SL Letter of the Day: How Much Is Too Much?

Comments

1
Men are "collectors". We like to have a full library of videos and images for whatever mood we are in. Don't judge us!
2
If it's any consolation, I've read a study (can't find it to cite at the moment) that many men are "hoarders" when it comes to pornography. They see something they like and want to keep it, often never referring to it again but still reluctant to delete it just in case. ESPECIALLY in today's free for all of Internet porn.

Think of it as an amazing book you read where you underlined a shit ton of stuff to refer back to. The book goes on your shelf/your collection, but you never crack its spine again. You're not going to throw the book out because, heck, it's a good book!

Having a lot of good books doesn't necessarily make you a total nerd, and having a lot of porn doesn't necessarily make you a freak.

3
"Beat" me to it, #1 ;)
4
Ugh. This shit again? I thought women being threatened by porn was restricted to Evangelicals these days. Aren't us young liberal folks supposed to have gotten over that crap by now? Porn is mainstream.

I guess if it's really interfering with his job search, that's a legit complaint, but that was NOT her original gripe. She's got this morally superior tone that really rubs me the wrong way - she's saying it's wrong for him to have porn when he has her, and that's crap, and you know it, Dan. That's stupid insecure young-twentysomething bag-of-slop bullshit.

He's probably turning to porn in this somewhat compulsive way because he's tired out and depressed by job hunting. That shit really drains the energy out of you. Constant rejection is a major bitch. PORN, if you give him a little emotional support when this comes up, instead of griping at him and bringing him down even further when he already probably feels pretty low, I imagine it would help him a lot. You can reasonably ask to be sure he's actually job hunting, but once you're satisfied that he is, lay off the complaining at him. Reasonable consumption of porn is perfectly healthy and he has a right to expect to be allowed to do it.
5
Some people just need to move on from the "porn makes me feel inadequate" attitude. Guys like porn, period. When you complain, you might as well be shouting into the wind. I realize that there are people who let the balance of their lives get out of whack because of over-consumption (which can happen with many things, not just porn), but for the most part it's just something that dudes do, and it's completely harmless.
6
Clear your cookies and browsing history. I don't want my wife to keep tabs on what i look at, and I certainly don't want to know what she looks at. Some shit should remain private. If you have a physical collection, perhaps you should join the rest of us in the 21st century.
7
Well, it is kind of hard to find work right now. Isn't it possible to look for a job, enjoy porn, and still fuck your partner righteously? It isn't like you can only do one thing per calendar month.

I don't understand this: I'm the girlfriend and I think my needs come before his internet bimbos.
Because her first sentence in that paragraph is this: He satisfies me and I'm not neglected. Hello, Ms. Irrational.

I think she is a good old-fashioned porn hater looking to his unemployment as a rationale to control him. You should have stuck to your guns, Dan.
8
There are also a couple of possibilities not addressed here - what kind of porn is he watching? Is he really into specific scenarios? It's possible that while he likes the sex he does have with her, He's also longing for specific other acts or situations, and feels he can ONLY satisfy them vicariously through porn. Is that true? Or has he just not shared his interests with his girlfriend?

He may be making the porn an automatic substitute for unmet needs when he doesn't have to. The two of them should sit down and watch some porn together. It could be VERY educational. In fact, if they don't ever do it, they could be headed for irreconcilable relationship trouble down the road.
9
Isn't there such a thing as too much porn though? I mean, you can look it up on the internet any time you want. Personally, I just have websites that I prefer and stick to those. I never download and hoard porn. My boyfriend has a small collection, but nothing outrageous.

When I read her letter I thought, "Dan is just going to STFU and deal with it, all men look at porn." I'm glad he said something, there has to be a limit. It sounds like the guy is just jerking off all day. Rejection may be hard, but he could still be doing something much more productive than downloading porn. Granted, she does seem a bit like an insecure harpy, but it's frustrating providing for two people. I think her complaint is legitimate and the "all men look at porn" excuse only goes so far. I don't understand the jealousy thing over porn because they are just images to get off too, but I see where she's coming from. Give her a break.
10

Clear your cookies and browsing history.


Or use the Firefox browser (which you should be doing anyway) and use TOOLS > START PRIVATE BROWSING

Private browsing will conceal:

* Visited pages: No pages will be added to the list of sites in the History menu, the Library window's History list, or the Awesome Bar address list.
* Form and Search Bar entries: Nothing you enter into text boxes on web pages or the Search bar will be saved for Form autocomplete.
* Passwords: No passwords will be automatically filled in during the your Private Browsing session, and no new passwords will be saved.
* Download List entries: No files you download will remain in the list in the Downloads window after you turn off Private Browsing.
* Cookies: Cookies are file​s created ​by websites​ that​ store information ​on your​ computer​, such​ as your​ preferences ​when​ visiting​ a certain site​. These will​ not ​be stored. For more information on cookies, see Cookies.
* Web cache files: No temporary Internet files or cached files from web pages will be saved until you turn off Private Browsing.
11
There's no such thing as "too much porn." If you've got a problem with that, it's your problem.
12
Guys like porn, yes. Personally, i have no problem with this, except when guys, and it's generally guys consuming porn, get completely unrealistic impressions and expectations of what is involved in a healthy (sexual) relationship. "What do you mean, you don't wax your pussy?" "Damn those are some ugly beef curtains" "I thought every woman like having a guy cum on her face." "You don't take it in the ass?"
13
Ask her how many copies of glamour, vogue, OK, people, etc. she has in the shitter. then tell her to lighten up.
14
I think DS did the perfect job of asking before answering on this one. It would seem to me that her big complaint is he is living off her while amassing his porn collection. He is her boyfriend of ONLY A FEW MONTHS, he is living off her and jerking off rather than finding a job. That seems to be the biggest concern, although she hides it in the porn question. It doesn't seem like a porn issue, it is a lazy freeloader issue. DTLazyFA not for the porn, but for not contributing. And yes, I am jumping to conclusions and being overly judgemental.
15
@7 - I agree.

And this ...
"I should've also mentioned that he is doing this while I am at work and he is supposed to be looking for a job while he's living off me."

Doomed. They are doomed.
16
As a dude and a computer geek I can tell you right now that the dude is probably on the same boat as I am: obsessive collecting / pack-ratting of material.

I really doubt that he values everything in his collection, but to some degree its just as fun collecting the material as it is viewing it. Usually when you're grabbing loads of porn you're kinda just like "hmm yea I should probably keep this handy... and this too... and this." Then you get un-horny and realize that you've managed to spend 30 minutes packing away a bunch of shit that you are no longer interested in looking at. The cycle continues.

He's clearly just being a dude w/ his porn and isn't neglecting her... and as she said her needs are being met in bed. This isn't a matter of her being inadequete... this is a personality/behavior trait that I believe to be somewhat common amongst the savvy dude that enjoys porn and hoarding data.

Plus... this just means he's viewing more sex which gives him more ideas of how to maybe apply some better techniques (not all porn is gross out MMMMMMF bukakke gangbangs) to his own love making that she is benefiting from. Let it be and don't go snooping through his shit.
17
I'm not a hoarder myself but I have been unemployed my fair share. I can tell you that it's really hard to spend 8 hours every day really looking for work. There just aren't that many jobs, especially now, to review and apply to. I can also say that my consumption of porn goes up quite a bit when I'm unemployed between the boredom and the depression. Spending several hours in front of the PC looking at job postings leaves you wanting to search for something more interesting for a while. Even if he's spending a solid 7 hours on the job search then one hour each day on porn, which I don't think is unreasonable, he could come up with a pretty sizable collection pretty quickly.

Of course my idea of a too large collection is likely very different from PORN's but regardless of the size of the collection as long as he's legitimately searching for work (very hard to prove until he succeeds) and not neglecting her in any way (doesn't sound like he is) I think she's got to just grow up and get over it.
18
23
Let's say her boyfriend is 23
Let's say he's been collecting porn for ten years
Let's be VERY conservative and say he's saved 10 pictures per week
Let's say he never deletes any, because why would he (unless he winds up with a partner who is in denial about being unable to handle porn)
That's 5200 pictures
Which is probably more than what she found.

Dan, you were too kind here. Refusing to accept's a partner's appreciation of porn is bad; doing so while mouthing empty pious porn-acceptance is even worse.

If she's upset that he's not spending enough time looking for a job, that's a COMPLETELY separate issue. And it's not her real problem, or else she would have mentioned it sooner. She only brought it up as a lame ex-post-facto justification for her anti-pornitude.
19
I'm with 9, and I'm a guy who's been downloading porn since I first discovered it. If he respects her, they should be able to agree to some kind of limit so that she isn't left feeling inadequate. And I'd say this even if he was gainfully employed. Yes, it's worse that he's living off her and not giving his all to get a job, but you shouldn't feel the need to spend all your free time on X-tube.
20
Porn is addictive and destructive.
It ruins relationships.
Dan does not get that because to him 'relationship' is just a steady hookup for sex. And when the sex isn't exiting anymore you cheat or move on.
Porn creates unhealthy unrealistic expectations and sets those addictwed to it up for relationship failure.
21
OK. If she is 23 and he is say mid-20s ... how many gfs has he had?

If he's been drawing it: that's called art, by the way, people pay money for that stuff.

If he's been collecting it since she's been his steady gf ... that's not good. Unless they don't have much sex.

Anything before her ... a reasonable request would be that he "gift" it to a friend or downsize it.

Asking him to destroy stuff he made though - it's like asking Picasso to destroy art he created which people at the time thought was lewd and immoral. Ask him to store most of it.

Reasonable requests.
22
But he's doing that while she's at work, so it is an issue.

Damn.

DTMFA then.
23
@10 ftw
24
Matt: as somebody who has been downloading porn for so long and is prepared to offer advice, please disclose if you have ever had a discussion with your significant other about the appropriate level of your porno consumption and how that went for you.

Oh, you can't? That's what I thought.
25
@18: Bingo.
26
@18 - you have a point about how quickly it can build up, but I doubt he's had the same computer for 10 years. At any rate - I'd like to repeat, it's not so much how much he's watching as WHAT he's watching. Is it just plain old vanilla straight couples, occasional threesomes, plus a little lesbian? (i.e. generic straight-guy porn taste) Or is it more specific and freakier? She didn't say it was, but she may not have picked up on certain patterns - for instance orgies or swinger porn. Do his tastes indicate something that he really wants but thinks he'll never get from her? If so, that really might spell trouble.

P.S. There IS such a thing as too much porn. It happens when you begin to lose sexual energy and interest in your partner. He hasn't hit that yet, but he might as he ages and his use of porn increases.
27
Maybe he could find a job drawing porn.
28
"Anything less than the hundreds of each pictures, videos, and at least 200 pictures he's drawn. I think that's exessive.—PORN"

Well, how long has he been collecting this stuff? We all amass stuff. It's not just men -- come on. Women? How about clothes we never wear or think we'll wear? Shoes? Jewellery? Books? Knick-knacks? All kinds of crap. Porn is just another hobby, for men or women.

It's even easier to hoard if it's digital. I've got tons of movies, music, photos, documents that I never bother to delete because it's easier just to keep it, especially if it isn't widely available online or hard to find.

200 drawings is nothing; it's just another outlet for him. Consider the way people doodle and sketch.

I agree here -- if he's slacking on finding work, etc., when he's promised to, that's the problem. Otherwise, if you're getting everything you want, back off.
29
Collecting porn rather than getting a job clearly means he thinks he's got it made. The market might be bad but there are jobs to be had. Speaking of jobs, she's getting jobbed, big-time.
30
Dan, you let her off way too easy. Guys collect porn images. The longer he's been using the internet, the larger his collection will be. So the fuck what? If this bitch can't deal with it, she needs to find a guy who a) is extremely sexually repressed, b) has unusually low testosterone levels, or c) will do a better job lying to her and covering his tracks.

As for procrastination, that's totally orthogonal. Porn is but one of many ways to procrastinate on your computer, and it's no worse than video games, chat rooms, or commenting on SLOG.
31
No, #30 for the meta win


Porn is but one of many ways to procrastinate on your computer, and it's no worse than video games, chat rooms, or commenting on SLOG.
32
@26: 10 years is probably a stretch, but 5 isn't. I've still got stuff from 6-7 years ago (saved on HDs that can be fairly easily swapped into a new computer). Let's say, 1000 images, 500 videos, 200 photos -- over five years, that's not even a single item a day.

There's a bit of a digital/physical bias here. If his porn stash isn't taking over a room, it's fine. Just butt out.
33
i want to know more about these 200 drawings. i understand guys wanting to look at photos & videos, but how many of you are drawing it? not that i have a problem with it. it just sounds entertaining.
34
@24 All right, I'll bite. I have had that discussion, and it was fine. It helps that I'm not with a moralizing prude like this letter writer. Basically, I explained that porn is for when I'm horny and she's not around, i.e. times when she's at work and I'm at home. She understood, and it has never been an issue. Why is it so hard for you to believe that people can have honest discussions about this?
35
@26: "P.S. There IS such a thing as too much porn. It happens when you begin to lose sexual energy and interest in your partner. He hasn't hit that yet, but he might as he ages and his use of porn increases."

Eh. Too hypothetical.
36
The disconnect I keep seeing in letter like this one is the idea that porn actually competes with reality. Yes, sometimes there are issues in the form of moronic guys who can't separate fantasy from reality, who think every woman they meet is dying to take it up the ass. But those guys are small in number and intellect, so who cares? Porn, for the vast majority of men, is nothing at all but masturbatory accompaniment. It is a pressure-free way to get a thrill that has nothing to do with anybody but the viewer (and--very, very indirectly--the performers).

These women who are so threatened by it seem to put a guy's sexual response to porn in the same category as his sexual response to her. That's totally wrong. It stems from a different impulse; sex with a person is about mutual pleasure. Porn is about self pleasure. That's the whole point!

I mean really...Do women understand the pressure men are under when it comes to sex? When he sleeps with her, he has to perform, has to get it up, has to keep it up, has to hold back until she's had an orgasm (or three), etc. He has to be "good in bed" in a way that women never have to worry about. Don't get me wrong...being with an actual person is still always vastly preferably to anything the porn provides. But there's a certain amount of work involved. Porn isn't work.

By definition, she shouldn't care about his porn because IT DOESN'T CONCERN HER. It's not a reflection on her, it's not preventing him from enjoying sex with her, it doesn't really have anything to do with her at all. To get all bent out of shape about him having this sexual outlet--to insist that his entire sexual life be all about her needs--is, from a guy's perspective, unacceptably selfish and ridiculous.
37
@32: Er, I AM aware that "images" can also mean "photos." I meant "drawings." Sigh. Whatever.
38
@26: "P.S. There IS such a thing as too much porn. It happens when you begin to lose sexual energy and interest in your partner."

Bullshit, Dr. Phil.

Porn can just as easily increase your sexual energy, and if you find yourself uninterested in your partner, the problem is a lack of attraction and chemistry, not too much porn.
39
@35 - too hypothetical? Well, the way I phrased it, I suppose it is. But to make it more concrete, there's only so many times a day/week/whatever you can whack off and still maintain an intense interest in your partner. It's just biological reality. Obviously he's under that limit now, but that could change. That's all I'm saying. And if/when he DOES go over that limit, whatever it is for him and his prostate, she's going to start having grounds for legitimate complaint.

Not that I know it'll happen, just saying it's possible. If they can learn to share an interest in porn and let it be a mutual spark, it could prevent possible problems in the future.
40
Oh StillNon, still butthurt over our dustup? :(

This isn't the time or place for a rematch, but I must admit to taking pleasure in informing you that, yes, my wife and I have had such a discussion. It wasn't really about what I download or how much, just about how much time is appropriate to spend on this.

Granted, PORN does sound like the type who might be threatened/jealous of any amount of porn, but then again she's only 23 and still learning the ropes of what makes for a successful relationship, and in all likelihood he's similarly young and inexperienced. She needs to learn that guys can be into lots of porn and still in love and lust with her, and he needs to be sensitive to the fact that she's uncomfortable with his habit, one that does NOT have to take up all his spare time. But then again, she's a SL reader and is GGG, so it's unlikely that she's squicked out by porn, period.

Now, since this is a question from a straight girl regarding her straight guy in her straight relationship, StillNon, would it be fair of me to tell you to "GTFO?" Note that I'm not telling you that, but I don't think I'd be out of line with your rules if I did.
41
Ugh, all these tiny comments, but just echoing other commentators here: Try helping him in his job search if you haven't. It might also help in that it'll show that you're serious that his lacklustre job search is bugging him, but you're there to support him, not just criticize. Yes, you're working, but unemployment is always hard, and partners need to be there as much as they can.

Also, if his unproductive joblessness is the big problem, is he helping out around the house at all? Cooking, cleaning, helping pick up groceries, whatever? If he's doing everything he can to be an equal partner without earning power, try to cut him some slack. As others pointed out, an all-day job search is unrealistic; you might be overestimating how much time he really spends looking at porn.
42
@39: Well, of course. It could change. If. Maybe. I mean, if his porn habit was perfectly modest, we could *still* speculate that one day he might overindulge and their relationship falls apart, because, well, he's on that road, just not that far down it. Hell, we could worry about a guy who refuses to look at any porn at all, because maybe he just doesn't like porn or maybe there's just *that* much more potential for abuse because he doesn't have a normal appreciation, etc. etc.

Considering she basically has no complaint sexually -- either in frequency OR in quality -- except the fact she has no exclusivity over his mind and time, I just think throwing that kind of hypothetical in is unfair to a guy who's otherwise doing his duty.
43
It says something about our sex-negative culture where someone sees porn as the issue here. Its an unemployment/ boredom issue, the porn could just as well be anything else and there would still be a problem. Spending all of your time doing anything while mooching should be the only issue. Her response points to the porn not making him unhealthy, but all of that time alone and the ennui that can come with unintentional unemployment very well may.
44
Matt: I was simply asking for you to elaborate. This isn't a rematch, this is continued discourse on how ridiculous you cavalier dispensation of advice is compared to your own reality.

This is a post in which the author is clearly upset by the QUANTITY of porn, and enumerates it as such, you initially said:

"they should be able to agree to some kind of limit so that she isn't left feeling inadequate."

Now you go on to say that YOUR conversation:

"wasn't really about what I download or how much, just about how much time is appropriate to spend on this"

So...in other words you actually haven't had a discussion about the quantity, as is the topic at hand, just the "time spent on this"?

Please stop doling out advice with an incongruous and authoritarian stance, that's all I'm asking.
45
Exhibit A on why straight partners should not share the same computer.
46
His drawings put a different light on this, both in that it makes it clear that he is spending a lot of time on this (so the girlfriends complaint makes sense to me, its not just about jerking off to this guy) and also that its at least creative. Surprised Dan didn't suggest bringing this into the bedroom.
47
@33

I'm thinking that he's probably a fan of ecchi or hentai. There's a lot of people who like to try their hand at drawing their own in those crowds. It's fun.
48
@47: I think it's kind of along the lines of making your own porn -- taking photos or making videos (although obviously those are usually of yourself or your partner). I mean, everyone has their particular tastes, and if you've got a knack for drawing, why *not* make your own? If I was a better artist, I'd probably knock out a few erotic pictures every so often for fun. But I'm not very good, so everything I draw is decidedly unsexy.
49
The more I think about this, the more I keep coming to the conclusion that this has nothing to do with his porn collection, and everything to do with his being out of work. If she didn't have his sitting around the house jerking off all day to complain about, it wouid be something else.
50
He's living off her? Oh oh, problem. I was going to say she shouldn't try to change him because it will make them both unhappy. But she brings home the bacon. That changes everything. He doesn't have the right to sit and look at porn while she's out working her ass off. Tell him he needs to look for a job while you're at work. Whether that's eight or ten hours a day. I'm serious. She'll only resent the shit out of this guy and throw him out on his ass.
51
"Porn Only Reinforces Negativity"

At least she's coming into this without bias.
52
Oh StillNon. Who's being authoritarian here? You - demanding that I stop dispensing advice here (like PORN is even going to read these comments - she might, but we'll never know unless she registers and comments), as well as "GTFO" on the other thread.

FWIW, there's little meaningful difference in "spending time looking at porn" and "exact quantity of porn downloaded." After all, his quantity of downloaded and drawn porn is a reflection of how much time he spends on porn. You might perceive a gulf-wide difference there, but I don't.

Go ahead and have the last word.
53
Oh, Matt.

If I say it like that enough, Oh, Matt, will you be subjugated enough to feel small in the same way that you use it to make others feel small?

No need to answer.

WORD.
54
"I suppose he doesn't skulk off while he should be with me but that's only because we're together so often."

That doesn't make any sense.

"Bear in mind that I milk this man to kingdom come and he still finds time to download, hide, and pleasure himself meanwhile I give it my all sexually, being the GGG person I am. I feel inadequate and undesirable because of this."

It doesn't particularly matter how much sex they have, or how GGG she is. The average man is still going to desire multiple sexual outlets.

I mention this so often that it's beginning to seem cliche, but the fact that the female sex bears our children has a profound impact on how the sexes view monogamy and achieve sexual satisfaction. Generally, women ovulate one egg once a month and can only carry one child at a time. On the other hand, men produce millions of sperm all day every day. It has been argued, convincingly, that men are biologically wired to seek multiple, simultaneous partners. Women, on the other hand, tend to seek a monogamous partner as an ad hoc way of establishing paternity and thus securing assistance in rearing children.

That said, in modern times we seem driven more by social norms than raw biology, hence our mutual propensity to monogamy, but the raw biological needs have taken the form of the old chestnut, "men need variety".

Strictly speaking, a woman *is* inadequate--biologically--in that she simply can't be everything at once. It could be something as simple as she has blond hair and sometimes he desires brunettes, or it could be something more complicated like his unmet desire to perform specific sex acts.

At the same time, a man is inadequate in his tendency to impregnate multiple women and spread his attention between multiple offspring, or worse deny paternity altogether.

The male in this situation has already acquiesced and entered into a monogamous relationship. He presumably doesn't sleep around. The female should at least meet him halfway and be comfortable with him having multiple outlets other than polygamy, whether it's checking out girls that walk by on the street, or just checking out his porn collection. He's taking care of his biological needs, and doing so quite responsibly when you think about it.

All that said, her being bitter about him not having a job seems like the real issue.
55
@31 - why do you hate our Freedoms?
56
Been there, done that. I dumped him, but not because of the collection. He was out of work and spent more time adding to his collection and using it than looking for work. Frankly, I don't really care if her boyfriend's "job" of looking for work is boring.

His "job" is to find something that pays his half of the bills. Lots of people have unfulfilling or crappy jobs. It happens. Job hunting is also crappy and usually unfulfilling. Deal with it. She's paying him (in support) with the understanding that he's looking for a job, not adding to his collection. If it were any other person who was compensating him for his time to do work, doing this on company time would be a problem. Why should she be any more tolerant of it? His mistake is viewing the time she's at work as "free" time. He should be viewing it as "her" time to be doing those things that she's paying his way to do.

If he's trying to hide it at this point, the relationship is doomed. She needs to find someone who isn't going to expect her to subsidize his joblessness so he can spend more time adding to his collection and hiding it. He needs to find a job, and someone who is tolerant of his considerable collection, in that order. In the meantime, he needs to find somewhere else to live and be a leech.

57
Can some straight person answer this for me: Why do women feel threatened by their men looking at porn? Even if I was in a monogamous relationship, I'd NEVER have a problem with my bf looking at porn. Or even looking at porn alot.

Will there ever come a day when the majority of women will be able to just accept that male sexuality is quite a bit different than female sexuality?
58
@41
"Try helping him in his job search if you haven't. It might also help in that it'll show that you're serious that his lacklustre job search is bugging him, but you're there to support him, not just criticize."

Oh, hells no! DO NOT START MOMMYING HIM! Dude needs to get his own job, on his own. If she already resents him for not carrying his weight and for his lack of motivation, his drive is NOT going to improve now, especially if she does YET MORE work for him. OP--DO NOT DO THIS!

Sorry, Gloria. I'm not jumping on you or your comment (I usually agree with you). In fact, your proposed approach had been my first response to lazy-douches in the past, and I've always ended up spending energy on THEM that I should have been spending on ME, especially at 23. Do not let the evil gender role constructions of relationships seep in! He does him, you do you, you move parallel, into the future. At no point should you perpendiculate yourself to him!

Honey, dump him! Throw him back! You've only had him for a few months and he's causing you this much distress. THIS: "it'll show that you're serious that his lacklustre job search is bugging him"--"HIM" is the key word here. I don't think it's bugging HIM. It's bugging HER. So more work on her part isn't going to make it any better. Maybe HE should worry about showing HER that HE'S serious.

Self-sufficiency, please!

Also, it's not from prudery that I don't respect guys with collections upon collections (disclaimer, not talking about average, healthy consumption) of porn; 1. I find the overly simplistic "dudes like porn. deal with it." entitlement juvenile, lacking any kind of nuance for such a complicated issue and 2. Ugh, there's more to life than your dong; talk about a lot of cock-gazing.

I also just wanna give props to the straight guys who can separate their appreciation of porn and the effect their consumption has on their partner. There's a shit ton of social pressure for women to look and act like porn stars, so respecting THAT aspect is also really important.

59
Chris,

This is my very generalized take. I guess it has to do with the idea that women need to feel like desired beauties and we are instilled with the idea that there is a prince charming so besotted with us that he'd slay any dragon. So much of our socialization has to do with the importance of our physical beauty and how desirable we are. And, our ability to attract others has a bearing on our self-confidence. Thus, I think that a man's desire for porn could feel as a betrayal or as a comment about a woman's lack of desirability. As evidence that she isn't everything he ever dreamed of. A signal that he will cease to be faithful. And, if the couple are religious in the more conservative, fundamentalist way then you have that baggage as well.

This is only my take on many discussions with friends. They all express pain in knowing that their spouses enjoy porn. I'll add that they also felt the same about masturbation as well.

In the interest of disclosure, I don't have a problem with porn (or masturbation), I don't find either threatening even though I've been told that I should. Then again, I have a more avid interest in sex then my friends too.
60
The part about him living off you is the most disturbing part of the letter. I think you should focus on that issue. In my dating experiance I have found that the guy that still values the centerfold he wacked off to fifteen years ago is alot better at monogomy than the guy who use it once and then throws it away.
61
All I have to say is DAMN!

Hahahaha.
62
@57

Holy shit. Sweetness, for being gay, your apparent lack of knowledge about patriarchy is surprising. Sorry, that was unintentionally acerbic--I blame the patriarchy.

Seriously, though. It has nothing to do with porn, so much, as with how women and girls are brought up to emulate porn stars. Shaved coochies. Fake tatas. etc. This chick is just still caught up in capitulating to the patriarchy, so she thinks her value is in how she performs as Hot Sexay Fembot. In her mind, she's performing really well ("I milk him to kingdom come!"), so his looking at other Hot Sexay Fembots is an insult the time and effort she puts into being HIS Hot Sexay Fembot. I would not be surprised if she also felt as though the only time their relationship is affirmed is during sex. So it's a hot mess of insults thrown right at her, unfortunately, because dude is prioritizing his cock and only seeing his "I'm entitled to porn! What's this bitch's problem, anyway? I get her off and it's not like I'm fuckin' anyone!" perspective.

Also @54, yeah, I wonder when we're going to realize that men and women's sexualities actually AREN'T all that different and when we're going to stop stooping to Evo-psych bullshit every time some dude's right to jiz is disputed. Someone actually made a really great argument in another SL thread that it's WOMEN who actually have the biological imperative to multiple partners in search of the best genes and that commenter pointed to "cuckolds," men who raise other men's offspring because they are under the false impression that they fathered that offspring. After all, it's easier to know who a child's mother is than who it's father is. UGH. Evo-psych FAIL.
63
Dear women who are threatened by men's supposed unhealthy influence of pornography:

Has it ever occurred to you that you too watch unhealthy amounts of fantasy porn*?

*Your version of porn is the chick flick that you consume on the daily in which the man rides in on a horse to solve all of your family problems and combs your hair while rubbing your feet and telling you that you are beautiful.

Get over yourself.

64
62: I blame the patriarchy

Why don't you just post that in every thread and save us the trouble of reading your thinly reasoned bullshit?
65
You guys should break up. Good luck trying to find a guy that doesn't look at porn.
66
I can't get over the idea that "hundreds" of pictures/videos/etc. constitutes this massive porn collection in her mind. That shit is just laughable. I have literally tens of thousands of files in my not-really-hidden collection. Thank jeebus my partner isn't as prudish as this chick.
67
@64: Or maybe not bother posting it at all, and we'll all just make believe she said it.
68
Aw, looks like I upset the herd! Now, now, boys, just go have a wank; you'll feel better.
69
I had the same issue with my EX boyfriend. We had sex every day or every other day...I never turned him down and always did everything he wanted...and he pleased me, but for some reason he hardly ever got off...which made me feel awful and inadequate. After living together for a while I soon discovered his secret porn habit...I was disturbed that he always searched for "teen" porn, he was 25 at the time and I was 20. I then realized that he would wait until I left in the morning to prop up his pillow and get out his laptop. I expressed my feelings and concern about it several times but he would get defensive and tell me I was insecure. But it really was a problem...he couldn't get off with me during the real thing because he had wired his brain to only get off to internet pornography. (let me add that I AM an attractive, sensual, and confident woman) ....ANYWAYS...I truly loved him but I left him because of the porn issue.

Now, I am with an amazing man who doesn't look at porn, and we have the best sex ever. :)

Also, I have spoken with my ex, who has a new girlfriend, and he actually thanked me...because after I left him, he quit his porn habit and now he is able to get the most out of his intimacy with a real life partner. :)

I honestly believe that pornography has a negative affect on the intimacy between partners and people in a relationship should avoid it. I know there are some couples who enjoy looking at porn together...but that just seems sad, and lazy...they can't turn each other on themselves?
70
#68 "someone actually made a really great argument in another SL thread that it's WOMEN who actually have the biological imperative to multiple partners in search of the best genes"

I would really love to read that argument and laugh at it.
71
So why would ten gigs of porn be more offensive than ten megs, exactly? Hard drive space is cheap, so it's not like he's squandering cash or resources here.

At times like this I'm glad that I have a wife who doesn't view pixels as competition. Or masturbation. And who is herself capable of finding some charm in porn. I couldn't imagine life with a spouse who desperately needed to believe that every sexual feeling you might ever have for the rest of your life could only be focused on him/her. To be fair, I wouldn't say that PORN necessarily feels this way, but whenever this kind of complaint comes up it's hard not to see a subtle impulse in that direction.
72
@69 (lol)

Sorry to feed the troll, but why don't you just SAY IT instead of dancing for 3 paragraphs:

You've regained control of him now that he is starving and you can provide that which he hungers for.

YOU WON!


But it really was a problem...he couldn't get off with me during the real thing because he had wired his brain to only get off to internet pornography. (let me add that I AM an attractive, sensual, and confident woman) ....ANYWAYS...I truly loved him but I left him because of the porn issue.

Now, I am with an amazing man who doesn't look at porn, and we have the best sex ever. :)
73
@57 - Many women are insecure about porn for the same reason that more women than men are bulimics and anorexics and clothes horses' and perpetual dieters. From an early age girls are taught that their appearance, charm and sexuality are *everything* and we are bombarded with unrealistic airbrushed images in fashion, advertising and entertainment. It's hard for a young girl to be secure in her sexuality when she will NEVER look like that supermodel... the supermodel doesn't even look like that!

Women are even constantly told they SHOULD be insecure if they aren't perfect by the prevailing physical standard, and the price of not meeting those expectations can sometimes be quite high, whether it be torment in high school or not getting that promotion. It can even be very competitive between women, who you think would know better.

Porn is ground zero for all that pressure, partially, I think, because it's an acceptable outlet. Some women manage to move beyond the social pressure more than others; some never do. A girl in her early 20's? It's highly unlikely that she's not going to see that porn star as a direct competitive threat. Even tame porn is a highly staged male fantasy where female sexuality and response is totally distorted. (And chick porn mostly sucks.) A man who consumes a large amount of porn is "telling her" (it seems) that she is inadequate in appearance and behavior and sexuality.

I don't think there's anything analogous in the male experience, but the closest thing is probably the pressure on a young gay man who hasn't come out yet, especially one that's effeminate. He isn't going to become straight no matter how he tries, but there are going to be people who exert pressure until he finally comes out. There's no bright line to cross for women, though... they just get older and supposedly less desirable. Like those those poor schleps in Malawi.

I didn't mean to write a novel, but I thought it was a serious question that deserved a serious answer. Personally, there's probably a level of porn consumption at which I'd get uncomfortable. I know in my head that it wouldn't mean anything if he was otherwise sexually responsive to me... but I can't say that I've shaken off that much social conditioning.

FWIW, the only porn I have ever found stimulating is some of the amateur stuff on X-Tube. The scenes are staged, but the responses are usually genuine.
74
@65 My father didn't look at porn. Or swear. And he was a proud atheist. But she couldn't date him because he'd dead.
75
@69 - "I know there are some couples who enjoy looking at porn together...but that just seems sad, and lazy...they can't turn each other on themselves?"

My wife and I don't much care if you find what we do "sad". We have enjoyed sex both with and without porn. That you don't like porn is your business, but personally I'd find it sad that you can only conceive of other people's sex being acceptable within such narrow bounds.
76
@73 Thanks for your comment, it was such a refreshing read! Sounds like you "get it."
77
@73 - "A man who consumes a large amount of porn is "telling her" (it seems) that she is inadequate in appearance and behavior and sexuality."

Yes, I get that there are women who feel this way about porn. What I don't buy is that it's necessarily every man's duty to bend over backwards to accommodate that feeling. One can be sympathetic to it, but, assuming the man in question isn't neglecting his partner in favor of wanking over tube sites, it's still pretty irrational.
78
Just had this discussion with a girl friend. Seriously, women need to GET OVER THE PORN THING. To many woman think porn=cheating. It does not. It could actually enhance a relationship (it does in mine anyway). She can stop snooping through his computer and leave him alone.

And great points@73, but really, women need a way to get over this porn thing ... maybe an Oprah episode (ROFL !) .
79
1 FTW
80
There's a bigger issue here - this is her boyfriend of a few months who's surfing for and collecting porn while he should be looking for a job. I sincerely hope she's not the primary breadwinner during this time. I mean, I hope he's at least collecting unemployment from a previous high-wage job and waiting for a similar wage to come along...at least...

If he has no money coming in, and he's got this porn habit, issue an ultimatum and follow through with it.

Job issue aside, if your sex life isn't lacking, and he isn't using the porn to replace you? Chill out. Like someone else in here suggested, since you're GGG, find out what kind of porn he's looking at and see if he's trying to enjoy some level of sex that he's not getting from you.
81
Meh, the porn collection wouldn't bother me. The freeloading would. Of course, I wouldn't invite somebody I was dating mere months to move in with me in the first place so the porn collection and the chronic unemployment wouldn't be my problem.
82
What I want to know is why couples ever share computers? It's not like computers are so expensive that couples can't have his and hers or hers and hers or his and his computers. If he had his own computer and she had her own computer, this would never have come up.

And it's not just about keeping one's porn private (although that's a side benefit). It's about keeping one's computer set up the way one wants, not having to wade through one another's bookmarks, etc. Yes, I know you can set up multiple logins on the same computer to accomplish this (and actually couples who for whatever reason do have to share the same computer might consider having separate logins), but again, most couples can afford two computers, can't they? Having to share a computer would be a deal breaker for me.

And what I really, really don't understand are couples who share the same e-mail address. Oy vey!
83
@82

Right? My SOs and I have always had separate computers. When somebody is at my house and wants to use my computer, I have a guest account set up and I let them log into that. Doesn't matter who it is. I feel like my computer and its contents are basically an extension of my inner world at this point, and I decide how much of that gets shared and when. I want my partners to have the same freedom and privacy.

I emailed a friend's husband a while back because I wanted to come up with a surprise for her, and to my surprise, they share the same email account. They just use different aliases. WTF?
84
Just a personal opinion.

The question is: is he using her? Is he just sitting there and taking advantage of the free time he has to just increase his porn collection while doing nothing to actually getting a job? That is indeed a problem, as many have pointed out; but it would be a problem regardless of what his means of procrastination might be -- video games, origami, mountain biking, meditation, crossword puzzles, you name it.

If this is the case, of course PORN has a problem. It may actually be even as big as femwanderlust above supposes (though she is, like others, jumping to conclusions here -- we don't know that that's the case). If it's as bad as some here suppose, she should of course DMFA.

Now, if it isn't... If what he's dealing with is simply the pressure of looking for a job (and there are many ways in which such pressure and the resulting depression could be legitimate), helping him is not a bad thought. There I disagree with femwanderlust: you don't simply go "in parallel" towards the future, you form a spiral, because you feel your partner's gravitational pull and you exert one on him/her as well. When s/he's sad or has a problem, you want to do something about this. When you are sad or have a problem, s/he wants to do something about it. We want to help each other. We should of course be on the lookout for those who simply want to take advantage of us -- but the instinct to help one's partner? That is perfectly sane.

Again, I don't know if this guy is taking advantage of her or not. Femwanderlust's partner apparently was (or so she believes). But is PORN's? I don't know. I notice she, despite her anger, was careful to confirm that he's meeting all her sexual needs. She hasn't said that he spends ALL his time collecting porn either -- for all I know, I could be, what? Less than 10%? But this is all circumstancial evidence, and I may be interpreting it wrongly. PORN hasn't clearly said it, so I don't know.

As for "a dude's right to jiz/porn..." Femwanderlust, I have to disagree with you (in a civil way, I hope). It is true: a dude does have a right to get off in any way he wants, as long as he is not neglecting/harming anyone by doing this. I think it's a case of "his body, his choice".

I understand that you think 'patriarchal' society has made it hard for women to deal with pornography (kim in portland gave what I think is the best description of this phenomenon in this thread), because so much of their self-value is derived from how (sexually) attractive they are to the men in their lives.

But we are not social abstractions; we are real people. PORN is a real person, not merely the sum result of social/societal forces affecting her. So is her partner: a real person, not merely the sum result of social/societal forces affecting him. They have to deal with EACH OTHER, and they have to show some understanding for each other -- which is why I disagree with your "mommying him" comment (when you ask him to understand the effect of pornography on her -- "it's not as simple as 'his cock is entitled to it' -- aren't you asking him to "mommy" her a little bit too?).

It would be good if BOTH PORN AND HER PARTNER showed some interest in each other's feelings and sufferings. If they have a discussion about it, then he should reassure her: not "because 'patriarchal' society made her insecure", but because SHE IS HIS PARTNER and is entitled to respect. Likewise, she should not overthink/overworry his consumption of porn, not because "that's the way dudes ARE, by nature or by nurture" (pick your choice), but because HE IS HER PARTNER and is entitled to respect from her.

They should both treat each other as individuals. It may be that he is failing to do that (by spending too much time collecting porn and too little time looking for a job, plus not addressing her insecurities concerning porn); but we don't know that for sure. Likewise, it may be that PORN is failing to deal with her partner as an individual (by overthinking/overworrying about her partner's porn collection, maybe because of her -- possibly society-driven -- insecurities).

So my recommendation is that they should talk more to each other, talk like real persons, and be as sincere about their feelings of hurt and where they come from as possible. Or else, they'll simply get progressively angrier and angrier at each other for failing 'to see the obvious.'
85
I'm convinced some people hoard porn the way others hoard Hummel figurines. But, hey--at least porn serves some kind of purpose--and it doesn't (typically) get displayed in every corner of the house. The lesser of evils, I say.
86
Great sex requires an ability to lay it all out on the table, to have on-going conversations about uncomfortable topics and flexibility. We negotiate out everything about our sex life, which is probably why it's been so good for over two decades but unlike Dan, I believe that porn is also okay to talk about including partners not using it, using it 24/7 or something in between.

Anyone who starts with, "women are just controlling men!" or "men have to have porn, get over it" is just being lazy. You are operating from the assumption that if one dick is great, then more is better. Sometimes narrowing down ones options to only one is exciting, sometimes being exclusive is the change that heats things up, sometimes there really are too many dicks on the dance floor.

87
Sailorec, you got the most important part of my comment in just a couple of paragraphs. Well done!
88
This seems like something that might be pretty easily solved by communication--but *not* communication that involves the sort of hyper-defensive hysteria regarding men's Right to All the Porn All the Time I'm seeing here. 18's comment is pretty illuminating and might have helped this girl. As a straight woman, I'd be reasonably alarmed to find what seemed to be an ENORMOUS porn collection on my boyfriend's computer--but I also might not have an appropriate frame of reference. So:
Me: "Honey, isn't this...kind of a lot?"
Him: "It might look that way, but...[insert math here]."
PROBLEM PROBABLY SOLVED.
THEN they can talk about the job-hunting, which also sounds like an issue that's only going to get bigger.
89
@87 Thank you!

@57 You asked, "Why do women feel threatened by their men looking at porn?" and you also wrote, "Even if I was in a monogamous relationship, I'd NEVER have a problem with my bf looking at porn. Or even looking at porn alot..."

Think of it like this; do you expect other people to be exactly like you in other ways? Probably not. There are a things I have no problem with that are deal breakers in other relationships and vise versa. Also, not all women are anti-porn due to feeling "threatened" by porn.

Equals can negotiate anything, even porn. It's funny/sad that that is a radical statement considering what gets treated as possible in a healthy relationship in this column.
90
"That said, I suppose he doesn't skulk off while he should be with me but that's only because we're together so often." What the hell sense does this make?! If you're together so often, then like, *that's how you know* he's not sneaking off or avoiding you. Quit acting like it doesn't count.

I agree with someone earlier in the thread who pointed out that the job search is depressing. Dealing with all that rejection gets very tiring and stressful. It makes sense to have a "instant gratification" reward to have as a break from all that. And a lot of the job search is about waiting (for employers to call back, or whatever); even if he did obsessively spend each moment you're at work job-hunting, it could be unhealthy and unproductive. I don't think it's realistic to expect no evidence of "slacking off" when you come home.

I'd also add that the amount of stuff he's got hoarded up isn't really indicative of the time he spends whacking off to it. I've got cookbooks in my house with a combined total of like thousands of recipes, but the "sheer size of my collection" doesn't make me a compulsive cook/eater.
91
Sorry, I was gone for awhile. But have to comment on @69:

"Now, I am with an amazing man who doesn't look at porn, and we have the best sex ever. :)"

A man who doesn't look at porn? You must also believe in elves, trolls, leprechauns and yetis.

And your ex still looks at porn too. On the bright side, both these men respect you enough to lie to your face!

Sorry.

92
@57 Chris, I think Kim @59 said it best, but to put in my 2 cents worth, as a straight woman I'd have to say that porn would definitely have been seen as "competition" by me, until I learned a bit more, both by reading the archives of Dan's column, and reading books about men. This acceptance is not intuitive for women, I think, for the reasons Kim mentioned, and we really do have to learn from an impartial source (not our SOs) that it's pretty normal and natural for men. Obviously, it helps to be open-minded, not conservative, not religious/judgemental! And I think Kim is right, as well, with the idea that the more sexual/sexually interested you are as a woman, the less porn is a threat. This should be part of general sex ed for young women, because it's definitely not something you learn from any other source, and there are so many misconceptions (that something is lacking in a straight/monogamous relationship, etc) about it.
93
(Mostly) straight woman here with a question for enlightened porn aficionados: Let's say you fit all of the qualifications for being a good partner according to SL commenters. You're GGG, fit, not religious/judgmental/self-righteous/conservative, and also gifted with what you think (and have been told) are beautiful b-cups. Let's also say that you have a boyfriend who seeks out, downloads, and whacks to exclusively big-titted women, from sites or collections even called "big tits" or something similar. My question is (and I'm earnestly asking), how do you reconcile what seems to be an exclusive desire in his fantasy life with the also seeming reality that I do turn him on? I understand the difference between fantasy and reality, but I'm also having a wrapping my head around the consistency of the fantasy and the fact that its exclusivity actually excludes me from being among these fantasy objects. Please, commenters, try not to berate me for the question; it's an honest one about the function of fantasy in our sex lives.
94
OK PORN, take a look at your CD collection or iTunes library. Have you discarded or deleted all of the music you haven't listened to in the last six months? If not, why not?
95
Better porn than hummel figurines. That would be weird.

The lack of job and possible freeloading are a problem. Dude needs to get a job or get out of the house doing something productive.

But the more immediate thing for me is when she says "I feel inadequate and undesirable because of this. It's something that plagues me throughout the day since I found it months ago and the evidence just keeps piling up." The relationship is only a few months old, and for months she's been plagued. I think this relationship is going nowhere.
96
@ 93,

It sounds like he likes breasts and finds them a strong visual turn on on and in those moments the bigger the better. That doesn't mean he isn't enchanted with your beautiful B-cups. Think of it this way, if he needed DDD-cups to be turned on or get off, then, he wouldn't be enjoying and getting off with your B-cups. So, if really big beasts were a requirement you two wouldn't be together. And, sometimes an orgasm is just release and it has absolutely nothing to do with intimacy or relationship. I personally don't know many women who can separate orgasm from some kind of relational intimacy and therefore joyfully make the focus purely about release. Hence porn can serve that need.

Hope that makes sense. I need coffee.
97
I think there is something wrong with me and my relationship! I don't understand! Am I supposed to like Cosmo and chick flicks and stuff? ugh!

I love gay Asian twinks (I'm a mostly-straight female) and my boyfriend (straight male) not only doesn't mind, but actively encourages my overly obsessive porn habit. He won't watch it with me (darn. :( because there is nothing that turns me on to a guy more than him having a cock in his mouth. what, baby? not even a little bi-curious? *sighs*) but he knows about it, about how extensive my collection is, etc... and he knows it will get me all hot and bothered and ready for action for when he gets home. ;3
98
I don't understand why didn't Dan yell at her. When I read the "something needs to change" line, I thought "Yes, you do!"

I have a big porn collection and I'm a straight woman, damn it. And no, it doesn't take that much time to collect! If you have a problem that he can't find a job, that's a different problem... If he spends time with you and satisfies you sexually, and doesn't put porn ahead of more important things, then his porn is YOUR problem, not his! Sheesh...
99
@58: That's fair enough. A caveat is warranted for my advice -- don't let it drag and make sure he's pulling his weight, etc. Do it with a critical eye, and weight your "support" towards emotional and behavioural rather than actually *doing shit* for him.

Also, how the fuck did I not pick up this relationship has been going on FOR A FEW MONTHS? Holy Jesus. What the hell are these two doing even living together?

@93: The way I see is: Maybe if he was with a big-titted girl, he'd be downloading B-cup porn. He's got you in the flesh, so fantasizing and downloading copious porn about *that* might just seem redundant, you know? It's efficiency.

@97: I share your disappointment about non-bi-ness in boyfriends. Sigh.
100
This girl is not GGG. GGG means trying things you might not be into, or allowing your partner to have their own kinks.

GGG would be finding his porn collection, then watching some of it with him, not crying about it to Dan.