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A Pox on Porn


I’m declaring a pox on porn for the good of sex. Sound oxymoronic? Hear me out. I’m not anti-porn in the general sense. I mean, who doesn’t like to watch fucking? We’re all voyeurs. But porn in its current incarnation is ruining sex. Ruining. Sex.

Did you know there is an actual condition in which (generally) men train their brains to climax only by clicking image after image of pornographic tableaux and come to prefer that to actual human sexual contact? How fucked up is that? (puns intended.) Check out this article in New York magazine.

The Internet, for all its wonders (and there are many) has made fetishes normal and  the taboo accessible in ways that desensitize us to the normal and make the vanilla seem mundane. I’m no prude and I have partaken of these images myself to get a quick orgasm. But I have also, after reentering the dating scene after over a decade removed, been surprised by certain acts that were once considered fringe, that are now expected. I blame porn.

If you forgo the free sites (and most don’t) you can seek out the better pornographic videos (Good Vibrations out of San Fran has an excellent rating system for their videos, for instance) but for the most part, the women portrayed are fake as fake can be, from their dyed blond or little-girl pony-tailed hair to their breasts, to their gussied up, loud, false orgasms.

Porn has changed our expectation of what women and men should look like. Men become insecure about the size of their parts; women aren’t allowed the slightest errant wisp of pubic hair. Sir Mix-a-Lot’s attitude that “silicone parts are made for toys” is certainly not the prevailing wisdom in the industry. Also: orange-tinged tans are still somehow in fashion. Riddle me that!

If there’s one thing I have learned about sex, it is that every person is different in their preferences and every person wants to feel desire in the tangible here and now. Take the time to get to know what your lover likes. Put porn back in the box in which it belongs- the occasional dalliance into an unreal, fantasy world- but take the time to get skin to skin with an actual live human being. I promise it will be more satisfying.

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