6
   

Does my husband have a porn addiction?

 
 
earthsmist
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 08:02 am
How much is too much??
So....the original question was - Is my husband addicted to porn? What exactly constitutes addiction to porn? If a man visits porn websites on a daily basis, is that considered addiction? If a man 'uses' porn sites before having sex with his partner, is that considered addiction?

As you can tell, I have my own problems dealing with the porn issue. The first time I walked in and found my B/F looking at porn sites, he immediately asked me if I wanted to have sex - and I was disgusted!

Since then, I have come to accept that he visits porn sites - but I can't say that I am happy to know that he does this on a daily basis, or even worse to find that he has visited porn sites before we make love.

And like so many women, it is immediately my insecurities that he says are the problem. Yes, my insecurities do play a part in this problem. Let me explain just a bit further - go back in time a bit. Last September, an email was brought to my attention. This email had been written in May (3 months after we were dating exclusively and one month before I moved in with him) to his former lover. In the email, he told her that he would leave me for an imagined possibility of being with her - and he also told her that she was the only woman he had ever made love to when he didn't fantasize about another woman.

Of course, I was devastated by this email and I left. He called and we worked through things. He said that the email had been sent before I moved in with him and that since I moved in, his feelings were different. To this day, I still have a hard time trusting him....and I fight with this quite often.

How do I convince myself that I am good enough? That he is only using porn sites as many men do - because they have the opportunity to see naked women....and that's all it is to it. Is anyone else dealing with a man who views porn daily and uses it before sex?
0 Replies
 
Doggiemom
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 10:11 am
Porn and Husbands
I've been reading this thread with great interest. I also am going through the porn thing with my husband. I have faced the fact that he is addicted. Porn is an addiction just like alcohol or drugs, no matter what anyone says. Men that are addicted to porn hide it, don't want their wives (or significant others) to know about it and defend it. It starts out innocently enough...just a little racy stuff on the computer every now and then, but builds into an all consuming thing. I'm no prude at all and have been known to watch racy movies with my husband to put a spark in our love-life, but porn has completely taken over. When your mate/partner has NO interest in sex with you and would rather have the porn, there is a very serious problem.

As I said, I speak from experience. This has nearly destroyed my marriage. We are in counseling now, but who knows if we'll work things out. I've been hurt and devastated and wondered why am I not good enough? I now know it's HIS problem and HE has to conquer it. I'm wondering when PA (Porn Anonymous) organizations will start up!

Just my .02 worth.
0 Replies
 
izzyrose
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 04:36 pm
earthsmist: As stupid as this sounds I don't know if my husband watches porn b/f sex. B/c he's so secretive I usually find out about it after the fact. But if he did and I knew it prior to sex I would probably feel pretty disgusted by it too. Do you think he needs the porn to have sex w/ you? If so then he has a serious problem. And as hard as it is to do, you really need to realize that you shouldn't beat down on yourself and think it's b/c of you.But it sounds like porn is just part of the problem w/ your boyfriend. You obviously have trust issues b/c of the ex. I can kinda relate. I've come to realize that the reason I worry about the porn so much w/ my husband is b/c I feel that he is missing something in our sex life that he feels I can't provide. Not b/c he's looking at naked women but b/c of the type of women he was with b/f me. My husband and I were roomates for a year b/f we got together. We became very close friends. So therefore being friends he shared things w/ me about the girls he was dating. The relationship he had b/f me was with a girl who was a stripper. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But this girl obviously being very comfortable with her nudity had no problems doing some very risque things w/ him. B/c she was the kinda girl that when you saw her she just seemed to scream sex it made me a bit self-conscious when we got together. Not that I don't feel sexually attractive but some girls have no problems using their bodies at any time to attract men. Thats just not me. I'm a little more reserved and I feel that I am at my sexiest w/ someone I love in a intimate setting. So anyway I at times wonder if my husband craves that wildness in our relationship. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that if your anything like me that ex is constantly knawing on your insecurities and the porn is just an added annoyance. You just have to look at yourself and decide what you want and what kinda person you think you are. If you feel you can't get past the insecurities yourself than maybe you should talk to him and ask him to help you. If he says the ex is not an issue that try to give him the benefit of the doubt and trust that it's you that he wants. As far as the porn b/f sex. Does he absolutely need it or could he maybe cool it off a bit just b/c he knows it makes you uncomfortable. If he's still persistent about the porn b/f sex then I would probably get a little concerned and start wondering if he has an addiction problem.
0 Replies
 
earthsmist
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 04:47 pm
more thoughts
I, too, read this thread with extreme interest......in my struggle of understanding the addiction to porn and the secrecy that so often surrounds it.

The second time I walked in and found my b/f looking at porn sites, we had a talk. I told him that I didn't have a problem with it, as long as it was an occassional thing and he never asked me to have sex immediately after viewing porn sites. I told him that he didn't have to keep it a secret from me. He assured me that he was not keeping it a secret as he was doing it while I was in the house with him....just not in the same room.

And that's not the entire truth of it. If I walk in and he is looking at porn, he will change windows quickly. I'm not an idiot - I know he was looking at porn sites, not staring at the same screen for an hour! He will also clear the history on his computer.....making it pretty obvious then, what he has been up to.

Now, he has bought a laptop computer and it is a bit harder for me to 'catch' him at the porn sites. To top this off, he password-protected his computer to keep me from checking the history...or anything else.

And if you just wait long enough, something happens! All those porn site visits caused his computer to crash - boy, was he mad! After having to reformat and reload windows, I happened to catch his computer without a password on it. Saw an email from his former lover - the one I brought up in my first post. Seemed innocent enough that time, but made me curious about how long he had been in touch with her and what all has been said this time. I also noticed that he has put her screen name back on his IMs - it was gone for awhile, but it's back now.

So....I thought it was time to be sneaky myself! I bought and installed email and internet monitoring software on his computer while it was still unprotected. I've only had it installed a week so far.....but my goodness, the things I have found out! Visits to porn sites sometimes 2-3 times a day....should be interesting to see how many hours a week he actually spends looking at porn. And while it has not captured any emails between him and his former lover, it did catch him 'googling' her screen name and real name today! Also showed a search at adultmatchdoctor.com for swingers in the local area and for women in the town of his former lover....reckon he was looking for her??

So, there it is. Secrecy in hiding the fact that he looks at porn A LOT, password-protecting his computer.....and still thinking of his former lover a year after that first email I found.

Oh, one other thing that I found amusing. When first discovering that he was looking at porn, I wondered what the attraction was. I decided to check out a few sites myself. I'm sitting in the room with him one day and I'm watching a porn flick on my computer....with the sound turned off. He asked me what I was doing and I told him that I was looking at porn. He was shocked and didn't believe me. So, I turned my screen around to face him. Then he says - well, that's not exactly right. WHAT? He says that it is okay for him to look at it, but I am not supposed to! How 'bout that??

Sorry for the long post, but I just had to get more of this off my chest! Thanks for listening and any support you can give is greatly appreciated.
0 Replies
 
lost my calgon
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 05:08 pm
Confused IzzyRose,
I read only the first few sentences in your post. I had to stop there. You knew he was into porn before you married him. So you have sealed your fate. Deal with it and move on. Why is it a problem now? Perhaps you should post a reply on the subject....."Did you marry the one you love the most?"........obviously you didn't. Sounds like he didn't quite match up when he popped the question but you figured you might as well say yes and have that "wedding" you always dreamed of. Here is some advice: take it or leave it:...........Why don't you try being the porn star in the bedroom, your obviously not giving him what he is looking for. Also, he could be gay. It's not always women in those flicks.... :wink:
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 05:41 pm
Doggiemom, "When your mate/partner has NO interest in sex with you and would rather have the porn, there is a very serious problem" -- you're absolutely right.

If thats the case, you have a problem and counseling does seem like a good option - or first, talking about it with each other.

I guess, like with everything else in life, whether something is a problem or not all depends on scope ... indulging in a sweet piece of chocolate cake on your free afternoon can be perfectly innocent, whether your bf thinks you shouldn't or not (f*ck him). But that doesnt mean that some people dont also have serious eating disorders, and overindulging in such stuff can be a symptom.

I still dont know about cause and effect tho ... I mean, if someone spends, for example, entire nights away from you watching porn, something is seriously wrong, I'd say. But does he do porn because he has problems (with you, or in general) - or does he have problems cause he does porn?

I dunno ... we all masturbate, whether we have a gf/bf or not - its natural. And some like pictures while others like stories. But if someone is obsessed by it, or needs to watch it to be able to have sex with you, yeah, you have a problem. That would be awful.

One thing's for sure from this thread, the issue about porn always seems to be part of a bigger problem. All the more important to get a handle on what's the actual problem, vs what's the symptom. But I guess something can easily be both, just think of drinking (people start drinking for a reason but that doesnt make their drinking any less of a problem of itself).

Thread's been interesting, really. Had never really thought about it much. I guess there's just a difference between "regular use", which you should just take into your stride, and "overboard use", which hurts the ability of your partner to function properly.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 06:36 pm
FIrst, I think that if you have to ' search' in something that your husband does, then there is a HUGE trust issue >obviously<. He is hunting for other sex partners too? Not to be blunt.. but what are you waiting for? Or looking for ? He is talking to his ex, looking at swingers parties etc.. everything you wanted to know about his porn you have found out and then some. Ask him about it. Just say..you were curious or what ever. but I would ask him about it.Simply because if he Is cheating, you can possibly catch a disease from him. Protect yourself.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 06:44 pm
earthsmist, damn, btw, what a story. Hadnt read that second post yet. Man, no offence, but you people need to talk. About lots of things. Because him hiding things from you that seem pretty alarming (looking for swingers, in his ex's town even, and so on) - and you sneaking into his stuff behind his back - thats no way to go on.

One thing I gotta get off my chest: if my partner ever tried to purposefully sneak her way around my e-mail, IMs, internet history, docs behind my back, that alone could be reason for me to leave her. Thats such an intense violation of privacy. I dont want my partner to read my diary, or letters I write to my friends for that matter, or follow me around the net. I dont want her to be doublechecking whether I mightnt have googled up a name of some former lover in a nostalgic mood - or anything. Thats my stuff. I mean, show a little respect! (Is what I'd tell her.)

Of course, the sucky thing here is that it looks like you do actually have reason to be suspicious ... much reason. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're not being followed, and all that. And that must really be tough for you. I'm sorry to hear it.

But I still think your methods are wrong. I mean, my ex, who's moved out into her own place but still has a key to this place, still checks her email here (no computer of her own). I go into the email program to empty trash, but I never go snooping around, and neither did I when she was my gf and still lived here. Something would really need to catch my eye for me to even see it. She would also never have forgiven me, if I did. I mean, unless you're preparing a law case against him or something, you two just need to talk. My two c.
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izzyrose
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 08:13 pm
Wow, earthmist! Does he ever get off the computer?!Smile No, but seriously you really need to talk to him. I can understand the sneaky snooping b/c I've done it myself. And yes I've always felt guilty about it b/c it is not the best method to use. But I gave my husband plenty of chances to tell me the truth. What do you do when someone is always lying to you about something that you know is going on...but they insist on making you feel like your crazy. Especially in your situation! It sounds like you guys haven't lived together that long. Is that right? I don't know, maybe he's starting to feel the commitment to this relationship and it's causing him to feel trapped. Cause it sounds by him looking for swingers and ex-girlfriends that he's looking for a way out. I'm probably making to much out of this. I mean it could just be that he's just curious. Has he actually talked to anyone from these swinger sites? Whatever his reasons you need to figure out whats going on in his head. If you can. My advice from what I've learned is don't attack him and say things in anger. I know thats probably hard to do b/c it is so frustrating. But he probably won't take the snooping lightly and he may use it as an excuse to not talk to you about the real issues. Good luck with this I know how frustrating porn can be in a relationship. But I also know that for some people it can be helpful. You just have to trust each other and if for some reason the trust isn't there then it could make things worse.
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stuh505
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 08:29 pm
izzyrose,

you have said how you dont have a problem with your husband watching porn as long as you know about it. so when you're out of the house, and he gets a little horny, you want him to confess to you when you come home? that would be wierd and embarrasing. and watching porn isn't something you plan out, it's entirely spontaneous. it transcends reason and love. so you can't just ask him to wait for you to only do it with you. masturbating is a natural urge for guys, which many people consider healthy to continue after marraige also. when a guy masterbates it's a whole different thing from being with a woman, at least IMO. i'm not saying better or worse, but they both have their up's. you know your husband is into porn, that's part of who he is, even if he wanted to change i don't think he could...because once that internal switch gets flipped all reason and rationality go out the window and oyu just want to see porn.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 08:35 pm
Wow. The snooping you folks are doing is freaking me out. If I found out that a partner was doing something like that, that would be the end of the relationship, no further questions or comments. Over. Done. Gone. Give me the keys.

I don't understand some women's aversion to their partner's interest in/enjoyment of/use of porn. But that's minor in comparison to getting into someone else's computer and email and stuff like that. That's a total deal breaker for me.
0 Replies
 
stuh505
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 08:58 pm
Beth, you'd divorce your husband without a second thought over that? jesus

i agree i would not be happy if i found my spouse to be snooping on me so, but i think people get married for a reason and people can work out little differences....
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nimh
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 09:56 pm
I for one would be very, very upset at my own partner sneakily breaking into my personal letters and everything ... very upset. I mean, what relationship do you still have going if your partner is secretly breaking into your personal stuff? I do actually consider it a good enough reason to leave someone - though for sure, I have to admit that I doubt that I actually would. I know my last gf was even fiercer on that tho ... she would be even stricter.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Fri 9 Jul, 2004 10:00 pm
stuh505 wrote:
Beth, you'd divorce your husband without a second thought over that? jesus

i agree i would not be happy if i found my spouse to be snooping on me so, but i think people get married for a reason and people can work out little differences....


Invasion of privacy is not a little difference.
I think people get married, in part, because they respect each other. Snooping is one grand sign of a lack of respect. It would be over.
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izzyrose
 
  1  
Sat 10 Jul, 2004 07:49 am
Ok so this has turned into a totally different thread. Which is cool. As far as the snooping...yes it is bad and should not be going on in something that is a sacred as marriage. But thats just it..why is there the secrecy in the first place. I never lied to my husband about what I had done. I even apologized to him and told him that I wish I didn't have to stoop to that level but that I knew he was lying to me and that he was acting differently and I had to know why. Now, my husband may be different than most but he wasn't angry with me. He knew that he had been negleting our relationship for months and understood. He also asked that I come to him from then on instead of just making my own assumptions. So I haven't snooped since b/c I agree that it doesn't get me anywhere. The bad thing about snooping is that if you never confront that person about what you have found then you make up all these horrible images in your head about what is going on. When in truth it really may not be as bad as it seems. So ehbeth, yes your right. Snooping is wrong if your just doing it to be nosy. But what is a man or a women supposed to do if they suspect infidelity and have tried everything they know of to find out the truth. Even though your married if a spouse crosses a line you have to protect yourself. And I agree w/ stuh505 about the divorce issue. It does seem to me that getting a divorce over snooping is a little extreme. Especially if it's a one time thing. My husband and I love each other and we've come to accept that neither one of us is perfect and we have our low moments. That doesn't mean we're going to throw away something that we know is special. We'll work it out b/c that is why we got married. As hard as it may be during the process b/c of feelings of mistrust you chose this person for better or for worse. You should keep your vow. I mean abuse or infidelity I can understand divorce, but snooping...come on.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Sat 10 Jul, 2004 08:36 am
izzyrose - a couple of things. Porn is not infidelity, IMNSHO. Porn (unless it is a substitute for sex in a relationship) is, for me, a sign of a good, healthy interest in sex. I don't/haven't/wouldn't discourage it for a partner. (some of this is tricky to talk about when the partner is on this site Embarrassed ) .

Infidelity is a different matter to me. Infidelity and snooping/invasion of privacy rank about the same for me in terms of lack of respect.

Part of what we all learn through life - and sometimes visiting here - is that we all have different values and tolerance levels. In a relationship, you need to establish upfront (as much as possible) what the no-go zones are. For some it's infidelity, for some it's invasion of privacy, for some it's porn ... If someone who's freaked out by porn is partnered with someone who values personal privacy greatly, they shouldn't be surprised that revelation of the snooping 'needed' to confirm the usage of porn results in a strong, negative reaction. It may simply be guilt - or it may be something bigger.
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earthsmist
 
  1  
Sat 10 Jul, 2004 09:02 am
Okay - I know....
....and made a decision to take the chance involved when I decided to 'snoop'. I knew for a fact that he had LIED to me before about his ex-lover and assumed he would lie to me again. I do not want to take the chance, though, of being infected with some disease, if my b/f chooses to be unfaithful to our relationship.

I did ask him about his ex yesterday afternoon - if he had been thinking of her or maybe in contact with her. He firmly denied any thoughts of her or contact with her. Now, we know that is a LIE too.

And I think it may be time for me to get out of here. During my terrible snooping, I came across the fact that he has signed up for newsgroups using a fake name, but with MY email acct name and password. (Yes, he has my password and he has been known to 'search' my computer from top to bottom) What he was searching for on the newsgroups has me in shock - keywords such as 'young', 'little', 'teen'.

Not only am I horrified at my own snooping, but I am horrified by what he is looking for/at!

Sad
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nimh
 
  1  
Sat 10 Jul, 2004 07:17 pm
Re: Okay - I know....
earthsmist wrote:
Not only am I horrified at my own snooping, but I am horrified by what he is looking for/at!

Sad


<nods>

I fully agree with ebeth's takes both on porn and on snooping ...

But yeah, I can see how the things you've been encountering are troubling. The whole situation you've sketched clearly goes far beyond the one this thread started with ...

Have no advice ...
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Marconisa
 
  1  
Sat 10 Jul, 2004 07:25 pm
I read this thread with great interest and I can see a couple of places where some very important points are being missed.

We talk about fantasies, and it is common for people to want their partners to share their fantasies. But apart from the fact that it shows openness and communication, what is the point? As a partner wanting to know, are you willing to share and participate in those fantasies? If not, then it's really just idle curiosity, isn't it. And most of us like to think our fantasies are a little more valuable than that. So make sure that you are completely willing before you demand answers. If not, let fantasies lie.

Secondly, most people don't understand a very basic and simple pyschological fact. Most of us DON'T want our fantasies fuliflled. Most women fantasize about rape, but we would all be appalled if it happened. Men dream of bedding several women at once, but the reality is that they probably wouldn't satisfy more than one, and after orgasm would probably become quite bored. Even the great fantasy of having sex with lesbian girls in reality turns out to be a quite lonely experience and although watching can be fun, the rest is boring.

The point is that fantasies are fantasies because they are NOT fulfilled. If they are, then they simply aren't fantasies any more, which means that we have to find new ones to think about. And you can quickly run out of fantasies that turn you on!

At the same time, men often don't want to share their fantasies with their wives/girlfriends because, a) speaking about them can make them seem silly and squalid, instead of the fascinating, sophisticated dreams they are in their minds, b) because the partner might think they are so disgusting they should be deserted immediately, and c) because they simply don't want to distress their partner by shoving disturbing ideas at them.

It is the same with porn and even masturbation. Masturbation doesn't take anything away from a partner, although those persuaded of girlish romanticism might feel it does, as it allows a thoroughly selfish time to be had, when the pleasure is all one-sided and there doesn't have to be any give-and-take. It might sound shocking to some, but selfish sex is fine. It's great. It's fun. It's refreshing. However, some people are more selfish than others. It is a fact of life.

Porn is simply mental masturbation, and works in exactly the same way. It allows fantasies to come to "life" without the imagination having to work overtime.

Driving a partner's fantasy activities underground, either through accusations or constant investigation and checking, is not going to do any relationship any good at all. But it is sadly fairly common. Most women think that men look at porn far too often and often want to have sex after being stimulated by porn; most men think that porn is fairly innocent and simply illustrates and illuminates their desires. It isn't an easy situation when each is at polar opposites.

Perhaps then, in the end, it comes down to mutual respect as suggested by Nimh and Beth. Respect for distaste on one side - understanding that porn and the enjoyment of it can be distressing - and respect for private fantasy on the other - and allowing the complete unquestioning privacy that is sometimes vital.

I think Earthsmist has a very serious problem both with her partner's activities - whether porn related or not - and her own reaction to them. When you look for the absolute worst in a partner, you can be assured of the dubious pleasure of finding it.

Finally - as in anything, a small lack of knowledge can cause large problems. Consider search keywords - the ones quoted sound ominous until one actually considers the opposite. Not many people use keywords in porn searches like "old", large", or "elderly." And signing up to newsgroups with anything but a "fake name" or nic as they are usually known, is a terribly bad idea as I know to my cost.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Sat 10 Jul, 2004 08:20 pm
Lots of good points, Marconisa, thanks for a good post and welcome to a2k.

For one, on fantasies. People have some twisted fantasies - or fantasies that someone else might think twisted. Even non-twisted fantasies need not necessarily be a pleasure to find out about. Was it really such a good idea for me to find out that one ex-gf fantasised a lot about black men? Or that another fantasised a lot about man-on-man action? Hey, I pretty much just took it in my stride ... some stuff actually kinda "intrigued" me too. But you gotta be careful where you tread, thats clear, in terms of finding stuff you dont wanna know about.

The mind is a convoluted place, and that goes for erotic fantasies more than anything. I read those books by that, err, forget her name - feminist who collected womens' fantasies. Most were pretty straightforward, but especially the one from a generation later also included some that were quite edgy; like one woman who admitted having a fantasy about her son. The mind is complicated and the more someone went through in her (his) own life, the more twisted her (his) fantasies will be. Do we really want to know? Need to know?

There are extremes, of course. The law now rightly makes watching child porn punishable too, for one. But even that's primarily because it involves, somewhere in the line of production, a kid actually being abused, not because thoughts themselves should be punished. Nevertheless, if I found out my partner was into that, I'd really totally freak out, no question about it. Never mind if its true that 90% of the time people dont even want to act on their fantasies (and this is one example in case where I dont think it's true) -- that to me would just be - no ******* way. Extreme sadism and suchlike would really trouble me too.

One slight relativation tho - I dont much go for hardcore stuff myself, but I've seen enough pop-ups to know that "teen" is pretty much used as general selling label for anything under 30 (am I right?). But then I dont think thats really the point here. Your bf is presumably lying to you about talking with his ex, for one, and there's other stuff that's at least worrying (he could have been looking at the swinger stuff out of curiosity or for titillation, but hey, I can imagine being worried); you only found out by installing spyware and breaking into his computer and private stuff (which, like ebeth, I find almost as big a betrayal as cheating itself) - but then again, he's using your e-mail and password for dubious newsgroups. I dunno. Dont mind my language, but thats some [beep]ed-up stuff going on, and it goes way beyond porn.

I'm not sure what exactly you could do (also seeing how he'll deny stuff and you can hardly fess up about how you found out) ... Perhaps counselling can create a neutral zone where you'll be able to talk with each other - and perhaps confront things ...

---
(One last thing about the "if he keeps it hidden, it shows he knows himself that it's wrong" thing, btw. I was reminded of my sister, when she was in her teens, twenties. She used to read those cheap romance novels, you know the ones? I remember when she still lived at home, she'd quickly throw it behind the couch if someone came in ... why? Cause she "knew it was wrong"? Nonsense ... just, some stuff, even if we know its only natural, still embarasses us ... our embarassment isnt by itself proof of having done something wrong at all. That just on an aside.)
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