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Author Topic: What Americans Get Wrong About Porn  (Read 22103 times)
Iniko Ujaama
Posts: 537

« on: June 26, 2017, 10:25:26 PM »


What Americans Get Wrong About Porn

For six years, I immersed myself in the workings of the adult industry. As editor of the porn blog Fleshbot, I spent hours combing the XXX side of the internet, acquainting myself with all manner of perversions and obscure sex acts. At this point in my career, it’s fairly safe to say that there is almost no pornographic image that would be capable of shocking me. What does shock me, on the other hand, is how ill-informed our public discourse around porn continues to be.

In the 10 years since I wrote my first Fleshbot post, internet porn has skyrocketed in popularity. But even as porn consumption has become a commonplace habit, we continue to treat it as something exotic and inherently perilous to our health and happiness.

The arguments that show up in national publications today — and are often repeated by readers — are not so different from anti-porn screeds written decades before. A recent New York Magazine feature dubbed Pornhub, a top porn site, “the Kinsey Report of our time,” arguing that the breadth of perversity found on the site encourages increasingly exotic sexual exploration among its presumably vanilla viewers; other commentators, including Cindy Gallop, founder of the website MakeLoveNotPorn, have also expounded upon the power pornography holds over our sexual tastes and behaviors. Journalists still seem convinced that, first, if an extreme form of porn exists, it’s common and anyone who watches porn will eventually stumble on it; second, that viewing porn rewires our sexual preferences, often in damaging and terrifying ways; and, of course, that pornography gives children unhealthy ideas about sex.

In a culture where open discussion of sex is taboo and the adult industry is heavily stigmatized, it’s perhaps not surprising that many people think of porn as a highly addictive, transformative substance. But the evidence doesn’t back that assumption up.

It makes sense that journalists, whose jobs require research, might find themselves drawn down the rabbit hole of adult entertainment, fascinated by the increasingly perverse products they happen to uncover. But most porn consumers aren’t journalists or researchers, and usage data suggests their porn habits are vastly more utilitarian. PornHub, the most popular porn site online, reports that the average time spent on the site is just under 10 minutes — less than half the length of a standard porn scene. Ten minutes isn’t enough time to begin to plumb the depths of depravity contained in the videos of PornHub, or to do even the most cursory exploration of unfamiliar genres and sexual acts. It is, on the other hand, just enough time to arrive at a site, find a video that’s in line with your long established sexual preferences, enjoy the best bits and move on to other pursuits.

In my time at Fleshbot, it became abundantly clear to me that people tend to come to porn with their sexual preferences already intact — and that, with some exceptions, those preferences remain fixed. Like PornHub, Fleshbot offers visitors a vast array of content, profiling porn that appeals to consumers with a wide variety of sexual orientations and preferences. Yet when I worked there, being exposed to the wonderfully diverse world of human sexuality didn’t seem to make readers more excited by unfamiliar kinks and sexual interests — if anything, it made my readers more interested in the various tags and filters that would allow them to quickly zoom in on the specific content that met their needs. Straight men who were accidentally exposed to gay porn didn’t suddenly turn gay; vanilla viewers who happened upon photo sets of extreme kink would complain that they should have been better shielded from, say, the sight of extreme bondage. Tellingly, despite the vast diversity of content found on Pornhub, consumers are more likely to turn to tamer content: For the past three years, lesbian porn — a category generally considered to be less hardcore than its heterosexual counterpart — has been viewed more frequently than any other genre.

Long before we’re exposed to pornography, we consume pop culture and have formative experiences that help us understand what kind of people we’re attracted to and what sorts of erotic scenarios intrigue us — and we tend to bring that to porn, and not the other way around. Some people may find their palates expanding with increased exposure to pornography, but that’s often because of an existing curiosity or openness: If you come to porn completely uninterested, or outright turned off by, a specific genre, it’s unlikely that you’ll find yourself converted merely through repeated exposure. (I, for example, have always been made uncomfortable by porn that depicts the beloved characters from my favorite childhood cartoons in flagrante delicto — and no matter how many times I was exposed to those scenes in the course of my work, I was never won over by their eroticism.)

None of which is to say that porn is entirely benign, or that its impact on our sex lives is only positive. There is some truth to the anti-porn claim that it negatively impacts the sexual imaginations and awareness of young people. But that’s largely due to the fact that pornography — which, though sometimes educational, is more frequently a wildly inaccurate fantasy — is consumed in a culture where sex education is minimal, fear-based and often inaccurate; where parents treat the sex talk as a shameful task to be gotten over with as quickly as possible; and where pop culture promotes a confusing virgin/whore dichotomy that encourages sexual exploration while demonizing “promiscuity.” Given all this, it’s unsurprising that porn might leave young viewers confused or even scarred, and that it might negatively impact their ability to relate to future partners. But that says less about the nature of pornography than about the dangers of a culture that delegates something as important and essential as sex education to an industry dedicated to crafting fantasy and entertainment.

It’s easy to criticize porn, and it’s fun to giggle over the exotic and unfamiliar sex acts the adult industry is all too happy to explore. But positioning the porn industry as an all-powerful force that’s here to wreak havoc on our sex lives is a distraction from the actual problem at hand. If we want an alternative to the vision of sex presented in pornography, we need to start by having open, honest and unashamed talks about sex. We need to stop treating sex as a taboo topic, and start treating it as an ordinary aspect of life, one that young people should be educated about in all its weird, wonderful, risky and rewarding complexity. If we create a culture where sexuality is accepted as a healthy, positive part of life, then we’ll be able to appreciate porn for the wild, unrealistic fantasy that it was always intended to be.
Posts: 27

« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2017, 10:12:50 AM »

Great article...i think porn is like music or literature...how u interact with it and the effect it has on u could not be uniformed because the effect is based on culture and experience. Because the industry is based on catering to fantasies i think it should be restricted to adults (only because the presumption is that adulthood allows one to add context and be able to divorce fantasy from reality).

I think the article under-appreciates the effect exposure to different things has on or affects real life... whether positive or negative is another story ...
Posts: 35

« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2017, 05:51:48 PM »

Interesting. Here's an interesting alternative or additional view:

Famous Porn Director Reveals the Jaw-Dropping Truth about Porn:
Seymore Butts has seen it all in his 20-plus years in the biz, and he’s about to burst your porn bubble

To the typical civilian watching porn, the stars can come across as sexual super-heroes. I know this because I was once a civilian watching a lot of porn.

I still remember the thoughts that ran through my head back then. ‘How does he do that? Jeez, his penis is big! Wow, look at her perfect body! She’s insatiable!’

And that’s a good thing. As a director, I hope that’s what viewers are thinking when watching one of my movies. I plan, cast, shoot, direct, and edit them specifically to induce those type of thoughts. I create fantasies.

The problems start when viewers forget that these are fantasies and lose perspective. They have insecurities about themselves and their own sexual abilities. They start thinking things like, ‘I wish my penis was that big! I wish my girlfriend would do that! I wish I could be that spontaneous and erect on demand!’

Well guess what? The porn you see on your computer or TV screens aren’t an accurate reflection of what happens in real life. I don’t just mean your life, I’m talking about the porn actors creating all that impossible sex you’re watching. You’re only seeing a small fraction of what really went on.

Prepare to learn some hard truths.

Big Penises

Yes, most of the male performers in porn have large salamis. You may be impressed with their size, but you know who isn’t as excited by a gigantic cock? The women in porn.

There are only a certain percentage of women who can actually handle and enjoy an abnormally large bratwurst. I encounter situations like this constantly when I’m filming, and I see the signs when I watch others adult movies.

There’s the obvious grimace of pain on the actress’ face—because he’s way too big for her, and it hurts—or the less obvious woman’s hand on the man’s hip to prevent him from penetrating too deep.

I usually edit out these “pain indicators,” because at least for me, it’s distracting. It takes away from the fantasy and just reminds you that these are actors doing a job, and sometimes that job can be a pain in the ass . . . or vagina.

Marathon Sex

We have become accustomed to watching porn studs pound away at their co-stars for anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes.

What you don’t see is what happens before the cameras start rolling. Like the pill popping and penis injecting. In my experience, 95% of the male performers use some sort of erectile enhancement medication, and the ones who don’t are at the bottom of the totem pole.

You only see the finished product, so you don’t see all the stopping and starting that happens during a shoot. The breaks to eat and drink, or catch their breath, or regain an erection, which could also mean popping another pill or sticking another needle into the base of the performer’s penis.

There are bathroom breaks and re-lubing breaks and still-picture-taking breaks. It’s endless.

Truth be told, neither the male or female performers are actually going at it non-stop for anywhere near the periods of time that it seems.

And while many of the male performers are able to last an abnormally long time, under what seem to be the most pleasurable of circumstances, there are consequences.

I dare any man to have sex for long periods of time, 6 to 7 days per week, over a 60-day period. See what happens to your penis.

Now imagine engaging in that amount of sexual activity over a period of years. With such a workload placed on it, the male performers’ penis becomes desensitized to the point where many of them can’t actually ejaculate while having sex.

They need to pull out and reach orgasm manually, or even worse, they develop a tolerance for the erectile dysfunction medications and can’t get it up at all, for work or play.

Spontaneous Anal Sex

Sex in porn is designed to look spontaneous, but nothing could be further from the truth. Especially when it comes to anal sex.

Before a scene, female performers have a lot of advance prep, from doing several enemas (you need to make sure that gigantic cock she's barely tolerating doesn't unleash a tsunami of fresh shit) to reducing or eliminating food consumption anywhere between 4 to 12 hours before their call time.  Because, well, there's nothing worse than shooting an anal scene with an actress who’s full of shit.

Think about that the next time you’re watching sphincter-stretching porn. The actress is probably starving—on the set, we can almost hear her stomach growling—and she's had more enemas that morning than the residents of a nursing home.

Insatiable Libidos

Sure, there are female performers in it purely for the sex, but they are few and far between.

My experience tells me that the majority of women are in porn for the money first, followed closely by the adulation, then the freedom, and then the sex.

Some of them don’t enjoy any of the sex. Some of them are strictly heterosexual and don’t enjoy other girls. Some are lesbians and don’t enjoy sex with guys. Some of them find many of the people they are asked to have sex with unattractive.

But they do it anyway, and they do it well. They have learned to fake it.

Directors ultimately don’t care as long as the performer has the ability to “act” as if she’s enjoying everything she’s doing, which the successful ones do. We know that with good shooting and some creative editing, you’ll never be able to tell the difference.

Female Ejaculation

There’s some debate about whether female ejaculation is even possible. But I can tell you that when it comes to squirting in porn movies, what you see isn’t always what you get.

For every genuine “squirting” scene, there are many, many instances where the girl is actually urinating, or we take a break from filming so the actress can fill her vagina with water using a turkey baster.

Yep, that actually happens.

Sex Without Condoms

Despite the fact that all performers are tested every 14 to 30 days, curable STD’s are rampant within the industry. I know of some performers who catch them so often, they have developed a tolerance for the treatment medications.

This is not an indictment of the individuals involved, it is simply a numbers game. Any individual, in any setting, under any circumstances, who had as much random unprotected sex as a porn star would experience the same.

If you’re ever in doubt, just follow my golden rule; Never have unprotected sex with someone you’re not totally comfortable asking to shave your anus.

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