THE IMPACT OF THE PORN INDUSTRY ON OUR SEX LIVES

Around 40 million Americans watch porn on a regular basis. And hey, we’re not here to bash this statistic. We love porn, we watch porn, we sell porn! We just want to focus on the impact porn may have in relation to how we view our own bodies and sexual experiences. Porn is fantastical, heightened, and an often dramatized version of what sex really is. And that’s where things can get complicated. Because sometimes, the lines get blurred and we forget that porn is porn, and sex is not always like porn. 

Did you know that around 12% of all webpages are pornographic? As the usage of porn becomes more easily accessible, the more widespread the complicated idea that “porn is how sex should be.” Studies show that this early exposure to porn can lead to unhealthy ideas about sexual relationships. From foreplay (or lack there of) to the lack of genital diversity, the standards that are set in pornography can be unrealistic and cause us to reflect negatively on the way we view our own sex lives.

"Sex is not always like porn."

Physical Standards Within Porn:

Like social media, the images that we subconsciously consume affect the way that we see ourselves and the greater world. The impact is even greater when the visual and audio representation is very different from how we look and sound. In fact, research has found that people who watch porn and have a body mass index (BMI) of over 25 reported greater discontent in their relationships. 

Visually, vulvas and penises have their own set of “standards” in porn. Research shows that the average penis size is 5.1 inches (14.2 centimeters) long when erect. However, the penis sizes shown in porn are between 6.5-9.5 inches long! Vulvas on the other hand, are typically portrayed as symmetrical, trim, and “manicured.” Due to this narrow representation, the uptick in labiaplasty and other cosmetic surgeries have been on the rise. For more information on this, read our latest blog on why the perfect vagina doesn’t exist.

These unrealistic visual expectations undoubtedly can correlate to insecurity, negative self-talk, and even difficulty in reaching orgasm

“Over 6,400 young users of pornography were surveyed, several reported that when they did feel that it had some self-perceived negative effects on their life. Among those negative effects was a general decrease in sexual satisfaction reported by 1 in 4 study subjects. Also described was the need for greater stimulation to reach orgasm which was felt to be an unwanted effect of porn consumption.”  - How Pornography Effects Us

In reality, every shape is unique. Setting standards creates the mindset of right versus wrong, when truly as long as there is consent present, the journey is up to you, and those you engage with, to determine what’s pleasurable. 

Adding Ethical Porn Into Your Rotation:

Luckily, with the burgeoning conversation around sex positivity, we are seeing a rise in ethical porn out in the world. “The point of ethical porn is to create art (porn is art, after all) that shows realistic depictions of sex that feel truly relatable to a diverse audience," says Men’s Health Magazine. The focus is less on the actual act of penetration and orgasm, and more on the journey to pleasure, as well as witnessing consent and conversation in real time. 

“With the rise of ethical porn, smaller indie studios have implemented stricter regulations around standardized, fair pay for actors, STI testing, and collaborations over scripts and scenes that take the actors' boundaries into account. Basically, there's just more human respect all around!” - Men’s Health

We are proud to carry porn created by Wicked Productions in our stores; a production company regarded for their commitment to safety and consent, as well as their usage of condoms. Consent and communication are the true foundations of any erotic experience. Having this represented more broadly in the porn industry will undoubtedly help shift and evolve our connections to our own pleasure and our partners. So, go forth! Remember, porn is just a movie. Your body, bedroom, and sounds are exactly how they should be. 

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Further Reading:

A Guide to Ethical Porn: Mind, Body, Green
The Phycological Impacts of Pornography: Very Well Mind
10 Ethical Porn Sites to Visit ASAP: Men's Health Magazine

WITH PLEASURE,

LOVERS