My lovely boyfriend of one year, who showers me with love, takes boudoir photos on the side as a photographer. I wouldn’t think it that much of a problem (I’ve been reading your other posts on why men look at women), but what gets me here is that he has a pantyhose fetish. (Often, he seems obsessed with them). I can’t help but think this is just a little overstepping into inappropriate-land. I do trust him. Also though, I can’t help but imagine him getting very turned on by these photoshoots. I don’t want to be controlling. He’s been nothing but a wonderful boyfriend.

But, is his indulgence in these kinds of photoshoots healthy for us? Do I have anything to worry about if he has shown nothing but devotion to me?

Thank you, sincerely,

Claire

Thanks for your email, Claire. You referenced this post, Why Men Look at Other Women,” and I thought it would be relevant supplementary reading.

What’s tricky about your question is that it’s very specific and doesn’t apply to any two people besides you and your boyfriend. That’s why it’s hard to extrapolate and tell you, with any amount of certainty, whether you have anything to worry about.

But I will tell you a not-so-secret secret about how I give advice.

When a reader (or a client) asks me about a problem she has with her boyfriend, I put myself in her boyfriend’s shoes and ask myself how I would feel if I were him.

It’s not that her feelings are irrelevant – far from it! It’s that she already knows how she feels. What she usually lacks is the imagination to consider how someone else might view the same exact situation. Every time I do this exercise – since I’m pretending to be me – I give the man the benefit of the doubt as an honest, ethical person – unless I’ve been given reasons to doubt his character.

Your situation is unique, but it’s no different.

It’s full trust or no trust.

If your boyfriend is a trustworthy guy, then you have to act under the assumption that, despite the erotic nature of his side-hustle, he’s being faithful to you.

If he’s not trustworthy (or you don’t believe him to be trustworthy), then he should no longer be your boyfriend.

If he’s not trustworthy (or you don’t believe him to be trustworthy), then he should no longer be your boyfriend.

Wherever you draw the line IS the line.

Is the stocking fetish weird? For a vanilla guy like me, yeah. In the pantheon of all fetishes, it seems like a relatively tame one that can be incorporated into your love life rather easily.

Is he getting turned on by the photoshoots? I hope so. He’s a human being with a sex drive chose a hobby that he presumably finds pleasurable. But there’s a HUGE difference between being turned on by a stranger and acting on it.

I find many strangers attractive. I’ve never acted on it because I value my wife and my word far more than I value a fling that would destroy my life. Most men in relationships, I would suspect, feel similarly.

The key for women, I think, is to not play thought police. It’s not a crime for a man to be turned on by other women, attracted to other women, or occasionally fantasizing (or masturbating) about other women. If that’s what you expect from men, you’re likely to be sorely disappointed.

But if you can see the sizable gap between thought and action, I believe you can have a healthy relationship with a lovely, devoted boudoir photographer.

 





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