'Real sex' movement makes porn more realistic, but not better than the hardcore stuff

'Real sex' movement makes porn more realistic, but not better than the hardcore stuff

SexMay 08, 2018 By Lindsey Kline

Lately, there’s been a mass panic about how porn distorts our expectations of real-life sex. Entrepreneurs in the adult film industry think they have the answer: porn of real couples having real sex.  No aggressive gagging on dicks, no degrading dirty talk, and no hyperdramatic fake orgasms.

At the forefront of the push for more “authentic” erotica is Make Love Not Porn, an online platform where couples can share videos of their sexual encounters and pay to watch videos of others. Make Love Not Porn’s charismatic leader is Cindy Gallop, who sees her smut as “real world” consensual sex with “good values.”

Make Love Not Porn was founded on the idea that viewers want to see intimacy in their porn — hugging, kissing, groping and eye contact — that mirrors the kind of sex they’d want to have in real life. They want to see actions that indicate these aren’t just actors who need to make a car payment, but lovers sharing an experience together.

Gallop markets her business in stark opposition of the porn industry. In a TED talk unveiling Make Love Not Porn to the world, Gallop laments how traditional porn is driven by men, funded by men, managed by men, directed by men and targeted at men. She discusses how men feel compelled to slap, gag, choke and cum all over the faces of their female partners, and that women feel compelled to pretend they like it. Her skin flicks will be different, she vows.

However, Gallop’s “sex-positive” marketing campaign is easy to see through. In fact, she feeds off the culture of sexual shame in order to push her product.

Make Love Not Porn perpetuates the narrative that porn is inherently filthy and degrading, and by watching it, you become filthy and degraded. It feeds into the idea that all porn is documented abuse, and that if you get any pleasure from it, you are complicit in that abuse. Your shame and desire get coupled together, which leaves you feeling like a real piece of human garbage.

But is amateur porn, sex tapes of real couples in real relationships, really any more authentic or morally righteous?

A lot of people can’t conceive that professional female porn performers could ever possibly be enjoying themselves. They assume porn is at best, faked, and at worst, coerced.

So they embrace the solution of cutting out the porn industry, that ugly behemoth in the background with a culture, regulations, and professionals to make risk-aware assessments. They watch videos made by people who don’t understand filmmaking, lighting, framing, editing, or even how to have sex in a performative way for a camera, and feel more morally responsible for doing so.

They assume that you can’t be coerced or abused into making amateur porn —  that because these people know one another, they must be treating each other ethically — which defies almost everything we know about how relationships work. They assume there’s zero revenge porn on the site, something that was supposed to be shared between two partners but is now being distributed among countless strangers on the internet.

Not all hard-core porn is bad. Not all homemade porn is good.

The unfortunate reality of the issue is that it doesn’t matter to most viewers — a lot of people don’t care about the underlying messages of their porn. As long as they can climax, they’re not going to complain. If a fundamental social change is necessary to alter the way we watch porn, don’t hold your breath waiting for consumers to lead the way.