Popping The Porn Cherry

On Sunday night I watched a porno. It was my first time. At the tender age of 19 and a half I decided that I was probably ready for my first on-screen sexual experience. I was not.

Sitting on the bed surrounded by three overly excited boys, I was curious, even excited. I was told ‘Flygirls’ was some of the best. Jenna Jameson was promised to ‘rock my world.’ Instead, while the boys around me were tugging their tshirts down a little bit lower, my own female parts were retracting inside me. Call me old fashioned, but when a middle aged hairy man starts ripping at a girl’s nipples with his yellowing teeth and calling her a ‘cum sucking whore’, I am not wallowing up with a wave of sexual desire. I lasted a mere thirty minutes in that room before I ran to pass on the tales of violent booty slapping and hair pulling. The reaction I received was not what I expected. I expected a chorus of girls to join in my horror. I expected dramatic shocked facial expressions and a promise to stand against this brutality. But no. I was labelled ‘naïve’ and ‘foolish’ and the worst; a ‘prude.’ What surprised me the most was the level of enjoyment boys really gained from a ‘group porno session.’

Do boys really think we enjoy that sort of stuff? My own nipples would have very vocal opinions if a pair of teeth suddenly started gnawing at them like they were a piece of sirloin. But where does that leave us real women? I have come to university to develop a vocabulary which extends something beyond ‘oh yeah, again, harder.’ How can women, with their own (real) breasts and desires ever possibly compete with the ‘cyberwoman’ – a woman who is submissive and comes in a variety of sizes and colours? Sure, men might argue that porn is simply fantasy and a real woman will do the job just fine, but what is that teaching both men and women about how a proper sexual relationship should function?

Any girl would be silly to assume that her boyfriend or male friend doesn’t watch porn. Gail Dines, whose book ‘Pornland’ looks at how porn has changed in the last 60 years, suggests that between 65-85% of boys have viewed pornography at least twice by the age of 13. This means that before most boys have even had sex, their perception of what constitutes intimacy has been dramatically altered or even destroyed. The concept of ‘love making’ is quickly turned into ‘hate making.’ Men in these porn films aren’t making ‘love’ to a woman’s body; they are brutally beating and ruthlessly using it. The more men watch porn, the more they want their own sexual lives to mirror the images they are viewing. What’s more terrifying is that men start to believe that women actually like to be abused and dominated. I was recently told by one wise guy that ‘women actually love to be dominated. You girls love all that violence.’ I’m sure he’s a favourite with the ladies…

Let’s be clear though – I’m not saying that a gentle slap or a cheeky whip shouldn’t be condoned, but that the expectation that sex should be as hard and as fast as possible is both unrealistic and unfair. Gonzo porn, which sees up to four men with one woman, promotes this type of ‘industrial-style sex’, which is so violent it often leaves women with permanent scarring and internal damage. Ultimately, porn normalises behaviour that only reflects the depraved minority’s preferences. I am yet to hear of a porno where two people are kissing gently.

Boys, I am not suggesting that you stop watching porn, but that maybe next time you are watching it, think about whether what the men are doing to the women is what your girlfriend would want you to do to her.