Learning how to have sex through watching mainstream porn is like learning how to box by watching Rocky – at best, it’s totally useless, at worst, it’ll give you dangerous ideas.
While porn can be a great tool for self-discovery and arousal, it can also give an unrealistic view of sexual activity, especially when paired with little real-world experience. Some troubling consequences of uncritically watching mainstream porn include increased insecurities about penis size and non consensual choking during sex.
A new wave of “educational porn,” or “eduporn,” aims to teach people how to know their bodies and pleasure themselves and others in a constructive manner. What is eduporn, and how can it help us understand sex- and ourselves- better?
What Is Eduporn?
Mainstream porn caters to a predominantly white male audience through a phallocentric worldview, and is essentially the Hollywood of sex; all the actors involved are professionals who have been tested for STIs and know how to perform sex acts on camera in a way that is often impossible in their everyday lives. Delayed ejaculation rates have nearly doubled in the last ten years, partially due to the fact that many men think they’re not performing up to the standards of porn stars.
Many sites are now offering an alternative to less-than-educational mainstream porn by integrating explicit sexual videos with sex ed. These “adult films that you can learn something from” provide instruction for safely performing certain sex acts, inspiration for spicing up the bedroom, and education regarding sexuality and the body.
Ethical porn site Afterglow launched their Eduporn video series last year, where adult content creators instruct viewers on themes like how to have sex with a disability, how to masturbate in different ways, how to give a sensual massage, and more. Other places to find eduporn include Sssh.com, Lust Films, and Pinklabel.tv.
What Can Eduporn Teach Us?
That all bodies are sexy and beautiful
While mainstream porn mostly markets performers with body types that follow heteronormative beauty standards, educational porn shows a larger range of body types. For example, Afterglow’s Eduporn series includes instructional videos teaching masturbation tips and tricks to disabled and pregnant women. By showcasing different types of bodies than what is typically broadcast as “sexy,” educational porn not only celebrates the beauty in all of our bodies but also teaches unique bodies – like those who are disabled or pregnant – how to feel their sexiest.
Explicit instruction leaves little room for error
Like mainstream porn, educational porn is explicit, but not for the sake of being explicit. Rather, eduporn creators believe in showing rather than telling. The explicit nature of these videos enhance their educational intent, because showing how things work in real life with real people and sex acts communicates instructions better than complicated diagrams.
We use videos and visual media to teach all the time; in the classroom, at work, in the kitchen while doing a DIY project… In today’s day and age, most people go straight to Youtube when they want to see a skill being demonstrated. Why should sex be any different? This way you can see exactly what to do, step by step. You can also watch with your partner and practice in real time, so they know exactly how to do what you like, rather than trying to give them an instruction manual or explaining it yourself!
Shows what sex really looks like
There are many people who enjoy mainstream porn and understand that it is an unrealistic depiction of sex. There’s definitely a place for porn featuring people who only 1% of humanity physically resemble doing things that only 1% of us will ever be able to do safely (like extreme anal stretching without teaching how to prep). Eduporn provides context for your sex life because the people demonstrating the sex acts on screen are not performing – it portrays what sex really looks like.
How to give and receive pleasure, alone or with a partner
Fifty-60% of Sssh.com members ask for more information on various sex acts such as pegging, anal, oral sex, and bondage; eduporn bridges the gap between educational content and pleasurable adult films. In the early 2000s, the foremost requested instructional videos were women asking for content on how to pleasure their male partners, but today, the majority of instructional requests are for self-pleasure.
While pleasuring your partner is great, understanding your own body is the first step to establishing a healthy sex life. Knowing your own body means that you know what you want, and are able to communicate it with a partner for an all-around better sexual experience. Whether watching solo to learn more about what brings you pleasure or with a partner to learn more about giving each other pleasure, eduporn can help bring about a more comprehensive understanding of your sexuality in a safe manner.