All men have watched porn. At least, that’s what a group of Canadian scientists found in 2009 when they were unable to find any men who had never been exposed to pornography. (So, I guess, all Canadian men have watched porn.) But women and people of other genders watch porn, too, and recent technological advancements have made it incredibly easy to locate X-rated material on the internet. According to research published in the Huffington Post, pornography websites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. The days of sheepishly purchasing nudie mags and videos are over; today, the Internet is for porn.

Why do people watch porn?

Porn gets an awfully bad rap. People claim that it objectifies women, abuses performers and promotes false depictions of sex. It is true that some pornography sucks, but ethical pornography is out there, too. Ethical pornography features consenting adults who take part in the sex industry without coercion or manipulation. Adult photos and films offer people the chance to explore their desire in a safe way without requiring a partner. Porn is especially helpful for people with unrealizable fetishes (desires that cannot be pursued in real life, such as centaur fetishes). Couples can view X-rated materials together to find new ideas for the bedroom. Exposure to pornography could even serve as an outlet for those with violent urges that might otherwise turn their fantasy into reality.

Of course, many users utilize pornography for masturbation. A word about whackin’ it solo: it’s damn good for you. Masturbating helps us learn what feels good so that we can communicate with potential partners. And masturbating with porn can aid us in deciding what fantasies might work for us. Medical Daily reports that rubbing one out releases endorphins, relieves stress, releases sexual tension, offsets insomnia, boosts metabolism, suppresses migraines and may even improve fertility.

Despite a history of cultural shaming of masturbation and pornography, these activities offer opportunities to explore our sexuality in productive and healthy ways. The human body — nude or otherwise — is nothing to be ashamed of. Sexual education in schools continues to be dismal or nonexistent, so we should utilize any resources we can — including pornography. However, pornography is by no means an accurate portrayal of sex. Porn stars are actors playing roles. And some of these people are abused by the porn industry. Consumers of porn should seek out materials that are fully consensual and ethical. For those who worry about possible sexism in pornography, feminist pornography seeks to eradicate inequality from the porn industry while maintaining the sexy parts we like. As long as we enter the world of pornography armed with knowledge and proper expectations, adult material can be super hot and fun to enjoy alone or with others.

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Porn and the law

In the United States, pornography is lawful at the federal level but is subject to the Miller test, which decides whether or not material is obscene enough to be legally prohibited. Pornography should only involve legal adults — anything else is child pornography. If pornography is not consensual, it is human trafficking. Make an effort to view pornography where the actors express consent.

Theres porn for everyone

Rule 34 of the internet states that if the concept exists, there’s porn of it. Websites like Pornhub (link NSFW) and Redtube (link NSFW) allow users to browse categories: everything from orgies to hardcore to Hentai. In order to find the video that is perfect for you, peruse a big free website for a while. Not sure what you want to watch? Click on a few different videos and see what makes your record skip!

DIY

So you’ve been watching Xtube (link NSFW) and decide that it looks like a ton of fun to create your own porn film. After all, most pornography websites include an entire category devoted to amateur or reality porn. Of course, many risks accompany creating your own porno. Consider beforehand what medium will be used for the video or pictures. Digital might be more convenient and higher quality, but it also could be infinitely preserved (remember the debacle with celebrity nudes being snatched from the iCloud?). Using film may ensure that only you and those you grant permission get their hands on the evidence. If you are creating the film or photos with another person, communicate and create an agreement about what you are allowed to do with the tape. Talking is important. Discuss what the images will include. Obtain informed consent and tape that, too, especially if the following images are kinky. Keep the tape safe and have a plan just in case it needs to be destroyed or obtained from anyone else who has it in their possession.

Once all the decisions about privacy and consent have been made, it’s time to set the scene. Ditch fluorescent lights for softer lighting. Consider using colored bulbs to change the look and feel of the images. The camera should be set on a tripod for stable shots. Shoot from above with the lens pointing down. Consider shooting from different angles to make the video more interesting. If you are with a partner and want a good face shot, you might want to remove the camera from the tripod and experiment with various perspectives. If you don’t want your face to show, carefully plan out the shot so that only bodies are visible. Consider what you are wearing for the shoot as well. Lingerie? Leather? Will you have a whip? Heels? If you are inviting a partner, what will they wear? Do you want to be waxed clean or au natural? Do you want to add music or let your moans create the soundtrack?

Once the cameras begin to roll it may feel difficult to act natural. Pick out some moves beforehand to increase confidence. Editing might be necessary if you don’t want to include several minutes of re-applying lube. Work on transitions between positions to impress your audience (even if it’s just you).

Above all, pornography should be fun to create and consume. If you don’t enjoy porn, that’s OK too! But always encourage yourself to explore your inner fantasies.

Have sexy questions of your own you want answered? Send your inquires to [email protected]. Stay safe, Badgers!

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