5 Ways Porn Can Save – or Spruce Up – Your Sex Life

Yes, I really do think that porn can spruce up your sex life. Many (if not most) of us watch it, many of us would benefit from watching it, and we all need to admit we do. We also need to support the people who make it for us so that they can get the credit they deserve, be treated as well as they deserve and even make us the better porn that we deserve. None of which happens in the darkness of shame.

But before that, I want to make clear that porn is totally natural, and totally in line with how we as a society communicate. Look, there are only 3 things fundamentally necessary to the survival of the human species. Shelter, sustenance, and sex. Without any one of those things, we die off.

We celebrate shelter. We write books, fill magazines, film countless hours of TV about how to make our houses better. We celebrate sustenance. We write cookbooks, fill magazines, film countless hours of film and TV about food. And god knows we talk about both incessantly. We think nothing of telling a co-worker that dairy gives is diarrhea, or that we subscribe to Martha Stewart Living and Architectural Digest.

But sex? We’d rather hear about our co-worker’s bowel movements than admit that we have sex, much less talk about how. And despite the fact that porn, in all its forms, is a multi-billion dollar industry, people like to pretend that it’s just a handful of deviants who consume those prurient pictures, but given the numbers, it’s not. It’s a majority of us. It’s fine if you don’t like porn, but to demonize the people who do, or the people who make it, or porn itself,  is just nonsense.

It makes me a little nuts, so rather than yell and scream, let’s have a little talk about porn, and why it’s good for you.

Remember, porn is NOT sex-ed. In these instances, we’re using it to expose you to some new stuff. Seek good resources, (like the entire Good Vibrations site) for accurate health and safety info about sex.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW

Is there something you’ve been curious about but don’t really know how it works? (Anal sex? Threesomes? Fisting?) Guess what, there’s porn for that. Whatever you can dream up, someone made porn of it.

For me, it was anal sex. I just did not believe that a penis – or anything really  – would actually go in there. So, yup, I watched a bunch of anal porn. I watching things of all shapes and sizes go in there, so at least I understood that it was possible. Humans are often afraid of the unknown, and porn can help you get to know the previously unknown.

To Do It:

  • Find some time alone, take a deep breath.
  • Watch some porn. Check out Good Vibrations VOD for lots of great choices.
  • Note what you see that makes your juices flow, and what does the opposite.  Use those feelings as a starting point for a discussion with your partners.
  • Look for credible information about how to recreate it for yourself, safely!

 CAN WE TALK ABOUT OUR SEX LIFE?

There are few things in this world as awkward as talking about our sex life, with the people we’re having sex with. If one person says, “honey, I’d like to try something new,” it’s entirely possible that the other person will hear, “you’re a terrible lover and nothing you’re doing feels good and honestly, this just sucks, and not in the good way.”  We do not like to talk about our feelings.

But we love to talk about other people and what they’re doing. Enter, PORN!

Porn is a great way to discuss new ideas with your partner. Slide on over to a porn site and go on a Sex Safari. Watch various clips of things you don’t usually do, and see how it feels in your tingly bits. Talk to each other, “so, what do you think about that? ” “Would you want to try that? ” This way it’s not one of those hard relationship talks, it’s more like gossip, and people are good at that.

To Do It:

  • Agree ahead of time that there will be no “oh gross” “that’s weird” or other judgey, shamey language. Just watch, with an open mind.
  • Make a list of “yes,” “no,” “maybe” based on what you see.
  • If there’s anything you need to buy, look for it online (even the act of talking about the sex you will have someday can be great foreplay today.)

 SCRATCH AN UNSCRATCHABLE ITCH

Sometimes you or your partner are turned on by something that just isn’t present in your relationship. While fantasy is great, and fantasies don’t have to be shared to be enjoyed, sometimes sharing them adds another fulfilling dimension to your sex life.

I have small breasts. I love them. I had a lover once who just loved big breasts. No matter how generous I was, that’s not something I could deliver to him. So imagine his surprise – and joy – when I suggested watching some Big Boob porn together while we fucked. It was totally fun and made frequent appearances in our raunchy repertoire.

Beyond partner play, there are a lot of things that are better, or at least easier, left in the fantasy realm. Where denying your fantasies can lead to depression, anxiety and dishonesty, using porn as a safe way to indulge them can be a great option.

To Do It:

  • Identify the fantasies that you are unable to act out in the real world.
  • Find porn, watch it.
  • Bonus points for understanding what it is about the fantasy that speaks to your sexuality, because there may be ways to work parts of it into your regular play. And there may be cues to understanding yourself. For example, many people who are super Type A and “in control” in their daily lives are very “subby” in their sex play because they need the release from responsibility and control. Figure out the essence of your fantasy – not the acts – and learn something about yourself.

FIND YOURSELF

Mainstream media – and yes, a lot of mainstream porn – is filled with totally unrealistic messages about body shape and gender roles. However, not only are we not all built the same, we don’t all want the same things. As alienated as some of us feel by mainstream media, we can find a reflection of ourselves in porn.

I will never forget sitting in a seminar with Kelly Shibari, a brilliant and talented porn star whose niche is BBW bondage. She was talking about being a “fat” porn star (their word, not mine) and having a male fan come up to her with gratitude saying that hers was the only porn he and his wife could watch together. Why? Because his wife was also BBW, and watching Kelly perform helped her see herself as beautiful and sexy.

Knowing me, I probably cried when she told that story. In any event, whether it’s a body shape, a kink, a fetish or a fantasy, you will be able to find it reflected to you in the world of porn. And that can go a long ways towards helping you realize that you’re not alone, you’re appreciated and there’s nothing wrong with you.

To Do It:

  • Identify the things about yourself that you feel are not validated, or feel weird about.
  • Find porn, watch it.
  • Bonus points for thinking about the messages from media and peers that make you feel bad about yourself and learning new ways to process that input. This may include having a talk with people who say or do things that hurt you.

GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING

I have had friends tell me that they will watch porn before getting busy with their partner because it gets them hot and ready and half way there, making it easier for them to enjoy all the sexy time with their partners. I have heard this most often from women – middle age women with kids, to be exact – who are just drained, but still want to have fun sex with their partners. They need a little something to get started, otherwise it’s too easy to just be “too tired” and promise to do it tomorrow. When the same thing happens again…

To Do It:

  • Have a few sites that you like bookmarked on your computer. Or DVDs that you like in a place that they’re easy to grab.
  • Sneak away to “get ready for bed.” No one knows what that phrase means anyway.

Okay, that’s your quick primer on porn as a sexual aid. There are much simpler reasons to watch porn. Like, you want to. Or, because it’s fun.

Beyond just improving your own sex life, which is a valid enough reason, I would like to get to the place in which people can admit that porn is valuable to them. Why do I want that? Because I want people to pay for it. I want people to respect the service that porn provides, and the skills of the people who provide it.

When we begin voting with our dollars, we will get more of the porn that we want to see. (If you’re willing to pay for it, people will make it, whatever it is. Better plots? More kink?) When porn producers are able to consistently count on revenue, everyone, including the talent, will get paid better for their work. When we accept the role that porn can and does play in our lives, we will stop treating performers as second class citizens, they will have access to unbiased healthcare, workplace benefits and countless other things that we all take for granted. We might even fight for their rights as if they were, you know, humans. Rather than decry deplorable conditions (which are actually the anomaly, not the norm) we would pay attention to the industry, encouraging better behavior with the sunlight of scrutiny and respect.

But beyond that, we will stop looking down our noses at them, as if what they do is valueless, even though we consume it to the tune of billions of dollars a year. (Cleary, it is not just a few of us.) The best summary of the common condescension towards sex-workers that I’ve read is from AV Flox, about her time as a stripper.

” I wonder whether anyone who walks into a Starbucks worries for a moment about whether the barista is being denigrated, standing there hour after hour for minimum wage, smiling and being nice no matter how impatient and obsessive compulsive the customer acts about his soy latte. The barista is not indentured to the customer, even if she knows that being very accommodating will score her some cash in the tip jar. “The customer is always right!” is not something any manager has ever said at a strip club I’ve set foot in. Ever. Even the high rollers in the champagne room. And if they tried to pull something like that on me or any dancer I know, they’d be on their knees in front of a lawyer before the DJ could even think of putting on Aerosmith.

Sure there are porn producers that are scumbags. There are also, chefs, bankers and real estate agents who are scumbags. I am sure there are days when the people who fuck for a living want to do it about as badly as a pre-school teacher wants to deal with another dozen temper tantrums.

The work they do is no different, except that we pretend we don’t value it, while paying billions for it. It is a product, that people make, and should be paid for by those who consume it. Just like we pay farmers for food. Or the people who make Spanx for Spankx, even though no one wants to admit they use Spanx either.

It’s time to get over the hypocrisy. It’s time to get over the fear. You don’t have to like porn. Lots of people don’t. But lots of people do. And while there are a lot of good reasons to give it a try, there are no good reasons to shove it into a shadow of hypocritical shame.

______

* By the way, fun porn fact. Guess which state consumes the most porn. Utah. Yup, as is often the case, those who are raised in the most sexually repressive manner are the ones who need safe outlets for their sexuality the most. I would prefer they get honest, open their minds and stop shaming everyone about sex. But, until then, I’m glad they watch more porn than anyone else. Also, they pay for it. (Yup, that’s the Mormon state. And yes, Romney wants to make porn illegal. ) *

Alyssa Royse

Bio: Alyssa Royse is a hot mama in her 40's raising a teenage daughter and 2 young step-daughters. She is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and PR hack who is now working entirely to promote healthy sexual freedom for all humans - because sexual agency is a human right, and also an important part of health and wellness. A popular speaker and guest writer, she can be found most often on her eponymous blog, AlyssaRoyse.com, on her new startup venture, NotSoSecret.com and as the co-host of the weekly radio show Sexxx Talk Radio on The Progressive Radio Network. (Downloads available on both prn.fm and in iTunes.) When she's not thinking and writing about sex, she is generally playing with her big, queer, bi-racial family, traveling, reading or at the CrossFit gym sweating. Yes, she would probably love to come speak at your conference, or write something for you, contact info is on her blog. No, she does not want to date you, her dance card is blissfully full.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. M.J. Snow says:

    This is a great piece, and so very true! My love and I watch porn together often. I love opening my email and finding a link to an erotic story, picture or video. By the time we’re together in the evening, we’re ravenous for each other. we also write erotic stories for each other and do some online role playing that can be an incredible turn on. We’ve gotten really brave as time has gone by and have even begun to delve into some (safe) BDSM and are talking to another couple about joining us. Our sex life is always spicy and our relationship just gets stronger and stronger.