An Educational Guide to Porn

The Bish guide to porn – some of the differences between sex in real life and sex in fantasy.

 


So lots of young people learn about sex and relationships from porn, for many young people it is a relatively safe way for them to learn about their sexuality (who they fancy, what kind of sex they might be interested in). The problem with this is that they can learn good and bad things. The legal age for watching porn is over 18.

Anyway I’ve written a blog below which should correct some misunderstandings you might have about porn if you’ve watched some and are confused. This is mainly about professionally made porn, though I think it also applies to amateur porn too (I think that amateur porn can recreate some of the norms and narratives of professionally made porn, so a lot of this is relevant).

They Are Acting

Even though they are actually having sex in porn scenes, they are acting. It’s kind of like wrestling on the telly, it’s all made up even though it’s real. They are usually pretending to enjoy it,  it’s edited together to look more fun, it lasts for ages, everything happens in the same order and they are putting on a show.

Porn sex is completely different from real sex.

More about this here

It's not all 'normal'

Some things are so common in porn that viewers can start to think that it’s ‘normal’. For example cumming (ejaculating) on someone is very popular in porn, but not everyone likes it really. Also anal sex is much more popular in porn than in real life.

It's mostly for men

In a lot of porn the actors look at the camera rather than each other. As most porn is made for straight men the woman looks into the camera so he can imagine he’s having sex with her. In porn made for women they usually don’t look at the camera, studies suggest that women watching find this a lot hotter.

Even in amateur porn (where it’s real couples having sex with each other and filming it), it’s usually the guy holding or directing the camera and the scenes end when the guy cums. Why does the sex always seem to end when the guy cums (when there is a guy of course)?

It can be negative about women

Some porn and sexy modelling (like Page 3 or Nuts) can be quite negative about women. Some people think that porn shows women as passive sex objects who have no power, with no brains and who’s only purpose is to have sex to please men. What do YOU think?

Some of the story lines of porn can be negative about women, such as Bangbus or other sites where women are ‘tricked’ into having sex. In reality these women are porn performers who are paid, but the story can be negative and unpleasant.

Also the language of porn can be negative about women and usually describes sex acts which are done to women rather than mutually pleasurable and consensual sex.

Porn ladies

Don’t compare porn actor’s bodies with ordinary people. Few women have massive boobs and thin tummies. Porn actresses are often thin women who get boob jobs. Also porn actresses have little or no pubic hair and their vulvas don’t look like most women’s.

See the Bish video about this here

Porn Blokes

Dicks in porn have to  be above average size (above 6 inches). The men also have to get hard (often relying on Viagra) and ejaculate on demand with a film crew standing around and the director shouting at them: even if they don’t fancy their co-star. They also often have to wax their back, arse and balls so that they aren’t hairy.

See the Bish video about this here

Condoms

Condoms are not often used in porn (although they do use condoms in most gay porn). Porn actors have very regular check-ups for HIV and other STIs, (usually once a month). They are very aware of the risks they take and some studios insist on using condoms as well as getting check-ups.
Do you think they should use condoms in porn?

Plus check out this video from me

Sexy talk

In real life people chat about what sex they like or dislike. They also talk about contraception, condoms, feelings, themselves, have a laugh and occasionally stop for a cup of tea. Porn chat is all about sex, it can be a bit degrading and negative.

Also there is a lot more moaning and groaning in porn than in real life, just like wrestling. Some of the noises and screaming might sound like it’s hurting, it’s meant to sound like they are enjoying it. Sex is not supposed to hurt. In real life some men and women like to make noise, sometimes not.

Career Advice

Pizza delivery guys really don’t get to have sex when they are delivering pizza. Same with gardeners and window cleaners. So I wouldn’t suggest that you apply for a job just cos you think you might get more sex.

Porno Chic

Women don’t always dress up like this to have sex. They also don’t always wear make-up or comb their hair.

Group Sex

In porn group sex is very popular. But in the real world people usually only like having sex with one person at a time. It can be fun to watch because there is more going on, but it’s entertainment.They are getting paid to pretend to like it. The better they pretend the better they are at their jobs and the more they get paid.

Of course in the real world some people do like group sex, I’m just saying it’s maybe not as common as it is in the porn world.

In mainstream porn, women are expected to get it on with men AND women. But two men can only touch each other in gay porn. Why? Because most porn is made by straight men for straight men. However more women are getting into porn, so this may change and things might get better. Lots of women like watching gay porn specifically to watch two hot guys going at it.

Porn is bad?

Many people think that porn is harmful. Some former pornstars have left the industry and campaign against it saying that it exploits women and hurts people watching it.

Porn is good?

But many people think that porn is good. Women get paid more than men. Porn can show men and women positively too and can help people to explore their sexuality. Check this link about women who are Pro-Porn Our Porn Our Selves

For more Bish about porn try:

A-Z of Porn starting with the As

Porn: what is legal, what is right?

Sexting: Why making your own porn can be a really really bad idea.

External Ejaculation: Cos not everyone likes being cummed on

Stickman Porn Competition!

Could you help us research the area of young people, the internet and porn? If you can spare 5 minutes can you click here and do a questionnaire please?

Are you a parent, teacher, youth worker, sex educator? Why not buy this downloadable resource pack about working with young people around porn. Click below

all images and text © Justin Hancock, Bish Training, 2010

Talking to teens about porn, porn harms, is porn harmful, educational guide to porn, boys, lads, porn, sex

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One of my favourite things on the web is this comic strip about one girl’s thoughts about porn

http://www.gurl.com/showoff/comix/pages/0,,663683,00.html

While you’re at’ Gurl’ check out all the other amazing stuff there.

Fellow sex blogger Julian has written this lovely piece about how he became friends with a pornstar at the age of 16 and what she taught him

http://post-gradgigolo.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-first-sex-worker.html

And here’s a video from clip from ‘Friends’: the one where Chandler and Joey get free porn.

14 Comments

Filed under Porn

14 responses to “An Educational Guide to Porn

  1. Bill

    Hey All,

    Excellent site, very informative and exciting.
    A further thought on Porn is that stimulation comes (in mines view) from the mind. I have had better orgasms from just closing my eyes and enjoying the feeling or fantasizing than watching porn,which distracts your attention away from the full body pleasure being either alone or with a partner can give.

    I will read more…..

    T.

    PS Found you via Belle. What a woman!

    • bishtraining

      That is also very kind, thank you.

      I take it you aren’t ‘T’ as in Toothbrush?

      Bish

      • Bill (T)

        No, ‘T’ as is Thanks.

        Have you ever done a cross-comparative study of Sex Education in different countries, or do you know anyone that has?

        Whose Toothbrush?

  2. manoj

    enjoy u r sex life

  3. I admire your site and your purpose. But may I, as a registered sex therapist (in Canada), remark on some of your messages?
    I fully agree that porn is not a good way to get a sex education. Like action movies, romance movies, war movies, porn is entertainment, not a ‘how too.’ However, that does not mean that people cannot learn things from porn, just as sometimes a movie meant as entertainment can contain some valuable insights.
    U.S. sex therapist Marty Klein (http://www.sexed.org/) has remarked on the many truths that porn tells, including that anyone can be sexy, that there are a wide variety of ways to be sexual, and that women can exert sexual power, as well as men.
    This leads to another point: I regret that in some instances you fall into easy generalizations about porn. You focus on what is sometimes dubiously referred to as “mainstream porn.” Whether or not a mainstream exists is becoming increasingly problematic. There is a very large and growing number of websites devoted to gay, lesbian, bi and transsexual porn. Many gay men and lesbian women have cited the importance of their exposure to this material to normalize their sexual desires and help them own their sexual identity.
    Among the many very helpful messages you give, there are some that may be unhelpful to some readers/viewers: that porn “Only shows people with young, hot bodies.” That is not at all correct, and there are a large and increasing number of sites, DVDs, mags devoted to “real people/amateurs,” “Big beautiful women (BBW),” short people, hairy people, elderly people, and more.
    You’ve also stated that porn “Says nothing at all about disability.” Again, that is not correct, and there are many sites and other media that portray people with disabilities as sexually active. For many people with disabilities, porn is an important resource in the development and practice of their sexuality.
    My own preference would be to discuss the exceptions to the statements I’ve cited here, while noting that in many instances, “hot young bodies” are over-represented, while people with disabilities, the elderly, and others are under-represented. I think most young people are intelligent enough to understand that difference, and its importance.
    None of this is meant to nit-pick, nor to detract from the fine job you have done at discussing an important subject for young people. However, I think there are dangers in misinforming, or under-informing young people about the full picture on any topic. It can damage the credibility of your statements, and of you as a reliable source when some find the exceptions I’ve mentioned. More importantly, it can lead those who do not fit the stereotypes of “mainstream porn” to give up seeking reflections of themselves, and of their sexualities in sexual media. For some young people, that loss might have severe, or possibly tragic consequences.

    • bishtraining

      I appreciate your comments. Please note that this is a site for beginners, for teens over 14 who are trying to get their head around this stuff for the first time. I fully understand that porn is more diverse and nuanced than many people give credit for, some of my other posts about porn may represent this. However I think you seem to agree with me that there is a dominant mainstream narrative in most porn: it’s made for men, by men and it’s about how much pleasure the penis gets. Not all porn, most porn.

      You may be interested in my Planet Porn resource pack download, which hopefully enables parents and sex educators to have more discussion and in depth analysis than I can offer in a single post.

      http://bishtraining.com/index.php/planet-porn

      • Well, no actually. I don’t agree that there is a “dominant mainstream narrative in most porn: it’s made for men, by men and it’s about how much pleasure the penis gets.”
        I think that there are narratives that are interpreted (or constructed) as “dominant” by individuals and groups for a variety of purposes. In my experience, I have not yet encountered a case where diversity being reduced to (perceived) uniformity has been a good thing. In fact, every anti-oppressive movement of which I am aware does the opposite: highlights and celebrates diversity thereby expanding the awareness of its existence.
        I am not one who believes that it is helpful to simplify for young people. Young people live in a complex and diverse world. Pretending otherwise does them a disservice and fosters a dependency on “simple answers.”
        One of my favourite authors, Spider Robinson, has written, “No adult, however smart…, is ever going to outwit even one 12-year-old forever, much less all of them. Hell, they couldn’t even outwit 18-year-olds back in the ’60s. Stoned ones. ”
        I add that not to be witty, but to illustrate the point that if you are old enough to post this blog, you are de facto LESS net-savvy than your audience. They will KNOW that you are simply leaving out anything you don’t construe as “mainstream,” and your very worthy messages will be undermined thereby.
        I believe it would help, not hinder, the strength of your message to acknowledge that while a diversity does indeed exist in sexually explicit media, when that very large segment of commercial porn that depicts sex as being for men, by men and about how much pleasure the penis gets, is treated as the norm, problems arise. Then you have a solid, not specious, foundation for discussion of realities, values, and the endless diversity of sexual experiences that get missed when that type of porn is accepted as the mainstream.
        I wish you well in this worthy project.

  4. bishtraining

    When I said dominant I should have used the word pervasive, not that the narrative is of dominance. Most porn is made by men for men. I’m not pro or anti porn.

    As for your comments about young people, I’ve worked with teens around sex and sexual health for 10 years, face to face. I reckon I’ve worked with around 2000 individual young men in a confidential one to one setting. Whilst I don’t get everything right, I think I’m pretty qualified. I didn’t get this shit from one book.

    Goodbye.

  5. Bish – on the subject of books :) I am publishing a short-form e-book the week after next on MakeLoveNotPorn, which obviously goes into this whole area in a lot more detail from my own (very personal and subjective) perspective. I think you’ll enjoy reading it – and it’ll be very cheap to purchase. I think you may already follow me on Twitter? Keep an eye out for me tweeting link to check out and buy, and do friend me on Facebook if you haven’t already.

    All the best, Cindy

  6. Auline

    This is awesome, but I think you should include the removal of body hairs for women as well (waxing large (most) areas of their bodies)

  7. mary ann

    Thank you for this info. I hope it becomes an important learning tool for all youths. I wish it was around when my husband and I were younger. Can you give me some advice? You see, I used to LOVE sex and porn. I grew in the day of video porn (and the early stages of internet porn) where it SEEMED mostly plainer and more for woman as well as men. There were actors, producers – it was considered a little “cheesier” but in my opinion it was so much less gross. It’s either that or what I have discovered my husband was into. I don’t go searching or snooping but he blazes a trail of his porn all over my apartment even though I have argued with him to at least keep it out of my face. If it was the porn I was used to then fine. But I find his preferences (which seems to be common among most guys I have discovered) to be unequal to woman as your site would put it and even a bit horrifying to me. It’s always at least 6 huge men on one tiny girl where she looks like she is in serious pain. Many times the girls complain on camera that the men’s huge genitals are hurting them to which the men scoff and talk in a very disrespectful way. He has videos of girls being pushed off beds and couches as they land heavily on the floor. There are ones where many of the men will hit her hard on the face with their genitals and sometimes even their hands while she screams. There is one where a group of guys are pushing a woman out of the house naked and there is also one where at the end the camera man says to the girl “thanks, see you one the internet” and she freaks out in fear over finding out she was taped. I understand some of it is acting but he only watches the really raw and amateurish looking stuff that appears to be the woman’s reality. It at least looks like she shows up expecting to have sex on camera with a level of respect but then the men push the limits of what her body can handle way too far. On the covers of the DVD’s he leaves lying around, the images of the woman are not sexy – they look contorted, ugly and is if they are fear or pain. The titles are insulting – not just sexist but often times racist too. I understand this is not the case with all porn but it seems so common and I don’t understand how men can find these images appealing unless they just hate woman. My husband and I don’t even have sex anymore because he insists on having porn on while we do it. He claims he doesn’t watch the rough stuff anymore, it just appears (and is saved to my desktop?) by accident as he looks for normal porn. That he wants to watch normal porn only and with me. But I feel so upset over the stuff I have seen in the past I refuse to watch even plain porn now (although our ideas of it are still very different). Not only that but on the nights I have tried to watch ‘normal’ porn with him, he has to sift through dozens of clips to find just one where the things I mentioned above don’t happen. And even when he thinks it’s a porn I would be willing to watch, it always takes a dark turn somewhere along the way. It’s gotten to the point where I refuse to watch any at all and now I am extra sensitive to other things such as seeing rape scenes on TV or a Girls Gone Wild commercial or even if a male comedian tells a mean joke about woman. Now I feel like a basket case when it comes to men and their feeling towards woman – like all men hate woman and want to see them degraded and harmed. I want to get rid of these negative feelings I have towards porn and men. I want to let go of the baggage and have a normal relationship with a new man one day. Is there a way to reverse the effects of this?

  8. Jack Jones

    Why isn’t OK for kids to watch porn, but it’s OK for them to watch nearly any other genre? Tom and Jerry is full of violence. Are kids confused? Do cowboy and indian films make kids genocidal? Do crime dramas make kids criminals?

    It’s not that there is no porn for youngsters, is that there is also no educational sex films, “realistic” porn, or explicit documentaries. And yet there are informative programmes on nearly every other subject.

    The problem seems to be that the world confuses porn with any kind of sex, in the same way that it confuses nudity with sex. As a youngster once myself, I tried very hard to find explicit sex education; I had no idea what a woman’s genitals looked like, and was told that there were obscene: what a great message to teach youngsters.

    Our hospitals are full of people with drink and tobacco related issues (they kill at least 100,000 people a year). I’ve never heard of anyone admitted to a hospital for watching porn.

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