Porn

Porn Versus Reality

Humans get themselves into trouble when they start making broad generalizations. Using a relatively non-controversial example, we teach our kids that the sky is blue. Except that’s not true. Sometimes the sky is blue. However, at sunset, it can be brilliant shades of orange, pink and purple. When it’s raining, the sky is gray. At night, it’s black. So while it’s sometimes blue, the sky is a variety of different colors at different times. And all of those colors that the sky manifests? They’re perfectly acceptable and beautiful in their own ways.

When we start making broad generalizations about sexuality, things get murky and sometimes hurtful. As a kinky heterosexual cisgender woman with a high sex drive who loves anal sex, some porn, and other activities that women aren’t “supposed to” like, I find that articles that make generalizations about women and sexuality can exclude me. I’m strong enough of a person to know that doesn’t make me less of a woman, but in my past, I wasn’t. I questioned what was wrong with me when I didn’t feel the way other women did. If “all women” were supposed to hate anal sex, then why did I love it? If I wanted to have sex more often than my male partner, did that make me a freak?

The most recent article to piss me off was one that declared “Porn Makes Men Terrible in Bed.” The author writes:

I hate porn because fucking men who have watched a lot of porn is the worst. The absolute worst. For the sake of your future partners, go easy on the porn. Many young men will watch porn more often than they have sex with other humans.  Their beliefs about sex will come from porn and not from interactions with real people.

And, the real humans who eventually have sex with suffer for it.

Most porn is about watching women pretend to enjoy sex acts that are unpleasant to them.

This article is loaded with gross generalizations that aren’t true. We can start with the fact that most men don’t ejaculate five times in a single session of sex, so using a porn star who does as an example of what men do in bed that other men might imitate just simply isn’t a good example. He is an exception to the general rule. In addition, the article’s contention that “All the sex advice out there generally tends to cycle back to the same thing: how can women get more comfortable with doing what men like?” is incredibly inaccurate. There is a lot of wonderful sexual advice out there which focuses on making sex pleasurable for all involved, not just conforming to a man’s desires. Clearly the author isn’t looking in the right places for her sex-positive information.

Furthermore, my best lovers actually were avid porn watchers. While I can’t say that my sample size and my experiences are true for everyone, I can say that they disprove the idea that “fucking men who have watched a lot of porn is the worst.” However, it’s important to note that the men I’ve fucked have been able to understand the difference between porn and reality. They know that what is important is the woman in front of them. They know that my limits and my desires are what help shape our mutual sexual experiences, not what they have seen from other women on the screen.

Some of my favorite experiences with lovers have actually come from them saying to me, “Hey, I saw this activity on a porn video I was watching; I’d really like to try it. Are you game?” Sometimes I am, and sometimes I’m not. Sometimes whatever we tried was an utter disaster that ended in laughter; other times it led to some incredible orgasms. Not all porn is evil, and not all activities shown in porn are impossible to recreate in the bedroom. Most importantly, some women really do love those activities that are being shown in some porn, and some women can have porn-type orgasms without faking.

That said, what I enjoy is not necessarily what other women may enjoy. I acknowledge that for some women, yes, porn is a big problem for them, their sex lives and/or their partners. However, their bad experiences around porn cannot be generalized to be true for everyone any more than my positive ones can.

I wish those who blog or write about sex would accept that differences abound in human sexuality. We all enjoy different things, and that’s ok. It’s the judgment about what others do or enjoy that causes so much trouble. The best policy is honest communication with one’s partner(s) about what good sex is for the two (or more) of you.

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