Have You Ever Watched Porn With Your S.O.? It’s Logistically Difficult, No?

I’m busy trying to fix my face into an expression that could read as either horny or wary, because if he likes it, I don’t want to make him feel gross about it, and if he doesn’t, I don’t want him to think I’m into it, god, no.

Mar 6, 2013 at 9:00am | Leave a comment

There are plenty of brilliant (and, I suppose, not-so-brilliant) articles online that hash out the pros and cons of watching porn with your significant other. Take, for example, this great Jezebel piece from a few months ago, which provides a smart thoughtful analysis of “the open-door porn convo.”  It’s thoughtful and provocative, and really weighs the social and intellectual difficulties that crop up when you watch porn with a partner.

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OK, I will level with you -- my friend just got an Edible Arrangement for her birthday and I wanted a strawberry. So I told her I needed to put my mouth all over one. FOR A STORY. Please play along, I’m hungry.

Well, this is not that. I’m a doer, not a thinker, ya dig? I think I waffled for about five minutes when I realized watching porn with a boyfriend was a thing you can do together.

You know. That requisite early-in-the-relationship, waffling-at-a-kinky-possibility pause. The three seconds that make all the difference between “chill, open-minded girlfriend” and “dirty sex freak.”

Then, about four-and-a-half minutes mid-waffle, I realized that’s exactly what I want my current boyfriend and any future boyfriends and, why not, even attractive acquaintances and Internet strangers to think of me! That I’m a DIRTY SEX FREAK! Mm. (But, um, not my future employers. I am professional, srsly.)

So, yeah, I got over my feigned reservation lickety-split, and by minute five, I was on my laptop, ready to conquer the world of Watching Porn With A Significant Other. Except, have you guys actually done this with your S.O.? It’s kind of tricky. Like, logistically. Or maybe I’m just bad at watching porn/doing things in general.

Because stuff like this happened to me:

So do you want to watch “Slutty Teen Sucks Four Big Cocks In A Shopping Mall Food Court?” Oh, uh, yeah, hahahaha, me neither! Ha!

OK, so this point does kind of line up with the aforementioned brilliant Jezebel think-piece. (Which is to say that this story, like that one, is brilliant.) (COMPLIMENT ME.)

But I feel like those frame the porn conversation as, well, a conversation. As though you just sit around and talk with your partner about what kinds of porn you like to watch, what kinds of porn they like to watch, what porn stars you like, what you absolutely won’t watch, and good GOD, man, who has the time?

Chronically impatient, I was opening tabs for porn sites and Googling lists of the hottest porn stars (I prefer erotic literature to porn, so I had to do a little research) before either of us had had a chance to say “no gangbangs” or “mostly redheads” or whatever. Which meant we were scrolling through all of these absurdly captioned thumbnails of videos together, and, you know, that was intimidating.

Each wary of making the first move and outing ourselves as into anything in particular (“What kind of sex do I like? Oh, I don’t know. Sex-sex. The sex kind”), we kept scrolling. And scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling. Picking out a porno for the first time (and the second time, and even a little bit the third time) can be nerve-wracking, even with someone who’s quasi-familiar with your kinks and fantasies.

And when you click the wrong thing, it’s kind of awful. I mean, not relationship-shatteringly awful or anything. But if I’m not into what I’m watching, I’m busy trying to fix my face into an expression that could read as either horny or wary, because if he likes it, I don’t want to make him feel gross about it, and if he doesn’t, I don’t want him to think I’m into it, god no.

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My most bangable wary-horny expression. Down, boys!

The solution to this? Just click something. Anything. Play eeny, meeny, miny, moe if you have to. Communicate well, duh; ask your partner if they’re into it. If you’re not feeling drunk busty coeds squirting on the pizza delivery, exercise a little tact in case your partner is -- humiliation is no reward for vulnerability -- and say, “Mm, you know what I’d really like to watch right now?” Then tell ’em.

Well, my laptop charger is now wrapped around your dick and, uh, is this at least a happy accident? Like, are you into it? No? K.

I don’t know if you are the kind of fancy people who, like, watch porn on televisions, or connect your computers to your TVs, or own fabulous widescreen computer monitors or whatever. Should I be this fancy of a person? This kind of technological status seems emblematic of an adulthood I’m not ready for yet, frankly. Anyway.

As a college student who spends about 80% of her waking life tethered to a laptop, I set out to watch porn, you know, on my laptop. In bed, next to my boyfriend, because that is what this story is about. And I guess I should have guessed, based on our struggles to get comfy watching House of Cards or whatever, that this would be weirdly tricky to coordinate.

I mean, he is way taller than I am, so putting the laptop on either of our legs tends to create a prohibitive knee-bend situation for at least one of us. Also, when the screen is tilted perfectly for me, it’s blue and glare-y to him, so we have to slouch all weird and HEY, HI, KEEP READING, I’M DONE BORING YOU, I PROMISE.

Point is, our usual maneuvering issues were exacerbated tenfold by the fact that we were supposed to be, you know, doing stuff to each other while watching the screen. Which means squirming and knee-bending even if the laptop is placed in a no-knee-bending sort of way.

Which means lots of fumbling and stretching and sometimes accidentally closing the laptop and also getting the computer charger all wound up in places a computer charger is NOT meant to go. If you think I am exaggerating, please consider that my motor skills are such that I once kicked myself in my own ass back when I was a figure skater. Like, while wearing blades on my feet. I have a BUTT-SCAR. So, not exaggerating (that much).

Um. So, my “solution” for our mutual uncoordinated-ness is pretty much just being the little spoon, and getting handsy from there. My solution for everything is pretty much being the little spoon. I love being the little spoon, you guys.

Rapid-Eye Movement

Mmmm, you remember the Old Spice guy. You know: “Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back to your man. Now back to me.” Right. So, for me, watching porn with my boyfriend is kind of like that. Except, actually, it’s more like, “Look at your boyfriend, you know, like real quick, just to gauge his expression and, also, GOD he’s hot. God. Okay. Now back to the porno.

Wait, when did he take her shirt off? Mm. Now back to your man, and maybe kiss him a little, because how are we not making out right now? Can we make out and still watch this? No? OK, now back to the porn, which is still super-hot.”

On it goes: I crane my neck into increasingly difficult positions until I begin to fear whiplash, and he’s all, “Are you even WATCHING this right now?” Like, I don’t know. Isn’t the whole point of watching porn with an S.O. to get horny, and like, do stuff?

And, sure, watching other people is fun, but I like my dude, and at a certain point, I want to shift my focus to having sex, not watching it. I think that’s a sentiment we both share, but we seem to have different melting points, if you will.

There’s probably a much easier way to mitigate the awkwardness of different porn circadian rhythms than going straight for the beej, as I do. WHATEVER! I find that to be one of the most effective awkwardness-coping mechanisms in my girlfriend arsenal, and damn it if I don’t preach what I practice.

OK, now tell me: Have you ever watched porn with a significant other (or would you)? Was it as awkward as this? More so? Did you care? (I don’t! Awkwardness has its place in good sex, no?)

Rebecca’s got a Twitter tab open, right next to one that reads “Horny Co-Ed Begs For Cock on Kitchen Floor.” Um. Anyway. Her Twitter handle is @rebsanti.