Mumsnet. An online home for gin-soaked, self-described “yummy mummies” to offer opinions and discuss their pushchair-obsessed lives.
Recently, a thread popped up discussing one of the most divisive topics in some relationships: pornography. As with any relationship problem, the obvious solution is to sit down and calmly discuss the issue, coming to some sort of compromise or resolution. Alternatively, you can complain about it online in a way that makes you sound completely mental and unable to cope with any aspect of the real world:
Last night I saw pornographic images on DP’s laptop. He didn’t mean me to but had left them up there.
I just can’t deal with it. Our relationship is in trouble as it is. He says he has always used porn. We’ve been together 5 years and I never knew.
I feel like I’m dropping through a huge hole.
I got lost on the way home from work because the motorway was shut and the diversion didn’t work, just took you right round in a circle for an hour. I stopped on a roundabout and just sat there, I couldn’t go on. I’ve only just got in.
I don’t know what to do. He says he’s sorry I’m upset and he didn’t mean to hurt me. I know he won’t stop though. He says all men do it and it isn’t a big deal.
DP, incidentally, doesn’t mean “double penetration”, as you thought. They have this AWFUL scheme of calling everyone their Darling Relation: Son becomes Darling Son, becomes DS. Mother is Darling Mother, DM. DP is her Darling Partner. If that doesn’t sicken you even a little bit, you’re far too desensitised to this awful world.
An early reply on the thread seems promising, a sensible approach to not getting worked up over something relatively trivial:
Not all men, but uh, a reasonably significant percentage. I’ve been with the same man for twenty years. He watches porn. The women in the porn are impossibly hot. I am not. But he always ends up in my bed, not anybody else’s. It bugged me at first, because I had been brought up to believe it should. I’ve since decided it’s a lot like romance novels. A bit of impossible fantasy that one enjoys and then gets on with life.
But that’s just me.
Unfortunately, she’s right: it is just her.
Some of the replies are delightfully mental:
I don’t know if you’ve got children or teenagers in the house, but if you stumbled across it, so could they. Exposing kids to porn is recognised by all safeguarding agencies as a form of child abuse.
All but accusing the guy of child abuse, because he got a bit forgetful after a wank. It’s not like he’s literally showing his kids The Hun’s Yellow Pages every evening, is it?
This lady has inadvertently given her DP permission to sleep with whoever he wants, as long as he doesn’t glance at a single online nipple:
“Watching porn and having a wank is not the same as being unfaithful.”
Indeed it is not. Speaking for myself, and I accept I may not be representative, i would infinitely prefer my dh to succumb to a shag with a flesh and blood human being than to interest himself in that ugly, tedious, misogynist shite. I don’t have many words of comfort for you OP, but don’t let anyone talk you out of your right to be upset over this, or trivialise your feelings.
The best bit of the thread though, is the stream of delusional, gullible women who reckon they’ve immediately and easily convinced their DPs of the evils of the world of pornography, and encouraged them to stop any form of enjoyment over grotty movies.
My DH[usband] does not use porn any more after reading up on the realities of the porn industry. He does not miss it. Just as well as he understands that it is a deal breaker for me.
You know why he doesn’t miss it? Take a look in c:\windows\system32\system_files\sys\hidden. That’s why.
My DP used to. I explained to him why I consider porn use to be unacceptable, and showed him some links to some information about it. He said that it had changed his mind about porn and promised not to use it anymore. He had just previously never thought about the implications of it.
By going without a pornowank for just one year, you can save the lives of seven adult entertainers.
We don’t know how many men regularly use porn. I know plenty of men who don’t. Their reasons varied:
1. preferred to knock one out in the shower(!)
2. preferred own imagination/history.
3. couldn’t be arsed to wank or watch porn
4. didn’t like it because found it frustrating(?)
5. didn’t turn them on/found it naff/tacky.
6. didn’t like it for political reasons.
The idea that all men do is a lie and a nasty one at that.
Ah yes, the old political reasons. “She voted for Boris? BORIS? Well, in that case, I have no interest whatsoever with what she can do while hanging naked, upside down.” And not being arsed to have a wank? For some people, it’s all they CAN be arsed to do!
My DH used to. Then I learned more about it on MN and told him….and now he doesn’t any more. He says “It’s stopped working”
He can’t get his rocks off when he’s looking at a potential rape can he?
Most men (dh included) don’t know that about porn and when they do….well if it STILL works for them then they’re not someone who has a healthy mind.
Daily Mail logic at its finest! It might be a rape, and if you touch yourself over rape then you’re not a RIGHT MINDED INDIVIDUAL.
This lady agrees, and her husband clearly has strong opinions on something he’s never seen:
If my dh, who is also 47, was watching young women of our daughter’s age being treated as disposable fuck toys then I would be very unhappy too – thankfully he does not and has never used porn.
Lets be real about this, these men aren’t generally watching images of mutually enjoyable and respectful sex, they are watching young women being pushed and pulled about into unatural positions and being paid to perform degrading and probably painful acts.
I know my DH looked at porn mags a bit when he was in his late teens, but he thought it was all quite sleazy and didn’t do anything for him so that was that. Now of course, thanks to my ranting, he knows all about the industry behind it and is really disgusted by it.
Disgusted by it. Disgusted. This definitely happened. This definitely isn’t him agreeing for a quiet life. It’s all so plausible.
And the most incredible post anywhere on the internet, ever:
I found porn on my partner’s phone once when we had only been dating a few months, confronted him about it and made him aware that it made me feel sick, useless and dirty that he was using other women to get his thrill rather than me. He has not looked at it since and this was 2 years ago now. We have a fantastic relationship with no lies (might sound silly but we do pinky promise and we both know that this lie cannot be broken)
He knows if he lies after making a pinky promise then our relationship is over and I am a far better investigator than any MI5 agent when I have doubts in my mind
If i ask him a question and don’t believe him, I will ask him to pinky promise me. If he refuses I know he is lying, but we end up talking through these situations straight away and get to the bottom of it. If he does manage to pinky promise then all is forgotten
He can’t look at porn, because he pinky promised. He pinky promised her that he wouldn’t look at porn and there’s no way anyone can break that because it’s a pinky promise. Jesus wept. Maybe not turning into a hysterical mouth-breather over the issue will mean you can act like adults, and not resort to pretending to being 12-year-old girls.
We’re not suggesting that all these men are lying to their wives so they can masturbate in peace, just that they absolutely, definitely are.
But just remember that:
The whole porn industry is built on abuse. To think anything else is sheer ignorance. It is sick, and watching it will make you sick.
How can you enjoy watching hot women doing disgusting things when it’s clearly ALL BUILT ON ABUSE AND NO WOMAN CAN CONSENT OR ENJOY THIS WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO YOURSELF GEORGE!
Never mind the huge swathes of porn that are made without the involvement of men – Cam Girls are girls with a webcam, a PayPal account and some fancy pants; Director Anna Span is a woman. While we’re not suggesting that the pornographic world is a bastion of women’s rights, neither is it a horrible abuse factory.
We’ll leave you with this thought (posted on Reddit) from a girl who has worked in both adult entertainment and retail:
Hi! I’m a sex worker. And I’m avoiding doing my homework so I’m going to go on a rant.
I’ve done many different kinds of sex work. I’ve been a cam girl, a porn performer, a professional sub, and a performer at a peep show (similar to a stripper). I’ve also been working in retail and food service simultaneously.
I get so frustrated at how I’m treated at work. It really gets to me. I find myself involuntarily crying once I get into my car to drive home. I hate how dehumanizing it is. People don’t acknowledge me as a person. They think I’m less than them because of my job. Maybe they don’t actively think that, but that’s how they treat me. Oh, by the way, I’m talking about the food service job.
When I’m doing sex work I can refuse a customer. I can be rude to them if they are being rude to me. I don’t have to apologize for their mistakes. I don’t have to be sweet when they are being inappropriate. I negotiate my limits, and I only do what I feel comfortable doing. They don’t get to order off the menu, I’m not going to bend over backwards for them
I find it oppressive to work for minimum wage. I find it oppressive to act like the customer is always right. I find it dehumanizing to apologize for things that aren’t my fault, like how much something costs or if you order something wrong and you want it remade the correct way. I find it dehumanizing to say “Hi! How are you?” and in response get “Yeah I just need a blah blah blah” and then have a customer go back to their cell phone conversation. I hate being reduced to a cash register.