13. IS PORN OK? Is some porn normalizing sexist stereotypes, violent sex and rape? Is some porn consensual, sex-positive and mutually affirming? Is some porn OK? Is some porn not OK? Does porn impact on your relationship? Talk about it. Make choices that support you and your relationship. Respect yourself. Respect your partner.

Tell us what you think. Comment here. 11 Comments


  1. Sharon says:

    I think people generally over-react to porn. We take it way too seriously. Yes, it can be violent and exploitative – but there’s a lot of ‘amateur’ porn that is just consenting adults expressing their sexuality and not shy to share and show it. This kind of porn helps us imagine a world in which sex is not shameful.

  2. Evan says:

    Ever since I’ve stopped watching porn I’ve stopped fantasizing about porn stars. Now I’m fantasizing about my girlfriend and our sex has gone through the roof.

  3. Carrie says:

    I would like to point out that, as plausible as William’s point may sound, it is bogus. What he suggests is that it is natural for men with ‘unmet needs’ to seek other partners, or to pressurise partners into acts they do not wish to undertake. So it’s linked to the ‘it’s natural’ argument.

    Secondly the degrading and dehumanising content of porn is likely to give men more ‘unmet needs’. Due to the dehumanisation of women within porn, men and young boys will feel entitled to ask/demand/pressurise. Not to mention that young women will internalise this behaviour as a norm and will end up without fulfilling sex lives themselves, but rather they will become the sexual property of a partner. There are many women and men who can testify to this and there is research which shows the effects of porn on young minds and relationships. Dehumanisation is a process which has always worked to enable subordination and abuse and is present in pornography, as well as other aspects of the media.

    Finally assuming amateur porn is non exploitative is a little wishful I think. Firstly you do not know the pressure that the partner may be under to engage in these sexual behaviours, and more importantly to upload these images online. It could even be that these are private videos that have been uploaded without their partners/ex partners knowledge. Revenge porn is on the rise too and this will present a serious issue for young women and can ruin their lives, as yet there are no proper laws to tackle it, in fact uploading one sex video can ruin the woman’s life but isn’t actually against the law. We often hear the argument put forward that ‘women are stupid to have videoed their sex lives’, but why should it be that even within relationships we cannot expect privacy and respect from our partners and happily enjoy our sexual relationships?

    I think for those of you who would actually like to consider in more detail the impact of porn on men and women you should look at some of the pro and against campaigns. It may be of special interest to you if you have a daughter or son.

  4. Carlynn says:

    I watch porn, and so does my boyfriend. I would much rather him watch porn than fantasize about anyone we both know. We have both expressed that after watching porn we often feel guilty or empty. I’m not sure why he feels this way, but I know that for me it is because I feel degraded because of the way women are represented in porn and sometimes I feel as if I’ve cheated.

  5. Sabina says:

    I’ve read somewhere that men’s brain’s are wired to be quickly aroused, which must be an evolutionary advantage. The more sexually responsive males are the ones whose genes will survive, something like that? And because porn is so available it’s not surprising that men get easily drawn into it.

  6. Anke says:

    When my boy-friend watches porn it feels like he’s cheating on me. We have a good sex life – so why does he still feel a need to watch other women having sex?

  7. Bridget says:

    I agree with the ‘OK porn and not OK porn’ message in this poster, but want to add that unsafe sex is common in porn. Amateur porn, because it’s more realistic, sometimes shows men using condoms. But it’s not common practice, and it should be!

  8. Ingrid says:

    Porn damages relationships because it creates unrealistic expectations. After watching porn my boyfriend expects me to act like a slut in bed.

  9. Kristina says:

    For centuries we’ve been socially conditioned to feel a lot of shame, guilt and fear around sex. It goes without saying that we need controls against violent porn and the exploitation of children. But is there any actual evidence that watching people having sex is harmful or leads to criminal acts? My experience has been the opposite of harmful… I realized that, as a woman, I wasn’t perverse for wanting sexual pleasure.

  10. William says:

    There is obviously some porn that degrades both women and men – there are usually two participants – and the more horrible versions of porn could be labelled as ‘bad’ porn. But porn is better than getting frustrated and bitter because of unmet needs. It’s better than having affairs. It’s better than pressuring a partner into sex they don’t want.

  11. Gail says:

    I think this poster makes an important point – there’s a big difference between positive and negative porn. I’ve read that the fastest growing segment of the porn industry is now by home-made amateurs and that is obviously voluntary, with no financial reward or exploitation. Just ordinary people sharing their pleasure with the world!

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