The difference between porn and real sex

Saw this article about an older hapa Chinese-Caucasian woman using the web to teach people the difference between porn and real sex. According to the article, Cindy Gallop is a cougar who dates younger men and who realized that the accessibility of porn has created a situation where porn is sex-ed for a lot of people. She runs makelovenotporn.com, which provides statement and text dialogue on the difference between real sex and porn. She has recently started makelovenotporn.tv, which will showcase video of real people having sex, as opposed to porn-sex. See her TED talk in the video above.

I’m not sure what the rest of y’all think, but I think this is a great service–I hope she succeeds with it. The sites themselves are still mostly undeveloped, but I think the idea is right. Porn is pervasive, and it’s good to have discussion about it.

22 thoughts on “The difference between porn and real sex

  1. It’s always strange to me when someone like this tries to make an argument like this. She begins by stating that she likes to date young men (who are much younger than herself) then goes on to say that she really likes to have sex with these young men.

    OK, that probably flies in the face of some societal norms, but she has every right to do what she pleases and chase what she wants right? But then something strange happens. She jumps down off of her Free Spirit horse in mid-gallop and jumps directly onto her own judgmental hobby horse! She can do whatever she wants—use whatever language she wants, screw whoever she wants… but she also wants to launch a campaign to get guys to stop engaging in “pornography sex.” STOP—THEY’RE doing it wrong! They shouldn’t be doing that weird, twisted porno stuff! They should be having a more normal kind of sex.

    My question is, should the cursing grandmother who likes screwing 20-year olds really be the one to get into a “higher ground” discussion about what kind of sex other people are having? I mean, you could cut the irony here with a chain saw!

    Now don’t get me wrong. I actually think that she’s managed to touch on some true cause and effect sexual/social phenomenon that could bear some discussion. But coming from where she’s coming from, she really isn’t the person to be making judgements about other people’s sex habits… as much as I get what she’s saying.

  2. @ King:

    It’s a difficult thing for women to talk about this bluntly. Any one woman who admits to having enough casual sex over the years to be able to speak about trends in sexual behaviour from first hand experience… well, our society doesn’t look upon such women too kindly. To her credit, she doesn’t seem to give a fuck about what people think, and that enables her to be frank about it.

    I see a substantive difference in her sexual behaviour and the type that she’s complaining about. Hers defies some societal norms, but ultimately its mutual and consensual. The sort of thing she is railing against is not really mutual and consensual.

  3. LOL! Not mutual and consensual? Why do the images of feminist textbooks from twenty years ago suddenly flash in my mind’s eye?

    @ King, yeah that cum on her face thing was a calculated ploy that I think didn’t really help her to make her point. But her bigger points were about how society has allowed the commercialisation of sex and pornography to become de facto sexual education, and how ultimately this does not help men at all and in fact retards their sexual ability.

    The cum on her face thing is a minor example, but the others have already almost been beaten to death over the years without much to show for it, e.g shaving or not, anal sex, to swallow or not to swallow, etc. I suspect that as an older woman her preferences have hardened over the years, but if she sees this in younger men, I assure her that younger women are just as clueless and go along without really knowing what they’re doing just as much as the men do.

    Her website seems inactive, and that’s a shame. I was curious about what her next step would be like.

  4. “It’s a difficult thing for women to talk about this bluntly. Any one woman who admits to having enough casual sex over the years to be able to speak about trends in sexual behaviour from first hand experience…”

    YES, but that is why “research” was invented. You wouldn’t expect that someone would have to be a junkie, who’s smoked and shot every controlled substance on earth, for them to be able to find out about drug abuse, would you? In the same way, there is no need for any one woman to have to gather sexual information all by personal experience in order to speak informatively about today’s sexuality.

    “To her credit, she doesn’t seem to give a fuck about what people think, and that enables her to be frank about it.”

    Yes, but the operative word there is “seem.” What she probably doesn’t care about is what people with opposing opinions think— but she would be plenty worried about what people whom she considers to be her thought peers think of her. For instance, if she heard that her friends thought she was a racist, a sexist, or an evangelical Christian, she’s have a cow just at the thought! She cares what people think (like most people) you just have to identify the right people.

    I see a substantive difference in her sexual behaviour and the type that she’s complaining about. Hers defies some societal norms, but ultimately its mutual and consensual. The sort of thing she is railing against is not really mutual and consensual.

    I disagree. She is not talking about anything that is truly non-consensual. Just because a thing becomes popularized does not mean that it’s popularity negates consent. Unless someone is truly mounting a serious psyops campaign on you, doing something in order to fit in, or to please a guy does NOT make it non-consensual. You have a choice.

    Look, people do all kinds of things sexually. How about all of the whips and chains stuff? Now that 50 Shades of Gray is a best seller, does that mean that when women decide to try some S&M that as a result that they have lost their agency? It seems clear that this is not the case. So if people can enjoy stuff like that consensually, then there’s really nothing you can say about “cumming on faces” or whatever other kink someone has. This woman’s entire lifestyle could be considered to be “Granny Porn” which is considered to be a fringe kink in and of itself.

    Again, it’s not that she’s even necessarily wrong about how X effects Y, but she really cannot be a kinkster herself, and then complain about someone else’s kink… just sayin’!

  5. King, let me tell you the stuff that I hear about A LOT. (Through my work which deals with a lot of sexual health issues.)

    * Guys thinking it’s normal to finish the sex act by cumming in a girl’s face. Now, if a girl is up for this, then that’s fine, but the majority are not. I’ve heard a few “WTF!?” stories from girls who didn’t expect to get assailed in this manner. And honestly, even when she is up for it, cumming in someone’s face is symbolically disrespectful. I’m pretty sure women’s porn doesn’t show this stuff, though I wouldn’t know.

    * Guys who don’t feel the need to use condoms, since they are going to pull out and ejaculate over their partner instead.

    * Guys who can’t really get interested in regular sex with their partners because through porn they have got into more extreme stuff, to the point where vanilla no longer does it for them.

    * Guys who assume anal sex is a standard part of the sexual routine. Not saying there is anything wrong with anal, if that’s your thing. But there is a huge differential between how often it shows up in porn, and what proportion of real-life women are actually up for it.

    It’s not about what couples choose to do together, but what males (who of course are the main consumers of porn) start expecting and assuming is normal, and then act on that.

    Remember, thanks to the internet we now have a generation of young men who have been raised on a steady diet of gonzo porn to an extent unparalleled in human history. Most, hopefully, are smart enough to separate it from reality, but a lot have trouble making some of these distinctions. And just as you have to worry about kids who grow up playing violent video games and watching slasher movies all the time, we’ve equally got to question the impact of 12 year olds watching bukakke and shit like that. What does that do to one’s brain at their stage of development?

  6. Eurasian Sensation, in what context of your work do you hear these stories so often?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  7. @ E.S.,

    “And honestly, even when she is up for it, cumming in someone’s face is symbolically disrespectful.”

    Could you tell me the proper places to ejaculate on/in a woman?

    “I’m pretty sure women’s porn doesn’t show this stuff, though I wouldn’t know.”

    How can you be sure of what you don’t know?? O_o

  8. @ Raguel:

    I’ve worked for several different organizations over the last 10 years, broadly speaking in the community health and education sector; a rape crisis centre, a domestic violence service, a sexual health service, a residential service for young offenders, and a sporting league that instituted a program to curb its epidemic of players abusing women. Between running workshops with young people, to talking with colleagues, to reading up on the issues, I know a lot of stories.

    Could you tell me the proper places to ejaculate on/in a woman?

    I’m going to assume you’re joking. But if you think that pulling out in order to squirt it in her eyes is a symbolic way of showing love and respect, I’m eager to hear your argument.

  9. “I’m going to assume you’re joking. But if you think that pulling out in order to squirt it in her eyes is a symbolic way of showing love and respect, I’m eager to hear your argument.”

    I don’t think so at all, so will you answer my question now?

    You see this is the first time I heard about that symbolism thing. I know there is no excuse, but I must have missed the memo when it was passed around.

    Could you tell me the proper places to ejaculate on/in a woman to show her love and respect?

  10. Let me very quickly clarify my what my views are:

    1) Pornography: The more you watch it the more lousy you will be in bed, and the less you will enjoy the kind of sex that most women want to have.

    2) And old whore with a foul mouth is not a credible spokesperson for this message since her entire speech is one gigantic contradiction.

  11. Let me address my point #2 above.

    What Cindy Gallop is proposing is that certain kinds of sexual acts and attitudes (particularly those engaged in by the younger generations) are offensive. The problem is that she is simultaneously making this point with speech which would ITSELF be considered pornographic. And yet, she doesn’t seem to be smart enough to see the contradiction.

  12. Raguel, you may ejaculate where you please. However, if you decide to try and get it in a woman’s hair and eyes, chances are she won’t feel particularly respected by you.

    Can you postulate any theory as to why this gets shown in porn all the time? (Given that it’s never been something that women have previously wanted to any great extent.)

  13. Semen in the hair and eyes is a lesser concern of mine. Have you seen any of the original “donkey punch” videos?

    In those videos, the male performers actually use their fists to strike the back of the female performers heads without warning and then they go about laughing about it, like literally they laugh about it like “duh hu hu hu hu”. If any of that happened within my close vicinity I would garrotte and throw the perpetrator out a closed window. It would make the news the next day.

    I think that in most “normal” social contexts this kind of thing would be repulsive to men. However if you are placed in a culture where sexual humiliation and degradation of both sexes is the norm then moronic men can be conditioned into thinking this is just another extension of the primal drive.

  14. ^Haven’t seen any of those, I’m afraid to say.

    Obviously the porn world has lots of those kinds of things, which are grotesque and obviously degrading. And “facials” are mild in comparison. But lets bear in mind that the vast majority of porn scenes seem to end with a facial – it is normalizing something you’d usually get slapped for doing.

    My own theory is that the facial represents a sort of male power of the woman, and is a disdainful act. Like a lot of things in porn, it’s the sort of thing that most people in actual relationships wouldn’t get away with; in order to keep a relationship working, and make the other person want to keep having sex with you, you need to show care, attention and respect. By contrast, a facial is not only a degrading act but epitomises that male fantasy of screwing someone and not having to cuddle or act like you give a shit afterwards.

    Let me add the disclaimer: I’m not against people doing things that both partners are into. And I’m not personally revolted by facials (otherwise I would never have watched porn), but I’m aware of the dubiousness of what it represents.

  15. Porn is basically do-it-yourself sex for guys. The problem is that if you do it yourself enough, you’re not going to be any good at do it with someone else.

  16. E.S, semen on the face is primarily for display value, but it’s not something that women would necessarily not enjoy. It is also not something that would necessarily be callous and hurtful to the woman. You can, for example, ask her to close her eyes. You can agree that semen in hair tends to ruin its texture. Semen on the face is not messier than having her goo on your nose and chin, and in both cases the olfactory stimulation is quite high and has erotic value. Sex does not also necessarily end after ejaculation. Have you never had second wind? Do some women not look very sexy with semen dripping down their face and their mouth slightly agape, breathing heavily after sexual exertion with that half glazed post-orgasmic look in their eyes? Would it not be arousing for her in that state if you gently but firmly directed her gaze to a mirror and told her to look and take in how beautiful she looks in this primal state? Would this image and state of being fulfil, satiate or whet her desire for more? It would really depend on her willing participation, wouldn’t it? But that’s just my personal opinion. Apparently I am wrong.

    The problem is, I really did not get the memo on the right or wrong way to have sex. I did not read all the textbooks on the symbolic values of sexual acts. The fool that I was, I thought that if she were okay with it, that would be enough. How foolish of me. Obviously this isn’t true, is it? Every sexual act has a hidden meaning and connotation.

    In addition, what you said earlier is that regardless of whether a woman is into it or not, it would still be degrading. This means no matter the individual female’s personal preferences, her capacity to make choices is not as important as what has been determined about the act itself. (I could ask who determines it and how they do it, but that may become an endless argument going back and forth over irreconciliable first principles, and besides, some people speak with so much moral authority you just have to believe them)

    I want to be a good man, E.S. I wouldn’t hurt or degrade a fly, much less women I am intimate with. Could you direct me to some good articles and textbooks on the correct, respectful way to have sex? As right now my sole compass of determining this: her responses and consent is thereby judged to be insufficient.

    Then I can share these theories with her too and we will be on the same page and the both of us can be good, respectful people and have sex the proper loving, respectful and non-degrading way.

    P.S: I digress a little bit. Last I remembered, Christianity had a lot of really solid ideas on how people should have sex properly, stretching from the greco-roman times until now. Things for example, like how only missionary is permissible, how oral sex is a crime against god and nature, and how things like this could be punishable by death.

    Lol, obviously Christianity is no longer sufficient as a guide anymore is it? We certainly need some new and updated guidelines. We can then spread these guidelines to everybody to follow and abide by, and then everybody will live in a new sexual utopia of RESPECT and FEMALE EMPOWERMENT.

  17. ^Don’t have time to write a proper answer right now. But I think you are kind of missing the point.
    As I mentioned before, if a woman wants to have someone squirt in her face, then that’s fine. While it certainly has degrading overtones, we sometimes willingly indulge in degrading acts as part and parcel of a diverse sexual palate. That’s fine. It’s like being tied up or spanked or whatever. If that’s your thing, have at it.

    However, it’s certainly not everyone’s thing. And when one person just assumes it’s okay to do these things to another person, we have a problem. Young people are being exposed through porn to all kinds of boundary-pushing sexual acts, but this is not being accompanied by the sensitivity and respect that is also an important aspect of sex. The unrealistic and insensitive assumptions and expectations that are increasingly being promulgated by sex have a lot of potential to damage relationships. And there’s also a lot of porn that has “rapey” overtones, which is another conversation again.

  18. LOL, I don’t think I missed the point at all. In fact I think I caught on to the other points, but feel free to correct me.

    Just a little trivia. Female “frigidity” isn’t talked about much right now, but at one point of time, twenty five to thirty years ago and beyond that, there was a lot of talk about it, wasn’t there?

    Want to hazard a guess what was going on?

  19. @es

    Like hollywood movies, p0rnography is an unrealistic and at times, laughable interpretation on reality purely for the propose for entertainment. Anyone who mistakes that for reality probably needs help.

  20. @ N:

    Agreed. The problem is that for most young males these days, it is their first experience of what sex looks like, so in a way it is setting a sort of baseline for what they think reality is.
    And while it is just as unrealistic as a Hollywood movie, a lot of people have trouble seeing where reality ends and pure fantasy begins. I mean, how often have we talked about how Hollywood and TV affects the perception of Asians?

  21. @es

    Yep and the people that are influenced by the movies and think that Asian girls must be saved by white knights from the evil Asian men, certainly needs their heads checked out (though personally I think they are right-offs already).

    On a slightly different note, anyone seen or heard about pornography aimed at women (which is unrealistic in a diffrent way)?

    NSFW:
    http://www.silklabo.com/user_data/cocoon_top.php

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