Pornography is the most effective method of sex education.
As we grow up and learn about sex, we do so without any real point of reference. We enter our first sexual encounter uncertain of how we should conduct ourselves. Rather, we jump into the backseat with the faith that we have listened to the right people and the right words, hoping that our biological impulses are strong enough to make up for the difference.
Unless, of course, we watch porn.
Pornography is the only demonstration of sex we ever get. It is the hard, visual confirmation of the soft, often implicated words and diagrams through which we formally learn about sex. It is the visual evidence that substantiates rumor and experience. Porn is our only model for comparison. It is our standard of truth.
Further, because any visual representation of sex is by definition pornographic, porn monopolizes our knowledge of sex.
In the way that all students speak the words of their teachers, we are all disciples of pornography. Our sexuality is pornographic because there is nothing else for it to be. In order to make sense of contemporary sexuality, we have to study pornography and its conventions. One such convention is a sex position called the reverse cowgirl (pictured below).
For the reverse cowgirl, the man and woman both face the same direction. woman sits on the man’s lap while he sits down. Both face forward in the same direction. The woman’s legs and pussy are spread wide and her torso and breasts are fully exposed. The man’s balls are visible and his penis alternates between hiding and visibility as it penetrates. Every body part of pornographic value is condensed on the screen (this position can also be used for hetero anal sex or with two male partners).
Although the reverse cowgirl succeeds in maximum visibility, assuming this position is not necessarily beneficial to those who are performing and aiming to feel sexual pleasure. The penis isn’t aligned with any especially erogenous zones (such as the g-spot). The partners can’t see each other’s bodies. It’s not comfortable to be in. It’s not easy to get in to.
How does this analysis of the reverse cowgirl can forward our understanding of the relationship between pornography and sexuality? Do you think that the reverse cowgirl is a result of our pornographic epistemology? In this world in which truth is equated with seeing, is there another way for us to learn about sex besides pornography?