10 Tips for Watching Porn With Your Partner

10 Tips for Watching Porn With Your Partner Image

When it comes to solo-pleasuring, everyone has their go-to strategy to get themselves going. For some people it’s visualizing a particular fantasy, for others it might be the extra stimulation of a toy or vibrator, but for many of us watching porn is the preferred method for getting in the mood. Anyone with an Internet connection has access to a seemingly infinite array of porn choices -- every fantasy you’ve ever had is available with the click of your conveniently one-handed mouse.

10 Tips for Watching Porn With Your Partner Image

So if so many of us are enjoying porn on our own, wouldn’t it make sense to start enjoying it together? A recent study showed that around 50% of people have watched porn as a couple, so the idea is hardly far-fetched. Yet for those of us who have yet to take the plunge, this can feel like a scary, albeit titillating, proposition.

We feel you -- it’s a lot to think about. That’s why we’ve reached out to some sex and relationship experts to provide us with some of their best sex tips -- including everything you need to know about watching porn with a partner.

1. Ease Into It

If the idea of watching porn with your partner turns you on, but you aren’t in a place in your relationship where talking openly about your sexual desires is something that you are comfortable doing, broaching the topic of watching porn together can require a little extra finesse. Sometimes a good place to start is by simply opening the lines of communication by spicing things up in other little ways first.

As licensed clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist Dr. Rachel Needle explains, “Start with something small and go from there. The first time you introduce something new, it does not have to be something outrageous. You can begin by just introducing something out of the ordinary, such as a different sexual position.”

Easing into the conversation about spicing up your relationship by watching porn means that you and your partner will both have time to adjust and feel more comfortable expressing your desires to each other. As Dr. Needle continues, “That will open the door to you bringing up other novel ideas such as adding sexual toys and other accessories, role playing, or using a blindfold to your sexual repertoire.” Who says taking it slow can’t be fun?

2. Break the Ice

It could be that you and your partner are very open with each other about the fact that you watch porn. Maybe you’ve even already talked about watching it together. If that’s the case, that’s awesome! You can safely skip this tip.

However, for many people talking to their partner about the fact that they watch porn can feel daunting, to say nothing of actually suggesting that they watch it together. Most people watch porn as a solo activity and it can feel a little awkward to talk to someone about something that you’re used to keeping private. If watching porn with your partner is something that you’d like to explore, you’ll need to start by opening up. Although people may not always talk openly about the fact that they watch porn, studies have shown 90% of men and 60% of women watch porn regularly. Chances are your partner watches porn, too -- so don’t be shy.

If you’re ready to break the ice with your partner, it’s best to do it in a way that puts as little pressure on him or her as possible. Dr. Megan Stubbs, sexologist and relationship expert, recommends that any potentially serious conversation about sex take place outside of the bedroom.

“That way, there is no pressure to say 'the right thing' that may not be the honest thing,” she explains. “Bring this up when you are in a neutral location and ask something along the lines of 'how would you feel if we watched porn together?' Hopefully, since you've approached the topic in a neutral, non-demanding way, your partner will be more likely to give you an honest answer.” Just be sure that you are ready to respect their honest answer whether it’s the one you were hoping for or not.

3. Pick Something You’ll Both Enjoy

When it comes to porn, there’s no such thing as “one size fits all”. One person’s “hell yes” is another person’s “hell no.” That’s why once you and your partner have decided that you would like to try to watch porn together, it’s a good idea to get on the same page about what kind of porn would be enjoyable for both of you. The good news is that the amount and variety of porn that is available makes it basically guaranteed that -- with a little poking around -- you will find the perfect fit.

Relationship expert, therapist and author Dr. Jane Greer recommends being clear with each other about particular types of porn that would be a turn-off beforehand to ensure there are no unwanted surprises. “Take a pulse on what they're open to viewing and how receptive they would be to what you're interested in watching together,” she says. “For example, maybe they're opposed to watching threesomes, or perhaps they only want to watch porn with an element of romance.” Being familiar with each other’s likes and dislikes will help you find material that you’ll both be into.

Beyond discussing the type of porn to watch together, it’s also important to consider the tone. Intimacy expert and author, Dr. Kat Smith, recommends being sensitive to your partner in selecting which porn to watch. Keep in mind that certain images and acts might trigger unpleasant memories in some people or make them feel uncomfortable. “For example, porn often depicts women in unfavorable ways or shows scenes that are verbally or physically abusive,” Dr. Kat says. “Unless you both decide to role play a bit, I suggest choosing a scene that is less aggressive.”

If you’re having trouble starting the conversation, Dr. Megan Stubbs suggests making things more fun with what she calls a “yes/no/maybe” list. “Compile a list of different acts/scenes (girl-on-girl, fellatio, role playing, domination, cunnilingus, group sex, etc.),” she says. “Then both you and your partner take the 'test' and compare where you overlap. Once you know what you both are into, you can choose something along those lines.”

4. Connect While You Watch

If you generally watch porn alone, you may need to consciously switch gears when you watch porn with your partner. While a solo porn routine focuses on your own pleasure, the key to enjoying porn with your partner is to focus more on him or her. You want to help your partner feel included in this experience with you. Make it clear with your words and actions that your partner, and not the porn, are the main focus of your excitement and desire.

Focusing on the intimacy and romance of the moment is key to connecting with your partner while you watch porn. “To make it sexy rather than awkward, play with each other's hair and make out along the way,” recommends Dr. Greer. Talking to each other about what is turning you on as you watch porn together can also help you stay connected and in tune with each other. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert at dirty talk to pull this one off. Dr. Greer suggests saying things like, “That looks like fun,” “I’m getting so hot watching this with you,” or “We should try that together!” A little talk can go a long way, so don’t be afraid to speak up.

Remember that if you want to truly connect with your partner, communicating your desires needs to be a two-way street. Not only will this deepen your intimacy, but it is an opportunity to take your sexual connection to a whole new level. You could read all of the sex tips and how-to guides on the Internet and not learn half as much about how to please your partner as you can by focusing on his or her verbal and nonverbal cues. Take your time and explore each other’s fantasies. Just remember to break out the lube to keep you going through your marathon session -- we can even send you a free sample and a coupon for $1.00 off of a full-size bottle of Astroglide to get you started.

couple watching porn in bed

5. Don’t Compare Yourselves to Porn Stars

One common pitfall for couples who choose to watch porn together is comparing themselves to the actors in the film and then feeling self-conscious about their bodies or performance. Sex and relationship experts Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels sum this up best in their their book Partners in Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy and Long-Term Love: “It is important to remember that the performers are actors and that they are appearing in movies that are created to be sexually stimulating. Regular people don’t compare themselves with professional athletes when they’re playing a friendly game of volleyball.”

One of the most important sex tips we could ever give you is to be confident in your body and never let insecurities stand in the way of having great sex. Your partner wants to watch porn with you because the idea of sharing this experience with you turns them on -- because you turn them on. So don’t get lost in your head and stress out if your aren’t the Lebron James or the Serena Williams of the bedroom. Leave that to the professionals.

Johnson and Michaels continue, “People who are porn stars generally have unusual bodies and/or skills, and you should enjoy their performances and not compare yourself or your partner to them, any more than you would compare yourself to a professional athlete.”

Keep in mind that if you are feeling a little insecure while you watch porn together, your partner may be feeling that as well. Take the time to help your partner feel comfortable by complementing their body. Let your partner know that they turn you on -- and don’t be afraid to be specific. When you partner hears that you love the way that they look and taste and feel they will know that, while porn can be fun, you only have eyes for them.

6. Don’t Use Watching Porn to “Fix” Your Relationship

While watching porn together can be a great way to spice up your relationship, it’s important that watching porn be seen as a fun added bonus — not as a solution to your relationship problems. As clinical psychologist and professor of psychology, Dr. Ramani Durvasula explains, “Don't bring up watching porn together as a ‘fix.’ Spicing up sexuality is not going to fix inherent problems in the relationship.”

To ensure that both you and your partner are comfortable, it’s important that watching porn together evolve naturally out of the closeness between you, and not from a place of insecurity. Dr. Durvasula continues, “Don't bring up watching porn together during an argument, when the subject can feel like a weapon or an indictment of your partner. It’s better to do it when you are being intimate and working on exploring each other sexually, as it becomes a natural jumping off point.”

7. Set Some Boundaries Around Watching Porn

Taking an evening to watch porn with your partner can be a fun and sexy way to spice up your love life. However, the very things that make it so exciting -- the thrill of the taboo, sharing your fantasies and being stimulated by images of different bodies -- are also things that can pose a threat to your relationship if you and your partner aren’t on the same page.

The key to staving off jealousy, resentment and hurt feelings is to set some ground rules and keep communication open between you. Sex therapist Marlene Wasserman, better known as Dr. Eve, offers the following guidelines to help ensure that the decision to watch porn with your partner is one that will bring you together and not pull you apart:

gay couple watching porn and making outDo not violate your partner’s privacy.

At some point during this process you may feel tempted to check your partner’s browser history to see what kind of porn they are watching. No matter how innocent your intentions may be, Dr. Eve warns that you absolutely should not give into that impulse. “It will likely come off as unsexy,” she says, “and it says a lot about trust in the relationship in general.”

Don’t watch porn every time you have sex.

It can be thrilling to watch porn with your partner, but in this case, there’s definitely the potential for there being too much of a good thing. Dr. Eve explains, “It could become your go-to activity when you're tired and want to hurry the process.” This lack of focus on connection can lead to resentment and greater distance in your relationship.

Only watch porn together when your relationship is in a good place.

Dr. Eve recommends, “If you have a quarrel, and want make up by getting yourself or your partner in the mood for sexual play, do not use porn.” The natural insecurities that can come up when you watch porn with your partner can be compounded by the insecurities that can arise when you have a conflict, which can lead to hurt feelings. If you want to use your physical connection to reassure and reconnect with a partner after a fight, it’s best not to bring porn into it. Save it for when you’re both feeling more secure.

Agree to keep solo porn use guilt-free.

Regardless of whether you and your partner decide to watch porn together or not, watching porn alone is something that shouldn’t cause strain on your relationship. While porn use can be a compulsive or addictive behavior for some people, most people are able to enjoy porn alone and enjoy a loving, active sex life at the same time. Dr. Eve says, “If you choose to watch porn alone, let it be a private activity that you both know happens without either of you feeling guilty or accountable to explain yourself.”

8. Avoid These Hurtful Phrases

For many couples, talking about their sexual desires can be emotionally loaded. It’s natural for people to have little insecurities around their sexuality, which is why partners need to be sensitive to each other and tread lightly when venturing into new territory such as discussing the possibility of watching porn together. Otherwise, what starts out as a well-intentioned conversation about expressing sexual desires can quickly spiral into a situation that causes misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

According to Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist, Dr. Natalie Finegood Goldberg, there are a few key phrases that you should avoid to make sure that talking about watching porn with your partner is a productive and loving conversation. "’If you loved me you would do this’ is a definite no-no,” she explains. “It's manipulative and coercive and likely to lead to resentment. It promulgates a score-keeping dynamic which can be toxic to sexual desire. Also another no-no would be saying something to the effective of ‘My ex had no problem with it so you shouldn't.’ Nobody likes to be compared to their partner's ex.”

When it comes to talking about watching porn with your partner, it’s best to stick to the Golden Rule: treat your partner the way you would want to be treated. Don’t be pushy or critical in your discussion, and if you feel the conversation getting heated or if you notice that your partner is shutting down, table the talk for another time.

9. Be Honest

As with most things in life, the key to successfully watching porn with your partner ultimately comes down to one thing: honesty. Being honest won’t only help open the door to the kind of open communication that will allow you to watch porn with your partner in the first place, but it will also ensure that you are able to safeguard your relationship in the future.

According to Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills family and relationship therapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent, and co-star of Sex Box on WE, being honest about watching porn can be a sign of a healthy relationship. She explains, “Being honest about pornography use with a partner indicates that the person is comfortable with their own sexuality and the things that sexually titillate, stimulate, arouse, and turn-on their excitation.”

However, if your aren’t honest with your partner, this can be a major red flag and hint at trouble to come. Dr. Walfish says, “Secrecy about pornography consumption can be felt as a betrayal and raise mistrust, suspicions, and put a wedge of distance between the partners. Therefore, honesty is required, and open dialogue is the glue that holds people together which leads to greater relationship satisfaction.”

10. Be Flexible

While watching porn with your partner may be a major turn on for you, it’s possible that your partner will not be into it. In this case, it’s important for both of you to be flexible. According to Astroglide’s own sex and relationship expert Dr. Jess O’Reilly, couples who are sexually incompatible in certain ways can find common ground through compromise.

Dr. Jess explains, “If your fantasy is a non-negotiable for your partner, you may want to look at which elements of the fantasy that you can play out and which ones should remain in the domain of your own imagination. For example, perhaps you fantasize watching porn about a threesome and your partner simply isn’t up for it. You could compromise by talking about threesomes during sex.”

Regardless of what you and your partner decide, Dr. Jess stresses that it is never OK for your partner to make you feel ashamed of your sexual needs and desires. “Your partner should never shame you for your fantasies. If they do, you’re likely incompatible,” she says. We couldn’t agree more.

Have you ever watched porn with a partner? What do you think of our list? Do you have any other great sex tips for incorporating porn and erotica into your sex life? Let us know what you think by tweeting us @Astroglide to share your thoughts.

 

Images are for illustrative purposes only


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