Bedroom Insider

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Is Porn An Acceptable Form of Sex Ed?

Perfect, sexy body, belly and breast of young woman wearing seductive lingerie. Beautiful hot female in underwear posing in sensual way

In 2012, studies indicated that just 10% of young adults first learned about sex through porn. By 2018, that number has risen to 60%. With so many young people are discovering sex in porn, you have to wonder just what they're learning and whether it might be harmful.

Why Porn Is Bad Sex Education


There are many arguments against porn as sex education. Let's start with the way that actors look: large breasts, butts and penises prevail. Toned bodies and white skin are predominant. If you look closely enough, you'll see just how symmetrical everyone is. What we see in porn is definitely not a mirror of our own bedrooms and the world at large.

If you look just a little deeper, you can see a distinct lack of discussion about consent and safer sex. Sometimes a scene jumps, and you see a condom, but you won't see actors switching condoms after 30 minutes use like you're supposed to or even pinching the air out of the tip of the condom when first putting it on. Who needs lube when you have spit? Like anything that might increase a woman's comfort or pleasure in porn, it's an afterthought. Women fake orgasms, and both men and women phone in their performances with fake, loud moans and direct eye contact with the camera.

Porn can also condone unsafe sex habits or introduce people to activities such as anal sex or BDSM that can cause injury when done wrong. Although, porn does not shoulder the blame alone. Popular book and movie series Fifty Shades of Grey has inspired people to try they hands at BDSM without proper education, and injuries from sex toys and activities sored.

The list of problems with using porn as sex education goes on and on, much like the sex, which doesn't address the reality of erectile dysfunction or refractory period. After many position and activity changes, it's finally orgasm time. If you thought at least the man's orgasm was real, think again. Many times, the “money” shot is simply a mixture of components. Yogurt and hair conditioner are both common culprits.

In the end, we shouldn't be surprised. Porn is about looking – and sounding – good for the audience, typically a male audience. It's not about actual pleasure or the sometimes awkward realities of sex with another human being. It doesn't teach us how to explore our bodies safely, and watching porn is often done in private, a shameful secret. Is that what we want to educate people about sex – that it's something to hide and feel anguished about?

Sex educators the world over argue that porn doesn't make good sex and, and you may already agree with the sentiment, but many people do rely on porn to teach them about sex. Even some medical students counted porn among sex education according to one survey published in the July 2018 edition of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Why is this?

It could be that porn has become ubiquitous. You can easily search for porn on the Internet and even inadvertently run across porn while searching for an otherwise innocuous term. Social media is also full of images and videos, even when the terms of service specifically prohibit sharing content that depicts sex. Porn is everywhere and, well, sex education isn't.

When Sex Education Fails


Depending on where you live, the people who are responsible for sex education might be providing you with false information. In the United States, only 13 states require that sex education must be medically accurate. Some policies may forbid teachers from teaching about the positives of sex, instead relying on scare tactics to dissuade teenagers from having sex. While it might sound reasonable that focusing on the of STI transmission or pregnancy might reduce how many teens have sex, those states that focus on abstinence-only education actually have higher rates of teen pregnancy.

These classes don't discuss negotiating sex, how to ensure you receive pleasure, providing and respecting consent, the healthiness of masturbation, or how exploration can improve your sex life. Just nine states require education about LGBTQ+ identities. That's only two more than actively discourage non-mainstream sexual and gender identities. Even if kids don't wind up as teenage parents, it's unlikely they'll be having quality sex or have a healthy self-esteem about sex.

And that's if they get any education at all. Three U.S. States require parental permission for students to even learn about sex, and 37 states allow parents to remove their kids from classes that teach about sex.

Kids know it, too. Many are quick to give a failing grade to the sex education – if any – they had. And it's not just the younger crowd. Ask any group of people whether they had satisfactory sex education when they were younger (if you're brave enough), and the lack of response paints a grim picture. For all the technology in the world, we still haven't developed a way to teach comprehensive sex education.

When sex education is lacking but porn abundant, it's no wonder that people are seeking answers on screen. They've got questions that have been ha answered adequately or perhaps accurately. No one is teaching them how to filter the images on screen and to examine them critically.

It's no wonder that men think they have to thrust like jackhammers and having erections that last for an hour or that women find themselves trying to look like porn stars and pretending to have orgasms even though no one has thought to stimulate the clitoris. Thanks to porn, some people believe that sex should always be hardcore or acrobatic. And some studies indicate that greater use of porn correlates to more risky sexual behavior.

Don't misunderstand Porn isn't without its value: as erotic entertainment, not education. It can arouse and inspire, but if people continue to seek porn as sex education, they're unlikely to have the best sex possible.

And it's not like there aren't any examples of satisfying, comprehensive sex education. In the Netherlands, for example, diversity, communication, pleasure, and health are taught to students as part of a pragmatic sex education program that even allows students to ask all their own questions about sex.

If we can give students the knowledge they actually want – and need – about sex, they won't have to resort to porn to get answers. They'll not only have a roadmap to follow for the rest of their lives, but they'll be better prepared to discuss sex education with their own children when the time comes.

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r

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