Twilight vs Porn

10886003_det[1]Women often worry that porn raises men’s expectations about what their bodies should look like and what they should do in bed.

And why does he want to have virtual sex with those other women, anyway?

So women can end up feeling like they’re not enough or not good enough.

Men may worry that Twilight raises women’s expectations for a “one true love” that is deep and intense with a man who only has eyes for her. Who can meet to such standards?!

Men craving sex with lots of women and women wanting sex with one true love. Funny how the visions are so often at odds with each other.

In fact, the appeal of Twilight for young girls may be the opposite of porn. Porn is all about getting sex. But as Edward yearns for Bella — yet avoids intimacy for fear of killing her in vampire bloodlust — Twilight is more like abstinence porn.  Sex without sex. As a writer for Psychology Today put it:

Let’s get back to the sex, or lack of it, which is what hooks girls on the first volume: female readers love that Edward sleeps beside Bella and apparently only wants to kiss her neck.

So in Twilight girls can imagine safe crushes on boys who love them, while avoiding all the complex, confusing and scary adult realities of sex.

But it’s not just naïve girls who fall for Twilight. So do their older sisters and moms. But while their male partners are turned on by hard-core porn’s over-the-top fireworks, Twilight is all about the subtlest sex. Here’s how a blogger at Huffington Post described it. Twilight is all about the:

building of sexual tension. So much so that when Edward brushes Bella’s arm, you can almost feel him brushing yours… They get to really know each other, their passion is allowed to build, we revel in the innocence, the time it used to take to truly build a relationship. Do you remember how amazing your first true kiss was?

A Salon blogger continues:

Instead of relying on tight shots of penetration, these books get their sexual spark from extreme emotional close-ups. The ‘money shot’ in these novels typically isn’t a geyser of bodily fluids but rather a declaration of love, or a man on bended knee.

I was struck by the male/female difference when I heard Meryl Streep and director, David Frankel discuss their movie “Hope Springs.” Frankel said the movie’s themes were universal because, “Who thinks they’re having enough sex?” But Meryl Streep suggested the nuances behind the desire:

If my team were here – women – they’d say it’s not necessarily sex, it’s what sex pulls from you… brings you to. It’s connectedness, it’s intimacy, it’s being known, it’s being seen, it’s being felt, it’s being wanted. The whole thing… But yes, you can reduce it to that part.

For many women, a guy can do the exact same moves and it can feel like nothing if you don’t feel emotionally connected to him, and it can be off the charts amazing when you do.

I suspect the female/male difference is due more to nurture than nature, but it’s a pretty strong pattern. Fortunately, not all men and women fit these molds. Some girls do just wanna have the fun of porn sex and some guys do seek consummate love. Or, what’s wanted may change with context.

But too often, like star-crossed lovers whose pairing is “thwarted by a malign star,” it’s an unfortunate trick of nature – or society — that men and women so often sexually connect at cross-purposes.

A rerun. I’m taking a few days off.

Related Posts
Men Watch Porn, Women Read Romance. Why?
Women Want Casual Sex? Yes and No
Guys Are Getting More Romantic

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 September 11, 2017, in pornography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Both sound boring to me. Porn sex, but also this one true love, mental, tension, close but not having sex either. Nature made out bodies and looks sexually attractive and appealing, so many beautiful women, and maybe the same about men, I don’t know. So I don’t see anything wrong having that carnal, visual lust. The opposite and this emotional, less visual, blind love lust doesn’t feel exciting either. To me, I think ironically the most exciting is some combination of both worlds. The visual, physical lust guy’s have towards the physical matched with that emotional connection love like described from twilight. So neither without the other if it’s one true love or multiple dates and such.

    • Different strokes for different folks I guess. I know there are others who feel the same way you do.

      • I see cons in both. The porn sex maybe be exciting on paper or seem that way and is more visual and physical, but not usually creative, or passionate, because it lacks emotion and chemistry/connection. The twilight way though sounds so non-visual way, which makes it not feel exciting because not just women, but men when having sex like to feel strong visual attraction lust, excitement to their body. I think somehow combing the best of both worlds seem more ideal and better than either one by themselves.

      • Maybe. Although women have less experience with the visual because we aren’t taught to. And since we are seen as the object of desire it can actually get in our way when we don’t feel inadequate – and about 80% of young women have body image issues. So it can actually be a huge distraction for women.

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: