Guys Don’t Expect Women To Be Porn Stars

How to make love like a porn star

How to make love like a porn star

I asked my male students if they thought that guys expected women to act like porn stars.

Most didn’t think so.

Keep in mind that these were all guys who were willing to take a women’s studies class (where I surveyed them). So they may have more gender-equal attitudes than most. But here’s what they thought:

About 50% thought that in real life guys didn’t expect women to act like porn stars.

The other 50% thought that at least some men did. But 20% of them said that they didn’t personally feel that way.

So overall, 70% didn’t expect women to behave like porn stars.

As they described it:

It depends on the couple, I guess porn star expectations could negatively affect a lot of people. The porn has no affect on my sex life whatsoever– At least not that I’m aware of.

Porn does give people expectations, but a girl shouldn’t fear that her boyfriend will retreat online. It’s not impossible that it could have a negative effect, but I think it’s unlikely. Porn is fake. It’s acting and camera angles. It’s an exaggeration. To expect that porn should be like real life is ridiculous.

I think that a lot of guys have come to expect the porn star experience since that’s the only view and representation a lot of people have of sex. And it’s quite frightening. But porn is just acting. I do not expect my partner to look or act like a porn star. So it is not a big problem for us.

What PSE can feel like!

What PSE can feel like!

I watch porn regularly but it doesn’t affect my sex life. Porn can satisfy men’s fantasies but I don’t expect my partner to look like a porn star. My girlfriend told me that her body will never look like a porn star and I told her, “Don’t worry. Just be whoever you want to be.”

I think that a lot of guys probably have come to expect PSE but I don’t think that they will necessarily compare themselves to porn if they have a true and fulfilling sex life. I try not to go into sex with any expectations. It makes for a more fun experience in my eyes.

Here’s the exact question I asked these guys:

Do you think that this opinion is true? “A lot of guys have come to expect P.S.E. [the “Porn-Star Experience”] … and plenty of women are more than happy to provide. A few might enjoy it, but for most it’s harrowing. I think there’s a fear that if they can’t make it happen, their boyfriend will retreat online.” How so?

***

Additionally, Robert Jensen, a University of Texas professor who speaks on pornography, says that women frequently ask him whether they should fulfill their guys’ disturbing requests. Here’s what this feminist man had to say on the topic:

  • Women are under no obligation, no matter the level of commitment, to do anything that causes pain, discomfort or distress.
  • It’s great to honestly discuss desires and be open, but partners should also be clear about what crosses the line.

And, I’m guessing that most men like sex enough to be able to enjoy things that their partners also enjoy.

Related Posts

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 February 22, 2016, in feminism, men, pornography, psychology, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.

  1. I think that all men understand that porn is very artificial, that real women don’t look like that, and don’t act like that, but where it does have an impact is in the expectation of the acceptability of certain acts. For example, blow jobs are ubiquitous and so seen as good, clean, natural fun; but, more than that, porn shows us that most women can deep throat, enjoy swallowing and love facials. Indeed, porn teaches us that many acts – that might be considered by some as degrading – can be good, clean, natural fun.

    If you watch porn, it’s natural to want to try out some of these things; if you don’t watch porn, these acts seem degrading and it’s perverse to want to do them. Even without porn, there will always be conflict between what one partner wants to try and what the other partner(s) are willing to try. It’s always wrong to pressure people into doing something they don’t want to do, but I think it’s just as important to understand that, for the most part, no sex is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

    Porn widens the divide between expectations and reality. It does further damage in creating an impression that all women are heteroromantic bisexuals who enjoy making out with each other but like nothing better than to satisfy as many men as possible, and this is particularly problematic for women who genuinely are bisexual.

    • From other studies it does seem that pornography changes expectations in the way you described. Still, a number of young men who take my classes say that while they enjoy porn, they don’t necessarily expect what you see there. Yet I’m sure that it does have a normalizing effect, as you say.

      • There’s a pervasive and invidious belief – blame patriarchy – that ‘good’ girls are for marrying and ‘bad’ girls are for sex. Therefore, if we want girls to be porn stars, then we want them to be ‘bad’ girls. So how is a girl supposed to reconcile her desire to be the ‘good’ girl who is valued as wife-and-mother with the desire to be the ‘bad’ girl who is valued as demon-goddess?

        And where is the line? When a woman ventures into the world of sex, where is the line she mustn’t cross? Wherever it is, surely the P.S.E. is firmly on the other side…

        That’s the fear, anyway. In truth, the reason the line is so hard to see, is because everyone draws it differently – and they only draw it at all because society says they should.

        If you give someone a P.S.E., do it because you want it, not just because they want it. If you cross someone else’s invisible line, that’s their problem, not yours. If you cross your own… well, lines can be redrawn. It’s not like anyone will notice.

      • Thoughtful. Thank you.

  2. Before, I read the “ Guys Don’t Expect Women To Be Porn Stars.” I thought that guys expect their partners act as porn stars because guys watch porn and they want their partners to do the costume play, they put themselves in the one situation such as nurse and patient and so on.
    For example, one of my friends asked which situation her boyfriend would like when they do the sex. My friends and I were surprised that he want to make such situation, but her boyfriend want to set situation up when they do the sex as hospital, school, or police station like that. So, my friends and I thought that her boyfriend watches too much porn and expect girlfriend to be as porn star. So, sometimes I worry that if my boyfriend expect to I be porn star. However, I could see the result of the percentage that only 70% which is guys do not expect their partner to be a porn star.

  3. I would have to agree to an extent because this survey is probably aimed towards people that have already had a previous history of sex, meaning that they’re not virgins. I’ve talked to some virgin friends, asking them about what they expect the first time they have sex and they pretty much talk about porn. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just all they know about sex. Answering me, they would say that they’d last for hours at a time and describe it as “long and hard,” which in most cases is not true. When asking friends who have lost their virginity about their first time having sex, some say they were disappointed because they couldn’t last as long – with the expectation of lasting far more than average. I think the porn aspect in a relationship is added later on when both parties are truly comfortable with one another.

  4. I don’t believe it creates expectations in most men but enhances in some way the fantacy aspects of it for both men and women that watch porn.someone that watches porn does not enters a sexual encounter with those expectations but they come to play when both individuals are willing to try something different in order for them to explore their own sexuality or to simply experiment those “fantasies” that porn have imprinted in their heads.

  5. I think as men get acquainted with real women and real world outside the porn, they gradually understand the artificiality of porn films. But, there are cases where men ask girlfriends to behave in a typical way, similar to porn!

  6. Interesting article! Actually, I was wondering what guys are going to choose, for some reasons I thought guys expected women to act like porn stars, otherwise it’s hard to explain why guys like watch porn so much. I read an article recently, said that according to dating website match questions, over 60 percent guys choose that they can easily dump their partner, if they are not good in bed, not sure what’s their definition of good in bed, since most of guys turned on by porns, porn stars may be an example of good in bed, that’s why porn can satisfy men’s fantasies. A friend of mine once told me, the reason he really enjoy pornorgraph is he admires that they can easily have good and hot sex, and I told him it only looks like they had good sex, but we never know how they realfeel about the “sex”. so there are guys like my friend, they care about the quality of the sex more than the girl in the sex.

    • Samples can be biased. I mentioned that this sample came from men who were willing to take a women’s studies class. Which could be different from guys who are answering surveys on dating websites. But I suspect that if a man really cared about you he would be more like the guys who I quoted here.

  7. I have a few thoughts on this topic.

    Firstly, I’d like to say that unfortunately (based on a number of documentaries I’ve seen) the porn industry seems to produce content catered more towards a male audience. I’m not sure as to why, perhaps due to sexual inequality in society (sex-negative against females) men prove to be more reliable customers, but regardless of the case this seems to be a staple in our society. With porn more catered towards men, and porn-viewing beginning at a young age, it’s understandable how so many males develop unreasonable expectations of sex from a young age (as that’s their only exposure to the act before actually experiencing it).

    Going into a relationship with such expectations is obviously a recipe of disaster — first of all, pornstars themselves undergo surgery, extensive make-up, and the pornographic videos then take video-editing treatments and use specific angles to really over-glorify the female form basically to create visual caricatures. After that, all the behaviors themselves are also completely blown out of proportion. I think this entire practice is set in place to make money and has unfortunately negatively influenced the minds of many in our society.

    That being said, porn does have its benefits for individuals but I still think that overall this is a culture that needs to be addressed in our society.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Maybe the reason why pornography is more geared toward men is that our society has taught men to be more visual. We fetishize female body parts, and pretty much ignore male body parts. And it’s not biological because those fetishes don’t exist in all cultures. We probably eroticize women’s bodies more because historically men have had more control over media, art, literature and fashion… They go from their experience and in their experience women are the sexy ones. But it all works to sexualize women more than men.

  8. If a lot of women out there don’t like smut or don’t dig their guy watching it they need to move on and find a different class of men to date/mingle with–simple as that.There are PLENTY of guys who do not like that stuff and they sure as hell don’t expect their woman to act/look like that…..ive seen my fair share of that rancid mess in the past to know I don’t want it in my life or my relationship.There are ALOT of men like me.

  9. I think it depends on the couple. In our marriage, we take more practical approach. I don’t expect him to be a “Sandra Dee” nor does he expects me to be one. I can say that there are moments that he does want me to act like a porn star, particularly in “love” oriented events like anniversaries or Valentines. We’re in a monogamous relationship and I think in his mind it makes it more romantic if we both engage in something non-monochromatic. A lot of times his friends sends him short pornographic movies and most of the time he feels comfortable enough to show it to me. I don’t mind if he goes online to watch porn so long as he’s aware that it isn’t reality, after all some of the stunts the girls perform takes an enormous amount of flexibility. I am under the impression that some of the girls in porn does it by choice, in that case, they are merely doing a job to provide for someone or something.

    • Yeah, it always depends. And as I said, guys who will take a women’s studies class maybe a little different from average.

      Still, I think that these guys are referring to expectations that their partners be porn stars *whether they want to or not*. And I think that all loving partners would feel the same way as the bulk of these men.

      Sounds like in your case you don’t mind being a porn star on occasion — which isn’t quite what I’m talking about. Take another look at the exact question I asked the men — it’s at the end of the post.

      • Whoops. Anyway, based on my personal circle, a group of monogamous couples married for a long time, most guys, though a lot won’t admit, would fantasize that their women act like porn stars. I’ve heard some guys said that if they can’t get it from their partners, why not look online, to which the girls responds jokingly, “I know a good lawyer.”
        I do wonder, if the the partner requires the partner to be a porn star, even if it make the other uncomfortable, is it worth staying with the guy? My hope is that the other would not compromise their dignity.

      • My feeling is that guys like sex so much that they should be able to find something that they both like. And that if a man doesn’t care about his Partners feelings enough to find something they both like, that that is a big red flag. I can’t imagine wanting someone to do something that made them really uncomfortable. I worry when a partner doesn’t have empathy. That doesn’t make for a good relationship.

  10. Definitely feel that there are plenty of men out there who want genuine intimacy and not the porn star experience- that said, I have also encountered men who don’t want the porn experience in their own bed because of judgments around women who would be “so sexual.”- the whole madonna/whore divide.

    • And I really don’t think that the porn star experience is a problem if they are both into it. The question I posed to the men students suggested “what would you do if she’s not really into it?”

  11. Experienced males generally understand that porn is a completely inaccurate and exaggerated for the sake of the video. I have yet to meet someone who was surprised that real sex was nothing like porn; but then again, not many people would readily admit that they want porn-like sex. Pornography is meant to show sex, not intimacy, so the actors/actresses behave accordingly – purely for the “pleasure”. After all, the objective of pornography is to portray sex and not relationship-building, so in a way, it would be strange for porn videos to accurately display real sex and possibly be less desirable for viewers.

    Now, recall that I said “experienced males”. This includes younger males who have yet to experience real sex that may have misconceptions of what it actually is like. Additionally, there’s no doubt that there are people out there who desire the “Porn Star Experience”. Maybe not all the time, but just enough to fulfill a small fantasy that may have formed from their experiences of watching pornography in their own time. But women do not need to expect males to try and reenact pornography – almost all males will understand that real sex and porn have different objectives.

  12. Most young men today watch porn before they ever have their first sexual experience, and I think when they first become sexually active, a lot of them do expect that sex will be like it’s portrayed in porn. When your first experience with sex is watching a highly choreographed and dramatic performance, you will go into a real sexual encounter thinking it will be the same. I had a friend tell me that he boyfriend wanted her to do a really complicated position with him that hurt her knees and gave her no pleasure. When she told him she didn’t like it, he said “but the girls in porn love it!”. It is through having real sex with real women that men will learn to enjoy sex the way it really is, and no longer expect the porn star experience.

    As long as a person watches porn purely for their own pleasure and does not let its images affect them in real life, I see no problem with porn. Yes, it’s cheesy and usually horribly sexist but when used for the occasional release it’s okay. But there are still young men who do expect to get what they see in porn in real life. I’ve heard men brag about their girlfriends being “like porn stars in bed” and other men saying that their girlfriends are “bad at sex”. This attitude is harmful to women, as we will be insecure of our own sexual abilities and will be willing to do things that make us uncomfortable in order to live up to our boyfriend’s expectations.

  13. I do believe that this person’s comment is true for men. Not all but a large portion. I say men because I cannot speak for boys. When boys start to discover porn and start having sex or mainly before they start having sex I think they do have this expect the PSE because they do not know any better. All they see if porn so that is all they know. Once they actually experience it they learn that that is fantasy. Now I do know some men and even women that like the experiment and want the PSE from time to time. I feel like when a man is expecting a PSE it is more likely to happen with a long time partner because they feel safe and can communicate. Being able to communicate with one another opens up a dialogue of their fantasies so it makes it easier for them both to have a PSE!

  14. A woman should leave if she ever feels obligated to act in any way that makes her feel uncomfortable. She should always have the choice and should never be pressured. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Porn has had an adverse affect on the personal sex lives of many women. This is not new and existed before porn, but it is either more open or it has gotten worse. I believe it has gotten worse because the objectification of women has become normal and more in-your-face than it was in previous centuries.
    It is a relief to think that many men do not hold their personal partners to porn standards, but porn does have a negative effect whether the male notices it or not. Most women are affected by porn, whether they have watched it or not. Media has portrayed what a woman should look like, how they should behave sexually, and how sex should be gratifying to men above all things. In reality, sex should be gratifying to both partners, though there will be times when it is more so for the other. Neither sex should feel the need to behave or act in a way that they don’t feel comfortable. If more men and more women were more open about their needs, their fears, and their emotions—more venerable about their sex lives—the porn industry would most likely not have such a high effect on the personal sex lives of others.

  15. Jennifer Malcolm

    That’s interesting and I would hope that would be the percentages. I think that it really does depend on the age demographic that you’re asking. Most men and women understand that porn is a fantasy. That real sex is awkward, messy, and not perfect. But there are certain things that we get out of it or that I have at least, about what the female body is supposed to look like. Then comparing it to my own. Fortunately, I know that the female body is very diverse in shapes and sizes and that I’m OK! (phew) But I think that this creates unrealistic expectations for some women. Some men do still have the expectation that it should be like porn, and that depends on experience most of all.
    With all the issues and abuse in the porn industry I am glad that there are a few outlets out there that focus on a more natural, realistic view of what sex is and more geared toward women.

  16. In my opinion,I dont think all the porn stars women are faking what they are doing, and I think people now can do what they want and they will find the person that who will understand what they are doing.

  17. “But the women in porn liked it!” Why is it so hard to figure out that a woman being paid to do porn might be faking enjoyment because it’s part of her job?! If a guy thinks porn is real, the problem isn’t just porn. He’s obviously missing some brain cells.

  18. One thing to points out, these results are from the guys who are taking a women’s studies class. It does not necessarily say that they are in favor of feminism, but they definitely have a tendency to know more and respect more of women. So at first I thought men outside the class might think differently. In order to test out the opinions upon guys that did not show interest in women’s rights, I asked the same questions in a Truth or Dare game. I learned that many guy friends of mine have sex fantasies about having a PSE, but they also indicated that they only imagined having done it in a hook-up relationship. Women should never worry about their partner getting upset that they would not look anything like a porn star. Women are not sex tools, in an open relationship, sex should be something bonds the intimacy and should as well please both parties.

  19. I find it interesting that the porn industry is seen as having such a huge influence on people’s expectations of sex. I feel like that because of our more accepting society, this idea has diminished some, but there is the idea still in womens’ heads that they have to give their partner the porn star experience. It’s just another one of those weird ideas that is planted in a woman’s head that it is her fault if a man is not satisfied in bed. That she has to provide this characateur of what a sexy woman is and does. she feels that she has to provide for her partner a “porn-star experience”, which, as this article indicates, is not what men actually expect or even want. We women just automatically assume that what men want is what we generally believe to be the ultimate sexual desire for our partners.

    • And I’m sure that men wouldn’t mind if women did that. But at least based on this sample, they usually seem to be caring enough not to expect it if she’s uncomfortable.

  20. Angela Barragan

    Great title for a great discussion. I believe men should be made aware that not all women are going to look and act like a porn star in the bedroom. But men who are addicted to porn might have this perception, that this is the way it should be. These men are up for failure and will always be looking for something that is not there. Men should understand that women are to be glorified, loved, adorned and made feel sexy. This is when a man might get that spunk they crave. Couples who engage in sex, need to learn from each other and with time and confidence be able to speak freely on fantasies or pleasures. Only then will a man get what he truly wants, a women who can love him outside and inside the bedroom. Can you imagine if we were like this? All superficial and expected all men to have the same size of penis as porn stars? Men would be cowards. I say, be who you are, confident and love yourself!

  21. I think that a lot of guys have come to expect the porn star experience with other women other than their girlfriend or wife. Porn has such bad stigma and is the only view and representation a lot of people having of sex. So when people have a sexual encounter somewhat of a disappointment, because they compare it to porn movies where everything is act out to real life experiences. They truth is both man and women experiment with their partners on curiosities of sexual activity. Some of the sex in porn may not be acceptable to some partners. Therefore some people are left to look elsewhere to seek that curiosity. Although most men may watch porn I think they don’t want their “Girl” behaving like a porn star they want other women to. In my past experience men want to be the leader in this particular physical activity, if women were to be somewhat aggressive to try new things it may intimidating to a male and give the impression that she’s more experienced or fast and that may not work so well to a man ego.

  22. I personally don’t think that porn should be the expectation to what pleasurable sex looks like. Although i am sure that men know that it is just an act and its over exaggerated. A women should also never learn from porn or act like a porn star to think that it will fulfill their partners fantasies. Women should never feel obligated to act a certain way in order to make their man happy, if she does encounter being forced to act a certain way when it comes to having sex, then she most definitely should leave. Sex alone should be something that you experience with someone with no judgement and it should come natural, without feeling forced to act a certain way.

  23. 70% of male students didn’t expect women to behave like a porn star or expect the porn star experience after watching porn. We have to consider that porn is a movie like any other, in the sense that they are actors. its their job to exaggerate, to be extra dramatic. I don’t think pornography would be too popular if it showed what sex is for a real normal couples. I don’t think anymore should expect the porn star experience unless you know for a fact that they are porn actors and even then who knows since they wont be getting paid. I say don’t expect the porn star experience for a partner unless your going to give them the same experience. The only way I can see porn affecting a person expectations on sex would be if one watches porn first before actually ever having sex. those people might think that’s how it real is, and what a big disappointment they will have.

  24. I honestly don’t expect my girlfriend to act like a pornstar in bed, but I have to say that porn has helped me spicen up our sex life. I was older than her when our relationship started, and she somewhat saw me as a teacher . She was really open-minded, and I never forced her to do anything. I didn’t really expect unrealistic things from her, so I’d say overall that it had a positive impact on our sex life. The only problem I have with pornography is that for a long time it had a psychological impact on ‘me’. I had warned her in advance that sometimes I coudn’t go hard because of performance anxiety. On top of that, my brain was overstimulated, because it got bombarded with images of the most beautiful women. I sometimes viewed such images for over an hour. Because of this, it took me 3 months to get comfortable to have sex with my girlfriend. Thankfully, she never made me feel bad about it. On top of that I didn’t watch any porn whatsoever during those months. Thanks to those factors the psychological barrier was finally broken, and we had a ton of really enjoyable,sex.

    So to summarize: I think pornography can be good for inspiration, if your girlfriend is open-minded and willing to spicen things up, but it also has a lot of disadvantages, like thinking women are really superficial, and want you to ‘perform’. That and it overstimulates your brain, which makes it hard get an erection.

    It’s a shame it’s so hard for us guys to stop watching it though. It’s very addictive, but I’d say during that time I didn’t watch porn, I felt much better in my skin, and I viewed women on the street as far more attractive as well. I even noticed that women looked at me more, like they detected my testosterone levels were higher. Anyways, I’m a firm believer that porn and relationships can’t go hand in hand. I coudn’t watch porn while in a relationship, because it would destroy our sex life.

Thoughts? (Comments will appear after moderation)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: