Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: I do not know why I am so perturbed by my boyfriends subscription to Playboy magazine bought before he met me. We are not young, were in our late 50s. He has volunteered to throw away issues that will still be coming. I am happy about that. If he no longer wants the magazine because he has me, then we are in a good place.
But I have a few reservations about what the mans mindset is, and I do not know how to analyze the situation. I will not badger him, or be controlling. I just want to have confidence that he is not interested sexually in other women. Words of wisdom, please?
Playboy. Almost quaint.
Every sexually interested soul on earth is interested in people besides their mates.
Also, the connection between wants the magazine and he has me is more imagined than real. Its not as if people gawk only when theyre between sex partners; its a source of pleasure independent of sex. If hes not compulsive and can do without the mags because you dont like them, then thats about as good an offer as hes in a position to make.
That applies as a larger point, too: The only assurance available to you, or anyone, is that the person you love wont act on outside sexual interests and thats not an assurance you can simply demand of someone or receive through a commitment or a canceled subscription. That assurance is available in one form only: by choosing someone who shares your belief in monogamy, and who has both integrity and impulse control.
Again you cant assume blinders go on just because youre committed to each other.
Also know that, in this particular case, you and he differ on values in a way that can be minor or serious, depending on the intensity of each of your beliefs: He has no problem with sexy images.
People on both sides can probably agree that you have to make peace with the others beliefs for this relationship to work, because even if he shreds his girlie mags, hell still not think theyre wrong to have around.
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