A common strategy some women use to try to control the situation and feel safe is to become a “porn cop.” She may police her partner’s activi­ties and behaviors, interrogate him unceasingly, or even create elaborate sting operations to try to catch hidden porn activity. Most women don’t enjoy doing this. They do it out of a desperate attempt to single-handedly restore accountability, honesty, and trust in the relationship.

Nancy, a thirty-six-year-old mother of three, took on the role of porn detective after catching her husband, Logan, watching Internet porn and then learning that he had been into porn for ten years of their marriage. “I became a terrific detective,” Nancy said. “I learned how to look for hidden files on the computers. I locked the computers. I wouldn’t give him access to anything on the Internet. I went through all the bank state­ments, the credit cards. I spent the first few weeks driving myself crazy trying to figure out how to stop the pornography use. I thought that would fix it. I didn’t want to be deceived and disappointed again.”

Obviously porn copping tends to make a porn user angry and com­bative, because it makes him feel like he’s being treated like a child or a criminal and must always be on the defensive. It feels like an invasion of his privacy as well. The partner can also grow weary of being the porn cop because she has to be constantly alert and on watch. Rather than bringing a sense of security, porn copping often increases tension and conflict in the relationship. At best it may give the illusion of having con­trol. Because, in today’s electronic, sexual image-filled world, it’s rela­tively easy for any determined porn user to surreptitiously access porn.