I post amateur porn secretly

Now I've met a guy I like. Should I show him my pictures?

Published September 27, 2013 11:00PM (EDT)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (Zach Trenholm/Salon)
(Zach Trenholm/Salon)


I'm a 25-year-old woman and I've always felt I have a higher than average sex drive. I masturbate a lot and enjoy watching pornography. Several months ago I started posting naked pictures and videos of myself masturbating (none showing my face or any identifying features) on a porn site where people upload amateur videos. It's been a big turn-on for me to post them and to read messages from the men who've watched me. I am not ashamed to have done this; it's something I did for myself and my enjoyment and I'm happy that it helped me to appreciate my body and my pleasure more.

However, I have started seeing a guy I really like. It's still early on, we've only known each other a couple of weeks, but I don't know if this is something I should tell him about, either now, eventually or ever.  It could be fun to do together if we both were into it, but it is not at all a requirement for me. Already since meeting him I've significantly reduced how often I go on the website and haven't posted anything new of myself in a few months. It's far more important to me to build a fulfilling sex life with my partner.

Should I take it all down now and put it in the past? Should I tell him about it and if so when and how?

Thank you,

Amateur Filmmaker

Dear Amateur Filmmaker,

Keep in mind that you don't have to say anything to him about this. It doesn't have to be any of his business. But if you do decide to talk with him about the issue in general, be thoughtful in the way you bring this into your relationship. Open the topic in a general way. Ask him if he has seen stories Tracy Clark-Flory has done on Salon.com about such sites as Reddit GoneWild. Ask him what porn he watches and what porn he likes. Ask him if he likes to watch women getting off by themselves. Ask him what his attitudes are toward women who post pictures of themselves on the Net. What he would think of you if you put pictures of yourself on the Web.

If he asks you where this conversation is leading, or if he asks you point-blank if you have posted pictures of yourself on the Web, you don't have to answer right away. You may want to withhold this information and that is OK. In fact, at this crucial point, how he handles this may tell you how much he can be trusted, and how he regards your own privacy and boundaries. Does he seem playful, confident and curious about the issue, or does he seem worried and demand to know all about your activities? If he shows strong interest in knowing what you have posted, it may be because it turns him on. But it may also be because he thinks he has the right to know all about your sexual life. And he doesn't.

Can he keep a secret? Probably not. Most people can't. They'll say they can but they can't.

So here's my favorite idea for how to handle this.

Say over a period of weeks or months you haven't told him about your pictures but you've gotten to like him and trust him and you'd like to take it to the next level. Maybe not exclusive but sharing something unique between you. You've determined that he thinks posting pictures of oneself on the Net is OK, that a person who does that isn't some crazy sex-crazed deviant.

So here's what you do. You get together with him and you show him your pictures on the Internet. Then, right in front of him, you take them down off the Web so nobody can see them anymore.

Now he's seen them. But the pictures are gone now. He can't look at them and beat off to them, or show them to his friends because they're gone.

It accomplishes a lot elegantly: It tells the truth, i.e., I was doing this and I'm being honest about it. It answers your question of what to do. It removes a temptation and a danger of exposure. It eliminates a future problem and risk.

And finally, it turns him on.

So then you have sex. And the sex is good. And things are different from now on.  Because you're not hiding something and worrying about it. And you're not telling him a secret he then has to keep. And the relationship is on a different footing.

Because from now on, if he wants to see you and come, he has to come and see you.

Now, that line was going to be the end. It's such a clever line and I wanted you to read it. But I have a lot more to say and didn't want you to get bored or zone out before you came to that line that I like so much. So I put that line there so you can read it. If he wants to see you and come, he has to come and see you.

Not everybody reads to the end. I know that. But I like that line.

So here is all the rest of the stuff I thought about.

Don't tell him if you don't want word to leak out. The urge to brag is too powerful. He will want to show his friends. He will. He may be able to resist sober but after a few beers he will want to say to his friends, Look at what I'm banging.

So if you tell him, you're putting your anonymity at risk. You are also putting a secret into his hands that he then has to keep. He may not want that secret. Because it's a burden.

You might find telling him a turn-on. But you risk losing control of your persona.

People lie. So when you ask him about his opinions about pornography, you should assume that he will lie. Especially if he thinks you want him to lie, he will lie.

People lie about sex all the time. They lie because they are scared. They lie to tell you what they think you want to hear. People lie.

They don't always mean to! But telling the truth is really, really hard!

People lie because they want to be loved. People lie because they want you to see them in an ideal light.

Besides, seduction involves fantasy. When on the make, we're playing a role. We're more debonair, more coy, more upstanding and more devilish; we're more clever, more erudite and dirtier both. When fired by desire we aspire to be this higher, harder, stronger self, more kittenish and more doggish, more growly and more snarly, sweeter and saltier all at once.

Maybe when he is with you he believes himself to be the coolest man in the world, a man of sage equanimity about all things, and maybe for a few minutes with you he is.

But hypocrisy is the very essence of our sexual "views." The very notion of telling the truth about sex is laughable, for we are all mad with desire.

We are born mad with desire and hungry for pleasure and we remain so till we die. How we meet these desires is the province of power and politics and crime and money and art. And spirituality and song and sports and fashion. And novels and poems and sand sculptures.

BTW, pornography: Isn't that an awful-sounding word? Or is that a generational thing? Maybe the world pornography does not have the cringe-worthy ring for you that it has for people who grew up during a time when the Supreme Court was still trying to decide whether to put people in jail for publishing naked pictures.

In the history of the world, has there ever been a happier moment for sex than this one? By the time you were born, much of the rage and hysteria and fear surrounding pornography had already begun to abate. The battles over censorship begun in the 1950s and 1960s had largely been won, Western women had been freed from onerous and perverse laws that had for centuries made them the de facto chattel of men, and amid the terrible death-wave of AIDS, gays and lesbians had begun the long, arduous legislative work that would culminate in our time with the unthinkable: freedom to marry!

In other words, "You've come a long way, baby."

But in the public sphere, sex and identity still make men and women crazy. That isn't because we're silly and shallow. It's because sex is grave, troubling, deep and existential; it's because sex is our animal being; it's because it's who we are. New and formerly unthinkable questions of etiquette arise because we will never conquer and tame sex; we will never rationalize it; we will never finally settle its mysteries. And we don't want to. We don't want to extinguish its primitive draw or normalize it or cage it for museums; it still has troubling, controversial, maddening, explosive, weird, scary, passionate implications that can turn rational adults into crazy children as they try to talk about it.

It's complicated! It's not a matter of having the right thoughts and the right ideology!

The fact that we speak and show sex more openly does not make it less powerful. You are writing to me for that reason: Because it is not casual. It wasn't casual when the laws of the nation were outlawing its depiction and it wasn't casual when my generation was trying to demystify its cloaked ecstasies and it wasn't casual when it became clear that it constituted one route to AIDS infection and it isn't casual now, when wardrobe malfunctions and nipple slips still  titillate audiences and cause bloviating gasbags to preach self-righteous sermons and senators to blather about the manifold and various perils to our democracy.

So it goes. It was ever thus. Thus remember this: If he wants to see you and come, he has to come and see you.

(I just love that line.)

By Cary Tennis

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