Is It Cheating If My Husband Watches Porn? Here's What You Have To Consider

My mama always taught me that you never know what goes on between two people behind closed doors and for good reason — it's none of your d*mn business. That means when it comes to how a duo conducts their relationship, whether it's over coffee or between the sheets, to each their own, right? When it comes to sexy matters, the topic of porn is one that gets pushed around a lot. Can adding it make your sex life better? And there are even people who ask, "Is it cheating if my husband watches porn?" Experts say every couple is different.

"The crux of the question, 'Is porn considered cheating?' really comes down to one's own personal definition of cheating as well as each individual couples' definition of cheating," Becky Berardi, host of the alternative lifestyle YouTube variety show, The BadAss Becky Show!, tells Romper in an email interview. "Everyone is different and these views are brought individually into every relationship," she adds, explaining that the problem usually arises after someone in the relationship discovers that they don't see eye-to-eye or have the same definition of cheating.

"Which is why conversations like this are so important to have in the beginning of a partnership before you accidentally overstep unknown boundaries," she says. "There are couples who consider watching porn cheating, while there are other couples who only consider physical sexual contact cheating. Neither one is wrong, but there's a right way of going about communicating with your partner before it's too late."

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Kevin Darné, creator of Love Alert 911 and author of My Cat Won't Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany), agrees with Berardi, adding that "simply watching porn in my opinion is not cheating."

"It's more in line with other legal personal vices people have such as drinking, smoking, or gambling in casinos," Darné tells Romper in an email interview. "Each of us has our own mate selection criteria and must-haves list, and is entitled to have our own boundaries and deal breakers."

Darné explains that this is in the same vein as whether or not someone prefers not to date or marry anyone who drinks, smokes, gambles, has sex with others, or watches pornography. "Assuming they've met someone who has agreed to abide by their 'rules' within a relationship, it's only cheating if he or she then engages in such acts."

Berardi says women in particular may feel like porn is a form of cheating because "they assume that anything that brings their partner sexual arousal (that's not them) means they are stepping outside of the relationship to get their needs met — even if it's with a virtual woman who they'll never meet, talk to, or touch."

She goes on to add, "The idea can be particularly hurtful to women simply because so much of sex and intimacy are based on meeting our partners' emotional and physical needs. It's usually hard for a woman — but not all — to achieve sexual gratification from a partner if there's no emotional connection."

Still, Berardi circles back to her earlier point about communication as a form of intimacy, adding that she would be curious to know how many women would change their viewpoint about porn and its role in their relationships when there's more transparent communication with their partners.

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Darné agrees, adding that the reality is very few people ever discuss what constitutes cheating when they begin dating. "We generally assume we're all in agreement as to what cheating is," he says. "But making assumptions can lead to heartache."

If partners are in agreement about porn, then Berardi points out that incorporating it into your sex life "can be a fun and really low-stakes way to explore new things in a relationship." For example, she says, does your partner has a fantasy about having a threesome, but the thought of having another person in bed turns you off? "Porn can offer you a way to indulge his fantasy and when you're ready to go solo with your partner, you simply click off the screen," Berardi says. "No rejection, no worries of STDs, and no jealousy."

Porn can also be a method for exploring new moves or showing your partner what you may be craving in the sack, but you are too shy to put into words. "You never know, you may come across something you never thought was a turn on, but now is spicing up your sex life," Berardi says.

And that's the magic of closing the door behind you.

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