Let’s Talk: Porn. Busting myths and tackling taboos

 “Porn is just for horny boys.”

“Porn is gross and aggressive.”

“Women who watch porn are weird and sex crazy.”

“Watching porn as a couple means you're unsatisfied in your own relationship.”


I’m sure you’ve heard this all before. Whether you love it, hate it or are totally indifferent, everyone has their own perspective on the consumption of porn. 

Let’s get one thing straight. Porn isn’t real life. In the same way most blockbusters aren’t real life...yet, that doesn’t stop us from watching them! Porn, like films, needs producers, light/sound technicians, camera crews, hair & make up, stylists, and most importantly performers. It is a choreographed performance that’s main purpose is viewing pleasure.


A study of 24k women who watched porn found 54% don’t talk to their friends about their porn consumption, and 51% would be ashamed if their friends knew they were into it. Our society has taught womxn to refrain from talking about masturbation and porn in the same way men do, so it’s not a surprise we aren’t shouting it from the rooftops. Guess what...times are changing and our fabulous community is proof of this.  


From a survey of 400 of you, we collated the following:

  • 74% watched porn frequently 
  • 64% of our community watched same sex porn 
  • 40% watched porn to educate themselves 
  • 95% don’t pay for porn
  • 5% pay for porn
  • 50% believe porn has a positive impact on their well being
  • 50% believe porn has a negative impact on their wellbeing.

After asking whether you believed porn was beneficial or detrimental to your sexual wellbeing, one of our community members stated:


“I have read several articles discussing this topic…[they] have all supported... that [porn] is not beneficial for your well-being, but if it helps you cum then that surely has benefits? I do agree that [porn] is not good in the realm of intimacy with a partner, as it can often construe certain expectations...‘hardcore’ factor of porn ...can be quite detrimental to relationships.”

It’s clearly not a black and white matter, but rather 50 shades of grey. On one hand, it can be a great educational tool, a source of arousal and sexual self-discovery for yourself or with your partner. On the other hand, it can also be extremely damaging to male sex satisification, warp expectations of sexual acts, negatively impact body image and objectify bodies...mainly those of womxn. According to Michael Flood writing for The Conversation, “an analysis of top-selling and top-renting titles on porn sites found 88% of scenes showed aggression”. There is no denying that this can perpetuate hostile sexism, even beyond the walls of the bedroom. This is why we think it’s paramount to ask these questions and talk about it amongst our community so we can all practice porn literacy. 

So, that sparks the question; is there an alternative to watching porn? 

The answer is yes! One of our community members said;


“I wish I could masturbate to something in writing or in my head instead but I have been conditioned to porn because I started watching it when I hit puberty.”


Conditioned is a key word here. Most of us who grew up with the internet had access to porn with a single click of the finger, which means we have been exposed at an early age. Not all hope is lost. We suggest exploring feature romantic/erotica novels, or even writing down your own wildest fantasies. Watch some sexy scenes from a movie and create your own story that works for you. 


Ultimately, we’re not here to tell you what to do (except of course when it comes to our My Ilo products...they will rock your world). It’s totally up to you how and if you chose to engage with it. However, these are the three things we will ask you to bare in mind so that you can consume porn in a safe, literate and empowering way:

  1. Remember it’s perfectly normal to watch porn. Don’t feel shameful, we all do it! Bring up the topic with your friends and partners, because statistically more than half of them do or have watched it before. 
  2. Stay conscious and informed. Tune in to what you’re watching, which platform you’re watching it on and be aware of how it makes you feel.
  3. Consumer’s Choice. Choose to consume what makes you feel good and turned on. Choice is power.

   …

 Looking to become more literate in porn? 


If you are looking to educate yourself on porn and self-pleasure, check out; ‘Oh my god yes’, ‘Tim Ferriss Show: The erotic playbook of a top-earning sex worker’. 

If you’re looking for pornography sites that focus on fair wage and labor practices for their performers (key word: performer), have a look at; Pink Label tv, Trenchcoat x, Kink.com, Trouble films, Burning angel, Bellesa. These sites focus on fair wage and labour practices for their performers. 



References: Flood, M., (2020), ‘Pornography has deeply troubling effects on young people, but there are ways we can minimise the harm, The Conversation, Jan 6th, Available at: https://theconversation.com/pornography-has-deeply-troubling-effects-on-young-people-but-there-are-ways-we-can-minimise-the-harm-127319

My ilo x

Written by Margaux Dalgleish  

Image source: Mirage Magazine

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