Romper

11 Things Porn Teaches You About Sex — And The Reality Behind Them

Allison Gore/Romper

Even those among us who dig porn have to admit: Porn is weird. It is possible that the first pornography in history existed 12,000 years ago as cave paintings, free-floating, stylized images of female genitalia. Since that time, I would contend, the medium of erotic visual stimulation has only gotten more stylized and weirder. That's cool a lot of the time. But sometimes it's creepy and awful.

Feminism is often delineated between pro-porn and anti-porn advocates. Personally, that feels like a disingenuous demarcation. Because saying you're "pro-porn" indicates that you have absolutely no problems with the porn industry at large. But I am, and I do. Saying you're anti-porn would suggest that you disapprove of any number of great porn sites and companies out there doing a bang-up job (heh heh, heh heh) of breaking some of the tropes, stereotypes, and glaring, misogynistic flaws present in much the mainstream of the industry. That may not be the case, either. Human sexuality and society are majestically and horrifying complex entities: I don't understand how the issue of pornography can therefore be so black and white.

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There's also the issue, of course, of when we're talking about porn, what kind of porn are we discussing? Because the tropes, practices, and direction of pornography created for and by a Queer audience differs wildly from, say, lesbian porn made for and by straight men. For the intents of this article, I will be referencing porn made and distributed by medium to larger production companies catering to heterosexual male audiences.

Because porn is first and foremost fantasy, it stands to reason that watching it would give viewers sort of bizarre impressions of actual sex. Here are a few.

So. Much. Spitting.

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I'm not the first to remark upon this, nor shall I be the last, but I feel it bears mentioning. Somewhere along the way, porn directors and/or actors decided that spitting was just going to be One Of The Things That Happens A Lot In Porn. Like funky bass-heavy music. It just kind of started happening a lot. And I'm sure there are lots of people that enjoy that and good on them (seriously, zero judgment). But whether that happens to ring your bells, whether you're indifferent to it, or whether a it's a solid "no" in your own sheets, the point is it really doesn't seem to happen nearly as often IRL as porn would lead us to believe.

Vaginal Penetration Alone Doesn't Usually Lead To An Orgasm

Ah, yes, a truth celebrate by a vast majority of those of us with vaginas from time immemorial. Yet somehow, when it comes to porn, anything that goes into a vagine is imbued with the power to make the person hit climax instantly. Unless what was inserted is an actual magic wand wielded by a very sexy wizard, I'm not buying it.

You Will Never Have Sex For Pizza

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It's basically one of the most common (mostly jokey) tropes in porn.

Pizza Delivery Guy: Hey, sexy woman, your pizza is here.
Sexy Woman: Oh no! I don't have money! Maybe I can... pay for it some other way.

Then they bone.

No. For one, if I ordered a pizza and waited for it for 30 minutes or so, I am doing absolutely nothing until I eat some of that pizza. I am starving. Secondly, no. This is not a thing that happens.

There Are A Whole Lot Of Different Body Types Out There

So there are a lot of different body types in porn, too. (See also: the Internet.) But if a person in porn has a body outside of the prescribed "porn star body" (thin, white, large breasts, long hair for women; and, to a lesser extent, white and muscular with a larger-than-average penis for men), those differences are probably the main draw. In short, rather than mainstream porn presenting a variety of different bodies simply as a matter of course, porn actors' bodies outside of a very narrow beauty standard are fetishized. In real life, people have all kinds of different bodies!

Noise Level Is Rarely As Intense As Porn Makes It Out To Be

And thank goodness for those of us who live in apartments...

You WILL Have Sex On One Of Several IKEA Beds You See Featured In Porn

Maybe this is just what I've noticed (or tells you about the porn I watch), but I find that there are, like, three IKEA beds that appear over and over in pornos... including the now discontinued Noresund model... which I have... which is weird. I guess it just goes to show that IKEA beds are both stylish and sturdy, since they can withstand a lot of action.

Female Ejaculation Is Definitely A Thing... But Not As Much As Porn Would Lead You To Believe

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Female ejaculation (or, as the kids are calling it these days, "squirting") 100% totally happens. It isn't a myth... but it's also not a foregone conclusion. Neither is its absence a sign that a woman didn't actually achieve orgasm.

There are still a lot of questions about female ejaculation. While there are a bunch of working theories and ideas, here's some straight dope for ya: It's more common in porn than in real life.

The Average Heterosexual Roll In The Hay Takes 3-7 Minutes

No. Really. I find this fascinating.

Most Real Sex Is Pretty Unathletic

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Porn would have you believe that the only people capable of having sex are those among us with the flexibility and stamina of a Soviet-era gymnast. Not true. A lot of couples I know pride themselves, in fact, on their ability to get off with minimum physical expenditure.

Pubic Hair Exists

It wasn't hunted into extinction sometime in the late '90s. Pubic hair cannot be stopped. Viva La Pubic Hair!

Everyone's Orgasm Counts

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The structure of mainstream porn scenes is built around the male orgasm. The fact that "the money shot" is a man coming and then the scene ends within moments is pretty indicative of this fact. Often, a woman having an orgasm isn't even featured and the fact that it isn't featured is usually not a point of concern or note. But in real life, everyone deserves an orgasm! Don't let porn trick you into thinking it's an afterthought.

Whether your feelings on the subject are complicated or you don't think about it to hard and just click on a video and masturbate to your hearts content, porn presents an image of the boudoir that often bears little resemblance to reality. And that can be effing amazing and exactly what you need. Just make sure that when you are faced with reality your expectations aren't being unfairly skewed by porn-tinted glasses...