Sexual Health & Wellness

Is Sex in Porn Like Sex in Real Life?

10.06.2022

By Avril Louise Clarke, Clinical Sexologist & Intimacy Coordinator

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Welcome to TPC Wellness, a column in which we will discuss everything related to sexual health and wellness. Because you deserve to feel good!

Have a question about sex, wellness, identity, relationships, or more that you'd like us to answer? Send it in here.

Repeat after us: Porn is entertainment, not education!

Whether one is consuming free online porn intentionally or not, for many, it is often one’s first exposure to sex. Which can be confusing sometimes. Although watching porn can give people real pleasure - it is actually not very realistic. It's filled with messages that can be harmful to our understanding of what sex and respectful relationships are like in real life.

Let’s cover a few of the messages we might receive from consuming free online porn:

Bodies
You may notice some body types that stand out in porn. Large penises, perfectly symmetrical breasts, surgically modified vulvas, and no body hair. This image encourages people who watch it to seek this body image for themselves or their partner. It can add a lot of unnecessary pressure and is not realistic! All bodies, no matter the shape, size and ability are worthy of love and pleasure.

Consent & Boundaries
In free online porn, you may notice consent does not play a large role in the scenes. No matter what you notice, know that you are able to create your own boundaries on what feels good or not to you. Everyone has the right to have their boundaries respected. With every partner, there must be communication and consent present before, during, and after sex.

Sex
Unlike what you see in porn, sex does not always have to include penetration and end in an orgasm. Sexual behaviours vary and communicating with a sexual partner and asking for and giving consent is the only way to have pleasurable sexual experiences.

A few things to keep in mind about free online porn that helps separate the fantasy from the reality of sex and porn:
-The people you see in porn are called performers. They negotiate contracts and get paid for what they do.
-They never show the conversations around consent that occur between actors before, during and after scenes.
-Safer sex strategies are often not seen on screen. These include the use of contraceptives and sexually transmitted infections testing before and after filming.
-There are filming techniques like lighting, directing, and camera angles that create each video/ad/etc. Much like they use in your favourite action films and series!
-Editing is used to make scenes shorter and don’t show foreplay or communication between the performers.

Overall, reminding yourself that all type of media, including porn, is created with the purpose to send us messages helps to remain critical about what we are consuming and how it can affect our expectations when it comes to our sex, our bodies, relationships and more! Remember, porn is not education - it’s entertainment!

So learning the facts, recognising what makes you feel good and what doesn’t and knowing that communication and using consent is the best way to have positive and pleasurable sexual experiences is key - if and when you have them!

Have a question about sex, wellness, identity, relationships and more for us? Send it in here. It’s always anonymous!