SL Letter of the Day: Shapes and Sizes

Comments

1
Bitches be crazy
2
she should be happy to find BBW porn there. ain't none on mine - ew.

you may wish to utilize private browsing and circumvent the entire issue.
3
Well, looky here. Another woman concerned about her man's porn watching. Do these girls never know their place?
4
At least she didn't fund bestiality porn, and get mad that he only likes her because she looks like an angry marmot.
5
Thankful for small mercies I guess, @4.
6
Outside of porn, nothing good ever comes from a significant other going through someone's porn history. It can really only lead to bad things. Best case, there is unvocalized resentment, curiosity and anger. Best case, I don't even know, the other person approves of the porn, but there is still snooping happening?
7
Angry marmot porn is the best.
8
I'm stuck on the idea (that Dan and no one else has a problem with, apparently) that BBW porn is kink. The very fact of being a certain size is some weird, shameful fetish. Not everyone looks the same, not everyone is attracted to the same body types. It's like saying red hair or small breasts is a fetish, or not vanilla.
9
@8: Didn't see the word kink anywhere in the letter or Dan's answer.
10
I'm stuck on the idea that girlfriends/boyfriends apparently now believe their significant others must give up all rights to privacy in order to maintain their relationship. If my boyfriend demanded to see my browsing history, he would stop being my boyfriend instantly. And if the LW hasn't figured out how to erase his browsing history or parts of it, which even a technology-challenged old guy like me can do, he needs to have some lessons in basic computer use. But seriously, if the girlfriend doesn't trust him after however long they've been together either (a) she's never going to, (b) he's given her some reason not to, or (c) she's on the wrong side of nuts and he needs to get her out of his life.
11
@8 - I'd call it a category, not a fetish. It's no more a fetish that big breasts or big asses. But just like any porn category, a girlfriend (or boyfriend for that matter) can easily take it as an insult unless said gf/bf exactly match that category (and as the original author proved, even if they do exactly match the category).
12
To the LW, and your girlfriend: there is something about each of you that attracted the other person initially (before you got to know each other)....its best to embrace it rather than start complaining about the various REASONS your partner IS attracted to you.

@8 - i think the word kink gets commonly misused where words like niche or category would be better used. But i don't see any of those words being used in this letter or its reply. You are the one adding "shameful fetish" to the equation.... kink does not equal shameful fetish....and taken in the context of porn on the web, vanilla is generally used to describe the most prevalent kind of porn available (which does not include bbw). I guess i am advising you not to add negative meanings where they are not clearly specified...or you'll drive yourself nuts
13
i typed too slow.... lol....just read 9 and 11 and ignore the second part of my post... :)
14
If you looked at porn (or even just admitted attraction to, forget pron) with women who were not like your GF, "obviously you don't love her very much, because if you loved me you'd think I was the most beautiful woman ever". If they are just like your girlfriend, "you're using me for my body and that's objectifying". Sometimes I think if these types of "no win" scenarios are less about "women be crazy" than simply a method by which [many] women [repeatedly] assert their share of power and control in a relationships.
15
@8 - I currently date a redhead. She was concerned about me being a "redhead fetishist". Verily, I love me a redhead, but I don't quite rise to the level of fetishist. Anyone who internalizes there different-ness is always worriedaware that they might be fetishized.
16
A lot of times you become more attracted to the type of person you are with. If you are dating a geeky guy, other geeky guys may become more attractive. You might seek out geeky guy porn. Maybe it really "does it" for him because he love her and is attracted to that kind of body now. Doesn't mean it is a fetish.
17
@3 "Do these girls never know their place?"
What does that mean? What is "their place"?
18
Agree w/ 14, I think this is a power play and a no win for LW no matter what his girlfriend found.

I would treat her concerns seriously one time and state firmly that you like many body types, including hers. ... just as SHE does. No more prying from this point forward and no more nonsense over whether he has a fetish and is objectifying her body type. Without real objective evidence if that (force feeding her as an example) it smacks of immaturity and manipulation. My husband likes @$$es. I am glad he likes what god gave me.
19
@8, @11, @12: I was responding to "My viewing habits are pretty vanilla except for BBW porn." I was just confused why (vanilla) BBW porn wasn't vanilla. I'm not accusing the LW of anything; he seems completely in the right. I just don't get why ordinary porn with larger women has to be its own category with its own slang and everything.
20
Because that's how porn is categorized. Is it reductive and dumb? Sure. But it's not different than "big black cock porn," "Asian porn," etc. There is a market for a certain type of porn; that type of porn is described by its defining feature.
21
@17; you don't know that term,
to know your place?
Please don't make me explain further. It's Saturday here.
22
fuck. I had a comment and then commenting stopped working. I've been doing this for easily 10 years. what happened?
23
@17: Cue gif of Leonard from the Big Bang Theory holding up a piece of paper with the word "SARCASM" written on it.

@21: iseult probably knows what the phrase means, but what objecting to what you said by probing you because sarcasm is hard to detect in the written word.
24
Gui; thanks. It's just hard to believe my intention was ambiguous.
25
On the positive side - seems like the girlfriend *wants* to be OK with porn even if her emotions are conflicted about it. I'd give her some credit for trying. Being more discreet about it will probably help.
26
Hmm. I've checked out my boyfriend's browsing history a few times out of curiosity to see what porn he's been watching lately - we have a pretty communicative relationship and he knows I'm fine with him watching, so he tends not to bother with private browsing or clearing history, though he's perfectly capable of doing that if he wants. He isn't keen on us watching together and is a bit shy about describing in detail what he likes watching, so it's actually easier for me to see for myself, and once he understood that I was cool with it and not just pretending to be, he stopped worrying about trying to hide it. So I guess checking out browsing history isn't necessarily a sign of insecurity per se. Having said that, I think the gf's response to what she found does suggest she has some insecurities - but it sounds to me as if they are more insecurities about her body and whether she is really attractive enough for the LW. I think it's perfectly possible to be OK with a partner watching porn but still have body issues about oneself, and if I were the LW I wouldn't make the porn or snooping the issue as much as taking this as a sign that gf is generally a bit worried whether she's really attractive enough for you. If that's right, then I agree with the first part of Dan's response (that if she had found skinny bitches she'd have been worried for the opposite reason, and that you should definitely try to say you like all kinds of shapes and sizes and that hers is wonderful and sexy and just perfect), but I don't think that private browsing is going to solve anything - to me this isn't so much about the porn as it is about her confidence generally.
27
@25 - yeah! And another positive suggestion - they should watch some together. Laugh, talk, see if they find anything mutually sexy. Can't hurt, as long as the guy doesn't go on and on about how hot some particular girl is.
28
I'm not aware of Dan ever giving any meaningful advice on how straight couples can communicate about porn issues - just a sneering "get over it" to the woman. Anyone out there have an actual success story?
29
If anyone made looking at my browser history, email, facebook or phone texts a condition of our relationship, I would let them end the relationship.
30
@28 Dan's standard advice is for the porn-user to pretend not to use porn, and the porn-hater to pretend to believe them.

Snooping and nagging are then signs the unspoken agreement isn't working. Similarly, if the porn-hater feels sexually neglected.

As far as trying to change someone's mind, one can try analogies (it's like romance novels for men), or have them ask their friends about the issue, to see that their own partner is pretty normal... If you're stuck, feel free to post what you've tried and what your results have been.
31
@28; yes. That's my point.
The woman's felt response is just ignored. She's a bitch. Or she's crazy.
My suggestion for all those women whose men ignore their feelings?
Get some very hot looking boys with big cocks on DVDs- and just have them playing on their TVs. And their computers as well. All the fucking time.
Oh. And sit on the lounge/ Bed/ at your desk masturbating to said DVDs.
32
I really, really do not want to see the porn anyone watches, especially anyone I'm romantically involved with. Watching porn together is different, I suppose, in that the porn chosen is supposed to appeal equally to both (although I will probably never get very excited by it, and may actually be turned off, depending). But the porn my partner jerks off to is porn I know I don't want to see. I'm pretty sure I would be disturbed by some aspect of it (he likes that?) or feel insecure (I don't do that; I don't look like that; would he prefer to be with her? Is he not happy with me?).
So my procedure and advice is to know that he watches it and don't look at it or ask questions about it. It's a variation on him pretending that he doesn't watch and me pretending to believe. We don't talk about it. It's private. I would not go looking for it for the express purpose of making myself feel bad.

I don't understand all these letters that always have the "my-boyfriend/husband-didn't-clear-his-browser-history-and-I-saw-some-porn-I-was-disturbed-by" thing. I have never, not once, snooped on anyone in any way. The idea has literally never occurred to me. I suppose if I had reason to suspect something was going on that I wasn't being told and I really wanted to find it out, I would snoop, but in the just-offhand way I keep hearing or reading, like when "my boyfriend left his computer open" or something? Never crossed my mind. My ex-husband and I used to share a desktop and neither of us had a laptop for many years. I never considered checking the browser history--for anything, not just for porn. My boyfriend's laptop sits unmolested when he takes a shower. I guess I just don't have the right kind of curiosity.
33
I'm the same, nocute. If my husband watched porn, I never knew.
There are women, though, who are disturbed by it. Do compare themselves. Do feel insecure. And just telling them that their feelings are not valid, because it's just the way it is, is not really addressing that there is a problem about porn watching, for some women.
34
@33: The problem is that you don't own your partner. What he looks at is not up to you. What he gets off on is not up to you. You are not his property, and he is not your property.

The feelings that tell you otherwise? Those feelings are not valid. Sorry.
35
@33: Eudaemonic, I think the feelings that the women who are disturbed by the porn their partners are watching don't stem from a feeling that he is their property, but rather are a variation of "I'm not enough for him" or "I'm not good enough for him," "he wishes I were different," "he is unhappy with me," "he'd prefer me to look like someone else or to act like someone else."

Those are the feelings I think LavaGirl is talking about and not only are they valid, she is right that they aren't being addressed. I contend that any and all feelings are valid, but there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to address them. In the case of porn-insecurity, my advice is to stop torturing yourself by checking for and then watching your partner's porn. My advice is predicated upon the assumption that you're not being neglected in favor of the porn, either sexually or also in terms of general interaction. That is, your partner isn't spending many hours a day watching porn rather than interacting with you. That's a different problem, the solution to which isn't to not check. (Well, the solution to that problem isn't to snoop/check, but to have a come-to-jesus about what's going on. But in any case, it's different.)

I don't think Dan's advice of him pretending not to watch porn and you pretending to believe him is really that good. Because many men pretend not to watch porn, to satisfy the demands of their partners who view porn as a form of infidelity or as something degrading to women in general or disrespectful to them personally, or the signs of a low moral character, or whatever. Then should the women ever, for any reason, discover that their partners are in fact watching porn (as most, but not all, men do) they are in a position to be devastated. Far better, it seems to me, is to realize that:
a) most men watch porn;
b) watching porn isn't a reflection of the man's not being attracted to his partner;
c) lots of porn is watched for the novelty factor, and doesn't indicate something the consumer is really interested in doing or the type of person he's solely attracted to;
d) watching porn doesn't mean that a man doesn't love his partner;
e) watching porn doesn't mean the man doesn't respect women;

and then not snooping or checking for the porn that your partner watches. He should still be respectful and discreet about it, but when your boyfriend leaves his computer open and is still logged in, you shouldn't go checking the browser history if you know that finding porn will upset you. And you should most definitely not actually click on any of the links should you see one if watching your boyfriend's/husband's porn will upset you and stir up your insecurities.
You should know whether or not you can handle seeing what your partner sees, assuming it's just a plain old insecurity thing. If there's more to it--like if you can't handle the idea of a non-vanilla sex act or sex with a person whose body type is radically different from your own, don't check the porn out. If you are unsure whether or not you will be bothered, err on the side of assuming you would be, and act (or don't) accordingly.
36
@32 - I don't actively look for that sort of thing either, but I did stumble across it once. It can happen quite by accident. Shared desktop, he had been farting around doing whatever and got up for something. I told him that I was going to check my email and he was totally fine with that. Well, we both used Yahoo, and he hadn't actually signed out, soooo hello dozens of messages from girlswithglasses.com or whatever it was.

It wasn't the porn that bothered me so much as the sheer volume of it, especially since he was supposed to be looking for a bloody job instead of apparently wanking all day long. (Well over a decade ago, I was far more naive.)

But yeah, accidents do happen, and when it's something that hadn't been discussed, it can be a bit of a shock. I know better now, of course.
37
nocutename @35, I think what you're describing is exactly what Dan means by "him pretending not to watch porn and you pretending to believe him." If she's only pretending to believe him (but really knows that of course he probably looks at porn), then she won't be devastated if someday she accidentally runs across it. She'll close the browser and walk away, knowing it's his business, not hers.
38
Oh Mr E; that's not the point.
A relationship is not an adversary situation, is it?
Of course one doesn't own another. But what they watch/ read/ language they use etc, is an important indicator of who they are.
And yes, these women could just move on. Or the men move on. Or they could work with each other to find a compromise.
39
All feelings are valid. It's the way you choose to behave in response to those feelings that can be inappropriate or not.

LavaGirl, you must admit that your posts are contradictory and confusing. In @3, you ask "Do these girls never know their place," and decline to elaborate on what that means, leading the reader to conclude that what you mean is that "girls" should be meek and obedient and never challenge their partner's porn habits. Were you joking? @21, you had the opportunity to say so, but declined.

Then @31 you reverse yourself and say that porn IS a problem for some women, and a valid one.

Dan did give advice to what LW should do to resolve his porn problem. Tell his GF that he finds all shapes and sizes attractive, including hers, and then hide his porn so it doesn't become an issue. He never implies she is a "bitch" or should "get over it." If his advice had been to the GF, it would have been to accept that most men are visual and keep her nose out of his porn unless it's causing some larger problem. I call that advice.
40
As much as the word of God , Dan and other men, say they are not really effected by porn. Who really knows what it does to the mind, to attitudes, to intimacy?
41
No Fan. I was implying that they are expected to just shut up and not bother their boys with their silly concerns. I was mocking the prevailing( mostly male) attitude to some women's response to porn.
42
Like Dan said, you can't win when your partner is insecure. Doesn't have to have anything to do with porn. My parallel: a college girlfriend was of Indian descent and very slender. She chronically believed that 1) I was actually attracted to big, busty blondes and 2) I had a fetish for Indian girls. She was strongly encouraged in these contradictory beliefs by her friend, a big, busty blonde (who was not at all attractive, BTW). I asked my girlfriend why one was supposedly an attraction and the other was a fetish, and she couldn't answer, but she was never over it while I knew her.
43
@1 used the words bitch and crazy , not Dan.
44
From now on Fan, when I'm using sarcasm / a joke etc, I'll make a special point to let you know.
45
Oh man, these porn letters take me back to the bad old days.

I used to care if my husband looked at porn. Now, for the life of me, I can't figure out why. Did I really think porn was like a real person? Or did I just think I was supposed to be so amazingly emotionally and sexually satisfying that he'd never look at anything else, ever? I can't remember.

That was a long time ago. Tell your girlfriend to let it go. Sing the song from frozen with her, if it helps. In 20 years, whether she's with you or with someone else, what porn you looked at today, tomorrow, next week, whenever is going to be the last thing on her mind.

I told my husband to stop looking at porn back then. He did what all good husbands do- he promised never to look at porn again and learned to clean out his browser history.
46
@31 how do you feel about men's opinions on abortion?
47
@31 Following on... As an example - I don't think women should be [doing this/wearing that/voting like that/etc]. Do you give a fuck? Is it a "problem" that you feel needs to be rectified, by giving my opinion a bigger forum? Or do you think that I should get the F over myself and accept that really, my opinion doesn't rate? I think this is a great opportunity where the answer should be, yes, women need to get over it. They need to change. This isn't as radical a change as you would ask of some man who believes that men are men and women cook & clean. Dan implies, in his previous commentary, that porn use by men is in some sense biological [unlike a majority of western gender roles which are socially constructed] and not mutable.

Furthermore, you ask "Who really knows what it does to the mind" - hmm, indeed - WHO KNOWS? Who knows what happens to women when they're PMSing? My concerns to this are valid, after all, we might have a woman president and, you know, Nuke Codes and shit. But I will tell you this, you know who I won't listen to on this issue? People who've had periods. Anything they have to say is obviously invalid and should be ignored.

You know, as far as Slog commenters go, you're probably a better writer than most SLOG writers; but hot damn are you chauvinist.
48
This is definitely insecurity that she's going to need to work on herself. My own parallel: I got super curious and snooped on a former boyfriend's porn stash (I had permission to use his computer and he had a folder of saved images that wasn't well hidden lol). His collection was primarily images of women who fit my general description: round (not fat but not skinny) girls with dark hair, big boobs, and glasses. I found it flattering as fuck.
49
Estarianne @45. I'm totally with you. 20 years ago I freaked out about my husband's three porn magazines. Since then, I've never snooped and feel really silly about overreacting. I'm sure he looks at porn but he's discreet about it and we have frequent sex so it doesn't seem to have curtailed his desire for sex with me.
LavaGirl @31, that would be a ridiculously dispropotionate response. There's absolutely no hint in the letter that his porn habits are negatively affecting their sex life, or that he's anything but discreet about it. How would a woman blaring porn all around a house all the time and masturbating in the lounge achieve anything?
I look at porn sometimes when my husband's away for work. I have a difficult time finding anything remotely interesting though, it takes about ten times longer to find something arousing than it does to masturbate!
50
@35: While I agree with most of what you say, LavaGirl is pretty clearly just indulging in bog-standard anti-porn hysteria, all of which has turned out to be false.

[LavaGirl, it may shock you to hear that Dungeons & Dragons also doesn't turn kids into monsters. Neither does weed, or television, or the hippity-hop. Shocking, right? I know! Turns out that pretty much everything that makes you feel good to believe is also wrong.]

"I don't think Dan's advice of him pretending not to watch porn and you pretending to believe him is really that good."

I'm going to go against the prevailing wisdom a little here, because I don't completely agree with Dan's policy. For example:

"Because many men pretend not to watch porn, to satisfy the demands of their partners who view porn as a form of infidelity or as something degrading to women in general or disrespectful to them personally, or the signs of a low moral character, or whatever."

I think the value of dumping is underrated here. Those men should not pretend not to watch porn; they should dump their asshole partners. The LW should obviously dump his girlfriend, and keep dumping his girlfriends any time they try to manipulate him into one of these shitty no-win situations. The secret to winning the lottery is to buy a lot of tickets, not to buy one and then punish it when it turns out not to be a winner. Dump the partners who are miserable fuckups--and partners who can't cope with the fact that men tend to use porn are very much in that category.

I understand why Dan proposes that compromise for the women in question--since when you are the miserable fuckup, you can't really dump yourself--but it's a mistake to give that advice to the men in question. In that case, it's an easy DTMFA, followed by finding someone more sane. And being DTMFA'd is one of the very few ways that a miserable fuckup might come to his or her senses, so you're doing everyone involved a favor.

@35, 39: At least one of us is wrong about what the other(s) means by "valid."

"All feelings are valid" is, overtly, a statement without content. Less overtly, it does have content, and that content is both self-contradictory and pretty damn nasty. If you don't think something should be done, the first step is to stop doing it. You can't feelings-police people into losing their urge to police other people's feelings. Pretending to make content-free statements in order to create plausible deniability isn't enough; if you want it not to be done, you have to actually not do it.
51
What's with the notion that men have ONE type of woman that arouses them? THE WHOLE POINT OF PORN IS NOVELTY!! Even if you are your husbands ideal body-type, he's still gonna look at something different! Duh
52
Maybe it's an old married lady thing, but my sweetie's porn habits don't bother me at all. I don't snoop, but when you've lived together for 20 years, you find stuff. If I had found stuff with animals or kids in it it would have upset me, to put it mildly. Other than that it's all fine. The libido likes what it likes.

I have my insecurities, and they have reared their ugly head on occasion, but I know that they are my issue to deal with. Bodies are beautiful and they are fun to watch. Just because he is watching a type of body that doesn't look like mine doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy mine as well. I find some porn degrading to women so I avoid watching a lot if it, but not all of my fantasies live up to my staunch feminist beliefs either. My body rarely consults my brain when deciding what is going to get me off, I don't expect his to. I would be sad if my love felt that he had to hide a part of his sexuality from me. Since neither of us is particularly jealous and we both lean pretty monogamous, we're comfortable sharing that kind of stuff with each other. Some couples aren't, and that's okay too. However, trying to control someone else's sexual proclivities seems not only cruel, it seems like a battle you're bound to lose.

53
Agree with 26 and partially agree with 42-- this is about the girlfriend's insecurity. Oddly and coincidentally, I'm typing this after just having checked my spouse's browser history, which I only do about once or twice a year. I'm OK with him watching some porn, but I get curious about what he's watching, and if the women are particularly young, thin, and gorgeous (I'm none of the above), it does play into my insecurities. The reason I'm only partially agreeing with 42, though is because I don't think it's necessarily "no-win." If I bring it up with him, it's at least in part because I'm looking for confirmation that he really is attracted to me, and not just putting up with me because we're married. Yeah, it's my problem, but it helps with my problem if he reassures me that yes, he really is attracted to me (preferably accompanied by sex). And yes, it will probably happen again, but as long as I'm not constantly expecting him to deal with my insecurities, I don't think it rises to the level of MAJOR problem. It doesn't hurt anybody in a long-term relationship to be reminded that yes, your partner really does think you're hot. If LW's girlfriend is being honest that she doesn't mind him watching porn, wanting to have a reassuring conversation every couple of months does not equal he needs to start hiding his porn use, erasing his browser history, etc.
54
On the other hand, I hardly think that pointing out that there are some negative aspects to porn is indulging in "Anti-porn hysteria". Like pot, TV and music, porn should be enjoyed while keeping your wits about you. No one should be hurt in the process of making porn, it is most definitely not a "how to" manual, and if you find yourself internalizing the misogyny that is present in so much porn, then maybe you need to put down the mouse and and try interacting with women who are not the creation of a script writer who is specifically trying to get you off. Like most issues, this one has shades of gray. (No pun intended)
55
For the life of me I can't figure out what is so hard about turning on privacy mode, incognito, or whatever your browser of choice calls it.
56
"@8: Didn't see the word kink anywhere in the letter or Dan's answer.
bigyaz on April 24, 2015 at 4:57 PM ·"

To clarify, it's in the letter; the LW says his tastes are "pretty vanilla, except for BBW porn." Vanilla EXCEPT for this one thing, to me it sounds like the writer thinks of that one thing as kinky.
57
Mr E; say what? I'm not indulging in hysteria. Ah? Another way to denigrate a woman's perceptions. Call her hysterical.
I think any viewing habits effect the people watching them. All those shit reality shows, you don't feel they dumb down the viewer?

58
Actually I think that what I'm advocating is fairly different from Dan's usual advice.
It involves acknowledging that men watch porn; the couple might have to have an uncomfortable conversation, but one that I think is valuable, in which a man's use of porn is explained and accepted for what it is, and a woman needs to confront her own insecurities and the unrealistic notions of what it means to be in love with someone which I think are fostered by popular media like the books and movies of Nicholas Sparks and his ilk.

This isn't easy, but it is necessary. And once done, it needn't come up again.

I've told my daughters that loving someone doesn't mean that we don't wish we could have sex with others from time to time. It might mean we don't act on that desire, but it doesn't mean the desire isn't there. And that watching porn doesn't mean that your boyfriend or eventual husband doesn't love you and it's not a form of infidelity. I came out and got explicit about this point because I think that a lot of women have been fed a romantic fantasy through movies and books in which she alone, the love of her man's life, is all he ever looks at. That fantasy is a set-up for disappointment and for feeling betrayed and I think it's pernicious.

I also think that to a certain extent, women do need to just get over it--and I'm a porn-disliking woman with some pretty big insecurities. But just because there are old ways of being, we don't have to continue to subscribe to them.
I do think, however, that we should think for a bit about why so many women are so very, very, insecure about their looks, their bodies and faces. I believe that straight men have little idea how much our culture tells us that our most important and valuable asset is our ability to be attractive to men, what that attitude means in terms of straight women's self esteem and insecurities, and how that translates into irrational reactions to porn. If we're going to start doing some digging into whys that might be a good one to address. But then, yes, women need to get past their fears. Because it's ridiculous to have to expect that every man out there has to lie and pretend not to ever watch porn or that he ever finds other women attractive.
59
Fetish; how do I feel about men's view on abortion?
A slightly more serious area.
As a Buddhist, I think abortion is taking life. Hence, my six pregnancies became six babies.
However; I support women who have no moral issue with abortion, making whatever decision they choose to make.
For men. If a woman has an abortion against his wishes, I'd feel for him. Maybe, if she could have the child and he take custody, I'd find that the most satisfying outcome.
Yet. It is a woman's body who goes thru the process. And what if the child had a serious disability, would the father still take custody?
Hard. Hard.
60
Eud - "All feelings are valid" is, overtly, a statement without content. Less overtly, it does have content, and that content is both self-contradictory and pretty damn nasty. If you don't think something should be done, the first step is to stop doing it.
I hope that someday, you learn about the difference between feelings (preferences, emotions, the way people describe their motivations) and behavior (the things people do with their body). One is a subjective fact, and thus always valid. The other is regulated by legalities or personal codes of civility and politeness. Can you tell which is which?

There was a great bit from the Imitation Game that I embarrassingly didn't see until this weekend.
"“We allow for humans to have such divergences from one another. You like strawberries. I hate ice-skating. You cry at sad films. I am allergic to pollen. What does is the point of different tastes — different preferences — if not to say that our brains works differently, that we think differently?"
61
Fetish, Hillary is way past having periods. And as I experience post The Change life, goddamn, it's great.
How is it chauvinist to question what porn is doing to the mind? You think your mind isn't effected by what you see, experience? You got that much control over it?
Over and over images of women being treated like a hole for a man to poke? You don't think that effects men's minds, their attitudes to women?
62
Well LavaGirl, we could spend a huge amount of time worrying about the effects of all sorts of things on the mind (e.g. violent video games or horror movies). And of course this is all a matter of moderation. My husband has probably been watching porn with some frequency for all the 21 years we've been together. It doesn't appear to have affected his desire for me or his attitude to me or women in general. So what have I got to worry about?
63
A biological
Imperative, Fetish? To watch porn? Funny. So all these men, for countless centuries, who couldn't watch porn- how did those poor babies survive? My heart bleeds.
And given your attitudes to sex, Fetish. I'd say you're spot on that you don't listen to those who have / had periods.
Yes I know Busy. Way over the top image. But it sure felt great to imagine it. What would it achieve? We'd have to wait and see.
64
I was going to adopt my first child out, untill three weeks before his birth.
He died at 31 yrs of age.
In hindsight, I think maybe I was just not mature enough at 20, to know what the hell I was doing. He might still be alive if I'd given him up for adoption.
Hard area, Fetish.
65
@58 I'm not a Nicholas Sparks fan--they're just too schlocky even for a romantic like me-- but I actually think that romantic comedies, romance novels, etc serve much the same function for women that porn does for men. They're both idealized--with porn, men get to fantasize about the perfect partner(s) who wants sex all the time without any emotional messiness (i.e., his partner(s) would make his sexual needs their top and only priority), and with romance, women get to fantasize that there's a man out there who would make her the center of his universe (i.e., make fulfilling her emotional needs his top and only priority). Hmmm, that may not be phrasing it exactly right and of course, there are men who don't like porn and women who don't like romance, but maybe you get the idea. I don't think that romance is any more harmful than porn, and it occurs to me that maybe they fulfill the same function in the female and male brains, respectively. Making that realization is what turned me around from being horrified by the idea of porn (for all the typical reasons), to being OK with it, because I enjoy the occasional romantic movie or romance novel probably in the same way that my spouse enjoys occasionally watching porn.
66
My boyfriend watches all kinds of porn from granny to bbw and tons of anal. It makes me feel better knowing that he gets turned on by different types of women. I've been almost obese, and severely underweight, I'm plus size now and I just became a grandma at age 44. I know I can't fulfill all his turn on's or fetish's but at I least I try to and know that he loves me for me and whatever size or age I am.
67
@bettyanon: I do think the two genres fulfill the same purpose and I think they are equally problematic in that they each encourage false expectations. But I think that it might be easier for the message that porn isn't like real-life sex to get through than it is for the message that romance movies--the kind watched and beloved by men and women alike--aren't representative of the way real life relationships and real life desire work.

I don't watch "rom coms" often or chick flics, I also don't read romance novels, ever. But I understand that whereas the romance novels tend to be under the exclusive purview of women, both men and women watch -- and give credence to -- Nicholas Sparks-style movies. I think those movies, based on sentimental notions of "true love," can really set people up for a rude awakening.

It's not nearly so difficult to disprove the assumption that porn is representative.
68
As a bigger woman, I really understand where she's coming from. I went through that a few years ago - before I accepted myself for who I am. I realized that there were few guys who were into me, but the ones who were, did it with a weird, single-.minded focus on my tits and ass, and there were times when I felt like they were going into a room to have sex with my body and left me on the outside looking in. It's really painful when your body IS someone's fetish, and a fetish is a thing.

But not all guys who also like chubby or bigger girls see us as a fetish. The writer of this letter doesn't sound like he is. Maybe they can look at some body positivity or body acceptance pages, like The Militant Baker together, maybe it will help her in the long term, like it helped me. But another important thing, is to just hang out together and talk about the things you are both interested in, take her out somewhere, go to the park or whatever, and make it a day where her body is there with you, but she - the person - is the main act that gets all your loving. :)
69
@44: It wasn't me, but @17, who didn't catch your sarcasm. This is an online forum, and believe it or not, there are people on here who don't know your sense of humour. @21 should have been your clarification post, not @41. Though I have previously advocated for the use of emoticons when sarcasm is present.

I'm glad Dan, unlike some of the heteros on this thread, sees that both of the below statements are true:
"[Most] Men are going to look at porn no matter what, so women have to deal."
"[Most] Women are going to be insecure about porn no matter what, so men have to deal."

If one of these statements is inevitable and inherent about men, but nevertheless OK, then so is the other. It's not just women who should deal with the fact that the men are doing something they don't like, but they have to accept. If men want to continue looking at porn while they're in a relationship, they also have to navigate their partners' disapproval.
70
Also, I'm going to buck the trend here and say that if I discovered my partner's porn cache was full of women with the same unusual body type I possess, I'd be over the moon.
71
Fan; people often say things on this forum that I don't get. I don't assume everyone knows my sense of humour.
Sorry. But @17 looked/ felt like a trick inquiry to me.
72
@71: To me it was a genuine question, to which you should have just said "I was joking".
My jokes have also gone over like lead balloons sometimes...
73
And sometimes I choose to take things as jokes which probably weren't, like @1, to avoid flying into a rage instead :P
74
If I misread @17s motivation, then I apologize.
Given @4, made fun of my comment @3, I don't know how @17 didn't see what was going on.
75
@60: One day, I hope you learn that not everything is an opportunity for meaningless posturing.

Also, to become either much better at reading, or much more honest. Ideally both; neither will be as difficult as it might seem to you.

None of these things are likely, I acknowledge, but I still hope that one day you manage to become a fully-functional human being. Life can be so much better than it is for you right now, once you learn there's more to it than chimpy in-group signalling.
76
Porn is extremely addictive and destroys families and relationships. If you are trying to break the habit, consider installing covenanteyes.com also if you are struggling with the addiction or have a loved one who is, check out chastityproject.com for help
77
@75 Zero content. Pure emotional appeal. Do better.
78
@77: You accurately describe everything you've ever done. Do you even know what content is?
79
@76: Prove it.
80
@69, I disagree. I think cultural change is possible. Wives used to get upset if a husband had women friends or women colleagues; some women may still get upset about that but they are rightly considered controlling and unbalanced if they try to prevent such friendships/work relationships.

Similarly, I think by normalizing porn use and explaining that almost everyone fantasizes (including women), and that porn is just an aid to fantasy, as vibrators are an aid to clitoral stimulation...I think we can get to where men can expect to use porn without that upsetting most women they would date.
81
@80: I agree. I think it's a good analogy--wives used to be wary of husbands having female friends, and husbands of wives having male ones. We got over it, because we all stopped tolerating that wariness. And before that, individuals realized that skipping the partners who were that neurotic was a good idea even on an individual level.
82
@61 I was referring to your entire SLOG body of work.
My point being, it's in-congruent to basically believe in "my body, my choice" w/r/t abortion, and also believe that anyone other than a mans own desires should be considered when he chooses to (or not) consume porn. Ain't no one saying you need to watch porn, no is saying you need to perform in porn, no one is saying you need to look more like "a" porn star. A man watching porn or not literally has no impact on you or not. Ergo, you, or the partner of anyone watching porn, should basically STFU.

FWIW, I have the same views on abortion, in practice, as you. Regardless of my views though, I can safely assume that, as a male, as someone who will never carry a child or have an abortion, my opinion essentially doesn't matter. If I thought abortion were the modern holocaust, there's any number of people, men and women (although, probably not my state rep, but that's an entirely different story), that would tell me it's not my place to have an opinion on the matter - and I don't completely disagree. Like, fine, my opinion is "valid", but that's besides the point, I'm still an old man yelling at a cloud.

@80 Many women (at least, most people who I've been with, which are mostly your typical college/grad educated liberal/ish types that aren't probably much different than the SLOG crowd) still have issues with men having female friends. My experience has been that jealousy over legitimately platonic relationships to be the norm rather than exception. Everyone changes once the doors are closed, so those salon convos you have where people say that being controlling/jealous is bad and they dont do that might not actually exercise that policy within a relationship. Call it the Bradley Effect of sex. YMMV, I hope it does!
83
@78 - Ooh ooh ooh - I know this one! Content is what men post. Chimpy in-group signalling is what the ladies post. What's my prize?
84
JibeHo, your prize is to have me point out you're still not very clever. Congratulations! I hope it brings you joy.

FWIW, I assumed Phil was a man, for the longest time. Chimpy in-group signalling is Phil's only reason for being here, and you've admitted that it's yours too.

Content is what EricaP posts. Are you under the impression that she's not a lady? If you were interested in learning, you could learn something from her. But we both know you're not; people like you inevitably think learning is a sign of weakness.
85
Eud - It must be exhausting maintaining your reputation as a humorless jerk. Since I have much better things to do I'll let you carry on without me.
86
JibeHo,

"It must be exhausting maintaining your reputation as a humorless jerk."

It isn't. It's remarkably liberating; being honest and intelligent is more fun than you can imagine. Literally, I suspect.

"Since I have much better things to do I'll let you carry on without me."

Oh, I wish I believed you. About either of the statements you're making in that sentence.
87
fetish @82, sigh, I bet you're right about what goes on behind closed doors. Do you think the male versions of those college/grad educated liberal/ish types also have issues if their female partners have male friends?
88
Mr E ; you and Erica would make a lovely couple ( of)......
89
@87 to the extent that women do, no. I do not believe in symmetry between the sexes, however, as there are different biological priorities between men and women. This isn't to say men don't have their own issues behind closed doors; it's just that they have different issues (uh, domestic violence comes to mind. There is a non-zero chance that a SLOGger is hitting their SO right now). Obviously there are jealous men and DGAF women out there... I just wish there were more of the later.
90
fetish, you're aware that women contribute to about 70% of all domestic violence, right? If a SLOGger is hitting their SO right now, it's probably a woman doing it. And that woman probably thinks it's perfectly acceptable since hey, she's not a man, right? After all, violence doesn't count as long as it's done by women or directed at men. Which is why it's not usually counted in surveys.

Men have their issues, and many of them come from the fact that people are fond of propagating lies about how much violence we deserve.
91
Wow. I doubt that 70% figure; and if anything, it must rely on counting each "incident" equally. While I firmly believe that no one is too good for a punch in the face, I also know that when a man punches a women in the face, the impact (not a pun) is greater than when a woman hits a man. Also, I firmly believe in "say the words". Is domestic violence by women against men a big problem? Not that I've heard. While it may be shameful to admit that a girl hits you, it doesn't abrogate one's need to complain/press charges/whatever if you want a change.
92
@91, yes, there is in fact a huge unacknowledged problem of women (like my mother) terrorizing their partners and children.
93
@91: "Is domestic violence by women against men a big problem? Not that I've heard."

Because hey, as long as we've successfully silenced the victims, then there's no problem, right? It's only a problem if people complain... and if they do complain, we say there's no problem and punish them for complaining. Utopia!

"While it may be shameful to admit that a girl hits you, it doesn't abrogate one's need to complain/press charges/whatever if you want a change."

Textbook victim-blaming.
94
I highly doubt that men, as a class, are being systematically silenced on the issue of women-on-male domestic abuse. I'm happy to read any literature y'all have to offer, though.

@93b, what other option is there? You want Miss Cleo to be making policy?
95
@94 see:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles…
"There is increasing evidence to suggest that women commit as much or more IPV as men... Among adolescents, research consistently shows that females perpetrate more acts of violence in intimate relationships than males...
...Caetano and colleagues (2002) found that 42% of white females reported perpetrating IPV while only 19% of their white male victims reported this perpetration"
96
IPV = Intimate partner violence

That article took me one minute to find.
97
"I highly doubt that men, as a class, are being systematically silenced on the issue of women-on-male domestic abuse."

You highly doubt this thing is happening, even though you are literally participating in it right this minute.

I highly doubt that people post comments on the internet in English!

"I'm happy to read any literature y'all have to offer, though."

I hereby call your bluff. ;)

That's not the study I was thinking of, but it'll do; the content probably isn't what matters, since I assume you're bluffing here. But the evidence is not hard to find.

"what other option is there? You want Miss Cleo to be making policy?"

Do you believe rape happens? I highly doubt that you're unfamiliar with all the arguments for why victim-blaming is the wrong thing to do. Apply it.
98
Don't!!! I repeat don't clear the history...nothing screams: Hey I just did/watched something so UNACCEPTABLE that I would prefer that it were abundantly clear that I am hiding it rather then risk someone finding out what I did or watched.
99
@88 Lava - My thoughts exactly!
100
@99, so kind of you to mock Eudaemonic and myself, when we're both expressing what we've learned from traumatic experiences at the hands of female perpetrators of domestic violence.