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HI, I am a German living in America. My boyfriend is a pornography addict, and ever since we bought a computer he uses a lot of sites on a regular basis. At first, I thought it was mainly his problem (difficult childhood, inferiority complexes...), but after reading a few books on the subject, it seems as though most men in this country are regular consumers of pornography, from the proverbial stack of hidden Playboy issues to hard core Internet pictures. Is that so? Are there any statistics on how many men are into pornography? Our relationship is on the brink of a breakup (not only because of p. but I think most of our problems stem from this addiction), and I wonder if, in case I stay in the States, I just have to give up on American men... sure, there are profeminist men, or men just not interested in pornography but it's not quite a topic to be brought up when you meet a person for the first time, or is it? Thanks for a bit of enlightenment, Nikole

I think that I'm lucky that my boyfriend isn't a consumer of pornography, besides sneeking a few peeks at Playboy. I'm lucky, not only because I don't know how I would feel if he was a hardcore consumer of pornography, but because he gets to prove the exception to the supposed "rule." That is, his example proves that not all men are naturally addicted to pornography. And I wouldn't even describe him as a pro-feminist man, he's more a man with feminist instincts. Anyway, I say this all as a way of saying that we can't buy the excuse that men need it, it's natural. It might be an interest for some men, just as it is an interest for some women, but that's taste not gender.

As for how this plays out in your relationship. If it bothers you, this might just be proof that you aren't right for each other. However, he might be a great mate and, therefore, you two have to find a way to work through it together--or just date European men, but I'm sure they have their problems, too.


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