The Problem with Porn



I stopped dating right after I sat opposite one guy in Covent Garden who, without a shred of irony, told me that his childhood dream had been to become a ‘massive capitalist.’  I had been single for a few months, following a disastrous break-up where my boyfriend’s parting words to me involving the invented insult ‘cuntish whore’, and I was fed up of shit dates. Fed up of contrived conversations, fed up of bill-paying controversies, fed up of meeting people who had apparently had an Uncle Sam picture on their wall and admired the Tooth Fairy’s business strategy. So I turned to porn.

Unfortunately, it turns out, porn is shit. Despite everything I was sold from every man I knew about it being the best complement to a good wank - or, indeed, to a Tuesday evening or a quiet couple of hours after dinner - I couldn’t find one piece of free porn on the internet that I could actually imagine myself getting off to. A general perusal of the usual suspects today has consolidated this for me: one of the ‘top rated’ sex videos on YouPorn is a really creepy rip-off of the Simpsons, and the rest follow a pretty predictable pattern. ‘Big tits fucked hard’, ‘big dick in a mature snatch’, ‘pierced Asian takes a big black cock’, and ‘blonde double banger bonanza’ are just a few choice additions to the website. A video of ‘REAL AMATEUR GIRLS!’ plays in corner, which promises you a look-in to ‘slut’s first steps.’ Of all this brazen smuttery, how come I couldn’t find a single turn-on?

Get yourself on YouPorn’s even weirder little brother, XTube, and admittedly the titles are a little more inventive: ‘Prolapse Party’, for instance, clearly is making an effort to put the ‘sexy’ back into ‘childbirth injury’, and ‘New Toy’ seems to feature a disembodied penis as its central character. So further marks for at least attempting the bizarre, but again - nothing actually made me remotely horny.

Beyond the more complicated and nuanced problems involving porn - which range from the politics of choice, to the perceived boundaries of sexual liberation, to the latest political discussions surrounding how we can ‘protect the children’ and ‘stop the teenagers’ from accessing it - I feel that porn has personally failed me. There’s nothing in the behaviour or the depiction of each overenthusiastic ‘cumslut’ that appeals to a female audience, or is intended to. These websites are almost exclusively intended to cater for males (mostly heterosexual, some homosexual, but hardly ever female in either way.) They present the latest variety of sex that is intended to appeal to these males, and that most males now have regular access to from the age of thirteen or younger. And suddenly, we’re supposed to believe that that’s cool because there’s ‘boy sex’ and ‘girl sex’, and all of the representations of sexual encounters are OK to be polarised into these imaginary groupings.

There seems something inherently stupid to me in the idea that even though sex between a guy and a gal is a two-person thing that both people enjoy, we have to segregate our porn this way. Porn might be the lowest common denominator activity-wise, but does it really have to be so shit? Do we really have to shut up - lest we be labelled uptight - and accepted that ‘boy sex’ and ‘girl sex’ actually exist? Must we get our rocks off to increasingly separated ideas of sexuality?

And most importantly, if I don’t get the remotest twinge from watching an apparent representation of male fantasy, how the hell am I supposed to have actual sex with the man who always wanted to be a capitalist?