Healthy lives for young people
Sex

Pornography and relationships

If you are over 18 you may choose to watch pornography, either alone or with a partner. Some people choose to watch porn frequently whereas other people may watch it occasionally or not at all. If you do decide to watch it, you should only watch what you feel comfortable with. You should never make someone, or be made by someone, to watch porn; and it is illegal to watch it if you are under 18.

Watching porn with a partner

As long as you and your partner are over 18, there is no reason you can’t enjoy watching porn together as part of a healthy relationship.

Some studies show that there are some benefits to watching porn together as a couple, such as having more satisfying sex lives. 

In addition, research shows that when people in relationships have open and honest discussions about their individual pornography use, it can have positive consequences. It can help you learn more about your partner’s likes and dislikes, make your sex life more varied, and may even make general communication easier because of the intimacy that comes from being open to experiment.

Is it cheating to watch porn?

If you’re over 18, watching porn together can have its benefits, however, porn use is still something that many people in relationships argue about. Studies show that if one person in the relationship feels their partner’s porn use is problematic (maybe they feel it is too frequent or worried about the type of porn they are watching) then this can have a negative effect on the relationship and on the self-esteem and self-worth of the person who does not watch porn.

The strongest relationships are built on communication and trust so whether or not you count watching porn as cheating is something that only you and your partner can decide. Just like sexting, or chatting to an ex on social media, each relationship has its own boundaries and mutual agreement on what counts as cheating.

Find out more information about porn, including what to do if you are worried about your own use of porn, or your partners.

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