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Ways Porn Has Helped My Life



Earlier this week @KelseyObsession on Twittier (SexuallyAwkward.com) posted a poll asking if porn has helped people’s lives, hurt people’s lives, or been a neutral force. I answered that porn has helped my life... because it has!

I see the sentence “porn ruined my life” so often but I can honestly say that in many ways porn saved my life. (It’s a bit too click baity even for me to use as a headline, but it doesn’t make it any less true). On top of that, there has been another anti-porn wave on social media lately, so I thought I would go ahead and dedicate a post to the ways porn has helped my life.

First things first. When I write about porn, I usually get a lot of the same questions so I’ll just preface by answering those questions now: 1. No, I don’t work in the adult industry. Aside from one erotica story I wrote being published in an alternative porn magazine and a few erotic photoshoots that have never been published except as cropped header images for my blog posts, I’ve never been in porn. I’m just a fan and a consumer. 2. Yes, I’m a woman. 3. Yes, I’m married. 4. Yes, I live in a conservative part of the Midwest.

With that out of the way, let’s get to it!

1.       Porn helped me work through many body image issues

I’m opening with this one because most people think porn only works against body image issues. LOOK AT ALL THOSE PERFECT PEOPLE DOING IMPOSSIBLE THINGS AND BEING BEAUTIFUL.

So, yes. Quite a bit of porn depicts beautiful people doing fantastic things because it is porn. But just getting rid of porn didn’t help me confront the issues I had with my own body. Raging over sex on screen or beautiful people was a distraction and allowed me to put off doing the real work.

When I decided to work at accepting porn and the role it played in my relationship, the true roots of my insecurities and negative feelings were brought to light. Thus I started untangling the real problem instead of cycling against an illusion made up of toxic attitudes. As I worked on these things I made real progress and discovered true power. Knowing that the power, essence, and sensuality of others had no bearing over my own power, essence, and sensuality was liberating.

With that new confidence, I started taking a deeper look at porn. And in that process I was amazed by how many not-perfect bodies are in porn. There’s even porn that holds an emphasis on eroticism that includes consent and pleasure. I was astounded to find attitudes, bodies, scenes, and just plain hot porn that didn’t make me feel bad about my body at all. Thus porn has been a tool I use to maintain the more positive relationship I have with my body as I change and age. And that is extremely valuable to me.

2.       Porn helped me develop a healthier relationship with my sexuality

Here’s the deal. I like weird things. Weird, pervy, things. I wrote a book about being a fetishist. Before I consumed porn, I was very confused about the things that turned me on. I latched onto real world scenarios that were completely inappropriate, mistaking violence and non-consent for the power dynamics I craved in sexuality. I harbored a lot of shame around this and became repulsed with myself anytime I became aroused to the point I couldn’t feel sexual pleasure at all. I felt like a hostage in my own head.

Porn gave me new scenarios to populate my imagination. Instead of hating myself and feeling like a disgusting person every time I became aroused because I was thinking about real-world or violent scenarios, I now had pleasurable scenarios created to be fantastic and arousing. Kink porn led me to discovering the kink community which led me to finding erotic media created by awesome people who really like the kinky stuff they do.

Now that I understand my kinks and how my body works I don’t get turned on by non-consent or violence. I don’t have to pick out scraps of eroticism in mainstream films (that often depict sexual assaults or other non-consenting scenarios). Because of porn, I can better nurture my erotic imagination without shame and relish scenarios that are very, very hot to me.


3.       Porn blurred the strict lines of monogamy

There was once a time when I was very possessive of my partner. Thinking about him being attracted to others or having sexual thoughts of his own made me angry. Problem was, sexual fantasy was still very important to me and even though I was in the most loving, stable, healthy relationship I had ever been in, I still found myself attracted to other people.

This made me very upset. I thought there was something terribly wrong with our relationship. Monogamy was supposed to mean we would be head over heels for each other and not want or need any sexual thoughts outside of the ones we had for each other. Right? RIGHT?

Well. No.

At first I just got angry. I suppressed my own sexual thoughts and became furious if my partner ever mentioned any sexual thoughts that didn’t include me. Not only was it making me miserable and controlling—neither of us had a genuine understanding of each other’s sexuality. And it was impacting our relationship.

Porn changed that. By (slowly) embracing porn, talking about our sexual thoughts, and dissecting how we felt about blurring the lines of monogamy, my partner and I had some of the most important conversations of our relationship.

In the years that followed, my husband and I did negotiate an open relationship, and that is certainly not for everyone. But even when we were monogamous, our relationship needed some flexibility and understanding when it came to those strict lines and rules. Porn helped us with that. Click here to read the post I wrote about why I include porn in my marriage.

4.       Watching porn is a part of experiencing and expressing sexuality

Even if there are things out there that I have no interest or desire to try, I feel like a more educated, confident, and sex positive person for watching porn depicting these things. And I’m not the only one.

When I show my friends porn clips of different aspects of BDSM they feel… well… better! They feel as though the experience and knowledge makes them a better-rounded person. Lots of people even thank me for telling or showing them new things.

Look. We as people do all sorts of things to have new experiences—go to wine tastings, the theatre, movies, museums. We read books, try new hobbies, cook new foods, and travel. Watching porn and sex media is similar. I think watching porn is a part of experiencing and expressing sexuality. People can make more choices and feel more confident with their sexuality when they’ve been exposed to more things, even things they don’t want to try.

At some parties I’ve been to, people ask me to tell them “weird sex stories” to laugh at them or see if I can “gross them out.” But with care and compassion, I can usually lead the conversation to one of discovery and appreciation for the cornucopia of sexual tastes. And almost everyone I’ve talked to is happy and grateful to have had the conversation, and I hope will feel less shame going forward to explore sexuality, and yes, explore pornography.

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So, there it is. There are other ways that porn makes my life better, but this is a great place to begin. I’m passionate about including porn in conversations about intellectual freedom and censorship. Porn is an important tool that we have to help us reach self-actualization and make the most of our time here on earth. Of course, there are aspects of porn that could be improved. But with more performers, writers, directors, educators, therapists, and fans doing amazing work to make porn better, now is the time to have these important conversations about porn and other erotic media. Thanks for reading!

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