I don't want to be just another girl on his camera
Dear Dr. Pam,
My boyfriend and I have been together for 9 months. Before I went out with him we used to hang out and I was treated like one of the lads. He was putting it about a bit at the time and one night he showed me and his mates videos on his phone of him having sex with a girl. He then showed us naked pictures that girls had sent him of themselves. I took a step back from the whole experience as I found it disrespectful…
Months later we got together and although he’s a bit of a lad I really like him. He treats me well and the sex is great. The only thing is he thinks our sex life needs spicing up and wants to film us having sex.
The problem is I don’t trust him not to show his friends. I’d be up for it if I hadn’t been there that night. I told him I’d do it if he allowed me to delete the video but he said half the fun would be watching it back and got annoyed that I wouldn’t do it for him. We’re now stuck in deadlock, he seems unenthusiastic about our sex life now – as if he’s proving a point. But I really like him and I think our sex life is fine, I don’t want to lose him over this, am I being unreasonable?
No, you are NOT being unreasonable at all – he is and he's trying to con you into thinking at some subtle level this is the only way you can have him. Why else would he do that pathetic thing of being 'unenthusiastic' about your sex life?
This is one type of emotional bullying – and while I'm so sorry you're going through it, I'm so glad you e-mailed because so many experience this. If you let this continue I can bet the following things will happen:
- He'll keep up the pressure on you to let him film you having sex
- He'll stay unenthusiastic about your sex life trying to make you feel guilty
- He'll start undermining you in other ways
- He'll hope that this pressure makes you bend
I want to ask you this: you really like him so would you ever treat him this way? I'm sure your answer is No. So what makes you less important as a person that you'd allow him to treat you this way?
It's time to see this for what it is – he's emotionally bullying you and there's only one way around it – you spell out to him once and for all the only compromise you'll make is to film yourselves having sex, watch it, and then delete it immediately.
If he won't agree to that (and it's a completely reasonable compromise) you have to ask yourself how much he actually cares about you.
I hope if you stand your ground that he realises that he doesn't want to lose you. Then he'll come around to your way of thinking and you two can get your relationship back on track.
But I suspect that won't happen. My reasoning? Most people who emotionally abuse romantic partners when they're young don't stop doing this for many, many years. It's on about their third divorce they realise they have to change. That's a long time to wait!
Final tip: the only other alternative is you film you two on your own phone or camera so you keep it safe and you two can re-watch it when you want. Please don't be pressurised into anything else.
Take care of yourself, you’re important, Dr Pam x
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