My wife and erotica: Is she conflicted?

I saw a show by Oprah and have read quite a bit of material on women and erotica, and I want your honest opinion as a woman. I am married to my wife of 24 years, and we have a pretty solid marriage with 3 kids. We have shared erotica together at times. Not often, but maybe once a year. In the few times that we have shared an erotic video or looked at erotic art, my wife was aroused and enjoyed it, but afterward she is always embarrassed that we looked or read the material. In fact once last year at a resort she watched erotic art on our laptop while I gave her oral, and in that moment she absolutely enjoyed the combination and what we shared together, but again the next day she felt bad that she enjoyed it. Any thoughts from a woman's perspective? FYI: she comes from a very conservative good girl background.

Dear Conflicted,

From a female perspective, YES, it's embarrassing, and our reaction is highly dependent on the context of the sex as well as the quality of the images. We don't really want to see spit and cellulite, but rather attractive people in great scenes.

My own preference is to watch or read a great sex scene, and THEN go visit my husband (22 years married), although we sometime do share erotica. Since we have very different ideas about what's hot, that is sometimes a bit embarrassing and/or ineffective.

I can also tell you that my husband reports having watched a PBS program on the differences between men and women and their ideas about arousal, and being very relieved that our sex life was normal and learning that all women need different stimuli than men to develop an interest in sex.

The science supports that there are difference between women and men in this regard, men being more aroused by visual stimuli. See http://www.psych.ucsb.edu/~roney/other%20pdf%20readings/reserve%20readings/hamann.pdf. However, variability in response to visual sexual stimuli is due to MANY factors, including participant variables, such as hormonal state, socialized sexual attitudes, as well as variables specific to the content presented in the stimuli. For an excellent look at these issues see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2739403/.

Men and women ARE different, and the more we learn about that, accept it, and work with it, the more happy and fulfilled our marriages will be.

That's just my opinion. Annie