Behind Closed Doors: Myth-busting — Porn isn’t gross and it’s not just for guys

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September 17, 2012

11:27 PM

Let’s talk about porn. That nasty, dirty, trashy realm of surgically enhanced, heavily made-up blowjob queens and 12-inch meatstick men. Porn is one of those things that most people have strong opinions about, and the consensus amongst most of my girlfriends seems to be that it is disgusting, degrading and something that should be avoided. As such, most people are surprised when I say that porn actually helped me overcome my self-esteem issues.

When I was a freshman, I was really insecure about my then-boyfriend watching porn — because I had assumed that all the women in it were way sexier than me and that he wouldn’t find me attractive in comparison — until he convinced me to watch it with him.  In retrospect, I realize it was ridiculous to think that after watching 30 minutes of two people having rehearsed sex on a 15-inch screen, my boyfriend would suddenly not be aroused by his real-life girlfriend undressing in front of him.  Moreover, I was astounded by the sheer variety of body types and sexual preferences represented — you truly can find anything on the Internet. Since breaking up with that boyfriend, I still watch the occasional porno on my own.

Just a few minutes into the first video I ever saw, I came to the most wonderful revelation: cellulite is clearly visible during sex. Subsequent videos revealed something even better: all women have cellulite.  The wonderful part of this discovery was that clearly, even porn starlets — who are arguably the epitome of female sexiness — have visible cellulite, and therefore, cellulite must not be the ultimate turn-off that I had always thought it to be. Men are clearly using these videos primarily to get off. If cellulite were hindering that process, porn would not have the fanbase that it clearly does. I also had to admire the confidence of women who consent to have their most delicate body parts, flaws and all, filmed up close. That, and their varying weights and body shapes, manners of pubic hair and body modifications and their wide range of conventional attractiveness, showed me what should be obvious to everyone with a sex drive: “sexiness” is highly subjective.

Although there certainly is a stereotype of blonde, big-boobed, tight-assed women as the “ideal” female form — and this stereotype is heavily represented in porn — so many other “types” are present that the idea of a single sexual identity being universally ideal is ludicrous.

Let me be clear — I am mostly talking about “amateur” porn here. I have never once paid for porn and I don’t intend to, because like music and TV shows, you can find so much of it for free online — although, you do have to wade through a lot of pop-up ads and trash like “Teenage Gangbang 3” to do so.  Most of what’s available for free without a membership is on websites like Youporn and Redtube (evidently, all adult websites I’ve heard of are not-so-subtly named after YouTube), which contain a mixture of pieces of legitimate porn videos that have no doubt been illegally ripped off by users and homemade tapes by “amateur” porn actors and actresses.

These amateurs represent far greater diversity than what is shown in mainstream porn, from what  I  understand. No matter what your fetish — whether it be BBW (Big Beautiful Women), older women or BDSM/kink — there is a porno link for you. I find this variety in Internet porn refreshing because it not only allows everyone a way to fulfill fantasies, but it also normalizes these fantasies, which helps people feel more comfortable about their unique desires.

Porn is explicit (duh), it lacks romance and it is often crude and crass — but, because of this, it is the ultimate equalizer. It strips both actors and audiences to their most vulnerable state and suspends them in that vulnerability until it becomes more comfortable. For me, porn has been the easiest (and safest) way to understand and appreciate my own sexuality. So, to those who decry its coarseness, I say, give it another wank.

Elaine B. is a Behind Closed Doors columnist and can rarely visit YouTube without thinking of very different websites with similar names.

 

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  • ElaineB

  • Blake

    What a bunch of bullshit. “Admire the confidence” of pornstars? It has nothing to do w/ confidence, and everything to do w/ a complete lack of confidence/self-esteem. Women in porn derive their own self-worth from being the wanton sex objects of men, both of the actor present, and the countless voyeurs. The more objectified, the better. Almost all porn reduces sex to an emotionless, grotesque quest to get off, often in ways that are, in fact, purposely demeaning to the women involved. It’s sex at its basest form, completely detached and devoid of intimacy and real connection. Purely physical, like lifting weights, only sexuality has drastic implications for psychological well-being. More than this though, it’s acting, and too many young men are now developing their ideas about sex and how to engage a women sexually from the distorted imagery of internet porn. Your bf didn’t do you any favors. Porn is sexual junk food. Consume in moderation, but you’re better off avoiding altogether. Also, no, not all women have cellulite.