A couple of weeks ago, my editor for Curly Nikki asked me to write about porn. I wasn't excited about it. I'm not one of those Christians who believe porn is evil and the source of all sexual depravity, still, I understand that porn has done a great job in spreading incredibly inaccurate images and sentiments about sex and sexuality.
But I've only come to this conclusion after years of dabbling. From HBO's "Real Sex"-- which was incredibly informative, to Tumblr gifs and full on Porn Hub, I've seen enough. During my exploration, I quickly realized why people have porn addictions.
In college, after I'd spent a good two hours watching and thoroughly enjoying various videos, I had a vision of myself being late picking my daughter up from school because I had lost track of time watching porn. And it scared me. Since then I only watch it when I stumble upon something...which isn't all that often.
Still, I understand the positive role it can play in sexual exploration, inspiration, and ejaculation. LOL If you can do that. Either way, as a part of my assignment for Curly Nikki--which I've adopted for NSNC, I asked some women--whose names have been changed---what they were taught about porn growing up and what they believe about it today. See what they had to say.
Elan: It’s like talking about sex. It was taboo growing up and frowned upon. Now ,I’m ummm I’m open minded 😂
Uchenna: It was definitely kept hidden in the house. Thankfully when I came across my parents’ stash, my mother had the talk about it. However, catechism and the catholic church has imprinted upon me that it's "bad" and I low key still get a slight twinge in my system over that guilt.
Lisa: It wasn’t spoken about I never saw my mom or sister with it but I knew it was forbidden. Now I like it but I sometimes feel guilty if I watch alone.
Robin: my sexual organs have always been hyperactive since birth (at least that's what I believe) and every time I got caught watching porn I had my ass wore out!! Being that I was watching porn since kindergarten I could understand, with that being said it was always taboo in my house as well. I appreciate porn and Superhead for everything it's taught me and those lonely nights it's gotten me through…
I remember when I got pregnant in college and I was able to be open with you about my sexual experiences and how it heightened everything like no other (sorry to divert)......I'm very into sex and my sexuality and I believe porn is necessary for life, I like seeing new tricks, positions, etc....... I don't have too many friends that will sit and let me watch them and their husband have sex, so with that being said it's about as natural as can be for me.
Yvette: It was never a bad stigma surrounding it growing up for me but I knew it was something that you did when you got older and that mainly men did it. In the church it was seen as bad. As an adult personally I’d rather watch my own but if my spouse watches which at this age he’d rather watch our own it’s not a deal breaker. It’s just not a big deal at all but they don’t do anything special sooo kinda pointless
Niecy: It was stacked floor to ceiling at one of my uncle’s house. We were supposed to act like we didn’t see it. Another male relative had a whole room full of it. It was a room we couldn’t go into, but it really didn’t have a door, so technically it wasn’t entering if you were already there. It was always around every boy or man I knew. So dumb.
Kenisha: My parents never discussed porn with me. I remember my brothers finding some of my dad's old dirty magazines and porn (when it was on VHS) and my mother finding out and they got in trouble. I distinctively remember my mom beating the crap out of my oldest brother because he left one of the VHS tapes in the family VCR where I could find it. Because of that, my brother moved out the house. So that was my experience as a child. Of course, as soon as I got to college, I learned all about pornhub and I kept it a secret from my mom that I watched it until I graduated. It gets brought up in random conversation now because I'm "grown" so my mom and I speak freely about it in regards to like marriage. Now the church I grew up in was another story. I remember them having a 7 week series during Sunday school (for adults of course) about pornography and how it was perverted and it was a sin and blah blah blah. And I was in my early 20s having to sit next to my mom while they discuss in all the ways pornography could lead to broken marriages, homosexuality, and other things. And I was floored to say the least. I was looking at my pastor like he had 10 heads like surely a man well in his 50s is seriously not spewing this kind of message to other grown folks, half of which are married. Like give me a break! I think porn is fine and healthy and can be a great tool in marriages to educate or to spice things up. I also believe masturbation is healthy and normal. But I do have an internal conflict about how I personally feel and how I was made to feel according to my religious practices.
Nicole: I think porn created a false illusion of what sex can be. I feel we have been bamboozled with someone else’s perception of what sex should be .... media, porn, movies ...
…growing up I had my own views of sex and the nature of it being animalistic ... I would often wonder why God created it this way lol. The whole concept just didn’t seem like the most sophisticated way to handle such an intimate act. As a child I would see porn on HBO and mostly series discussing sexuality. I really never thought it was good or bad . When I started seeing different porn and saw how most men based all of their sexual expectations from someone else ...I saw where issues would arise with my perception and then a false perception …
Ashley: Never talked about Porn growing up. I found a tape once. I'm pretty sure it was found out that I found it and it disappeared. Looking back, I laugh and feel kind of sad at how embarrassed my mom must have been. Lol I DID do a project on Porn in a sociology class and that's where I developed the idea that Porn was dangerous and promulgated a unrealistic and unhealthy view of sex. So I mostly stayed away from it until recent years. I think it has its place and can be healthy in relationships.
Wanda: Never knew about it or watched it til I wz older...
Iesha: Growing up I found a few tapes. Lol. Our family has always been open about things, but I felt weird bringing that up to my parents. I remember I got caught watching one once. I lied. Got a whooping. I think I got a whooping for lying more-so than watching the tape. Today, I don’t have a problem with watching it. I tend not to, but I have moments. I also think it could incite an unrealistic expectation of what sex should be. I don’t know many people who go for an hour. You got a good 30 mins. 😂. On that same note, I think it could be healthy for couples who wanna try different things and spice it up in some areas. I don’t think it should be an all the time thing though.
Anika: We definitely didn’t talk about porn in my house, but I also stumbled on some late night stuff when I was a (very sheltered) teenager and was all 😳😳
Now, I’m much more open minded about porn and I think exploring one’s sexuality in general is healthy. However I do think it’s problematic that so much of porn is centered on male pleasure, is a bunch of skinny white folks, and other ethnicities, non-straight people are all fetishized A LOT. There are feminist porn sites out there and those videos are much more about female pleasure, are more body positive, etc. and, in my opinion, depict sex in a way that’s recognizable and relatable.