Is Watching Porn Cheating? Here’s What the Professionals Say!

Is Watching Porn Cheating? Here’s What the Professionals Say!

Porn use is a hot topic of discussion! Is watching pornography cheating? Is it wrong to watch porn? Should I stop watching porn!?

These questions may seem like they come straight out of a 1960s morality play, but they actually have some very modern answers.

In fact, the answer depends on whom you ask. For some couples, viewing porn together is a fun activity that brings them closer. But for others, it’s a form of cheating that leads to emotional agitation and relationship breakdowns.

So, is watching pornography cheating? Is it right or wrong? We’ll take a closer look at these questions.

Table of Contents

Is Watching Porn Cheating —The Easy Answer

The simple answer is no — watching porn is not cheating. But before you rejoice, close this tab and open Pornhub; stop and consider whether porn is considered cheating by your significant other. 

Technically, watching and enjoying porn or similar materials such as graphic magazines, nude photos, or even looking at the occasional pair of exposed tits on the Hollywood screen is not cheating.

Cheating, as defined by experts, is the following:

If your partner does not consider watching porn a betrayal of their trust, a blatant disregard of something you both agreed on, or a physical or emotional betrayal, it’s not cheating.

So why is the topic so heavily discussed amongst relationship experts and therapists? If the answer is that simple, what is there to continue talking about? 

The easy answer is often an oversimplification of a very deep and comprehensive conversation that must take place between you and your partner. It also overlooks the apparent fact that numerous people regard cheating differently.

For example, to one woman, cheating would occur if you sexted another woman, with or without intentions of ever meeting her for sex. For another, that would not be cheating, or it would not be cheating if she knew about the woman and could monitor your messages. 

As you can see, there are a lot of gray areas in relationships, and no one can pinpoint every single action that would, without a doubt, be cheating. Likewise, when it comes to porn, it’s much the same. 

Let’s discuss what gray areas exist and why some people, even though no physical betrayal (i.e., sleeping with another person) has occurred, they still consider watching porn to be infidelity. 

Is Porn Cheating — The Complicated Answer

Now, let’s revisit the previous question. Is porn cheating — the simple answer? No, it’s not when you look at it broadly without accounting for differences in perspectives, opinions, and personal boundaries.

But, no person objectively looks at a situation without adding their two cents from lived experiences, perspective, upbringing, and more. 

The complicated answer is — it depends!

Watching porn could be considered an act of infidelity that rivals going on Tinder, messaging another woman, arranging a meetup, having sex, and then returning to your partner. In some people’s eyes, the two are the same because there is an element of secrecy and betrayal. 

For most men, you secretly watched porn since you were a boy, keeping all of your online sexual behavior a mystery. You had become accustomed to clearing your cache, deleting the search history, and never ever leaving your computer unattended when porn was open on your browser. It’s not something you do in the open, much like cheating. 

There’s also the fact that you, intentionally or unintentionally, might favor what you see on your screen instead of your partner.

Porn is glamorized sex, so it’s easy to see why you might prefer it to real sex and intimacy. The bodies are always hot! There are never any accidental slip-ups, grossness, embarrassments, or anything else that could and does happen during intercourse. You can also watch porn and see things that might never happen in your real life, such as threesomes with two women, foursomes, wild orgies, or unique sexual acts and kinks. 

There’s no judgment for being more inclined to enjoy the content that is geared for you and can be tailored to fit your interest that day. Do you want a blonde with fake tits? There she is. Do you want a brunette MILF who is seducing her home-from-college stepson? There she is, too, waiting for you. 

Because some men favor what they see on their computer screens, it leads to feelings of envy, bitterness, jealousy, or even emotional pain. 

Even if you love your partner, when she sees you enjoying another body, it might cause her a lot of emotional pain, especially if that body is something she will never be or have (large natural breasts, a big ass, a supermodel, a cute Asian, blonde, blue-eyed, etc.) 

In that case, your preference for another woman or women could be considered cheating. Think about it this way. Someone invites you to a room of your fantasy women. They are all nude, walking around you and flaunting their goods. You don’t engage in any sexual acts or even physically touch them. You just watched. When you return to your partner and mention that today you were surrounded by beautiful, nude women, she might consider that cheating. It’s the same as watching porn; you surround yourself with beautiful, nude women. 

There are numerous other reasons why watching porn is considered cheating by different people, and we will go into detail below. 

If you want to know if your partner will be upset or accuse you of cheating if you watch porn, ask her. She might be okay with the occasional viewing, and only against it if you have a paid membership and multiple accounts on different websites. Or, she might be totally against it. 

Whatever her opinion is, it is always better to clarify before you act. If she finds out later, it could seriously damage the relationship. 

Why Do Some People Think It Is Considered Cheating?

Your partner might equate watching porn to cheating because of the emotional cheating or betrayal. 

Indeed, viewing porn is not physically cheating. You do not go out and sleep with another person or even kiss or caress another, and it’s just you inside a room with a computer. 

But it could be emotional cheating, crossing a boundary, or ruining your relationship with your partner. The reasons viewing porn might be considered cheating are too numerous to list, but here are a few to ponder. 

It's an Emotional Betrayal

Your partner might consider porn cheating when you connect emotionally to the material or women you are viewing. 

You might not think of it as an emotional betrayal. Still, she could see it that way if you’re more willing to masturbate to porn than have sex with her, constantly consume pornographic materials, have favorite porn actresses that you watch religiously, or even have a single paid membership.

Those things mean you are investing your time, money, and even cum into someone or something other than her. 

Realizing that their partner prefers strange women or men on the internet more than them is devastatingly painful, especially if the relationship is long-term. And, especially if you did all of these things in secret. 

You might not think you could ever develop a real emotional connection with the material for it to be considered cheating, but think again!

Humans do develop emotional connections with strangers on the internet, as highlighted by the absurd amounts of online-only relationships these days, and technology, as demonstrated by A.I. girlfriends in Japan. And didn’t they make a movie about forming connections with voices and images on the computer? 

It's a Replacement for Real Intimacy ​

When one partner uses porn to replace intimacy with their partner, it could be considered cheating. In their eyes, their partner’s porn habit is the same as going out and sleeping with another person if you’re doing it because you are unhappy in the relationship.

A person that views pornographic material to escape having sex with their partner because they won’t be horny, will be too tired, or just want to roll over and go to sleep, could deeply upset their partner. 

The partner might see it as cheating because instead of being with her, you’re mentally with the other woman or women. 

It's Secretive ​

For some people, anything regarding sex done in secrecy is cheating! Watching a stranger or well-known pornographic actress/actor in secrecy is no different from secretly exchanging nudes or viewing nudes from the neighbor.

Both acts are sexual and done in secret, and you never meant for your partner to discover what you were doing. 

It's 'Another Person' In the Relationship ​

Although you might not know this person or they might not know who you are, it is technically a third body in the relationship. Depending on the partnership, a third party might be completely and utterly unacceptable and, without a doubt, cheating. 

It Hits Too Close to Home​

Anyone can be a porn star these days. Popular websites like Pornhub have user submissions. Anyone anywhere can gain enough of a following to have their video trend or be shared a few times. 

Now with popular sites such as Onlyfans, anyone can sell nude photos and videos of themselves. That means anyone, such as your mutual friend, neighbor, or college ex-girlfriend. 

Onlyfans content could be viewed as porn depending on the type of material. There might be no difference between what is on the Onlyfans account and an amateur sex video uploaded to Pornhub by an adventurous couple. 

Suppose you’re viewing pornographic images or Onlyfans content from someone she or you knows in real life. In that case, it might be regarded as cheating. 

In their eyes, it is the same thing as that person messaging you directly, asking if you want to see their nude photos, you gleefully agreeing, and then the exchange occurring. 

It could be emotionally hurtful, even more so than if it’s some stranger, a famous porn star out in Los Angeles.

It Crosses Boundaries​

When a partner states explicitly, “I do not want you to watch porn,” but you do it anyway, it could be considered cheating.

Perhaps your partner did not explicitly state “Do not watch porn” or “My partner’s porn use hurts me” but implied it when the topic was mentioned. They grew distant from you, their body language changed, or they made other statements that implied that they were not okay with pornographic material.

Every person is different, and what crosses a boundary varies from individual to individual. Some couples have open relationships where anything is fair game as long as the other knows about it. Others are strictly monogamous and would not even consider stepping outside of the relationship, for any reason, acceptable. 

Establish your boundaries clearly, early on in the relationship. There is no point in guessing if your partner will be okay with something when a frank and meaningful conversation can prevent anyone from accidentally getting their feelings hurt later on down the line. 

It Takes Your Time Away From Them​

Plus, there’s nudity! Some people feel that porn watching is cheating because it is a significant time commitment in some people’s lives. Instead of enjoying your significant other’s time, you retreat to the dungeon to watch porn. It could hurt your partner when they know you would rather be with the computer than with them. 

Imagine you had another woman or women, and you spent hours each week with the others instead of your partner. You invest your time and energy into others more than your partner. See how that might be considered cheating? Likewise, some partners view avid porn watching as cheating for the same reasons. 

Ultimately, there are too many reasons to realistically list why porn could be considered cheating.

The best answer is the simplest one, ask your partner if porn is cheating, in their opinion, and if they would be okay with you watching porn with or without them. 

My Partner Thinks Watching Porn Is Cheating; What Can I Do?

Start by having a honest conversation with yourself. Do you watch porn because she isn’t enough for you? Are you craving something she cannot give? Or are you watching it to supplement sex and intimacy, not replace it? 

Whatever your answer is, that will determine what you should do. Next, have honest communication with your partner about your porn habit, and see if they are okay with it. If they are not okay with it, ask if there is something you could change to make them okay. 

More importantly, ask yourself if you’re only a casual viewer or might be addicted to it.

Porn addictions are real. Although they are not as widely discussed as alcohol or drug addiction, the same dopamine rushes that drug abusers get, you might get from your personal porn habit. This is especially true if you act like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Don Jon, and porn occupies your every waking moment. 

Watch Porn With Your Partner

When you need a fix on your favorite content, watch it with your partner, not in secrecy. Watching porn together could be excellent foreplay. If it turns her on as much as it turns you on, there is no reason why you can’t close the screen and transition into hot and passionate sex afterward.

This method works because it eliminates the secrecy from viewing porn and gets your partner involved and consenting to whatever content is consumed.  

Is Porn Negatively Affecting Your Relationship?

Watching porn can negatively impact your relationship and sex life if one partner considers it wrong or cheating. They might begin to resent you for watching porn or feel betrayed, jealous, or bitter.

Watching porn is especially dangerous when unrealistic expectations about sex and intimacy are created due to overconsuming content that is edited, glamorized, and perfected. In that case, porn could destroy your relationships with women or your ability to form meaningful ones that lead to sexual satisfaction. 

Porn could be bad for the relationship if,

Many things can get in the way of a healthy, long-lasting relationship; unfortunately, porn is one of them. 

Is Watching Porn Really That Bad?

Watching porn can sometimes be a healthy sexual behavior, and it’s not all bad; it’s about context!

If porn is consumed in healthy amounts and does not inhibit your life or relationships, it is usually okay. Porn could be used as a form of self-care when you masturbate to it during times when you cannot see your partner because of long-distance travel or other reasons. It could also be acceptable as a once-in-a-while pick-me-up that gets you in a better mood. 

When your partner consumes porn, it is also not bad and can lead to better sexual satisfaction. Porn is excellent foreplay, and lots of women enjoy viewing porn too. Don’t assume that because your partner is female, she won’t be down to watch something with her man to get herself and him super aroused.

Watching porn is not evil. It’s all about how it’s used and if it negatively affects yourself or your partner. 

Conclusion

There is a lot of debate about pornographic content and if your partner watches porn is it cheating. Ultimately, the answer is more complicated than people would like. Some people consider their partner watching porn as cheating, while others don’t.

The topic should be discussed with your partner to ensure the relationship won’t be damaged by casual porn use. 

It’s also worth your time to explore your porn habit and whether it might lead to adverse side effects or addictive tendencies. 

So, if you want to know if porn is cheating, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and it boils down to your unique perspective, opinions, and upbringing. 

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