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. 25 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.

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