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Words by N. Nemaric

We all watch porn; let’s not bother denying the facts. According to Family Safe Media, 9.4 million women access adult websites each month, and 90 per cent of 8-16 year olds have viewed porn online. So when I watch porn (oops, confession!), I make sure that no one is around. It would be pretty embarrassing if someone walked in on me and found me… watching naked people perform the same act that you and your parents have all engaged in.

It’s strange though… I hide porn from my family but I’ll happily leave toxic magazines strewn around the place. People might criticise porn for its glamourisation of violence or for the pre-pubescent hair styling it favours. But women’s magazines are worse. Masquerading as a fashion, health, or beauty glossy, they tell females that there is only one type of attractive. If you’re not a five-foot-seven C-cup with blonde hair, then YOU’RE NOT BEAUTIFUL.

True, some magazines have taken it upon themselves to self-regulate, a step in the right direction for sure. But these editions, which star a token curvy girl, don’t address the real issue. If magazines wanted to help women, they would use healthy girls as models every month. Porn is a film industry, which certainly has its tanned buxom blondes and women with no discernible fat.  Unlike magazines, though, porn has diversity.

Caitlin Moran wrote in How to Be a Woman that nobody in porn videos seem to be enjoying themselves. I would have to argue, in porn’s defence, that she probably hasn’t done enough web browsing. The fact is there is something there for everyone. You like piercings? You’re covered. Threesomes, orgies? You’re in luck. Do you like lots of foreplay and softly lit scenes? There’s porn being made to that exact criteria. Every thirty-nine minutes, a new pornographic video is created in the United States. Big breasts, small breasts—they’re all being caressed.

Strangely, women’s magazines are prolific, yet volume doesn’t necessarily correlate with variety. I like watching and reading things that are relatable or aspirational. I don’t want to aspire to heroin chic—a so-called beauty style where the individual is so thin and fragile they look like they have a drug problem.

Porn has heard my cries (or lack thereof). The media has not. I’m not saying porn in its entirety is perfect. But read a women’s magazine, then watch some porn and tell me, which was more fun? I’d rather read my boyfriend’s deer hunting magazines than purchase a magazine designed to make me feel ugly and insecure. I’ll take porn any day.

 

Words by N. Nemaric
Illustration by Sarah Haris

I was on the bed. She was on the bed. And he was… downstairs. “What are you doing?” I called, clambering for my bra. To my surprise, he said he wasn’t feeling comfortable. A three-way kiss was one thing; sex was a whole new ball game.

I always assumed that every guy’s sexual fantasy consisted of him and two women writhing around on satin sheets. So the media led me to believe. But like most generalisations, this turned out to be false. Not every guy wants to have a threesome.

The mental image of a threesome was enough to excite the aforementioned male. In practice, however, Bob* became physically overwhelmed. Since another girl was involved, I couldn’t take it as a personal affront. When this had happened six months earlier, however, in a more routine encounter, my response had been different. I had wanted sex, the guy had wanted to cuddle, and his disinterest had turned me insecure, confused and angry.

But it was nobody’s fault. Blame rested with the film and the book and the billboard. They had all told me the same thing: men were sex-crazy.

In fact, not every guy thinks about sex every seven seconds. The media has largely misinterpreted the study behind this myth. Firstly, the investigation only used students. Thus, the results couldn’t be an accurate sampling of the male population. Secondly, the men in the study were asked to report on how often they thought about sex. This method disregarded the obvious: people don’t always tell the truth. Furthermore, the men had been told to count their sexual thoughts. Such direction would surely have put sex on their minds, increasing their count.

The author of the study has herself suggested a better indicator for determining the frequency of an individual’s sexual thoughts: “If you could know only one thing about people in order to best predict how often they think about sex, you would be better off knowing their degree of erotophilia (comfort with sexuality) rather than whether they are male or female.”

With that all cleared up, I felt better. But years of lies were still ingrained within my psyche. If a woman rejected sex within a relationship, that was normal. If a man was too tired or disinterested, he was not attracted, he was cheating or he was gay. In actuality, men are just far more similar to women than the media would have us believe. As with porn, not all representations are accurate.

*Names have clearly been altered. Who do you know below the age of 20 named Bob?