THE SEX UNEDUCATED

Sex + Gender
Queer + Feminist
Social theory + Cultural Critique

TW: porn, eating disorders, body dysmorphia 

Porn is a difficult thing for me. From a strictly feminist perspective, I stand by sex work as real work. I think porn is a complex industry and, within that industry, feminist porn is being made, which I think is a good thing. However, largely I think the porn industry blurs too many lines when it comes to consent, objectification, and the co-opting of bodies as product. I feel pornography is a successful mechanism of patriarchal capitalism - through the heterosexual male gaze, sex and bodies become mere products to consume which feeds into a larger economic system that survives on oppression. This is also the very system that produces the conditions which coerce people into this kind of work (although not all sex workers are coerced).

Additionally and on a personal level, as someone who has suffered from eating disorders and experiences agonizing body dysmorphia, pornography has become something that makes me feel inadequate as a human being and as a lover. It brings up for me confusing feelings about femininity and my own failings at successfully performing a particular kind of femininity. Pornography it seems is a paradigm that, like many other aspects of western culture such as advertising etc, makes me feel like I fail, that I am a failure. Logically, I understand that this isn’t true - it is an illusion. I fail at nothing in this regard because I can only be who I am. I cannot be all of the people - all of the porn stars, all of the celebrities, all of the models, all at once. However, pornography is very good at inciting this toxic thinking for me. Instantly I begin to compare myself - I reflect on recent intimate moments with my partner and begin to cringe at all the ways my body is different than porn stars, the ways my body responds to pleasure etc. Ultimately, I am deeply psychologically and emotionally triggered by porn.

So, what do I do when I see my partner has been watching porn? How do I navigate these personal and political feelings? How do I acknowledge and respect my partners privacy and understand my partners own desires and dependence on pornography for self-pleasure while respecting my own needs and position with this cultural phenomenon? What do I do when knowing that my partner has been engaging in this sex market makes me feel emotionally unsafe? Does anyone relate?

  • 71 notes
  • 2 weeks ago
  • Sep 03, 2014
    1. puppyloveblog24 answered: You might try to quiz him/her on it. If they are watching for pure entertainment, then, for them, porn star= TV guy. Nothing more. Be happy
    2. undeniablyunsure84 reblogged this from thesexuneducated
    3. witherwhetherwonder reblogged this from thesexuneducated
    4. koffeekate reblogged this from thesexuneducated
    5. happinessbythekilowattt reblogged this from thesexuneducated and added:
      This really describes my feelings on pornography, although they shift and grow over time. I used to react negatively to...
    6. doesthismakemefeminist reblogged this from thesexuneducated
    7. theresamarg reblogged this from thesexuneducated
    8. sub-with-a-pumpkin-pillow reblogged this from thesexuneducated
    9. javital84 answered: I think you should let that which you do not agree with live anyway, and try to rectify how it is directly negatively affecting you.
    10. epochryphal said: yeah. there is a difference between political stance and personal boundaries. i support sex workers, but being in a relationship with someone in porn was profoundly triggering. your feelings also deserve respect.
    11. life-theuniverse-everything reblogged this from thesexuneducated
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    13. dizabear answered: You probably should talk to your partner but not in an accusing manner, probably more so in a way that helps him understand your pov. HUGS!
    14. sizzlingvagita said: A lot of this also holds true in the gay man-identifying community too. Gay porn stresses unhealthy aggression and domination which is absorbed into real relationships. Also, as a queer man, I find my body image greatly hindered by porn as do others.
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