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The Good and Bad of Porn

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, October 22, 2017



Humans love watching people have sex. The voyeuristic elements of sex have been part of human sexuality as far back as recorded history goes, and probably beyond. Erotic art is found around the world from all eras. Even in sexually repressed periods such as Victorian England there was a flourishing trade in postcards of nudes and amazing little paper contraptions that mimicked the sex act. In present times, there wouldn't be too many men around who, as a teenager, didn’t have girlie magazines stuffed under their mattress, which their girlfriends also looked at in fascination.

And now we have a proliferation of porn on the Internet. So is this good or bad?

Well, it is inevitable. We are a voyeuristic species and we’re an inventive species, so inevitably we’ll use the latest technology to increase voyeuristic opportunities. And hey, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with watching people having sex to get turned on.

But like all other indulgent activities, whether it be eating chocolate, buying shoes, having a massage, you need to be know how much of a good thing is good and how much slips over into one of the deadly sins (gluttony, greed, sloth and of course, lust – to name four out of seven).

Just as a small amount of chocolate makes you feel good but too much makes you feel sick and you get fat and unhealthy. Purchasing a pair of fabulous shoes makes you feel happy and gorgeous, but buying too many makes you feel guilty, ruins your bank balance and makes you look like a sad Imelda Marcos wannabe. An hour of massage is relaxing and invigorating, but too much is either enervating or makes you fall asleep. Pornography can titillate and turn you on, but too much becomes an obsession and interferes with true sexual connection with your partner.

One of the problems with porn, as with so much in our ‘quick fix’ society is that it’s too easy. Just switch on the computer and there you are immersed in sexual arousal. It’s like buying a take-away meal rather than making dinner yourself. And while you could quite happily live your life eating take-away food without too many consequences (as long as it was the good stuff), it doesn’t work with sex if you’re partnered. Sex with a partner is like the home-cooked meal, it takes time, and generally the more attention you put into the making of it, the better the results.

Another problem with porn is that many people think that what they’re watching is good sex. But porn is designed to be visually stimulating, so it’s what looks good, not necessarily what feels good. You don’t see men going down on women in porn because it’s visually boring but women going down on men is visually interesting. You don’t see men ejaculating inside women because it’s visually boring, the cum shot over the face or breasts is visually interesting.

Just as importantly, people need to remember that it’s not real. The women might look like they’re enjoying themselves, but they’re actresses paid to look like that! The male actors are also selected on criteria that would make 99% of men feel inadequate size-wise, and their apparent ability to last and last is based on the skill of the film editor, not the actor himself!

You’re not going to learn to be a great lover by watching porn. It might turn you on, and it might give you some ideas, but if that’s what you’re expecting sex to be like then you’re going to be disappointed.

Good sex is not about acting; it’s not about what looks good; it’s about what feels good. Often the two do overlap, and what feels good might look like porn, but not necessarily, and not inevitably, and to get to that takes time and connection, not a quick fix.

So if you like porn, great, watch it, but remember that it’s just visual titillation, nothing more.




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