Hello, sexy Badgers!

Despite the fact that pornography has become a hot topic in recent years, that information continually places emphasis on the negative effects that pornography supposedly has on an individual and their relationship. This week, I want to address these common misconceptions, talk about all types of pornography that can be fun to explore and how it can potentially be beneficial to all people.

Let us first talk about the different types of porn available to you. There is this common notion that porn is violent and creates sexual violence. Just as you can’t blame Taco Bell when you gain 10 pounds from eating their delicious tacos three times a week, you can’t blame pornography for the sexual violence that occurs until there is scientific evidence to back it up. On that note, there are indeed forms of violent pornography — bondage, gang bangs or rough sex. But there is an even greater number of nonviolent porn categories, such as bukkake, threesomes or blowjobs. Harmless! Some of these categories may be part of another area of pornography called erotica. The term “erotica” is sometimes used interchangeably with pornography, although there is a slight difference. Pornography is usually the term given to material that contains scenes that could be seen as degrading, while erotica is absent of degrading material. There are many other types of pornography/erotica that I didn’t mention, so take a look at some popular free sites—such as pornhub.com or youjizz.com (links NSFW, obviously)—or hit the bookstore for written forms to figure out what kind of pornography/erotica you may be into.

Another common misperception is the idea that only men use porn. Statistics show, however, that one out of every three people who use porn are women. Even if you’re not a math wizard, you can still see that approximately a third of all porn users are female-identified. Sadly, this statistic is actually an underestimate because many women choose to falsely acknowledge that they don’t use porn because of the potential social stigma that could be placed on them. Also, there isn’t enough data on individuals who identify as someone other than male- or female-bodied to come up with any statistically meaningful conclusions, although we do know that they too also use pornography/erotica.

For many people who do accept the fact that women also utilize porn, there’s a common mis-partnering of men to violent video pornography, and women to written erotica. This was part of the problem with the “50 Shades of Grey” phenomena, which all of a sudden publicized women’s sexuality and their participation in a privatized form of sexual pleasure. This helped tackle the falsehood that only men use pornography; it also helped to solidify the misconception that women only read nonviolent pornographic material. Just as it is the case that you can’t place any person into one category of sexual interests without asking her what her interests are, you also can’t tell what type of pornography a person is interested in based solely on her gender. Each individual has her own separate interests regardless of her gender. Some male-identified porn users enjoy erotica, just as some female-identified porn users enjoy watching “violent” porn.

Whichever area of porn/erotica interests you, it has the potential to be very beneficial for you, your relationship — if you’re in one — and your sexual activities. It provides an outlet for sexual gratification when an individual doesn’t have a partner or if a partner is unavailable. One specific issue porn viewing can cause is that of unmatched libidos in relationships. If one partner wants sexy time more often than her partner, pornography/erotica is a way for the extra horny partner to find some sexual release. Pornography/erotica also provides an individual or couple with many sexual possibilities that they may have otherwise never heard of. It can be a way for a couple to spice up their relationship by watching it together to get off, or just to get some new ideas.

Whatever the case, be cautious — especially if trying out some new ideas you watched or read. It’s highly unlikely that what you’re viewing in pornography/erotica is the whole story. A good deal of porn leaves out many of the safety precautions or preparation that the actors and actresses have to go through before a sexual act. For instance, besides in California, where it’s mandatory, we rarely ever see an actor use any kind of protection such as condoms or barriers. We also rarely see actors giving each other any kind of informed consent, which we all know is very important. In earlier columns, I’ve talked about the importance of lubrication, and porn actors are not excluded from this. Behind the scenes, they apply a lot of lube and undergo much preparation to get the scenes that we actually see. My point is this: don’t take porn/erotica at face value and make sure you do your research before trying anything you see.

Until next time, stay safe and stay sexy!