I Think I'm Over Porn

Not against it. Not offended by it. Just OVER it.

Nov 29, 2013 at 1:00pm | Leave a comment

The first porn I ever saw was in college, by accident.
 
I was dating a rather nerdy chemistry major who was living in a fraternity house. After sex, I went to the bathroom across from his room, instead of making the midnight trip downstairs to the women’s bathroom. There, in the stall, was a wide-open copy of Hustler. Headlines like “she wants it” and “how to get got, wet pussy” abounded. It was so clearly objectifying women, making us mere receptacles of men’s fancy (and semen) that I freaked. 
 
I’d entered the bathroom in a giddy, post-glow whirl. My boyfriend, who was expecting that same carefree girl to curl up next to him for a long winter’s cuddle, ended up consoling me as I sobbed, “Is this really what you like?” (“No”) and “Your friends like this?” (“I don’t know”) and “Is this really what men want?” (No answer). 
 
Years later, the internet helped me discover porn on my own terms, as it has for many a lass. Alone, I was able to dip my unfetished foot into the waters of S & M play from a safe distance, act the voyeur for some girl-on-girl action, and also learned what it is I don’t want to try. (That’s the chance you take looking at porn: sometimes you see things you can’t un-see!)
 
It’s been over 15 years since college. I’ve been through a twelve year marriage and everything you do in a 12-year marriage to try to spice things up. I’m no Pollyanna. 
 
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Post-marriage, I met someone, and while he and I were living apart I relied on both my Pocket Rocket and my Tumblr account (I have two: one for recipes and one for erotica) to keep the home fires burning. When he returned, I thought a new part of our play could be for me to show him what I'd been up to while he was gone. We’d never done that before--looked at porn together.  
 
And you know what? It wasn’t all that. It didn’t do anything for us. I thought it would make us frisky, but instead we found ourselves critiquing the lighting, the unoriginality of the pose, or screaming “Dah! No!” when we came across something one of us found decidedly unsexy (creepy guys spanking barely legal girl) or grody cum-shots (for some that’s hot. Makes me want to puke). 
 
We scrolled through for something we both thought was sexy. I wanted it to be a see-how-we’re-learning-about-what-we-like experience, but instead you would think we were comparing paint colors or china sets. We put down the iPad, picked up our Kindles, then went to sleep. 
 
I thought it was just a fluke -– maybe sharing porn with my partners wasn’t part of the sexy in this particular relationship. Fine. So, I tried to look at it on my own. Nada. Nothing. I either said “meh,” “yawn” or “ick.” Porn had lost its pull. 
 
But why? Is it an age and experience thing –- been there, done that? Am I over the novelty of it? Is this just a phase? Do other women feel this way? What was once overwhelming and insulting then became liberating, then became blasé.
 
As far as consuming porn alone, part of the draw is the secret nature of it. But, it’s not so secret anymore. Porn is more accessible now than ever -– what you might have to hide away under your bed or in a VHS case marked “Pam’s birthday party” is now available to you free, 24 hours a day, from any smartphone. No big whoop.
 
When you share erotic material with someone, the experience is different than consuming it alone. It’s vulnerable to say, “See the way he’s doing that thing with his tongue/that dildo/that riding crop? I want it like that.”
 
In any case, I closed that Tumblr account and instead, when I can’t sleep at 2am, am happily Pinteresting hair accessories and baby animals in sweaters, not ogling sexual positions.  What had changed? Me? This relationship? My feelings about porn have changed over time, and maybe they will change again. But right now, I’m perfectly happy without it. You?