A Month-of-May Inspired Musing: My Private Life with Porn

Well, my friends, Masturbation Month is almost over, and I almost want to shed a tear for its passing. But you know, unlike so many other celebrations, like Halloween and Cow Appreciation Day (no, really, it’s a thing, kind of), there doesn’t have to be any let-down after May ends! And you know why? Because you can keep masturbating as much as you want for as long as you want! You can do it every day! You can do it multiple times a day if you’ve got the time on your hands! …heh. “On your hands.” You can do it in many places! It’s the celebration of the sexy self that just keeps on giving, year-round! You don’t have stop stroking your almond or tugging your tadger just because May is over! And isn’t that a joyful thing! Aren’t you all glad that masturbation exists? I know I am.

But this month got me thinking about my own masturbation habits. And I want to share those thoughts with you. Sit down. Get comfy. Let’s chat.

I wrote about how I came to be familiar with pornography in my McSweeney’s column, but in case some of you aren’t die-hard fans who have read everything I’ve ever written (how COULD you?!), I’ll recap. I discovered the joys of masturbation rather late in the game, at around age 19, right in the midst of my crammed-into-small-spaces-with-lots-of-people college years. After college, I moved into a volunteer house with four other people I’d never met, who were all religious. After that, I moved into an apartment with a former sex partner with whom I’d made a pact not to have sex anymore. All of these living situations, up until I was 24, made getting it on with myself a somewhat difficult proposition. I had to learn to be stealthy, efficient, and above all, quick.

But as most female-bodied fappers out there know, it’s not always easy to be fast when it comes to strumming the V-string. It can take a while. It can take concentration, skill, and determination. If you want to get the job done before your roommate gets back from class or the bar or church or wherever, you’ve got to speed up the process sometimes. Fantasies were great and I usually found that I got better results, but online porn got me where I wanted to go much faster. And speed was the name of the game in those days. So I found myself locked in my bedroom with my laptop open, frantically rubbing one out, fairly frequently.

And that habit hasn’t really gone away. I now live on my own with no roommates who would mind walking in on me in the midst of a fantasy-driven wank-fest. I can luxuriate in my brain’s most delicious debauchery whenever I want. I can get myself off over the course of hours if I want. And yet I keep going back to porn. This isn’t really a negative, per se–in case you haven’t noticed, I’m very pro-porn and I think it’s an important and very valuable industry. And I’m a busy woman: even though I have my own space these days, I don’t always have the time to spend an hour manipulating my muff. Porn is effective and expeditious, and I have a TON of it sitting around (ahem).

But the thing is… I sometimes wonder if my fantasy brain is atrophying. You know? I wonder if, left to my own devices and without the ever-present visual stimulation I present myself with, I’d even be able to come up with an original fantasy anymore. It’s been ages. I wonder if the things I want in bed are maybe just variations of things I’ve seen in porn instead of reflections of what I really want. Does it even matter? If I’ve got constant access to mountains of smut, do I need a rich fantasy life? I’ve got a great sex life–is that suffering in any way? Could it be better? These thoughts have been brought about by my years of exposure to pornography and by conversations with people like Cindy Gallop, who is pioneering a new movement in sexual imagery with MakeLoveNotPorn.tv. There are all kinds of messages out there telling you that porn is bad for you–I don’t think it’s bad. I think it’s just like anything else–dangerous in excess, for different people, in different ways. And maybe my imagination and sexuality aren’t necessarily suffering, but maybe they’re not quite as personal or real to me as they could be.

I’ve often thought that it would be a really cool experiment to take six months and try go cold-turkey with porn. Just stop watching it. Stop doing reviews of it, stop interviewing people about it… everything. And see what happens to my brain, to my body, to my sex life. Would anything change? Would I feel more authentic in my body and my sex? Would I go into porn detox and buy tons of vibrators to fill the void? Would my ability to fantasize show back up? Would my desires and actions change? I thought I might write a blog about the experience, or a book. I think I might still do this.

But I also know it would be very difficult for me to cut myself off that cleanly, what with this website and my work at WHACK! and my general presence in the porn community. And I LIKE the porn community quite a lot. I’m just not sure if all the porn itself is doing me favors at this point. Then again, my sex life has kind of exploded recently and I’ve been so busy getting it on that I haven’t spent much time with porn recently. Life seems to have thrown a curve ball into my plan to examine my solitary sexual habits by handing me almost constant, excellent sex. I already feel detached from porn, and have for a few months. Maybe my book or blog will never happen. Maybe it’s already happened and I’ve been too busy making love to notice. That wouldn’t be so bad.

This is all to say that I’m wondering if others have thought about these same ideas. I’m wondering what you all think about this. Does porn help your fantasy life? Hurt it? Neither? Both? What is a brain used to porn like without it? How is masturbation different with and without it, for you?

2 Comments on A Month-of-May Inspired Musing: My Private Life with Porn

  1. The more porn I watch, the more porn performers I talk with, the less porn turns me on. I still like it, still watch it, but my reasons for watching it has changed the last six months. It’s not about getting a hard-on and ferousiously fappin’ like feral fiend to it. These days it want visual stimulation, I want aesthetics, good cinematography.

    I still get turned on by porn performers, they are interesting people, with cool personalities and often hot bodies. I still masturbate to them – but it’s with in a fantasy I make up in my own head; something like hooking up with one at a hotel during the AVN’s. Meeting them at work and one thing leads to another, etc. I’m getting it on with myself to pornscenes anymore.

    And the thing about that is, my orgasm’s are better, I get harder this way, than if I’m watching a scene while getting my self-love on. Sure, once in a while a scene can get a raging rise out of me – but this is like 1 scene out of 100.

    I can’t say porn has made my fantasy life better or worse(?) it probably didn’t do either of the two. What porn has done, is made sex and me (personally) a helluva lot more open and fun when the subject is sex!

    • Excellent thoughts here, Christian. I think I see what you’re saying. Porn has probably affected any of us who have seen much of it, and maybe not always for the “better,” per se. But I wouldn’t say it’s for the “worse,” either. If nothing else, porn has given me more access to more ideas, more language, more openness than I’d have ever learned about or utilized if left to my own devices. It’s given me a vocabulary and an index of terms I may have never become comfortable with if I hadn’t learned from it.

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