Previous studies on women's experiences with sexually explicit material used by their long-term partners indicate that women's responses were complex. Neutrality and acceptance were the dominant responses even though some women continued to report negative emotions and experiences. This complexity has not yet been explored from the perspective of maintaining intimacy and the meanings of togetherness. On the basis of semi-structured interviews with 20 Israeli Jewish women, we identified a process in women who expect to have passionate and sexually active relationships. Apparently, embracing pornography and using it as a guiding resource for developing couples' sexuality is characteristic of women for whom togetherness implies the need to nurture mutual passion. We also examine how pornographic images of intimacy in heterosexual relationships can lead to the development of alienated and hierarchical sexuality in the lives of married women who feel entitled to fulfill their sexuality.
- heterosexual relationships