Don't know what to believe any more about my BF and incriminating emails
December 12, 2014 7:05 AM   Subscribe

I am going through a major dilemma right now. I am not sure if I can continue with my relationship with my boyfriend, due to a very incriminating set of emails I saw in his inbox. My question is, do you think this is something to break up over? Or can I believe his story and give him the benefit of the doubt? See more details inside.

First of all, our almost 3-year relationship before this was great. We lived together and were discussing long term plans. He was the best guy I ever dated – was very thoughtful, kind, funny. We were in love. He was the kind of guy I could count on to be there for me in hard times. Still love the person he is, even after all this.

Here is some background specific to the situation: My bf is very much into kinky p0rn and has been this way for our entire relationship of 3 years. I would often participate in these kinds of acts with him. It was never my “thing” but I enjoyed making him happy, so I went along with it. He would watch that kind of p0rn and it didn’t seem out of the ordinary to me how often he watched it. I never had any suspicions or worries about his usage because for the most part, I consider it a healthy, normal part of relationships.

I have always had trust and insecurity issues in relationships. Not only with him but with all boyfriends before me – so I think it’s my issue. So the other day I went through his email and found a string of emails over 4 months that he had been sending to a p0rn star from the site that he frequents. I found the website where he obtained her email, which is clearly an ad she placed for setting up bookings (photo/video) with her. She says in the ad “fly me out to where you are, I love to travel”. The first email he sends to her is “how much is a shoot?”. She says something like “I don’t do photo shoots any more but can do a video” and he responds saying that he is an “independent” and will pay for airfare to fly her out to either of two locations near us to do [insert multiple kink acts here]. It looks like she has only responded the one time asking for details, and then stops responding while his multiple emails keep coming.

This doesn’t sound like him, doesn’t sound like something he would actually do. But the evidence is clear in front of me. He insists, over and over, that he was not ever going to actually meet up with her, that it was exciting for him but he was just fooling around. He asks me to look at his character – is he the type of guy who would pay thousands to fly out a p0rn star and pay to do a shoot? I think “no, that’s not you” but I don’t know anymore. Also to give him the benefit of the doubt – if he had really met up with her, how would that have possibly worked? Not only would he have to pose as a legit photographer and convince her of that, but he’d probably be IN the shoot, and I believe he cares enough about his professional career to put it at risk like that.

I found the email chain on Sunday and honestly, I don’t know what to think anymore. We’ve talked about it excessively at this point. I can’t eat, I think I’ve lost about 10 pounds this week already, and I can’t think about anything EXCEPT this. My head is spinning and I feel extremely conflicted. Do I believe this person that I’ve spent close to 3 years with and thought of marrying, or do I believe the email chain and what it implies? Is there even a SLIM chance that this is not something he actually thought of doing – just a fantasy that he would never have acted on? I don’t know. I go back and forth with either “he would never actually do this” to “the email chain says it all, don’t be an idiot”.

Please tell me what you think, and what you would do if you had the same experience. I don’t want to throw everything away over an assumption that he was going to cheat on me, but I also don’t want to be a fool and stay with someone who would do this. I want to believe him so, so badly that this was just an innocent thing, but my alarm bells are going off. Is his story even half plausible? Or is his story bull and I need to move on? Thank you.
posted by koolaidnovel to Human Relations (49 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
OK, let's accept his premise that it was "just a fantasy" - that he wasn't actually going to pay a professional thousands of dollars for a private shoot, he was just role-playing. That means that your boyfriend involved a real, live person in his sex fantasy without her consent (and, since she's a professional, without compensating her for her time), and if she had agreed to the shoot, he would have pulled the rug out from under her, again wasting her time with no compensation. I don't see how this is acceptable or excusable behavior, either. It's the behavior of someone who does not care about people outside of his sexual attraction to them, IMO. I would be intensely creeped out by this.
posted by muddgirl at 7:12 AM on December 12, 2014 [70 favorites]

Best answer: Your whole body is telling you what your brain refuses to acknowledge. It doesn't really matter what he would have actually done, had it come right down to it, he sent the emails.

That means that at a minimum he was trying to have a dialog with this person. Which he did. Some couples have a "free pass" in a joking kind of way. You pick out a high-profile person, that you'd never in a million years be able to get close to, let alone have a fling with, and for each person that's the "free pass." So for me it would be Vincent D'Onofrio and for Husbunny it would be Kate Bush. Okay, never going to happen, but we laugh about it and that's the end of it.

In this case, your BF explored the possibility. Even if he didn't have the means to follow up on it, he went there.

What this tells me is that he has an issue with boundaries. It's possible that the person he was corresponding with picked up on it and stopped responding, which says a lot about the creep factor involved.

The fact that he won't own up and be honest about it is a problem. You might be able to sort it out in couple's therapy. These aren't binary things, either ignore it or DTMFA. You can decide that it's a HUGE issue for you and that you need to process what happened and you need him to own his part in it, including what he was REALLY after.

You don't have to decide right now, but in this instance, I'd start looking for the exits because what he did violated your trust and he doesn't seem to get it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:16 AM on December 12, 2014 [9 favorites]

He asks me to look at his character – is he the type of guy who would pay thousands to fly out a p0rn star and pay to do a shoot?

Not yet. But not for his lack of trying. He would have been exactly that type of guy, judging by the exchange.

I think “no, that’s not you” but I don’t know anymore.

I think you do know. And I'm sorry you're going through this.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 7:17 AM on December 12, 2014 [14 favorites]

Best answer: I would also be very upset about this, and have never thought of myself as having trust issues. Don't downplay your feelings.

1. He's broken your trust; it's his job to repair it rather than your obligation to get over it.

2. Maybe give yourself some time and space away from him to think things through. Like, can you stay with a friend for a week? You don't have to decide the fate of the relationship today.
posted by ecsh at 7:18 AM on December 12, 2014 [19 favorites]

If this makes you uncomfortable, you should break up. Someone who does this while you're dating, behind your back, is going to do it when you're married.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:19 AM on December 12, 2014 [6 favorites]

I note that you were going through his emails. Obviously that is a boundary violation and you mentioned having trust issues in past relationships, but ask yourself: what was pinging your radar that you needed to launch an investigation? Your sub-conscious was warning you even before you found this new info and now your body is proclaiming that it's unacceptable to you.
posted by carmicha at 7:20 AM on December 12, 2014 [22 favorites]

He is the kind of guy who would send those emails because he is the guy who did send the emails.

I think that if he had the money, this would have happened. You seem to know this, too.

If this is a dealbreaker for you (it would be for me), then break up with him sooner rather than later.
posted by inturnaround at 7:21 AM on December 12, 2014 [8 favorites]

I have read so many stories on here and other sites of the OP catching their SO by finding an e-mail chain (or text or Facebook) where they are making plans behind their back to meet up with someone. If the OP catches it before anything happened, the guilty party almost always comes back with "Well I wasn't actually going to go through with it!" This is complete and utter bullshit and the red flag just burst into flames.

This guy is showing you who he really is. You have hard evidence. Believe it, and kick his ass to the curb. Why spend the next X number of years wondering if you can really trust this person? There are lots of guys out there with whom you will never wonder.
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:22 AM on December 12, 2014 [28 favorites]

You are insecure, and broke a bond of trust in a healthy relationship: don't read your partner's email.

Your boyfriend has some sex issues going on, and broke a bond of trust in a healthy relationship: don't go looking to people outside the relationship for your gratification.

You both have violated the foundations of trust on which relationships stand. You both have some work to do to repair that trust. Making this solely about the BF's transgressions (which are palpable) is only addressing half the problem.

In my experience, you need at least one mature person in a relationship, and BOTH people must be at least committed to being mature (i.e., one person who has their shit together and can help the other person get their shit together (provided that the other person is actually trying), and who has a mature perspective on when to cut slack, and when to bail).

I don't think either of you have your shit together. It may be worth just starting over and getting some personal perspective here (and again, BF has got to get his act together too; this is not all your fault--just half).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:23 AM on December 12, 2014 [8 favorites]

It looks like she has only responded the one time asking for details, and then stops responding while his multiple emails keep coming.

He was harassing her in a big way, here. That is majorly creepy.
posted by Melismata at 7:23 AM on December 12, 2014 [57 favorites]

It sounds hugely disrespectful of the performer (sending multiple emails while not getting a response, leading her on about a potential job in order to get his own sexual gratification), and that would bother me.

Whether I'd consider it infidelity would depend a bit on how recently it happened. I'd be more upset the more recent it was.

Either way, it wasn't an "innocent" thing, even if he didn't intend to follow through and sleep with this woman, and I would need my own partner to understand why using real people, without their consent, for sexual gratification was a very large problem. People don't stop being human beings worthy of respect when they make porn.
posted by jaguar at 7:24 AM on December 12, 2014 [31 favorites]

It's possible he's telling himself, now, that he would never have actually gone through with it. That doesn't mean he wouldn't, though. And it doesn't even mean he wasn't planning to at the time - maybe he's retroactively justifying it to himself by saying "But I'm not that kind of guy, I'd have chickened out at some point."

Since you'll never know for sure whether he would have done, given the opportunity, I think you have to go with the evidence you've got. Is there anything in that evidence that supports his claim that he was never planning to go through with it, other than the idea it would have been impractical in person to convince her he was a professional? (To me, her stopping the replies sounds like she picked up on that and axed the conversation accordingly - and he kept trying anyway...)
posted by Catseye at 7:27 AM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Compare these two statements:

It looks like she has only responded the one time asking for details, and then stops responding while his multiple emails keep coming.


This doesn’t sound like him, doesn’t sound like something he would actually do. But the evidence is clear in front of me. He insists, over and over, that he was not ever going to actually meet up with her, that it was exciting for him but he was just fooling around.

If he was fooling around, he wouldn't have sent her multiple emails and he would have mentioned this to you. That you found this out by going through his emails (what's up with THAT) says this is exactly who he is, you just don't know him as well as you thought you did.

Which is actually fine, in the "ah, humanity" sense. People hide stuff all the time, especially their deep and dark fantasies. Now it's out on the table, so talk about it and ask him to be brutally honest. Did he really want to have sex with this pornstar? I can't imagine the real answer being anything other than yes, if he went through all these steps and multiple emails.

So if he says 'yes,' you guys have chance, after discussing this starkly and frankly. That's not a definite "we're gonna be ok", but at least y'all can get things out on the table and go from there.

If he says 'no' and keeps insisting 'no', then he's lying to you at the very least and probably himself and it's time for you to move on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:32 AM on December 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

He was harassing her in a big way, here. That is majorly creepy.

For me that would be the biggest red flag here. Obviously you know him and we don't, but this kind of inappropriate continued harassment sounds really off to me and makes me want to suggest that you reassess the relationship overall.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:33 AM on December 12, 2014 [11 favorites]

My take on it is that it doesn't really matter if he would have gone through with it or not (although I think he probably would have if he thought he could get away with it). You already have trust issues major enough that without any obvious prompt or suspicious behavior or anything tangible, you looked through his emails. I'm guessing that wasn't the first time you've done that. Can you imagine what level of privacy invasion it would take for you after this to trust him? I strongly suspect that nothing would be enough, you'll always be wondering whether he has some other anonymous email account or is deleting stuff off his phone or whatever the sneaking suspicion might be. You'll get more and more paranoid and it will be toxic for your relationship. You won't be able to solve your own trust issues while you're with someone you don't trust, and he'll get progressively more miserable as you continually question him and go through his stuff and he has to try to 'prove' to you that he is worthy of trust. Eventually he may also realize that you don't trust him no matter what he does, and that combination with a person who was already doing sketchy things behind your back means that he'd probably do something else even more sketchy "hey, she already thinks I'm cheating on her so what's the difference?"

I've seen this play out in other relationships before, I know there are others who have gotten through it but I do think the likelihood of that is low. You need a clean slate.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:36 AM on December 12, 2014 [7 favorites]

He asks me to look at his character – is he the type of guy who would pay thousands to fly out a p0rn star and pay to do a shoot?

So the real issue is... the cost?

He is telling you what you need to know, right there. If it weren't for logistics, he'd have gone through with it.
posted by rada at 7:43 AM on December 12, 2014 [28 favorites]

If you ever get to the point where you're seriously considering reading your partner's email because you don't trust them, you probably shouldn't bother to go through with it. Just dump them, the relationship is irrevocably broken.
posted by empath at 7:49 AM on December 12, 2014 [10 favorites]

My mom says, "Do you know what you find out when someone you care about lies to you? That they are a liar."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:59 AM on December 12, 2014 [19 favorites]

Honestly, before I even read down to the bit where you describe how he explained himself to you, I guessed this wasn't something he was actually going to do. He was daydreaming, basically.

You're trying to work out whether he would be prepared to cheat on you in this way, but this is unknowable. The fact is, he didn't cheat on you. He enjoyed thinking about cheating on you. This might be intolerable for you, I don't know. As far as I'm concerned, pretty much everyone in the world in a relationship enjoys thinking about cheating. It's like the number one daydream.

Sending emails to a porn person was a bit dumb, and it might be hard for you to see in the same way again, so ultimately you may be doomed. But there's nothing in your question that indicates that this guy should definitely be for the chop. Obviously Metafilter is responding like he's Jack the Ripper, but they have people DTMFAs for dropping a teacup.
posted by cincinnatus c at 7:59 AM on December 12, 2014 [8 favorites]

If this happened to me, I would immediately break up with the person. From your description, he very clearly had intentions of cheating. Please be kind to yourself and get out of this relationship and find someone else whom you can actually trust.
posted by Librarypt at 8:01 AM on December 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

What this boils down to, for me, is a conflict between what you thought was true and what is actually true. This guy isn't who you thought he was. It's right there in front of your face. Believe it.
posted by something something at 8:03 AM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The biggest problem I see is that there were multiple decision points for him at which he could have stopped. He could have just watched this actress's videos, and not tried to seek her out. Instead, he found her email. Once finding it, he could have thought, "Wait, what am I doing?" and could have chosen to not email her. Instead, he emailed her. Once emailing her, he could have decided to stop contacting her or to not make that offer. Instead, he not only made her an offer but continued to try to contact her after she stopped contacting him.

This isn't just "one thing" that he did. You've found a series of bad decisions that are absolutely red-flag level. After any one of these decisions and actions he could have stopped or come clean to you, but he didn't. Of course your trust in him is shaken at a very foundational level.

You have some options. One is breaking up right away. Another is taking some time. Stay at a friend's place for a week (as another poster suggested upthread) and decide how to proceed. Is there a world in which he could demonstrate through his actions that he can be someone you can trust again? Or not?
posted by nicodine at 8:16 AM on December 12, 2014 [12 favorites]

If feel like you should break up now, you are totally within your rights to do so and I think very few people here would tell you you'd be wrong. However, if you do want to try continuing the relationship, I think one thing that's important is to consider what you would need from him for this to work. For me, that would be: 1) gaining an understanding as to WHY he did what he did, and 2) working with him to figure out how he can make you feel confident that it won't happen again. I don't know if those are achievable goals or not, but I think this is something that couples counseling could help you both with.

If you do go to counseling, I'd work with the therapist to figure out a reasonable time frame to check in on things - say, maybe after 5 sessions you should assess whether or not your boyfriend has made reasonable progress on winning back your trust - because you don't want to just keep going indefinitely and aimlessly. If you still don't feel comfortable with the progress made at that point, then perhaps you should part ways because everyone deserves to feel secure in their relationship, but at least this way you'll know you and he have tried to get past this. Again, I'm suggesting this only IF you want to continue the relationship - I honestly can't weigh in on whether or not you SHOULD do so. Whatever you do, so long as you're acting from a position of self-care I don't think you can make a wrong decision.

I'm sorry you're going through this and I wish you all the best.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:31 AM on December 12, 2014

Best answer: My guess is that you already know what your best course of action is here, but I generally side with the Don't Rush to Act camp; i.e. take your time to decide. You asked if his story is plausible? I think that, yeah, sometimes people are creepy and inappropriate but wouldn't carry out their "darkest" fantasies, or whatever. OTOH, maybe he would have flown her out and so forth, but he didn't. He wasn't able to fly her out, and so he didn't, and he's mentally in a different space now than he was when he was devising that half-cocked plan. LTRs often weather worse storms, and with forgiveness, people can grow from their mistakes and their poor judgment. This is coming from somebody who gets bored with people that always behave perfectly, though. (I do think it was probably annoying for the p0rnstar to have to deal with the guy's harassment. I'm sympathetically irritated by it, and do not condone such behavior.)

Again, I think only you know what's right for you, and if you're justifiably confused at this moment, give it some time, be good to yourself, put you first, and follow your heart? Yes. Follow your heart.
posted by little_dog_laughing at 8:44 AM on December 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

Some couples have a "free pass" in a joking kind of way. You pick out a high-profile person, that you'd never in a million years be able to get close to, let alone have a fling with, and for each person that's the "free pass."

In my relationship we call this the "in case of Halle Berry" clause.

The idea, however, is that, SHOULD one find oneself in the presence of a willing Halle Berry, then one may temporarily behave as if one were single. I mean, think of the story you get to tell your partner afterwards! Halle Berry!

Your boyfriend 1) sought this woman out (not in her presence), 2) harassed her after she stopped responding (not willing), and 3) didn't tell you about it. No no no.

You are right to be concerned, in my opinion.
posted by chainsofreedom at 8:45 AM on December 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

He's using his kink as an excuse to himself.

"My GF won't do X or Y act with me, so it is OK if I hire a professional to do those acts with me and keep it a secret."

As a person who used to get contacted by strangers like this in a similar kink context.... I'm wondering if he has a bad reputation on the scene and that's why she turned him down? She was right to turn him down, it is VERY inappropriate of him to keep writing. That's not OK in the circle he was trying to play in.

So from my perspective, you have two problems:

#1 he's disengenous and pursues his incompatible with you sexual proclivities outside of the relationship. I'll also call this Lying and Having A Double Life.

#2 is that his real self & demeanor is unacceptable in a realm where what is taboo is often embraced. Something he suggested to this performer was unwise, unsafe, or both. Furthermore, she was explicit about her lack of availability or interest, and he ignored her directions and keep contacting her anyway.

I'm sorry he is not who you thought he was. Take some time to process and move on.
posted by jbenben at 8:52 AM on December 12, 2014 [5 favorites]

I wanted to step back in to say that some couples have a deal where one is into a kink the other isn't. The kinky partner has kink-related sex/play with a pro, or with folks in the scene, where it is explicitly understood that it's for sex only. This is negotiated and above board. It works for people it works for.

If your BF had proposed this type of arrangement because he wanted more of his kink, then I'd admire the fuck out of him, even if you weren't down with it, because that's how honest people live their lives.

Also, why are we spelling Porn--p0rn, talk about distracting.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:08 AM on December 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I really appreciate all of your answers. I just want to clarify something that I don't think I made clear in my first post. I really don't think he was "harrassing" her as he only sent about 2 more emails after her last response and then stops the emails.

I'm certainly not mentioning this in order to back him up or explain why this was okay.
posted by koolaidnovel at 9:13 AM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

As inturnaround said.

Don't let him (or your rationalisations) tell you he's not the kind of guy to do that sort of thing. He was doing that sort of thing, he's that kind of guy.
posted by wwax at 9:15 AM on December 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

pull the rip cord. the story is bullshit.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:19 AM on December 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

"I am completely disappointed that you had contact with an actual person-who-wasn't-me for sex and excitement. I didn't realize that you think that's even on the table. Porn is one thing. This is something else altogether. You chatted up a woman in real time! I wanted to be your real-live woman that you chat up for sexy times! The only one!"

If his response is anything other than "oh my god! What have I done!? You are DEFINITELY my ONLY real live woman! I can't believe I didn't see it that way! OH MY GOD IM SO SORRY!!!" you're done.

If his response is "you shouldn't take it this way" he's either a cruel person, or an asshat who isn't very smart, and you'll be forced to feel sorry for him and may never have sexy thoughts about him again.
posted by vitabellosi at 9:40 AM on December 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

It's a cliche but when people show you who they are, believe them. Sorry.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:46 AM on December 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

To be clear you committed a violation of trust to discover his violation of trust. Up to you if you can get over his, but he has some thinking to do as well.

Passwords people!

Seriously, what you didn't know probably wouldn't have hurt you, so it's a matter of be careful what questions you ask, you might not like the answers sort of thing here. He did a dumbass thing, but it wasn't going to go anywhere anyway. In the world I live in porn stars don't fly out and have sex on video with anyone willing to pay them (they call those kind of women something else).
posted by cjorgensen at 9:49 AM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

So you went through his email and found this?

I'd like to know: did you break into his account or his computer and read this stuff?

Or do you two have an understanding and you're open about sharing your email?

My point being: if he communicated with this woman "openly" (ie, you have an agreement about sharing email) I'd be somewhat more inclined to believe that he wasn't seriously planning to cheat on you. I've never written to a porn actress, but just in the context of this conversation, I find myself curious how much it would cost to set up a "shoot". Although my understanding is that (believe it or not) most porn actresses do not use this as a scheme for prostitution.

Also - in addition to the email, I'd consider the dates and times of the correspondence. This is 4 emails - 3 from him to her, 1 from her to him? Over the course of 4 months? When was the last email sent? (Two days ago, or back in January?)

I'm not trying to give you advice on what to do. But if I were you, I would consider these aspects.

Frankly, if he really wanted to cheat on you, he could do it a lot more quickly, cheaply, and easily than via this scheme. This sounds to me like artifacts of a kinda dumb random fantasy.
posted by doctor tough love at 10:15 AM on December 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

I think it's probably true that this was just some sort of role-playing fantasy for him and he wasn't going to pay thousands of dollars to see a porn star. The problem is, the line was kind of crossed from passively watching porn to actively communicating with another person about it, which I think any girlfriend would be upset about. (Also, part of me thinks if she were willing to do it for free, he'd be game.) You've been okay with his porn-watching habits, but you guys need to set some clear boundaries about what is okay and what isn't. He may not have seen what he did as cheating, but I think you probably feel differently. If you can be honest with how this has made you feel and set those boundaries, you can see if he responds in a what that makes you feel better about this relationship and see if you can move on. If not, break up.

Inevitably, a bunch of people will jump on you for reading his email, as always happens in these sorts of threads. For the record, I don't think looking at your partner's email is a big deal at all and there's no problem here. I can't imagine what some people feel the need to hide from their partners -- just as if I'm not going to leave the house for a routine phone call, I also don't care if someone I am dating sees my inbox.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:24 AM on December 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

I know this is devastating. Sorry you're going through it.

I can certainly envision a scenario where he had no plans to have sex with her. To contact her, he had to talk business. Of course she stopped responding when he started in with the sex talk. I don't see it so much as harrassment (although it's definitely rude) as bad business on her end. This is how she makes money. She doesn't want to talk for enjoyment.

But this kind of seems like throwing sugar into the wind. If all he will say is, "I never would've done it," he needs to be more open than that so you two can work out a solution. I shouldn't be putting words in his mouth.
posted by amodelcitizen at 10:26 AM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

You mention early on that he has always been into kinky porn and that kink is really not your thing, although you have done it with him to make him happy.

No one seems to be noticing that there is a rather huge gap in the sexual Venn diagram between you and your sweetie. As a kinky person, I will just mention that I think that is the elephant in the room that no one seems to be noticing.

If you are kinky, and not allowed to have kinky sex, that is a huge, unmet need that watching porn alone will not meet. Plenty of kinky people love vanilla sex, but also really, truly, no kidding need to get their kink on from time to time.

So my question is if or when you and your boyfriend are going to have an honest discussion about his sexual needs. Which are not being met. And which you cannot meet completely because kinky people enjoy sex with other kinky people. That is, people who are wearing the snokling mask because it excites them to wear the snorkeling mask, not because they are trying to be GGG and make their boyfriend happy. Good luck!
posted by Bella Donna at 11:04 AM on December 12, 2014 [8 favorites]

Agreed. Apologies. That should have been something like, "it's possible that he has some sexual desires that you don't share. And, if so, maybe he's okay with that and maybe he's not." The email to the porn star suggests, to me, the latter. But no, I'm not your bf. And neither is anyone else in this thread. :-)
posted by Bella Donna at 12:23 PM on December 12, 2014

He did a dumbass thing, but it wasn't going to go anywhere anyway.

OP, please do not make your decision based on what might or might not have happened. The actions he took and the intentions behind those actions are the information you have to work with to inform your next steps, and it is very clear (to me at least) what he wanted to do.
posted by Librarypt at 12:43 PM on December 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

You obviously did the right thing by reading his email, and there is nothing wrong at all with doing that in this situation. You have to decide now if you can trust him again. Don't base your decision on whether he might have done something else, base it on whether you can live with what he did do, which is a huge breach of trust AND a sign of a secret instability and overall creepiness. If you see a future with him where you work on those issues of his and he regains your trust and shows respect to your misgivings and proves himself to be the guy he says he is: cool. Otherwise, break up with him and move on as soon as possible.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:52 PM on December 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

He's told you the reason he didn't do it is because it would cost thousands to fly her out. All that tells me is if he find someone locally, and cheaper, it's on. Except this time he will have learnt not to leave a paper trail. If it were me, I would pack my bags and print out a list of professionals in your area and leave him to it. Whether it happens now or later, I think eventually, it WILL happen.
posted by Jubey at 2:03 PM on December 12, 2014 [6 favorites]

Something kind of similar happened with my ex. He had been emailing with someone he'd hooked up with before me and they talked about organising a threesome with someone else. I will never know for sure whether or not anything happened with that person (/those people). I left him for a couple of months and then gave him one more chance. Within six months I was kicking him out because he finally did end up sleeping with someone else.

It is possible that your boyfriend was just fantasising, but I feel like this is something that will be really hard to move on from. I would be worried that he could find a local escort that offers what he wants at a price he can afford. And while I think that if a partner is going to cheat, the best person to do it with is a sex worker (less risk of emotional attachment from the sex worker, less risk of STIs because the majority of sex workers are very knowledgable about sexual health), it's not something I would be okay with.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 5:40 PM on December 12, 2014

I'm amused by the hand wringing over the "harassment" of the porn star as the worst part about this. that's absurd. The porn star has invited inquiries about this. She is in the business of fantasy. This comes with the territory. she will be fine.

what seems very clear to me is thst your boyfriend is suffering from.a sex addiction. he sounds like a decent guy whose disease caused him to behave in a troubling way. whether you're willing to give him a chance if he's try to deal with this, is your call. but I hate all these answers that bring such moralizing condemnations, when it seems pretty damn clear that he's not a bad person, he's just an addict.
posted by jayder at 5:55 PM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm amused by the hand wringing over the "harassment" of the porn star as the worst part about this. that's absurd. The porn star has invited inquiries about this. She is in the business of fantasy. This comes with the territory. she will be fine.

I doubt anyone thinks the woman won't be fine. The issue is that the OP's boyfriend aggressively pursued a woman, using false pretenses (that he wanted to hire her when he says now he had no intention of doing so), and now claims he lied to that woman as a way to get his own sexual gratification. The concern is not for the effect on the woman (though she shouldn't have to put up with that, regardless of whether it "comes with the territory"), but about what his actions say about the boyfriend's view of women in porn and women in general.
posted by jaguar at 7:17 PM on December 12, 2014 [13 favorites]

What you describe sounds to me like a fantasy that your boyfriend wasn't ever going to act on. You know why I think that? The porn star stopped returning his emails.

I'm guessing a professional can sniff out whether a guy is for serious going to fly them out for a video shoot or just getting off on emailing them about it. Whether or not emailing with a porn star in a sort of collaborative fantasy counts as cheating to you is up to you. But I read it as your boyfriend wishing he was the kind of guy who could fly a porn star across the country. And maybe if he was super rich he actually would fly her out, or maybe then his fantasy would be something else.

I also think that if he what he wanted was to have kinky sex with someone other than you, he could just as (more!) easily find local opportunities, free of charge.
posted by looli at 8:45 PM on December 12, 2014

You don't know the full story. He could well have deleted most of the correspondence and failed to do so with the few messages you did find. I agree with others that it's a matter of when not if he would cheat on you with a pro, but what I'd want to know, in your place, is why he isn't getting satisfaction at home, given you're going out of your way to make him happy in his special desires. Is the kink he was proposing to do with her more extreme than what you're willing to do, is it that she is physically more attractive to him, or does he feel you still don't get what he wants sexually? Or are more people involved in the scene with the porn star and that's where you draw the line? It seems he doesn't hesitate to share his kinky fantasies with you, so I'm wondering why the need for this other person. Clearly he's witholding something about his desires from you.
posted by Dragonness at 9:32 PM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another thought I had is that he may not feel seeing a pro is cheating if there's no penetration or ejaculation. He may not want to share this with you because he imagines you wouldn't understand, but in his own mind he's blemish-free emotionally, being committed to you 100%. This is how johns justify stuff like this to themselves all the time.
posted by Dragonness at 5:28 PM on December 13, 2014

Response by poster: Again, thank you for all of your responses.

I emailed the porn star who he was corresponding with. I asked her if he had tried to communicate with her further beyond that last email I saw, and if he had attempted to meet up with her. She confirmed that the last email I saw was really the last one ("Being mindful of any limits, I'd like to shoot ___") and that she had stopped responding because she could tell he was full of shit.

I still can't picture him actually trying to go through with this, but yes, there are clearly major issues here that I am not sure we could ever work through.

I asked him to move his things out of my apartment and for us to take a break, but the chances of getting back together after this seem slim.
posted by koolaidnovel at 6:32 AM on December 14, 2014 [14 favorites]

Sorry you're having to go through this, koolaidnovel.
posted by jaguar at 9:30 AM on December 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

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