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Nude Women An Issue?

Question:

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p>I’ve been with a great (seemingly) wonderful guy now for about 5 months. We’re seemingly very compatible and he treats me like a queen. I’ve had a high level of confidence with this relationship and trust and respect that I haven’t ever experienced before. He’s really into me; and expresses and communicates it fully; the relationship is quite serious. However, my curiosity has gotten the best of me at times–like I can’t trust that something and someone so wonderful is happening to me. So, I went snooping in some of his closets and stumbled upon a “coffee table” book of erotic, female nude photography. It’s well done; but I can’t get it out of my mind…does this mean something bad? It makes me question him…can I trust him…it’s almost sort of a mental cheating thing….I have no idea in what context the book belongs to him….but I’m feeling nervous about the fact that he owns it…should I be concerned? I feel as though in general I am “looking” for bad things so that it can validate that I shouldn’t deserve love or find love. Of course he has no idea I found it. I have no way of bringing it up with him. What to do? I’m trying to act normal but can’t get this out of my head. help. much thanks, Anne

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

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p>It does seem that you are looking to identify negative aspects about your boyfriend. If you look hard enough for dirt, you will always find it. So far you haven’t found much, and I’d have to advice keeping your prying fingers to yourself in the future. Everyone needs some measures of privacy. If you are caught snooping, it could be that your curiosity leads to him trusting you (and caring for you) less. Your going through his things is a behavioral admission on your part that you do not trust him. In the absence of anything he’s done wrong to give you a reason for suspicion, I’d say that this reflects badly on you.

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p>I’m not a detective or anything, but I’d say that the fact that your boyfriend has a hidden book of female nudes reflects an underlying sexual attraction on his part to the female form. Congratulations! You’ve determined that your man is heterosexual! The fact that you’ve found one art book and not a stack of Hustler magazine is telling. You’ve found erotica, rather than porn. The distinction is subtle, but real. Porn’s sole reason for existing is to create sexual arousal, and it is not classy about how this goal is accomplished, generally. Erotica tries to create sexual arousal too, but does so in a far more refined manner. What it all suggests is that your man has some normal sexual hungers, but is not gross about it. All in all, I’d say that he’s committed no serious crime and indeed maybe could be said to be a “catch” on this basis alone. As a women whose husband has that stack of Hustlers in his closet and she’ll likely trade with you.

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p>Many women feel threatened by the idea that their men are attracted to any other woman’s body but their own. While this is an understandable concern, it suggests (at least to me) that a certain level of anxiety or insecurity is present inside these women. The men I know end up looking at a lot of women. That they look doesn’t mean that they are necessarily unfaithful to their female partners (I believe I know many who are not), but simply that they are interested in the female form in general.

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p>Apart from trusting this man so long as he has given you no reason to not trust him, I’d say that you should let him keep his secret. Relax a little too, unless the very thought of his having such a book just makes you completely crazy and you cannot tolerate it. I don’t think that such a book qualifies as cheating. Cheating would be an actual relationship with some other (animate) woman, no matter how virtual that relationship might be. Chatting on the Internet with a woman is cheating. Looking at erotica in modest quantities is only a secret thrill. He has not forced this book on you, and has behaved very well towards you by your own account. Let the book’s existence remain his secret until such time as he might want to risk sharing it with you (or not) or throwing it away.

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