Honest Talk About Sex & Porn

I remember being 12 and taking sex Ed. We had a box in the front of the room that we were allowed to drop questions we had or terms we didn't understand so that we could get clarification without being embarrassed. Some of my friends put in folded up flash cards that said things like "does sex hurt?" "What is a g spot?" The teacher would open up the box and unfold the cards, everyone's hearts racing. She would often mutter something like I'm sorry I can't answer that or talk about this, let's review tampons versus pads again, shall we?

We were quizzed on more human anatomy and that time of the month then human sexuality. I learned nothing about STDs versus STIs, nothing about consensual sex, nothing about different sexualities, and was mostly forbidden to speak openly about sex in the confines of a sex Ed class. 

And it's middle school so outside of that class the halls are still filled with sex chatter. and it's cool for boys to be openly horny. I heard term after term that I had never heard before like blow job, clit, 69, anal, cum, whatever was said was always said snickering and followed by laughter. I smiled and tried to laugh along. I remember being asked point blank if I knew what a blow job was at the age of 12 (um no, I didn't) and I went red and said something like "I'm not explaining that!" Hence keeping my sexual prowess and remaining a prude. Ever the balance of a preteen. 

After all the public school chatter about this final frontier, with no answers, I would go home and Google things I had heard. Then viciously clear the search history after  I had googled something like "what is discharge". The Internet did lead me to some amazing sources (thank you Laci Greene) but mostly I ended up on a lot of yahoo answers pages, abstinence geared "educational websites" and most notably, porn. All I learned from these sources was that sex was taboo, shameful, and scary. 

I think like most other people, porn was my very first experience with sex. Which is insanely insanely problematic. As a 12 year old it was definitely necessary for me to get a proper education on sex, and looking for that sent me to videos where girls were repeatedly put in ludicrous positions, objectified and segmented, and repeatedly pounded with little to no clitoral stimulation.

But boy, they looked like they loved it!

Not only was this extremely traumatizing at the time but really damaged my sexual identity. In combination with public school & now porn I knew absolutely nothing about sex. But I knew I didn't want to partake in it. It looked painful. It looked hard to do. And the expectations for girls were enormous. Moan almost all the time, basically as soon as you are penetrated you you will feel instant pleasure. Your body is always perfectly hairless and tanned and your eye contact is astonishing. You are there to please him and not much else. Communication is absent.

But porn is a complete performance. It's for a viewer on the other side of the screen, not for either person engaging in the act. It's inherently sexualizing women. I can recognize that now, but what I learned then was that sexualization was synonymous with sex. 

So when I did become sexually active it felt like it should be a performance rather than a partnership.

And that's not just on my end, porn is the expectation for both parties.

And that's just sad. 

Because real sex is way better than porn ever could be. It's about your connection, it's about communication. It's when you are so close with somebody that you have nothing left to prove but want to share another part of yourself with them. It's an extension of your love for somebody else. It's just another way to physically show that.. (that should be done consensually and safely of course.)

I have been trying to finish this article for a while to be honest.. It's been in my archives for about five months now. It's really easy for me to point out what sex isn't, because I see the error in my own thinking and how that has damaged my sex life and sexuality. But defining what it is? That's harder. I don't think I've quite figured that out yet. I can gum together ideas like, it involves communication, vulnerability, and mutual respect, but what could I say to my sixteen-year-old self who thought that someone's dick could alter me to the point that it would fundamentally change who I was as a person? (it doesn't, it didn't)

In searching for answers and a way to end this article with some type of insight as to what sex IS, finally got around to listening to my friend Vivian's Podcast, The Heart Study. She goes through books chapter by chapter, rephrasing information, giving insight and her own personal anecdotes.

In her latest segment, she went through the book Sex Matters by Osho. It speaks about sex in a way I haven't heard before. As an energy exchange. As an obsession with the ego. As chains that bind us to the point of insanity, and ultimately as nothing at all.

We often talk about sexualization. But not sex as a concept, sex as a practice, sex as the essence of being. So starting from here: let's start talking about sex beyond what we think we know about it. Beyond the hallways and beyond a sex ed classroom, beyond your bedroom.

With unlearning the pornographic, sexualized side of sex, we have to relearn and redefine what it means to us. Tap into yourself and try to seperate what you have been told versus what you truly feel. If something feels inherently uncomfortable to you, listen to that. You don't have to conform or perform. Sex is an art form and you can choose to express yourself in whatever way is right for you and your partner, or you and yourself. (hey, sex starts with the self!)