ porn ultimatum: you should offer to make the above concessions. But not a bit more. Never lie about it. Never get dragged into a fight about it. Your ass is covered by these concessions. If that’s not good enough for her, find a new woman. Never stay with a partner who tries to emotionally bully you about something which, after all, is really none of her business anyway.

Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. This week’s Gay Guy is one-time stripper and sex columnist Daniel; our Straight Engaged Guy is Mark Luczak, a tech geek at Carnegie Mellon University; and our Straight Committed Guy is regular EMandLO.com commenter, Johnny. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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25 Responses to “Wise Guys: Can a Woman Get Her Man to Quit Porn?”

  1. someone Says:

    My guy recently told me he’s stopped watching porn (I never told him to stop or anything).
    We weren’t having that much sex and for over a year I kept asking why, never getting the real answer.
    Since he’s stopped watching porn, he’s all over me! We have sex about 4 times a week! Beats our old once-every-two-weeks routine.

  2. Becca Says:

    Is porn really so important that a man would rather break up with someone he loves than stop looking at it? I personally don’t care if my boyfriend looks at it but if he felt as strongly about porn as that last guy then I would feel pretty uncomfortable.

    Creepy.

    I’d say the last guy has a somewhat unhealthy relationship with pornography. We all like to look sometimes but you should look more closely at the reasons you feel so dependent on porn. I think most of us look at it as a fun little prop for masturbation, not something we would cling to for dear life.

  3. Victoria Says:

    My man is 23 if that matters… He doesn’t watch porn.. I guess it helps that i send him so many pics and homemade videos but he didn’t before he got those from me… and no you don’t need porn to whack off to… I’m a 19 year old girl in college and when my man is away at work and I’m soo horny I feel tempted by other men… I go use my vibrator and while I’m pleasuring myself I watch videos that he has made me (sexual and not sexual-romantic) and look at his pictures…. so no you do not need porn to get off if you are with someone… just think of them and look at their pics LOL

  4. Johnny Says:

    ^ Touche on the unhealthy relationship to porn, Becca. Not so much nowadays, when I “consume” porn a couple times per week. But in the past yes, I watched too much porn. And I can TOTALLY understand a woman’s problem with that. Totally.

    I changed my porn viewing ways in response to aging. Under 30 years old I could “watch” porn 3 times a day and still have plenty left for the real-life ladies. But I’m not like that anymore, and I’ve changed my habits to accomodate my changing bod, and my lovers.

    But let’s talk about a person with average consumption habits. Could be porn, could be weed, could be beers with my buddies. I don’t try to change women. I accept them as they are or I dump them, and I expect the same treatment.

    My problems with porn arguments – which I no longer have – are as follows:

    1. You said that I’d “break up with a woman I loved” for porn. But I wouldn’t. It would be HER breaking up with ME over porn. Women who try to change their men frequently pull this reframe – “you’re ruining our relationship by not doing what I want” – and I think it’s bullshit. If I dump a woman over porn arguments it’s because she’s being a ball buster – not because of my attachment to porn.

    2. It’s not a choice between porn and love. It’s a choice between porn and one particular woman. If things don’t work out with her I’ll fall in love with someone else. Women hate hearing that, but there it is. Why would I stay with a pain in the neck when I know how many chill chicks are out there?

    3. I have a life-long problem with being told what to do. It’s just my nature. No guy likes it, but the independent streak runs particularly strong in me. So just like my porn might be a red flag for an uptight woman, her nagging is a red flag for me. Mutually assured destruction.

  5. Johnny Says:

    Oh by the way – I mentioned that I did in fact reduce my porn consumption for the ladies. I massively, massively reduced it. I think I was over 30 before I went a whole day – let alone two days – without sexual release (porn or none).

    How did my girlfriend get me to do that? A much-justified shaming. She told me that I was a lackluster lover following one of my wankathons.

    And there’s the crux. WHY is the porn I watch alone any of her business? Because it effects her in a way that she could clearly expain. So maybe that’s a little insight into the male mind. If we can’t see how it effects you, then we can’t see why we should stop or where you get off asking us to.

  6. Natalie Says:

    Asking a man to stop watching porn for no reason is a little controlling and should definitely be examined further, as it’s most likely related to deeper insecurities. But a boy who would prefer to watch porn and “do whatever he wants” like a child rather than work as a partner and discuss the problem in a relationship with someone that he really cares about is a much bigger problem than that. I’ve never asked a man to stop watching porn for me but I would certainly dump somebody who wouldn’t even consider something that was important to me in a long-term relationship because he’s too prideful. That’s just a mark of a childish, selfish person. I feel very sorry for whoever Johnny is committed to.

  7. Sarah Says:

    My husband and I had sex about once every two weeks during our entire 17 year marriage. He is a truck driver so a flood of porn was passed around between he and his friends (as well as numerous trips to the strip joints). The sex, when it occurred, sucked ass for me.

    When I threw down the ultimatum, by walking away (no demands) the porn slowed to a trickle and sex for me became enjoyable after 17 years. Porn kills the relationship.

  8. ToppHogg Says:

    Porn is the only reason this old codger is still married. I cannot live with ten minutes of sex once a month on a Saturday morning between 0600 and 0700 whether or not I need it.

  9. Jacq Says:

    My husband used to watch it almost daily. It got to the point where it affected our sex life and relationship. We talked about things and we agreed to stop watching it. I say we because yes, I watched it too. He admitted to me that it made him feel q little insecure thinking I wanted men like in the videos. After 6 years of being together, two kids (one three month old) and not watching it, our sex life has been better than ever! We are more in tune with each other and do it 4-6 times a week! Before he was jerking off too much that he was useless at night. Once he realized how it affected us he made his own decision to stop. He hasn’t watched it in two months.

  10. Darlene Says:

    My partner has been using porn all his life and was actually encouraged by his Military father as a young teenager to use it. All his brothers and friends use it and think of it as something as natural as breathing. I admit, I was taken back a little when I discovered his porn stash on line, in his closet and on his TV when we first moved in together. The only thing that really bothers me is that he thinks of women as the porn he watches. Meaning, there is a lack of intimacy, he kind of treats me like an object in bed, demanding that I let him do what he see’s in porn and actually believes its good for me too. Its absolutely awful! Lack of warmth, love and affection is something women in the real world desire. I noticed every guy I have ever been with who had this issue believed they were great in bed, but had the same intimacy issues, but he was the worst! I read over and over again, that men CAN”T give it up and if they do its because there wife or girlfriend is controlling. My ex husband is a Bahai, he does not use porn and never has as his faith is more important than his sexual needs. Our sex life was amazing! He desired me all the time, anytime and we shared a great intimacy throughout our 10 year relationship. We split up for different reasons, but I do miss that desperatly. The affection, the love the honesty and the purity that does exist in good relationships without porn. I am so sad at the thought of having to live the rest of my days out with a porn addicted American who lacks everything needed to please anyone but himself. With a baby on the way, I feel so down, so hopeless and so sad all the time. I think of all of us as human beings first, not women and men sperately with different rules, but equals. I am not insecure, I am truthful when I say Porn hurts all women.

  11. Anna Lynn Says:

    Yes and no. I’m having issues with getting my husband to stop watching porn because he has intimacy issues. Also, I think age does have a lot to do with the issue surrounding porn. If a man is single then he should be able to go to town with porn – I get that dependency. However for a married or committed man well over his 30′s, porn seems a bit long in the tooth and by this point intimacy seems to be crucial in building lasting relationships. I dislike porn because it is another obstacle between getting my husband and I to a level of intimacy where it is just me in him. Not to mention, my husband loves watching live porn and there seems to be some sort of line that is being crossed there. Not to mention how ridiculously accessible porn is now – how can anyone stop? I’m not sure what to expect right now but I’m getting sick and tired of having to deal with someone else and their dependency to porn. I love my husband dearly and don’t expect him to be perfect but porn just seems like a huge and unnecessary topic to be dealing with.

  12. Aly Says:

    So I’m in a relationship with my boyfriend but I consider him my husband because with Latinos..if your in a serious relationship and have children…whether with a government document or a symbolic object like a ring…you are considered married..so concluding that no we are not married because we are young..but we have a two month old son( possibly another on the way) and going on a 2 year relationship…I have the same issue at this point I wish the internet n porn was never invented..ok I understand men need a relief its natural..but in the beginning if we weren’t able to have sex I let him go off and masturbate solo..but later into the relationship it became a problem…..ill admit I’m insecure..but for the men who say that’s cause we are insecure n its our problem..well he’s the one who brought it on…I used to be very insecure with my self before I met him…I had a decent ass but a size a bra…then I finally reached a point in my life where I felt completely comfortable with myself I thought if so many guys flirted with me and I got with some of the most liked Fitzgibbon school then I must be beautiful ..but it seriously because of the type of women he looks at…like de or e size blogs and over the top added…um ok whatever every guy has there secret fantasy…I mean I even told him I want a bigger blogs n he told me no cause he don’t want other guys looking at me…but besides that… I did a test..I looked on google image of a p star that had a body very much identified to mine and saved those to the phone plus images of his favorite cornstarch..then I asked him to go through them and he did and deleted all the ones with their bodies like mine..I asked him why and he said cuz they’re too skinny and flat chested..so there’s the root to my insecurity!!! I felt bad about myself and still haven’t forgot that..I think I’m a pretty decent girlfriend I mean ill let him look at it..I even got over 1000 pics of his favorite stars n even videos but he still wasn’t satisfied he has to keep getting more and more and more..our relationship was seemingly perfect but every single fight to date we’ve every had was over porn..I mean every single on..he told me plenty of times he’d rather leave me and have his porn then be with me and his son…he even becomes extremely angry if I tell him to stop or after a while becomes desperate…and its not like I deny him sex…I at least give him oral once a day if were not up to the effort of sex…I dress up in little outfits to his likes…do every position possible I know..but it seems he’s not satisfied I mean even once I had sex with him twice in one day n later that night busted him in the bathroom watching porn..how after I thought I pleased him so well?! That’s why I feel so hurt..you men look at it as a habit or something that you’ve always been doing before we came along..but you guys don’t realize how bad we feel when we feel that we can’t fulfill that one person we give our hearts unconditionally and emotionally to! I mean I get it if you want a little freedom or aren’t getting any for a while but I mean why..I have sex with him almost everyday of the week or oral unless he’s too tired from work..n another I agree with Darlene..is that its affected him so much that he’s not even romantic…I was only with one guy before him and only once with that guy..I lost the most special thing with a guy who didn’t care..it was sloppy and like on of those p movies..so ever since I been with my love of my life now..I’ve been longing for that slow beautiful and romantic experience that the other guy didn’t care to give me for my first time!! He can’t enjoy it unless its crazy..wild n fast like that in porn!! I honestly wouldn’t care if he could cut down..if it was constant..everything he does has to do with it..the movies he buys..mind you not even porn…has to have at least some nudity…even magazines tv shows…everywhere all day everyday..even during sex it has to be just like a porn..like we as women were just made to please them..like a toy… I can’t take it..I mean I even have a better body now..I have at least size c bra size n bigger butt…I didn’t get no stretch marks or a hanging belly..hell my body is more better and sexier then its ever been..so what’s the deal!! I’m just sick of fighting its and endless and un winable battle!!! Why can’t he just change a little..I mean people sacrifice much more important things in life..why can’t a silly men just realize what a beautiful thing is.confront of them…I don’t want him to stop completely…but if he could just keep it to at least only.a couple of times of the month!! Not 365 days a year..I mean what the fuck am I here if you can’t even go satisfied for one day!!!

  13. Aly Says:

    I wild love some advice!!! And please no negative I have enough negativity in my life already!!

  14. Aly Says:

    Oh and sorry for the weird words..I’m sure you guys can mentally fix the oddities have a stupid smart phone…so it fixed the words boobs ass and so on

  15. Johnny Says:

    I’m currently observing this situation unfold in reverse. My married friend has barely been getting laid lately, and he is increasingly cranky about it. He semi-jokingly threw out the term ‘sexual abandonment’ to describe his wife’s plummeting libido. She’s too tired, she’s not in the mood, she doesn’t feel well… all the usual excuses to avoid sex. So he was understandably cheesed off when he recently found her browser history full of porn!

  16. vince Says:

    i’ll make this short sweet and too-the-point: if i’m getting sex on a SEMI-regular basis, then i have absolutely no need for porn whatsoever! but if i gotta be rejected for sex 10000 times to get told “ok lets do it” 1 time, fuck off n let me take care of my NEEDS!!!!!!! IT’S NOT COMPLICATED!!!!!! men want sex, so if you give us sex occasionally ( more than once a month, preferably 3-5 times a week), BAM i guarantee the guy will NEVER watch porn! if you fuck us, porn wll disappear, but if you abandon our NEEDS, dont complain when we go to the internet/other women to get our needs met!

  17. Dee Says:

    I enjoy porn very occasionally, and am still offended by my guys porn viewing habits. And yes, I want him to stop, but not because I’m trying to control him. I hear a lot of people using “control” and “insecurity” to describe a woman’s motivation to ask her guy to stop, but what about how porno degrades women. Pornography is violence on women. It’s often even rape. Young female performers usually with no money or a broken home, are lured into the industry by disgusting men who promise them glamour and attention and praise. Women are encouraged to use drugs and we quickly become dependant on their agents for drugs just as prostitutes are dependent on their pimps. The women are paid very little, or sometimes just in drugs. Very few porn production companies are the exception to this rule. Often women who perform in porn are raped or forced to engage in multiple penetrations at once or work with many more men in one shoot than they expected. Women often are surprised with the conditions of the shoot when they arrive, then told that I’d they don’t do what they’re told they will be replaced and out of work and often a home. Women who ask for condoms are laughed at.

    My guy watching porn, supporting this industry directly affects me and all women in the world.

  18. Renee Says:

    a man feels bad if his 15yo daughter accidentally sees what he was looking at, but not if his wife sees it. If his wife was sexually abused as a child by a porn-watching pedophile, and he knew this… the husband is defensive (rather than compassionate) towards her when confronted with the statement…”don’t look at porn it, it hurts me”. Some women have the same sexual needs as men. They’d love to have sex daily, but men are wasting themselves on “pictures” and the women can feel it. IMO The viewing leads to less intimacy in a relationship, and that’s a sad thing. Not a happy relationship building thing.

  19. RAMPout.com Says:

    Men can quit porn!

    The problem with most men is that the problem with porn started in their childhood and has persisted into their adulthood. They have problem tried to quit numerous times and failed.

    However, it is possible to quit porn. Try going to http://www.RAMPout.com for effective strategies and activities.

    And for audio try going to AdiosPorn.com

    Good luck and don’t let people tell you it can’t be done!

  20. RAMPout.com Says:

    Sorry that link did not show up in my last post.

    It is http://www.AdiosPorn.com

    Good luck!

  21. Professor Says:

    Women oppose pornography for the same reason they oppose polygamy so violently- because it takes away their exclusive power to tantalize, punish, control, and dominate their man. THEY get to decide when, how, how much, and how good “their” man will (or will not) get sex- but only if he performs his tricks first.

  22. Storm Says:

    My husband and I have been together for five years. I was 18 and he was 30 when we got together. When we first got together I realized he liked to look at and watch porn. I told him how I felt about it, being honest with my feelings way before we got married. I never lied, nor hid the fact I didn’t like it. I wanted him to know how it made me feel so he could make the choice whether or not he wanted to be with me. I didn’t want to change him nor make him feel like he had to quit. But instead of letting me go, he promised he would stop. After getting married, I’ve found numerous magazines, and videos on his phone. He tried to hide it from me, I guess to try and spare my feelings. Even though I didn’t know he was still doing it, when I found out, it hurt even more to know he was hiding it from me. I’ve brought it up to him, telling him that it truly hurts my feelings. Every time I mention it he instantly gets defensive. He tells me I’m the only woman in the world who has problem with it, and no man can or should have to stop. After promising me he would stop. I feel as though I have just as much of a right to be with someone who doesn’t watch porn as he does to watch it. If he would have just told me he didn’t /couldn’t stop looking at it, we would have never gotten married. Now we have a child, and that complicates things. I don’t want to leave him because I love him, but don’t like the fact that he looks at other women naked. I do feel like it’s a form of cheating, because he should only be looking at me naked. I know men look at women, it’s just instinct and nature. And that’s okay with me, just with their clothes on, not off. In no way do I want to control my husband. I never lied, or waited till we were married to tell him how I felt. I didn’t try to trap him. He made a choice to tell me he wouldn’t look at it no more. We’ve argued about many times, and he always makes me feel like I’m in the wrong, and that it’s not a big deal. I agree watching porn isn’t a big deal, but if it’s hurting the one you love most in the world, then it becomes a big deal. I don’t think my man should be looking at other women’s private parts, or thinking of other women while he relieves himself. He committed to me. If he wanted to look at porn the rest of his life, he should have been honest from the start, and spared my feelings. He could have found another that would have been okay with him watching porn. I know not all women are against their men watching it, but I am. I just don’t know what to do…

  23. Jennifer Says:

    My ex boyfriend was addicted to pornography. He had more than 200 DVDs in his collection.

    I did not say anything to him about it, I pretty much understood this was a long time passion of his and as long as the movies were not playing anywhere in the apartment when I was around I had no problem with it.

    I never noticed any slowdown or him not being interested in bed because of his porn collection. and I would say if the guy prefers to wank while watching porn instead of being with his wife or girlfriend it is time to re-evaluate the relationship.

  24. cya Says:

    so, ive been having the same issue. my husband never told me that he watched porn, i found out a few weeks after the birth of our second child. his porn collection took me by surprised. since i am always willing to have sex and would do it once a day if hed let me. there are women that want to have sex everyday and want to please our spouses and because they watch porn they arent interested. maybe i should start begging for sex like he does a blow job. but anyway, saying that women dont want to have sex is probably right on, because honestly why would you want to be intimate with a man who wacks off and fantasizes about other women all day? the thought makes me nauscious. if men want this life please dont get married, it just ruins family.

  25. Jasmine Says:

    I find it to be wrong to look at it. But that how I was raised and I don’t think for a man or woman in a comitted relationship marriage especially. Should not be looking at it. That is what their significant other is there for. I have this problem ever since we got together. Though he has kinda sorta gotteb better about. I still catch him doing it. But now he lies about it and hides it from. I have to force him to tell me the truth. I believe looking at porn is adultery again it how I was raised. I also believe that’s what you have your s/o is for.


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