4 Things I Wish Would Change About P*rn

For the first time in human history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn.” — Naomi Wolf

Yikes. Porn is a sticky issue for many feminists and sex-positives—no pun intended. Wolf’s quote derives from an article she wrote for New York Magazine called The Porn Myth, based on her research and discussions with college students, and I find her overall insight spot on. While I don’t believe all women are compared to pornographic images by partners or themselves (at least not consciously), countless are—particularly if they or their partners routinely partake. Based on recent statistics, MANY are, and at a cost.

bed laptops sex

Every second, $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography and 28,2258 people are viewing porn online, including children, and porn addiction is on the continual rise. — Family Safe Media

Would this be the case if as a culture, we celebrated and respected our bodies and sexuality rather than exploiting both? I personally believe the numbers above would be significantly lower, as would the negative repercussions of porn use, and we’d all benefit tremendously from the shift.

I have no problem with the explicit nature of pornography or the celebration of sexuality as a profitable business. We’re visual creatures, after all, and enticing our Girl Boners with sensual eye sweets is a groovy thing! Much like Wolf, however, I do take issue with other aspects of the industry. Today I’ve decided to whip out my trusty magic wand and share some wishes. (Hey—a girl can dream!)

4 Things I Wish Would Change About Porn

1. It depicted a broad range of body types and ages. The typical porn star is young, tan and, by society’s standards, flawless. Females are lithe yet toned and large-breasted, a combination that seldom occurs in nature, and males have been known to rely on steroids and cosmetic surgery to create that “perfectly” chiseled, large penis-ed physique. Whether we realize it consciously or not, this sends the very real and strong message that to be sexually attractive, we must look like those folks and pointing out supposed flaws that are actually just beautiful, authentic aspects of our appearance.

What would result: Women and men feel and appear more beautiful and embraceable, which leads to happier, more gratifying lives and relationships.

2. It featured a broad range of realistic sexual activities. There’s a place for just about everything when it comes to sexy play, as long as we’re not harming anyone. “Rough sex,” for example, provides some women a healthy way to explore the common fantasy of being dominated by a man, says Laura Berman, Ph.D, and can even help survivors of sexual abuse heal by allowing them to play out such fantasies in a safe, controlled environment. But setting outrageous standards for what sexiness is, such as females routinely ejaculating and climaxing through penetration alone, both of which only happen for a very small minority of women, can make normal sex less enjoyable for just about anyone, given enough exposure.

What would result: Porn fanatics would have more fulfilling sex lives and relationships, gain more pleasure from realistic, “normal” sex and have a lower risk of porn addiction (which is now affecting boys and girls as young as age 8—so sad and scary!). There’d also be a smaller epidemic of erectile dysfunction, which is growing continually more common among male porn users.

3. It was gender-balanced. While it’s changing somewhat with the rise of feminist porn, pornography is still largely male-focused, even though about 30% of porn users are female. This imbalance perpetuates the myths that men are more sexual and visual than women and leads to greater objectification of women and the mistaken belief that such objectification is natural and okay.

What would result: Pornography would become more about mutual sexual gratification and connectedness than merely women pleasing men, and women would gain worthy respect.

4. It hadn’t become our culture’s sex education. If this sounds extreme, that’s because it is—but it’s also true. As countless sexuality experts will attest, children should be learning about sexuality in schools from kindergarten up, yet most are taught nothing until puberty. By this time, research shows that nearly all boys and 2/3 of girls have been exposed to porn online. When kids aren’t taught about their bodies and sexuality from trusted adults, they quell their curiosities elsewhere, and the internet is far too ready and willing to mislead them onto an unhealthy track. While limiting kids’ access to porn can help, it’ll only go so far without fuller, healthier sex education. And adults want to learn, too! We all deserve plentiful, healthy resources.

What would result: Kids would grow up respecting their bodies and sexuality and better able to cultivate healthy, happy relationships with others and themselves as adults. I can’t think of a better outcome than that.

A little food for thought:

Sex is SEXY! So is kissing, fondling and seeing realistic adults in the nude. Like many women, I can get deeply turned on by the mere thought of sex and much subtler sexuality depictions than typical porn. I’d never want to sacrifice that by growing dependent on pornography, which is HIGHLY addictive (as is my personality, which is another reason I steer clear). While porn may fit well within healthy relationships in some cases, research shows that even folks who think that routine porn use isn’t negatively affecting their relationships or views about sexuality and aesthetics, are often wrong. You know what isn’t damaging? Cultivating healthier attitudes about sexuality and doing away with taboos.

Porn is a lot like fast food. If we load up on intentionally addictive, unhealthy food-like-substances in super-size portions, we lose taste for what are bodies thrive on: natural, healthy foods. The more we eat, the more our physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual wellness suffer. Porn functions the same way. The more we rely on it, the less likely we become to delight in happy, healthy relationships in which we cherish and care for our bodies, desires and partners with as much respect and pleasure as we all deserve. Life is too precious for that, in my opinion, and so are our Girl Boners! ♥

 

Unhealthy Diet

Not the kind of head we should want. ;)

How do you feel about porn? Do you wish it would change in any of the ways I mentioned? Any items to add to my list? I love hearing from you!

Hungry for more??? Today on Girl Boner Radio, I’ll be interviewing Belle Knox, aka “Duke’s porn star,” another woman who wants to change elements of the porn industry and the way we as a society view female sexuality. If you subscribe via iTunes, you won’t miss a beat! ♥

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22 Comments

  1. I had a friend who turned out to be porn addicted. I am not 100% sure how this started, or how he lived with this addiction. He apparently had been hiding it for quite some time, just as drug- or alcohol addicts usually do. It took him years to get over this addiction. And apparently it’s an every day fight for him. He told me once, a few years back, that the temptation is waving at him at literally every corner.
    I’m a young woman and have watched porn movies a couple times – until I became bored to death…
    Maybe I’m too boring for porn. *chuckle*

    Reply
    • I’m sorry to hear that, Raani. It’s such a sad and scary thing, not to mention shame-inducing. I heard an expert recently say that if you can’t go a month or less without porn and be completely fine, you’re probably addicted–hmm… like coffee.

      I think it’s the opposite! You’re too exciting and excitable for porn — GREAT things. :D

      Reply
  2. I agree wholeheartedly. I think the porn industry is similar to romance novels industry in the sense that they should not promote unhealthy behaviors. It is good that many use condoms but there is hesitancy by many. If the characters are going to have sex with every man/woman in the room, everybody should be protected. If there was more condom use on screen, maybe it would help send that subliminal message to the viewers.

    Reply
    • I absolutely agree, Amarylis! Excellent points. I’ve noticed that I’m surprised when TV or film characters of any kind visibly use protection–which says a lot.

      Reply
    • The romance industry definitely sends some pretty wrong signals. Things that should remain in the fantasy corner slip out and suddenly these very dominant control-freaks are pushed as the perfect boyfriend.
      Very scary.

      Reply
  3. Hi August, I’ve watched porn and am turned off by it. I’m not being self-righteous but realistic. I’m never going to meet the women in the videos or be as well-endowed as the men. I’m not happy with what I’ve got but I cope. For readers looking for more realistic videos check “Mature Amateur Couples” They tend to be more realistic, but the creepiness factor is great. Filming yourself doing it and posting it? Nah. Personally, I think a partner or your suitable gender is nice. With gentle exploration and learning and making every time you go to bed it’s like the first time except you know what your partner likes. I’ve been there, lost it and now want to go back there.

    Reply
    • You’ve brought up some good points, Tom! One thing I’d love most about shifting the way bodies are depicted I porn (and throughout media) is that more folks would embrace and cherish their bodies than mere learn to, at best, cope. I’m with you on seeking out and watching erotic films with a broader scope! Awesome stuff. :)

      Reply
      • One other thing, if you’ve seen one porn vid, you’ve seen pretty much all of them. the other stuff is waaay too weird.

  4. Porn can be fun and add an extra element if watched with a partner but it is also far too serious most of the time, would be far more interesting if instead of the careful editing they include the stuff like falling off the bed while trying to gracefully transition from one position to another or the fact that not all of us are double jointed and can bend into those positions or if we do a team of paramedics may be required to unbend us after lol

    Reply
    • LOL Porn comedy – now we’re talking! ;) I bet there’s an endless supply of outtakes available. And you’re so right about the potential perks of watching something sexually stimulating with a partner.

      Reply
  5. Without doubt, this is one of your best posts. For me, it is incredibly informative and as usual, you give me some ideas of ways I can help. Thanks so much, August.
    Karen

    Reply
  6. Traditional porn just makes me laugh. I can’t help it. When a naked man walks into the room and the woman begins moaning desperately *at the mere sight of his semi-flaccid* penis…..sorry. I just gotta laugh.

    On the other hand, there are some movies – The Crying Game, Henry and June (based on Anais Nin’s journals) that I find highly erotic.

    As for children – I think even 5 or 6 may be too old to begin (and I have a whole other, separate issue with labeling kids by grade. Age makes more sense; more and more kids are not in grades, because there are more homeschoolers every year..).

    Parents ought to begin. First, by using the appropriate words for body parts, without shame. Why should it be odd to hear a little girl reference her vulva? That is its name, and there’s an implied shame in cutesy nicknames.

    When my son was 2, his favorite book was my copy of Conception, Pregnancy, and Childbirth. He was especially fond of the breach birth…he would place the book on the floor and lean over to study it- often enough that the book opened to that page.

    We wanted to demystify sex, and make it seem as natural as eating, sleeping, and growing. With our kids now approaching puberty, there’s no need for “the talk”. We talk about sex the way we talk about lots of things – when something comes up (pun not intended), we talk about it. Our kids have access to information they can explore independently, and parents who are open to questions.

    Another thing I think would help is for parents to avoid gender stereotypes with kids. It can start with little things, like expecting girls to play with dolls, or boys to play with cars. When our second child was born, our oldest wasn’t 2 yet, and not speaking much. But his dolls gave him an outlet, and he spent a lot of his mourning with them (and yes, even that young, he clearly had an understanding of what death was; kids understand a lot more than most adults give them credit for). Also, not teaching them to ridicule those who don’t fit the stereotypes would allow more peace and acceptance of those on different places on the gender spectrum. Maybe that would lead to fewer gay teens killing themselves…and that would be a very, very good thing.

    A very thought-provoking post, and I had more to say about it than I thought I did.

    Reply
    • I absolutely love your parenting style. Kids absolutely should learn about sexuality from day one, which is when it starts! And I’m so with you on the eroticism of films like Henry and June. Scrumptious! :) Thanks for sharing, lovely! Very insightful, you are.

      Reply
  7. Very good points. I find it hard to be believe those facts about kids watching porn, but they’re probably right – I just never sought it out myself.
    I think sex education is very good here in Denmark and I was lucky to have a mother who always said things straight up and without even a blush. It made sex very real and very mundane to me and not something I felt very curious about until I got much older.

    But this is exactly the reason why I love Laci Green’s channel on youtube where she talks about sex and how to be sex-positive.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/lacigreen

    Reply
    • Sounds like you have wonderful parents! I probably would have sought out porn if the internet was around when I was a tyke, simply because I was such a curious kid. Sadly, there are porn sites specifically set up to lure people with general curiosities about sex, such as children. I’ve also heard wonderful things about the education system, and life overall, in Denmark. :)

      I’ll have to check Laci Green’s videos out. Thanks!

      Reply
      • Denmark definitely has some qualities when it comes to freedom concerning sexuality. We’re the first country to help handicapped people have sex as well.
        Then there are other liberties that are harder to acquire here …

      • I suppose all places have pros and cons. Embracing sex for people with disabilities is a huge pro! Amazing.

  8. I love your suggestions August and I agree 100%. I also have a question- are these stats only for visual porn or are you counting written porn too? Between fanfiction- which is free and some VERY graphic, and erotic/ erotica novels there is a whole area of porn that is mostly written and read by women. I love both, but I can also clearly remember as a teenager giving up by romance novels when I realized the boys I was dating would never compare tot he men I was reading about- so i switched to vampire novels LOL.
    How do you think written porn vs. visual porn affects people?

    Reply
    • Great questions, Alica. Those statistics derive from TV, film and internet porn. I think one huge difference between written and televised/photographed eroticism is that writing leaves much up to the imagination, so the risks may be lower. Visual porn is designed to be addictive, whereas stories seem more set up to lure us in. Also, when we see an image on the screen, it could account for chapters, or at least paragraphs, in a book — so it’s also more rapid and striking.

      All of that said, we all know how detailed and stimulating stories can be! You’ve got me thinking — hmm… Thanks for that! (Love the romance to vampire story. LOL)

      Reply
  9. I’m torn, because I believe that there can be a way to dust it off and make it anew that would be both educational and sexy, but it seems to be more of an escape for people. (i.e. visual fantasies) Our minds are able to concoct such outlandish and steamy sexual fantasies, and porn is that visual medium for people to explore, escape and live vicariously through. Sure there are people that take it too far and create unreachable expectations for partners, but why constrict this sexual expression for those that are sensible because the narrow-minded are not mature enough to realize that this is all fake? Sorry, went on a rant for a bit, but Mathair and I are loving this post and it’s sparked quite the debate in our household. ;) See what you do to us, August?! LOL

    Reply
    • LOL I hope it was a happy, or at least non-painful, debate! ;)

      Porn is a tricky thing, and I don’t think it’s all bad or harmful for all folks. I do think the risks are pretty high for people who watch porn routinely, depending on the type of porn and the ways and reasons they’re viewing it. I love the visual element, but prefer erotica, sexy films and the real thing! ;) If were to watch porn, I’d see out feminist porn, which features a much broader range of physical types.

      Reply

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