Skip to main content

Sexplorations: The Porn Dilemma

Hello everyone and welcome back for another edition of Sexplorations!

Summer is finally on its way which is definitely welcome news considering how chilly the last few months have been. But, if you're still feeling the cold, don't worry because this May edition will definitely get you heated - in more ways than one. 

 


If we look back at puberty and pubescence, we can see that a lot of our first introductions to physical sex acts are through some type of pornography. 


This could be from flicking through late night TV and coming across *that* channel, finding a dirty magazine or, more recently, stumbling across NSFW content online. 

 

This can be shocking to a virginal eye at first, but pornography can be a key part in sexual development. Using pornography during masterbation/solo play can help with understanding the purpose of sexual organs, what feels good and how to achieve orgasm prior to attempting sex with a partner. 


This can sound like a good idea on paper, but how does something as heavily refined and polished as mainstream porn compare to genuine sex? 

 

Pornographic content is often extremely manufactured. Actors are often tanned, waxed, and made up to perfection. Scenes are staged for the sole purpose of looking good for a viewer, not actually feeling good for the person performing them. Almost everything filmed is then edited and spliced together to create the most idealised and perfect version of a scene, just like in film and television. 


In short; perfectly perky boobs, huge penises, OTT moans and groans, AND women finishing in the space 90 seconds?... I smell bullshit.  

 

This output of unrealistic sex can severely damage our perceptions of what sex is actually like in real life. It's no secret that most young people learn how to have sex via porn which is accesses through sites such as PornHub, Xvideos and social media such as X (formerly Twitter). 

 

The issue with these platforms is that they are mostly unregulated. Despite X's commitment to crackdown on NSFW content on the app, promotional videos and accounts dedicated to posting X-rated material are still just a click away on the app. 


Violent sexual videos are also readily available on both PornHub and Xvideos, mostly without restrictions or warnings. This also means that underage consumers can easily access sexually aggressive content incredibly easily. 


This, accompanied with the blurred lines of reality and entertainment, can lead to young people assuming that violent sex is normal sex and therefore begin acting out what they see online in their own sex lives. 

 

Another issue with unregulated platforms is the lack of formal authorised consent given by those whose content is on the site. 


A person may take part in a recorded sex act and that video may then be uploaded to a site without their consent. This then violates the consent originally given by the person who was being filmed as the video has then been distributed without their informed consent and knowledge. 


This can be a type of revenge porn or, if a performers work from a separate private platform is then uploaded to a public one, that is then an infringement on their work and intellectual property.

 

These issues make publically accesible pornography seem unethical for many consumers. So, the question is, if mainstream accessible porn is unethical, where should we get our porn from? 

 

We'll discuss everything from ethical porn consumption to what it's actually like to work in the industry next month, in conversation with those who work and have worked in the industry through sites such as OnlyFans. 

 

Thank you for reading this edition of Sexplorations!


Edited by Emily Duff

Most Popular

‘Make Tattooing Safe Again’: Sheffield Based Tattoo Artist Exposed for Indecent Behaviour

 by Emily Fletcher TW: SA, Animal Abuse, Transphobia Photo Credit: @ meiko_akiz uki Recently, an  Instagram account  has been created to provide a  ‘space to safely give a voice to those who want to speak out about the behaviour of one, Sheffield based tattoo artist’. A  total of 40+ posts have been made by the above social media account regarding  one of Sheffield's most popular tattoo artists .  Thankfully, all posts are prefaced with a Content Warning prior to sharing screenshots of the messages that have been sent anonymously to the page. The majority of Content Warnings refer to sexual behaviour, abuse, and sexual assault. It is clear that there is a reoccurring theme within each submission, as many clients appear to have had the same experiences with the tattoo artist. Women, mostly, are being made to feel uncomfortable while being tattooed. One of the most vulnerable positions anyone can be in, tattoo artists should make their clients feel comfortable and safe during the pro

Fashion For a Cause: Brands That Stand with Palestine and the history of fashion as a form of Activism

by Oana-Maria Moldovan For over two months, there has been an ongoing genocide war in Gaza. To simplify a long and horrific issue, the situation that started, on a larger scale, around one hundred years ago, and has only become amplified since October 7th 2023. Taking place around the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Israel–Lebanon border, the armed conflict is between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups.  The problem is about “stolen” land. Said land is seen as an important holy part of both religions involved. But really, how holy can we consider a land to be, if people kill other people for it? It’s important to remember that this genocide is about three things: forced occupation, zionism, and religion. It’s also important to remember what ethnic erasure is. This terrible expresion, also known as cultural or ethnic assimilation, refers to the process by which the distinct cultural or ethnic identity of a particular group is gradually diminished or erased, often due to ext

Now What? The Aftermath of the 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl'

by Susan Moore Here is a bit about me: I am an open, excitable, creative AFAB who is also moderately attractive. I have a unique sense of personal style and a personality that on the surface can only be described as “bubbly” and “quirky”. For this reason, dating is a nightmare. To be sure, I do not have a hard time finding dates or potential suitors. The problems arise when said dates spend some time with me and decide that I am a rare specimen, and the connection they feel with me is “unlike anything they have felt before”. Then, things go one of two ways.  Either a) they decide I am too high maintenance and no longer palatable, or  b) they choose to never look further than the surface and are content to date the idea of me rather than the real me. There is something rather interesting, perhaps funny, about my situation. It is in no way unique. I have met so many people who constantly dealt with the same problem. Even funnier still, is the fact that there is a trope that simultaneousl