Porno unter der Bettdecke

Turn me on! Watching porn pros and cons

Porn: these are the cinematic depictions of explicit sexual content with the aim of sexually arousing the consumer.

Who now thinks: "Snore! We all know what porn is!" I beg their indulgence, but I have learned that when a topic is so charged, it sometimes helps to go back to the basics, i.e. to what it is primarily about. 

That's why I've been researching it for the last few days and have seen a lot as a result. Some of these made me wish I had the Men in Black lightning thing to erase from my memory. But similar to an accident, sometimes it's just impossible to look away or click, because deep down, we're all kind of voyeurs. But I also learned a lot, which I would like to share with you here. 

Hand on heart (not in your pants, you piglets;)!) - who of you has ever watched porn or consumes it regularly? Probably most. As you probably know then, what sets them apart is that they don't have too much plot or dialogue, because it's supposed to get down to business. And fantasies are depicted and that's something we should remember. Real sex should not be depicted, but fantasies and desires should be staged. 

That doesn't sound bad at first if you're "sex positive", i.e. if you're allowed to do whatever you like and with which everyone agrees in your sex life. And so porn would only have negative connotations due to an uptight, puritanical society and it only needs sexual liberation, but it's not quite that simple after all.

What speaks against watching porn?

In porn, fantasies are depicted, but the question is whose? And unfortunately the answer is: often only from men*. But that goes even more precisely, namely from heterosexual, white men*. Admittedly, men* are also the most common users, but that's another chicken and egg story: does porn reflect men's fantasies because they are the most common users? Or are more men* consuming porn because their fantasies are portrayed in them? The answer, as always, is complex.


Representation of women in porn

Porn is a wonderful mirror of our society, because we are so unimaginative that we also depict the power relations in them as we find them in real life. So our imagination knows its limits. And this is where it often becomes problematic, because women* are usually portrayed in porn as willing but willing sex objects. And because they are just objects for the satisfaction of male lust, their desires and lust are not decisive.

As if that weren't enough, they are also subjected to violence and are often humiliated and humiliated. And that probably also explains why women* don't watch as much porn as men*. Because it's not particularly arousing for a woman* when the woman* is insulted and humiliated in porn, I know women* are strange... But why do so many men* actually like it? And can't you do without? There is a wonderfully introspective article by a man who describes this dilemma based on his own biography here.

By the way, the objectification does not only apply to women*, but also to other people, who usually only appear as fetishes in porn. Ethnicities, body types, gender, sexualities become one category: "Asian", "Black", "Latina", "Transsexual", "BDSM". So where representation is important, only fetishization takes place. They too only play a passive role and become the subject of fetishes and fantasies subject.

Porn as sex education

It becomes even more problematic when porn is understood as sex education and implemented in reality, especially for women*. Because then these misogynist scenarios are practiced on and with real women*, mostly without their consent. And women* (especially young women*) think that they should also provide these services and find them good. That is one of the biggest points of criticism, for example also from People who want to get rid of porn altogether

In her amusing report, Cindy Gallop reports on experiences with men* who have enjoyed this special form of sex education Ted Talk and calls to it: "Make love not porn." And many have already answered her call. The real films that are uploaded there are intended to contrast with the staging in porn and celebrate sexual diversity. 

But why was and is porn actually part of sex education? Why do we learn from porn how sex works, what you can do? It's clear that this is problematic, but is that the problem with porn? Actually not, because no porn claims to provide sex education (here I like to refer to our definition at the beginning). Porn tends to fill a vacuum among young people for which we - the adults, the parents, guardians, teachers - are actually responsible. We just don't take this responsibility fully. But it is up to us to talk to our children about sex, understanding, boundaries, violence and even lust. That responsibility is ours and we cannot pass it on to porn and then complain about teens filling in their knowledge gaps, answering their questions and not learning what we would like in the process. 

Porn use starts at an early age: around half of 11-16 year olds have viewed online pornography at least once most of that before 14. They don't even have to actively search for porn, instead they get pop-up ads when they search for relationships, medical information, or sexual health topics. Male* adolescents usually experience what they see much more positively than female* adolescents, who mostly indicate negative feelings, such as shock. However, negative feelings decrease the more often porn is watched.

Exactly how porn affects teenagers How they shape and have shaped our sexuality is not entirely clear, despite many studies. This is due to the complexity of the relationships. However, some negative effects have been proven: they lead to expectations (what men* have to like and women* have to like), which can lead to fears, especially in young women*. If these expectations are disappointed in real life, i.e. if the gap between what is seen in porn and what is experienced in real life is too large, sexual frustration can arise.

Contraception, e.g. by condoms or consent - are not shown in porn. At the same time, however, watching porn influences the range of sexual practices, especially those that are increasingly depicted: ejaculation in the partner's face, anal sex or deepthroating during oral sex. As a result, they are often carried out in real life without consent.

Porn addiction is another danger that can come with porn consumption, in which case porn is also used to deal with negative feelings or phases in life.

Also, porn has a negative impact on young people's body image, as many probably can't keep up with the busty women* or the permanently erect men*.

Above all, porn also influences gender stereotypes. Men* have an active sexuality, cannot control themselves, play a dominant role and watch porn, it's normal! Women*, on the other hand, are passive because they don't seem to have a sexuality of their own, say "no" when they actually mean "yes" and are objects of desire who play with men*. And this is where it gets dangerous: because these gender stereotypes are particularly common among young men* and also mean that violence against women* is normalized and thus also accepted. But it also actively contributes to violence against women*: porn use is associated with sexual harassment and sexual assault among male* students. And men* who watch hardcore porn are also more likely to be sexually violent. So there is a connection between porn consumption and sexual violence against women* and is not a myth of overly concerned parents. 

The porn industry and its performers

The porn industry is a very lucrative business with sales in the billions. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the performers are paid fairly. Nor that the working conditions are good. This also includes being able to refuse things that you don't want to do, regular breaks, agreement on the shooting partners or the script, sex without a condom but with STDs. In addition, many porn performers state that more and more extreme performances are being demanded and what the customers want is being delivered.

For professional porn actors, the conditions are still comparatively "better" than for amateur actors, like the recommendable but depressing one Netflix-Doku "Hot Girls Wanted" indicates. But as a sex worker you generally have a precarious status, also from a legal point of view.

Add to that the social stigma, very good to see how with Abuse cases in the porn industry is handled. But even that is still the best case, because many videos on free providers, such as Pornhub, are shot and/or uploaded entirely against the will of the performers. Nor does it seem important that some of them are minors or victims of human trafficking acts. This is hardly checked, neither by the websites nor by the customers.


What is the point of watching porn?

As we have already seen, porn is a source of information and is therefore often part of our sex education. This can also have advantages: we see sexual practices that we may not have known about before but might like to try, e.g. Bondage or Anal (We supply the necessary equipment for this, just click on the links).

LQBTQ+ young people often find each other again, and unfortunately often for the first time. Sex education classes at school often don't provide them with any information. And this potential of representation, of finding oneself and discovering oneself as a sexual being or subject of desire is definitely there and positive. The problem is the dominance of the straight male white perspective in mainstream porn.

The porn industry has now discovered women* as a market, because today they have more financial resources, which they are happy to invest in their invest sexual desire. As a result, there are also more pages that are specifically aimed at women* and where production is by women*, for women* with women*. Especially female* fantasies should be implemented. Examples of this are the films of Erika Lust. Since 2005 she has been making erotic indie films that focus on female pleasure and ethical production. The portal Bellesa is produced by women* and above all emphasizes the closeness to reality with its motto "no fake orgasms" and is aware of its social responsibility. The platform Cheex produces films and podcasts and also gives workshops. At the platform Lustery "real" couples submit their videos - this is where consent and authenticity come in. The aim is also to address all genders and to produce the content fairly and consensually. This not only creates porn that is also appealing to women*, but also so-called "ethical porn" and of course that costs money.

Unfortunately, ethical porn is often like organic meat: everyone knows it's better, but not everyone is willing to pay for it. With that, the consumption of pornography becomes too politisch, because it makes a difference what we choose.

Finally, one could sum it up like this: there are enough good reasons against watching mainstream porn. But if you don't want to do without porn entirely, you can turn to ethical porn. The questions remain unanswered as to why violence against women* seems to be so central to male* lust and why in our sexualized society we don't manage to educate our young people properly and leave this task to porn.

Would you like to try out new pleasure impulses? In our Telegram channel Pleasure Sunday you will receive an impulse for more desire in your life every Sunday!

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