Photo: Joe Pugliese
Q: Am I the only woman in the world who likes watching porn with her husband? My friends say they think it's disgusting, but I find it keeps me focused during sex instead of thinking about my to-do list.
— Sheila in Illinois
A: Although the man in your life might prefer to believe that the only to-do in your head during sex is him, that's not always the case. Busy women, even when we're getting busy, have active minds. If it took men as long to reach orgasm as it does women (on average 20 minutes), their minds might wander too.
That's why I like your style, Sheila from Illinois. You figured out what you need in the bedroom (a television), and you made it happen. So what if your turn-on has to be turned on? At least you and your husband are enjoying porn together. I think that's very enlightened and cool, and I think your friends, frankly, are not. Who are these women to say what's disgusting? I'll tell you who they are: They are classic pornophobes. I know this because I, Cindy Chupack, used to be slightly pornophobic myself. I thought porn was something a man watched alone in a dark room and then stashed away so his girlfriend wouldn't find it. And then, if she did find—and maybe even watched—it, she would have to decide for herself if she could love a guy who enjoys 12 hours of The Blow Job Adventures of Dr. Fellatio. For example.
Okay, I admit it. Until Sheila challenged my thinking, I'd only watched porn surreptitiously, in the name of research. (You know; meet his parents, meet his pals, meet his porn.) But most women I recently asked admitted to watching porn with a boyfriend or husband. I began to wonder if I should be writing Sheila for advice rather than the other way around. For starters I'd ask: How does a modern, respectable woman get porn?
My friends scoffed when I mentioned going to an adult video store. They recommended On Demand, a pay-per-view service. One benefit of this service is that it vanishes on demand as well, so you never have to worry about what to do with your videos should you die in a horrible accident. While I admired the ease of On Demand, I felt this column required me to purchase actual pornography. I brought this up with another friend and her husband, and she admitted (much to his dismay—he thought it was none of my business) that they, too, enjoy porn together, and when I asked where she gets hers, she whispered, "Blowfish.com."
Blowfish.com turns out to be as user-friendly as Amazon.com. In addition to extensive privacy policies, it features enthusiastic, well-written reviews and a whole section of couples videos. I picked one to watch with my husband that had won so many awards it was like the Schindler's List of porn (best film, best director, best screenplay, best couples sex scene, best group sex scene, and my personal favorite, best non-sex performance, which I imagine is reserved for pool boys who simply clean the pool). I figured it had to be good.
And it was. Not the film but the...experiment, which I did for you people, because I'm that dedicated to getting you answers. My husband and I agreed that the award-winning plot and acting left something to be desired, but despite that, desire is what it eventually inspired. So if, like me, you've been pornophobic in the past, here's a to-do: Try this with someone you love and trust. You might be aghast, aroused, or amused, but at least you'll be those things together. And isn't that what intimacy is all about?
Cindy Chupack is the author of The Between Boyfriends Book (St. Martin's Griffin).