Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference.

3 of the biggest misconceptions I had about sex, I learned from porn

Written by Lexi Brielle, founder of Missie Magazine.


The first time I watched porn was in the sixth grade, in my childhood bedroom with my very first best friend. We were curious about what “porn” was and even more generally, what sex was. We decided that Kim Kardashian’s sex tape was the best way to get educated. We sat in an awkward silence, both of us unsure how to act or respond while we watched a quite aggressive sexual encounter between Kim and her partner Ray J. When the video concluded, we looked at each other and swore we would never have sex.

Having access to the internet basically since I came out of my mother’s womb has provided me with “learning” resources that were not available to past generations. I found myself turning to the internet as a source for information. It’s where I learned what a blow job was (and how to give one), it’s where I first saw sex, and it’s where I received a lot of skewed misconceptions surrounding sex and my own sexuality. Here are three I found were most damaging:

First: People always orgasm from vaginal sex

The first time I had sex was a horror show. There was blood everywhere and to this day I stand by my statement that it was the most painful experience pretty much ever.

The sex I had that day was nothing like the sex I’d seen in porn and I felt really bad about that. I couldn’t get comfortable because I kept thinking “Should I be moaning?” “Am I too quiet?” and “Does this feel good for him?”

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All of the porn and movies that I’d seen always depicted sex as being amazing: the girls all moan sexily and cum often and quickly. This isn’t how it was for me or most of my girl friends (which I found out later). Not only was my first time painful but the next few times were, too. Eventually, the pain went away, but I still wasn’t having an orgasm from penetration alone. For a few weeks, I thought there was something medically wrong with me. Sex didn’t feel bad, it just didn’t feel good. My partner at the time, my second sexual partner ever, also thought it was strange since he too had seen those same pornos and those same movies. Those women never looked bored, yet here I was, very unamused with it all.

One of my friends in high school started having sex regularly around the same time that I did. I’m really grateful to have had such an open relationship with someone like that. When she told me that she, too, hadn’t been orgasming from penetration, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. We decided to google it, and we found out that many women don’t orgasm from solely vaginal penetration- actually, most don’t.

It would have saved me a lot of time spent worrying and thinking that I was some failure of a women for not being able to cum if someone had cleared that misconception up earlier. Instead, I had no sexual education class and a mom who would rather give me advice on how to avoid sex than on how to have it.

Second: Women should always be totally shaved

Whenever I watched porn in high school, it was mostly for informative purposes (AKA 10th grade me had no idea what giving a blowjob entailed and turned to PornHub to figure it out), I noticed that all of the girls in the videos are always perfectly shaven. It looked as if they’re airbrushed (which, they actually might be) and I was confused about why my vagina didn’t look like theirs.

I shaved but I had stubble and I always seemed to miss a few spots. I felt embarrassed to let a boy touch or see my vagina, even though mentally, I was ready. I just couldn’t get over the idea that maybe he would feel or see stubble and I don’t even know, kick me out of his house or something. I had a boyfriend in the ninth grade that I never let do anything sexually with me because I was too nervous about my vagina. I actually laughed aloud writing that last line, because I can’t believe how skewed my idea of myself, my sexuality, and sex in general was.

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Over the years in high school, I stopped worrying as much when I started talking to my friends about their shaving habits and realized that no one’s vagina looks like the girls’ in porn. We all have razor bumps and scars and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I stopped stressing so much when I was able to realize I’d been aspiring to reach an unnatural and impossible standard, and sex became a lot more enjoyable for me.

There have been times now where I’ve had sex completely unshaven, and it didn’t feel like a big deal because really, it’s not. The sex was the same and my partners didn’t even comment. I look back on all the years I wasted being too nervous to enjoy myself and wish I’d known all of this then.

Third: Girls should be submissive

Perhaps one of the classic porn relationships is a dominant male and a submissive female (usually much younger). Typically, the sex is aggressive and he shouts out commands at her which she follows immediately. While I’ve never been involved in any sexual scenario like that, and there isn’t anything wrong with it (if it’s consensual), the idea that my purpose in sex was solely to please my partner, stuck with me. This conception affected my sexual relationships: during sex, even with a long term boyfriend, I was afraid to speak up and say “That doesn’t feel good” or “Can we try something else?” for way too long.

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I allowed myself to have sex in positions that were either painful or just boring for me, too afraid to voice how I actually felt. I wanted my partner to feel good, so much so that I sacrificed my body and my pleasure. It wasn’t until a boy asked me what I liked that I was able to speak up and be honest.

I’m confident that the reason I was too shy to say something is because of the way society privatizes women’s sexuality. Women are taught that sex is secret, our sexual endeavors are to be kept personal, and historically, that we only should be having sex to reproduce. That notion is much less relevant today, but the implications that sexual pleasure is not for women stands. The idea that women must be delicate and polite — in both the bedroom and society — prevents women, or at least a younger version of myself, from expressing their sexual desires.


Read more like this in our #realworldInboxIf you want more of Lexi, follow Missie Magazine and Lexi Brielle on Instagram!

5 Responses to “3 of the biggest misconceptions I had about sex, I learned from porn”

  1. Paulita Pappel (@PaulitaPappel)

    Interesting, all of the misconceptions around sex and womanhood do not come only from bad porn – these three things are taught to women in every hollywood film. Blaming only porn makes sinvisible that it is the whole society which is the problem, every film and specially every song. There is horrible porn, but that is just a reflection of society.

    Reply
    • madamcurator

      Thanks for pointing that out Paulita! As we regularly say, porn isn’t the problem, it’s society’s inability to talk openly and honestly about sex and the differences between porn world sex and #realworldsex that’s the issue. Hollywood movies definitely perpetuate myths about sex and love that range from inaccurate to harmful and it’s important to talk about that too 🙂

      Reply
  2. Gromm

    While I’m inclined to agree with a lot of this, the whole notion that sex is purely for the man’s pleasure is hardly something that comes from porn. It’s a notion that goes back many decades before the Internet brought easily accessible porn into everyone’s bedrooms and within easy reach of children and young teenagers.

    If anything, this lady’s account, to me as a GenXer especially, is refreshing because that same fountain of information informed her that it didn’t have to be that way.

    Reply

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