Michele O'Mara

Straight Porn?

Filed By Michele O'Mara | October 09, 2007 12:40 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: love, porn, trust

I get very upset when my boy friend looks at straight porn (he likes the white guys). Really should I be so upset when he says he loves me, he just thinks straight guys are sexy. He is a filipino and I love him.
~ porn torn

Dear Mr. Porn-Torn,

Each of us human beings is equipped with a state-of-the-art alarm system that is designed to keep us safe, alive and directed toward our highest good. This alarm system is an intricate set of emotions that we experience to varying degrees in various situations.

If you are "very upset," about your straight-porn-loving boyfriend, your alarm has sounded and now it's your job to hear what it is saying.

Much like the required smoke alarm in your home, if it goes off, your first task is to determine if it is an actual, or perceived, emergency. Is the smoke coming from the oven (again, in my case) where I am baking/burning cookies, or is there indeed a fire in my kitchen?

The ability to root out the actual issue takes practice and diligent attention to your feelings. THAT you feel upset is what is important- not whether or not you SHOULD be upset. You ARE upset, so let's uncover why, and respond to that, rather than judging you for being upset in the first place, or focusing on the
porn - straight or not straight.

Finish these sentences:

  1. It upsets me that my boyfriend likes straight porn because....
  2. What hurts me is....
  3. What I am afraid of is....
  4. Because if #3 is true then....
  5. What I need in order to feel at peace about this situation is...

When you figure out these end of these five statements, share your answers with your boyfriend, and see where that takes you!

By the way, you can use this formula for anything that upsets you in your relationship. It's like magic.

Michele O'Mara, LCSW

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Hi Michele! Remember me (Family Week 2007)? I really enjoyed your workshop and have digested a lot of what you said about Imago. I sometimes remind my boyfriend that we're in the power-defining stage of our young relationship...I should probably have a more detailed understanding of the whole theory, though, before I go spreading it around ;)

Thanks for the new tips, by the way. I enjoy the 5 questions.

Great job giving us that template for assessing feelings of being threatened/upset/etc.

I think it is interesting that Porn Torn mentions the fact that his boyfriend is filipino. This suggests that there is some racial politics at work here. PT's boyfriend's inter-racial Asian on White fetish is an interesting element on the situation. I would be interested to find out how Porn Torn defines his ethnicity/race. This could definitely play into how PT perceives this threat.

I realize that as a psychologist, you want to avoid being judgmental towards your patients. For better or worse, I'm not a psychologist/psychotherapist. So as a gender/queer theorist, I get the luxury to pass some judgment. I'm honestly a little sick and tired of this notion that just because someone has decided to devote themselves to you in a relationship, that you have some kind of ownership of their entire sexuality. The fact of the matter is that it is very rare for one's partner to embody and satisfy a person's every sexual desire and need. If PT's boyfriend has a penchant for straight white guys, jacking off to some porn is perfectly within his rights (although I am a little surprised of his penchant for straight porn, as most of the straight porn I've seen has pretty fugly guys. I would recommend something like seancody or corbinfischer). If anything, PT should be glad that his boyfriend is only looking at porn and not dipping into extra-relationship sex without his knowledge. I should disclaim that all of this is based off of an assumption that PT's boyfriend is otherwise a good boyfriend, i.e. good, giving, and game (thank you Dan Savage), compassionate, supportive, etc.

Sorry, I don't mean to jump in on your territory, but I felt compelled to give my perspective on PT's question. Heck, PT's gotten two advice columnist for the price of one!

Interesting all around. I think that without more details, it's hard to judge much about the situation. That email is kinda short.

I don't know if it's about ownership of sexuality here, or if it's just PT is upset that he won't fulfill whatever fantasy his BF has. Of course, I say this right after I admit that there isn't enough info to speculate....

you are way too busy to have to cater to this horny guy 24/7. Let him look at his porn and continue the open communication. As long as both of you are honest with one another i see a great relationship continuing to blossom.