Boyfriend Porn

I am 17 years old and I just broke up with my boyfriend a few days ago, because I noticed on his laptop that he looked up a lot of porn. He told me he was addicted to porn. This broke my heart. I thought he was different than all of the other guys and that he was old fashioned. He used to tell me he loved me so much and that he wanted to be with me forever. In the beginning he acted so in love with me. However, we broke up a lot and got back together a lot of times. There were insecurities on both ends on the relationship. A few times we broke up in the past he would act desperate to get back together with me. The last two times we broke up, I ended up begging him for us to get back together. 
I broke up with him a few days ago for watching porn. It made me feel like I was being cheated on because he was looking at all the other girls on the porn sites and getting turned on by them. When I broke up with him for this, he acted like he didn’t care. I feel like I’ve wasted my time, and now I feel very insecure. Do you have any advice for me?

 

Give yourself a pat on the back. If I were there I’d be doing it for you. Far from feeling insecure you should be proud of the strength of character you’ve displayed. For the majority of us it takes decades to develop self-confidence and the personal convictions that inspire us to make moral choices regardless of the consequences. We dither about saying meat is murder but I’ll just have a bacon sandwich, state education is the way ahead but how could we turn down Westminster, Amazon is killing independent booksellers but oops I just bought The Goldfinch online and all the other hypocrisies of daily life. Yet here you are at just 17 having made a decision based on what you feel to be right and prepared to lose a lover in the process. Whether or not you’re in the majority about the acceptability of pornography in a committed relationship, or whether others agree about the detrimental impact it can have on a relationship you have every right to make your own choice. I happen to agree with you and will try to not labour the point having done so in this column all too frequently. I’m desperate to further investigate the effect on modern relationships and our society in general of the proliferation of pornography and our dramatically enhanced access to it in the last decade or two. In the feminist fury and bra-burning era of the 1970’s porn was rendered a guilty secret kept stashed on top shelves and hidden under beds. Nowadays it’s harder to avoid than consume. I told my eight year old son to Goggle his favourite band, the Sex Pistols, the other night and both of us got quite a surprise at the search results. I’m open to opposing views but if you look at surveys of young peoples attitudes to sexual behavior, the pressure teenagers are under to not only become sexually active at an increasingly early age but to perform like sex industry veterans, the increased objectification of my own sex; with under tens dressing like hostesses in roadside bars while singing anthems to emancipation from Frozen the insidious impact on the Porn Generation seems vast. The access and availability of sex on screen is, I believe, the biggest seismic change to society in my lifetime. We should be analyzing and learning from what we discover before sex becomes simply a spectator sport, totally adrift from the intimacies of a loving relationship. It’s a very long-winded way of saying that I entirely agree with the assumptions you’ve made about your boyfriends addiction to screen sex versus real sex and the decision you’ve made to end the relationship as a result. Pornography may be considered liberating by a minority like Belle De Jour, Dr Brooke Magnanti, who’ll no doubt pipe up again but the sex workers I’ve met and make-up the majority of employees of this global and unsavory business are hard-pressed, desperate women whose career choice is based on survival not sexual liberation who hail from countries where they are denied basic human rights and are coerced and exploited in ways that no civilized society should condone. Those who enjoy dabbling in the porn industry should also be aware of the extent of human misery behind their viewing delectation. Our greatest societal accomplishment in the developed world can appear on a bad day to be our ability to turn a blind eye to what the developing world endures to keep our capitalist, consumer led society supplied. Oh dear, I said I wasn’t going to bang on and here I am paragraphs later with steam rising from my keyboard. I’m sure you get the picture. Most importantly in your case is not whether you’re right about the detrimental impact of your boyfriends indulging of his desires elsewhere but that you absolutely have a right to make a choice. Instead of reneging on it you should be proud of your conviction and the bravado you’ve displayed. There will be other men and better men. Meanwhile I can only sit back and admire a girl who doesn’t need advice from me, just plaudits for acting on her principles.

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