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Why You Should Start Watching Porn and Not Feel Ashamed of It

by GIGI ENGLE
Published: SEPTEMBER 7, 2021
Watching porn is not: a good way to learn sex ed, a solid alternative to a healthy relationship, or a shameful habit. What is it? A fun way to spice up your sex life.

I don’t think I’d ruffle any feathers by saying that when it comes to porn, people have … feelings. On one end of the spectrum you have people who think porn is the work of Satan and everyone who consumes it is headed straight for the pit, and on the other end you have people who are downright obsessed with it.

Most of us fall somewhere in the middle: we watch porn as part of our lives, without any radical feelings around it. The problem is that it’s those “porn = evil” naysayers that scream the loudest. They are a minority, but they know how to scare the hell out of people.

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It’s pretty ironic that the people who are super against porn are also super against sex education, which has lead us to treat porn like sex education.

Here is the skinny, y’all: Porn is not inherently bad or evil. And it’s not sex education. When used in a healthy way, porn can actually be GOOD for you.


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Porn is a Form of Entertainment


Porn was not designed to teach you about real life sex. Trying to learn how to be good at sex, how to be a considerate sexual partner, or what good sex practices look like from porn is like trying to learn to be a parent by watching Bad Moms. It makes no sense.

Read: Why We All Need Sex Education, Even Adults!

So, where is the disconnect? It’s actually simple: Human beings have sexuality. When there is nowhere to turn for proper education, we work with what we can find. Porn is available readily online. Ipso facto: porn is the thing we use as an educational tool to learn about sex. This isn’t porn’s fault, it’s society’s fault.

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Porn is a highly stylized, scripted movie about people having sex. Most of the time the free stuff you can find online isn’t particularly high quality and it nearly never highlights female pleasure or depicts acts that would come remotely close to producing an orgasm for anyone who owns a clitoris.

We need to reframe our thinking.

If we could all get our head out of our bums and accept porn for what it is (and isn’t) and remove the shame, we could actually have the time and space to find high-quality erotic material that prioritizes female pleasure.

If we had open and honest conversations about sex, maybe we’d have better real life sexual experiences and stop wondering why getting jackhammered by some kid from our Bio class isn’t producing orgasms the way it did for that mildly-bored-looking actress on PornHub.

Raise your hand if you “accidentally” figured out what a clitoris was by fumbling around with an electric toothbrush or shower head!

Read: Things People Use to Masturbate (and Why You Shouldn't)

This conversation about porn is particularly important to have when it comes to women and our collective and individual relationships with porn. Male folks are not the only ones watching and enjoying smut. Women watch porn too. It’s time we stopped pretending we don’t and change the way we think.


Porn is Good for You (and Your Sex Life)

Porn is just for entertainment and it can up the ante on your sex life. It’s like adding a little spice to an already awesome experience.

Porn is not some scary, dark showy web that is going to ensnare your soul and leave you for dead, babe. It’s an erotic tool that can help you explore different fantasies in a way that can enrich your sex life – both solo and partnered. It wakes up your erotic imagination in new ways by giving you imagery to work with outside of your imagination.

A great way for couples to connect and get on the same page with porn is to watch it together. Try finding a video you both find sexy and masturbate next to each other. Check out porn creators like afterglow, Erika Lust, PinkLabel TV, and Deeper. There is something out there for you. I promise!

Like all good indulgent things in life, use porn in moderation.

Read: Is Porn the Key to Marital Intimacy? Possibly...but There's a Catch

While porn is not unhealthy, it can be used in an unhealthy manner when your habits aren’t kept in check. If you (or a partner) are watching so often that it’s affecting your real life relationship, have a conversation and create an action plan for this. “Porn addiction” is a hotly contested subject in the sexual health community. As a certified sex educator, I prefer to think of compulsive porn consumption has a manageable behavior, not an addiction.

Using porn can be a problem if you’re using it so much that real sex feels boring or understimulating The important thing is to keep track of your use and make sure it isn’t affecting other areas of your life or your relationship.

As long as your porn habits are helping to improve your overall happiness and well-being, rather than detracting from it, there is nothing to worry about. Enough with the fear mongering. Let people enjoy their smut in peace.

This article originally appeared on afterglow.

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Photo for Gigi Engle
Gigi Engle
Gigi Engle, ACS, CSE, CSC, is an award-winning feminist author, certified sex coach, sexologist and sex educator. As a sex educator, she promotes and teaches about pleasure-based sex education, masturbation and safer sex practices. Gigi’s work regularly appears in many publications including Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Elle Magazine, Teen Vogue, Glamour and Women's Health. Her articles have been shared over 50 million times, with her top posts reaching over 150 million shares. In 2019, Gigi was named Journalist of The Year at the Sexual Freedom Awards. Her book, "All The F*cking MIstakes, A Guide to Sex Love and Life" (McMillian) is available wherever books are sold.
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