Kitty Stryker
Oct 21, 2016 · 5 min read

I read a lot about how porn is ruining the sex that men have (funny that we don’t hear about women having unrealistic expectations about penis size how how long men last in bed, but never mind, I guess we assume men are much more ignorant?) Recently I came across Emma Lindsay’s piece about how porn makes men terrible in bed.

This, as a woman who watches and performs in porn and sleeps with men, is news to me.

I’m tired of being in an industry that’s blamed for “ruining sex” by a society that discourages sex for fun and refuses to offer comprehensive sex education. Porn didn’t fuck up your sex life. Your selfish, focused-on-his-orgasm boyfriend did.

I wrote a piece for Buzzfeed last year about the difference between porn and sex after reading yet another piece about how porn sex and “real sex” were different. They’re not as different as you think, at least, not in my experience. People fart when they orgasm. People cum too quickly, or never cum at all. People wear impractical outfits to look seductive.

The biggest difference between sex on a porn set and sex at home is that you sweat more under porn lights than you do under a bedroom light.

And there’s no one offering to fetch you water or lube, typically, when you’re at home. Wouldn’t that be nice, though?

As an ex porn performer, I tend to date people who are at the very least comfortable with adult films. So yes, I have a lot of sex with people, often men, who consume pornography. Guess what? The ones I date who know their way around indie porn sites (cause they pay for their porn) are more likely to be willing to try the things I like (fisting, squirting, strap ons, dirty talk, light BDSM) than the guys I’ve slept with who never watched porn. Because they were exposed to lots of different types of activities, they were more open to experimentation. I didn’t feel as shy asking for what I wanted, which aided open communication. And yes, they gave great head, thank you, whether or not they learned it from the internet.

It’s frustrating because we’re so quick to demonize porn for ruining sex, but don’t think nearly as much about how media ruins our ideas about romance.

Toxic masculinity is present in almost every romantic comedy, but it’s seen as cute, not problematic. I swear men learn how to kiss from movies, and it takes a lot of unlearning that kind of stage performance, but no one is shaking a finger at Hollywood for destroying make out sessions. Why is authenticity so demanded from porn while it’s completely ignored at the box office?

You know what was the most authentic sexual experience I’ve come across recently? The conversation my now-boyfriend and I had before we had sex. I felt anxious, because I am often expected to perform some sort of perfect mix of “cool girl” and “sexual superstar” that has become the expectation ever since men started authoring marriage manuals and I find it really boring. So we had gone on multiple dates, maybe 4, maybe 6, and not done more than a quick kiss goodnight.

“Can we have disappointing sex?” he said to me, not reluctantly, but eagerly.

I was taken aback. I’m pretty sure I laughed. But in that question was something real- an acknowledgement of the pressure we were both under to mesh perfectly when we fucked, like that’s something that naturally happens without discussion. Agreeing to disappointing sex was also an agreement to allowing each other to freely communicate while naked, to not feel embarrassed if we came too early or not at all, if things were awkward and we just started laughing. And you know what? When we did have sex, it was fantastic. I am still owed disappointing sex, to be frank.

The thing is, it’s not porn that set up this house of cards.

It’s Maxim, it’s Cosmo, it’s Titanic, it’s 50 Shades of Grey, it’s Basic Instinct, it’s the goddamn Notebook. Mainstream porn is often so ridiculous and over the top that it’s difficult to watch and believe it’s 100% authentic (otherwise why would we laugh at the pizza guy trope?). And why should it have to be authentic, anyway? Many people watch porn to see sexual athletes at the top of their game. I don’t see anything wrong with that, and if my partner expects me to ejaculate in 2 minutes of cunnilingus, well, it’s my job to communicate otherwise to him.

Porn didn’t ruin your sex life, because some people have satisfying sex that is perfectly depicted in porn. Other people have satisfying sex that could be ripped out of any Nicholas Sparks movie. What probably ruined your sex life was not being taught how to negotiate, how to communicate your boundaries, how to say what you like and don’t like, that it’s ok (especially if you’re a woman) to express what you like and don’t like.

To fix our broken relationship with our sexual desires, we need to rip down patriarchy, not porn.

Curious how to do that (especially as a dude?) Check out David Ley’s new book, “Ethical Porn for Dicks”.

Further reading on porn/porn addiction:

The Sunny Side of Smut, Scientific American
Self-Perceived Effects of Pornography Consumption, Archives of Sexual Behavior
Why Porn Can Be Good for You (And Society), Alternet
Viewing Sexual Stimuli Associated with Greater Sexual Responsiveness, Not Erectile Dysfunction, Journal of Medical Science

5 Reasons You Need To Watch More Porn, The Daily Dot
Your Porn Addiction Isn’t Real, The Daily Beast
When Porn Complicates The Relationships Of Straight White Christian Hipsters, It’s Not Our Problem, Medium (for Harlot)
Fight The New Drug’s Online “Porn Rehab” Is Insidious Pseudoscience That Preys On Youth, Medium (for Harlot)
There’s a Surprising Benefit to Watching Porn We Rarely Talk About, Mic.com

Can These Pornographers End ‘MILFs,’ ‘Teens,’ and ‘Thugs’?, The Nation

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Kitty Stryker

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Professional Bleeding Heart. Sick & Tired. Patronize me: http://t.co/RSd5cSVGE5 Image by @mayakern

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