Guilt-Free Pleasures

How finding a moral middle ground for viewing porn saved my marriage.

Like many other American men, I liked to go to X-rated films and strip joints. I did not want my wife to know, because I did not want to hurt her feelings that she was somehow inadequate. My wife really had nothing to do with it. I loved the illicit thrill.

Then I got a computer with internet capability, and my life changed. The internet has a treasure trove of free porn. Most free sites encourage the surfer to link up with pay sites, but I could satisfy my curiosity--which, I admit, is pretty tame--just with the free sites. No longer did I need to go out to buy videotapes or watch strippers. No longer did I need to spend money on my little pastime.

I am sure there are those who think that I am somehow acting immorally, that I am not "true" to my wife. I disagree. This is not the Victorian era. People have urges, and sometimes their mates are busy or tired.

I believe that cyberporn has curbed those who might go out on a hunt to satisfy their sexual needs with something illicit, immoral, and costly. I'll bet there was a lot more fooling around going on during the Victorian era. Or even my parents' era.

All of us have heard religious leaders say that pornography on the internet has become the newest scourge. I don't think this line of reasoning accomplishes much more than to push users further into hiding. And keeping a secret is the biggest danger of using anything--porn, alcohol, drugs, food.


I used to hide my porn-surfing. Eventually, though, I realized that hiding it was the problem--it was immoral for me to make my porn surfing so important that I kept it from my wife. That's what made it seem like cheating. Now that she knows, my occasional surfing expeditions have become just a way to deal with my urges.

I figured this out about a year ago, when my computer started acting funny. I panicked. I knew I had to take the computer into my company's shop to have it fixed. I knew enough about computers to know the possible ramifications. The help desk might be able to see the footprints from my visits to the porn sites.

I was embarrassed at the thought of being "caught." Then I was mortified at the thought of losing my job. How in the world would my family be affected? I frantically began to look through the list of files on my computer for anything that looked like porn.

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