The Problem With Learning About Sex From Adult Films
Cindy Gallop is a woman who loves porn. But she does not love the fact that lots of people think they have to imitate porn in order to have fulfilling sex.
Hence her website. “Make Love, Not Porn,” which is dedicated to exploring the differences between the sex we see in the porn world and the sex we have in the real world. For example:
Porn World: Gay men love anal sex and they have sex all the time.
Real World: Not all gay men love anal sex as it is painful (I asked quite a number of people about this!). Some of them dread it and prefer giving head instead. And they don’t have sex all the time too; it would be too tiring! With a job/school on the side, they can’t be having sex 24/7, that is crazy talk!
Porn World: Young, pretty girls like having sex with ugly, old men.
Real World: Ew!
She recently spoke on Dan Savage's Savage Lovecast about how repressive societies make parents and lovers ashamed to talk openly about sex. And how a lack of sex education in schools make many people turn to porn to learn about doing it.
She cited a University of New Hampshire study that found that most kids these days are exposed to porn by age eight (either by a kid in the schoolyard with a pornographic web image or inadvertently while innocently Googling the word "penis").
As a result, she said that parents should speak to their children knowing that they will soon be or have already been exposed to these images, and emphasize that they do not reflect reality. Parents must empower their kids to know that they can decide what sort of sex they want to explore for themselves.
During the podcast, Savage raised the idea that most porn is shot for men by men as a sort of misogynist fantasy that goes something like this: we schlubby men will never get beautiful, big-breasted blondes, so we have to do increasingly degrading acts to fulfill our lusty revenge fantasies.
On the contrary, Gallop asserted that the advent of free porn on the web forced porn producers to stop making generic productions and start differentiating themselves from their competitors with increasingly over-the-top sex acts.
And while porn tube sites have allowed everyday people to upload and view their own sexy acts—Gallop dislikes calling such videos "amateur" as the term implies that only porn "professionals" know how to have sex—she finds that most of these videos still mimic the acts, emotions and filming techniques of studio-produced porn as opposed to the spontaneous exploratory play of everyday human sexual encounters.
She's right. As our sex columnist Richard recently said, porn edits out "the insecurities, the flop sweat, the cranky attitudes, and the wilting penises—-some of which we got to see in vintage porn before the Viagra days.
But it makes us wonder how a "non-porn" sex video would look. Surely not like the emo-art-porn film I Want Your Love, which was very produced and stylized despite its depiction of actual sex.
As Gallop hopes to launch MakeLoveNotPorn.tv in the near future, perhaps she’ll able to show us how regular people have sex, without all the showiness and inauthenticity of porn.