Ask Wendy

How Do I Tell My Boyfriend That Before I Dated Him I Made Porn Films?

Friday, September 15, 2017
woman wonders how to tell my boyfriend something
Hey Wendy,

I’ve been dating a great guy for the past three months. I feel like I need to tell him that a year and a half ago, I used to do porn, but I only made four videos and I got out and never went back. I really care and love him and that’s not who I am today. I was in a bad place but I want to be honest and tell him about my past because I feel like he should accept me for all of me – the good and the bad.

Cass V. – Simi Valley, CA

Hey Cass,

How to set this conversation up is a good place to start. “I’ve done this horrible, horrible, bad thing that I don’t know how you’ll ever forgive me for…” is nowhere near as empowering as “Hey, there’s this thing about my past that some people might not be able to handle, but now that I know you better, and I trust you to be cool about things, I’d like to share it with you.”

In the event that you get some version of “why didn’t you tell me sooner?” I want you to remember you don’t owe anyone anything on you until you feel safe enough to share that information. Your past is your past, and as long as you didn’t bring anything with you that would impact his life (STI), you get to share your history on your own timeline and on a need-to-know basis.

Now, can we talk about “not who I am today” and “bad place”? I’m sorry you carry shame from what you’ve done. I hope you can work your way all the way through and past it. I don’t think what you did was shameful. You didn’t poison anybody. You didn’t steal, berate, or enslave anyone. You didn’t march with the Nazis.

You’re not one of the police officers in Gretna who not only wouldn’t let citizens of New Orleans cross the bridge to safety during Katrina, but literally turned them away by firing their guns (some of those people died). That’s shameful. You didn’t pen the Jim Crow laws. You’re not lighting kittens on fire. These things are wrong and worthy of shame.

You? Nah. Here’s what you did. You touched a human (or 3), and let another human (or 3) touch you in front of lights, cameras and a gaggle of working stiffs. That’s it. In my world, there’s NOTHING shameful in what you’ve done. You’ve just got to get there yourself, girl.

Our culture has a messed-up way of relating to sex, purity, and slut-shaming, and I won’t stand for it. If I were your friend, I would see and love you for who you are – your amazing parts, your gentle parts, the parts that need a little encouragement – and I’d see how extraordinarily bold, brave and adventurous you were back in the day when you did porn.

You say you want a guy who can love you for who you are, and I agree – exactly who you are. So this may be a good filter for you. Don’t settle for any guy who is willing to get over it – no, no, he has to be all the way in. There are plenty of men who will love you for everything you are and everything you are not, and can be fine with your past. I know them. They exist. I promise.

Good luck telling your guy. Own it.

 

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