Having An Affair With A Modem

A Fox "sexpert" argues that getting of to porn when you're married or attached is a form of adultery:

"They assume their partner understands that using porn, at least beyond a magazine like Playboy, is the equivalent of having an actual affair."

Julian Sanchez thinks this is "obviously insane". Ross doesn't:

Hard-core porn, in turn, is nothing more than an indirect way of paying someone to fulfill the same sort of voyeuristic fantasies: It's prostitution in all but name, filtered through middlemen, magazine editors, and high-speed internet connections. Is it as grave a betrayal as cheating on your spouse with a co-worker? Not at all. But is it on a moral continuum with adultery? I don't think it's insane to say yes.

Well, "not insane" is not exactly a strong defense. Wilkinson responds to Ross:

I think this only makes sense from the perspective of a once almost universal, now simply common, and in any case very silly assumption that sex with a spouse is the one permissible form of sex. So, any deviation from that one case of good sex is some grade of bad sex.

And Ross continues to defend his position. The reason Ross is unpersuasive to me is that the core sin of adultery, from where I sit, is infidelity with another actual person. The physical absence of such makes a huge difference. But then I'm a dissident on sexual matters as far as the Catholic church is concerned and Ross isn't. His view is coherent, if a little, to my mind, strained.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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