Shortcuts: “My Boyfriend’s Hooked on Chat Sites”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I have been seeing this guy for almost six years now. He’s been hooked on porn sites and everything that has to do with women. In the beginning, I was just thinking that men do this, so it’s normal. One night when I came home and he was on the computer, he quickly got off. I got suspicious and checked what he was up to. Turned out he was chatting and watching some woman on the web cam. I was more upset that he paid her 100 dollars just to watch her and chat with her when we are so poor! After that, I hated the internet. I hated all those sites that had to do with women. Still today, I hate it! But I’m wondering: should I be mad at my boyfriend? To me it seems normal that men do that. But maybe I should be mad! — Hating the Internet and All the Sites to Do With Women!

Paying $100 to web chat with a woman from a porn site is not something all men do. But don’t hate the internet, hate the playa. Get mad at your boyfriend, demand he quit throwing his money away on digital women when he has a real-life woman, and start aiming a little higher.

My ex-boyfriend and I were dating for six months when he cheated on me three time, so I broke up with him. But after two days he was making out with another girl who doesn’t even live in this country. Then he was at a basketball game and he was staring at me a lot, which made me wonder if he’s really over me. Do you think he’s doing this just to get his mind off me? Should I give him another chance? — Is He Really Over Me?

If having you on his mind too much were a problem for him, I’d say he already got the help he needed when he cheated on your three times in the first six months you were together. MOA.

I’ve been with this man for five months and he’s starting to pull away. We are so crazy about each other, but I’ve noticed that he has backed off by not texting or calling me or even talking to me at night before bed. If I talk about sex, he will definitely make time though. I need to know how should I handle this problem. He said he was nervous. — Crazy About Him


Yeah, he’s nervous about you thinking you’re in a relationship when all he wants is a booty call. If you want more, MOA. P.S. He’s not crazy about you if he only makes time when you promise sex.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. artsygirl says:

    LW1- Looking at porn (both for men and women) is normal; paying someone to perform sex acts on webcam is toeing the cheating line in my book. Dump him quickly.

    LW2- Do not get back with your ex…do not get back with your ex….do not get back with your ex. He has cheated on you, rebounded, and is now being creepy.

    LW3-Whatever you do – don’t pull a bunny boiler. You cant force a relationship so it is better to exit quickly with your dignity intact.

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Wait, I’ve never heard of “pulling a bunny boiler”… am I the last to know? I’m not sure what it is.

      1. I think it’s a movie reference? But I forget which movie. (If it even if a movie reference.)

      2. Fatal Attraction

      3. Oh, duhhhhh

      4. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Oh duhhhhhhhhhhhh

  2. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

    What’s a bunny boiler? It sounds like a terrible way to torture rabbits.

    1. in fatal attraction, glenn close was so obsessed with michael douglas (who was cheating on his wife with glenn close and then he broke things off with glenn close) that she went into his house when they weren’t home and boiled his kid’s rabbit on the stove for them to find when they got home

    2. TheOtherOtherMe says:

      Fatal Attraction reference.

  3. LW1: Ah, all I could think of was Avenue Q… (“I hate men! I hate the internet!!”) But, with that said, no…this isn’t normal behavior. No one should be paying for porn nowadays.

    LW2: You sound like you’re in high school, & that’s good. That means—although you might ~feel~ more devastated about this than ever in your life—it should be the easiest to move on. Don’t apply complicated psychology to this guy’s motives (“does he keep hooking up with people to get me off his mind?”), just forget about him.

    LW3: “He said he was nervous”—what? About what? Also, it doesn’t sound like you’re in an exclusive relationship? Maybe you should find other people to occupy your time…

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Oh yea I forgot to comment about that. He said he was nervous in response to what? That was confusing.

    2. “No one should be paying for porn nowadays.”

      Seriously… this is a problem in and of itself. What fool is paying some woman to chat with him online?

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        There are individuals who will do live solo shows for people and do different things they request. It’s like a cyber prostitute that you don’t get to touch, way more interactive than just watching a pre-recorded video. I watched a show about it recently but I can’t find it.

      2. Fair enough, although I feel like if you looked hard enough you could still find that type of entertainment for free or way cheaper than $100 😉

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Just go look on Craigs List or the like. You could probably find it for free there. The show I watched (on TLC or something) the chick made like $1000 for an hour of webcaming. Not bad if you ask me.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Remember when the girl on Desperate Housewives did that? She webcammed herself cleaning her house in a maid outfit for $.

      5. see i could totally do that. like the really super specific, fetish-ish, not overtly sexual things- actually i wonder if i could webcam myself making cookies in yoga pants and make money off that. there has to be a need for that somewhere, right? maybe in mom jeans?

      6. Apparently people have balloon-popping fetishes? You could do that!

      7. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        The TLC show Strange Sex did a whole episode about a guy with a balloon fetish. (Kicker was he was married! To a nice, normal lady!)

      8. Ahh, I always wonder ~how~ fetishes like that come about?? I’m sure there’s an explanation. (And by “like that” I just mean, outside of the realm of more common fetishes, like foot/leather/lingerie, all of which are like, okay, well, those things are supposed to be “sexy” anyway…?)

        balloon-popping fetishists, I’m not judging, so feel free to chime in 😉

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        I saw one about people who like to get it on while there is food all over them, and not just like chocolate syrup.

      10. Somewhere out there katie is someone with a mom jeans fetish just waiting to check out your high waited dungarees 🙂

      11. haha, well i would have to actually go buy some mom jeans for that, which would cut into my profit margin… so maybe ill just stick to what i already own.

        so i cant make cookies in regular jeans, yoga pants, boys sweat pants, or chef outfits.

      12. I’m sure you could find yourself some nice mom jeans at a goodwill for a few bucks. It doesn’t have to be an investment.

      13. Lily in NYC says:

        Dungarees, lol! People just don’t use that word enough.

      14. For the record… I have no idea what high waited dungarees are, I clearly meant waisted and appreciate y’all just rolling along!

      15. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too. Even if you have super-specific tastes that would be more suited to watching a live (or, “live”) show where you request things….$100? Damn.

        & GG, not gonna lie, I’ve definitely thought about camming before. That is some gooood money (although I still think the people who pay for it are just not looking hard enough elsewhere)

      16. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I definitely don’t fault people who do it! I wouldn’t because well I’m shy and stuff on the internet lives on forever. But man the money is good!

      17. I saw something on Lisa Ling’s “Our America” re: the live cam/paying for porn thing. People are making thousands of dollars a night at that!!

    3. IDK, I was actually wondering about this. DO people still pay for porn? I’ve actually been considering it recently–there’s almost no free queer/ethical porn (that I like), so why not pay some small amount for it? (Also, it’s way different hiding it from your partner and not being able to afford it. I’d end up sharing the login with gf, and I could afford it.) Is this too strange? DOES anyone pay for porn, really?

      1. I guess that’s a good point. I’ve come across sites (like, clicked on a picture that led to a site) that looked pretty nice, but wanted me to sign up for a monthly fee. If I knew I couldn’t backtrack & find similar shit for free, I might wind up paying for it. So, it’s not too strange, & sharing the login with your girlfriend is way different than paying exorbitant fees & hiding it.

        Although to your “do people still pay for porn” question, I literally don’t know anyone that pays for porn. Haha. That’s why I was all, “what is this guy even doing??”

      2. WAIT, I take that back. My friend who just moved in with her boyfriend apparently decided to subscribe to a porn channel on cable, so I guess that’s technically “paying for porn”!

      3. i think it just depends on what you are looking for. the only times i have used, or had the urge to use, porn, is when im just not getting any in real life. so those times i have just gone to the free sites and watched amateur videos. in those times, i dont care if its ethical (oops), i dont really even care what kind it is, so i just watch whatever.

        if you do have specific interests, and if you do want to take into consideration things like ethics, ect, then sure go pay for it. find exactly what you want.

        i think what people were saying is that you dont necessarily *need* to pay for it, you can find it a lot of places without paying for it.

  4. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    LW1 – To each his/her own, but I wouldn’t tolerate that.

    LW2 – It’s so funny how so many of us will choose to interpret the SMALLEST, MOST MEANINGLESS AND INSIGNIFICANT THINGS in the light we want (even when all the evidence points the other way) – in your case, a staredown at a basketball game means he’s not over you.

    LW3 – That feeling is the worst, LW3. I feel for ya. You can’t force anyone to be interested so I’d try to move on.

    1. A La Mode says:

      Speaking of interpretations of small things, I’m pretty sure that all LW2 needs to do in order to find happiness with him is to clarify that he should only cheat with girls born on U.S. soil, it’s far less offensive.

  5. LW2, if there’s anything you might possible read into the basketball staredown (to use AP’s terminology), it could be that he’s trying to see if his behavior is getting a reaction out of you so he can reel you back in as one of his harem of ladies he wants to non-exclusively make out with. All together now: AIM HIGHER.

  6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    LW1 You are misdirecting your anger/hate. It is not the internet or the woman online’s fault. It is your scumbag boyfriend. Dump the shit head and move on.

    1. WGGS. No woman should put up with a behavior that she dislikes just because “this is just a guy thing all guys do.” Uh-uh.

      And obviously I’m not talking about benign stuff like ball-scratching, every guy DOES do that and it would be crazy to throw a fit over it. But this? Nope.

      P.S. SIX YEARS WITH THIS GUY, and he’s been doing this from the beginning, and you’re just now to the point where you’re fed up enough to seek advice? You are one tolerant lass – but this should end TODAY! Scratch that – YESTERDAY! Yesteryear even!

    2. Yes! It’s like when girls get mad at the girl their boyfriend cheated on them with, but forgive the boyfriend. WHAT?! Be mad at the boyfriend!

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, but if women weren’t such tempting whores, these poor guys would be able to stay faithful.

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Well, I do think there are a lot of f-ed up women who seek out married our coupled men because they are crazy. And I think it’s a really disgusting thing and more women need to stand up to women they know who are acting that way and tell them how shitty they are being.

        But the onus is ultimately on the cheater (male or female) since they are breaking the trust/boundaries/

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Forgot the amiright! But I agree 100% with you.

      4. In general we need to start looking down on being an accomplice to cheating as much as we do on cheating.

        If people just stopped agreeing to screw around with people they knew were in a relationship, there would be less cheating in general.

        It’s just good karma!

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        I’m with you. The whole ‘I wasn’t the one cheating’ is a copout imo, and I think people like that deserve karma’s ass kicking.

      6. Avatar photo MackenzieLee says:

        I think people look down on the “accomplices” to cheating plenty. As this note shows people clearly blame them more than the actual cheater. I think not going after married or otherwise taken people goes under the umbrella of behavior or generally being a good person but I think the accomplices get plenty of hate.

  7. LW1- yes, using porn is not a “weird” behavior. it is a perfectly acceptable means of expressing sexuality. what is not perfectly acceptable is to use it exclusively and ignore your current partner in the process. it is not the internet’s fault. it is not the woman/women on the computer screen’s fault. it is not porn’s fault. it is not even men’s fault- because not all men do that! there are some men who dont even like/use porn, and there are also men who use it in ways that would not elicit this kind of anger from you. it is only your boyfriends fault. he is the one who is using porn as a substitute for real life. turn your emotions to him, communicate with him, and get to the bottom of this. if he doesnt want to change, then you have your answer. go find a man who will make you happy. they are out there- porn users and all.

    LW2- do not try to get inside the head of men you date. just dont, and apply that rule to the rest of your life, whether you are dating, FWB-ing, LTR-ing, or breaking up. do not try to get in his head. if you have a question, ask.

    LW3- you cannot make a FWB into a long term relationship without the consent of the other partner. dont force it. if he isnt into it, he isnt into it. if you do not want a FWB, then MOA and find someone else.

    1. And katie finishes out the week on a roll! WKS all around!

      1. haha i love you

  8. landygirl says:

    Ah, I love Facepalm Friday!! To all the LWs…DTMFA.

  9. Guy Friday says:

    Was anyone else confused by LW2’s reference to her boyfriend making out with someone “who doesn’t even live in this country”? How does that happen? Through Skype or something?

    1. Vacation I guess? I didn’t really get why it’s so much more awful to make out with someone who doesn’t live here vs. someone who does. I’m guessing LW2 is very very young. But yes LW2: you need to move on. Even if he’s begged for forgiveness he cheated on you 3 times in 5 months. Staring at a basketball game is not regret. It’s just weird.

    2. Yeahh, my first thought was “that must be pretty difficult”, but I think it was more of a, I dunno, non-sequitur than anything? Or maybe she was pointing that out to prove how committed her ex still must be to her, since the girls he’s finding don’t even live in the country…?

    3. my thought was that the make-out girl was on vacation (or an exchange student, maybe? something?), so it obviously wasnt serious because she will eventually go home

      1. That’s how I took it. That the point was that the girl wasn’t going to be around.

    4. TaraMonster says:

      Or maybe they live in a place where a lot of people are from different countries. In the first few months after I ended my LTR I more than made out with hmm ::counts on fingers and toes:: les just say SEVERAL men who “didn’t even live in this country” lol.

    5. Avatar photo MackenzieLee says:

      The whole lives in another country thing sounded kind of xenophobic to me almost a she’s not even from our country so she’s not worthy thing.

  10. LW2: DEFINITELY get back together with your ex! Staring at you at a basketball game is one of the most telling signs that a man regrets everything he did and is so in love with you he can’t stop thinking about you. Also that girl was from a different country so obviously he still loves you!

    1. everyone knows that different countries/races dont count. duh.

  11. 6napkinburger says:

    I know that Wendy doesn’t publish obviously fake letters, but I almost couldn’t believe that these were real. “After that, I hated the internet. I hated all those sites that had to do with women. Still today, I hate it! But I’m wondering: should I be mad at my boyfriend? …Maybe I should be mad!” <– Like, for reals reals?

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      I could totally see this being real! She’s probably young, has heard that porn is ok and acceptable, and isn’t sure if that fell into the “ok porn” spectrum, so wondered if she had a “right” to be mad about it or not.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, sadly a lot of people blame anything other than the person f-ing up for the issue. Oh BF cheated on me? Well if that woman wouldn’t have tempted him. I over drafted my account? Well maybe if the cheeseburger wasn’t 6 bucks and my job paid me more. I stubbed my toe? Damn chair shouldn’t have been in my way!! It’s ridiculous, but happens.

      2. 6napkinburger says:

        Agreed except that last one. It was ENTIRELY the chair’s fault.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Not even about blame, just that whether or not its acceptable to be mad at your boyfriend for watching porn.

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Well, yes she definitely has a right to be mad if they’ve established porn is off limits. If that’s what you mean.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        No, I’m not asking, I’m saying that’s how I read it. Like her asking if its ok to get mad about your bf watching porn.

      6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I’m saying she does! LW, I give you permission to be madder than hell!

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        haha, me too!

      8. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        It’s sad how people wonder whether they have the “right” to feel anything. They are your emotions, you don’t need to justify them!

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        I agree, but I also think its good to ask, hey, am I being reasonable here?

    2. Skyblossom says:

      She probably has trouble establishing boundaries in her own life so has trouble deciding what is okay behavior and she should accept it and what isn’t okay so she can demand it end or move on.

      LW – if it makes you mad it is okay to be mad. Your emotions are yours and you live with them and you shouldn’t have to try to repress them. If you find that your partner leaves you feeling mad a lot of the time then you should probably find a new partner. I’m not saying beat someone up with your emotions but you can decide whether the two of you fit together as a mostly happy couple.

  12. “I have been seeing this guy for almost six years now.”

    How the hell are you still “seeing” someone after 6 years? unless your relationship started when you were 12… LW methinks your version of normal is probably not ok in a range of areas, not just interpersonal relationships. Google search self-esteem and go from there 😉

    1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      IDK, people date for a long time for all kinds of reasons. I don’t think the length is an issue if they are both happy with just dating. (Although clearly this LW’s situation is screwed up.)

      1. yea, i think “seeing” just means dating, or in a relationship with. i dont think there was anything more to that, just the phrasing.

      2. I get that… but in this case the vague phrasing, along with her vague notions about what may or may not be ok in a relationship (with no indication as to whether or not SHE thinks it’s ok has any bearing on the matter) just screams girl who is a passenger in her own life. LW may have no idea what she wants but is being terribly used in the meantime while she doesn’t even try figure it out. I mean 6 years later to be asking the question “is this normal?” when she describes a man “hooked on porn sites AND WOMEN” WTF??

        I feel really bad for her in a way… like it never occurred to her that honesty and faithfulness (whatever your definition of that is) is possible.

      3. yea, i definitely do agree that she is a passenger in her own life.

      4. Yeah, and I think being married to this guy 6 years into this kind of behavior would be way stupider than just dating him, so let’s not give her any ideas!

      5. I don’t think MMcG is taking issue with her ~being with~ this guy for 6 years, just her phrasing. “I’m seeing” has a much more casual vibe, more suited to precede “…for a few months” & not “6 years.”

      6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        But you could, theoretically, just “see” a guy casually for 6 years if you never make it serious. Like a sex buddy who you have dinner with sometimes or something. Also I think some people use “seeing” and “dating” interchangeably.

      7. No, I agree that’s probably how she was using it—it just seems like people might be assuming the “why have you only been ‘seeing’ him?” thing meant “why aren’t you married yet?” ?

      8. That’s where I’m coming from… and tried to get at above… thanks fabelle!

        It just seemed so casual, of course I think it is real casual to the bf seeing as he apparently has lots of women… but not to the LW. It’s like “Seeing someone” was the best she thought she could hope for not the outcome of her making conscious decisions to casually date around or not be monogamous.

    2. Skyblossom says:

      She could still be very young. My nephew is 18, just graduated from high school and has been dating the same girl for about four years.

    3. Yeah, I personally use “seeing someone” to mean nonexclusive dating, but maybe that’s just a habit that my friends and I have.

      1. That’s what I think of it as too… which is why “seeing someone” and “six years” is a little bit of a stretch for me in this case because the LW gives no other indication that she has been with or even dated anyone else for 6 years. While the bf has lots of porn and women.

        MOY MOY MOY 🙂

  13. Slow clap. WWS. Entirely.

  14. TaraMonster says:

    She doesn’t even live in this country?!?! Well I NEVER!

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Ha, yes that was weird. Like, it would be one thing if this hussy hailed from a coast or somewhere inbetween…. but to come from across the seas? UNACCEPTABLE!

  15. LW 1, get away from this boyfriend and his web cam malarkey.

    what a load of cod’s wallop.

    1. A La Mode says:

      Malarkey AND codswallop? This comment is full of win.

  16. Lily in NYC says:

    To all three LWs – if you are older than 14, than you all need to grow the hell up. Ugh.

    1. I thought there was a good chance LW2 is in high school. Seeing your ex at a high school basketball game seems more likely.

  17. I like to think of myself as articulate, but I struggle coming up with a comment to Shortcuts that isn’t “Sheesh already!!!”

    1. Dear Wendy, My boyfriend was banging this other girl in front of me, but he kept looking over at me. I wonder if he’s really not over me yet.

      1. “He was definitely thrusting less enthusiastically than he does with me, do you think that means he doesn’t actually like her?”

  18. Older and (hopefully) wiser says:

    You guys have me cracking up!

  19. Bittergaymark says:

    Three dim bulbs… Sorry, but c’mon! That anybody even needs to ask such questions simply astounds me…

    PS — Wait. Did no one else get the memo? If you make out or even bang somebody from a foreign land it totally DOES’NT count…

    1. Liquid Luck says:

      What about if you make out with someone from your own country, but you’re both IN another one? That doesn’t count either. right?! And what about the “area code” rule? Is that still a thing?

  20. Crazy in Love says:

    Scenario 1 – Paying for porn and being addicted to chatting/web camming women is not normal. Looking at porn is quite normal for most people, but when that desire becomes a hardship on your finances, your time, your relationship or even takes the place of your relationship… you can a serious problem. He needs to get help.

    Scenario 2 – Do NOT give him another chance… really????

    Scenario 3 – He’s not into you, except for a booty call. Period.

  21. WWS on no. 1 and 2 but I’m gonna offer a slightly different nuance on Number 3. I’m not sure we have enough info here to conclude definitively the relationship if it existed,and she implies it did saying “we were so crazy about each other” is over and the LW is now being used just as booty call. She says he’s “not texting or calling me or even talking to me at night before bed.” If he never speaks to her except when sex is on offer, then Wendy’s diagnosis is right. But I’m not sure if that is the case from this information alone. Talking every night before bed is the sort of thing you do early in a relationship – it would not necessarily be that unusual for it to slack off as the relationship get more mature and less intense. And maybe she means he’s not calling or texting during the day like he used to – that seems possible from the context – but they still spend time together other than for sex. If so, that could also just be the five-month relationship passing beyond its intense initial phase.

    If its the latter, my advice for what its worth is to have a talk with the boyfriend and ask whether he wants to continue the relationship, with the LW explaining her concerns and what she wants out of the relationship, and seeing what he has to say before rushing to MOA.

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