Porn Didn’t Ruin Your Sex Life. Sorry.
Kitty Stryker
61060

I mean… being sexually assaulted ruined my sex life, not all that stuff you mentioned. Although I guess some of it is related.

I find, as an assault survivor, that porn is triggering as fuck, and apparently I’m not the only one. There’s a whole web site set up to help women find porn that’s not triggering because this is a problem assault survivors regularly have: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-clit-list-porn-for-sexual-assault-survivors_us_57685bb8e4b0fbbc8beb653b

That… sort of implies there’s a bit of an issue doesn’t it? We can say this is all fantasy or whatever, but a lot of porn reminds a lot of women of what it was like to be sexually assaulted. And, they’re not triggered by simple depictions of sex (because, these women want to look at some kind of porn) they’re triggered by depictions of violent and forceful sex. And, violent and forceful sex is plentiful enough that it is impossible to avoid on mainstream porn outlets.

Which isn’t to say that necessarily the porn you make is bad, or the porn watched by the people you have sex with is bad. I don’t know, I haven’t seen it. Just a lot of porn is bad. It’s not the act of filming sexual acts which is bad, it’s when women are filmed pretending to get turned on by things that don’t really turn them on. That is the part that is messed up — women performing pleasure for male enjoyment.

Real female pleasure is fine.

If you make porn, and you’re really doing what you like, you’re not part of the problem. If, however, you’re lying about what you like to make more money, then, frankly I think you are part of the problem.

Why should desire be authentic?

You say my problem is I never learned boundaries, or how to communicate what I want. Where would I have learned that? How could I have learned that? What possible role model could I have used for an example to get that information?

It’s not shown on TV, it’s not shown in mainstream porn, it’s not written about in books. I basically have to go hang out with hippie people and discuss feelings and boundaries. Which, I do. However, men are learning sexual behaviors from porn. They are learning how to aggressively pursue what they want, they are learning how to go after their own pleasure. They don’t have to expand great effort to learn these things, they don’t have to get burned through a few terrible partners, they just get educated in this way through mainstream culture.

However. If the women in porn were more authentic, if they insisted on acting out what was pleasurable to them instead of catering to male pleasure, if they negotiated with their partners on camera — I could have learned these skills from porn! Now, there are reasons women don’t do this (market forces, and what have you) so no judgement. I’m just saying, if- magically — women in porn were authentic, it would really make them better role models for the people watching them. If women in porn are inauthentic so as to better cater to male desire… well, that’s what they’re modeling for the people who watch them.

Anyway — I agree with you that porn didn’t cause these things, that porn is part of a larger cultural phenomenon (namely, capitalism) that places profit above human wellbeing. I agree with you that other types of media are just as bad. I agree that romantic comedies are seriously problematic. However, I think consumers of porn should be wary. They should consider the types of lessons they’re learning from porn, and they should think about the messages they’re internalizing.

We like to think we don’t absorb the stuff we look at, but if we didn’t, why would people still make ads? People make ads because they work, because although we don’t like to admit it — ads do change how we think. Similarly, we like to think we can watch half an hour of porn a day and not “take in” the implicit messages that we’re receiving, because we “know” they’re artificial, but we do take it in. Our views on sex are absolutely influenced by porn, the same way our views on car insurance are influenced by jingles.

So, if you make porn, you may really want to think about the type of porn you make. It matters. It will change how people think about sex so, make sure you’re sending the type of message you want to send.