The New Rules Of Porn
Paul Newman once said, “I have steak at home, so why should I go out for a hamburger?” Well, Paul, those simple burgers of the ’60s were a little bland, and internet pornography – hell, VR porn – was something beyond the imagination of even the best sci-fi writers of the time. Why does this matter? Because for most, porn remains the other woman/man in a relationship, that bit on the side whose name most dare not speak, that secret sexual partner who brings the kink. The hamburger Newman spoke of. The presence of porn and its increasing digital penetration continues to drive hard debate – its ubiquity framing discussion about its psychological addictiveness and supposed wider effects as they relate to relationships generally and sex specifically. Even though such scrutiny is warranted, and exploration of this industry is necessary (especially in regard to issues of degradation, mistreatment, and illegality), it comes without conclusive proof. On the flip side, porn’s not going anywhere – its swing into VR headsets and new technologies is as much about appeasing growing audience appetites (tube site Pornhub last year claimed that 24 per cent of its daily global audience is female) as reflecting its unabated march towards mainstream acceptance. There’s also a vocal counter argument that says that porn can, in fact, have a positive sexual effect when managed appropriately and openly. Here at GQ, we feel it’s about being realistic and educating on the merits and misgivings of pornography, as well as destigmatising what can be a pleasurable hobby. Here’s how.
1. Research sites and bookmark what you like ahead of some solo time. Searching for porn when horny is like hitting up the supermarket stoned – you make limp choices and purchases that deliver false satisfaction. 2. Be honest about your viewing habits. This means being open to your partner that, yes, you ‘sometimes’ check out a slice of Redtube. However, if you find yourself glued to a smartphone, daily, from the third stall in the work bathroom come 9:03am – have a chat to the doctor. 3. Avoid pirated/torrented content for the sake of your computer and those performing. Seek out the growing number of ethical and legitimate sites –comparatively conscionable operators with verified (age, consent) content. If unsure, head to Real Porn Wikileaks where exploitative sites are named and shamed. 4. Keen to watch with a partner? Talk about your preferences beforehand to find some common ground. And start slowly. Sites such as joybear.com feature loving couples, then there’s the beautifully shot art-house porn of x-art.com. Or, start out retro (and soft) by (re)viewing some of filmmaker Russ Meyer’s kitschy ’60s oeuvre. 5. If watching with a partner, avoid particular lines of questioning. No one wins from asking, ‘Have you ever been with someone that big?’ 6. Avoid certain categories. Seriously, ‘teen’, ‘MILF’, ‘step mum/dad’, ‘scat’ – get your hand off it. 7. Repeat after us – ‘I am not a deviant’.