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You Asked: My Boyfriend Is Addicted to Porn

Dear Sugar,

I think my boyfriend is addicted to pornography and masturbation. The porn itself wouldn't bother me, but it's interfering with our sex life. I love having sex with him, but while I'm at work (he works from home), he masturbates to porn all day long and by the time I get home, he has no interest in me. I've told him that this hurts me, but he still does it and gets angry with me when I bring it up. It's getting hard to go to work knowing that as soon as I leave, that's what he does. It feels like he's cheating on me. Its not fair to me. How do we overcome this? Can he stop?

— Problems With Porn Patty

To see Dear Sugar's answer,


Dear Problems With Porn Patty,

I commend you for telling your boyfriend how this makes you feel, but it's very concerning that he doesn't seem to care. If you're bringing this up over and over again, and rather than trying to change he just gets angry with you, I'd say you have a serious problem. From your description, it sounds like he has a compulsion.

The only person who can get your boyfriend to make a real change is your boyfriend. No matter how much pleading you might do, if he doesn't want to stop, he won't. If you had just started dating him, I would tell you to move on, but since you're in a serious relationship, it's certainly worth trying to work through. Counseling would be a good approach, both as a couple and him alone. However, if he's against that idea and still won't change, I would recommend giving him an ultimatum.

Tell your boyfriend that you will be packing your bags and ending things if he doesn't stop. Make it clear that you will do everything you can to support his lifestyle change — recommend that he get an office job or suggest incorporating some of the porn into your own sex life. But no matter what, make sure he understands that you have no intention of staying if he doesn't try to change. If he still won't stop, I think he's made his choice and you should make yours accordingly. It's obviously not easy, but it doesn't seem like you can handle much more. Good luck.

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Join The Conversation
AnonymousWoman AnonymousWoman 5 years
You are not alone. Your story mirrors mine. It hurts me so bad to feel like he prefers masturbating to online porn and can not even get an erection for me. It crushes me! I have cried in his arms telling him how rejected it makes me feel. We have a wonderful, loving relationship- but BIG PROBLEM with intimacy. Don't listen to those who say that you are the problem. That infuriates me!!!! The problem is with him!!!! From taking myself outside and looking in and listening to my boyfriend... the problem is not with me....he has a problem with himself...he is overweight (which I love him regardless and I am not overweight), he drinks a lot and he was single for a long time and got addicted to masturbating him. I have read this and it really gave me the answer I needed. God- I have tried everything...I went to the novelty shop crying and trying to buy "Get Hard Cream" among other items. In my case I LOVE my boyfriend and will not break up with him but am thinking seriously about telling him that I am packing up and leaving. I can't stand the hurt to my self esteem to be with my lover that can not find it in himself to get an erection for me. It tears me apart and that is putting it lightly! Hang in there girl! It's not you!!!!!! I know how you feel being that I am in the same boat. Be strong. Dress sexy and let him see all the other guys that show you attention. I know that the problem is not me because before I started dating him I was seeing a guy and we had wild, animalistic sex and he still tells me to this day that I absolutely rocked his world. I am dedicated so I don't consider hooking back up with him but it just reassures me that it's not me that has the problem. If it was me I would fix it. I guess that's why I feel so clueless and desperate for a solution. Hang in there! Keep your head up. Try the ultimatum. I'm going to and I will update you to the outcome.
Girl101 Girl101 6 years
I had a friend who had this problem, she just drained his balls every morning before she left. Sex sometimes, blow jobs another, whatever it takes to leave them on empty in the morning. Then when she got home she would put on sexy undies or such and do it again. Pretty soon he stopped looking during the day because he was not horny all day and he could not do both. Basically, she took charge of his penis and when and where he ejaculated. They seem pretty happy now that she broke his ad"dic"tion, pun intended.
frieddumpling frieddumpling 8 years
I think he has a problem, but I don't think he's cheating on you, so I wouldn't accuse him of cheating. Counseling is the best way to go. If he's unwilling to make changes for you or at least make an effort, then you deserve someone better and he's not THE guy for you.
trixiefire trixiefire 8 years
Anytime a guy chooses porn over the real thing, theres a problem. I agree with music_jewel, this isnt much different than having an actual affair. His problems are too big for you to try to change, especially if he's in denial or defensive. Perhaps its time to move on to someone without so many issues! You deserve better!
cubadog cubadog 8 years
Wow, there are a few you that are complete assholes. I think you need to date this poor girls boyfriend. That said...I think it is time for you to tell him to get help or you will be leaving. He clearly has a problem and unless he is willing to get help unfortunately there is not a lot you can do. Just know it doesn't matter what you do he will not change he has to want to change. Just be strong.
cubadog cubadog 8 years
Wow, there are a few you that are complete assholes. I think you need to date this poor girls boyfriend. That said... I think it is time for you to tell him to get help or you will be leaving. He clearly has a problem and unless he is willing to get help unfortunately there is not a lot you can do. Just know it doesn't matter what you do he will not change he has to want to change. Just be strong.
michelleannette michelleannette 8 years
this is sad. i think counseling is the only way to fix things. maybe he is an addict. if he lashes out at you when you bring it up to me says he's probably embarrassed. tell him that it really hurts you and if it cannot be fixed you'll have to leave him. you need to put your happiness above everyone's (unless you have little ones)
michelleannette michelleannette 8 years
this is sad. i think counseling is the only way to fix things. maybe he is an addict. if he lashes out at you when you bring it up to me says he's probably embarrassed. tell him that it really hurts you and if it cannot be fixed you'll have to leave him. you need to put your happiness above everyone's (unless you have little ones)
Molly4630 Molly4630 8 years
Uhh....does he not have a job? Why are you out working while he is sitting at home cuffing the carrot all day??
mcreverie mcreverie 8 years
i know a lot of guys who LOVE LOVE LOVE porn but on any given day, believe me, if they dont choose the real thing over porn, something is really wrong here. plus i think if a guy is watching porn all day, once he sees the real thing walking through the door, he should be MORE excited, not unexcited.you should find a guy that thinks you're sexy and makes you feel lusted after and desired. whatever the reason is - whether its something with him only, or if theres something lacking in your chemistry as a couple - it doesn't matter. you don't seem happy and i suggest leaving. btw - i really don't like the previous comments where they want YOU to be more sexy as if it's your fault or something. that's total bs.
mcreverie mcreverie 8 years
i know a lot of guys who LOVE LOVE LOVE porn but on any given day, believe me, if they dont choose the real thing over porn, something is really wrong here. plus i think if a guy is watching porn all day, once he sees the real thing walking through the door, he should be MORE excited, not unexcited. you should find a guy that thinks you're sexy and makes you feel lusted after and desired. whatever the reason is - whether its something with him only, or if theres something lacking in your chemistry as a couple - it doesn't matter. you don't seem happy and i suggest leaving. btw - i really don't like the previous comments where they want YOU to be more sexy as if it's your fault or something. that's total bs.
FB1977 FB1977 8 years
Very good point music_jewel. I agree.To the poster, feel free to PM me directly as someone very close to me is going through the same thing (I can share her story), and her therapist had some great advice.
FB1977 FB1977 8 years
Very good point music_jewel. I agree. To the poster, feel free to PM me directly as someone very close to me is going through the same thing (I can share her story), and her therapist had some great advice.
music_jewel321 music_jewel321 8 years
Some people here are missing the point...It's his problem, not hers. She's having to deal with it, of course, and is thereby affected. Since no one can control the actions of another, it must be his decision to stop. Nothing that she is doing or not doing sexually is going to make a difference. I agree with DearSugar. Give him an ultimatum. If he's sensitive to her needs, and really wants to make things better, he will stop. Otherwise--in all honesty--she's better off without him. She should find someone who will love her and fulfill her sexually and emotionally without resolving to drastic measures, or without making it necessary for her to change herself. My niece was in the exact same position 2 years ago, but it was her husband, not her long-time boyfriend. A lot was at stake here. My niece was Miss Arkansas prior to her marriage to this man. She was beautiful (and still is), intelligent, sexy, successful, etc., etc. There was NOTHING wrong with her or the way she treated him sexually or otherwise. He had issues he refused to deal with. She hid it from her family for a long time because she was embarrassed to talk about it. Unfortunately, she gave him the same ultimatum, he said he would change, things improved for awhile, but in the end he resorted back to his old routines. She left him, as she said she would, and she is now in a healthy sexual relationship with a great guy.In response to the thoughts about whether or not this is cheating: porn addiction/obsession IS cheating. Masturbation is a sexual act, and it is being done behind the other partner's back, while he (in this case) is looking at and desiring someone other than his "real" partner, and he is so satisfied with his action that he avoids sexual activity with this "real" partner. Mentally and emotionally, I don't see how this is any different than if he was having an actual affair.
music_jewel321 music_jewel321 8 years
Some people here are missing the point...It's his problem, not hers. She's having to deal with it, of course, and is thereby affected. Since no one can control the actions of another, it must be his decision to stop. Nothing that she is doing or not doing sexually is going to make a difference. I agree with DearSugar. Give him an ultimatum. If he's sensitive to her needs, and really wants to make things better, he will stop. Otherwise--in all honesty--she's better off without him. She should find someone who will love her and fulfill her sexually and emotionally without resolving to drastic measures, or without making it necessary for her to change herself. My niece was in the exact same position 2 years ago, but it was her husband, not her long-time boyfriend. A lot was at stake here. My niece was Miss Arkansas prior to her marriage to this man. She was beautiful (and still is), intelligent, sexy, successful, etc., etc. There was NOTHING wrong with her or the way she treated him sexually or otherwise. He had issues he refused to deal with. She hid it from her family for a long time because she was embarrassed to talk about it. Unfortunately, she gave him the same ultimatum, he said he would change, things improved for awhile, but in the end he resorted back to his old routines. She left him, as she said she would, and she is now in a healthy sexual relationship with a great guy. In response to the thoughts about whether or not this is cheating: porn addiction/obsession IS cheating. Masturbation is a sexual act, and it is being done behind the other partner's back, while he (in this case) is looking at and desiring someone other than his "real" partner, and he is so satisfied with his action that he avoids sexual activity with this "real" partner. Mentally and emotionally, I don't see how this is any different than if he was having an actual affair.
1QTPIE 1QTPIE 8 years
Yeah if it isn't you not attracting him sexually then he has a problem and help is needed.
jenintx jenintx 8 years
don't let some of these women try to tell you that you are doing something wrong. that's probably the same justification he would try to use. i too have a friend who went through this several years ago. he was defensive about it, wouldn't admit that it was a problem and tried to make her feel 'ugly' b/c of his 'impotence' (when he failed to be able to have sex with her, he would tell her that maybe he wouldn't have the problem if she was prettier). their relationship ultimately failed. not soley b/c of that, but it certainly exacerbated their other problems. i say forego counseling and just cut your losses. i know it's an easy thing to say and not so easy to do, but i don't see this being something that will readily change, especially when he doesn't recognize that it's a problem. i think his 'selfishness' should give you insights into what your future with this man will hold. you deserve better...someone who can fulfill all of your needs. good luck!
jenintx jenintx 8 years
don't let some of these women try to tell you that you are doing something wrong. that's probably the same justification he would try to use. i too have a friend who went through this several years ago. he was defensive about it, wouldn't admit that it was a problem and tried to make her feel 'ugly' b/c of his 'impotence' (when he failed to be able to have sex with her, he would tell her that maybe he wouldn't have the problem if she was prettier). their relationship ultimately failed. not soley b/c of that, but it certainly exacerbated their other problems. i say forego counseling and just cut your losses. i know it's an easy thing to say and not so easy to do, but i don't see this being something that will readily change, especially when he doesn't recognize that it's a problem. i think his 'selfishness' should give you insights into what your future with this man will hold. you deserve better...someone who can fulfill all of your needs. good luck!
luckyEmmie luckyEmmie 8 years
Wow, TFS, that's a really uninformed assumption. My best friend went through this exact same situation with her bf of four years. After years of fights, counseling, attempts at finding a solution, she finally had to leave. It had nothing to do with her "not satisfying him"-- they typically had sex at least once a day during the whole four-year relationship. He was addicted to sex and porn, and saw them as his only means to control anxiety. It's one thing for a guy in a healthy relationship to masturbate every few days; it's completely different when someone feels a compulsion to do it multiple times a day.
TFS TFS 8 years
eep, sorry i dunno what all the 'x's were about. :s
TFS TFS 8 years
i cant stand guys that are dependable on porn to be sexually satisfied. but to be honest i think he probs does it because YOUR not sexually satisfying him... x x x xxx x x x
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Counseling is easier said then done. He'd have to admit that he has an issue/you both have an issue. You can't make him go. I can totally see the porn being used as a way to avoid intimacy with you.
chakra_healer chakra_healer 8 years
Two things stand out about this relationship. 1) you feel a need to monitor him rather than go to work (and I am not even asking how you know what he does all day). 2)the two of you cannot have a rational discussion about your issues. Couples counseling? Hmm, that will help build effective communication in the relationship, but I also suggest that individual counseling and some distance would be equally beneficial to whatever individual issues exist.
chakra_healer chakra_healer 8 years
Two things stand out about this relationship.1) you feel a need to monitor him rather than go to work (and I am not even asking how you know what he does all day). 2)the two of you cannot have a rational discussion about your issues.Couples counseling? Hmm, that will help build effective communication in the relationship, but I also suggest that individual counseling and some distance would be equally beneficial to whatever individual issues exist.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 8 years
Wow...I don't know what to tell ya. I mean, the only solution I can think of is to suggest counseling to him, but if he already gets defensive when you try to talk to him about the porn, then he probably won't be ready for counseling. Which means you shouldn't cause yourself any more grief about this. I ultimately agree with Dearsugar: Tell him to stop and get some counseling, or you're gone. That's it. You deserve someone that only has eyes for you...not a computer screen.
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