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5 Essential Sex-Positive Traits that Mainstream Porn Doesn’t Support

By February 7, 2019 No Comments
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We say this often, and it’s central to what we stand for at Fight the New Drug—we are pro-sex. In fact, we are anti-porn because of just how pro-sex we are.

If you check out all the compelling facts and studies, stories and articles we have compiled on our site and social, you’ll catch the drift—we believe being strongly pro-love means fighting porn and all the ways porn hurts real, healthy love.

In light of all this, we are all about sex-positivity. But hold on, “sex-positive” is one of those terms that’s easy to casually throw around without really diving into what it means.

To be specific, the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) has published an informative description of what it means to be “sex-positive” and what traits sex-positive people tend to have.

Here is a breakdown of a few points from ISSM’s list of sex-positive traits, and we’ve added ways porn promotes the opposite of pro-sex.

Sex-positive people:
1. Are open to learning more about sex, their bodies and their partners’ bodies, and all the physical, emotional, and psychological elements of sexual intimacy.

Healthy, positive sex involves loving and knowing all of each other and celebrating the fullness of intimacy—not just the physical part.

In contrast, porn does not promote sex as a multi-faceted act of love and closeness. It ignores the emotional and psychological parts of true sexual intimacy, instead of teaching consumers (often as kids’ earliest teacher on the topic of sex) that sex is mainly about performance.

Related: Why Quitting Porn Is Like Giving A Sex-Positive Gift To Your Relationship

What’s more, learning more about sex and one another’s bodies is a process, one that is healthy and positive in the context of a consensual, loving committed relationship. Porn often shows that sex is about quick and immediate pleasure, involves painful and humiliating acts, and that it isn’t necessarily connected to love or intimacy at all.

See how this strips sex of its full 3-D nature and makes it about quick-fix personal pleasure? Not exactly as sex-positive as the ISSM definition.

2. Care about safe sex for themselves and their partners, including emotional and psychological safety.

Being sex-positive means prioritizing mutual safety, comfort, and acceptance. This means building trust in your partner and paying attention to how your sexual activity is affecting you as well.

Mainstream porn is drastically unsafe for the consumer. Studies show that porn takes a huge mental toll on consumers, often leading to or fueling existing depression and anxiety. Self-esteem can also tank under porn’s influence, for both men and women. And get this—studies have show how porn consumption actually rewires a consumer’s brain, writing over old neural pathways that allowed him to find pleasure in things he loves and teaching his brain to release the pleasure chemical dopamine more with porn and less with other things.

This is how porn can become addictive for some consumers, which needless to say, is unsafe. This ground-breaking study found that porn can shrink your brain’s gray matter in the prefrontal cortex, which handles decision-making and motivation.

Related: 3 Reasons Why NOT Watching Porn Is Sex-Positive

Porn is also unsafe for the consumer’s partner. Porn leads to isolation in relationships, causing partners to experience loneliness. Porn consumers also tend to become less satisfied with their real partners’ physical appearance, sexual performance, sexual curiosity, and affection. They also have a higher chance of cheating on their partners and are overall less satisfied with and committed to them. Put all this together, and it obviously wreaks havoc on their partners. Some relationships never recover, though many do.

Not to mention the glaringly unsafe nature of the porn industry’s deep connection to sex trafficking. Porn is clearly unsafe across the board, which is sex-negative if anything ever was.

3. Consider sex to be a healthy, enjoyment-worthy part of life that should be discussed without shame or awkwardness.

We couldn’t agree more. Healthy sex at its core is enjoyable, and doesn’t include shame. There should be nothing to hide with someone you love and trust, right?

Here’s the crazy irony about porn: the porn industry sells the idea that porn helps make sex more enjoyable, but studies show how consuming porn literally does the opposite.

More and more research is being done about the questionable effects of porn on consumers, and a lot of it points to the shocking trend of people having less sex while porn is part of their lives. Basically, persistent hardcore porn consumption can reprogram your sexual template. This can fuel dissatisfaction with real, actual people and situations and, in turn, fuel the need for more extreme, over-the-top situations, behavior, and acts found in porn in order to feel the same level of pleasure. Even teens and young adults are becoming less satisfied with real sex and are having less of it! Crazy, right? Clicking on digital “sex” has an inverse relationship to the strength and enjoyment of real sex, according to studies.

Porn consumption also has a close partnership with shame, fostering feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, and confusion in consumers that can harm their confidence, emotional freedom, and ability to connect with others. Does that sound sex-positive to you?

4/5. Acknowledge that sometimes they or their partners won’t want to have sex, and accept others’ sexual practices as long as there is consent.

These two points are centered around the preference and consent of one’s partner, which is obviously crucial to a sex-positive perspective. Without consent and consideration for the other person involved in your sexual experiences, this can open the door to dangerous and risky sexual encounters. Healthy sex takes two, where both partners value each other equally.

Porn does not take consent into account. Many—though not all—porn performers are trafficked, abused, or financially manipulated into entering and staying in the porn industry. Watching an XXX video has a high potential of directly fueling exploitation of the people involved with clicks and downloads.

Related: What Porn Performers Are Really Thinking When They’re Having Sex On Camera

But not only that—porn teaches consumers to value consent less in their actual relationships. Even if performers consent off-camera to performing violent and degrading acts, often, that consent does not play a part in the scene depicted. Consider how these scenarios sell the idea that it’s important to maximize your own pleasure over what’s happening to the other person. Not healthy, right? Being sex-positive means valuing consent and both parties’ experiences, simple as that.

Sex-positivity is essential, but porn misses the mark

We think being sex-positive is essential to a healthy, loving relationship. And porn? Porn fits the definition of being sex-negative and promoting unhealthy, sex-negative ideas and practices.

Share these thoughts with a friend or your partner—if nothing else, it’s sure to spark an interesting conversation. This fight for love, for sex-positivity and real love, is totally worth it. This is why we do what we do.

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