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Questions and Answers

Porn: Is It OK to Watch? Is It Real?

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Pornography, or porn, usually refers to pictures or videos that are mostly made to turn people on. Sometimes people also call erotic novels, fan fiction, or other writing that’s meant to turn people on porn.

People can disagree about what is and isn’t porn. That makes sense, because someone sees as explicit or erotic depends on the culture they’re raised in and their personal sexual tastes.

Who watches porn?

All kinds of people! Some people think only men watch porn, but in reality, people of all genders enjoy it. It’s hard to get accurate data on who watches porn, but many studies estimate that women make up about one third of internet porn viewers.

There are also lots of people who don’t enjoy porn, and that’s OK too. Just like with any kind of sex or any type of media, you get to decide whether you want to watch porn, and how often. You can also change your mind at any time.

Is it OK to watch porn?

Yes! Watching porn can be fun and relaxing. It can also be a way to explore your desires and figure out the kinds of sex you’re interested in having.

Sometimes people might have religious or ethical reasons for not watching porn, or for only watching certain kinds. That’s OK too. It’s a personal decision that you get to make by thinking about your values and beliefs. Other people just don’t like porn or get turned on by it, and that’s OK too.

But, there are a few things it’s important to keep in mind. In Canada, it’s illegal to own, watch, or share porn featuring people under 18 years old. There are also more and more laws coming out against “revenge porn,” or sexual images of someone shared without their consent in order to hurt or humiliate them. In general, it’s a good idea to think about whether the people in the porn you’re watching consented to what went on, and to the video being shared.

Is porn addiction real?

Sometimes people worry about getting addicted to porn. There’s not enough research on porn addiction to say anything for sure. In general, watching porn is healthy as long as it isn’t taking away too much from from other things you want or need to do with your life, like seeing friends or going to school or work. If it does, there are ways to stop or cut back. If it isn’t causing any problems for you, there’s probably nothing to worry about.

Is porn a good way to learn about sex?

Sometimes people watch porn because they’re curious about a specific kind of sex, or just sex in general. It can seem like a good way to learn what a certain kind of sex looks like, how to do it, and whether it’s something that interests you.

However, it’s important to remember that porn is fantasy. Just like a Hollywood movie doesn’t look like your day-to-day life, it doesn’t look like the sex people really have. In real life, people’s bodies and desires are a lot more varied than the ones you see in mainstream porn.

Although porn rarely shows it, people need to communicate their likes and dislikes with each other in order to make sure everyone has a good time. Sex in real life is also less staged. People’s bodies might make noises or have smells. People also might have body hair, not find certain positions comfortable, and have orgasms sooner or later than expected.

Watching porn can make some people anxious or ashamed that their bodies don’t look like performers’. People can also feel bad if they can’t have sex in all of the positions they’re seeing, or they aren’t interested in the kinds of sex they see. Remembering that porn doesn’t look like sex in real life can help. It’s also best not to expect partners to look or act the way people do in porn. Instead, enjoy their real-life bodies and desires!

Will porn hurt my relationship?

Different people have very different ideas about how porn can or can’t fit into relationships.

For some people, watching porn can help their relationships. It can let people explore and explain their sexual fantasies to a partner. Some people like watching porn with their partners. For other people, it’s a private activity that they feel doesn’t affect their relationships.

Other people are uncomfortable with their partners watching porn. They might see it as a kind of cheating. They might be worried that they’ll be compared to performers. Sometimes, their feelings might change with some reassurance from their partner. Other times, they might need their partner to respect that it’s something they aren’t OK with.

All of these attitudes are ok! But, if you feel strongly about watching or not watching porn in a relationship, it can help to talk about it with your partners.

Before you start a conversation, it can help to reflect on what you want to get out of it, your feelings about porn, and what your partner might think about porn. You can ask yourself things like “What is it about porn that you or your partner enjoys or dislikes?” and “how do you see porn fitting or not fitting into your relationship?”

You and your partners’ views and habits around porn might work in your relationship, but they also might not. You always get to decide what you’re comfortable with and how to talk about it.

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