When I saw the headline yesterday, I knew I didn’t want to read the article:

“My Method for Getting Into (Almost) Any Kind of Sex”.

Porn. I knew it would be porn before I even clicked. I didn’t want to read it because I knew that if it was porn I would be furious, upset, and feel sick to my stomach for the author. I knew if it was porn I would have to write this article. I silently begged for it not to be porn.

It was porn. Of course it was.

The author explained that there were certain sex acts she didn’t particularly like doing: anal and blow jobs in particular. It’s no surprise she doesn’t like these sex acts; they are humiliating and provide no actual physical pleasure for the woman.

But why should this matter? Who cares if a woman doesn’t like anal or giving head? In a world full of gratifying ways for a woman to engage in sex⁠ — why did she feel the pressure to like these two acts in particular?

Once again, it was porn.

Anal sex and blow jobs are both sex acts that are entirely male-centered, and entirely popularized by pornography⁠ — to the point where men simply expect them.

The author describes that she never really liked giving blow jobs, “I wasn’t giving good blowjobs because blowjobs never turned me on. It was almost like a courtesy.” Similarly, she didn’t enjoy anal sex, explaining, “The initial penetration never felt good, no matter how much lube or preparation was involved.”

Eventually, though, she discovered that by “flooding” herself with porn in a particular category, she could train her brain to like these sex acts. The anal sex still hurt, but, this time she claimed she enjoyed it, “I had watched so much anal porn that I learned to find it pleasurable again.”

She describes her distaste of anal sex and blow jobs as being similar to a phobia, an irrational or extreme fear, and porn was her therapy — fixing herself to meet male pornified expectations of sex.

Good girl.

Over and over again this woman turned to porn to live up to her husband’s sexual expectations. Over and over again her own natural sexual desires were ignored, suppressed, and replaced with, conveniently for her husband, exactly what men want.

Her story of “flooding” herself with porn to brainwash herself is similar to what San Francisco sex-positive cults did in the 90's to train women to accept all forms of sex without judgment. Feminist artist, Nina Paley, detailed this experience in a recent article:

“We had to watch porn, lots of porn, culminating in a multi-screen sensory overload they called “Porn-O-Rama.” This was a wall of video monitors playing all kinds of porn simultaneously: straight, gay, kinky, mainstream, fringe, and of course anime (including “tentacle porn” in clips from the 1987 Japanese film Wicked City, which intrigued me as an artist and was easier to look at than the live-action videos). Porn-O-Rama was supposedly designed to desensitize us so we wouldn’t judge. Not judging was a big thing at SFSI. ”

This is also remarkably similar to some reports of gay conversion therapy, in which survivors claim they were encouraged to use straight porn to help “change” their sexuality. Conversion therapy is dangerous, cruel, and outlawed in many places for use on minors for this reason.

The stories of these women serve as a microcosm of what has been happening to women on a mass scale: the erasure of women’s own sexuality in favor of what has been called “the masculinization of sex”. Or, in liberal feminist terms, “sex-positivity”.

Feminists have been pointing out both the literal and metaphorical violence of porn since the moral reform movement of the 1890s. Forty years ago, Andrea Dworkin wrote about how porn is based in the degradation of women, beginning with the very meaning of the word:

“The word pornography, derived from the ancient Greek pornē and graphos, means “writing about whores.” Pornē means “whore”, specifically and exclusively the lowest class of whore, which in ancient Greece was the brothel slut available to all male citizens. The pornē was the cheapest (in the literal sense), least regarded, least protected of all women, including slaves. She was, simply and clearly and absolutely, a sexual slave… The fact that pornography is widely believed to be “depictions of the erotic” means only that the debasing of women is held to be the real pleasure of sex.”

In 1979 when Pornography: Men Possessing Women was published, it might have been harder to see the clear degradation in the pornography of her time than it is to see in today’s internet “gonzo” porn. It’s scary to imagine that Dworkin understood the true depth of the violence that would come to dominate the internet porn industry. Yet, it’s clear that Dworkin was a prophet, and her words ring truer today than ever.

She argued that porn strikes at the heart of women’s liberation because it is deeply connected to women’s bodily autonomy, both in the physical and metaphysical.

“Male domination of the female body is the basic material reality of women’s lives; and all struggle for dignity and self-determination is rooted in the struggle for actual control over one’s own body, especially control over physical access to own’s own body.”

Porn not only grants men access to the woman who is in the porn video, but also teaches men that they are entitled to such access from the women in their own beds. Simultaneously, porn trains women to objectify themselves, and to release access to her various holes which may have otherwise been spared from male penetration⁠ — mouth and anus, in particular. These are his, too, now, and it doesn’t end there. Any orifice on a woman’s body is now fuckable thanks to porn⁠ — entire genres have sprung up around the more disturbing instances of this, like “skull fucking” (don’t Google it; just trust me).

This is justified in porn because the women in porn are not “real women”⁠ — they are “whores”. Yet, when a taste for porn-sex inevitably creeps into the bedroom thanks to their boyfriend or husband’s porn habit, “real women” are forced into the very same positions, whether she likes it or not. “If she loathes it, it is not wrong, she is,” writes Dworkin, “Within this system, the only choice for the woman has been to embrace herself as whore.”

The author of the article on training herself to like porn-sex has clearly done exactly this.

She’s not the only one experiencing the blow-back of pornified male sexuality in the bedroom. According to Gail Dines, anti-porn activist and academic, more and more college students are coming to her with the same problem. She writes in her 2010 book, Pornland:

“I hear over and over again from female students how their boyfriends are increasingly demanding porn sex from them. Whether it be ejaculating on their partner’s face or pounding anal sex, these men want to play out porn in the real world.”

This can have deadly consequences. A rise in non-consensual choking during sex, for example, has been linked to the rise of “breath play” porn. Fifty-seven women were killed in the UK while their partner claimed their murders were just a “sex-game gone wrong”. This excuse is so widely accepted, apparently, that 19 of the men involved were not charged with murder. Five of them weren’t charged with anything at all, according to Metro.

While radical feminists who have been fighting the porn industry have been written off as “prudes” or “right-wing”, liberal feminism is happy to support female degradation and train women to become willing and active participants. As Pamela Paul wrote in Pornified in 2005,

“In recent years, women’s magazines regularly discuss pornography from a new perspective: how women can introduce it into their own lives. While many women continue to have mixed or negative feelings toward pornography, they are increasingly told to be realistic, to be “open-minded.” Porn, they are told, is sexy, and if you want to be a sexually attractive and forward-thinking woman, you’ve got to catch on.”

The problem has only worsened since then. Porn is not just being used as a tool to get men off, but as a tool to sexually groom an entire generation of women into violent, dangerous, degrading, and male-centered “sexuality”.

All the articles in Cosmo and on Medium teaching women (and children!) about how to enjoy porn, how to enjoy anal sex, how to enjoy blowjobs, etc, are not for women’s sake no matter how they are marketed; they’re for men’s.

Convincing women that they must actually enjoy their oppression has been the greatest sleight of hand in feminist history. Women and girls are being brainwashed and gaslighted on a mass scale, told that there is something wrong with them if they don’t like humiliating sex. Liberal feminists ought to stop indulging in this behavior for fear of being labeled “prudes” and start actually defending women’s best interest for once.

Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0, M. K. Fain

Cover Photo: by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay