Not all porn is created equal

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Because I speak about male sexuality, I get asked all the time about porn usage.

A lot of my colleagues, particularly the more spiritually inclined, tend to lump all porn together and call it all bad. They’re anti-porn.

Some of my other colleagues similarly lump all porn together and say that it is all good. They’re pro-porn.

I sit somewhere in the middle.

I’m not pro-porn because I definitely think there is porn out there that is perpetuating unhealthy narratives about masculinity, femininity and sexuality as well as exploiting performers and having adverse effects on consumers.

I’m not anti-porn because I have seen some amazingly inclusive, diverse, artistic and educational porn that I believe promotes healthy narratives about masculinity, femininity and sexuality as well as empowers performers and celebrates human eroticism.

I actually think there are two conversations to have regarding porn usage; (1) What type of porn is being consumed? (2) How is that porn being consumed?

The first conversation references ethics. I advocate for ethical porn firstly because of the fair treatment of performers and secondly because it uplifts healthier narratives. As a consumer, it is important to be responsible.

The second conversation is about practicalities. Rather than mindlessly jerking off in front of a computer screen, I frame ethical porn as a tool that can be used for embodying eroticism. Perhaps by reading or listening to it, or by standing up and moving while watching, or combining it with mirror work, or not using at all sometimes, or using it in a myriad of other ways.

I don’t think all porn is bad. I don’t think all porn is good. Not all porn is created equal. Bringing intentionality to the porn you’re using and how you’re using it is my approach.

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