Porn and My Sex Life Don’t Play Well Together

By Miranda

Porn is something that from the beginning of my dating life made me feel very “unworthy.” When I found out that my boyfriend who I had lost my virginity to had been watching porn for the entire span of our relationship, I felt as if someone had just stabbed me in the gut. I felt as if I wasn’t good enough for him. This is a feeling that has not left me really as I’ve gotten older. 

I don’t want to be just a body that you go through the pornographic motions with. No, I don’t want a cum facial at the end, no I don’t to be called a whore, and yes, I do want you to check with me about these things before you do them.

The porn culture that my generation has been sucked into makes me very hesitant to have sex.

I had sex with a guy a few months ago that made me feel like he was taking every inch of frustration of his life out on me while we were having sex and had no appreciation or value towards the sex we were having… It felt staged almost.

When I told him I didn’t like it his answer was, “You just don’t know you like it. Every girl does, you just need to relax and realized right now you’re mine. You’re having sex, thats what bad girls do.”

EXCUSE ME?! NO!

I never asked him why he thought this way. But for me, it was safe to assume that the porn culture we sexually live within is showing guys that this is all girls like.

From what I hear from friends and what I’ve seen myself, the majority of porn has some sort of female undermining qualities to it.

It has come to a point where as a woman I’m often in a position that I need to explain myself when I’m not into something sexually, rather than it just being okay that I don’t want to do something.

The rape culture porn that we see all too often nowadays is making me less and less willing to have sex.

This was written by one of my blog-commenters (lightly edited).

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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 June 19, 2017, in pornography, rape and sexual assault, relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. Wasn’t this written a few weeks ago? Like almost identical? You reposted it just to take a break or to show it again after a slight edit, like you wrote in the bottom of this post? All in all, either way. I think men and women need to communicate with each other before assuming or trying to do porn stuff on each other, especially if it’s something that could be degrading. Some people like that, but it’s best to obviously check first and if it’s something the gf would want and that she could enjoy and also if she does, then be fair and see if she likes certain things and if you can provide or maybe like something that is her kink. Compromise and communication, but then again that happens when a man respects the woman he’s with.

    • OMG You’re right!

      I write a bunch of posts that I keep in a file for when I’m busy. And I also make posts from a book I’m writing, which is based on some posts i’ve already written. (You can see how I could get confused – you’re confused are you?)

      Now that I think about it I wrote this post a long time ago, and then put it in my book where I was making a particular argument, and posted that. And then I pulled the original in. Would have helped if I had at least had some space in between!

      LOL!

  2. On your other points, I agree!

    • Yeah mutual respect. I think women sometimes accept too much because they fear of losing a guy or want to measure up so they do stuff they don’t like. I think while it’s important guys respect women, I also think it’s important for women to build an inner confidence to not accept anything less than they deserve. If the man is selfish in bed or if he doesn’t care about what you like, etc, then tell him openly it’s not cool. And if he still tries stuff that you said you aren’t interested in or doesn’t care, then drop him like a bad habit and realize you deserve better and there are plenty of guys better than such a guy and a woman can attract and such guy will be more than happen to be with you.

      I also think guy’s also need to understand communication and how to talk to the women they are with. They shouldn’t assume or just try doing things in porn that they see and expect their women to like or feel they should. But I also don’t think guy’s have to feel they have to be completely quiet and that the woman they are with only likes “vanilla sex”. She probably has an inner vixen inside, but the difference is that being respectful, communicating fantasies or showing compromise, I feel will help her open up and feel respected and loved. That’s the big thing. Because i think women want to feel they are cherished and not a sex object obviously. When you care and you don’t assume or try pushing things regardless of her wants or because that’s what women should be like. Then it will cause a woman to not feel respected, and she will turn off I think. But like I said, respect is key, and if trust and communication is strong which comes from respect, then that can open up many things and a woman to want to be adventurous and delve into some kinks.

      • Yes, communication. But also both men and women learning not to objectify women. We live in a culture that subconsciously teaches all of us to objectify women so that it doesn’t occur to many women to think about what they want. Especially since their sexuality is often repressed and they aren’t in touch with their own desire.

  3. At the beginning of my relationship I was very concerned of my body and concerned whether my boyfriend watched porn and I wasn’t what he was looking for. I was ashamed of my body because I just assumed that my boyfriend was watching porn because “all men watch porn.” Fortunately, for me I was just over thinking all of this. We talked about it and he confessed he does not watch porn. I understand that my fears of this porn industry has but a strain in my thoughts of myself and on my intimate relationship with my boyfriend. I understand that not all men want the ideal porn intimate relationship but the industry makes it out to be that, that is how sex and intimate relationships should be: treating the girl rough, doing kinky things, and being aggressive towards the women without asking if it is okay. If the two people in the relationship (or how ever many people are in the relationship) agree on watching porn and acting like porn stars then all to them for doing it. But it should always be a mutual thing.

  4. The idea that two people should have matching sexual needs and desires – the “I should be enough for him” – is a fairytale. How many relationships are truly open enough, with clear and non-judgemental communication, that all partners are satisfied?

    There’s nothing degrading about any specific sex acts, even facials, provided all partners are consenting.

    • But if women consent to do things just because her partner wants it but she experiences it negatively, in the end she will just lose interest in sex.

      Why should she have to undergo more pain so he can have more pleasure?

      If she isn’t getting pleasure herself — positive reinforcement — but are instead of getting negative reinforcement, she’ll just lose interest in sex.

      Surely they can find something they both like. Or someone they’re more compatible with.

      • On the one hand I want to say that no one should allow themselves to be pressured into unwanted sex, but on the other I do believe that inflexibility can be harmful. Sometimes the conflict here is enough to break up relationships.

        For example, a wife insists on oral sex but her husband refuses and thinks it’s disgusting. Or a husband who enjoys dressing in woman’s clothes, but his wife thinks it’s perverted. It is possible to suppress these needs, but not always healthy. “Finding something they both like” generally translates to doing only what the least flexible partner thinks is normal.

      • I think it’s best for everyone to find someone they’re sexually compatible with. Some people like extreme stuff more than others. Others are focused primarily on emotional connection. Even guys!

      • I want to add: For a man to expect a woman to enjoy facials is wrong plain and simple. This aspect of porn – the normalisation of the extreme – is definitely a concern. Such men need to be educated, and women should not behave like porn stars just to satisfy men who believe they should.

        However, while I dare say most people think facials are degrading and about men marking their territory, or something, there are many men and women who enjoy it. It has the same transgressive intimacy, after all, of blowjobs and swallowing.

        In sex especially, what one person finds disgusting, perverted and offensive, another enjoys – and often for the very same reasons…

      • Well it’s just important that everyone is enjoying what they’re doing. Otherwise the person who is always enduring pain in order to increase the other person’s pleasure Will end up not enjoying sex at all.

        I surveyed my students on the question of facials and it’s true that not all women were against it. But 96% of them didn’t want to do it at all. Only 1% had any actual enthusiasm.

  5. “I don’t want to be just a body that you go through the pornographic motions with.”

    Hang on, hasn’t this blog been pushing the theory that men and women have equal opportunity to be the aggressor / instigator in the bedroom? If you’re not happy being “just a body”, then why are you behaving in the bedroom like just a body?

    “When I found out that my boyfriend who I had lost my virginity to had been watching porn for the entire span of our relationship, I felt as if someone had just stabbed me in the gut.”

    And what are you doing to get over these irrational feelings?

    “From what I hear from friends and what I’ve seen myself, the majority of porn has some sort of female undermining qualities to it.”

    That’s a bit like saying the majority of photographs are “female undermining”. The number of photographs / films in existence is so many at this point, there is no conceivable way anybody could know that. What you could find out is the type of porn your boyfriend watches, but apparently you haven’t bothered to take the time to do so.

    • Women have to learn to stop objectifying themselves too, to stop seeing themselves as just a body. Because in our culture both women and men are unconsciously taught to see women that way.

      And pornography tends to be quite degrading and harmful toward women. And I can’t affect men’s sexual tastes.

      The porn industry teaches men to like things that women don’t. It’s a great marketing strategy — porn: the only place you can get it.

      • From what I hear from friends and what I’ve seen myself, the majority of porn has some sort of female undermining qualities to it.”

        That’s true and it seems obvious that the guy’s she been with have watched the typical porn as explained for the fact of them trying the stuff they’ve tried on her. This brings up the question not as much porn, but porn that boys and men look up as well as the porn women know of.Because there is porn for women, though obviously less known or popular. But also, like I said amateur porn, which I think is becoming more popular, because it’s one streaming sites that are free (those sites also have a lot of the main stream like porn, or degrading stuff, but at least there’s other stuff people can search from the sites). But anyway, I think even guy’s are getting tired of porn and watching less or even if they still watch, some are tired of the typical stuff because of the women not enjoying themselves in the porn, the fake sounds, the same redundant, repetitive, non-creative, passionate sex and mechanical sex, passion-less, piston like pounding sex. And very little variety from that.

        Might be some different positions, but pretty much different girl or girls, but same stuff. You’ve seen one typical porn, you’ve seen them all pretty much to sum it up. And I believe actually the most degrading, violent like type of porn is one’s that are pay for porn. I think it’s because that’s how typical porn has been, but it’s stepped up with aggression because of them trying to compete and keep business that they are losing to free streaming sites like pornhub and such. They’re trying to step up things to keep viewers to their pay porn sites and not lose anymore to the free sites. But I think they have to be losing business. But porn isn’t bad, or all of it necessarily, but many guys seem to know or be geared to watching the porn that can be degrading. I don’t think it’s as much a problem if guy’s watched one’s that were like regular couple sex instead.

  6. Brooke Hatfield

    Me personally I am not offended if my partner watches and or lives porn every once in a while, the difference is knowing what is real and what is fake. Girls are not disposable object and as much as a human a sensitive penis is; a woman’ body is the same. We aren’t made to please you sex is mutual and porn is fantasy and not reality. Even lesbian porn is made for the male viewer. The culture around porn isn’t for women and isn’t in our favor. Very few erotic films are produced by females and encouraging for females. If you get the chance to see “lady porn” you’ll notice right away it looks more humane and not to mention better film production…

  7. In a past relationship, my ex asked me one day if I watched porn when I masturbate and I told yes. I never would’ve thought that I would have got into an argument let alone make her cry because she felt as if she was just another face or body. She felt ashamed of herself and told me to go fuck a pornstar. I never saw her as a body for me to practice moves i’ve seen in pornos, I enjoyed sex because it was with someone I loved as cliche as that sounds. I wouldn’t mind if my future significant other watches or watched porn because in a sense it more so informs or prepares you for your sex life. Porn is porn it’s the same content and objective just with different faces.

  8. She shouldn’t feel as though she’s just an object or comparing herself to just being an object for her boyfriend or any male to take out their sexual fantasies on that they have because of porn. Yes guys watch porn but many if not all guys watch porn whether they are in a relationship or not. But I do agree that they should ask what her preferences are and ask her permission or if she is even comfortable doing stuff that is so often seen in porn as she mentioned, being called a whore or having cum on her face at the end, men shouldn’t assume just because this is done in porn does not mean women is the real world are into these thing or have to be into these things. And the guy telling her she doesn’t know what she likes is ignorant, I’m sure she knows enough about what she does and doesn’t like when it comes to sex especially if she wasn’t all that into it in the first place. Just because you or someone else are into something doesn’t mean everyone is, people are allowed to have different opinions about what they do and don’t like when it comes to sex and all that goes along with it.

  9. Excellent post, Georgia. Male self centeredness seems to be widespread in society and has been brought to the fore in sexuality and made more acceptable by our Narcissist in Chief.

    I think you will be interested in an article this morning in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/24/north-carolina-rape-legal-loophole-consent-state-v-way.

  10. I think it’s best for everyone to find someone they’re sexually compatible with. Some people like extreme stuff more than others. Others are focused primarily on emotional connection. Even guys!”

    This post and Frank’s posts to you reminded me of something I talked about before on one of your posts. Obviously compatibility is important as well as perhaps there are ways of hinting things to a SO as a way to test the water to see if she’s open to a fantasy or kink you have and vice versa. It goes one opposite to the other it seems, either guys watching porn thinking all girls want something or don’t care and just try something without discussing it first and assume, therefore, not showing respect. And other couples who keep things vanilla because both are afraid of being judged or bringing up any kink or something that could spice things up in the bedroom. I think it’s probably why like they say it’s important for a couple to be open with each other and communicate. If a couple feels they can’t trust or communicate well with their spouse, are they really with the person they are meant to be with for life? Anyway, a guy might not have something he wants to try that comes from porn, but just his own curiosity and it may happen to be with porn too.

    I found it amusing that a sex position, I’d say it’s really a concept than specifically a position. But anyway something that seemed like nobody else thought of but me, I know that can’t be true. But anyway so I ended up seeing it discussed on yahoo answers, girlsask guys and reddit and even brought up from marie claire, which I believe is a pretty popular magazine. It’s not “mainstream” but not obsolete apparently like it used to be and other ones still might be. I wouldn’t be surprised if in some porn either though. But it’s funny thinking about how it was something I thought of before it ever was shown anywhere. I think it’s something like where you say have this saying that you think nobody says or is stupid or whatever, and then suddenly you see on tv or others say your specific catch phrase, and you feel like you’re the originator that nobody ever knew about ha. Apparently I’m not as I didn’t have a name, but finding out the name, it’s a kama sutra position, but not one I thought was part of one. Well never really followed every one, but it’s still amusing to me.

    • This looks interesting. Could you please give me the bullet points or shorten this?

      • I wrote so much, because I felt self conscious as in, what does Georgia think of me writing stuff about sex often and then I bring up sex positions. I don’t want to create some impression, though I think I’m pretty safe because you’ve seen all the serious social stuff I write about and continue to, much more so than the porn or sex related stuff. But I wrote so much because I felt obligated to explain myself or where I’m coming from ha. To sum it up, Frank brought up kinks people have and being compatible which made me think of a past post I made about trying new things with a woman without being judged or easing it in and you gave some pointers.

        The funny thing is this post made me think of some positions I’ve thought of myself, and not porn bringing them to my mind. It’s the concept really. But I recently came across an article from marie claire online, which is a popular magazine and the position I brrought up was discussed ha. And then asked on yahoo answers, girkaskguys, and reddit and showed up in a movie and even some porn with main stream porn actor lol. It’s nice because I felt I was alone with my concept but I feel like a pioneer in that I thought of it before it showed up anywhere and now is somewhat. It’s not “mainstream” but not obsolete like it was years ago or seemed so. I feel like a person that had a catch phrase that nobody said, but then you see it show up years later on tv and such ha

      • Well, maybe edit some of your thoughts. And maybe don’t worry so much about what I’m thinking.

  11. happy 4th btw

  12. Thanks. I hope most people had a good 4th except that asshole governor Christie. I’m sure you heard. It’s not just bridges he apparently likes to close down. What a pos. Unfortunately that seems like a typical politician move 😡

  13. And to summarize what I was saying with the last post. Just like a catchphrase u think nobody says or thinks and then it suddenly shows up. I doubt I’m the first person obviously and other guys who had the sabe concept but never said anything probably like me with self consciousness. Anyway so Marie Claire yahoo answers, girlsaskguys, Reddit and even urban dictionary have brought up the sex position. Even some mainstream porn stars have tried. I just thought it was funny because it’s not literally popular but more than ever before and I had the concept years before that ha

      • It’s weird, and maybe it’s good how your posts make people think deeper into things and why that they might not have before. Like, I guess it’s because it’s women and as a male, if you’re watching porn or turned on, you aren’t thinking about how women act and such. But not just the fake moaning, but like the facial expressions and this subservient like look with their eyes and blatant phoniness. Not only is there not much that is authentic is most main stream porn, but you assume it’s natural, or I understand, the association with it being natural for women to be that subservient and submissive that one doesn’t think into it more and maybe a lot of it is what is expected of women and conditioning.

        Not that women aren’t but the exaggeration which seems natural and normal is a lot to conditioning. And the funny thing is what ironically makes people realize things is when they see things reversed and men in that position. So the sillyness isn’t realized or what is asked of women until you see it done with men and then that’s when it’s jarring. I just thought of how funny and stupid things would look if dudes did the “doe” eyes like women do in porn and expressions and facial expressions like women usually do in porn. It would be a heck of a parody. Oh yeah the ironic thing about the position I was talking about is that it’s name has relation to wonder woman that you were writing about in previous posts.

      • Yeah a lot of guys seem to watch porn and believe what they see. Which can make men feel bad about themselves because women all appear to be so desperate for sex and that’s not so much real life. And then men can’t get mad at women because they think they are having sex with everyone but them.

        But also a teaches men that women are naturally inferior and submissive and just sex objects when they are not. The more men watch pornography the less they want to have daughters.

        Somehow I missed the wonder woman reference.

      • “The more men watch pornography the less they want to have daughters.”

        Citation?

      • It’s in Pornified. Check out the book.

  14. I slightly agree with the above article. Some of our men have become so consumed with bellieving that every girl is into the things that males see on these porn sites and videos, it clouds there judgement, and they actually believe it. It gets a lot worst when they search for someone to try to act it out on. Personally, I am open to trying a lot of new things , but being treated like a piece of meat is not going to get anyone far with me. I dont think watching porn is a bad thing if its done beside you partner. It can act as kind of a bit of foreplay to help things along. That being the positive side of things. On the negitive, I dont think it should be in every sex act or emtional encounter that the male has with a women. This is because I feel it serves no purpose in aiding in a sexual connection with one another. It takes our brains to do that, something a video cant do other than help the physical aspect of things.

    • Thanks for adding your perspective to this. Because of different kinds of backgrounds different women will have a variety of experiences with this sort of thing.

  15. I find this topic interesting because Internet part has become such an integral part of sex in our modern society. Young boys who start watching porn at the ages of 12 or 13 are learning about sex through these pornographic videos, which are most often free websites, where it is viewed strictly from the male gaze and women are mostly being degraded. This type of viewership leads young boys to believe this is how they should behave in sex as well as how young boys think women gain pleasure from sex. The blog post had used an example of this when the writer posted, “When I told him I didn’t like it his answer was, “You just don’t know you like it. Every girl does, you just need to relax and realized right now you’re mine. You’re having sex, that’s what bad girls do.” This line indicates his belief in the porn industry without separating the form of entertainment from engagement in actual sex, where both people should be able to openly discuss what they like or dislike.

  16. From reading this post, I sense an overall negative opinion towards porn based on personal experience. After watching the movie “DON JON” I had a change in my perspective towards porn. While I do acknowledge the wrong it causes in how our society views sex and the illegal porn industry is a whole other story of what’s wrong with porn, “DON JON” offers a nuanced perspective. They juxtapose romantic movies with porn, saying how they both in a sense set unrealistic standards for what love is and should be. This was a way that I had never thought of porn before. I understand how when we watch romantic movies, the boy gets the girl, they fall in love, and live happily ever after. While this may happen to some, it is not the rule but the exception. It is romanticizing love. This is similar to the way that porn romanticizes sex. It is portrayed in a staged manner and leads individuals to believe that this is the norm and how it is supposed to go down.

  17. Porn holds a very strong bind in degrading women through the extreme exaggeration of sexual acts and sexual stereotypes that are set forth upon females primarily through videos/images and for anyone watching pornography. I don’t feel that pornography is a bad thing altogether, because it may help some couples in opening up foreplay more creatively and there ARE those couples that exist who feel that porn has helped spice up their relationships in those aspects; However, unfortunately I feel that pornography is marketed intricately in targeting both men and women but mainly men as their main audience. The videos, images and scenarios shown on websites are mostly psychologically played out into picturing YOUR perfect sexual fantasy based off what you search for and in many ways serve as an alternative to when you don’t have any personal sexual stimulation in your life with or without a long-time partner. Overall I feel that it is unfair for any girl or guy to feel “unworthy” just because their partner is more hooked on pornography than intimate and emotional connection between the two of them. Having self control over these urges are simple decisions but if there were to exist any sense of control over one’s both non-relationship/relationship and urges; its that communication is super important. Because when someone addresses their thoughts and ides to someone else, therein lies a greater sense of both truth and trust to oneself or their partner.

  18. “The more men watch pornography the less they want to have daughters.”

    Interesting and that could be true and a good reason maybe on why that is. But I thought a lof of the reason men may not want to have daughters also had nothing to do with porn. From what I’ve heard and this makes sense. But men who were promiscuous or had a past of being a player or womanizer, philanderer and had a lot of casual sex with various women. They are the one’s who most likely or often don’t want daughters because, I think like projection, they know of their misdeeds and their lust and, don’t want their daughts or to have a daughter to run into guys like they were. I think it’s true because often the most protective or over protective dads were one’s who had a “man-whore” past when they were young.

    “Somehow I missed the wonder woman reference.”

    Well I never said the name of position, that’s probably why but the relation or reference to wonder woman is what wonder woman and were her fellow women were from that island. They were amazonian women right? amazons.

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