The EDGE Blog

Hurt by Husband’s Porn Use


My husband is 74 and I am 52 – a 23-year difference in age. He watches porn and masturbates to it every day. It’s always interracial porn. He thinks I don’t know but I do. It hurts me. What can I do?


My husband is 74 and I am 52 – a 23-year difference in age. He watches porn and masturbates to it every day. It’s always interracial porn. He thinks I don’t know but I do. It hurts me. What can I do?

Joan answers:

When you say, “It hurts me,” I can’t tell which of these is true:

  1. Your sex life with your husband is satisfying — but you don’t like his porn habit.
  2. You object to the particular kind of porn he chooses.
  3. Your sex life is suffering because he is choosing porn and masturbation over sex with you, and you’re left unsatisfied.

If #1, we all have the right to sexual autonomy. We have the right to our private fantasies and self-pleasuring, and sometimes an orgasm is just an orgasm. Being part of a couple doesn’t (and shouldn’t) erase that. If his private porn sessions aren’t interfering with the kind and amount of satisfying sex the two of you share together, work on letting go of trying to control his private time.

If #2, you have two choices: (a) decide to ignore it (his fantasy, his business) and examine why this bothers you; or (b) ask him about it. For example, in a quiet, nonjudgmental tone: “I know you’re watching interracial porn, and that makes me uncomfortable because … [insert reason for your discomfort]. Can you explain what you like about it? I’d like to understand.”

If #3, you do need to talk about it. Rather than accusing him, explain that you really miss sexy times with him, and you’d like to talk about how to bring the sizzle back into your bedroom. If he can’t or won’t talk about it, or if a discussion inevitably turns into an argument, please see a sex therapist or a sex-positive counselor.

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