Porn Fantasy Mistaken for Reality

Porn fantasy versus reality.

Porn fantasy versus 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 February 20, 2017, in men, pornography, sexism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Porn is unrealistic. It degrades the actors who participate in it. It also degrades the people who watch it with unrealistic expectations. It destroys relationships.

  2. Anyone with an addictive behaviour can get hooked on porn and it can literally consume their lives, just like substance addiction. I know….

  3. Porn is a dealbreaker for me and my relationships have been better since I realized that.

  4. Hmmmm…

    Well, well since I don’t watch it I really cannot offer much in the way of commentary. But, like rap music and other art forms I would categorize it as a form of entertainment.

    Now, on to a much larger (and revealing) aspect of this male student’s piece.

    He is a student and presumably very young. But, what I see in his writing is what I see and hear with a lot of young men in particular and men in general. There is this need on the part of men to feel we must protect women from themselves.

    Let’s start here:

    “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.”

    Why did you elect to date this man? Here again what we see is a young man absolving his girlfriend of ANY responsibility for her poor choices. Instead, he takes it upon himself to lambast the man. Interesting. Also very naive.

    Point #2:

    “I was angry. Not because she had asked me not to do certain things, but because I realized what she had come to expect.”

    Why should he feel any anger at all? I can assure you she was not angry about those things. More than likely she probably enjoyed them.

    Point #3:

    “I was upset that she had let someone treat her, for lack of better words, like trash.”

    Trash? Again, did she think she was being treated like trash? Who is he to suggest as much. Very naive thinking on his part, indeed.

    Point #4:

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

    This goes back to my initial point: Why did she want a relationship with this degenerate to begin with?

    Too many men are raised to think just like this young man. We are raised by a society that tells us men we MUST be the caretakers of women. When we see a “damsel in distress”, we must come to their rescue. This is a major fallacy. Why? Odds are a lot of these women:1) enjoy being with these kinds of men and 2) enjoyed the sex they were having with these men.

    One day this young man is going to wake up and have his “beautiful and attractive” girlfriend tell him how boring he is sexually.

    Men need to accept that what a lot women do sexually with a lot of men we consider pathetic is what these women really want to do. We need to stop with this narrative that women such as his girlfriend are victims. This is why so many women today have zero responsibility for their behavior and choices.

    This is exactly why so many men grow up being clueless when it comes to evaluating women, properly.

    • Keep in mind that he saw that his girlfriend was upset when they discussed all of this, And she didn’t want him to behave that way.

      We all tend to internalize our culture — society’s ways of seeing and up in our own heads — and one thing young men and women learn unconsciously is that men’s sexual needs are more important than women’s. Which ends up backfiring in the long run on men since sex starts to seem boring unpleasant and then women lose interest.

      Since we all internalize these unconscious ways of seeing we often must have them brought to consciousness in order to change.

      • “Which ends up backfiring in the long run on men since sex starts to seem boring unpleasant and then women lose interest.”

        I think you missed the point huggy bear was making. Which was that while it might logically seem like this “nice guy” will be considerate and caring and this girlfriend will like it, there is considerable evidence that girls like bad boys. While that tattooed biker might not be a considerate lover, he’s not a boring lover. And it seems like being boring is the worst sin in the female pantheon of sins, worse than being an inconsiderate lover.

      • Well she left him, didn’t she?

        And she wasn’t too happy while she was with him, was she? Which explains my first point.

        It’s not uncommon for women to find bad boys attractive. Or for men to find mean girls attractive. Fortunately, the allure wears off. See this:

        The Allure of Bad Boys (and mean girls)
        https://broadblogs.com/2012/01/11/the-allure-of-bad-boys/

        And these:

        Women Want Betas
        https://broadblogs.com/2013/08/12/women-want-betas/

        Nice Guys Are A Turnoff? (No!)
        https://broadblogs.com/2015/01/05/nice-guys-are-a-turnoff/

      • “Well she left him, didn’t she?”

        I think he left her. Do you have information to the contrary?

        “Fortunately, the allure wears off. See this:”

        Boredom again. Time to move to the next bad boy.

      • You probably didn’t read it so in a nutshell narcissistic people, men and women alike, tend to put more effort into their looks and most people rank them as more attractive than average. These people draw partners even though they are bad boys and mean girls. But the allure quickly fades.

        Demon Ted’s girlfriend sounded pretty miserable in that past relationship.

  5. There’s a movement the last few years with men cutting off porn completely. They report the changes in their mentality and even physical changes and interestingly those changes are impressive. There’s a site “yourbrainonporn” which describes how porn affects the brain.

  6. I can’t say I agreeing or disagreeing with pornography being harmful, it all depends how it is used between two consenting adults. According to Crooks & Baur, 2014, “The term pornography refers to any written, visual, or spoken material depicting sexual activity or genital exposure that is intended to be sexually arousing” (pg. 543). Also pornography can expressed by graphic, sexually explicit subordination of women in pictures or words. Pornography in some opinions should be banned because it is a threat to women because it dehumanizes and degrades women into being sexual objects, things and commodities. Also pornography is seem degrading to women because they are often portrayed in sexually explicit material as being submissive to men. Women in most of the pornographic films are often seen being raped and forced to act in a degrading ways. Individuals watching the films seem to believe that most women enjoy performing the acts, which leads to assumption that all women like and want to be treated that way.

    On the other hand, one can argue that pornography is an equal opportunity for women. Pornography allows women to express female sexuality. According to studied by Lebegue, 1991, the results from reviewing 3050 magazine and book titles surveyed by the 1986 Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography and articles being broken down into appropriate categories, i.e., S&M, etc. concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence regarding the removal of pornography and the reduction of sexism or violence towards women because there has not been a line draw between causal relationships among them.

    • “I can’t say I agreeing or disagreeing with pornography being harmful, it all depends how it is used between two consenting adults.”

      Looks like you agree with the author, Demon Ted.

  7. “I believe it depends entirely on the man’s ability to distinguish between real life and fantasy” I have a number of guy friends that I’ve met because of similar interests (video games/ anime) and honestly I would have better friendships with them if they didn’t fetishize Asian women. They learn from the animated pornography (within that community it’s commonly known as hentai) they watch that all Asian women are “tiny” and “submissive” and randomly bring me into comparison just because I’m Asian. It really grosses me out that men can’t distinguish fiction from real people, and it shows that pornography caters to male fantasies more than females.

  8. Yes so true! Guys who do watch more make it harder for us women to live up to those expectations. I like to get down and dirty but for others who don’t enjoy that stuff can make it really hard. Women tend to think that’s attractive because they realize that that’s what men like. The thing is some women don’t enjoy these things and it makes it hard to keep it going in a relationship when your aren’t satisfying the other partner. I have watched porn before and I know my bf does, so when I realized he wanted to try some of those things I let him know that it wasn’t comfortable for me. Luckily he understood and completely makes sure I’m feeling pleasure too. It’s great when the both of you understand. It makes it easier for both of us. Here and there we do try new things but when we aren’t comfortable with it we don’t do it again.

  9. Hmm… Interesting post. I am very conflicted with the porn industry. #1 porn watching and producing country is the US. Men here have very different expectations when they are with their partners and watch porn daily. Some even cannot get off in real life because it isn’t “the same as porn.” What bulls**t! I had a boyfriend who even watched it on his phone, on the go, and he couldn’t get it up for months. That’s not why the relationship ended but I saw the addictive, unhealthy, crazy expectations that came from that. I am not letting my one experience with this guy alter my view as to why I think porn is unhealthy, I already believed this pre-ex-boyfriend. Porn isn’t real, and I feel for the girl in the article.. But the way the boyfriend depicts loving her as much as he loves porn, makes me queasy a bit. Will porn every love you back? Will porn ever be there for you emotionally? Will porn look you in the eyes? No, no, and no. Sure, porn isn’t there for emotionally release, just physical, and sure, it gives you great ideas for the bedroom, but it is also violent, misogynistic, and degrading. I would hate to be compared or asked to do something “like I saw in this porn movie.” For me, it’s a matter of self-worth, respect, and appreciation for who I am and what I look like as is. But at the end of the day, people will always want what they “can’t” have or don’t have access to, and that’s one of the many reasons why it is craved and sought out.

    • Some of my male students have stopped watching porn for exactly the reason you described.

    • “it is also violent, misogynistic, and degrading.”

      Would you characterise women who like this stuff as misogynistic?

      • I don’t know what forever Frenchie thinks, or if she subscribed to comments, but I will say that when men and women grow up in a misogynistic culture we both tend to unconsciously internalized misogyny. So my opinion is that both women and men internalize misogyny. Some more than others. And women are generally less likely to bed man simply because they are harmed more by it.

  10. Like the author of this post, I think that I would feel angry the same way he did as well. I would just feel angry that it seems like she was taken advantage of because everything was “firsts” for her. I feel sad for her that for a while the only reality she knew of was the type of fantasy her ex would like from the porn he watched. I think it’s important that a lot of guys should learn that the porn they watch includes things that a lot of girls would not want to do. Like the article says, porn is porn and it’s that way for a reason. It’s like watching a movie, like a really dramatic or super adventurous movie where you wouldn’t expect those things to happen in real life. It’s for the entertainment and for the most part, not to be expected in real life. While there are some women that do enjoy that type of sex, it’s not realistic to assume that all women will.

    • Unfortunately in our society we teach men and women that women exist sexually to please men. And too many people learn that lesson instead of seen each other as human beings.

  11. Porn is something that is easily confused with reality, especially by men. As described in the article, men after watching porn seem to have more expectations about how women should perform in bed during sex. Women have always been seen as sexual objects, and nothing else promotes this than porn when men watch it. Men are always thinking about their own needs and want to recreate whatever scene they’ve watched, without taking in consideration of the woman’s opinion about it. Some men think that because there are certain sexual activities performed in porn (fantasy) women out in the real world should be able to do as well. People need to distinguish the difference between porns fantasy and reality,and take in consideration woman’s thoughts about and if they really want to perform these kind of sex scenes. Many women usually give in to these performances because they want to please their man but aren’t really ok with it. Women need to speak up if they don’t want to perform such activities, and if their man does not accept to not do such activities than he isn’t respecting her as a woman and her thoughts.

  12. Porn is so easily available and accessible it’s unrealistic to think it doesn’t have a huge impact on relationships. Young boys who are sexually interested and curious use porn as their source of information and learning. If all they see is women being disrespected, badly treated or objectified, then that’s what they’re going to think women want (especially if the actress is saying “give it to me”). I know people who have told me they are addicted to porn. They say it fills their mind all day long, and they find it hard to put it out of their heads, even if they try. Even more worryingly, they say the shocking or violent images also stay in their heads. While this is happening, how can women ever expect to be valued and respected? It’s not right that women should be expected to fulfill their guy’s fantasies, even if they don’t want to themselves. I think porn is responsible for more harm than good.

  13. I totally agree with the author, porn can be something most people can enjoy but when they lack to acknowledge that the performance and pleasure being portrayed isn’t necessarily what happens in real life, because most of it is acting. This becomes a problem for those people by it creating false expectations of how they should perform during sex as well what they may expect from their partners. Because porn isn’t the true reality of having sex its just a fantasy. It can lead them to think something is wrong with them because they can’t perform well or causes them to ask for too from their partners, which in most cases it affects them just as much.

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