What It's (Really) Like to Watch Smut with Your Partner

I have a confession to make: I don’t really watch ~adult entertainment~. I’m an erotica reader, plain and simple. Just like I’d rather read a book than watch a movie, 99% of the time, I’d rather read my smut than view it.

But for the sake of experimentation, I decided to branch out. I texted my partner one afternoon, “Do you wanna watch some smut later?” (A man of few words, he responded, “Sure.”)

1. You’ll learn something new.

We went back and forth for about ten minutes on what to watch — “No, seriously, I don’t know. What do you want to watch?” It was like every conversation you’ve ever had about which restaurant you want to go to, except what’s on the menu is other people’s genitals.

Finally, we came to an agreement: He’d pick the first video. If we didn’t like it, I’d pick the next one. And we’d just go back and forth until we found something we both liked. No judgment, but honesty about what would get us off.

What I learned immediately was that we actually had far more similar tastes than I would have thought. When we filled out an extensive Yes/No/Maybe list last year, we found that our tastes divulged quite a bit. I assumed that we’d have equally different taste in smut. Not so! As it turns out, we just have to look for the kind of smut that encapsulates the kind of sex that we both enjoy, and especially the kind we enjoy together1.

2. …maybe even about yourself.

I had no idea that I could get off to visual smut. None what-so-ever, because somehow, in 26 years on this planet, I had never done it before. I’d gotten aroused by porn, sure. I’ve watched it with partners before. But I’ve always found it infinitely easier to get off to imagined scenarios, because I’m a Certified Control Freak.

Imagine my surprise when my partner managed to choose a video that ticked all of my boxes, even ones I didn’t know I had. Favorite position? Check! Two stars that I found equally appealing? Check! Some seemingly random element that really gets me going2? Double check!

I found that actually, really getting into the video was easier than I anticipated. And unlike imaginative jack-off scenarios, intrusive thoughts didn’t interrupt the action, which is an amazing revelation for someone with anxiety brain. So, while I might not enjoy a particularly wide variety of smut, I’ve learned that it is totally possible to find something that really turns me on.

3. You’ll notice that there are actually 2 shows happening.

The one on the screen, and the one next to you.

Watching your partner get off can be super hot, but some people feel self-conscious when they’re being observed. If you don’t feel particularly confident, it can be really uncomfortable to be the center of attention, especially when you’re in such a vulnerable position. But when you add smut to the mix, you take away some of the pressure. It doesn’t have to be performative — you’re just enjoying yourself. And if your partner enjoys you enjoying yourself, well, so much the better!

4. If you’re me, you’ll walk away feeling like less of a snob.

I hate the way that erotica is often considered to be “above” visual smut. It’s not an elevated form of smut — it’s just different. But I’d be lying if I didn’t occasionally buy into the false dichotomy of porn vs. erotica. Even beyond that, we often consider different kinds of porn and different kinds of erotica to be somehow elevated over others, much like how we judge mainstream media.

“Erotica is less ‘serious’ than so-called real literature, but at least it’s not porn!”

Let’s challenge that idea. What makes erotica worse than a work of literature, but better than visual smut? Further, we often see a binary gender divide when it comes to these topics. What makes erotica feminine and porn masculine? Erotica is devalued as an art because of its ties to the feminine.

With all of these rhetorical questions, what I’m really saying is simply this: Let people enjoy things. Let yourself enjoy things.

If you want to fill up the tub with bubbles and read 50 Shades Darker before the movie premier, then you do you and don’t let anyone deride you. If you want to watch three minutes of a gang bang while using your Doxy Wand through your pj pants, then you do you and don’t let anyone deride you.

Shame, especially sexual shame, is all around us. Challenge internalized shame. Get off. (Maybe even do it with someone else.)

 

This post was sponsored by Smut6.com, but all writing and opinions are my own. The image for this post comes from PicJumbo.com.

  1. Social Justice Note: Because we’re both thin, white, and able-bodied, there’s no shortage of smut out there that visually represents our sex life. This is not so for other groups, which is why inclusive smut is so crucial.
  2. in this case, sex on a table and really fancy food