To all you snoopers out there: a cautionary tale. Before you delve deep into the archives of porn hidden in untitled folders on your boyfriend's computer, ask yourself this: Are you prepared for what you might find? I thought I was, but holy crap was I wrong.

My intentions were innocent enough. I wasn't even planning to snoop when I opened my new boyfriend's laptop that day; I just wanted to do some online shopping. I pulled up a Web browser and attempted to type in the URL for H&M, but the computer auto-filled the address with the phrase "hand bag" in it.

Hmm, what's this? I thought. Is my boyfriend shopping for purses?

No, no, he was not. He was shopping for something else entirely.

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Well, there was leather involved.

Upon clicking through to the site, I was shocked to see beyond-kinky hard-core torture porn. Girls tied to chairs, bound, and spread-eagled as latex-clad dominatrices choked them. I hadn't surfed to a bag site ... I was looking at a bound-and-gag site.

Opening Pandora's, uh, Box

Knee-jerk reaction: My boyfriend has a torture fetish, and the next time we have sex he's going to suffocate me to death. To be sure, I opened up his Recent Documents folder; did a search for all movie and image files; checked his browser history and bookmarks folder; scoured his hard drive, backup hard drive and thumb drives; and, finally, went through his collection of burned CDs.

I found it all. A terabyte's worth of movies and photos dating as far back as the '90s! Some of it wasn't even porn, just pictures gleaned from social-networking sites. And it was all the same. Choking-and-gagging porn. WTF? Where were the lesbian pillow fights? The girl-girl-guy threesomes? The first-person amateur blowjobs? Did my boyfriend have some kind of creepy smother FETISH?

Yes, yes, he did.

My Moment of Clarity

Why was I freaking out over some silly kink? I had always considered myself to be a pretty progressive, sexual-freedom-loving kind of chick. But now in the thick of a Savage Love-worthy situation, I had totally lost my cool. Was I -- gulp -- vanilla?

The next few weeks weren't my proudest. I'd lie in bed at night, pretending to sleep as my boyfriend worked on his computer in the next room. I'd hold my breath and listen for any incriminating fapping noises: proof positive that he was getting his kinky rocks off before having boring, non-chokey sex with me.

The Moral of the Story

Deprived of weeks of sleep, I confronted him. He was ... ashamed. Turns out that although he's always had an attraction to hands -- specifically palms, even more specifically, palms wrapped around his face--he was too shy to tell anyone. He'd never told a girl about his fetish before because he feared, well, this exact reaction.

I think I freaked out because of how I discovered the truth. If he'd come right out and told me what he wanted in the sack, it wouldn't have felt like a dirty little secret, that our so-far-textbook sex life had been a lie.

Now sex is fun, and smothering is part of a game we play. I've vowed to "punish" him before we head under the sheets ... and he's vowed to clear his browser history.

Beth Brennan is the byline Lemondrop bloggers use when they're too embarrassed to use their real names or are trying to protect their boyfriends.