I Think Porn Can Be Entertaining, But Please Don’t Use It For Sex Education!

Posted on December 10, 2015 in Sex, Staff Picks, Taboos

By Anonymous

My science teacher who taught us the chapter on reproduction in high school was an old man. And although I was studying in a Hindu missionary school, he did supplement the chapter with tiny bits of sex-education. So, I never felt the need to watch porn for sex education. Another chemistry teacher – whom someone asked about “blue-films” in the classroom just to embarrass him – didn’t scold the student as we had expected but explained what they were. Yet, the curiosity around what porn looked like remained.

watching porn on computer - love sex survey - sex educationSo, when I first came across what looked like the thumbnail for a porn movie, I clicked. However, I was in for a surprise. I had probably imagined something on the lines of a movie that had nudity. Instead, I was looking at a handcuffed woman and a penis on the screen. And while there had been basic discussions on feminism in high school, there was a lot of debate around porn regarding representation of women in it, the portrayal of the “desirable” body-type, and sexuality that I was till then completely unaware of. Therefore, I rationalised my disgust at the brutality portrayed in the video with a deeply patriarchal argument: she is someone’s mother/sister. I definitely could not make up my mind about watching another video after that for a long time. But when I was re-introduced to another genre after some time, I slowly started getting used to it.

Despite having freer access to porn since I joined college, it remained a hush-hush thing for most people. However, I was lucky to have been part of debates and discussions where porn was debated. To be a part of that discussion also meant that I started reading opinions of other people and forming my own. It is during one such discussion that I learnt that porn movies were, like most other movies, directed by professional directors and enacted by professional actors.

I have realised since then that porn is just another form of entertainment. I would – irrespective of whether the actors used contraception in a porn movie – use methods of birth control as I was taught in my school and elsewhere, for instance. This is just as you would identify and act on your knowledge about drugs before using them like actors do in movies. But why then debate what is depicted in porn movies when we are calling it ‘entertainment’? After all, we have (or may have had) sex-education and feminism to aid us in guiding our behaviour in the real world. This is because porn and the porn industry is also not ‘just’ entertainment. As a popularly consumed form of entertainment, it is part of our lives and does influence social behaviour to a certain degree, however subtle that might be.

We have to then understand, that like any other novel or movie, porn – while definitely not helpful for gaining any kind of sex-ed – does teach us how to desire. A cursory glance at the categories on any porn website will show that most of these categories objectify women rather than men. Not surprisingly, videos in these hetero-centric categories focus on where a stereotypical male would look. Also characteristic of these videos is the notion of sex being ‘done’ to somebody rather than being ‘had’ for oneself. It is not surprising then that feminist porn websites – that treat women as human beings and as equal partners in the act of sex- have made their way into the industry, for most ‘regular’ porn websites don’t cater to women at all and are all about satiating the male gaze.

What remains true, despite a few healthy changes in this industry, is that most of it is not educational and must not be judged for not being so, although some porn websites do have a section on sex-ed. Education cannot be the burden of these movies. What we can hope for is healthy entertainment, watching which is no one’s business to judge.

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