My Boyfriend Takes Boudoir Photos of Other Women and I’m Uncomfortable

My Boyfriend Takes Boudoir Photos of Other Women and I’m Uncomfortable
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My lovely boyfriend of one year, who showers me with love, takes boudoir photos on the side as a photographer. I wouldn’t think it that much of a problem (I’ve been reading your other posts on why men look at women), but what gets me here is that he has a pantyhose fetish. (Often, he seems obsessed with them). I can’t help but think this is just a little overstepping into inappropriate-land. I do trust him. Also though, I can’t help but imagine him getting very turned on by these photoshoots. I don’t want to be controlling. He’s been nothing but a wonderful boyfriend.

But, is his indulgence in these kinds of photoshoots healthy for us? Do I have anything to worry about if he has shown nothing but devotion to me?

Thank you, sincerely,

Claire

Thanks for your email, Claire. You referenced this post, Why Men Look at Other Women,” and I thought it would be relevant supplementary reading.

What’s tricky about your question is that it’s very specific and doesn’t apply to any two people besides you and your boyfriend. That’s why it’s hard to extrapolate and tell you, with any amount of certainty, whether you have anything to worry about.

But I will tell you a not-so-secret secret about how I give advice.

When a reader (or a client) asks me about a problem she has with her boyfriend, I put myself in her boyfriend’s shoes and ask myself how I would feel if I were him.

It’s not that her feelings are irrelevant – far from it! It’s that she already knows how she feels. What she usually lacks is the imagination to consider how someone else might view the same exact situation. Every time I do this exercise – since I’m pretending to be me – I give the man the benefit of the doubt as an honest, ethical person – unless I’ve been given reasons to doubt his character.

Your situation is unique, but it’s no different.

It’s full trust or no trust.

If your boyfriend is a trustworthy guy, then you have to act under the assumption that, despite the erotic nature of his side-hustle, he’s being faithful to you.

If he’s not trustworthy (or you don’t believe him to be trustworthy), then he should no longer be your boyfriend.

If he’s not trustworthy (or you don’t believe him to be trustworthy), then he should no longer be your boyfriend.

Wherever you draw the line IS the line.

Is the stocking fetish weird? For a vanilla guy like me, yeah. In the pantheon of all fetishes, it seems like a relatively tame one that can be incorporated into your love life rather easily.

Is he getting turned on by the photoshoots? I hope so. He’s a human being with a sex drive chose a hobby that he presumably finds pleasurable. But there’s a HUGE difference between being turned on by a stranger and acting on it.

I find many strangers attractive. I’ve never acted on it because I value my wife and my word far more than I value a fling that would destroy my life. Most men in relationships, I would suspect, feel similarly.

The key for women, I think, is to not play thought police. It’s not a crime for a man to be turned on by other women, attracted to other women, or occasionally fantasizing (or masturbating) about other women. If that’s what you expect from men, you’re likely to be sorely disappointed.

But if you can see the sizable gap between thought and action, I believe you can have a healthy relationship with a lovely, devoted boudoir photographer.

 

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Malika with an L

    I knew a fashion photographer who regularly did high-end lingerie shoots and while I am sure he greatly enjoyed seeing beautiful women waltz around in lacey near-nothings, he was always adamant that his wife was the apple of his eye. Out of all the people i knew back then, their relationship was one of the soundest. It is absolutely possible to have this kind of job and have a healthy relationship, it depends on the trust that is present within the relationship.
    If you feel doubtful it can mean two things: Instinctively you know he’s just not into your relationship. Far more likely, seeing your description of your relationship, you need time and space to adjust to having a boyfriend with this hobby.

    Are you able to act out his fantasies with the tights/pantyhose? I am assuming you wear them regularly anyway. There was a fetish i wanted my boyfriend to act out a while ago, and while he was slightly hesitant at first, we had great fun and he sometimes initiates it himself! Needless to say, don’t do it if you find it creepy, but only if you felt comfortable. Oftentimes if we are involved with the fetish of our partner, the fetish doesn’t seem threatening to the relationship after all.

  2. 2
    Mrs Happy

    The strangest thing about this one for me, was …. pantyhose, not stockings? What on earth is attractive about pantyhose? You’d have to pay me to wear those things over stockings.

  3. 3
    A Random Guy

    Sorry, but I have to file this and the other article under the heading of ‘Excuse Making And Rationalizing For Bad Behavior”.

    This woman’s fear is justified and if this man was considerate and loving, he would be kind to his woman and stop his side hustle. There are any number of photographic pursuits that he can engage in. And the truth is: as long as he engages in his fetish-chasing behavior, the more the risk he is of having an affair. As an example: the New England Patriots’ chance of winning each game for the rest of the season is in the high percentage range (60 – 90%), yet the chance of them winning every game is about 16%. Similarly, the chance of this fetish-chaser not having an affair with each of his subjects is high, but the chance that he doesn’t have an affair at all over time is probably low.

    As for the referenced article, if a male is “designed” to choose multiple partners because the propagation of the species depends on it, why isn’t the woman designed to do this as well? Certainly this would increase the chances of species propagation as well because she could wind up with a male who is not virile. To me, it’s just excuse-making and the way guys do this is to make conclusive assertions about inconclusive, even if educated, speculation. If we’re so helplessly driven to engage in this animalistic behavior because we’re “wired” this way, why then don’t the strong, young men pound the daylights out of the aging men and banish them to the woods to die because they’re no longer virile? Because there’s this other sciency thing called “social evolution”. And horny guys who want excuses for their bad behavior are going to pick and choose their arguments to fit their desires.

    We engage in habit-forming behaviors in the process of mate hunting. When those behaviors are no longer needed, we can wean ourselves away from them. I suggest that men would be far more capable of adapting to a rewarding monogamous relationship if they’d nurture the monogamy and wean off the behaviors that were necessary for finding a mate.

    1. 3.1
      Karl R

      Random Guy,
      There are multiple flaws with your arguments.

      First:
      Your example with the Patriots (while possibly accurate for that specific example) is wildly inaccurate and misleading when you try to extrapolate it to dating. Instead of sports games, why not compare fidelity to flying on an airplane. My chances of dying the next time I fly are staggeringly low. My chances of dying in a plane crash for the rest of my life … are still staggeringly low. That’s because there’s not a 10% chance of dying each time I fly. The chance is closer to one in 29 million.

      If you ever walk into a situation and think, “I have a 90% chance of not cheating,” you shouldn’t be patting yourself on the back for having a high chance of remaining faithful. You should be concerned with how high your chance of cheating is.

      Second:
      Are YOU “considerate and loving” enough to take a pay cut for someone you’re dating? Because that’s the expectation that you’re placing on Claire’s boyfriend. None of my girlfriends ever expected me to sacrifice my earnings to make them happy. Maybe for my wife … but only in a situation where her earnings would more than compensate (for example, moving to advance her career).

      Third:
      Why do you assume that Claire’s boyfriend is a “fetish chaser?” If Claire takes Malika’s suggestion and fulfills her boyfriend’s fetish herself … well … he might be chasing her to the bedroom, but there’s no particular reason to assume he’d look outside the relationship when his fetish is getting fulfilled inside it. (And as Evan stated, it’s a pretty vanilla fetish.)

      If Claire doesn’t want to personally indulge her boyfriend’s fetish, maybe they’re not right for each other. That seems to be one of the problems with fetishes. It limits the dating pool. But that’s more of a problem for the boyfriend.

    2. 3.2
      sylvana

      A Random Guy,

      thank you! How do you build any sort of sexual intimacy with a person like that? You can fuck him. But intimacy? As a person who has both open and monogamous relationships, this is just one more of those cases that baffles me.

  4. 4
    sylvana

    I have a fetish for men masturbating in front of me. Good to know that even if I’m in a monogamous relationship, I can still have men masturbate in front of me. I can even take pictures of it to keep reliving the experience. If my boyfriend has a problem with it, all I have to do is tell him that he can masturbate in front of me too. It doesn’t matter that I’m sharing the same experience with a bunch of other men.

    What about BDSM? Is that all right to engage in with others as long as there’s no intercourse? I’m whipping someone or getting whipped. It’s not like I’m cheating, right?

    And here I was, swearing I’d never get into a monogamous relationship again. Turns out, other than intercourse and maybe hand- and blowjobs, anything goes. Not really all that different from an open relationship. Short of a few, minor things, I still get to indulge all my fetishes with other people just fine.

    1. 4.1
      Karl R

      sylvana,
      I can’t tell whether you’re being earnest or sarcastic. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and answer seriously.

      Regarding your masturbation fetish:
      You can absolutely get that fulfilled inside a monogamous relationship. Just ask your boyfriend to masturbate in front of you, and you’re getting that desire met. Most reasonable partners would agree to do that to turn on their partners. If not, they’re probably not a compatible match.

      In addition, you can watch porn where men masturbate. There’s probably a limitless supply in that genre. Just find a boyfriend who is NOT a hypocrite, who also watches porn, and reach an agreement that both of you are allowed to watch porn. No cheating necessary.

      If you want to be in the same room with other men (besides your boyfriend or husband) while watching them masturbate, you’ll probably have to agree to some sort of open relationship.

      Regarding your BDSM questions:
      Based on the couples I know, some have agreed that BDSM is only practiced within the relationship (like any other sexual activity). Other couples have more open arrangements. As long as the couple can agree to the same rules and abides by those rules, it’s not cheating.

      1. 4.1.1
        Stephanie

        The problem is that the LW seems uncomfortable with the idea of her boyfriend indulging his fetish with other women. More significantly, it sounds like they don’t/can’t talk about the fetish and their sexual boundaries in the context of his work.

        This isn’t about her (or him) being right or wrong. It’s about her being afraid to share her feelings for fear of coming across as controlling.

      2. 4.1.2
        sylvana

        Karl R,

        But the LW’s boyfriend IS indulging his fetish with other women live. So why is it ok for him to do so, but not for her? She can do it with her boyfriend. He can do it with whoever he wants. There’s something wrong with that.

        As for the porn. I don’t see the difference in watching a single guy or girl masturbating in porn or doing so live, Two or more people engaging in sex acts is one thing. You’re watching sex. A single person, not so much. Too much focus on the person.

        As a person who does both open and monogamous relationship, I keep finding the lines between what is considered cheating and what isn’t extremely blurry. Like, stripping – ok. Naked person masturbating – not ok. Hmmmm…

  5. 5
    Nissa

    There’s nothing in this letter that suggests to me that the boyfriend is not getting his needs entirely met within the relationship. But the letter writer does use the word “obsessed” which by definition is an interest in something that dominates or is persistent.

    Based on that, since his needs are met, one must ask why he is “persistently” choosing to do a behavior that is very likely to increase his focus on sexual needs outside the relationship? Now, if one is choosing a polyamorous relationship, this would not be an issue, since the other partner has already given consent for sexual encounters with others as an agreed part of the relationship. But in a monogamous relationship, no matter which gender is doing the behavior, if that person consistently chooses a behavior which focuses them outside the relationship, that’s a problem. It indicates that there is more value to pursuing the desire than in preserving the relationship. The line is where it causes harm to the relationship. When a partner is consistently willing to cause hurt in their partner without empathy to the degree of seeing that person’s value as equal to his own, that creates harm.

    In my opinion, doing behaviors which increase the likelihood of hurting or harming your partner are a poor choice. One might say that the boyfriend’s having sexual feelings for others does not create actual hurt or harm, and I would agree that having a flash of “wow” when seeing a random image does not. The hurt or harm comes from the boyfriend’s choice to accept that kind of work, knowing the feelings it engenders for his partner. It comes from his choice to intentionally, repeatedly, make his focus on sexual feelings for those outside the relationship. It comes from the fact that allowing yourself to focus on anything, tends to increase that thing and intensify your focus on it. Ever glance at something on the side of the road while you are driving, and find that your car is drifting to that side? It’s that effect. Therefore, his choice cannot fail to impact the relationship, even if he wishes that were not so. Even if his girlfriend trusts him fully. Yes, a lot of women have fears that relate to their own insecurities rather than the facts or intentions of others. But that’s not necessarily what is happening in this case.

    The girlfriend doesn’t need to be the thought police. She does need to decide if her boyfriend’s values are in alignment with hers. If he sometimes values her less, but consistently makes effort to consider and value her, then it will be easy for her to accept the times when he doesn’t achieve HIS goal. But this must be HIS goal for himself (as opposed to a goal she chose for him, which is controlling). If he doesn’t have that goal for the relationship and himself, then she’s making a choice to accept that.

    Since there’s nothing in her letter to indicate that by shifting his work to images that are non-sexual for him, that he will lose income (in fact, she states he does it “on the side”), it appears to be choice mostly based on his preference. But the girlfriend her has really already made her choice. They have been a couple for a year, during which time she has accepted this. She has already tried to accept it as the kind of relationship he wants, and has failed to do so. Now she is trying to make peace with the fact that what he is offering is not really what she wants, and to rationalize her pain over his consistent choice to do this. She also doesn’t have a leg to stand on if she hasn’t said, “Look, this doesn’t feel right to me and I’d like you to not do any more boudoir shots of other women, but I’m happy to do them with you in our relationship so that this need is still fulfilled”.

    He then has the option to say, “I’m ok with that, because the relationship has that much value for me”. Or he might say, “No, I want to do the shoots more than I want to be with you”.Or even, “Wow, I had no idea this caused you pain, and while I don’t see anything wrong with the shoots, making sure I don’t give you pain is more important to me that the pleasure I get from doing that”. All of these are acceptable responses that do not make him wrong. But her failing to address the issue conclusively is bound to cause the end of the relationship.

    1. 5.1
      Karl R

      Nissa,
      Clearly you lack an understanding about photography … or photography as a business.

      My wife and I returned from Yellowstone a month ago, and (thanks to my pursuit of photography as a hobby) I have a substantial number of absolutely stunning landscape and wildlife photos. I’ve been working for a few years in those genres, and the practice is starting to pay off.

      If you were to suggest that I could do a boudoir photo shoot (based on the quality of my landscape and wildlife photos), I would laugh in your face. I don’t know how to pose a subject. I don’t know how to direct a subject. I don’t know how to light a boudoir photo. I don’t know how to stage a boudoir photo. I’m not even aware of what additional equipment I would need in order to attempt it … though I could probably research that last one. I greatly respect portrait, boudoir, and street photographers, because taking photos of people is challenging. (Landscapes and wildlife are challenging as well, but for entirely different reasons.)

      If you look at photography like a business, your suggestion is still impractical. If Claire’s boyfriend were to switch from boudoir photography to another genre (let’s say real estate, for the sake of argument, since that can be profitable), he would have to build a new client list from scratch. He’d have to build a new portfolio from scratch. He’d have to build his business reputation from scratch. And he’d have to buy some additional equipment.

      When I started dating my wife, she was making $2,000 to $3,000 extra per year doing work on the side. It clearly wasn’t her main income. It certainly wouldn’t support her. But a few thousand extra dollars is still a significant chunk of change for most people.

      Moreover, as jo and P stated below, you’re conflating the boyfriend’s side gig with his fetish. (Perhaps Claire is as well.) I did a Google Image Search on “boudoir photography” and browsed through the first hundred or so images. NONE of the women were wearing pantyhose. A few dozen were wearing stockings. Dozens more were just wearing panties. A number were wearing nothing at all below the waist. Two were wearing cowboy boots. But none were wearing pantyhose.

      Speaking of a lack of evidence, where is the evidence that the boyfriend’s behavior is causing Claire pain? She didn’t use the word “hurt” or “pain” or any synonyms in her letter. Even in your imaginary conversation between the two, Claire doesn’t use that language. But you expect the boyfriend (in his imaginary response) to leap to the conclusion that his side gig causes Claire pain … regardless of whether that is true.

      1. 5.1.1
        Nissa

        “On the side” means “not his primary source”. There’s no reason he can’t do more of whatever his primary source is, which does not require the jump you are suggesting.

        1. Karl R

          Nissa said:
          “There’s no reason he can’t do more of whatever his primary source is,”

          That sounds very unlike my experience in the workforce.

          Are you paid hourly? I’m paid a salary. If I “do more” of my job, I still get paid the same salary.

          “Do more” of what I do for a second employer? That’s a clear-cut violation of a non-compete.

          Years ago, when I worked hourly, I didn’t get to choose whether or not I worked overtime. That was chosen by my supervisors or managers (often based on circumstances outside their control).

          But this is dancing around the larger point.

          Let me flip this around for you. If you’re dating a man, and he doesn’t trust you (because you have a close male friend, a cute coworker, you dress sexy and attract attention, whatever) … he could suggest a lot of simple solutions, like you have. You could drop your close friend. Quit the job with the cute coworker. Stop wearing sexy clothing.

          You could do as he asks. But that won’t make him trust you. He’ll have another reason that he still doesn’t trust you. He’ll probably have another simple solution … how you can change one more thing. Put his mind at ease.

          And that’s a never-ending cycle. More time will pass, and he’ll still be suspicious. As Evan said, “It’s full trust or no trust.” A trustworthy person can’t make a suspicious person trust them. You can’t earn a suspicious person’s trust.

          But let say you try. (Just as you’re suggesting Claire’s boyfriend should.) You stop seeing the close friend, change jobs so you aren’t working with the cute guy, replace your sexy clothes with more boring ones … eventually your relationship with this guy will end. Either because he dumps you (due to his suspicions), or because you dump him (because you’re tired of changing for him).

          By trying to pacify the suspicious boyfriend, you’ve lost the friend, the job, the clothes (and feel free to replace those examples with whatever the suspicious boyfriend actually wants you to change), and eventually you lose the boyfriend too. If you refuse to tie yourself in knots to allay his unfounded suspicions, you’ll still lose the boyfriend … but that’s the only thing you lose.

        2. jo

          Karl R, great points. Reading Claire’s letter and the comments, I wonder how much of what drives the concern is the prudish attitude in the US toward erotica and gender relations. It seems more related to that, than any real concern that this boyfriend, who sounds like a good man, would cheat.

          But it may not be entirely Claire’s fault, if she has grown up in a culture honoring the ‘Pence Rule’: that you can’t meet alone with a member of the opposite sex if you are already married to someone else, and variants of that. Rather than calling it overly suspicious and mistrusting, this is supposed to be what ‘good Christians’ do. But it backfires, because it reduces everyone of the opposite sex to being a tempter or temptress rather than a full human being.

          I believe there is a passage in the Bible about ‘resisting temptation.’ It’s not wrong advice, but the reasonable degree has to be taken into account. Otherwise our lives would be so restricted, and we could never really become adults. Part of growing up is learning, then knowing, the degree to which we can resist various temptations. If Claire’s man has done erotic work for years and has proven a great partner, then it seems he has found his reasonable boundaries – maybe even more so than someone who’s never tested those boundaries.

        3. Stephanie

          @Jo,, I’m not sure if mine are the comments you are referring to, but my concern is that Claire can’t have a simple conversation with her supposedly wonderful boyfriend. Something doesn’t add up here.

          I’m inclined to agree with you that she may be somewhat of a prude, particularly because she doesn’t seem worried about him cheating with his clients. Unfortunately the solution is not as simple as expecting her to stop being prudish. They have to resolve this as a couple. She deserves a partner who respects ger feelings and he deserves a partner who respects his art.

          “Pence Rule” – LOL

        4. jo

          Hi Stephanie – it wasn’t you specifically. I agree with you that Claire should be able to talk with her boyfriend about this, and that something doesn’t add up. After all, her letter isn’t like those of other women who complain to Evan about men who flake out on them, abuse them, cheat on them… her man sounds like a winner in comparison. As such, his job shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. But maybe we don’t know the whole story.

      2. 5.1.2
        sylvana

        Karl R,

        if it’s just photography as work, or even doing a porn shoot as work, there’s nothing sexually exciting about it. It’s WORK. If been at quite a few of both (including photo shoots of sex acts) since one of my close friends works in production of that industry. You focus on lighting, angles, etc. All of that takes up all your concentration and is so distracting, you don’t even think sex. Not to mention that there is a bit of a “Getting dulled to it” factor that comes into play. Heck, even the people having sex have a hard time staying excited with the constant interruptions.

        That’s the difference between professionalism and drooling instead of focusing on work. That’s like saying a gyno should get turned on when examining a woman.

        I don’t think this is just about the pantyhose fetish. And you’re right, not all boudoir shots use them. I’m certain there is something in his behavior when he gets back from them (or when he’s about to do one) that is bothering her. That’s usually what this comes down to. I one had a friend who got bothered when her boyfriend went to strip clubs. She never cared with any of her other boyfriends. But this one showed such high levels of arousal and excitement just thinking about it that it really got under her skin. Especially since she never got the same out of him for her. So it’s often not what he is doing, but his reaction to it that is bothersome.

        1. Karl R

          sylvana said:
          “I don’t think this is just about the pantyhose fetish. And you’re right, not all boudoir shots use them.”

          I don’t like to be misquoted. Based on my review of available photos, barely any boudoir shots use them. If pantyhose are showing up in even 5% or 10% of the boyfriend’s shots, then it’s an indication that he’s steering his clients toward pantyhose shots. That would be extremely concerning, and evidence that he was serving his fetish, rather than his clients’ interest.

          But I doubt Claire knows that. If I (or my wife) was hiring a boudoir photographer, we’d be extremely upset if he/she was showing the photos to an unknown third party … including his/her significant other.

          As you said, a normal photographer is going to be too focused on his/her work to be getting aroused by a boudoir shoot (or even porn). But before you continue looking at it from your own narrow perspective (and I realize how absurd that will sound to you), let’s step back and look at it from Claire’s perspective.

          Most people aren’t familiar with the inner workings of a professional photo/video shoot. So it seems likely that Claire might fall into that category. She’s not comparing her boyfriend to other boudoir photographers. She’s comparing him to mundane 8-to-5 professionals, some blue-collar types, maybe a few people with “exciting” careers like artistic types, paramedics, etc. It’s entirely possible that she lacks any realistic basis for comparison.

          As a personal example, my first serious relationship was with a bisexual girlfriend. I’ve repeatedly heard (ignorant) individuals proclaim that bisexuals are more likely to cheat. As far as I can tell (now that I have some personal experience), bisexuality doesn’t measurably correspond to infidelity. But when I first entered that relationship, I lacked any basis for comparison. If I imagined that bisexuals were more prone to cheat (as many others have assumed), that would have defined my reality.

          If Claire’s had a string of boyfriends who were boudoir photographers, or who had fetishes, then she’s likely similar to your friend (re: strip clubs). This time might seem different than the other, very similar, situations. But if Claire is lacking similar points of reference, then it might be the fear of the unknown that’s haunting her, rather than intuition based on personal experience.

          sylvana said:
          “I’m certain there is something in his behavior when he gets back from them (or when he’s about to do one) that is bothering her.”

          Why are you certain? Clairvoyance?

          Your certainty seems to be untethered from any details Claire provided … because she gave no description of the boyfriend’s behavior before or after his photo shoots.

          Your proclamation (regardless of its accuracy) is as absurd as if I stated there was something disturbing about how you treat your coworkers.

          I have no idea how you treat your coworkers. You could be the a serial sexual harasser. You could be the world’s best boss. I have no evidence to substantiate any claim. Similarly, you have no evidence regarding how Claire’s boyfriend behaves before, during, or after a photo shoot.

          Just based on the objective facts provided by Claire … where does your certainty come from? Ego? You know you’re right?

          As several other posters have indicated, Claire should start talking to her boyfriend about this. Discuss his fetish. His side job. Do the two ever overlap? They’ve been dating for a year. She has every right to ask the questions and see how he responds. But it’s in her best interest to start the conversation without bias. Maybe her boyfriend is great. Maybe he’s not. After a year, they should be able to talk about these things. If they haven’t yet, then it’s high time they broke the ice.

      3. 5.1.3
        mara

        HI, professional photogrpaher here, with a client list including SOny, Nivea, Dior, Givenchy, YSL and more.
        The LW is talking about a fetish and a hobby, no one says he makes money with it, and trust me 99% of amateur photogrpahers do not mae any money with said hobby, in fact, even professional photographers are having trouble since 2000 roughly, so the level must be technically and artistically very high to actually make money with photography, in an era were any idiot that buys a reflex calls himself a photographer and people have lost all taste level to recognize professional work after seeing so much garbage everywhere.
        His hobby was defined as a hobby, not a second job.
        It is clear to me he does it precisely to satisfy his fetish and odds are HE is paying his models, not the other ways around, as hundreds of thirsty amateur ‘photograhers’ are offering everywhere online (ask any indiendent model, lol).
        Please, leave photography as a profession out of this.
        I bet this guys’ shoots are utter garbage as like those of 99% of amateurs in ANY field of ‘side photography’, in my experience.

        1. jo

          Mara, although Claire never wrote that it was her boyfriend’s hobby, yours sounds like an explanation that would make all the pieces of her story fit together. Namely, he is doing the boudoir photography as a hobby and does pay his models (or reimburse them some other way) to indulge his fetish, rather than them paying him.

          Well, if that is the case, our collective advice still holds, I think – they need to talk, and if either of them feels uncomfortable with what their partner wants or suggests, they might need to consider going separate ways or else learn to handle a pretty substantial compromise.

    2. 5.2
      sylvana

      Nissa,

      well said. I fully agree.

  6. 6
    John

    I love when Evan wrote that if a woman wants to be the “thought police“ with men that it’s a losing battle. Wanting to stop men from looking at beautiful women is like trying to force a woman to have one pair of shoes

  7. 7
    jo

    Strange as it sounds, I think we need to separate two concepts in this story that are being conflated: his being a boudoir photographer, and his having a pantyhose fetish.

    I agree with the others who think there is nothing wrong with his taking boudoir photos as part of his job. Obviously there is demand for these types of photos (otherwise he and others would not be in business), therefore obviously there are boudoir photographers. Can we insist that NONE of them can be in healthy LTRs (as one comment above seems to suggest)? I don’t think so – any more than we can claim that men and women shouldn’t have business dinners together if one of them is already married to someone else. So being a boudoir photographer and being a great partner are not mutually exclusive.

    The pantyhose fetish – this seems like something the OP should be able to fulfill for her boyfriend on her own, without his seeking it elsewhere. I don’t see how it fits in with his boudoir photo taking, because he as a photographer can’t demand what the buyer wears, right? Some buyers would not want pantyhose at all. He is there to serve them, not impose his fantasy on them.

    So there seems to be a disconnect in this story, but I don’t see how any of it has to be a problem for this relationship.

    1. 7.1
      Stephanie

      My concern, Jo, is that they may be conflated in the LW’s mind. If she believes that his fetish is an issue in the context of his work, than it becomes an issue for their relationship.

      That’s why I said in my post above that she is uncomfortable with the “idea” of his using he work to indulge his fetish. It’s not clear if she has even tried discussing this with her boyfriend. Therefore, she may not know his feelings in the matter and may be missing a real opportunity to grow their connection. He would probably welcome the conversation.

      Saying she can satisfy his fetish is overly simplistic. If she does not embrace his interest in stockings, it makes sense that his exposure to women who enthusiastically celebrate it might seem threatening to her. Her letter was so short that I’m not sure how she feels about his fetish, but it doesn’t sound like she is overly enthusiastic or that it is something they are comfortable discussing.

  8. 8
    P is for _

    I don’t understand why people are acting like he takes boudoir photos because of his fetish. He is a photographer and he was doing it before they met. You shouldn’t start a relationship with someone and then try to change them.

    I’m weirdly attracted to beards, especially ginger beards. But I don’t lose control every time I see one and go rub my face in it. This seems like extreme thinking to me.

  9. 9
    Sandra

    @Jo
    But it may not be entirely Claire’s fault, if she has grown up in a culture honoring the ‘Pence Rule’: that you can’t meet alone with a member of the opposite sex if you are already married to someone else, and variants of that. Rather than calling it overly suspicious and mistrusting, this is supposed to be what ‘good Christians’ do. But it backfires, because it reduces everyone of the opposite sex to being a tempter or temptress rather than a full human being.

    BTW, religious Muslims and Jews have similar beliefs about being alone with the opposite sex. I am non-religious, however, the world is not divided betwenn “prudish Americans” and “progessive” Northern Europeans. There is a big world out there that have had strict views on gender relations long before Pence came around and whose culture has nothing to do with the American bible belt.

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