Why Is It Bad?
This week I’m breaking my usual format a little to tell the story of a good friend of mine.
I received several different versions of this statement submitted to me.
“The type of porn you watch is indicative of what you really want.”
“You should always act on your fantasies”
“Your sex dreams/fantasies are indicative of what you really want.”
Maybe I never thought of things this way because some of my earliest exposure was Japanese tentacle porn. Or maybe I was just never told this, but my friends were, and it did affect them.
I had a dear friend, let’s call him Jack. At one point in his early twenties, Jack found himself scrolling through Tumblr for a little self-pleasuring (back when Tumblr still did what it did best). For context, this is someone who identified as straight and grew up very religious. Yet all of a sudden, he found himself enjoying some very gay imagery. [That is something that would randomly pop up while scrolling during the golden age of Tumblr.] And it threw him for a tailspin. Someone who had never been with a woman but always knew he was straight was enjoying something that did not fit into his narrative of what it meant to be straight. To make matters worse there were only a couple of people he could talk to about this. The first person was his openly gay friend, let’s call him Tim. Tim had some powerfully toxic notions on sexuality that are, unfortunately, very common in the gay community. Namely, being that you are either gay or straight and there’s nothing in between. So when Jack approached Tim to find out what all of this means, Tim told him something along the lines of, “It means you’re actually gay.” At this point, Jack is having a fully blown panic attack and life crisis. His whole life he looked forward to finding a woman to love, share a life with, and together create a family . He wanted to be a good and faithful member of his religious community. And let’s face it – he wanted to have religiously sanctioned sex. At that point in time, in that community, being gay meant he would lose everything he had worked his entire life towards.
Thankfully, the other person in Jack’s life that he could speak to about sex, was me. I told him that it could mean anything. The simplest explanation could be that he was far enough in his arousal cycle that it didn’t really matter what kind of sexual content he was looking at because he was so close to peaking. Another explanation is that he just liked the expression of pleasure he was witnessing, and that he could relate it to his own. It could also be more subtle, like the dynamic between the characters themselves was more important than what was actually happening. I also explained how sexuality is more fluid than just straight and gay. It’s possible that he was a little bisexual, and it’s possible that sometimes he was able to enjoy expressions of male sexuality a little more than at other times. Most importantly for him, I explained that he already had a very solid understanding that he enjoyed the female form. That meant that he had nothing sexual stopping him from pursuing his dreams.
Truth be told, I wasn’t quite so eloquent as this was nearly a decade ago, but the message was the same.
What Can You Do Instead?
Our fantasies (or the types of porn we enjoy) are our fantasies. They don’t need to live beyond that realm. So if you don’t want to act on your fantasies in any way, you don’t have to. If anyone gives you trouble about it, please send them my way.
For those that DO want to explore, it’s important to note that we don’t completely understand why our individual fantasies are what they are. Investigating your fantasies might provide you with some fodder for expanding your sexual repertoire, which will help you curate better experiences. My favorite example is pegging. Pegging has recently had a rise in popularity, especially on various porn sites. However, enjoying watching pegging does not necessarily translate to enjoying being pegged. Some people’s bodies are just not wired to enjoy those sensations. However, there is a lot more happening in a scene than just an act. Very often pegging scenes are combined with domination. Being pegged is also an expression of vulnerability not usually seen in porn. Of course, there is also the idea that being stimulated via the prostate will cause next level orgasms for men, which is enough of a fantasy by itself for many. Investigating your fantasies can also be a great way to find out more about yourself and what you enjoy, far beyond the singular act that may be the focus of the fantasy.
So go forth! Enjoy what you enjoy, and don’t let anyone tell you what you should be doing in bed!
See you next week.
P. S. Is there a piece of advice you want me to cover? Send it my way.
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