Why Does He Follow Instagram Models?

I don’t understand why my partner follows sexually-explicit accounts on Instagram and I’m not sure what to do. Help!

Let’s say you start dating someone who is everything you could ever want in a partner, but one day you realize they follow Instagram models and accounts with what you might consider sexually explicit content. They’re not necessarily porn, but (emphasis on butts) they’re yoga and fitness-related, which doesn’t really make sense because your partner isn’t into yoga. Is this a red flag? Something worth raising for a discussion? Or just the ugly green monster rearing its head? 

First, I need to acknowledge that my answer now would be different than when I was twenty-two, but since I’m definitely not still twenty-two, I’ll give you my answer as a (thankfully) more mature person than I was then. When I was eighteen Instagram didn’t exist. I literally couldn’t imagine what my life would have been like then if it did. What with all the butt, boob and body models, and people hiking just to put their butts all over mountains — I have to admit that would have been hard for me. I would’ve been double-tapping that shit all day, and I acknowledge that truth first so you don’t think I haven’t been there, so to speak. 

Now, as someone with more self-control, consciousness and maturity around my sexual energy, I’m not trying to hump everything. Unlike then, when my testosterone and limited understanding of the world ruled my actions, I now know to consider the impact of my actions first. Now that I’ve qualified that for you, my more mature self would say this: have a conversation with your partner.

If someone is following porn accounts or models who post sexually explicit content, invite a conversation. Lead with curiosity. Here’s an example of how you could start the discussion:

“Hey, I notice that you follow these accounts and I’d like to understand why. I also want to acknowledge that perhaps there is something here for me to work out that comes from a previous relationship where I felt betrayed, overlooked or not prioritized. I want to set the stage with that, because when I noticed you follow Instagram accounts that are sexually explicit, it made me feel crappy. I didn’t feel great, and it triggered some jealousy and insecurity. I’m owning that and take responsibility for my feelings. So I’d like some help understanding why, since you’re not into yoga or hiking or whatever, you follow these accounts. Could you help me out?”

We can’t know someone else’s motives until we ask, and this can be a growth moment for both of you. One of my rules is to have the hard conversations as soon as I need to have them, because otherwise you’re left wondering or feeling resentful for not advocating for yourself. 

Look, I get why someone would want to follow a beautiful celebrity or figure. Personally, I don’t follow models unless they’re friends, and my reason for doing so is because it doesn’t feel useful to see someone’s assets (pun intended). If my feed were full of pictures of butts and boobs, I’d probably go down a rabbit hole and find myself sitting in shame two hours later, realizing I somehow found myself clicking through #buttmodel #squatcity or whatever people are hashtagging these days. For me, that just doesn’t feel great. If I were twenty-two I’d probably be following those accounts, but I also didn’t have a level of maturity then that I have now, and there’s no value in those images for me. 

The people you follow who you do not have a relationship with? These are not your friends. So if you’re following someone and it has a negative impact on your relationship, then why follow them? Is it worth it to follow an Instagram model if it makes your partner feel uncomfortable? 

The person you’re in a relationship with is your primary connection. They are hopefully the most important person in your life. That connection should be honored, loved, and respected by both parties. So whichever side you land on with this, it’s important to own your past experiences and current actions. 

If you’re the one following yoga models for the booty, check in with yourself to see what your intention is and if it’s undermining your relationship. Where is it time to make a change? 

If you’re broaching a sticky topic like Instagram models, check in with yourself and ask where the jealousy is coming from and if it’s left over from old relationships. Where is it time to let go and heal? 

There’s a difference between tapping “like” on a picture because you wanna hump somebody and double tapping because you appreciate the art of the body. There are communities like yoga and surfing where people happen to be wearing tight clothing or no clothing. I’m not questioning the intention so much as we are asking whether the outcome is worth it. Some people simply aren’t super conscious of how they’ve curated their social media feeds. But take some time to question it. Go back through and click “unfollow” to any accounts that no longer align. We’re all responsible for what we choose to follow online and sometimes we need to reevaluate our past choices to see if they serve us in the future we want to create.