Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss

9/26/2004

Porn Stars in His Eyes
Strip Bars, Picking Fights and Self-Esteem
Marriage Material



Porn Stars in His Eyes

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm 25 years and have been dating my boyfriend (on and off) for about 6 years. He has mentioned in the past that he would like to be in pornography videos, but he has gotten more serious about this in the past month. He is a very sexual person and has always differentitated sex from love.

I think I'm suppose to not want him to, but a part of me wants to let him do what he's wanted to for a very long time. The problem (well, one of the problems) is that I can get very jealous. I don't get jealous when we bring other people into the mix (rarely, but has happened), but this does not involve me.

I'm just not sure if I'm okay with this even though a part of me is excited for him. He said he will not do it if I say no because of the emotional strain on myself. Any advice?

Stumped & Excited

Dear Stumped & Excited,

This is about the worst idea I've ever heard. Talk about bad career choices! Even if he succeeds, it'll be a sleazy form of success, and your relationship almost certainly won't survive. If he fails, he will have sullied himself and endangered your relationship for nothing.

Your boyfriend's life will not be made better by becoming a porn star and neither will yours. Actually, his chances of becoming a porn star are slim to non. If he does by some miracle manage to break into the porn industry, he'll be in another world where sex is a commodity and has nothing to do with love.

You say he's always "differentitated sex from love," but porn goes way beyond that -- it's a whole other culture with its own values that are nothing like the values of the rest of society. The value of the sex act that you enjoy will be a lot less than it is now. Porn producers all claim that "everyone's tested," but the promiscuity of the business is so extreme that tests can't keep up. He'll be having unprotected sex with people who are very possibly carriers of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Then you'll be in danger of catching one of those diseases from him and perhaps dying from it or being unable to have children.

Sometimes you have to step up and say no to a man's dreams, especially when those dreams threaten his very life and yours too. Since you're an admittedly jealous person and have already experienced jealousy with your boyfriend and others, you must know that you'll be jealous when he's being filmed having sex with other women. Imagine how you'll feel when he's out auditioning or filming and you're home wondering what's going on.

Tell him NO. Let him know that you value him and your relationship too much to give your consent to this kind of risky behavior. Sure it's exciting. But so is robbing banks. That doesn't mean you give your consent if he wants to do it.

If you crave excitement, find another way to get some thrills. Take up sky diving. If you love your boyfriend, if you love yourself, you won't let him slip into this kind of destructive lifestyle.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Strip Bars, Picking Fights and Self-Esteem

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 30 and have been married one year, and have been in the relationship for 10. I need your advice. I know in the big scheme of things this is not the toughest question you will get, but I would like to know your opinion.

My husband recently attended a get together for a friend that is getting married next month. This get together was supposed to be his bachelor party of sorts. My husband told me that the sister in law arranged for them to go to a local hip bowling bar. It turns out that the other guys in the group were egging the groom-to-be that he should go to a strip bar, so they went to a nearby topless bar.

I found out and was really upset because my husband never told me and never planned to. Once I asked him about it, he said he knows it is not good to lie (and I don't have any reason to think that he's lied to me in the past) but that he wanted to spare himself the argument. For his own bachelor party he went camping on Catalina Island rather than have to deal with my anger and resentment at the idea of him having strippers or going to a club for his party. I personally feel it is disgusting and demeaning to think that my husband would want to go see live naked women when he has a wife at home. He is a good husband and I trust him but it still doesn't make me feel good. He has told me he is really not into this kind of stuff anyway, and is just a rite of passage.

After we had our argument/discussion, he accused me of being overly sensitive and too insecure about these sorts of things. I got the sense that he resented that he went on a camping trip instead of having the usual bachelor shenanigans.

I know this is not the end of the world, nor is it going to ruin my life or my marriage, but I need your advice on how to deal with this and move on, because I know sometime down the line it will come up again. Do I need to just over come this insecurity? How do I do it? I am an attractive woman who keeps herself in shape. Please help. I have felt down because of this all week.

Thanks,

Wife who wants to pick the right battles

Dear Wife Who Wants To Pick The Right Battles,

You've certainly got the right idea - don't fight over everything. What you don't seem to get, though, is that you can't try to be the boss about everything either. Believe it or not, even though he's married to you, your husband still gets to make decisions for himself, even if that includes going to a strip bar as part of an occasional bachelor party.

You say you're attractive and in shape and you're only 30. You've been with this man for ten years and married for one. He's not going anywhere. Why do you think it's "disgusting" for him to see "live naked women"? Why are you so insecure and why do you have such low self-esteem that you'd be so bothered by this? It's not as if he's going to go all the time or even says he liked it.

Are you sure you're not picking a fight over the strip bar when the real issue is something else that you just can't bring yourself to confront or that you really don't know? I only ask because it seems so unreasonable to be this upset over his going to a bachelor party. You took the whole thing so personally, as if it were an intentional insult to you, when it really had nothing to do with you.

Now you're worrying about him resenting the fact that he didn't really have a bachelor party. You have to get over worrying about the past. If you want a guide about what fights to pick, a good first rule is to not pick fights over something that happened in the past and that you really can't change.

He probably has other friends and there will be other bachelor parties. As he says, it's just a rite of passage. Ask yourself if this is important enough to you to fight over each time? Important to your marriage, or only important because you're insecure? Rule #2 is to not fight over something unless it's so important that you're willing to feel bad about it afterwards. Because even if you win a battle with a loved one, you both get hurt and wind up feeling bad.

Yes, you need to overcome this insecurity. Remind yourself of how much you have. Remind yourself that you are loved, because that's what most of this kind of insecurity is about, not feeling loved enough. Remind yourself that you have a husband that loves you and has loved you for a long time.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Marriage Material

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 42 year old, never married, childless woman. I have been in a relationship for over 2 years to a divorced father (43 years old) of 2 sons (16 years old and 14 years old currently). When we started dating, his divorce (after 18 years of marriage) had just been made final. Knowing this, I made it clear (at the beginning of our relationship) that at 2 years I wanted some sort of commitment to the future. I've just had that conversation with him. He says that he can't make a commitment until his youngest child is out of high school, plus his job might be in jeopardy (which I know for a fact is true), that relationships change after marriage, that his loyalties would be split between his kids and me, etc.

I have always supported the time he needed to spend with his kids, even rearranging our time together so he can spend quality time with them, and that would not change if we were married. I have no desire to have children of my own (he also doesn't want any more children), so there wouldn't be a conflict between his "new" kids and "old" kids, but he still feels he can't make any type of commitment to the future because "people change after marriage."

I told him that I am not asking to get married next week, next month, or 6 months from now. I just want to know that I am investing in a relationship that is moving forward toward marriage. I said that I feel like I'm a third class citizen, that he is filtering our relationship thru his first marriage, and that I deserve better.

Am I doing the right thing?

Dear Third Class Citizen,

If you want to be a first class citizen, you're going to have to change your citizenship. You've been dating this man for two years and only now he tells you he can't commit until his youngest son is out of high school - and he may lose his job, and he'll be torn and marriage destroys relationships.

He's basically telling you, "No, I don't want to marry you and really don't like the idea of getting married anyway." It has nothing to do with his filtering your relationship through his former marriage. It has to do with the simple fact that he doesn't want to commit to you and he doesn't want you to think there could be a future with him.

Men will rarely be that honest, however. They'll give you the mealy-mouth version when they won't commit but want to string you along for sex or companionship or whatever. This eases their conscience, because they're on record as having told you not to have expectations. That way, in four years, when he doesn't marry you, he can say, "I told you I don't want to split my loyalties and that I think relationships change after marriage."

Stop investing in this relationship and find one with a real upside. This one is going nowhere, and you're losing the best years of your life. Don't waste another minute trying to talk him into marriage. He's doing everything but running backwards.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



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(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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