Opinion: We Need to Openly Talk About Porn

Porn. It comes across a lot of people’s minds and touchscreens, hidden behind layers of incognito searches and thinking of excuses to get your roommate to leave the room. Unfortunately, it’s easy to tell who it’s primarily created for. An uncomfortable amount of porn is comprised of scenes of women being beaten senseless, coerced into sexual acts, being spit upon or into...the mind reels at the level of violence an “average” porn video contains. A media form where consent is thrown to the wayside for high-impact sexual violence in the name of arousal is, by its very nature, an unsafe space for women, or anyone who isn’t male.

 

This isn’t to shame women who are into submission, nor is it to shame men who enjoy domination. But it’s difficult to say that there isn’t anything wrong when it is incredibly difficult to browse a site like Pornhub or XHamster without hitting nothing but these types of videos. At what point does abuse and pain stop being a kink and start becoming “the norm” for sex? I’m genuinely unsure, but it’s safe for me to say that there’s a problem within the world of porn—especially for a woman just trying to get her rocks off without being called a “dirty cum-guzzling whore” in the process. When the bar for finding porn is at “something that only makes me mildly uncomfortable,” something is incredibly wrong. And yet, this is the reality for anyone who does not identify as male. =Matters only get worse if you identify with a minority group—finding porn that does not objectify trans, non-white or queer persons is nearly impossible, and for some groups, representation might not even exist at all (when’s the last time you saw nonbinary persons represented in porn?).

 

The mere passing mention of porn is a touchy subject for a lot of people. Maybe one could get away with discussing it within in academic setting; heaven knows just how many professors have given my classes a knowing wink and nod when the required article of the week is “something everybody will find fascinating!” I’m getting cold sweats just thinking about one of my co-editors editing this piece and making the connection that - gasp - I’ve watched porn! But how else are we supposed to address this problem if we don’t talk about it openly? I don’t pretend to have any solutions to this problem, but damned if I’ll pretend that there isn’t a problem to begin with.

 

We need to get loud about this topic. I’m not advocating for people to drag their friends in uncomfortable or unwanted conversations about sex, but there needs to be some sort of discussion about it. Even if we don’t know what can be done about the violence and objectification porn thrives off of, just being open about it has to be better than living with it. Non-male persons deserve porn that won’t make them sick to their stomach. Let’s talk about it.

 

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