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Porn and the Big Wide World of Sex

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By , 15, Staff Writer Originally Published: July 16, 2012 Revised: September 5, 2012

The world of sex is complicated, confusing and somewhat mysterious for those of us lacking in firsthand experience. Although some sex ed classes teach the basics of sex and birth control, they never show a visual how-to guide about sex. If you’re curious, you might be someone who decided to check out Internet porn to understand exactly what sex looks like. Or maybe you’ve accidentally stumbled upon a porn site by clicking on some random pop-up screen. No matter what the case may be, porn can be instantly accessed with a click of the mouse. Even though most porn sites provide a lengthy warning about their Web site only being appropriate for an adult audience, usually all it takes is a click of the “Yes, I’m 18 or older” button for anyone to view free pornographic content.

Pornographic images—from magazines and films to the Internet—are used for sexual pleasure and show people engaged in lots of different sexual behaviours. So, what’s the big deal about porn? Though porn can be a source of entertainment for many, does it actually tell us what we need to know about sex and sexuality? While porn provides a literal, visual example of sex, it leaves out many important aspects of a true sexuality education. Pornography is a world of fantasy, not reality, but people turn to it to learn about sex. It makes sense that people would be curious about sex, but where does the fantasy end and the reality begin?

It makes sense that people would be curious about sex, but where does the fantasy end and the reality begin?

Fantasy Versus Reality

Fantasy: You don’t have to talk with your partner before you have sex.

Reality: In a healthy relationship, communication is key. It’s important to talk with your partner about his or her sexual history and safer sex. It’s also good to discuss issues like each other’s desires or exactly what each person finds pleasurable. Talking issues out makes a relationship stronger.

Fantasy: You can have sex without a condom and you or your partner won’t get pregnant or get a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Reality: Unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy and/or STDs. If you decide to have sex, you should always use a latex or polyurethane condom or dental dam and other form of birth control if you’re at risk for pregnancy.

Fantasy: Everyone wants to have sex all the time.

Reality: Truth is, everyone isn’t crazed for sex and yearning for it nonstop. The crazy scenarios and role-playing showcased in porn aren’t realistic. They’re just part of the fantasy created.

Fantasy: Sex is all about pleasing the guy.

Reality: Heterosexual porn often leaves the impression that sex should be all about what the guy wants and not what both partners want. Sex should be enjoyable for both partners. No one is required to do anything specific during sex, and no one should feel obliged to do anything that he or she doesn’t want to do.

Fantasy: Girls are only attractive if they are skinny and have big breasts. Guys are only attractive if they’re ripped and have big penises.

Reality: Every guy is different; every girl is different. Just because porn says that there’s only one kind of girl or guy that’s desirable doesn’t mean the same holds true in real life. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and appreciated for much more than their bodies.

What Porn Doesn’t Say

Ultimately, sex doesn’t revolve around one person. It’s an intimate experience to be shared by two people. Porn doesn’t show love. It shows sex—and only sex.

While porn can show you how different people have sex, there’s a lot that we need to learn about sexuality that we won’t find in porn. Porn doesn’t teach how to put on a condom, how to talk to your partner about his or her sexual history, how to get tested or even what pleases you both during sex. Porn is nothing but staged sex between actors intended to arouse viewers.

In the end, what exactly is the “big deal”? The big deal is that, although watching porn may seem like learning a good lesson, it doesn’t prepare you for the big, wide world of sex.

Photo by Porcelaingirl° {josie-grossie}

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