Monday, January 3, 2011

Is it OK for men to look at other women when they're in a relationship?

Q: hayley! im sooooo livid right now! my boyfriend is driving me insane. weve been together about 2 years and since we have dated he has always oogled other girls. stopped saying stuff about them a long time ago (like oh damn shes fit id fuck her) but its still obvious that he looks (i see it when we go out). he also lied to me about having a ton of blokes magazine, going to strip bars and he is basically addicted to porn.
i am not normally jealous but i am starting to feel a bit insecure really, like wondering if im good enough. he says he fancies me and that i should be 'thankful that he deosnt cheat"...SERIOUSLY!?!??? how am i supposed to take that???!
anyways, am i supposed to be this bothered that he is always fantasising about other girls even though he says he loves me?? am i crazy?? help!


A: Nichole, you couldn't be further from crazy!

Before I really address the "issues" that are clearly happening here, I do feel the need to say that looking is something that EVERYONE does, is 100% natural, and is something that we all need to get past. I notice attractive people the same way I notice a well-done painting or a fancy automobile--it looks nice, yes, but I don't want to be with it and I don't want to have sex with it! And yes, to some extent, we all have fleeting thoughts and fantasies about others, but it in no way means that we want them over our partner, find them more attractive than our partner, etc. We are just humans. Frequently looking at other people in a SEXUAL manner is something different.

Your boyfriend is going above and beyond what is "normal" and acceptable for a man in a committed relationship.

For starters: Looking is one thing, commenting is another. Other people are OBVIOUSLY attractive from time to time, and I think it's perfectly acceptable to not want to hear about how attractive they are from the person you love. Especially if they're saying how "hot" or "fit" someone else is or how they want to "fuck" someone else--good God! If you must address their appearance, saying that someone is "pretty" or "looks nice" is plenty sufficient. I'm glad he stopped that, at least.

The whole magazine and strip thing would bug me, too, because your boyfriend is literally paying to stare at "attractive" women naked. It's not like they're passing by or popping up on TV. This doesn't bother some women but IMHO, it's kind of weird. If your boyfriend went to strip clubs at the will of his buddies, that'd be a whole different story, but your boyfriend actually WANTS to go...yeah, he's basically trying to get as close as he can to sexual arousal from another woman without cheating.

Porn is more understandable, because it is a) chock full of good ideas b) basically "objects" getting it on and c) can actually be fun for some adventurous couples to watch. And hell, if you're gone and your BF wants to imagine a scenario with, say, YOU two doing it, porn can get him right on track.
I do, however, think it goes pretty awry when porn replaces real sex, if a man watches porn specifically to fantasize about other women, or if a man cannot function without looking at porn. You are a person who has so much more than a body to offer--you have emotion, humor, intelligence...he should prefer you any day. In my opinion, porn is at the top of the "Food Pyramid" of sex--use sparingly.

Finally, the worst part about all this is what your boyfriend said to you. Not cheating in a relationship should be a given. You are so much better than a guy who says that to you. It shouldn't be an Olympic feat or a "great sacrifice" to want to be freaking faithful and devoted to your partner. 

Well, there are my thoughts. Many readers may disagree with them, but every person is different, as is every couple. Nichole, I wish you the best, but please don't tolerate this crap from your BF anymore! Best wishes!

--Dr. O.

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