When hairy palms met Sally
I checked my boyfriend's online history (OK, invaded his privacy) and saw he'd been looking up porn all day yesterday and the day before while home with the flu. I freaked! We'd talked about porn before. He said he watched it in his younger days, but didn't anymore, so I was surprised. I confronted him, and he said he'd been bored and curious, but doesn't watch porn regularly. I don't know whether I believe him. I've heard people get addicted to porn. Beyond that, there are the unrealistic images of women. The fact that he initially lied makes me worry he has a problem. — Smut Patrol
You thought you'd come home, ask what your poor sick bunny did all day, and learn that he was weak and feverish, but not too weak and feverish to spend eight hours straight picking out a ring and poring over all the great wedding gifts on Tiffany's Web site. Whoops ... it seems he was actually on the other Tiffany's site — watching and rewatching Tiffany Gives Heidi Her Sponge Bath.
Yeah, right ... he only watched porn in his "younger days" — like last week, when he was approximately five days younger. And then, wouldn't you know it, he got "bored and curious," as in, "Yawn ... I wonder what really enormous fake breasts look like." Bored? Sure. Curious? Right. What is he, an 8-year-old who has yet to hack through the parental controls on Mommy's laptop?
Actually, he's a man, with male sexuality, which evolved to be highly visual and variety-driven, probably because the more indiscriminate sex a guy had, the more likely he was to pass on his genes. Because women get pregnant and saddled with the kids, they evolved to be choosy and seek men who show a willingness to commit. Erotica targeted to each sex plays out along these lines, notes evolutionary psychologist Catherine Salmon.
While men have nudie porn, women have commitment porn — the romance novel — with equally "unrealistic images" of male behavior. Yet, you don't see men picketing the Harlequin rack at the grocery store, complaining that women will expect a dark, imposing prince to ride up on a white horse, pledge his everlasting love (while revealing some seriously ripped abs), and carry them back to his castle.
If you want the truth about porn, ask your boyfriend whether he prefers naughty nurses to other naked professionals. Because male and female sexual psychologies are largely at odds, men hide their porn consumption while women hide their more female-centric pastimes — like loading their photo and their boyfriend's into morphthing.com to see what the children would look like. Porn, like anything that rings bells in the brain's pleasure center, can be addictive, but suspecting the guy's addicted merely because he watches it is like suspecting he's addicted to food because he ate a double cheeseburger.
OK, so he watched porn for two days straight while home with the flu. If he's always out with "the flu," yet his only symptoms are a really bad case of carpal tunnel and being too weak to have sex with you, that's when you start worrying.
Regardless, you don't get to paw through his Internet history. Figure out whether you're getting your needs met, and if not, tell him, and see whether he'll change that. Remember, there are men who never look at porn. You'll find them where all the rapists are rich and handsome and where nobody ever gets knocked up by the bus driver; in other words, wherever books like Harlequin's Billionaire Prince, Pregnant Mistress and Pregnant with the Billionaire's Baby are sold.
Windbagging the girl
I just learned my high school sweetheart is attending our 10-year reunion and is single. We never expressed our love sexually. I still think of her as a whole person, an attractive person, and wonder what she looks like in the nude. How might I tell her I'm interested in her, wanting to be physical, establish a bond and increase intimacy with her in a sexual way? — Second Chance
It seems you've gotten your hands on the Kama Sutra, as translated by C-3PO: "I am wanting to be physical. Establish a bond. Increase intimacy with you in a sexual way." Let's get real: You never nailed her in high school, and you think she might get drunk and put out. And no, don't say that either, but at least be honest with yourself. And then, when you see her, grab her some punch and just talk about life. Get a little nuzzly, put your arm around her, and if she doesn't pull away in horror, keep going. Maybe you'll score with her, maybe you won't, but you'll do much better with women in general if you keep in mind that seduction is an activity, not the transcript to an episode of Dr. Phil.