Liz Walker is bella's very own straight-talking, go-to gal, on all sex matters. She is a generous, wise spirit who is passionate about young folks gaining a healthy understanding of what sex is and where it fits into relationships, identity and life. We have hit her up with some of the hard questions. We think her responses are pretty great, so we're releasing them one by one for now.
I don't understand why porn is so terrible. Isn't it a useful way to get tips to spice up your sex life? Is porn that different to reality?
Some people are of the opinion that porn is a great way to gain tips to spice things up. There are plenty of professional counsellors who have recommended that mature couples use it to get ideas.
BUT (and it’s a big but), the numbers of people who are recommending indulging in a little porn to improve sex are dropping. Gradually professionals are changing their mind about porn because the negative outcomes are becoming too difficult to ignore.
This is much like in the past when doctors used to recommend smoking as a good way to relax and unwind. When evidence emerged of the health risks, fewer doctors recommended it. Now they’ve changed their minds completely and try to help people quit because they know there are so many health benefits to not smoking.
Most free porn on the Internet is a long way from reality. Porn is acting – all of it. The way the cameras are angled, the fake moans and groans, the lack of intimate or gentle touch, the size and shape of body parts, the sexual ‘gymnastics’ positions and the length of time people ‘go at it’ for. Truth is, many male porn performers are on drugs to ‘keep it up’ and many female performers are on drugs to ‘block it out’. To top it off there’s a huge amount of hitting, slapping and choking scenes in mainstream porn.
None of this is a positive benchmark to learn about sexuality and relationships. Part of the wonder of a healthy relationship can be found in love and intimacy. The ‘unknown’, exploration and fun of figuring it out are part of the amazing beauty of intimacy.
When a person’s mind has been filled with everything related to porn before they even have a relationship, it sets porn as the sexual thermometer. Reality seems ‘less than’, even though a ‘real’ mutually wanted encounter can be a wondrous and love-filled experience.
Porn gives the impression that sex is nothing more than a cheap commodity. At a time when it fits with your values, a sexual relationship based on intimacy and commitment is way more fulfilling than getting your cues from porn. It’s really up to the individual how much value they place on sex – but since you asked me, I want you to know that you and your sexuality is worth a whole lot more than porn!
At bella we think sex isn't just a romp around in the sheets, your heart is in there somewhere too. We want to approach sex with some smarts, and care. Get in the know, ladies, so you may make choices you are at peace with.
Sex is not simple, it is an intricate matter that takes time to consider. Our culture often suggests we can separate the physical from the emotional, mental and spiritual when it comes to sex, but we're not so sure. There seems, to us, to be layers to sex. It is not separate, but part of a bigger design, and hopefully just one amazing element of a fulfilling, deeply committed relationship.
We encourage you to gather wisdom in this area. This takes time, an investment. Please take what is written here, think about it, talk about it with trusted people and know that when it comes down to it, your choices must be yours, and the consequences too.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question for Liz. Please put 'Question for Liz Walker' in the subject. We will treat these matters with appropriate confidentiality.