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The Power of Porn in Sex Education

Porn is to sex education what illness is to doctors: it gives us endlessly more work to do.

But it is so much more. It is the blasphemy that everyone speaks, the diet that everyone breaks. It is an example of what sex is NOT, but from which I can launch my real sex crusade.

Everyone, with very few exceptions, has consumed pornography and that is understandable: we’re intrinsically curious in our novice years about how it will be. Later, we gain limited experience and seek information to improve our fumbling performance. Even when we become old hands, perhaps bored with it, we invoke porn to compare with others and find something fresher. And then there is that bottomless pot of brewed vaginas, always many more, harder-core, more sensational. No-one can deny that it can get anyone off.

Telling a group of students that you know they access porn and you understand it, invites a discreet look of surprise on their faces and buys you some serious attention. Then you hit back with the many, many reasons why porn will beat the sexiness out of them before it bumps up their sexual pleasure. Because porn is as fake as a Hollywood romance movie, and that includes the so-called home-grown porn, which is a brilliant plot on the part of this crafty industry to make it seem more real. Because real people having nothing better to do than capture and upload videos of themselves in their moments of genuine, spontaneous intimacy so that strangers can masturbate to it.

What Porn Does for Me

Porn gives us material to discuss positions. How many positions allow for cameras to zoom in and catch the seemingly endless movement of a penis to and fro? And how much intimacy exists in those positions?

Porn demands reasoning on why condoms are chronically absent in completely unsafe plots but also for the sake of the actors and the state of the industry.

Porn begs discussion on anatomical relativism. I wonder how many men feel better after watching talentless  actors whose professional calling came from the dimensions of their dicks. Certainly few women feel better about their genitals after watching close-ups of bald, surgically-nipped vulvas, dyed anuses and absurd breasts. The facts that real vulvas are naturally asymmetrical and hair removal incurs dermatological infections and scathing, hits my female students like a kick in the pubic bone. Because let’s be honest – by the time guys get to view the Arc de Triomph, they’re too thankful and  concerned with their movement into it, to bother about the design of the door.

It is the message that sexual change needs to come from different bodies, radical settings and new ways of abusing the vagina that hurts our chances of understanding great sex. We need to be reprogrammed after porn to have patience, to accept awkward scenes from time to time, to communicate sexually, to know intense pleasure from the profound nakedness of an honest sexual relationship.

And when the students fade into episodes of lapsed attention, there is nothing like to mention of porn to awaken and stir their brains and pelvic extremities like Pavlovian dogs, salivating to satisfy their insatiable appetites. For information, of course!


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