Pinings — Advice by Sherry Hughes

My Boyfriend's Computer!

Dear Sherry,

I read your article about the effect of porn on relationships... hereís my deal. I was looking on my boyfriendís computer, when he suddenly took it and deleted a folder before I could see the contents.  So I persistently asked him what it was... and he told me they were pornographic movies... so I looked around a little more on his computer and he has sex web sites on his favorites list. He also gets Maxim magazines.

I have no idea to what extent he enjoys this stuff... but it upset me nonetheless that he didnít want me to know... I just found out and he confessed, sort of.  Then he said he doesnít care if it upsets me, and shortly thereafter rescinded that statement.


But my question is: Through your own research, do you think this is something I should be upset about?  Or is it normal for guys to be interested by porn to the extent that they might have a few videos on their pc and some magazines in their closets? He says itís natural... I just donít know what to think... I didnít think he was the type... heís in a different light now.



Dear Tonia,

I think itís hard to define ďnormal.Ē Normal for you is not normal for your neighbors, friends or coworkers. Some people watch porn all the time and call it normal. Others donít have it in the house and call that normal.

It sounds like your boyfriend likes to watch porn and look at porn magazines. What you need to decide is if it bothers you enough to make an issue out of it in terms of your relationship. Are you offended by it? Do you object to having it in your home? Does it make you feel as if you are compared to the women in the videos or is your sex life with your boyfriend affected by it? By that, I mean does your boyfriend need to watch porn to get turned on? Or does he want you to do things that make you feel uncomfortable based on what heís seen on a video or in a picture?

Pornography can be damaging in a few ways. It can desensitize us to reality. For some men (and women), sex isnít exciting anymore if it isnít as hot as it is in a porn movie. Likewise, some men (and women) compare the women in the movies to the women in their lives Ö and frankly few women would pass that test. It can happen to women in the same way. Also, porn isnít about love and romance, itís about sex. Sex in a relationship is about communication and intimacy, and there is certainly room for the, ahĖmore naughty side of it. But if sex is never warm or tender or loving in a relationship, it might not be a good thing.

Be honest with your boyfriend about your feelings and insist that he be honest about his. Tell him this isnít about judgment, just about personal choice. If he wants to watch porn, he should do so when you arenít around if it bothers you. If he volunteers to get rid of it, fine. But he has the right to do what he wants, heís an adult and porn is legal. You, however, donít have to have it in your life. You get to decide if itís bothersome enough for you to make you want to move on.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers. Reach her at


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