1BIZCKV7-j1X7gaG6YeJpEg

Your Girlfriend Is Watching Porn Without You Right Now

Do you care?

The act of busting someone watching porn has always had a pretty clear hierarchy: Fathers and mothers busts sons, girlfriends and wives bust boyfriends and husbands — but do husbands and boyfriends ever bust girlfriends and wives? That might have once been a statistical rarity, purely because we’ve long thought women don’t watch porn. But if that was ever the case, it isn’t any longer. One 2015 survey by Marie Claire of 3,000 women found that one in three said they watch porn at least once a week. And of those some 30 percent watching, 66 percent said they do it alone because it’s about exploring their sexuality “unencumbered by a partner.”

New data from Pornhub finds that 80 percent of lady traffic to the site comes from women watching porn on their smartphones. Which raises some questions: Are women just better secret porn-watchers? Are men blissfully ignorant? Are women watching porn while they poop? Or do men just think women watching porn is super hot, so there’s nothing to bust, only cause for celebration? Let’s ask the internet.

For important context, it’s worth noting that if you search for how often women bust their partners jerking it, you will find over a million results. To be clear, these are outliers — women who find their partners watching porn and are excited and/or indifferent don’t need to take to the internet to say so in as great of numbers. But there’s an entire industry of advice for women who are upset by porn in dealing with or embracing their male partners’ porn use. Such advice ranges from accepting that he just meets his needs better this way (and is maybe addicted) to working through the idea that your otherwise perfection relationship is suddenly not so perfect, and how to deal with the trauma. There’s even an eight-step wikiHow on how to accept your boyfriend’s porn use. There is, however no such entry on how to accept your girlfriend’s (though there is one on how to get her to want to have sex with you). This is to say nothing of the dozens and dozens of books out there on how porn is destroying us — and by “us” they typically mean “men.”

By contrast, look for posts about men upset by their female partners’ porn use, and there are only a handful. One woman posted on Yahoo Answers that her husband was upset to find her watching porn because he thinks it’s “degrading to women.” Another poster on the site said her boyfriend said it’s “disrespectful” of her to watch porn. “My girlfriend looks at porn and it bothers me,” is another such post. It reads:

I have caught my girlfriend looking at porn a while ago, and I had a talk with her about it. I told her it bothers me. She said she would stop looking for me, but now I am curious once and a while and I look at her browsing history. When I went out of town for a week last month, I seen that she had being going at it again. While I can understand she is lonely and stuff, why does she do it otherwise? There is some history that she was watching videos recently and it bothers me.

One user chimes in with reassurance: “Not a big deal,” she writes. “Half the stuff that turns her on could be something you can put to go use in bed. A lot of women watch porn. She’s not running off cheating on you, she’s just horny like any red blooded human being.”

Elsewhere, on a bodybuilding forum, a user asks, “GF watches a lot of threesome porn… something to be concerned about?” The full question reads:

We’ve been dating for about 7 months and have a pretty healthy relationship, but something about this fantasy of hers bothers me. If it’s strictly fantasy and it gets her off, I suppose that’s fine—I watch some crazy porn when I’m in the mood too. But I worry that she may eventually want to make it more than fantasy, and I’m hoping to have something long term with this girl. I don’t think a threesome, whether MFF or MMF would be healthy for us at all.

Another forum with a similar question — “My GF watches porn, should I be concerned?” mentions the fact that the boyfriend occasionally clicks through her internet history so he knows his girl is really into double penetration. “Now we have a great sex life, we have tried many things, I won’t go into tons of details now, but we are not boring in bed at all!” he writes. “We have many toys, and experiment a lot. And we have done anal, so it isn’t like she is watching and fantasizing about things we don’t do. Of course the DP is what worries me. And we are a white couple, some of the videos include black males as well — not the majority or anything, but some.”

The reassurance, again, is strikingly similar to that we give women when they are concerned about male porn use — cool down, what’s the big deal, a fantasy is not reality. But the concern for men may not be unmerited. Data on heterosexual women’s porn viewing habits (from Pornhub) has found that women all over the world like porn, they watch porn, and when they watch porn, they watch lesbians primarily. Gay porn was the second most-searched category for women. Slot three? Big dicks. Another prevalent search involved “pussy licking.”

“It might also be worth noting that women who use Pornhub search for the terms ‘squirting orgasm,’ ‘daddy,’ ‘big dick’ and ‘big black dick’ significantly more than men do,” Salon wrote in 2015 of recent Pornhub data. “Female sexuality is complicated and varied,” they conclude, “and it can keep up with even the most ambitious of male fantasies.”

But taken together, it seems it’s this keeping-up notion that recurs in the handful of concerned posts online from men about their female partner’s viewing habits — they wonder if women want the things they fantasize about to happen in real life; if it means the women aren’t actually satisfied with the sex they’re having; or if it’s normal for women to look at and like porn, particularly without them. The Marie Claire data found that although some women did look at porn to research what their partners liked, most of them were simply doing it for themselves. Perhaps there is nothing sexier, yet scarier, than a woman alone getting off without you.

Plus, given the orgasm gap — the well-documented fact that women are less likely to achieve orgasm in intercourse with men — it would seem men, in fact, actually do have more to worry about. Which makes their overall relative lack of concern with female porn use all the more perplexing. What if it turns out that it’s men who should be taking notes?

On Reddit, a woman writes in that her boyfriend caught her masturbating to porn, and now she feels bad because she always acted grossed out by it and said she didn’t want to know if he ever did it. She wants to know how to address it.

“You’re being a bit hypocritical about it, but that’s an easy fix,” one commenter responds. “Either stop looking at it or let him do it. That said, if I had come home to my wife watching porn, I probably would have sat down next to her and started jerking off….. or used it as leverage to get more blowies.”

This is instructive. More recent research has found that although porn use is often warned against as an intimacy killer in relationships, it doesn’t have to be. (Yes, women can also be addicted to porn, but new research also suggests that most are healthy, recreational users). Psychologist and porn researcher Taylor Kohut, at the University of Western Ontario, recently told MEL that in new research he’ll be publishing soon, he found that porn is generally good for relationships when a couple’s habits align — that is, when they both use it and are okay with using it, whether that’s together or apart. That makes the advice another user gave a concerned poster on Reddit all the more salient. “Should I say something when my girlfriend watches porn everyday?” user didnotseethat asked.

“Yes,” Fordbeeblebrox responded. “Say ‘What are you watching, let’s watch it together.’”