8 Things To Never Say To Women Who Watch Porn — And No, It's Not Just For Guys

I always try to write relatively transparently, but in case you guys haven't figured it out yet from the many, many posts I've written about the sex industry: I think porn is pretty rad. So, for that matter, do a lot of women. For some reason, though, it's still a commonly held belief that women not only don't watch porn, but that they shouldn't in the first place. And you know what? That's bullshit. 

Granted, society has a complicated relationship with porn in general; in spite of the fact that erotica has been around pretty much since the dawn of time (the Romans wrote some of the most explicit poetry you'll ever read), it's still largely considered taboo. But even though it's not typically deemed "acceptable" to discuss porn in any circumstances, guys, at least, can watch it without facing too much backlash for their viewing habits. Women, though? Not so much. If the world finds out a woman watches porn... well, let's just say she'd better brace herself, because everyone is going to have something to say about it.

But hey, guess what? A Pew study conducted in 2013 found that the number of women who watch porn has grown exponentially in recent years —  or, perhaps more accurately, the number of women who will actually go out and say that they watch porn has grown exponentially in recent years. While we've still got a long way to go, I have hope that this indicates a larger change taking place — one that moves us toward a society that's more sex-positive over all. So in the interest of bashing down a barrier or two, here are eight things never to say to women who watch porn. It's not an all-inclusive list, of course; there are plenty more out there. Got any to add?

1. "Ew, that's gross."

You're gross.

OK, so maybe that's not the best response to this one — but still. There's nothing gross about watching porn, and if you do happen to think it's gross, well, I'm sure you do things that other people consider gross, too, so let's not judge.

2. "Porn is anti-feminist."

Not necessarily. Some think it is and some think it isn't, but as is the case with most issues like this, there's not one solitary answer. Personally, I think getting comfortable with your sexuality is one of the most feminist things you can do.

3. "Only guys should watch porn."

Why? There's absolutely no reason why only guys should watch porn — not even the fact that the lion's share of porn is geared towards straight males. There's plenty of female-friendly porn out there if you look for it; besides, why is it so hard to believe that some women might find male-targeted porn a turn-on? Different strokes for different folks and all that — literally, in this case. As we learned from Pornhub's collaboration with BuzzFeed early this year, what women want from their porn is as wide and varied as the Internet itself. 

4. "Only sluts watch porn."

If you want to go ahead and think I'm a slut for watching porn, then fine; I can't exactly stop you. But I will ask you to ask yourself why you think that only sluts watch porn, and moreover, what's so bad about being a "slut" (whatever that means) in the first place. Being comfortable with your sexuality doesn't make someone a bad person, an unreliable one, a stupid one, or any other negative quality you might be tempted to associate with it; they're completely unrelated. 

5. "Your boyfriend lets you do that?"

First off, my boyfriend doesn't "let" me do anything; nor do I "let" him do anything. We're both grown-ass adults, as well as our own separate people, so we do whatever the hell we either want to or need to of our own accord. Second off, what makes you think whoever you're talking to has a boyfriend in the first place? Or wants one? Or is even interested in dudes at all? This question makes an absurd number of assumptions about the person to whom you're asking it. Keep an open mind.

6. "Porn is so unrealistic."

That's why they call it fantasy. Also, just for the record, it doesn't have to be unrealistic; that's just one particular style. It's a prominent one, granted, but it's definitely not the only one.

7. "You don't need to watch porn — you could totally get a guy." (Or girl, or whatever.)

Like many of the other items on this list, this one makes a huge number of assumptions. Porn isn't necessarily a substitute for having sex; neither, for that matter, is masturbation. Sex solo and sex with another person or people are totally different experiences: Sometimes you want one, sometimes you want the other. On the solo end of the spectrum, it can not only help you learn about what you like and what you don't like, but furthermore, it can help you manage your stress levels; porn is an excellent way to supplement both your activities and your discoveries. And on the other end? Let's not underestimate how much fun it can be to watch porn while you're having sex with someone

8. "You must be desperate."

Other variations on this theme include, "You must be watching porn because no one will have sex with you." It's also the flip side of the previous item; the response is pretty much the same, though, so again: Stop with the assumptions already.

Images: mislav-m/Flickr; Giphy (8)

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