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Top Tips for Watching Porn with a Partner

Published: JUNE 8, 2022 | Updated: JULY 21, 2022 10:16:40
Presented by AFTERGLOW
If you are thinking about introducing porn into your relationship, there are things you need to think about.  Here's how to make the most out of watching porn with a partner!

There's something magical about feeling "seen" and accepted for your entire spectrum of sexuality.

And yes, that includes that weird porn video I have filmed at an outdoor music festival.

That's the magic of watching porn together with my partner. When I first got into this relationship a long time ago, I would have never dreamed of sharing my porn collection. That was private. I saved what I saved, and there was no one to answer to - no one to have to explain my choices to.

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But over time, as I peeked over his shoulder a few times as he watched porn, I found myself curious. What was he watching? What things did he get off to in the not-so-shadowed privacy of our bedroom when I was busy?

One day, I brought it up: would he want to watch porn with me? At the same time? He expressed reservations about whether he was comfortable with that - and whether I'd be okay with the porn he liked - but we both decided to give it a try.

And I'm really glad we did. Not only did I get to discover all of those "dark secrets" in his porn closet, but he got to discover mine. There's, honestly, something really connective in being so vulnerable with your partner and meeting acceptance when you're open about who you are.

On a purely educational level, I learned more about his preferences. I learned what he liked, and we talked about what, specifically, turned him on about specific videos. I learned about a few new kinks I didn't know about, and on a few occasions, I've taken inspiration from those porn videos to try a scene in real-life.

A steamy scene from Lip Service, courtesy of afterglow

Try for yourself! afterglow is offering a 7-day trial on its ethical porn platform. Use code PARTNER22.

Instead of just sharing links to a new coffee table I think we should get, we now, regularly, share links to porn we think one another would like - or intentionally fan out each other's sex drives with links to content we think would turn the other one on.

Watching porn with my partner wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, though. In fact, we hit a few snags; most of the videos he was bringing to the table featured slender women - and that was an unexpected blow to my self-esteem. I let it eat at me, and I waved off his invitations to joint porn-viewing for awhile. It wasn't until we sat down and I explained my feelings that I got an unexpected explanation: while he very much prefers my thicker body type, almost all of the niche porn he's into is primarily populated by slender-bodied individuals. It can be difficult to find a "niche" body type ("BBW", in porn world terms) partnered with a "niche" kink - as hard as he tries to find them.

We hit snags on his end too. As a self-proclaimed "purveyor of all", my singular focus in porn choices was something we had to work through as well. He found himself getting bored by my choices, and it caused some contention as we figured out a system that worked well for us.

In the end, though, we've managed to find a system that works amazingly for us - and I want to help smooth out the road for anyone else who wants to give joint porn-watching a chance. Because, honestly, it has been amazing for our sex life in a multitude of ways.

porn with a partner afterglow - a person is photographed adjusting their high heels in a bedroomA behind the scenes shot from 9 to 5, courtesy of afterglow

Have a Trial Session for Porn Sharing

How often are you asked to share your porn collection with someone else? If you did, with no limitations on how deep they can go into your collection, would you feel embarrassed? Feel like certain things warrant explanation?

The thing is: human sexuality is complicated. The thing you were attracted to in one video may not be the main takeaway from a casual viewing. For example, you might have saved that video of two performers clad in latex, squeaking away because you loved the moans one of them made - not because you're trying to explore a new latex kink.

This is why I recommend having a "trial" session for watching porn with your partner. Instead of assuming of the activity will dive deep into arousal and leave you both craving passionate sex at the end, make a plan to "explore" the idea of watching porn together with no real end goal in mind.


Find Your Common Porn Interests

Once you've decided that you'll do a porn-watching trial run with your partner, I recommend an honest and frank discussion about your porn habits. If one partner always watches amateur porn on a hardcore, membership-only fetish site while the other only listens to audioporn of masturbation, there's clearly going to be a mismatch in what you both select.

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This isn't necessarily a problem - but it is something you should discuss. What if one person is bored by audioporn? What if one person is extremely uncomfortable with kink content? Part of exploring porn as a duo means compromise in your standard porn-watching habits. You're here to select things that turn both of you on and help the two of you bond over erotic content - not to make either partner feel alienated.

Especially if one of you is new to pornography, I recommend starting out with an ethical porn site instead of amateur content. Not only does this guarantee better quality overall, but it reduces the risk of stumbling over something that might be upsetting or triggering: professionals put a lot of time and effort into properly labeling their content.

One of the biggest ethical porn sites out there is afterglow. It's porn made by women to intentionally disrupt the "standard" porn experience you've probably had to deal with. (You know, like pop-up ads, tons of slurs for women, and videos that seem to forget vulva-owners can have orgasms.)


porn with a partner afterglow - a person kisses their lover's thighA scene from Lip Service, courtesy of afterglow

Instead, afterglow focuses on the pleasure of all performers - while simultaneously delivering seriously hot porn that's made ethically. Featuring a variety of body types, filmed cinematically, and regularly featuring Behind the Scenes videos to get a real feel for how the performers are treated, afterglow is a good space to explore your porn preferences, with films like Lip Service and other steamy titles to choose from.

Want to explore porn with your partner on afterglow? Use code PARTNER22 for a free 7-day trial.


Curate a "Both Of You" Playlist

While you're running your trial runs - and starting your exploration into coupled porn, bookmark (or save, whatever your preferred method is) anything that strikes you both as particularly hot.

Over time, this playlist will grow and grow - and for times when you both want a reliable, unsurprising (but still extremely hot!) way to watch porn without encountering anything unexpected, this playlist can be the perfect tool. I even recommend letting it run, unattended, in the background of your sessions together sometime!

While you're making this playlist, agree to some ground rules about this playlist. To ensure there are never, truly, any surprises, neither partner can add videos to this list without the explicit permission of their partner. To help preserve this, I recommend making secondary playlists for "things I think you'll like" to keep potential videos away from the confirmed videos.


Consider Your Partner's Self-Image When Watching Porn Together

Here's your obligatory reminder: pornography, usually, isn't "real" sex. While ethical porn companies, like afterglow, are getting better at portraying genuine connection and realistic sex, it still isn't the same type of sex you'd have in your own bedroom. The stars are expected to be "on set" for hours, and everything about their coupling is scripted, whether formally or informally, for positions

That being said, despite porn not being a realistic representation of the "average" sexual encounter, it still can have a lot of impact stuffed into its pockets. I highly, highly recommend you be cognizant of how your choice of porn may come across to your partner - especially when the two of you are watching porn together.

For example, if you know your partner is self-conscious about their larger-than-average penis size, selecting porn that only features small penises may not be a pleasant experience. The same can be said about breast size or any other distinguishing characteristics - especially ones that can't be easily changed (height or weight vs hair color, for example).

porn with a partner afterglow - a person is embraced passionately from behind imageA scene from Cravings, courtesy of afterglow

Don't forget to take the performer's activities into account as well. If all of usual porn choices feature oral sex on a single gender, an opposite-gender partner might not get much enjoyment out of it - or may feel like your joint porn-watching session is actually trying to guilt-trip them into providing more oral sex. Even if those videos are only so plentiful because you love the expressions the receiver makes, at face-value, it might lead to different conclusions to your partner's viewing.

That's why it's important to...


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Be Open to Discussion Mid-Exploration

Watching porn with a partner is (honestly!) an amazing springboard for learning more about your partner, their turn-ons, and your relationship together. You might learn more about your partner's kinks - or watching porn together might simply inspire you both to try a new sex position you've never thought about.

This is why it's important to be open to discussion mid-exploration. Make your porn-watching experience a space where it's okay to say "What did you like about that?"

For most couples, this is going to be pretty awkward at first. How often do you have to "report back" on what you enjoyed within something you found hot? Probably not often!

But through practice, you'll find that this gets more and more comfortable over time - and those mid-porn discussions can actually be a large way that the two of you bond over porn. You might even find that those discussions regularly lead to leaving the porn paused as you explore something new with one another.


Take Turns Choosing Porn to Watch

Especially if one of you watches porn more often, it can be tempting to leave the control in their hands. However, I highly recommend letting both partners have a chance at controlling what you're looking at. Whether that looks like passing the remote back and forth mid-session or alternating who controls the choices from one day to another, swapping control ensures no one feels like a lesser participant.

It also gives both partners some agency. Even if you're both compromising on what you'd usually watch to help find something that appeals to you both, the exact video chosen will probably vary depending on who has the remote.

Give you both a chance to take the reins to avoid anyone feeling left out - and to ensure both partners get their chance to have their say.


Find a Comfortable Spot for Porn Viewing

While the rest of these tips have focused on the selection of the porn, I highly recommend choosing a good spot for watching too. When we're solo, we tend to use smaller screens - like a phone, laptop, or computer screen. Those screens work great for when we're solo, but if we're sharing that view with someone else, those screens are now pretty small.

This means that prepping for a joint porn-viewing session might take a bit more work than simply whipping out your phone. You might want to set up a wireless mouse and keyboard to your television - and get pillows nicely propped up to watch your porn together in bed. You might want to share space on the couch as you screen mirror your phone onto the living room TV. Maybe it's as simple as popping an agreed-upon DVD into the DVD player on your favorite TV.

No matter what you choose, make sure to select a space that lets you both cuddle up (if you want to!), offers a screen that's easy for both of you to see, and (preferably!) has any sex accessories you'd need nearby in case you want to move beyond simple porn viewing.


Don't Be Afraid to Try Mutual Masturbation

I'd guess, when you're alone, you probably watch porn with the intent to masturbate. I've met a few people who watch porn like it's a PG-13 movie (with no self touching!), but the vast majority of people tend to masturbate while watching their favorite skin flicks.

That's why I recommend doing the same when you're viewing porn with your partner. It definitely is going to feel a bit odd at first - especially if mutual masturbation is new. Even if it isn't, masturbating together while focusing on a third party (the screen!) is definitely a new experience.

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If mutual masturbation doesn't seem up your alley, don't forget about other ways to enjoy stimulation. Taking turns giving oral sex can be a great way to get skin-on-skin contact while still sharing the porn-viewing experience. Maybe you both are going to hold a sex toy on one another while watching your videos. What's important is that you both enjoy some type of stimulation; unless you both have explicitly agreed to it, don't let this become an activity where only one partner gets any physical stimulation.

Adding physical stimulation to your porn viewing can make the videos (and the experience!) seem hotter - and it can do a better job of arousing the two of you as well. Whether you're watching porn together in hopes of mutual masturbation to orgasm - or want to move onto your usual pleasure in the bed - adding more arousal to the experience is a win-win all around. Physical touch helps you both add to that arousal!

porn with a partner afterglow - two people with breasts share a kissA scene from eduporn title "How to Hook Up with a Woman" courtesy of afterglow


Explore More Aside from Porn

If watching hardcore, focused-on-intercourse porn isn't a good fit for the two of you, don't forget about the world of erotic sex education. Not all adult videos are purely intended to elicit arousal. In fact, afterglow is focused on sex education too (they call it a catchy "eduporn"!). Watch and learn about how to give a sensual massage to your partner - or the best ways to have sex outdoors - and more! Instead of focusing purely on erotic potential, these "eduporn" videos can be an approachable way to start your exploration into coupled porn viewing.

If going straight to naked people teaching you sexy things is still too much, too quickly, don't forget about partner exercises, expert advice, or guided masturbations. Explore an auditory journey into sensory awakening with your partner sitting right next to you - or work your way through a steamy cunnilingus session with a guided audio - and more!

So, if making the jump straight into explicit porn seems too wide (or explicit porn isn't for the two of you!), consider joint-watching some adult sexual education classes or videos. This can be an approachable way to watching adult material together without it having the same charged environment as explicit material might.


Give it a Try!

Ready to give partnered porn viewing a try? Not only can it be extremely arousing, but it can be an amazing way to connect with your partner, too. Explore new ways to arousal with your partner, get inspiration, learn more about your partner, and find new ways to relate with one another. It's all there and waiting within your favorite adult videos.

When you're ready, afterglow is offering a free 7-day trial to give their website a try. Use the code PARTNER22 and get ready for a taste of how ethical porn can rev up your relationship.

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Photo for Mistress Kay
Mistress Kay

Mistress Kay has a fondness for all things sexual. With a house that's quickly running out of room for all of her reading and vibrating pleasures, she spends her free time reading, writing, and learning about the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World.

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