Sex & Love » Savage Love

Porn in the U.S.A

Proper ways to address a tricky subject

by

comment

I'm a straight woman in my mid-20s living in San Francisco. I have an amazing boyfriend who I'm sure will be my partner for life. However, he confessed something the other night that has me in a daze. Years ago, when he was much younger and had just moved to the city, he appeared in a gay adult film. He thought he might be bi at the time, he said, but the experience made him realize that he's not really attracted to men. I would never leave him over this, but I'm having a hard time processing it. When we have sex, I can't help but think about it, and it's made it hard for me to get in the mood. I want to get past this.

Confused About Lover's Indiscretions

You live in San Francisco. If you rule out as a potential partner any straight guy who's appeared in gay porn, CALI, you might have to move to another city.

Here's something that might be easier than moving: Change your perspective on the meaning of sex between men. When a straight girl messes around with another girl, no one thinks of her as any less feminine. But a straight guy who messes around with another dude is seen as less masculine. The belief that gay sex is somehow emasculating, and that guys who've had gay sex are less manly, is pure homophobia. And this particular kind of homophobia — your particular kind of homophobia, CALI — is killing your desire for your boyfriend. Willing yourself to see what was masculine and manly about your boyfriend's gay porn experience — he wasn't afraid to explore his sexuality because, hey, your boyfriend is one of those completely fearless manly man types—might help you get past it. Good luck.

I'm a gay man in my mid-20s with an etiquette question. I recently met a crazy-hot guy on an online dating site who seems like a great match: tons of common interests, similar sense of humor, shared life goals. The one thing that has kept me from meeting him: He does porn. He doesn't acknowledge that he does porn on his profile, but I recognized him. I am "familiar" with his work. I don't mind that he does porn, but I am at a loss for how to broach the subject. I'm worried that if I let on that I recognize him from his work, he might think I'm some crazy stalker. But I also worry that if I play dumb and we do hit it off, it could blow up in my face down the road.

What's the most graceful way to handle this situation?

Pondering Online Romance Netiquette

Here's how you handle it: You assume he's not an idiot. A porn star on a gay dating site figures that most of the other guys on the site will be "familiar" with his work. So there's no need to broach the porn subject, as he most likely assumes you (and everyone else he meets via that site) already knows. Don't stress about it. If you want to ask him out, ask him out. When he mentions his work (perhaps during a convo about your respective careers), tell him you know his work and you've enjoyed it, and let him steer the conversation from there. If he wants to hear about your favorite films, scenes, cum shots, etc., he'll ask.

Yesterday I was finishing a work conversation with my boss via instant message from my home computer. I meant to send her a legitimate link, but I accidentally entered a several-day-old porn link that was still in the memory and hit send before I noticed my mistake. I'm a 30-year-old male, my boss is a few years younger and female, and she's generally cool. Once I realized what I had done, I immediately told her not to click the link and I sent the right one. The URL left little to the imagination about what kind of link it was.

We work in a very professional environment that's careful about maintaining a respectful and harassment-free workplace. I'm horribly embarrassed. How should I handle it? I'm inclined to never speak of it again unless she does first.

Jerk From Home

Workplace power dynamics being what they are — bosses can fire employees, employees can't fire bosses — you do need to put something in writing.

First, no emoticons.

Second, send a brief email to your boss detailing just how that happened — IMing from your home computer, not your work computer (making it clear that you weren't looking at porn on your work computer without using the word "porn") — apologize one more time, and state that you'll take care that it doesn't happen again. You could still get in trouble with HR if your boss decides to make a case of it, but you'll be able to point to a contemporaneous e-mail that details your side of the story, i.e., an accident, you weren't rubbing one out in front of a work computer.

In somewhat related news: Today I sent my straight boss a picture I found online of a guy with a wine bottle stuffed up his ass — I did it on purpose. ;)

Add a comment