If Porn Saps A Guy’s Manliness, What Does It Do To Women?

Brett and Kate McKay are the husband/wife team behind the Art of Manliness, which seeks to help men “be better husbands, better fathers, and better men.” Brett was turned off by traditional men’s magazines like Men’s Health because they were filled with articles about sex and six-pack abs. “Was this all there was to being a man?” he asks.

It should come as no surprise that Brett has a big problem with porn. After all, it’s filled with men with six-pack abs having sex. In “The Problem with Porn,” he warns men that porn “saps your manliness” and lists five reasons why. Our Mind of Man has shared his perspective on guys and porn, and when I IM’d him about the article, he wrote back, “Porn is sexy. Too much porn is bad. Wine is yummy. Too much is bad.” But if porn saps a guy’s manliness, what does it do to women? Mostly, too much of a good thing is bad. Does watching the occasional porn movie have some sort of “sapping” effect on women? As I can only speak for myself, I decided to see whether I suffered from the perils of porn that McKay lists. I probably watch porn once a week if I haven’t gotten laid in a few weeks. If I’m having sex on the regular, I don’t really watch it. And if I’m on a sex sabbatical, well, my online porn watching goes up to maybe twice a week. Don’t want to get rusty.

1. It objectifies women
Yes, it does. It also objectifies men, but in the porn I’ve seen, most of the men aren’t very good looking. The only thing they have going for them is their ability to pump away and ejaculate on command. They’re being objectified, but is all objectification bad?

2. It supports a filthy industry
I’m no expect on the porn industry, but rumor has it that lots of female porn stars have “abusive back stories,” to quote one of our commenters. However, the fastest growing genre of porn is the amateur stuff available online, often for free. While there’s no way of knowing whether these exhibitionists have abusive back stories themselves, it’s far more likely that their little on camera performance is a one time deal, rather than a career choice made after a soul crushing childhood. So, ladies, if you don’t want to support that “filthy industry,” watch amateur porn. Then protest The Gap and go vegan, because the people who work in sweatshops and slaughter houses have abusive back stories as well. Just a reminder.

3. It messes with your sexual expectations
I don’t expect guys in real life to ejaculate on command or do much of the other nonsense I watch in porn. I don’t want to watch porn stars do the stuff I do in real life, like cuddle, do the crossword, or whisper sweet nothings while my boyfriend is sleeping. If you actually expect your partner to have the same sexual prowess as a porn star, you have other problems. But if you want cuddly, crossword loving porn, I’m sure there’s a niche genre for that.

4. It diminishes your sexual pleasure
I don’t think porn diminishes my sexual pleasure. I do, however, think maybe I am slightly addicted to my vibrator, which gets me off, partner or no partner, like clockwork. I, like many women, have a hard time orgasming through regular intercourse — I can usually get off from oral sex (if I’m comfortable with the person, especially) and can come during sex with some extra stimulation. I think the only reason I get off easier while watching porn is because I’m alone and not distracted, preoccupied, or focused on anyone but myself and my needs.

5. It saps your manly (or feminine) confidence.
McKay believes porn make men feel less confident in their abilities. I can see how that might happen, as the women in porn always “orgasm,” while women in real life do not. This fact effects women too. Sometimes, we feel like men expect us to get off. Rather than hurt their feelings and tell them it’s not going to happen — because sometimes, it’s just not — we fake it. The thing is, I really only think this is a big problem if you are faking with the person you’re in a relationship with. My ex knew that I did not orgasm easily and we experimented and found ways that satisfied both of us. If you’re not talking to your partner about how to have the best time possible in the sack, you’re probably not sharing other things, and then — again — you have other problems.

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