how do I know if my husband watches porn?

Every day, women find my blog by searching some variety of the question:

how do I know if my husband watches porn?

I imagine most of the women who google this are being sent to this post I wrote nearly a year ago entitled On Pornsick Bastards.

I doubt many of these women call themselves feminists, but they do know intuitively that there is something wrong with the man who claims to love them getting off to images of other women being f’ked and degraded.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure the post is exactly what women are looking for. They probably would like some advice about how to check their husband’s browser or download history in order to catch him.

But the unfortunate truth I share in that post is that nearly every man who can access porn is a porn user.

This is a sad state of affairs for women attempting to date men, or even for women trying to function in the world along with men. This porn- and misogyny-soaked culture is what leads men to “joke” to women at a Microsoft conference in front of an audience, “Just let it happen; it will all be over soon.”

It’s what leads men to believe that this statement is not sexual harassment:

ck

It’s part of the anti-woman propaganda that leads men to believe that their getting off is more important than our human rights:

rts

[For more information on so-called "feminist porn", please check here, here, and here.]

In her book Pornography: Men Possessing Women Andrea Dworkin distills the core message of pornography in these simple words:

[Pornography] means the graphic depiction of women as vile whores.

The answer to your question, women, is yes.

If you suspect he watches pornography, he is very, very likely to watch it.

I am so sorry to tell you this. But it is the truth. He gets off on depictions of women as vile whores.

We are here for you. Many of us have been there. Tell us how we can help you out.

About smash
Women's liberationist.

34 Responses to how do I know if my husband watches porn?

  1. smash says:

    This is not true of every single man. There are men who don’t watch porn, but they are very rare.

    For example, I’m currently reading Jackson Katz’s *The Macho Paradox* and he talks in it about the harms of misogynistic pornography.

    But: beware if a dude gets defensive when he says he doesn’t watch. Beware if he starts wanting to convince you to try new stuff in bed. Beware if he hangs out with dude friends who say misogynistic things about women they see or know. Beware if he seems far away when you “make love”.

    • anonymous says:

      Isn’t that rare really! After i saw a TED Talk called “The Great Porn Experiment” it made me realise how negative porn can be to a ordinary guy like me.It doesn’t will make you happy.It doesn’t make you better at sex.Actually i make you worse and can easily cause impotence.It dirty the man’s mind.And make you look pathetic when you are in front of a real women.I know this because i used to watch porn.Everything writ above happened to me and right now i feel so good to say that i am out of it YES.Show that video to your husband and make he think.Maybe he will change his mind!

      • smash says:

        Hey anon, glad to hear you stopped using. I hope you tell your friends about the harms of porn: both to men suffering ED, but especially because of the harm porn does to real women’s bodies, and the way it creates a misogynistic mindset in the men who watch it.

  2. Check the sadface :( on “I need feminist porn because…” sign-holding dude. He is so sad! He needs feminist porn! He needs a world in which! Won’t someone please help? With the porn? He needs! It’s totally just like the We Are The 99% movement — you can tell because of the sign!

  3. banana says:

    My advice to any woman concerned if her partner is watching porn is to ask and/or discuss the topic. If you are offended, disturbed, hurt or angry (or feeling any other emotions) by the thought or actuality of your partner watching porn, then a discussion must be had. One with “I” statements about your feelings and please listen to his. If two people can’t have this discussion and find an understanding, then I believe the foundation of a partnership is faulty.
    People don’t like other people pointing fingers and telling them what to do. I encourage all of my friends to talk and listen. You’re more likely to cover ground if you don’t come at them attacking and put them on the defense. Maybe he is even ashamed of his behavior but would like to talk about it, not defend himself. Sexuality can change over time and discussion is important.
    I encourage this in any situation, not just in the bedroom, but I find when my partner and I aren’t getting along in the bedroom, we build tension in other aspects of our lives together. We don’t always have to have amazing, new sex, but we do need to communicate the reasons one person might be feeling one way or another.

    • smash says:

      Thanks for stopping by, banana. Unfortunately, many men are incredibly defensive or secretive about their porn use when it is brought to their attention. Women should have proof of the porn use before beginning the conversation.

      Discussions about porn use should happen before the relationship begins, but that won’t necessarially help either because, as I said, men lie about their use.

      This topic makes me so sad, because truthfully there are very few men out there who will actually avoid porn for the rest of their lives.

  4. Sundazed says:

    Thank you for a very nice blogpost!
    As a former pornconsumer I can say, from my own perspective, that posts like this one is very important.
    Porncuture is ruin our sexuality (for both genders)

    • smash says:

      I agree that porn culture is terrible for our sexuality, for sure. Thanks for visiting, Sundazed.

      • Sundazed says:

        Thx for your reply :)
        You mention Andrea Dwarkins book Pornography: Men Possessing Women which was an awsome read. I also liked Robert Jensens book Getting Off: Pornography and the end of masculinity.

  5. jose says:

    He watches it even if she doesn’t suspect anything. There have been attempts to study porn use and it’s practically impossible to get control groups because researchers are unable to find enough men who don’t watch porn.

  6. Primrose says:

    I feel so sorry for that woman on the talk show! She look so upset. I want to hug her :( Down with pornsick bastards! I’m dealing with one myself at the moment.. not fun.

    • smash says:

      Sorry to hear you’re dealing with one yourself, Primrose. Solidarity to you in the struggle. I hope you are able to get free. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Primrose says:

        Thank you Smash! I am staying strong and doing everything I can to put him in his rightful place, I assure you :) And solidarity to you in the struggle as well. It is a pleasure to drop by.

    • margaret says:

      Hello Primrose,any tips apart from checking history to see what my husband is watching on his pc(I am sure it’s Porn)I can’t just ask him as I know it will start an argument.Thank you very much.Maggie.

  7. So… has anyone ever presented actual “feminist porn”? Or are they gonna keep pulling this tired old unicorn out of the closet without ever actually showing it off?

  8. Missfit says:

    OMG, this angry dude pointing his harrassing finger! I would like to tell him that I find him gross, repulsive, that the world would be a better place without people of his kind and that there is nothing he can do about it.

    It is so important to have spaces for women to be able to express themselves on this subject without being told that the problem is us, which is the dominant (i.e. men-approved) mantra (that we are insecure, prudes, controlling, and what else…).

    As you said ‘[women] do know intuitively that there is something wrong with the man who claims to love them getting off to images of other women being f’ked and degraded’. Yep, been there. Perceptions change. Reality changes. In fact, reality appears. Clearer. And it is not a pleasant sight. Women are often told to overcome their negative feelings associated with porn, to accept it.
    This is asking to deny our feelings, cheating ourselves and downplaying our needs (for respect, love, consideration). I can’t. I think this is psychologically unhealthy and can only work (if it works at all) on the short term. We are said we must adapt to this reality (created and imposed by men). But reality can be changed. We can demand changes. We can resist. We can make choices in accordance with the changes we would like to see. I will not condone porn, I will not deny my feelings and cheat myself, I will not date a man who watch porn.

    I am not attempting to date men anymore; I care too much for my peace of mind and I just don’t have the time and the energy to put on trying to find the rare men who are not porn infected.

    • margaret says:

      Missfit, that is a great statement, I would love to be single again and not have to worry if my husband is watching porn again as I suspect he is, I am absolutely sick of it all and I am starting to hate the man I used to love. Maggie.

      • Hi my name ia Allison my husband told me he was porn addicted after I found he had been 5 times to brothels .we are trying to make the marriage work my mistake I believe now , as he tells me hes given up porn but I am tortured constantly as I dont believe him, if any one has any advice for me I really would appreciate it thanks Allison

  9. Bri says:

    I ‘caught’ my then-fiancé, now-husband, having had been watching porn. He denies using it to masturbate, and I won’t go into the absurd reasons he said he was watching it for, but he was watching things such as big-breasted and big-assed women. I am a woman who has both and in my opinion, a pretty attractive body and face(even though I’ve always had a lower self-esteem). Since then, I have looked at him a bit differently and to this day, wonder if the reason our sex life has withered away is because he continues to watch and masturbate to porn(while I’m at work and no one is home but him). I also wonder while we’re having sex(when we do) if he is fantasizing about women from porn. We work opposite schedules, I work days and he works nights, mostly. I understand that he is tired, but too tired ALL the time to not want to ‘do it’ ever? I have 4 children, we have 1 together, and when the day is said and done, I am exhausted! But mostly never too exhausted to want to make love to him. Any advice/comments?

    • smash says:

      Thanks Bri for stopping by.

      I am sorry to hear of your situation. It’s so disheartening and upsetting when we learn that the men we love use or have used porn. I think porn use could have something to do with his decreased interest. Men frequently deny or downplay their use to their partners so confronting him may not be the best option. I guess my question is what is the outcome you want from the situation? Is porn use a deal breaker for your relationship?

      Take care, okay?

  10. Sisterlamb says:

    Ok, i know im late to the party-but i just came across this post. I have always had an issue with porn, in all its guises. If I date a man, I ask about porn early on. Some people might think thats odd-but I think its fair to lay cards on the table and for a man to make a decision on whether or not he would be willing to forego his participation in the consumption of mysogyny…for me. Secondly, I may not be able to stop men watching women being degraded, but I have the right to refuse to be with a man who does. I’d rather be alone.
    Every man I have ever been with has done it secretly behind my back. Its infuriating. I dont see why anyone would want to be in a relationship where they are living in secrecy and constantly having to delete internet history-why!? I have never met a man who has responded to the above question with a ‘Yes I do, and no, I dont want to give it up’.
    Anyway, I have been with my BF for 2 years now. Like the men above, I was 100% upfront with him on how I felt. He doesnt read lads mags, or show any interest in them, which is great. He is vegan, anti-capitalist, anti-consumerism, wont drink Coca Cola, or eat McDonalds etc hardcore eh? lol. He admitted to me that he had looked at porn before, out of curiosity with friends etc. He told me that he respected my beliefs (as I do his) and that he would have no problem in never watching porn again. Our sex life is great-I am not anti-sex by the way, just anti-porn.
    He moved in with me at the beginning of September there, and i have started to notice a few little things that are niggling at me. I am hoping that I am just being paranoid, but usually intuition is spot on with these things. If he is looking at porn behind my back, I will be so disappointed. I will also be astonished at the hipocrisy! Porn is one of the most capitalist commodities on the planet. I will be a wee bit sad to see him go.
    On another note-it drives me MAD reading responses to other posts on this issue around the net. I have unfortunately read some threads from women feeling shity at their partners porn habits, only to be told that they are stupid idiots, and that its normal and they need to get over it. What is not normal, is mens dependency on something so recently man made, and their willingness to forfeit healthy human relationships because of it. They might as well say they cant live without the internet (which we didnt really have access to 10 years ago) *Note to anyone who has been the victim of any of these threads-they are the idiots, not you. Dont ever deny your feelings. If porn makes you feel small or inadequate-dont put up with it.

    • Em says:

      My heart goes out to you Sisterlamb, because I feel exactly the same way as you do and have and the same experience with men betraying my trust. It’s basically gotten to the point where I am starting to believe that my chances are incredibly slim that I will ever find someone. And this has lately been causing me an incredible amount of pain because having a marriage and family are two things I greatly desire, and now seem like I won’t be able to have.

      In my heart of hearts, I know I will never be happy with a man who watches porn, despite my own self-confidence. It’s too heartbreaking and I don’t know what to do. The only consolation I have is that when I am feeling especially down, I got to the thread called “nofap” on reddit and try to remind myself that some men feel the same way I do.

      • Sisterlamb says:

        Wow! I just checked out that ‘nofap’ site. I had no idea that it existed. I can see why you find it so uplifting! I read a few of the threads and I have to say, I feel quite sorry for some of the guys on there. I think, getting into the mind of a man, it would be quite addictive, just like any drug, and some of the guys seem to be struggling to maintain relationships. I have a quite a few male friends, and the ones that I know who use porn very regularly, are the ones who are single and always looking. They seem to struggle more talking to women, and I wouldnt be surprised if porn was to blame. Before I read that site, I hadnt really made that connection. Thanks for sharing that with me Em.

        As for your situation, I have complete sympathy. It really is heartbreaking to find yourself wondering if you will ever find happiness. It makes me so angry sometimes because the whole industry, combined with the internet, thrives on secrecy; knowing that men DO hide it from the women in their lives and preying on that fact. I sincerely hope you find someone worthwhile and I do genuinely believe that there are men out there who would choose have a real woman in bed with them every night, rather than a computer screen.

        • Em says:

          A little late on this but thank you Smash for your post on this and Sisterlamb for your thoughtful reply. I’ve been thinking lately of how much of a support it would be to connect with some of the women here on this issue. I am finding myself increasingly alone in the no porn camp as more and more of my female peers become tolerant of porn, almost to a point that they are proud. Psychologically, this new reality is so completely messed up that I could really use a few empathetic ears to share with.

  11. Shanon says:

    Every guy watches porn. If they say that they don’t, then they lie :) I busted my own boyfriend watching porn one day, when I came home from work. He was checking the top 750 porn websites on [redacted website].

    He always had denied watching porn before and said that I was all that he needed. Damn liar !!! :D

    • smash says:

      Shanon, thanks for stopping by. I absolutely believe that many, most men watch porn.

      I also think it’s a cop out for us to say that *all* men watch porn, because that means there’s no hope for any of them and they can’t help it. Men can and do choose to be human, but it’s a small number who do.

      I’m sorry to hear about what happened to you, but I’m not sure why you linked to a porn website here? Let’s not promote this misogynistic content.

      Thanks.

  12. river says:

    I want to read you but I’m confused by all of your sites. Which one should I read to get your current and most of your writings, without creating any new accounts, like Tmblr/Twitter. I need to use RSS or similar.

    • smash says:

      Thanks for stopping by and for your interest!

      I am here smashesthep.wordpress.com, and I sometimes write for liberationcollective.wordpress.com. I am on tumblr at smashesthep.tumblr.com and reddit at reddit.com/u/smashesthep.

      Does that help? It’s a good thing that there are radical feminists on multiple sites and that our numbers are growing. There used to be dozens but now there are hundreds!

  13. Safron says:

    Would these magical, unicorn, non-porny men still avoid pornography if no womyn ever wanted to have sexual relations with them? If no, he’s a shit bag. If yes, he is fictional.

    • I would never watch porn. Have you ever seen that stuff? Most of it is plain disgusting. Also, why would I want to constantly look at men’s penises? I’m not attracted to penises in any way.

Leave Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 163 other followers

%d bloggers like this: