How to Do It

I Discovered an Upsetting Theme in My Husband’s Porn Browsing History. Should I Be Worried?

I just don’t know what to make of this.

A woman looks at a laptop screen; neon exclamation points float above the keyboard.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Getty Images Plus.

How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Have a question? Send it to Stoya and Rich here. It’s anonymous!

Dear How to Do It,

My husband is not good at clearing his browsing history, and Ive learned he regularly is watching Black men have sex with young petite white women, and most of it is abusive sex. We are white. What should I make of this?

— Concerned

Dear Concerned,

I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all interpretation to sexual fantasy (in this case, as potentially externalized in porn viewing). Your husband’s browsing history could indicate deep-seated racial prejudices about Black men’s sexual prowess, or an interest in cuckholding, or none of the above. Sometimes what we’re into is strictly a result of being turned on while seeing something like it and it just happens to take. I don’t think you’ll make any progress here without a conversation, if in fact you really need to know what’s up with this. Does it bother or disturb you? Is it worth confronting him about? His porn viewing could merely speak benign taste, like a predilection for modal jazz or arugula. Then again, it could say something about him politically or speak directly to his sexuality. I can’t tell you what to make of it, and he might not be able to either (some people find it hard to explain exactly why they’re into something), but you’re much better off asking him over me.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Dear How to Do It,

I see so many people write into your column about big dicks and how they want them or miss them or need them. Im not sure why, but I dont think Ive ever had a guy too much above average. Maybe it is the country where I live or a small sample size (less than 15 men). Some will be thicker, or a little longer, or noticeably smaller, but no huge variation. And most of them, especially as I get older and know what I like, give me what I need. Penetration is nice, but I orgasm generally from other things, and aside from some different positions some of the men could achieve—and I honestly think that was mostly skill-level differences—its just all roughly the same. Id even go further and say the guy Im dating is maybe the smallest Ive had, but he’s also the best sex. Am I really missing something, or is a penis a penis?

Advertisement
Advertisement

— Suspicious of Size

Dear Suspicious,

How you feel about big dicks is how I generally feel about Taylor Swift—so many people, including those whose opinions I respect, seem to adore her, and yet despite having enough predisposition to pop music that I should enjoy her, she leaves me as cold as a scarf-less walk through the winter woods. I do not, however, feel this way about big dicks, which I love. Truth be told, I’m more concerned with function over size (a hard man is, indeed, good to find), but there is just a sense of primal awe that I feel when eye-to-eye with a fat piece of dick. It’s one of those things that just … makes sense. The feeling I get when I see something between a guy’s legs that looks like it should be hanging in a butcher shop is something like being dazzled by fireworks or satiated by the singular flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter. It feels good, but more than that, it feels right.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

It would be reasonable to assume that an eye for big dicks is a product of social conditioning, and there’s probably some of that in the widespread agog they elicit. As a culture, we tend to prize scarcity and are fascinated by rare bodies. Big dicks scratch both itches at once. I’ll tell you this, though: Before I even understood their sexual implications, I knew I liked big dicks. From fourth to eighth grade, I had a gym teacher who would change in front of us when we’d go swimming in the community center pool across the street. His penis was roughly my height at the time. I couldn’t keep from staring at it, and I guess I must have been obvious about it because another kid caught me and instead of shaming me, he just said my name in a lilting sing-song that projected, “Knock it off, people can see you looking at him … but also, I get it.” My identity was already setting even at such an early age.

Advertisement
Advertisement

There are a few scientific theories as to why people like big dicks: their potential to increase sexual satisfaction (depending on the recipient’s anatomy) is an obvious one. Perhaps they evolved “to deposit semen in the deepest and more remote parts of the vagina to promote more effective sperm retention,” according to University of Ottawa biologist Brian Mautz. If that is true, their appeal is somewhat evolutionary, much like the projection of “good health.” In the National Geographic article containing his quote, it’s postulated that if pre-textile humans were choosing mates based on their fully displayed penises, perhaps penis size evolved as a result. And perhaps those tendencies to pick mates with larger penises (that may have signaled health, virility, or vitality to potential mates) have stayed with us through time. “When you listen to your feelings, you follow an algorithm that evolution has developed for millions of years, and that withstood the harshest quality-control tests of natural selection,” writes Yuval Noah Harari in his 2017 book on human evolution, Homo Deus. “Your feelings are the voice of millions of ancestors, each of whom managed to survive and reproduce in an unforgiving environment.” Picture it: Prehistoric size queens.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Luckily, there’s no obligation to feel this way about big dicks. Indeed, sometimes a penis is just a penis! To be unmoved by something rare makes your life easier, as you don’t have to waste any time in pursuit. My only other recommendation, if you’re inclined to take it, is to give a big dick a try should you encounter one in the wild. It might surprise you, as Taylor Swift’s 10-minute version of “All Too Well” (and its accompanying “short film”) did me. It’s a really good song!

Help us keep giving the advice you crave every week. Sign up for Slate Plus now.

Dear How to Do It,

Im a single lady in her mid-30s. I started dating someone casually recently that I met on a dating app for kinky people. Soon into the exchange of likes and kinks, he asked me how I felt about a scenario in which he got to share me with his father, and told me that he has a previous experience of this with an ex-girlfriend. We have divulged a lot to each other about our various kinks and fantasies, so the revelation did not immediately repel or even surprise me particularly. Its not personally my thing, but I spent some time afterward mulling over how I would feel about participating in such a scenario. Since they wouldnt be interacting, but rather sharing the experience of sex with me over time, I found myself feeling more open to the idea of it. I have to admit to there being a certain taboo element to it which does turn me on somewhat. There is another element to it too, which is that I am really attracted to this guy, we have a lot of other sexual interests in common, and the idea of fulfilling his fantasies really turns me on, of course in part because I want him to fulfil mine too.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Well, skip forward to the most recent time that we had a play session together. He brought up this particular fantasy with me again, in characteristic fashion when Im well and truly on my way to orgasm. He started asking more questions about what the scenario could entail, and in the process he revealed to me that he wants to be fucked by and suck off his Dad. The weird part for me is that I didnt have a visceral ew” reaction, though afterward my thoughts have been basically phew boy, that is REALLY fucked up.” My concern is not so much about getting into something I dont want to—Im tuned into my emotions on this, and if I dont feel comfortable with something, Im not going to go through with it no matter how much I like having sex with this person and wish to please them. My issue is rather that I am concerned for him, because that seems really messed up to me. I wonder where that desire comes from, and Im scared of the implications if he did actually try to make something like that happen, with or without another individual involved.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

So my question is: Where do I go from here? I know a lot of people in my shoes would run for the hills, but I actually want to keep seeing him. I feel a moral dilemma in that he has shared something deeply personal with me, and I feel perhaps its the right thing to do to try to talk to him about it, and caution him as to the implications of seeking to enact it, but I question whether its my place to. I have no idea if his father is interested in having sex with him, but I feel like even the attempt to find out could cause damage. I want to warn him that fantasy is often very different from reality, and that maybe some things are better left as such, but the thing is that I barely know him, so theres a real risk he could just shut me out entirely. Do you think Im right to want to talk to him about it? If so, do you have any advice for how? Im down with asking gentle, open, non-judgmental questions at a time when were not having sex, but do you have any advice on what to ask or not ask? Should I avoid asking him about his childhood altogether in case he feels like Im probing or judging?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

— Real Daddy Issues

Dear Real Daddy Issues,

I think it’s natural to be curious and want more information about something that doesn’t seem to make sense. I don’t know how much good you’ll do for this guy, though, if you don’t have some kind of clinical or academic background in psychology and/or sex therapy. I mean, are you trying to save him? He’s a grown man, right? I don’t know if you’re framing it in this way for you or for us or because you legitimately just want to help the guy, but I think the most rational reason for probing here is actually to satisfy your own curiosity. That’s really the only thing for sure in your power that you can fix. If it were me, I’d just ask him questions like a journalist, stating upfront that I’m not into it, but since he mentioned it, I am curious about how this all came to exist in his head. I have to tell you that I’m not a huge fan of his tendency to tell you this as your sexual excitement is increasing and you’re heading to orgasm—the disgust response tends to drop when we’re aroused, and it’s possible that he knows this and is sharing his taboo with you opportunistically.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

It’s also possible that this is total fantasy-speak for him on his own way to orgasm. Either way, I don’t believe this has entered the moral realm yet, as it remains merely expressed as thoughts as far as your experience is concerned. You like this guy, and that’s great, but unless you’re willing to roll with this kind of fantasizing (at least discursively), it’s probably going to become a big distraction sooner or later. You only started seeing him recently, and that app you found him on has plenty of other people on it who won’t talk about wanting their father’s dick in them. You could try one of those and not have to deal with this at all.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Did you write this or another letter we answered? Tell us what happened at howtodoit@slate.com.

Dear How to Do It,

My partner and I of three years enjoy making love, and I enjoy pleasuring her orally. I enjoy PIV sex, and we vary positions, but receiving blowjobs feels different (and is very enjoyable). She doesn’t perform it as much as when we started dating, and she always prefers to give me handjobs when it’s not PIV.

Advertisement

We’re open with each other about everything, including sex and pleasure, and we’ve talked about it, and she says that it’s not that she doesn’t enjoy sucking on my penis, but it’s the icky and gooey feeling of semen in her mouth and throat. I also enjoy 69, and she says it feels amazing for her as well, but we don’t engage in it often for that reason. I told her that I don’t want her to swallow, and that it’s not something that’s essential to my pleasure, but she says that she doesn’t know how to close her throat so that semen doesn’t go back. Switching to handjobs just before climax isn’t always well-timed (and sometimes sudden), and has a different feel. What can we do?

Advertisement

— Orally Fixated

Dear Orally Fixated,

I think she’s doing enough—giving you great head, communicating openly, troubleshooting to maximize both parties’ pleasure. So the question is not, “What can we do?,” but, “What can I do?,” and the answer is: compromise. Take coming in her mouth off the table and figure out what else will work for you. If she gets you close enough with her mouth, it shouldn’t require much of a hand job to get you off—in the brief time between the point of no return and ejaculation, it’s up to you to either tell her that you’re going come so that she can take your penis out of her mouth, or you can take matters into your own hand and jerk yourself off. You may both have to practice the timing, but it’s absolutely doable, and that way you get to have your blowjobs and she gets to have your semen not in her mouth. I mean, she’s telling you loud and clear what she wants, which perhaps would facilitate more of the blowjobs that you enjoy so much. Listen to her! She seems like an articulate partner, and someone worth holding onto.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

— Rich

More How to Do It

I have a good friend who has a habit of, nearly every time we get drunk alone together, coming home with me. It’s been escalating—last time we definitely did reciprocal oral, and we may have briefly had sex. (Neither one of us is sure because we were so drunk, which is ridiculous.) The problem is that when he’s sober, he doesn’t want us to hook up. After each time, he says this is a bad idea, that we shouldn’t do this again, etc. (It’s never I wish we hadn’t done this, only we shouldn’t do this again. My view: It is a bad idea, but that ship has kinda sailed.) When he’s sober, absolutely nothing happens. After the second time a couple months ago, I broached the idea that we should just hook up, but he said he didn’t want to complicate things because he enjoys hanging out with me. When I’m drunk, I’m pretty slutty; I’m extremely unlikely to say no in most cases, especially since I can’t help thinking we should just have sex. He’s the one who doesn’t want to while sober, but when he gets drunk, he can’t seem to not come in. At this point, this to me is getting a little ridiculous, but I’m not entirely sure what I can or should be doing here. For context, neither of us is interested in a dating or a relationship of any kind—I have other friends with benefits. At the same time, we live in a very small town, and going out to bars with him is an important part of my social life. Thoughts?

Advertisement