Most women are afraid of porn.
I hate to say that in this enlightened age, but especially among the middle-aged and older, female sexual sensibilities have not quite caught up with men's, in general. Taught by a thousand sensationalist day-time talk shows and half a million women's magazine articles about various men's "porn addiction" and "sex addiction", they've been taught that viewing sexually explicit material is somehow deviant, a sign of mental illness, or morally abhorrent. So when they discover your secret cache of DVDs hiding in a Civil War DVD box set, or realize that you aren't working on a spreadsheet at the computer late at night, they freak out and often jump to conclusions about you, your relationship, and your fitness as a mate.
They don’t understand what a vital part of male sexuality erotica and masturbation are. When they accidentally find your movie stash, or – worse yet – bust you jerkin’ the gherkin, their first inclination is to freak out. Why? Because most women suffer from critical low self-esteem, and the slightest hint that they are not the sex goddesses they assume they are because they read Cosmo is a crippling blow. So when the inevitable does happen, it is best to be pre-prepared with your arguments, lest you wind up in couple's counseling prematurely.
First, appreciate her perspective, as warped as it might be. You have to understand that she has likely been acclimatized to look upon video erotica with distaste and view it as an unfair competitor for your attention and affections. Residue of misguided early feminist thought, horror stories of exploitation, and all manner of mistaken female mythology about adult entertainment have likely built up in her mind so that she assumes – at least subconsciously – that watching a “dirty movie” means that you are on the path towards cheating on her and, ultimately, leaving her for a skinny, busty 20 year old nymphomaniac heiress. To her, your harmless hobby is one step away from screwing disease-ridden crack whores behind abandoned convenience stores. Keep this in mind as you approach the discussion.
The best way to handle the issue to not wait for it to be a crisis. To do this, you must approach her about the subject, and do so in such a way that she will actually listen, which means framing the debate along more feminine lines. SO, here’s what you do:
1. Make some coffee or hot tea, and tell her, in a serious yet sympathetic voice, “We need to talk about our relationship.” No woman on earth can resist those words. Indeed, most dream of hearing them from their menfolk. Which makes this likely departure from your standard MO especially telling. If you actually use those words, she knows right away that you Mean Business, and she will actually listen. It will also scare the hell out of her, because this is precisely the tactic some men use when they are about to break up. Which means that when you DON’T break up with her, something harmless like the subject of your dirty movies will be a big relief to her.
2. Don’t jump right into the issue of your porn stash. That might make her feel threatened, again, which defeats the purpose of this conversation. Instead start of with something a little more innocuous, like “I know we’ve been together for ________, and I think its been long enough for us to be open and honest with each other.” After the word “relationship”, “open and honest” are two high-value buzz-words in feminine psychology. She can’t very well fault you for being open and honest, can she? (Well, perhaps in extreme cases.) But since she’s used to you lying to her all the time, a claim of openness and honesty is going to emphasize the point that this subject is important to you. It will also scare the part of her brain that makes her feel inadequate about every aspect of her life. After all, if you are choosing here-and-now to be “open and honest”, then whatever you are going to talk about means that you haven’t been entirely candid about that subject before. In her mind she’s running through her checklist of insecurities: is it my weight? My job? My clothes? My shoes? My spending habits? My hair color? OH GOD, WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME? (It’s an ugly place, the female subconscious. Far more complicated than the male’s.)
3. Continue with, “I know that the fact that I like watching sexually explicit DVDs makes you uncomfortable. I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable, not at all. But this is important to me, and I think you should hear what I have to say.” Again, use the words “important to me”, because if you really do have an open, honest relationship, then your needs should be, on paper, at least as important as yours. Seriously, consider for example her nail salon habit. It’s expensive, it’s superficial, it exposes her to all sorts of diseases, but she justifies her expensive indulgence anyway because it boosts her self-esteem. It is important to her. By saying that this is important to you, you eliminate the idea in her mind that you are just reverting to the “horny teenager” that gets an illicit thrill from watching forbidden erotica. Instead, you are acting like an adult, being forthright, and baring an important and vital part of your soul to her.
4. Now that you have put her in a serious frame of mind, the first thing you need to do is banish her worst fears. “I want you to know that I love and respect you, and my viewing habits IN NO WAY mean that I am somehow unsatisfied with you in bed, or how you look. I don’t expect you to look or act like a porn star. Just because I enjoy watching (insert fetish here) doesn’t mean I expect you to do that, if you’re uncomfortable with it.” One of the deepest, darkest fears in most women’s minds is that if you like watching a lot of anal videos, that you’ll want anal. (Which you probably do, but that doesn’t mean you want to impose it upon her.) By insisting that watching porn flicks doesn’t raise your sexual expectations of her, you relieve that pressure somewhat. This will likely launch a discussion from her that begins, “Yes, but . . .” because she’ll need additional reassurances. The key is to keep your voice calm, low, and reasonable. Mention that yes, perhaps you would be interested in someday trying some anal (or whatever), but that you want to wait until she’s secure enough and (important one here) your relationship is strong enough. By sowing the seed that you don’t think your relationship is strong enough to try something that is important to you, you put her back on the defensive.
5. Next, it’s time to assert the right of all Men to look at big titties. “You might not understand this – most women don’t – but erotic fantasy is a key part of male sexuality. Since we are more visual than women, watching erotica is very important to us. In fact it’s a vital part of masculine sexuality. It keeps our erotic imagination charged, which makes us more secure in our relationships.” Again with the relationship. If buying a $300 pair of shoes makes her feel more attractive and secure, then why can’t a $29.95 blowjob DVD do it for you? Then there is the implicit threat, that if you don’t get to watch XXX you are not secure in your relationship – and that means trouble for her. Plus, by pointing out that this is part of your natural, healthy need to fantasize, you keep the playing field even. After all, everyone fantasizes – even her. By insisting for your own right to fantasize, you have revealed that you are a secure, stable man with a healthy understanding of your own sexuality.
6. Now, you want to emphasize that you are a grown man, and accept responsibility for your actions. “You might think I should have out-grown the desire to watch other people have sex, but it isn’t something that you grow out of. It’s a matter of either stretching my erotic imagination or risk becoming emotionally stagnant – and I don’t want our intimate relationship to grow stagnant.” If relationship is a big-time buzz-word, then intimate relationship is at least twice as potent. Women often refer to their sexuality as something intimate, and coupling your desires with your relationship tells her that this is an important part for you. Then there is the idea that without the eye-candy stroke-fodder, your intimate relationship will become stagnant, i.e. stop growing. As a woman she likely feels responsible for the quality of your over-all relationship, so challenging the growth potential is a hammer-blow to her self-esteem. But do it gently – it shouldn’t be taken as an overt threat. Remember, you are trying to persuade her, not argue with her. To continue, emphasize that you consider this deeply personal and private: “I know you might not find this sort of thing erotic, but I know that I would never dream of telling you how to run your private sexuality; I have too much respect for you to do that. All I ask is that you extend me the same courtesy, and trust that I would never do anything to jeopardize our relationship.” This is the Big Sledgehammer: that you are more concerned with her feelings and the relationship over-all than she is, and that by complaining about your hobby she us actively undermining the stability and security of the relationship. No woman in her right mind wants to be accused of that, of course.
7. Now its time to assure her that your collection of big titty DVDs doesn’t mean you want her to have a boob-job. “I know some of the women in the videos can be a little intimidating, but they are paid performers who were chosen for their . . . assets. Yes, I like watching (insert fetish here), but that doesn’t mean I want that lying next to me every night. I can separate reality from fantasy, and I recognize that while I might find some sexual pleasure in watching that sort of thing, that’s not a real person I can love and touch and appreciate.” Repeat as necessary.
8. The issue of adult video being somehow “degrading” or “objectifying” of women can be tricky, but not impossible. Focus on the entertainment value, and make parallels to the mainstream entertainment industry. “While I appreciate your misgivings about this, I think your concerns are misplaced. The modern adult film industry is a broad spectrum of people from all backgrounds, all working voluntarily to create a quality production. The girls that you are so concerned for are well-compensated for their performances; indeed, the men in the videos make much, much less than the women. And by watching them, that doesn’t lessen my respect for you or all women, for that matter. They are simply doing a job, getting paid for something that they have the ability and talent to do at a professional level. Consider (insert her favorite popular mainstream star here). Does watching her play all those roles/sing all those songs/appear in the tabloids diminish her somehow in your eyes? She has a talent that she is exploiting as a career. The women I watch in those movies are doing the same thing – they just have a talent in a different direction than __________.” Even the most virtuous celebrities are obviously using their god-given talents to prosper -- why should a woman or a man whose talents are primarily sexual be denied the same right? The thing that degrades and disrespects porn performers isn't the work, after all, it's the attitude of the critics of their chosen industry. Make it a fairness issue, and you might gain some important ground.
9. Now it’s time to take issue with her porn habits. Of course we aren’t talking about the hard stuff you enjoy, but she has her own group of erotically stimulating media that she’s likely to indulge in. While male-oriented erotica tends to be more visual and more explicit, there are analogs in the realm of female media that fulfill the same basic need: to inform her erotic fantasy life. Chief among these are the teleplays known as “Soaps”. These sordid “daytime dramas” are little more than a daily fix of female-oriented pornographic fare. While they don’t show bush or nipples, they focus on the interminable emotional foreplay and fantasy life of most women – especially when it comes to fashion. Storylines revolve around forbidden romance, secret affairs, infidelity, marriage, divorce, and all manner of tawdry topics. Women tell these off as harmless fantasy – which they are – but they also serve as porn for the feminine psyche. In that same vein, the romance novels – from the formulaic Harlequin romance “novels” to the huge historical romances with the ripped bodice on the cover, play towards the forbidden love angle. The men are all strong, steely-eyed, successful (even if they are poor) and unbelievably sensitive while they are mounting the heroine in a manly fashion – always disguised with a comfortable coating of innuendo. Despite protests to the contrary, these books are overtly sexual, albeit always in the context of some complicated and tangled emotional relationship. They get away with all sorts of things here, from what’s known in the trade as “positive outcome rape” (boy meets girl, boy rapes girl, girl discovers she likes it and falls in love with boy) a theme which almost no one in the mainstream explicit pornoverse will touch. Also present are plenty of interracial and power-oriented scenes based on societal rules that the heroine seems to break in her quest for her one true love . . . who likely as not raped her around Chapter 3. Women can argue that because there are no nipples or pubic hair, but plenty of coal chutes, duels, and badly written Cockney accents, that these are somehow less arousing to them than Big Boob Teachers #3 is for you, but it just ain’t so. Demand equal respect for your porn collection and be sure to point out her hypocrisy. Just do it politely.
10. Point out the advantages of popping in a DVD over some of the alternatives, if appropriate. Consider saying, “Look, I understand this makes you uncomfortable. There are all sorts of horror stories out there about men cheating on their women with random strangers they meet while cruising chat rooms for erotica. I’m not doing that – I’m just watching a couple friendly DVDs. I’m not talking to anyone else, I’m not trying to have an affair, I’m not considering leaving you because of them. I don’t search the internet for stuff that could lead to viruses on the computer or crazy women stalking me.” This might be a hard argument to make – that what you are actually doing is the lesser of two evils – but some women might actually take this to heart. Watching a movie is a lot less threatening to an insecure woman than, say, exchanging flirty emails with sexyassbabe24 on yahoo.
11. Don’t forget to make the pitch to include her in your viewing. Believe it or not, there are plenty of women who like adult video, once they get over their initial fears. And once she is exposed to it in a friendly, low-stress manner and sees the variety of explicit erotic entertainment available, she may well change her opinion entirely – I’ve seen it happen. Try it like this: “Maybe you’d think differently about it if you actually watched a couple with me. I mean, how many have you watched?” Phrased this way, it’s almost a challenge to her status as a mature adult – who, in this day and age, hasn’t seen at least one adult flick? Plus, the idea that she can condemn something without experiencing it makes her seem hypocritical. “I think you’ll find that it’s not nearly as bad as you think. And sometimes you can learn things, if you pay attention. I mean, it’s almost like a video Cosmo, depending on what you watch. But if you don’t think you could handle it . . .” No woman likes to be challenged like that. The implication is that she is a prude – and that’s almost as bad, or even worse, than being labeled a slut. Even if she flat-out refuses, you have given her a chance to share this part of your intimate life with her, and she turned you down. She can no longer claim that you are excluding her from it.
12. Finally, and one of the biggies, is the insinuation that you are a lusty devil who needs this additional sexual outlet because she isn’t quite taking care of your needs. “I know you aren’t in the mood nearly as often as I am, so this kind of fills the gap. I mean, do you really want me bothering you to take care of me every time I get a stray erection?” More than likely she’ll agree that would be an imposition. In the rare case that she does say, “Yes, if you have an erection that needs to be tended to, I’ll be more than happy to do that,” GET IT IN WRITING AND GET IT NOTARIZED BEFORE SHE SOBERS UP!
So that’s Ian Ironwood's Twelve Step Plan To Talk To Your Woman About Adult Video. Try it out and let me know what happens. I’m always ready to refine the protocol.