Pandora's Box: Fifteen things I hate about porn

Anonymous As much as I love porn—it’s great, seriously—as a heterosexual, cis-gendered female, there are a lot of things that I find sexist, racist, and simply jaw-dropping out there in the pornosphere. Watching porn is still a pretty taboo subject for us ladies. That’s not surprising, but it’s not what I’m going to focus on in this article. Instead, I’m going to talk about the fact that there is no space for female viewers on most mainstream porn sites. Let me count the ways…

1. The categories. Many run-of-the mill porn sites organize their porn under labels such as blonde, ebony, Asian, big tits, small tits, big ass, anal, amateur, MILF, teen, mature, Latina, outdoor—the whole purpose of all these labels is to help people conveniently find that video they’re fantasizing about right now. But it can take me an hour to find something that’s not uncomfortable or jarring (see the rest of the list). There are a million stereotypes about what women like in porn (#s 3, 4, 7, etc.), but none of those generic things show up anywhere on porn vids. Even in…

2. The “female friendly” section. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. It’s like the kid’s section of the site. It assumes that I like vanilla sex, four minutes of kissing, and underage-looking dudes, and still has all the shit I see in regular videos. Actually, why do I even need my own special section with a little pink woman symbol next to it? Am I not competent enough to know what my fantasies are and go through the rest of the site (albeit unsuccessfully) like everyone else?

3. The men. Where are their faces? In many videos, you never see the guy’s face for more than a couple seconds at a time. And when you do see his face, it’s emotionless. The men never make any noise (see #4), save for a little grunting as he cums. Many videos are focused on the girl because the director expects straight men to be the ones watching. You don’t see the man’s face so that the fellow watching can imagine himself as the dude fucking this beautiful woman. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. At all. But why am I deprived of that experience? Even the “female friendly” porn focuses on the woman. I come to a porn site to see a man and his dick enjoying themselves. Not to watch some anonymous man’s penis jizz all over a girl’s face.

4. Noises. It bugs me how the ONLY talking in porn vids fits one of two categories. There’s the “story porn,” where the couples set up a situation at the beginning with some dialogue. And then there’s the obnoxious noises that women make during porn sex. It’s often high-pitched (we’re talking octaves above what’s likely her normal voice range) and ridiculous. There’s nothing attractive to me about some girl shrieking, “Do you want to fuck my tight little pussy?” thirty times in a row. Especially when the man is completely absent and silent (#3). Like, come on, buddy. You could at least give her a, “Yes.”

5. Fellatio. Why do 90% of porn vids start and end with the gal—or two or three—sucking the dude off? I’m personally not a big fan of oral sex in general, but I understand that lots of people do enjoy it. That’s not the problem. The problem is that almost every single video has at least five minutes of blowjob bookendingeverything else. The lack of variety is frustrating and, frankly, pretty disturbing.

6. Camera angles. I’m pretty sure certain sex positions—I’m talking about the ones that make you cringe and go, “That cannot be comfortable,” or “Shit, someone does his/her yoga”—were invented because they are convenient to capture the act better on camera. This shit makes me laugh all the time.

7. Positions. The ridiculous positions that dudes assume while the girls are just sort of lying there making noises (#4). Having a good camera angle for viewing penetration (#6) isn’t important when I’m distracted because what the fuck is that dude doing with his leg?

8. “Diversity.” So often, the “diversity” of porn sites—skin color, body types and so on—doesn’t come from a place of loving every body. It’s because someone out there has a curvy MILF fetish and the porn site wants to make bank on it.

9. “Curvy.” I hate, hate, hate how every video that involves a curvy woman or a woman of color involves a good five or ten (or more) minutes of suggestive posing and/or twerking for the camera before the actual foreplay even begins. These are women. Not fetishes.

10. Lesbian. Again, women, not fetishes. Also, rarely are the women in lesbian porn vids shown as lesbian partners who do this all the time. They’re bi-curious friends who’ve “never done this before” and/or drunk and doing it in a dorm room shower while 10 guys watch. It doesn’t help when the lesbian porn is grouped under “Straight” when gay male couples are grouped under “Gay.” It’s clear from the organization that the lesbians in the videos are there to satisfy the male gaze; they shouldn’t be.

11. The nails. Why the super long French manicures? There are nail clippers on my nightstand for a reason. There is no way some fake nails with sharp edges are going anywhere near MY g-spot. But that happens all the time in porn.

12. Shoes. There’s something to be said for wearing shoes during sex (some folks swear by it), but the image of six-inch stilettos up so high in the air that they replace the dude’s ears cracks me up.

13. Pubic hair. The lack of it makes a gal look prepubescent, which, quite frankly, freaks me out. Also shaved balls are a little weird. And again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with shaved anything. I get that some folks are into it. But it’s everywhere. And not everyone is into that, so a little variety would be nice. As well as women who don’t look like they’re six.

14. Spit. Saliva is not lube. Licking your fingers once and running them around your asshole does not lube up your ass enough to make anal comfortable. This isn’t really a complaint. It’s just always confused me. Like is that sexy? I don’t get it. It just seems uncomfortable.

15. The advertisements. Let me just remind you all that advertisements happen on purpose. Companies target specific audiences and ads are placed strategically. So seeing ads like “Local Moms Want Sex Now!” and “My Dick Is The Size Of A Pringles Can!” (I can’t make this shit up) just reinforces the feeling that I don’t belong here. It’s like I am not supposed to be watching porn because I am a woman. I am in the wrong place and should go back to Cosmo or some shit so I can better learn how to pleasure my man (and maybe myself as a second priority).

Though I can usually find a video that gets the job done so I can get on with my life, I feel alienated in a million ways in the process. Everything from the details of the videos to the ads on the sites makes me feel like I’ve wandered into the men’s locker room. It’s very rare that I can watch a video without cringing, laughing, or feeling ill at least once. Women make up more than half of our population, and the popularity of books like Fifty Shades of Gray show that yes, we do like sex, and yes, we do have fantasies, and yes, we want media that fulfills those fantasies. So why are so many mainstream porn sites so cis-gendered male centric?

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about porn is that it doesn’t even try to pretend. Politically correct porn is an oxymoron and nobody’s pretending that it’s not. So if we all know that porn isn’t all-inclusive, why does the exclusivity continue?

Sex is awesome. And porn could be too. But if gender, racial, and sexual equality are our ultimate goals, we—as a society—have a long fucking way to go.

Pun intended.