7 Ways Feminist Porn Improves Your Sex Life, Because It Offers A Much More Realistic Depiction Of Women And Sex

Porn has long been seen as an industry that offers sexual pleasure to men via the exploitation of women. But it doesn't have to be that way, and, in fact, in many instances, it's no longer the case. Yes, porn exists out there where women are just objects, with no needs or feelings of their own. But not all porn is from that male perspective. And feminist porn gets that. 

 The fact is, for most of us, sex is part of the bigger picture, within the context in a relationship that involves feelings and desires of both partners. It's not all about one person, or one perspective or one person's orgasm. 

As we all know, porn plays a big role in how we view and shape our sexual fantasies, and thus, realities, it's about darn time.

"I used to take issue with calling my work porn or pornography; I felt it encompassed too many stereotypes and sorts of imagery that my work didn't; it conjured up images that were turn-offs to women, the very audience I was trying to reach. I eventually gave in as the media began calling me a 'feminist pornographer'; I understood that it was a good attention-getter. But since recently viewing the Netflix documentary Hot Girls Wanted, about young girls going in to amateur porn, I again feel compelled to point out that what I do has little resemblance to so much of what falls under the category of porn or pornography," says Candida Royalle, the first feminist director/producer of women-friendly pornography.

1. It Broadens Your Horizons

[Embed]

"I really think we really need to come up with a more nuanced term for what women like myself do. The most essential way I think feminist porn improves your sex life is that you get to see what a variety of women find sexy and erotic. And I stress a 'variety' because I'm finding that many people assume that just because a woman has directed a porn flick automatically makes it feminist porn. Like so many things it's hard to define 'feminist porn'. Does a woman behind the camera automatically make it feminist? Some female directors don't even identify as feminists or want to be labeled as such. And what about men who identify as feminists? Would something they direct be automatically labeled 'feminist porn'?" says Royalle. 

2. It's Empowering

[Embed]

Feminist porn liberates, empowers and stimulates women, says Angie Rowntree, Founder and CEO of  sssh.com. "Traditionally, women have been reluctant to talk about their sexuality. We strive to relieve that anxiety with positive portrayals of sex as natural, healthy and erotic—a pact between consenting adults engaging in mutual exploration and pleasure," says Rowntree.  "Our movies present real intimacy, passion and most importantly respect among the performers. By engaging with one another honestly, the performers demonstrate how much fun and how fulfilling sex can be, in whatever form it takes. Ultimately, that’s the biggest benefit of porn, I think: It opens an opportunity for dialogue about mutual pleasure," Rowntree says.

3. It Show Realistic Scenarios

[Embed]

"So much typical porn is completely unrealistic and can set up troubling expectations….like what women should look like and how they should perform. (Same goes for men in terms of performance and body-types, especially the size of their cocks…) Porn often relies on negative stereotypes. I think true feminist porn pushes those boundaries and blasts those stereotypes," says Royalle, who goes on that feminist porn looks to feature a variety of body-types and ages and races. 

4. It Promotes Body Acceptance

[Embed]

The obvious benefit to realistic portrayals is the message that one doesn't have to fit in to a narrow definition of what's desirable, says Royalle. True feminist porn also looks to feature women who are more 'natural'; women who haven't allowed themselves to be pushed in to augmenting their breasts or pumping up their lips with silicone. Featuring more 'natural' women conveys the message that one doesn't have to go to extreme measures to render themselves lovable, desirable. Poor body image is one of the leading causes of an unfulfilling sex life, especially for women; so this sort of message can go a long way toward self-acceptance while being confronted with unrealistically perfect bodies can be terribly damaging to ones self-esteem," says Royalle.

5. There Are Relatable Characters

[Embed]

Feminist porn also tends to present characters that female viewers can relate to; women with real lives and concerns, women with careers and families, says Royalle. "I'm reminded of a Penthouse Magazine review written by the late Al Goldstein. It was for My Surrender, back around '92…he wrote something like, "Relationship issues?…must be a Candida Royalle film." I was amused!" Royalle says. 

6. The Storylines Are More Engaging

[Embed]

"Aside from the obvious benefit of simply creating a more interesting film — I maintain that creating even the slightest storyline and character development can lead to a more compelling viewing experience — I believe people care more about what they're watching when there's a story to grab on to and characters they can relate to," says Royalle.


And creating situations for the characters also provides context to the sex. The sex isn't just gratuitous; it's there for a reason. "We care more about what they're doing and why. For instance, in one of my early movies, Three Daughters, which explores the sexual awakening of the youngest daughter (Heather) within the context of a family of older sisters and even the parents who rediscover their desire for each other (the mother played by my dear friend, the late Gloria Leonard in her last on-camera performance), there's a scene between Heather and her best friend where they explore each other in a sweet, sensual way. I refuse to include gratuitous "girl-girl" scenes just for the sake of titillating the many men who like to watch women together. I included this scene because it was something I experienced as a young girl; and because I know it is something many young women do with each other; it's one of the ways they learn about their bodies and how to touch themselves and touch others. For me it was how I discovered sensuality as opposed to raw sexuality. I've always considered it one of my more significant 'lessons' in lovemaking even though, in our case, it never became genital," says Royalle.

7. Feminist porn benefits men, too

[Embed]

Viewing porn directed by feminist-identified women presents an opportunity for men to get a variety of viewpoints on what women want and how they want it; it gives them a chance to understand how women feel about sex, about themselves, about their partners, says Royalle. 

"The obvious benefit here is that it can help men become better lovers, more sensitive to women's needs and preferences and feelings. Equally important, it gives women an opportunity to view a more realistic depiction of sex, lovemaking…it presents them with a variety of scenarios and fantasies, an opportunity to possibly discover fantasies they hadn't yet thought about, or even more important, a chance to validate fantasies they may have had but were ashamed or uncomfortable with," says Royalle.

Images: stephane/Flickr; Giphy

Must Reads