I turn off the lights and open my laptop. I begin browsing. What will it be this time. Amateur? Three-way? Anal? It hardly matters. Women scream. Men grunt. Cum sprays across stomachs, backs and faces. Everyone looks miserable. They even cry out in semi-erotic shrieks, as if to indicate their torture.
Don’t get me wrong, the nudity and the visual impact arouse me, but my repulsion supersedes my lust. I begin to worry that the men with whom I engage in real sex watch this theatricality and believe it. Do they think it’s indicative of reality? Do they seek to emulate the techniques it presents? I hope not.
On the other hand, who am I to judge the sexual practices of others? Views to the contrary have allowed laws to prohibit sodomy and oral sex through the present day. Freedom in the bedroom leads to freedom of orientation. In fact, although many studies have attempted to prove causation between the consumption of violent porn and sex crimes, none have succeeded. Furthermore, we can’t regulate sexuality any more than we can legislate morality. Even if I don’t want to be whipped, who am I to impose my preference on another? Besides, pornography is by no means new. It began with the dawn of civilization, starting with the well-endowed Venus of Willendorf from the Stone Age. Since then, examples range from Pompeian wall graffiti to impressionism. Artistic expression is rife with sex. A major change has occurred recently, however the advent of the internet, which has increased the pervasiveness of pornography exponentially, affects our communal sexual psyche.
The genre usually features men pummeling women with oversized members, pulling apart their labial lips to show the now gaping cavity of her vagina or anus. Consistently, the male character chooses cum on the face of his partner. Most porn prioritizes the male orgasm, and often does not feature the woman climaxing. Although some videos feature cunnilingus, its presence is negligible. Fellatio, however, plays a central role in most pornographic episodes. Usually women pepper their ministrations with exclamations such as “you taste so good” or “I want you to fill my mouth” or, my personal favorite, “choke me with your cum.” Anal sex in pornography ranges from rough to abhorrently violent, complete with screaming and tears.
This imagery frightens me. If someone were to try these techniques with me, I would be out of bed, in my clothing and out the door faster than you can say three-way. Perhaps most people recognize that pornography is not indicative of reality. Even so, pornography has implanted and perpetuated new ideas in our collective consciousness. It perpetuates the degradation of women in the bedroom, prioritizing the male orgasm and subjecting women to abuse. Hairlessness in pornography has encouraged an entire industry filled with wax, creams, blades, pain and razor bumps. The popularization of breast and labia augmentation through surgery has increased rapidly in recent years, perhaps due to the comparison of real women’s genitalia to those of actresses.
Pornography is not morally abhorrent, and consenting partners should feel free to partake in whatever satisfies their desires. I am concerned, however, that as a society we are becoming more complacent with sex that moves further away from lovemaking and closer to humping with every click of the mouse. No real-life encounter can live up to the staged performance on your computer screen. Nor should it. The human sexual experience defies props and sets and demands genuine connection. Remember that pornography is not real, vulvas have hair and if a woman screams, you’re probably hurting her. Separate real sex from the fictional fantasies of porn.