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How Not To Let Porn Take Over Your Relationships And Sex Life

Don’t expect your real-life sex life to be like the one in the porn movie. That’s not possible, and neither should that kind of expectation be laden on to your partner.

Don’t expect your real-life sex life to be like the one in the porn movie. That’s not possible, and neither should that kind of expectation be laden on to your partner.

I got a question from a young listener once, and this is what she said. It read –

“Hi Aastha didi. So, I am 18-years-old and I recently had a weird experience. I caught my brother, who is only 14, watching porn. I stopped him, and now he is all awkward with me. Should I tell my parents? I don’t know what to do as I am so confused. I am also very worried as I myself have been watching porn these days, and touching myself. Am I a bad person?”

My first answer to this would be: NO. You are not a bad person for watching porn. Neither is your brother.

That’s the truth. Watching porn could be a healthy, and safe way to fulfil your own sexual desires, and also find out what you like sexually.

So let me tell you a secret I have never, ever told anyone. I am 39, and I started watching porn only a few years ago. And how? I did a story on the comic porn star, Savita Bhabhi. I found her fascinating – especially as she was a woman who took control of her sexual desires. Be it with her husband, boss, fitness trainer, pizza delivery guy, college students – Savita loved them all. She made me feel liberated.

Is porn healthy? The jury is still out on that

We also have to see most porn for what it is – there are well-defined gender roles in the average porn film and everyone follows that. The woman is always the secondary character and the man has all the control. That’s not the way sex (and porn) should be in the times we live in. Everyone needs to be equal, even as far as porn is concerned. Also, most of us don’t have perfect bodies with big boobs and penises. Nope. It’s far too perfect for anyone’s taste.

As a psychologist, Hvovi Bhagwagar encourages as well as cautions, “Is porn healthy? That is a hugely debated issue. Psychologists haven’t arrived at any one agreement on whether porn is harmful or healthy. My take: use common sense. If watching porn normalizes sex, reduces body shame or spices up your sex life (without making your partner uncomfortable), then it’s obviously fine. But excessive porn consumption has a darker side to it – addiction, partner violence, unrealistic expectations and can turn into an insidious social menace.”

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6 things to keep in mind if you’re using porn yourself

If you are using porn to find yourself, and explore your hidden desires, or figure out how you liked to be touched, then go for it! But here are some things you can keep in mind:

  • Make sure you watch porn that you know is made with the consent of everyone in the clip. And how do you figure that out? There are many ethical porn sites that you can visit, which will help you make an informed choice.
  • Do it in moderation. Too much of anything is harmful. Tell yourself that like that one cheat day, you will indulge yourself with some ethical porn once a week, for an hour. Set some limits.
  • Don’t expect your real-life sex life to be like the one in the porn movie. That’s not possible, and neither should that kind of expectation be laden on to your partner. Your partner is beautiful and desirable as they are.
  • But, you can ask your partner to watch porn with you. Maybe you guys will find something new to try out.
  • See porn as an experience that can heighten your masturbation session. Don’t ever lose contact or connection with your body – use it to explore your body and learn more about your desires.
  • Know if you are doing it to fill a void – for example, is it because your partner doesn’t satisfy you anymore? If yes, then try and solve the issue at hand.

If it has to be porn, it has to be ethical

Watch porn, and promote ethical porn, if you know you and your relationship can handle it. Websites likes XConfessions, created by feminist filmmaker Erika Lust, show porn through an indie cinema lens. Dipsea is for those of you that prefer to listen to some saucy audio rather than watch raunchy videos, and my favourite is Make Love Not Porn, which has real-life sex that is ‘silly yet beautiful’. It’s focused on consensual and fun sexual exploration without the performative cliche scenes that you so often find on porn sites. If reading erotica is your thing, then Literotica is the one-stop-shop for you. In fact, during the pandemic, the website saw a big jump in their users!

Just make sure porn is the side dish, not the main.

Excerpt from The L-word: Love, Lust and Everything In-Between by Aastha Atray Banan shared with permission from the publishers HarperCollins India.

When romance writer Aastha Atray Banan found herself getting asked questions about the daily struggles of love she decided to start a podcast, Love Aaj Kal, that dealt with everything about love and relationships.

The L-Word is about modern love: from ghosting, polyamory, love in the times of social media to more every-day problems like dealing with heartbreak, infidelity and getting out of toxic relationships. Love can be many things – sometimes intimidating, frustrating, and often exhilarating – this book tells you how to make sense of it.

Want a copy of this book?

If you would like to pick up a copy of The L-word: Love, Lust and Everything In-Between by Aastha Atray Banan, use our affiliate link at Amazon India and at Amazon US.

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Image source: Berzin on pixabay, book cover Amazon

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