YEP Volunteer Blog Post – Thanh: Porn as Sex Education

It is no secret that porn is now easily available to anyone with access to the Internet.  In fact, around 30% of all Internet traffic is pornographic, so it’s pretty hard to avoid. Like many other forms of media, porn is often exaggerated and misleading. But is what we see in porn realistic or useful?

As porn is so widely accessible, it is easy for people to use it as a source of information about sex. Sex education in schools may include important information about contraception and sexually transmitted infections but they often forget about the social aspects of sex. It is no surprise that people would then rely on porn as a way to know what is right or wrong. Porn can have an influence on what people believe sex is supposed to look like or how people are supposed to behave. However, that can be problematic since porn is not intended to be instructive or educational in any way. This is because sex that is shown in porn is usually a performance and there is more focus on the entertainment and arousal values rather than the nitty gritty stuff.

‘Perfect’ bodies, long lasting sex (with no breaks) and scandalous plots are often portrayed as the standard in mainstream porn. After all, the majority of porn is scripted and performed by professionals, so not surprisingly, the sex is glorified and caters to a particular audience. When in reality, sexual encounters can be much more intimate…or awkward! There are also a number of important things that you may not see in porn at all, such as active consent and use of protection. These are important things to consider before engaging in sexual activities.

At the end of the day, watching porn is not something to be ashamed of, as from a young age, most people are curious about sex. We may be curious about what it looks like, what it sounds like, what sexual positions or techniques are out there? We shouldn’t feel bad for exploring our own sexuality. However, similar to when we’re watching a horror movie or a rom-com, it’s best to not let what we see influence our real life expectations.

 

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