Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn
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Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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Old 09-23-2009, 09:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

What is the difference?

They both elicit the same sexual response, one just appeals to your visual sense, the other to your imagination. I know that there are arguments that visual (call it pornography) objectifies women (and I guess men too). It somehow hurts the actors involved, yet you always hear from folks in the industry that they are just playing a role in a film and that they enjoy their job. Literary sexual material (call it erotica) requires the reader to use their imagination. I know when I read erotica, I usually picture someone I know in the roles (usually myself and my wife). Some readers may imagine other actors or other people they have seen or just some imaginary person.

I ask this because my wife has always disliked pornography films. She did not let me look at them, even for the 11 years of our once sexless marriage. Her main hang-ups were that it objectifies women and that it made her feel inadequate. That was understandable to me at the time, especially because I thought she was a non-sexual person. So I obliged and refrained from looking at porn except for a few times of desperation when I thought I was going to explode from sexual frustration.

Fast forward many years, she is really opening up sexually. She has started to read “fanfiction” that has a lot of smut and sexually graphic material (they call them “lemons”). She bought some toys too, something I have asked her if I could by for her for years; she thought that was too dirty. I know all this reading has really got her mental wheels turning her on. Once I saw that she enjoyed this stuff, I picked some erotica for my own reading please since she did not like me watching it in film. She was OK with that. However, I still like the occasionally visual outlet; I am a man aren’t I?

So I am going to broach this topic again with her. Let her know that I enjoy watching two people have sex. I am not lusting after the woman in it. I don’t want to have sex with anyone on the TV. It just turns me on to watch, being a voyeur. Even if it was just the softcore stuff on “Skinamax”, that stuff is pretty hot too. They don’t actually have sex or show all the parts and money shots.

What is the difference? I know you all have opinions on the topic. Let's debate!
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

I was thinking about shooting DW a note about the topic. This is what I would write:

Hey babe. I have a topic of discussion for you: sexual material



I have been thinking a little about this lately. What is the difference between visual and literary sexual material. They both elicit the same response but through different stimuli. Once appeals to your visual sense, the other to your imagination. I know you are OK with erotica/lemons but in the past you were not OK with it on TV. I know your main hang-up is that you feel it objectifies women (and men as well I would guess). That is the only real difference, one has actual actors and the other has actors in your head. You know I dig both forms but you don't like the visual kind. Have your thoughts changed on this? You know that if I were to watch, I am not fantasizing about having sex with the person on the TV. To tell you the truth, both the guys and the girls together is what turns me on. Girl/Girl does not have the same effect.... no I am not gay I just get turned on at watching the couple and I fantasize about you and me. What about the type: softcore (Cinemax like) vs hardcore (actual parts are involved)... does that make a difference to you? I mean, as I read through some of the erotica and stories, that stuff is just as graphic, maybe even more so, than what you see on TV. Imagination can do wonderful things!



Don't get me wrong, you are keeping more than satisfied, but sometimes I do get the urge to take care of myself and I know you do not like me to initiate with you. What is wrong with me watching it rather than reading it? I totally respect you as my partner and completely respect your wishes. You know you are HOT AS HELL and no one in real life or pretend (be it on TV or in my head) can compare to you. You are a complete GODDESS... my goddess; that is all I need. But sometimes (OK a lot of times) I am just horny and I don't want to bother you. Of course we could always tape each other and I could use that; that would be WAY hotter!
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

With things going so well, why do you want to mess things up? You can certainly masturbate w/o porn. You're not the only visual person out there as there are a lot of visual women out there. So this isn't about you being a man. This is about you wanting something else to get off to. She might feel that you're heading down a road she didn't like earlier and it might set her back.

If you lie and say she's keeping you more than satisfied, she'll see right through it. If you were satisfied, this topic would never have come up.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

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Originally Posted by dobo View Post
If you lie and say she's keeping you more than satisfied, she'll see right through it. If you were satisfied, this topic would never have come up.
Thanks for the advice dobo.

I am all about rocking the boat! That is my MO.

Ok, then I should address that a little differently. I am satisfied when we are having sex, I certainly need it more often. Maybe that is what we really need to talk about, give her the option of bumping up the frequency or letting me do my thing when she would rather not be with me. When it comes to masturbation, it is not about her anyway, it is about me. It is no different than her taking her toy and mastubating while reading smut and picturing Robert Petterson and Kristen Stewart, which is what she does, she told me.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

It is better to be honest with her than to lie to her. And if you lie and it concerns porn, you will regret it sure as god made little green onions (yeah, I know it is apples but he probably made onions too).

Whether you masturbate or not is up to you and between you and her. Are you not allowed to masturbate? If you're jealous of what she does talk to her about it. If you think a toy is equivalent to porn, I would disagree. Using your imagination is a LOT different than viewing porn. Where using your imagination can help with partnered sex, porn is so disconnected all it can do is harm partnered sex.

I guess you just have to be sure what you're rocking the boat about before you rock it. Be honest with yourself and with her and deal with the fallout from there.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

I agree that using your imagination is a LOT different than viewing porn. Because with porn, you are watching two couples have sex, you are a vouyer, period. Not much left to fantasize about. When you are reading erotica, you are puting yourself in there with some other person. Now if that other person was always your spouse, that is great. But somehow I think that most women tend to use Brad Pit or Robert Pattinson in their mind rather than their spouse. Your imagination has a lot more freedom than a given visual image.

I guess the main point is that it should be completely reasonable for me to ask if it is OK to watch some form of sex on TV, heck we do it together watching things like True Blood or some other movie. The only diference between that and, say Cinemax late nite, is they just cut to the chase and there is more of it. Also, it is not two dificult to make a resemblance
of masturbating using different mediums, weather it be through reading or visually.

Opinions?

Last edited by hubby; 09-23-2009 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

Pornography is pornography regardless of the medium. You are correct that there is hypocrisy here. I think part of marriage is being diplomatic enough not to smack your partner around with it though. I second the opinion to tread lightly - especially since things are going well.

Speaking of opinions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobo View Post
Where using your imagination can help with partnered sex, porn is so disconnected all it can do is harm partnered sex.
This is funny. It's like saying "I don't enjoy how brussel sprouts taste so clearly they are unhealthy for everyone."
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

I think that because things are going great now. we are better able communicate frankly about things like this. I don't want to lie to her and watch porn without her concent, but I also want her to understand that sometimes I just need the release and the visual aid helps. I would never throw it in her face, just like she does not talk to me about all the steamy stuff she reads and when she breaks out the toys, that is her business. I just feel that she has gained more respect for me and that she can now better empathize with how I work, sexually.

I sent her the note... we will see how it goes
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

I think you should broach the subject with her. Tell her this turns you on for whatever reason and you would love to watch some of it with her. See how she reacts, the new “sexual wife” might go for it. If not, you might need to not do it. Funny, if I fantasize during sex it is about another woman I know or have had, which is almost like cheating. However, if I watch porn it is just watching other people, I personally do not fantasize about being there or being one of them. Point is, actually the porn is “safer” for the marriage and “less” like cheating.

A lot of women are into porn but of course us men as a group are more visual. I personally like stories more but I am probably more an exception. But I agree there is no difference.

I am very lucky now, my wife encourages me to do whatever turns me on, reading, watching, whatever. This sort of stuff does not make her jealous but of course sexual chatting with someone else would.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

Thanks for the encouragement Chuck.

We did talk it over and it went really well. I think the respect in our relationship has really grown in the last several months. While she may not like porn herself and she can't reconcile erotic literature to porn exactly, she can see the similarities in how each medium is an enjoyment for each of us. I don't expect her to watch porn with me or buy them as a gift for me. I am not going to throw it in her face or be too overt with it, but I am not going to hide it or lie about it either.

This is another big step in our relationship. Not so much as now I can look at porn, but that we feel comfortable enough to discuss a dificult topic, the real meaning of it, and respect each other enough to come to an understanding.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

I don't know why I didn't suggest this in the first place -- if she's using toys w/o you, she can certainly put that time and energy into you. Instead of porn, that makes a lot more sense and actually builds the relationship where porn can destroy it.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

BTW, I don't know what other women do, but I never fantasize about movie stars or anyone like that. Why? They're as unreal to me as porn is. But I think that most guys don't admit that they want what they see in porn and this is part of the lie that is porn.

This idea that using your imagination leads you places where porn doesn't is frankly, ridiculous.

Anyway, I believe that if you are not satisfied sexually and she is masturbating, she is being selfish. I'm not saying that individuals should never have the right to a little private time. But I am saying that when you've got a situation like this, instead of replacing the partner with something else, the partners need to address one another's needs personally, first and foremost.

If she doesn't like porn, I suspect if you watch it, things will go in a negative direction even if she can't reconcile what she's doing with it. People are wonderful at hypocrisy.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

Good point with the toys. However, I don't think she actually uses them that much, maybe once a week. I have mentioned to her before that I would be happy to use the toy with her; she is not ready for that. I can understand that she can get something different out of the toy, I don't feel threatened or jealous of it.

I still don't get where porn will necessarily destroy a relationship. As long as there are no lies, there is an understanding between the partners, it can be a useful and rewarding tool, if just for educational purposes. Now if it became addictive and was preferred over partnered sex, then that would be an issue.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

Education? Sorry. That's something I just don't buy. The women in porn don't respond like real women so there's not much a guy can learn from porn about sex or love or women. Porn is about guys and their desire to have a ready woman all of the time, to fulfill their need to feel in control and like men. It has zip to do with education.

If she's using them once per week, she can have sex with you once per week more often. She probably does need that alone time to explore her own sexuality since she's a late bloomer, but I don't think it is unreasonable to ask that she replace her toy with you.

RE destroying a relationship, just be careful. If she doesn't like porn, she's not gonig to like you watching it. It will bother her even if she doesn't want to say anything because she will feel that she has to give up her literature. And it will come out in some other area. You can experiment and see if anything changes, but be watchful and not so trusting on this one. Just a word to the wise.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Difference between visual and literary erotica/porn

Good debate going here.

Speaking of double standards...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobo View Post
BTW, I don't know what other women do, but I never fantasize about movie stars or anyone like that. Why? They're as unreal to me as porn is. But I think that most guys don't admit that they want what they see in porn and this is part of the lie that is porn.
How can you say that woman don't fantasize about anyone other than their partners when reading, but men somehow fantasize or want the woman in porn? Why could you not just give the benefit of the doubt to men that they are not lying? I hate to generalize but women are more emotional (mental) while men are more physical (visual). Why can't that just be accepted and let the appropriate medium for each biological disposition be used?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobo View Post
This idea that using your imagination leads you places where porn doesn't is frankly, ridiculous.
We will agree to disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobo View Post
If she doesn't like porn, I suspect if you watch it, things will go in a negative direction even if she can't reconcile what she's doing with it. People are wonderful at hypocrisy.
I guess I will have to see, but I do not accept hypocrisy in my relationship.
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