Porn Fantasy Mistaken for Reality

By Demon Ted

Does porn raise men’s expectations of how women should perform in bed? I believe it depends entirely on the man’s ability to distinguish between real life and fantasy.

True, you could try to recreate porn in real life. But then it’s not real. It’s acting. So you’re back to fantasy.

I think porn is great to enjoy. But men must realize what it is.

Unfortunately, a lot of men (and some women in regards to things like Twilight) get fantasy and reality mixed up. And that can harm relationships.

Take my girlfriend’s ex. He’s a nasty piece of work. Barely finished high school, can’t drive, no job. Literally sits at home all day. But because my girlfriend was young when she met him, he became a lot of “firsts.” And he made her think that things that weren’t healthy were.

She didn’t expect to ever get off on real sex, or that her significant other should even try. Early on she told me that she would be “totally down for a threesome” if I saw another girl I found attractive. She later recanted when I told her to never suggest anything that makes her uncomfortable or unhappy.

As we talked on she began blurting out a long list of things her ex did, sexually, that she asked me not to. The worst part was that after she had listed everything, she thought I was angry with her.

I was angry. Not because she had asked me not to do certain things, but because I realized what she had come to expect. I had thought she’d say something like, “I don’t feel comfortable with the lights on,” not, “Please don’t tell me I’m a dirty slut for enjoying your cock.”

I was upset that she had let someone treat her, for lack of better words, like trash. I had to explain that, even without her asking me not to do those things I would not have done them.

I saw that she had come to believe that she must do things she hated for a relationship to “work.”

Obviously we’ve talked about these things and she realizes that, yes, I do watch porn, but that porn is porn. I do not expect her to act like the girls in it, nor should anyone else.

My girlfriend is beautiful. She’s incredibly attractive just the way she is. And she’s most beautiful when she’s enjoying herself, sexually or otherwise.

This was written by one of my students who gave permission to post it under a pseudonym.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on October 22, 2012, in feminism, men, pornography, psychology, relationships, sex, sexism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. You have some incredibly insightful students, Georgia.

  2. Awww thanks for sharing what your student wrote. It breaks my heart that his/her girlfriend went through that.

    x,
    Becca

  3. I would like to know how to tell if a guy believes that porn is how it should be, and one that knows it is not reality….before you get to the point of having sex.

  4. Good for him for taking such good care of her. Her ex should have some sense knocked into him. Wanker.

  5. I think that porn in fact does raise some men’s expectations in bed. This only happens if men don’t realize that it is in fact fantasy and NOT real. The problem with having these high expectations is that you will never be satisfied with your partner because it will never be the same way it is in porn unless you reenact it and like the author said that wont be real either.

  6. I have a family member that was in a relationship like your girlfriends. against my parents wishes she dated and married this man and soon after they were married he frightened her so bad that she would not leave her home, and the only thing that would calm him would be to taunt and torment her. It was hard to see it go on but the more we told her to leave him the more she did the opposite. I give your girlfriend major kudos because she was able to get out of that relationship and in one with a person that cares about her. Please let her know that it take a really brave person to do that :)

  7. I feel that part of the reason why we have this epidemic among young men (and some young women) is that there is no real form of sex education other than what they can find on the internet or in porn videos and magazines. Sure, there is the basic high school sex ed class where everyone learns the basics of their body and how it functions, but there is no talk of how to approach or respect sex with another person. Young men then turn to pornos to learn how to have sex, and think that for them to do it “right,” they need to act just like the men in the video. Young ladies, too, might turn to porn to know what to expect from their first sexual encounter and may also adopt the belief that this is how “normal” sex is supposed to be. There needs to be a safe place for teens to go, like a sex counselor of sorts, where they can freely ask questions and be educated on what “normal”, respectful sex is. Also, there they would gain a level of confidence that their sexual desire and the confusion that comes with the mystery of sex is perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

  8. Hi. I like this post. You’re right. We men don’t have to aim that our girlfriends do those things. Is better to enjoy our sexual life in a good and natural way.

  9. Alexander Ghanma

    I loved this post. It really shows that there actually are nice guys out there. I feel for this guys girlfriend because her mind had become so corrupt that her morals and ethics have lost touch with the reality of what is right and what is wrong. Suffering scars from an old love most of the time get brought into a present relationship causing the current relationship to suffer and go down the same road of the old one. I think of it as a map. Your ex has drawn a map for you on how to make a relationship “work.” After driving for so long the road finally ends (start of a new relationship) and the new path isn’t on your old map. We tend look at our old map(s) from time to time to take the lessons we learned from our old journey to help us with our new one. Some are good and some are unfortunately dangerous. I believe that you and your new love should draw a new map together. Filled with sex, love, and happiness.

  10. I agree with Alexander. This post shows how there are still some good men out there. There can be some really messed up guys out there just like that girlfriend’s ex he was speaking of. It is interesting though how that girl or anyone would put up with someone like that and with that kind of relationship. I guess it does happen though. In the end people realize that they just can not keep it up, nobody is worth it. To be put through that kind of treatment. We are worth so much more, and we can always find ourselves in a better relationship with a better partner.

    • So true, Susan….this post hits close to home because I was in a relationship like that for a long time.
      I agree, some people don’t realize that they are worth more and they can do better.

      In my case it was because my stepfather was cruel and abusive towards me for many years. My biological father wasn’t around and my mother put her new husband above me. The rest of my family didn’t treat me very well either, for the most part. I was bullied in school and had very low self-esteem.
      So the first guy who told me I was pretty and showed me some attention became my boyfriend.

      I won’t share all of the details but part of the screwed-up relationship I had with my ex was based on being a sex object to him.
      I stayed as petite as I could, wore sexy clothes, and had sex with him in any way he wanted any time he wanted to.
      I cringe when I realize how much I lowered myself by being with somebody like him.

      My current husband of 6 years is a much better partner although he can be overly critical sometimes.
      But he is the opposite of my ex in many ways…his family is nicer to me than my ex’s family was, and they don’t try to make me feel bad about myself.

      My husband has a few little preferences as far as my appearance…he likes to see my toenails painted red at all times, which I have no problem with, but we did talk about his preference to see me with straight hair and why that is problematic.
      I am multiracial and to straighten my hair constantly would damage it, in addition to the way racism influences standards of beauty (hair texture being an issue with some people).

      Some men truly confuse fantasy with reality. In truth, many of the “fantasy” girls work very hard at maintaining that image and I respect them because what they do isn’t as simple as some may believe.
      I’ve been around guys of all ages who treat women with disrespect…they think they are in a hip-hop video or on the set of a porn film and the women are just there to be treated badly.
      Sometimes I visit a forum of strippers/exotic dancers (I was once a dancer myself) and a lot of those women are hurt and disgusted by the way men treat them. They might be strippers but they’re still human beings with feelings and many are quite intelligent despite stereotypes about strippers being dumb. The same is true of female porn stars…I knew somebody who did porn and was very feminine, but when the camera was off, she was shy and preferred reading books over socializing. In real life she was the opposite of what she portrayed herself to be on film. A few guys were disappointed to find out that she wasn’t willing to have sex with everyone who approached her and that although she was gorgeous, she was more casual with her style on a daily basis.

      They expected a hypersexual nympho who looked “hot” 24/7 but reality was a bit different.

  11. Unfortunately there are some men who have a certain expectation in the bedroom. One of my friends worked at a hooters restaurant and to make her chest look bigger she wore two bras. She went on a few dates with someone she met there and when the time came for second base the guy called her a tease. She called me the next day to tell me what happened. He was disappointed that her chest wasn’t as big as he imagined. He even suggested that she get implants. Of course there relationship didn’t last because she’s not going to change for someone who isn’t happy with what they have. So it’s sad to hear that men’s expectations are ruining relationships.

    • I understand what your friend went through, because men have said the same things to me.
      I’m an AA/A/B cup in a family of very large-breasted women so I’ve experienced people putting me down for not having big boobs. I know somebody who works at Hooters as well and she actually had a breast augmentation as part of the job.

      This notion that to be beautiful, one needs large breasts makes me angry. But it seems to go with the mentality that some people have…the attitude of “you would be so much prettier if you lost more weight, fixed your nose, straightened your hair, had your boobs enlarged” etc.

      Also, there are at least 3 advantages to having small boobs: sleeping more comfortably on one’s tummy, being able to exercise without a bra most of the time, and learning pretty quickly to weed out jerks who only care about a girl’s chest.

      That guy only liked her because at first, she fit the illusion of the “fantasy girl”. But when the clothes came off and he realized that she was human with imperfections like everybody else, he couldn’t handle it.
      I’ve been told that wearing push-up bras and even lipstick is “false advertising” but I’m not advertising anything…just want to look the best I can with a little help. Now if a person sees me without my hair done or without a bra and they react badly, that says more about them than it does about me.

  12. I’ve watched porn with my partner sometimes. At first when he had suggested it, I felt like there was pressure to follow what was going on with the video almost to make it a reality. At least until I realized that my partner wasn’t expecting me to be like the video. To him the video was just fantasy, but to me as a women I felt like I was supposed to be like the film. I was grateful when my partner did not expect me to be like the film. But it was weird at first for me to seperate reality from fantasy, it is almost as if as if I put pressure on myself.

  13. I feel like porn is basically like a fantasy world. Due to the fact that the women are being payed to have sex. So of course they are going to say that they like it and its like something they have never had before because their main goal is to arouse the person on the other side of the scren so they could pay money to see more of them. Men that want their girlfriends to perform like the porn starts can’t keep reality and fantasy apart. When you are having sex with your partner it’s a special bond that you are having with them emotionally and spiritually. And pornstars dont have any feeling or emotions when they are having sex its their job so they treat it like that. i dont think men should expect normal women to be like that because like the guys girlfriend it made her feel like she had to be held to a certain standard like she had with her ex boyfrind. I feel like her ex boyfriend exploited her just because she was young and took advantage of a innocent girl and turned her into a sex object basically. He ruined the emotional and spritiual side if sex for her.

  14. It was interesting for me to read male’s perspective on sexual reality of our days. It is great that he can distinguish real life and porno. Porno in our days contains a lot of violence toward women. It promotes brutal behavior toward them. It is really awful and sad because, unfortunately, you can hear from women about this horrible relationship, about which he wrote, when women stuck in it and which works just by sex, brutal sex. Also I know that sometimes such brutal relationship could be the first long one, and woman starts to think that sex should be like this. That sex is about man’s pleasure, as it is taught by porno movies. As many other adults and teenagers I watch porno sometimes, but primary it is homo porn movies, about gays or lesbian. Somehow they look more “right” for me because both partners got satisfaction from act without hurting each other and they are equal to each other, there no one super dominant who humiliate other one. I wish there were porno movies for women as well. Movies in which everything would be for “chics pleasure.” It could be better if today’s porno would be changed becoming less brutal, but I’m afraid it won’t happen. I see how things go worth and worth because not all men see brutality in porno movies.

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