Is pornography cheating & is masturbation private?

Tammy Nelson, PhD explains the role of masturbation and pornography in a relationship and when it becomes a problem
Relationship Advice | The role of masturbation and pornography in a relationship: Is watching porn cheating?
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Is pornography cheating & is masturbation private?

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Is porn cheating? You walk in on your partner and they are looking at pornography, and it feels like oh my God you are having an affair. Well, frankly, a lot of men these days have been looking at pornography since they were 10 or 11 years old. To them, it may not feel like they are cheating. And I am not sure for you if it is the porn that´s the issue or the masturbation. Does it bother you that they are masturbating to images on the screen or does it bother you that they are actually looking at someone that doesn´t look like you? And it is important to distinguish between those two things so you can tell your partner look, I don´t care what you look at but it bothers me that you have this masturbation life that might take away some of the sexual energy from our life. And that brings up the question of is masturbation private or secret? Are you allowed to have a masturbation life that you don´t talk about or should you share when you are looking at porn and this is an issue that comes up for the two of you? And the other is if you are looking at pornography in order to interact with someone else, like webcam interaction or what I call zip code porn when you are putting in your zip code to find someone in your area to have interactive sex with on the internet, we sort of put that under the umbrella of porn. That´s not really porn. That´s leading to the slippery slope of cheating. So when you say I don´t like that you are looking at porn, what is it that is actually bothering you? Are they looking at masturbatory imagery? Are they interacting with someone on the internet? Or are they actually looking to meet with someone outside of their internet acting out? Those are really important questions and it is up to the two of you to decide is porn cheating. If you are masturbating to porn several times a day, you are really taking all that erotic energy and splitting it off outside the relationship. If you really want to have an exciting, erotic life in your partnership, you need to bring that erotic energy back back into your relationship and not have it be something that´s separate from your marriage or from your sex life. So it is important to have that conversation between the two of you. What is porn? Is it an exit? Is it a way to avoid having sex or to avoid your partner? And those are conversations that you can begin today. Watch porn together or limit the amount of porn and masturbation or stop it all together. See if you can stop for a week or two or three or a month and see if that changes the sex life between the two of you.

Tammy Nelson, PhD explains the role of masturbation and pornography in a relationship and when it becomes a problem

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Expert Bio

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Tammy Nelson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert

Tammy Nelson PhD is the author of several books including, “Getting the Sex You Want; Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together”  (2008) and  “What’s Eating You? A Workbook for Anorexia and Bulimia (2004)” and her latest  book “The New Monogamy; Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity” (January 2013) is receiving critical acclaim.  She has been a featured expert in New York Times, Washington Post, Self,  Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, MSNBC,  Shape, Men’s Health, Women’s Health Woman’s Day, Women’s Health, and a source in Time Magazine. She writes for the Huffington Post, YourTango and can be followed on her blog www.drtammynelson.com/blog/.

Tammy Nelson is a Board Certified Sexologist, a Certified Sex Therapist and an Imago Relationship Therapist.  She is an international speaker and a licensed psychotherapist in private practice with over 25 years of experience working with individuals and couples.  She travels and lectures internationally on her quest for global relational change.

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