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GOB


pornPorn is one of those topics that polite society shies away from. Yet society, when it’s not bothering to be polite, seems pretty darn into porn. That huge gap between what we do and what we talk about and what we do seemed worthy of a Pillowtok, and thus Maayan and Lauren share their thoughts and feelings about the taboo topic of pornography. It’s mixed, it’s complicated, and as they often do, they sit on different sides of the spectrum.

Listen to This: Porn

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She’s definitely part of the 30%.

First off, some cold, hard facts.  Many, many people indulge in porn. According to a Huffpo piece, porn sites get more visitors per month than Netfix, Amazon, and Twitter….combined.  The piece also says that 70% of men and 30% of women watch the stuff…which we thought sounded a little low, to be honest.

Okay, so statistically speaking or not–we know a big chunk of people watch porn.  But what does it do to our mental state, and, if we’re partnered up–to our relationships?

A piece in Psychology Today by psychologist Susan Kolod, Ph.D says porn can reinvigorate a couple’s sex life–or put it under stress. Kolod says there are four key questions to ask yourself and your partner if you’re dabbling in the stuff:

  1. Does the porn help you and your partner sustain compelling sexual fantasies that lead to orgasm?
  2. Does the porn make you feel satisfied/ dissatisfied with your partner?
  3. Does the porn open up/foreclose possibilities for more interesting and creative, and mutually satisfying sex?
  4. Does the porn increase receptivity and attunement to your partner or distract you from your partner?
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“Let’s figure out if this porn I’m watching is working for US.”

Psychologist David J. Ley, Ph.D. also weighs in, with a pro-porn attitude about the whole thing:

There’s no scientific evidence that porn is any different to your brain than any other form of entertainment, from television to video games,” he writes.

Greater social access to pornography actually correlates with a decrease in sex crimes, in research that has been replicated around the world. Sexual fantasy, even bizarre, scary types of sexual fantasy, have no proven link to peoples’ behaviors. We’d like to think they do. It makes common sense. But, engaging in sexual fantasy, even about scary, deviant, or illegal practices, is not a major factor influencing peoples’ behaviors. Fantasy is actually more likely to REDUCE the chances people act on scary, dangerous desires.

Okay, cool…that’s comforting. Thanks David!

* Article on TRANCE-LIKE sexual experience (sort of) that women have is here

couple-celebrating-successBut wait.  The very official American Psychological Association cautions that pornography can in fact be addictive, and when pornography use becomes excessive, romantic relationships can suffer. It notes a study that found that female college students “who perceived their boyfriends’ porn use to be problematic experienced lower self-esteem, poorer relationship quality and lower sexual satisfaction.”

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Ick, that’s not so cool…and also disturbingly familiar. Maayan and Lauren both have memories of feeling similarly to these girls in the study. So crap.  Porn is bad.

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But wait! the article continues: “...heterosexual couples who were married or living together and found that men’s use of porn was associated with lower sexual quality for both men and their partners. Female use of porn, however, was associated with improved sexual quality for women.”

Huh.  Okay.  So porn is…sometimes good. And sometimes bad. Depending on the circumstances, relationship, and outcomes from said porn use.  I mean…duh. We all knew it wasn’t black and white.  But it’s nice to see that even the experts are all over the place about it.

Unsurprisingly, neither of us have black and white feelings about it either. Maayan is comfortable with porn, and enjoys it, but recommends to staying open and honest with your partner about your viewing habits. When it becomes a dark little secret, it may be time to think a little harder about what’s going on and why you’re doing it.

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Lauren is still scandalized by the idea of watching people do the sex thing with their private parts. She’s…shall we say, a little repressed, a lot sheltered.  Sure, she can read Fifty Shades of Egregiously Bad Writing all day long, but actually SEEING the stuff onscreen is a whole different matter. She’s sure there’s probably something out there in the Porniverse that would appeal without making her squirm with embarrassment or shock, but she’s too scared to navigate those smutty waters.  If anyone has recommendations for her, please comment below!

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This is basically Lauren anytime she sees naked junk on the computer.

Rant, rave, tips:

Maayan is ranting about RAIN.  Not against it–for it.  It’s her favorite kind of weather. She finds it just a little ridiculous how paranoid everyone is the second it begins to sprinkle.  Give it a minute…maybe it won’t be a downpour, and also perhaps take a moment to let it refresh you.

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Just give it a try.

Lauren has a tip–using lip liner and a smear of lip balm INSTEAD of traditional lipstick. Her hope is to avoid consuming the two pounds or whatever it is of lipstick that women allegedly eat during their lifetime.  The lipliner and balm go a long way, and seem a little healthier than a big coating of lipstick.

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Lauren’s red lip liner + lip balm = lipstick-like results.