It's pathetic that we're led to believe LaForge doesn't have a chance with Brahms only because she's married. He shouldn't have any more chance with her than a guy who owns a Jenna Jameson inflatable and has seen all her movies would have with the real Jenna Jameson.
That was pretty much my reaction when I watched the show originally - I couldn't believe that the audience was expected to identify with LaForge as some kind of misjudged, basically good guy in this episode. He was a creepy loser.
I disagree that Trek has often been really frank about how such technology would be put to use in reality. Access to pornography seems to have been a significant market force driving the early acceptance of every recent entertainment technology, whereas "Star Trek" treats its existence as an afterthought or eccentricity (witness the startlement with which the TNG crew greets Barclay's rather modest fantasies about his crewmates in "Hollow Pursuits"). But of course TNG wasn't produced for Showtime.