Porn is Weird

The basic premise of typical hetero porn is that you sit in front of a computer screen and masturbate to naked people having some form of sex with eachother or themselves on said computer screen. Despite the whole sci-fi creepiness to it, this in itself is not weird – there are, for all intents and purposes, sexual acts going on in front of you, usually by humans with well-endowed sexual organs, and so it is only natural to feel sexually excited. But it’s also paradoxical.

More often than not, porn depicts characters you would hardly consider sexually alluring in an IRL encounter. Filled with muscular douchebags, old men with ponytails, large dudes wearing hockey jerseys, 45-year-old women with massive, unnatural-looking breast implants, single moms with faces obscured by a layer cake of makeup, and ditzy white-girl cheerleaders turned vacuous suburbanite idiots, porn is produced by a class of people who, well, not too many of us choose to be around. Yet when we watch porn, we fantasize about either being or fucking these people.

Despite the very real allure of porn, I submit that it involves a massive amount of forgetting. For this, porn is weird. When we watch it, we want to be in it, getting a blow job by a woman with huge tits, bad lipstick, two-inch painted fingernails and the aesthetic of a dancer in a 90s Sisqó video – despite the fact that we’d probably be grossed out by her IRL. We fantasize about being the dude getting the blow job, who also happens to be bald, approaching his mid-50s, and altogether seems like a sleazebag we’d probably cross the street to avoid.

Like everyone, there have been (real) people in my life who I’ve lusted after. Who I’ve met and thought, “I am going to have sex with this person.” These instances were almost entirely based on some physical attribute I found intensely sexy. And if I got lucky, I had sex with them. But for the most part, it was never that great. I wasn’t short-changed or anything – it was all there, just as (if not better than) I imagined – and it was, theoretically, exactly what I wanted at that point in time. But sex is a lot more than the physical experience of another body yielding to yours, and so when the moment of truth came (ha ha), I wasn’t really prepared. There were so many details I hadn’t taken into account in my fantasies – what her face would look like, how responsive she’d be, how genuine she was, what she expected from me, the minutia of sights, smells and feelings – that it was rarely as good as I had imagined it would be.

Of course, no shit – this is why porn exists. Porn is the experience of a fantasy world. It’s an escape from the sexual deprivation of being single, socially anxious, unattractive, and self-loathing; or it’s just the escape from the everyday – a taste of what you know you’ll never have. But I think another way porn functions is to falsely obscure your ideas about sex. After a history of watching porn, you may begin to believe that all you really want out of sex is the ability to pound the shit out of some nameless large-breasted 33-year-old blond who doesn’t – and will never – speak, only cry out in sexual ecstasy. On the sidewalk you may begin to notice women in tiny, revealing shorts and think only about what those shorts are hiding. In general, you may start expecting all your sexual interactions to be like the porn you’re watching.

And I think this is why porn is weird. It immerses us in such down-to-earth fantasies, yet is so one-sided in its depiction of reality. It gives us what we want, but only after we’ve forgotten that we don’t want it at all. It tricks us into believing that we’re desirous of someone for whom we have zero desire. It makes us forget what sex actually is and replaces the idea with, basically, what it isn’t, at all. It’s a hopeless, addicting dream. But such is the way of fantasies, and on that note… I’ll be right back. TC mark

Related

More From Thought Catalog