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Cal Poly Women Get Real About Porn

Porn may not be a big taboo anymore, but when you’re a woman, it can definitely feel like it. Maybe you’re a woman who has been shamed for watching porn, or feel insecure about your sexual interests. Maybe you are a porn enthusiast and think there’s nothing better than relaxing in front of your laptop! Or maybe you think the industry is totally demeaning to women and a violation of feminism. We asked Cal Poly women to anonymously share what they really think about porn, and we were blown away at the honesty of their opinions. You won’t want to miss what they had to say.

1. “I don’t really like watching porn too much, though I don’t think it’s the porn itself I dislike. I think the culture surrounding the industry (though it may be getting marginally better) still inherently objectifies women in the porn itself and outside of it. The idea of watching porn is appealing, but it’s sometimes not as satisfying.”

2. “Sometimes. I go on Pornhub and I more just watch it out of curiosity. I don’t really find it sexy or attractive. Sex scenes in movies are more appealing to me if I’m being honest. I try to look for videos where both partners are being pleasured. Sometimes I look for weird videos out of morbid curiosity, and they make me feel gross. It’s not because I think porn is bad or wrong but because of gender dynamics in it are upsetting to me. For instance, the blue pill society videos make me really weirded out because it’s a bunch of older guys getting turned on by a girl many years younger. One time I did a search for ‘feminist porn’ to see if I could find something that wasn’t so hard to watch, but the search didn’t really lead anywhere.”

Related: Sex Education is Actually SO Important & Here’s Why

3. “I guess it’s chill, but I think the industry is sketchy. Though honestly, I don’t know a lot about it, I always get the feeling that the women aren’t treated right. I also think that has to do with bad feminism in terms of double standards about more men than women watching it, and catering to that audience.”

4. “I don’t really watch porn, but I don’t care if other people do. It is legal and it’s their choice. I believe that porn can be empowering to the women who watch it and who work in the industry if they feel that it is empowering. If women don’t feel empowered by porn, they shouldn’t watch or become involved in it, but they shouldn’t criticize those who are empowered by it, either.”

5. “Growing up, porn is something no one ever talked about. It was super taboo, and it still is, so my early relationship with it was pretty shameful. I thought I was doing something wrong, and I had this big sense of dread afterward. As I got older and became more comfortable with myself and understood the industry more, I comforted myself with the idea that it’s a professional industry full of people who love what they do and take pride in it. A year or so ago, though, that thought was complicated when I watched the documentary Hot Girls Wanted, which is all about the amateur porn industry, specifically. It highlighted some of the industry’s danger by showing a group of amateur girls who were at times taken advantage of or pigeonholed into a genre they didn’t like because of their naivety. And then, porn star James Deen was publicly accused of raping his co-star, Stoya. It made me wonder how often that stuff happens but just isn’t reported. So clearly, the industry, though largely professional and consensual, has some problems that need to be dealt with, but I think the taboo needs to be lifted before any real positive progress against those things can be addressed and fixed. Now, I try to only watch videos that begin with the actors signing a release or talking about preferences and safe words before the actual video begins, and definitely no James Deen videos. I don’t know if doing this actually makes a difference, but it makes me feel like I’m supporting studios and actors that/who want to make sure everyone feels safe.”

Related: 3 Reasons Why Hooking Up is Better Than Being in a Relationship

6. “I do not personally watch porn but I do not feel negatively about it. If someone wants to watch porn then more power to them. I think it is well known that guys watch porn all the time and no one really judges them, so I don’t know why a woman watching porn should be any different. In this case, I see a tire between porn and feminism because it is just another double standard that women face. But, I also think there is an element of empowerment if a woman enjoys watching porn.”

7. “I watch gifs of porn on Tumblr, because I find video porn to be a bit much. I feel porn is very masculine and the female audience is being ignored. I feel we should not shame or feel pity for women who do porn, if they are happy and freely doing it.”

Gina was formerly the Beauty & Culture Editor at Her Campus, where she oversaw content and strategy for the site's key verticals. She was also the person behind @HerCampusBeauty, and all those other glowy selfies you faved. She got her start in digital media as a Campus Correspondent at HC Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she graduated in 2017 with degrees in English and Theater. Now, Gina is an LA-based writer and editor, and you can regularly find her wearing a face mask in bed and scrolling through TikTok.
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