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Hubby wants to watch soft porn with me

QUESTION: My husband and I always prepare Christmas stockings full of little treats for one another. He is usually good at giving me things I want, but this year the last gift I unwrapped was a soft porn film. I thought it must be a joke, but then he said he couldn’t wait until our daughter went back to university so we could watch it together. I’m not a prude, but I have no desire to watch a blue movie and I worry there must be a part of my spouse I don’t know at all. How on earth should I deal with this?

ANSWER: Crikey, that’s an even worse present than the red satin Santa knickers a friend received from her spouse last Christmas.

If you're interested in some art house films, Lady Chatterley's Lover is a good place to start.

As any woman knows, the well-trained husband bestows upon his wife a DVD of Bridesmaids or a box set of Downton Abbey. He should no more give her porn than the videogame Modern Warfare 3, unless, like my friend Anne, she’s one of those rare women who can cope with both.

The key question is: what was your husband thinking of? You say you are not a prude, so I imagine you have always been open and relaxed about sex. Perhaps on this occasion he just felt he could push the envelope a little?

If he’s previously given you sexy lingerie or something similar, it’s quite possible he thinks a kinky movie falls within the same bracket (men can be a bit daft that way).

It’s too easy to leap to alarming conclusions about your husband’s viewing proclivities, but I doubt he has a secret pornography habit. Under those circumstances, the last thing he would do is to alert you to clandestine practices.

It sounds to me as if your husband is behaving like a typical bloke: he’s giving you a DVD he wants to watch himself - rather like the time my husband gave me Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines.

It may be disconcerting that your husband wants to watch porn, but on the plus side, he wants to do his viewing with you. In fact, it sounds as if he’s the sweet sort of male who would feel sordid looking at naked ladies on his own.

This present is also probably his way of trying to keep things fresh in the bedroom. I suspect he’s long harboured a fairly standard issue fantasy about watching an erotic film with you and this is his clumsy way of broaching the topic.

That doesn’t mean you should oblige him, but tread carefully because you tread upon his erotic dreams. It’s too easy for women to make men feel like dirty old dogs because they have a more simplistic response to visual stimuli.

Then there’s the fact most porn is made by men for men; on the whole, women don’t want to watch fake blondes with pneumatic breasts wrestle in jelly.

Furthermore, men are generally more accustomed to pornography than women. From naughty Victorian prints through to Sixties Playboy and online porn, there’s an established culture of boys sharing illicit imagery - so much so that when the University of Montreal recently searched for men who had never viewed pornography (as part of a control group in its research), they couldn’t find any.

What I’m saying is that you don’t need to reassess your husband’s entire character on the basis of one misjudged gift. However, this is one present you need to be honest about. Can’t you explain that you prefer real erotic intimacy - ie making love with him - to watching porn stars’ fake sexual closeness?

Feel free to tell your spouse that in my former role as editor of The Erotic Review I sometimes had to review explicit films with my husband instead of our usual choice of viewing -Grand Designs and Newsnight - and we both found ourselves bored to tears. It was like having the mating scenes from David Attenborough’s nature documentaries on a permanent loop.

In fact, if you really want to put your husband off porn, you might think of watching the film with him.

An alternative plan might be to suggest you watch an erotic movie that is closer to your own tastes. There are plenty of sexy art house films with satisfying narratives that might get you both going.

My shortlist would include In The Cut, Ai No Korada (In The Realm Of The Senses), Romance, Belle de Jour and the 2006 French production of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

The positive thing to infer from your husband’s gift is that he’s more than willing to try new things with you. My guess is he’ll be happy to jettison the film if you are happy to suggest alternative forms of erotic distraction.

Emulate one enterprising friend of mine, who once told her partner she’d rather pretend to be a naughty schoolmistress than watch a porn film with that theme.

In short, you should behave in this instance as you would with any other unsuitable gift: thank him warmly for the thought, be tactful when you turn it down and suggest some mutually acceptable alternatives. That should ensure a happy new year. - Daily Mail

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