“If modern porn is what is serving as erotic education, we are missing the mark in a big way.”

This is a comment by Julie Gillis on the post “Get the Sex You Want“.

Some who grew up in homes where sex was taboo or who are sky about expressing their sexual preference and desires publicly will turn to porn as an educational tool they can get to straight from their computers. Julie argues that porn is doing a poor job of actually educating people, though.

Julie Gillis said:

I think you’d be surprised at what happens in bedrooms. Very few people talk openly about what they experiment with. In my city alone there are several erotic shops and other groups that teach classes in all manner of things, including fisting, which if done properly can be a very mutually enjoyable (and even gentle and loving) experience for each partner. However, how fisting is shown in porn, is not what I’d call “done properly” unless the porn is lesbian porn about that very topic.

People feel extremely fearful of sharing their actual desires in public spaces. Some people desire the most vanilla of sex, one position etc. Others have different desires but unless you poll every woman you meet in a way designed to elicit a truthful response, you aren’t going to really know. They probably won’t tell you or they’ll say, “Oh hell no!” while knowing they aren’t being honest.

As I’ve said, my main issue (aside from the industrial model which is solely focused on making money) is that if modern porn is what is serving as erotic education, we are missing the mark in a big way. The difference between a fisting class and a fisting porn is 180 degrees. Or any porn and any class about how to do something more complicated. Porn doesn’t give instructions on safety and ethics because the producers currently think it would ruin the experience, porn is pure fantasy without all the complications.

But because there aren’t other resources to learn about safety (the “recipe” if you will), people just think porn is telling them how easy things should be. When really, it’s not easy at all.

Women might ask to be fisted if it looked on screen how it’s supposed to look. Or if they even knew about it and how it was supposed to look. Or if they had partners that could communicate as compassionately, playfully, and openly about sex as I wish the world could. Maybe they’d try it once and be like … eh … next! Or maybe it would be something they both liked.

You may not want these things in your life , but you make huge leaps about the rest of the world feels, or about the limits as to why people don’t ask or talk about what they might think about.

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Comments

  1. But IS porn being treated as education? or as entertainment?

    • I think it gets used as education by default. And it shouldn’t be because it’s supposed to be entertainment. Two totally different types of media.

    • The Wet One says:

      Where the heck else does one get an education on sexing up one’s partner? It’s out there, but you have to look high and low for it. Parents won’t tell you. Schools won’t tell you. The church won’t tell you (imagine that!). No one else will tell you except for those sex positive hippies down in La la looney land and we don’t like or trust them.

      See the problem?

      So how do people learn? Porn. Why? Because it’s unashamedly about sex and it’s the most accessible thing that talks and shows something about sex.

      Personally, I think that parents should have their 5-12 year old children sit in and watch a romp or two. That would honestly teach people about sex.

      But now I’m the weirdo not to be listened to ( Right?) so you go on right ahead and learn from porn like I did. It’s not the worst education in the world (depending on what porn you watch of course. I’d stay away from Japanese porn for educational purposes. That will just put you miles and miles and miles behind. German, not so much, but still miles behind. The best is probably Playboy to be honest, notwithstanding all the fakery. At least they take a woman’s pleasure into consideration).

      As well, with the decline of the written word in porn (Playboy articles anyone? They were worth reading in some regards), and it ALL BEING VIDEO, a certain facility in education will be lost.

      So it goes…

      • “No one else will tell you except for those sex positive hippies down in La la looney land and we don’t like or trust them.”

        Damn, that’s too bad. We’ve got a lot to teach.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Clearly a lot of people ARE listening to the la la loonies, if by that you are referring to Los Angeles. It’s the “L.A. loonies” deciding quite a bit about what you see on TV and in movies. Combine them with the “Manhattan madmen” and you’ve got a potent cultural force. The fact is that millions of Americans are already listening to them….

  2. wellokaythen says:

    I think there are a lot of people using porn for information by default. The vast majority of people watching porn understand on some level that it’s not meant to be realistic and that it’s make-believe. But, it may still be the only source of any information, and it’s hard to tell in isolation if something you see in porn is slightly unrealistic or totally unrealistic. Without any other sources of information, it’s hard to tell when it’s totally made-up and when it may be close to how people really behave. When you’re curious and there’s only one main source of information, it will play a huge role even if you know that it’s not accurate.

    I’m not sure how to get data for this, but I suspect that the communities with the most repressive attitudes toward sex tend to create some of the highest demand for porn on the individual level. People who have lives in which people openly (and healthily) talk about sex are people who will be less likely, on average, to watch porn. There is a kind of minimum “sexuality demand” per person. If there’s no sexual outlet beyond porn, then porn will become the main outlet.

    There’s also the basic, almost universal sexual phenomenon that when you make something taboo, secret, furtive, and unspeakable, you make it much more interesting, even sexually arousing. Sexual repression makes porn more intense.


  3. As I’ve said, my main issue (aside from the industrial model which is solely focused on making money) is that if modern porn is what is serving as erotic education, we are missing the mark in a big way. The difference between a fisting class and a fisting porn is 180 degrees. Or any porn and any class about how to do something more complicated. Porn doesn’t give instructions on safety and ethics because the producers currently think it would ruin the experience, porn is pure fantasy without all the complications.

    Before remarking on good or ill of a job modern porn is doing at teaching about sex let’s take a step back with how it because the teachering tool in the first place.

    How did porn become the teaching tool? It sure as hell isn’t because the people involved in the porn industry actively decided to offer education about sex (there are a precious few exceptions but they mostly came LONG after the rise of porn). It’s because of the shameful stigmas that are attached to sex in combination with other factors.

    Take a young boy for example.

    On one hand he is told that he should be all knowing when it comes to having sex with women. She shouldn’t have to tell him, he should already know. His sexual prowess is a defining pillar of his manhood. If he is not having sex on a regular basis then that is a strike against his very masculinity.

    On the other hand should he act on his sexual desires he is cast as a dirty demon that exists to defile women (think about it like this. women are considered “pure” until they have sex at which time they considered “unclean”. well if women become unclean by having sex with men then what does that make men….?). From approaching women to playing with children in the part to sitting next to children on a plane. A virtual minefield of ways to shame men by linking their sexuality to something bad.

    And on the other hand despite him being expected to be all knowing when it comes to having sex with lots of women in a way that doesn’t cast him as a dirty defiler how much actual up front education is he actual offered in order to build a strong foundation for what is (I think totally wrong) supposedly a defining part of his manhood?

    Next to none.

    So said young boy reaches for whatever he can to learn what he is supposed to do.

    And of course the porn industry latched on to this de facto role because they knew it was a way to tap into an exspansive fan base and get them hooked early (think cigarette advertising). In other words, profit.

    If we want to help folks get educated on sex then the first step is to stop holding a hammer over their heads, waiting to strike everything they say something that is “bad”.

    • Couldn’t agree more

      • I guess I’d argue though that a cultures obsession with defining masculinity through sex or femininity through desirability helps lead to the problem. And combine that with lack of education and shame for both genders and there is a big problem.

        • True. Ultimately the problem is basing one’s manhood/womanhood on something like sex. Turn around and deny them education on that something (but punishing them for acting out of line or at worst rewarding bad behavior) and things go south real fast.

          Our gender identities are defined by sex but we are denied the necessary tools to fully understand sex.

          Let’s try that in other places.

          Cooks that are not taught how to use knives.

          Cops that are not taught how to use a gun.

          Candle makers that are not taught how to handle hot wax.

          Yeah that stuff would work out real nice…

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