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.
- 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.
How To Be A Woman Caitlin Moran* (chapters dedicated to Porn & Sex)
Let’s Talk About Sex Sarah Rae Vargas
*affiliate link used