I Caught My Husband Watching Porn. Do We Have a Problem?

Joan-Price-senior-planetEvery month in Sex at Our Ageaward-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers your questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Nothing is out of bounds! To send your questions directly to Joan, email sexpert@seniorplanet.org.

 

Yesterday I went to my husband’s office. His office door was closed. I knocked and opened the door to see his computer screen go from porn to blank. I startled him and he stood up. His pants were unzipped. He told me he was ashamed that I caught him jacking off to porn alone in his office.

I was shocked, because I give him what he wants and needs at home. Our sex life is great. I guess I thought what we were doing was enough for him. We have been trying new things recently, and I thought he was happy and satisfied, as I was.

I didn’t like the way it made me feel, like I wasn’t enough for him. He told me it had been a stressful day and he needed a release – it had nothing to do with me. He asked me if I masturbated and I told him I did, and he said, “Well, me too, that’s all it was for me.” He told me it would make him happy to walk in on me doing the same, pleasuring myself.

He insists that it wasn’t about me at all and he’s very happy with our sex life and love life, but I would like it if I was enough, if I satisfied all his needs. Any woman wants that.

Do we have a problem? —Shocked By Hubby’s Porn

 

You’ve said that your sexual relationship is great and more satisfying than ever. That’s the important part here. There’s nothing wrong with your relationship, your sex life, your love connection, or your husband’s passion for you. He’s not comparing you with the idealized women he sees in porn, and he doesn’t watch porn to the exclusion of sex with you.

Porn is a visual stimulation for him, which most men need and enjoy.  Men of our age, especially, need more stimulation to reach or sustain an erection. It doesn’t make him less passionate about you or less available to you. If your husband uses porn to stimulate himself and then brings that stimulation to you when you have sex together, I think you both benefit.

It’s true that watching pornography can be a problem when someone overuses it to the exclusion of a healthy relationship with a partner; or thinks that the kind of sex portrayed in porn is the way sex is supposed to work; or uses it to avoid dealing with relationship problems, depression or anger.

But the way that most men use porn is not a problem. It’s a stimulus and a release, and also a way to experience many partners in fantasy without actually touching anyone else. It’s not cheating or a betrayal. It does not mean that your partner really wants to be with someone else – it’s just a fantasy in visual form.

Men are often more visually oriented than women (though many women also enjoy porn). And as your husband explained, watching porn and masturbating let him release the stress of the day and harmlessly indulge a fantasy for a few minutes. That’s all!

Here’s what some men who follow my Naked at Our Age Facebook page have told me:

  • Porn has nothing to do with my relationship with my mate. It has to do with my relationship with myself – having sex with myself, releasing my sperm, retreating into my fantasy world. I would love to share my porn with my mate, but nope. I would love to self-pleasure with my mate, but nope. I have to hide my porn, as I did as a boy.
  • My wife and I, married 37 years, like to watch it together.
  • I am 62, married to the same woman for 34 years. I sometimes watch porn and masturbate to it – always secretly. My wife would freak out if she caught me. I do it mostly to feel like a young man again, I like the feeling of overpowering lust. I just do not feel that way spontaneously any more like when I was young. It has nothing to do with her – although she would never believe that.
  • I don’t have a problem getting an erection, but I do have trouble sometimes reaching orgasm, I can’t get there no matter how hard we try. Watching porn (secretly) beforehand helps a lot. I am envious of couples who can be comfortable watching it together.
  • My partner does not like me looking at porn. She calls it my “dirty little secret.” Regardless, I enjoy porn. I could say it’s appreciation of beauty, being visually oriented, a safe sexual outlet, etc., but honestly, the main reason is that I get a charge out of it. These days I seek out a specific kind of porn – mostly older women who appear to be reveling in sexual expression and enjoyment. Sexual enthusiasm and overt passion have always been a major turn-on for me. I rarely masturbate to porn anymore. I’m happy with the visual stimulation on its own.
  • At my age, 66, I realize that my prostate health depends on regular ejaculation. If I don’t ejaculate regularly I have problems with my prostate, urinating in an attenuated trickle. My wife and I usually manage to have sex together about once a week. At other times, I’ll watch some porn and masturbate. My wife knows and doesn’t mind in the least because it keeps me primed and ready for her when she wants to have sex. She will often smile and remind me to “take care of business” as she’s leaving for work.

I hope hearing these mens’ viewpoints will help you put this in perspecitve. You have a happy, satisfying, loving relationship –  enjoy it.—Joan

 

Would you like to see more questions and answers? See all of Joan’s advice in Sex At Our Age.

Send Joan your questions by emailing sexpert@seniorplanet.org. All information is confidential.

Joan Price is the author of the award-winning self-help book “Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex” and of “Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty.” Visit Joan’s  blog, “Naked at Our Age.”

4 comments
  • Jay
    REPLY

    As a women married for 35 years – my heart and soul are so in love with this same boy I married all those years ago, and if he is still in love with me, then why would he need to look and get off with porn?
    I ask this because My thinking is, if I am going to allow myself to lust after someone else – I am going to enjoy what I am lusting after – and it won’t be by my own hands or hard uncomfortable toys – it will be with someone who can return the same feelings my body is aching for.
    I can’t prove it – but, my body is aching to be touched and I feel like I am being replaced by porn… I pray none of your wives feel this way.

  • Joan Price
    REPLY

    I urge any of you who watch porn, or are bothered or frightened by porn, to read “Ethical Porn for Dicks, A Man’s Guide to Responsible Viewing Pleasure” by clinical psychologist David Ley, Ph.D. It’s written for men, but has superb information for any gender.

  • David Pittle
    REPLY

    I appreciate this column, Joan. I have a client couple who are dealing with this very subject. At her pressure, he has, he claims, given up watching porn on the I’net. I believe him and so, at some level, does she. But she is still struggling with “I’m not enough for him-itis”, and communicates distrust of him. They are in their 60s and are a great couple. They are very sexually active; have extended sex play 3-4 times a week (Yes. I envy them. LOL) But the cancer is still there.

    This column will contribute to their healing. Thank you.

    • Joan Price
      REPLY

      Thank you for sharing this column with your clients, David. “I’m not enough for him [or her] -itis” affects many couples and is tough to overcome. But it can be done, especially with the help of therapists like you, David, and reading/ hearing other people’s experiences on sites like this one.

      I hope other couples who have faced a similar situation and overcome it will share their insights.

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