Accidental tabs and freeloaders

Porn Prude writes:

I really don’t like that my boyfriend watches porn. We moved in together and he sometimes leaves some tabs open on the computer by accident. Once, after a really hard day, I took it personally that I had to see it and I didn’t speak to him for a few days. When he realized I was giving him the cold shoulder, we got into it and he became embarrassed, telling me he would be more conscious of leaving tabs open and such.

I don’t want to nag him about watching porn or anything, but I know when he goes off to take a shower, his phone is in his pocket and he could be looking at that stuff in the shower and my heart just sinks. Is there anything I can do, or do I just have to accept that my boyfriend values porn so highly?

Heya, Porn Prude.

“By accident.” Boy if I had a nickel for every time I heard that. A guy leaving a porn tab open doesn’t happen by accident. Neither does it if it’s a girl, your roommate, a sentient dog named Snuffles, or some person that really wants you to get the hint about their sexual orientation.

You definitely have a hang up with porn that your boyfriend doesn’t have. I agree that most straight porn is not great on the female side of things (and tends to be a lot grosser than gay porn) but you’re taking this to “is he cheating” levels of madness.

Most people have high sex drives. It’s not bad to have a high sex drive. It’s not bad to have a low sex drive. And honestly, it can sometimes be the hardest thing in the world to have sex with someone else. You know you best, if you get what I’m saying. Which may be what this is about.

What’s interesting here is that as a grieved party, you don’t seem to ever watch porn. Your attitude suggests that you wouldn’t be into it and so I won’t even bother offering the suggestion of you watching porn with your boyfriend. (He subtly hinted at it by leaving tabs open, girl.)

At the root of this matter are differing interests. You’re worried about relational impact and he’s worried about sexual satisfaction. Those two ideas are very conflicting at the end of the day, and one of you is going to have to break the cycle. I actually admire his attitude in trying to share with you and don’t admire your rebuttal. If this is such a big deal for you, I can’t say your relationship will thrive, because eventually his porn stash will go underground when he realizes how judgmental you’re being about the whole thing, and that’s a whole new Pandora’s box of problems.

So here’s what I recommend: Take up a hobby that you only do when you think he’s taking some “him” time. Learn a skill. Focus those considerable mental energies elsewhere. If you don’t, you will drive yourself crazy and probably your significant other, too.

Hearts and Stars,
Your Advice Guru

Frita Freeloader writes:

So I have this good friend who has always been a little stingy with money, always wanting to do anything that’s free, and it really never bothered me. Until recently. I started noticing how I was hosting all the get-togethers and she would eat me out of house and home and drink way more wine than she’d ever bring. Every time I ask her to contribute, she conveniently forgets. And when we split takeout, she sends me Venmo requests for more than half of what I owe. She backs down when it gets brought up, but she’s testing me to see if she can get away with it—I’m sure of that. Is it time to cut her off if she won’t foot her half of the bill?

Heya, Frita Freeloader.

I like that you feel completely broadsided by a history of freeloading behavior that’s only bothering you now because it’s affecting you now. I am mystified that you are genuinely surprised by another person’s pattern of historic behavior and literally now, right before this very moment, it did not bother you. Are you the only friend this person has left? Do you feel like there was a friend meeting where every other person you two mutually know discussed ending friendship with said freeloader and you weren’t invited?

It doesn’t seem like a very strong friendship to me if money is destroying this. So what if they drink two or three bottles of wine? How much are you spending per bottle? What job do you have that allows you to host regal parties but still be so stingy and judgmental?

I ask all these questions because you’ve made yourself the martyred star of the story of this friendship. Your friend is no longer a friend but a vacuum that sucks time and hard-earned cash out of your life. And, you know, heaven forbid this person is trying to better themselves by going back to school and becoming even more of a freeloader since they’ll have loans to pay!

I want you to understand completely why I don’t sympathize with you and the best answer is the long line of people that use the Portland State food bank as a way to supplement their groceries. Or even the PSU students who have to use EBT cards and hope they can get through the month. I once knew a student who could eat one week only because they had won a gift card at an event.

When a small gift card to Subway is a celebration, it’s not really a win for anyone.

You’ve essentially robbed your friend of all dignity in this scenario. You don’t take any time to find out why they are so frugal, you just assume there’s no good reason for it. And for that I judge you quite harshly.

No Hearts or Stars,
Your Advice Guru