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Like budget airlines and big banks, the porn industry is working hard to change its reputation. While there’s still a lot of plastic boobs and come shots, the world of erotic film has changed to include body-positive actors, new gender roles, and generally a more inclusive feel.

Porn can be hot, and for plenty of couples, something they watch together before getting it on: monkey see, monkey do.

It goes without saying that sexual preferences vary pretty widely from person to person. Some like it hot, some like it slow, some like it kinky, and some like it covered head to toe in latex. Porn is one of those things too.

Those who love it may find to be a great tool to becoming aroused, or to learn new moves. But for those who don’t like it, or don’t have much experience watching porn, it can feel intimidating and may be a turn-off. Because of this, men can often struggle to know how to take porn from a personal activity to something to do as a couple.

In this article, we’ll look at the pro’s and con’s for both sides - touching on the ways porn can enhance your relationship, as well as some of the challenges that may arise.

PRO: You will learn about each other’s fantasies

Porn can touch on some pretty taboo fantasies — ones that you might otherwise be too shy to discuss. Many of us feel we should ‘fall in line’ with our partner and not speak up about our private fantasies. But it’s a missed opportunity for exploring that side of yourself where porn can help.

Sexual fantasies are one of those things that seem embarrassing to reveal, but can be awesome when you get the balls to do so. Porn is a great getaway, for example, if you’re really wanting to test out BDSM — you can watch some light bondage porn, and gauge your partners reaction.

MORE: Wondering how to bring up your fantasies to you partner? Read our guide here.

CON: Your tastes could differ

We’re all keen to please in the bedroom, but it’s important to maintain open communication about what’s working and what’s not working when it comes to watching porn as a couple.

Keep the conversation flowing. Ask what they think, or what type of porn they might want to watch. If they’re new to watching porn, encourage them to suggest topics and search around for what piques their interest — it will be a good guide to know what to suggest next time.

PRO: You can become intimate — without needing be physical

Great sex starts with the imagination. For women especially, being able to engage a mental fantasy without the actual act of having sex is going to take things to the next level. Make porn part of the foreplay: watch it together, without touching each other. See how long you can last before tearing each other’s clothes off…

CON: It can put on the pressure to perform

The pressure to perform ‘like a porn star’ is a common anxiety in the bedroom. Women might feel like they need to be having orgasm after orgasm, while guys are busy figuring out how they’re going to keep going for forty minutes.

It’s important to keep a balanced view of what you’re watching. In a survey of over 2,000 women on their ideal duration, the majority said about 15 minutes, and that the quality of the sex mattered much more than the length of time spent doing it. So, remember to keep in mind that porn is more like a Marvel movie than a documentary.

MORE: Are you ready to take back control in the bedroom for 😊🍆? Learn more here.

PRO: You’ll feel inspired to try new things

Most men will agree that some of their saucier moves come from watching porn. Lifting someone’s ankles around your ears isn’t exactly a move that comes naturally, is it? The sex moves in porn can sometimes be a little out there, but more often than not you’ll be able to tap into something that sparks your interest.

Think about what part of the porn you’re watching is most enjoyable to you. You can be inspired with your partner on many levels - role play, new moves, talking dirty, or even just taking your sex life outside of the bedroom.

Porn’s had a bad rap for many years now, but it’s a changing industry. New genres of porn with ‘normal’ actors and situations are providing an alternative to the cheesy, over-the-top movies you’re probably used to. Fair to say that there is just about something for everyone - so give it a try, and see how it feels.