Here’s The Deal With Porn: Sex, Education & Reality

When you think about it, the fact that there’s an industry dedicated to watching other people have sex seems a little mad doesn’t it? But porn is a massive player in our current society and it’s been something that has caused many debates over the years.

I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with porn. I’ll just put that out there right now. At the end of the day porn is just sex and as long as consent is present, then there is nothing wrong with it. It’s only natural.

But porn isn’t just sex, is it? I don’t know whether it has ever been that simple. Porn does not represent what most people would recognise as sex in any sense of the word. It’s all false and fabricated, which is of course the point.

Porn represents a fantasy of what sex could be, but only if you’re a man. At most times a straight man, regardless of what kind of porn you’re watching. It’s such a small market yet that’s obviously where the money comes from.

There is nothing wrong with making a product and aiming it at a specific audience. But nowadays when sex education is lacking and the act is everywhere in our media and daily lives, we need to start thinking about everyone who is watching porn.

Despite what you may think, anyone can watch porn. But unless, as mentioned, you’re a (possibly straight) man you’re probably going to feel a bit disappointed by what you see.

In porn everything is tailored for the male viewer, or the male gaze if you want to get technical with it. The length of the video, the setting, the props and the models are all tailored to attract the male audience. And fair does. But for the rest of us watching, it’s a bit shit. We’re obviously excluded from the situation and that’s not fair.

If these materials are going to be out there, and are going to be so accessible too, then allow other people to have a look in and be represented.

The fact that porn is tailored the men causes problems within the content. For most women watching, porn can seem pretty degrading and in many cases fairly violent. There is often no representation of consent nor any basic respect or interest for the women involved. In the media women are often used as props and in porn this is no different. The women here are simply something to look at and use, without any consideration for their wants or desires.

Again, porn is a fantasy and for some people this may work for them. But for the many young people relying on this industry to educate them on the things their school has missed out, it’s so dangerous. These young people will learn behaviours from the porn they see and expect their sex to be similar to what they see online.

This lack of respect, care or consent is then considered normal within this group and will be replicated throughout their lives.

That’s not okay. Sex requires consent in order to be sex. Without consent, any act is rape.

Consent (verb) 

  • give permission for something to happen.

This obviously causes many issues and it upsets me so much that this is what people have to rely on as there is materials to educate. (Check out the materials at the end for some good educational tools I have found)

The sex in porn is not normal sex. It is not what sex between most people looks like. It is a glossy, practiced and acted performance that is used to entertain.

Sex in real life can be awkward, funny, messy, hairy, fast, slow, loud, quiet; whatever you want it to be. But chances are it won’t replicate what you’ve seen online. For the record, no one looks that good for the entire time they’re having sex and no one looks that good after sex either.

The sex in porn is so false it’s actually pretty annoying. The poses, the noises, the faces. Everything has been constructed to look good on screen, because that’s what it’s for. But no matter how aware you are of this fact it’s not hard to internalise some of the things you’ve seen online and feel shit about what’s going on in your own life.

There are some wonderful companies attempting to make porn for women and plenty of campaigns are fighting for a better representation in this industry. However, for the time being we’ve got to deal with what we have. By opening up the conversation about how false it is and explaining that this isn’t normal sex, the kind that we will experience, can ensure that although it remains we can alter how problematic it is.

Sex and porn aren’t things to be ashamed of and the sooner we accept this and allow people to be free in their sexuality, the better things will become.


Materials:

Laci Green (Related: Sexual Objectification)

Hannah Witton (Related: Behind The Scenes of An Erotic Film)

How To Be A Woman Caitlin Moran* (chapters dedicated to Porn & Sex)

Banging Book Club (Podcast & Twitter)

Let’s Talk About Sex Sarah Rae Vargas


*affiliate link used

Speak soon,

Rachael

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Sexism, Exploitation and Memes

I wonder how many memes there are on the internet?

They’re something we all see pretty much every time we log onto a social media site. That black and white lettering that protests some sarcastic message has basically become iconic now and will forever be recognised.

Memes are a way for people to rant, to express their opinions or just to make a joke in a quick and fashionable way and overall I think they’re pretty funny. There’s no better way to procrastinate than looking at a photo of a stupid dog with a sarcastic message printed over it.

But I wonder how many memes out there mock women? I bet most of them degrade or ridicule feminism and the actions of women in some way. Although these memes aren’t as cool as a dog wanting cupcakes or a cat with a moustache, they seem to be the most popular ones and the ones that are constantly being shared.

Obviously this is something I don’t like. But I don’t think it’s a problem to be blamed solely on the sharers, as most of these people don’t really know what they’re mocking anyway.

Recently I saw a meme which inspired this whole post. This meme basically said that women complain about men complimenting them or looking at them, but will continue to wear little clothing or present themselves in a sexual manner.

(Because obviously these actions are all just an act to attract men, right?)

The meme was basically saying “why are you complaining, woman? You obviously want this”

Now if I close my mind, I can almost see why some people would find this ironic. But it doesn’t take long for the stupidity (and a bit of fear) to come flooding back in.

People seem to think that if women want to be taken seriously, then they can’t dress in a certain way. For these people, women must not appear sexual in anyway and cover all parts of their body because, God forbid, should we see some cleavage then there’s no way we can concentrate on what these lasses are actually saying, right?

It makes me sad that some people still genuinely believe that clothing (or performances or whatever) has any impact on your rights to be taken seriously or to be heard.

As for the degrading comment…

The reason why a woman choosing, for example, to wear shorts that may reveal her vulva is not degrading is because she chose to wear them. She chose to reveal whatever part of her body she wanted and because it’s her body and her choice, this is not degrading. If you want to label it anything I’d go for empowering.

Everyone has a right to control their own bodies. And if that means they want to be sexual then let them. The problems occur when other people think they have the right to sexualise something that is not theirs. That’s why people speak out about adverts, films, posters or comments that use women’s bodies in a sexual way because the power has been taken away from the person who owns the body and given to someone outside of it.

The whole point of feminism is that people a choice, regardless of their gender. Women, like men, can freely express their sexuality if they want to. But it’s down to them to choose if that’s something they want to do. It shouldn’t be something that other people can choose for you.

Men are, of course, not excluded from this. How many washboard abs and toned physiques have you seen to promote, sell or generally just grab attention in the media recently? There’s tonnes, I know. But the reason we talk about women so much when we deal with topics like this is because it happens to us more. Plus, because it’s deemed acceptable to treat women this way we then start to do the same things to men.

It’s just not fair for anyone and it’s creating such a shitty situation.

Can’t we just let people do what they want, whether that be in fashion or sex or just life, and not feel the need to comment, judge or ridicule? Let’s be fair to one another and if you see something shitty report it and try to educate those who don’t understand why it’s wrong.

And before you ask, yes I can take a joke. I just prefer my jokes to have more humour than spite.


Materials:


*affiliate link used

Speak soon,

Rachael.


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The Current State of Affairs (Ft. Votes & Protests)

With the current states of affairs, it’s not difficult to feel as though all hope is lost. It can sometimes feel like to world is ending, with no one understanding the actions of their peers; with protests to battle against decisions already made and with fear being a common emotion among any old enough to understand what’s going on.

Some major decisions have been made both here and overseas that do not reflect either the view of the people or attitudes deemed acceptable today. Issues regarding equality (in all sense of the word) are rising, just when we getting confident that these old ideals were ridiculous and redundant. And although it seems as though all our problems can be pinned on one leader or another, we need to accept that as the public we are not innocent in any of this either.

It’s easy to point the finger at that orange-faced man on the TV or your government representative, because they’re the ones in charge right? But in these states of democracy we need to see that it is our actions, our views and our desperation that has put us here.

The news in America was obviously a great shock, but while others turned to anger and fighting I found myself feeling sad. I was sad for those who were so desperate to see change that they turned to archaic opinions and frightening predicaments; I was sad for the many who were hopeful but still didn’t do enough; I was sad about the lack of education and the lack of interest some people demonstrate in these important affairs. I am now sad about those who live in fear.

But at the end of the day, a vote was made. Although it may not be the vote you wanted it is the vote of the majority (including 53% of white women) and in a democratic society these changes must be made. This man should rule; that country should leave.

“democracy: (noun) a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.”

synonyms: representative government, elective government

Although it may not be the vote you cast (and as long as you cast your vote then your job is done. If you didn’t then I’m afraid you can’t really speak out) there are ways that you can make a difference and still ensure that your voice is heard. There will be some useful links at the end of this to help you, but on a smaller scale just by speaking out and remaining compassionate you can make all the difference.

The views of your current leader mightn’t (and hopefully don’t) reflect your views and this may make you lose hope when people agree with what you see to be wrong. But don’t be disheartened. This is your chance to educate and expose some new ideas.

Although protesting is obviously the most public (and seemingly most common right now) way to express your opinion, this is something that should only be done if you have a specific case in mind.

It’s all well and good blocking streets to campaign against a leader or a vote that has been made (and in many cases this is successful and generally just a good thing to do to show your support) but it would all work a little better if we were more specific about what we don’t like. In the case of Trump, there is nothing you can do to get him out of the leader seat. So instead of putting all your energy and time into campaigning for the impossible, aim to fight against his policies or the things he’s said that aren’t okay.

trump-1

Instead of being disrespectful, because even if you disagree there is still a large majority of people who thought the opposite (and even though they may be wrong they are still people and should get your respect), aim to educate. Use your campaigns, your protests and your posts to explain exactly what has happened and why it’s wrong. Be clear and honest as for some people the idea that these beliefs are wrong is just not possible. Talk about their children, use their futures as an example; make it understandable and be open to answer questions. But also be prepared for backlash and don’t push back. Instead remain calm and kind- you don’t need to stoop to that level to win an argument. Besides winning shouldn’t be your aim here, educating and exposing what is right so that people can understand the consequences of their actions should be your goal.

If you are going to protest, by all means go for it. But it’s best to be specific (stick to an issue like racism, sexism or immigration) and for God’s sake do your research. Again people are going to ask questions so use this time to educate and open more people up to new ideas. This is something you can only do if you’ve researched. Remain passionate, otherwise what’s the point in campaigning if you don’t care, and compassionate. Some people will still think they’ve done the right thing or some mightn’t even understand. They are still people. If you’re campaigning against the ill-treatment of others whether for their colour, gender or ethnicity then make sure you represent the right way to treat people regardless. Even if they disagree with you, or call out rude things.

Now is the best time for us to rally round, help each other out and generally just stay supportive. There is already too much fear and anger in the world without us adding to it. If things are happening that you don’t agree with, speak out. But please bear in mind the advice given. If you see people fighting for change, help them. But above all remain kind and respectful to your peers and the people around you, because that’s the one thing we don’t have enough of right now.


Materials:


Speak soon,

Rachael.

Feel-Good Female Reads for Mother’s Day

It’s Sunday once again and I’m back with another bookish post. In honour of mother’s day and celebrating the wonderful women in our lives, I’m here with three books written by women for (mostly) women that are sure to make you feel good.

HOW TO BE A WOMAN: Caitlin Moran

Buy it here

71iZ9y2pBzL.jpgI owe a lot to this book. It taught me not only how to accept and be proud of myself but also how to embrace my gender and, crucially, what feminism is. It’s a touchy subject for some people but it doesn’t have to be. Caitlin is such a funny, honest and open writer and this book will make you laugh in that ‘thank God it’s not just me’ way. She makes everything we fear as women approachable and normal and opens up so many wonderful discussions. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

 

EAT PRAY LOVE: Elizabeth Gilbert

Buy it here

Eat,_Pray,_Love_–_Elizabeth_Gilbert,_2007.jpg

If you’ve seen a couple of my previous posts you might have guessed that I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s newest book Big Magic and have become totally obsessed with it and her. Eat Pray Love is of course her most famous work and I’m sure we’ve all heard of it before. It’s the story of Elizabeth rediscovering herself through travel, after the breakdown of her marriage. Although I didn’t love this as much as Big Magic, Elizabeth has such a soothing voice that you can just feel through the paper and she opens up some really interesting discussions about marriage and self-worth. Overall this is just a very reassuring book that proves that no matter what happens, things will work out in the end.

 

IS IT JUST ME?: Miranda Hart

Buy it here

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If you’re familiar with this comedian and her BBC sitcom, Miranda than I’m sure you’ve already read this. In true Miranda style, this book is this wonderful woman’s ‘guide to life’. Using personal anecdotes that feel very similar to her skits on her show, Miranda discuss everything from social awkwardness to marriage, babies and so on. This one is kind of specific to fans of Miranda due to her very specific style. If you don’t like her comedy, you won’t like this so don’t bother. But if you need a little pick up, this book is sure to cheer you up again.

 

I hope you all have a wonderful day and make sure to do something lovely for the wonderful women in your life.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

**Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used. Buy purchasing through these links, I will receive a small percentage as commission. So not only will you get an awesome book but you’ll be helping a student out too!