Real Life 101, Lesson 13: Great sex is not pornography come to life

This is the thirteenth in an indeterminate series of entries that provides my “real world” lessons to young adults. It is my conviction that these lessons are rarely taught either at home or in the schools. For those who did not get them growing up you can get them from me for free. This is part of my way of giving back to the universe on the occasion of my 50th birthday.

Surfing YouTube last night, I spent most of my time enjoying the excellent TED channel. There I stumbled across this video by Cindy Gallop, a “lady of a certain age” as they like to be called who is fortunate enough to bed many men half her age or more. One thing she has noted is that young adults today confuse pornographic sex with real sex. The sad truth that many young adults cannot discern is that pornographic sex has about as much in common with real sex as a Formula One racer has in common with the Honda Civic that you drive. To help you out, Gallop created this site. Gallop, however, just scratches the surface of this topic.

The confusion is understandable. Like it or not young adults have probably been exposed to hundreds of hours of pornography on the Internet, often before they have sex with someone other than their own right hand. Lord knows that in most cases their parents cannot be bothered to clue them in on how real adults have sex. They are more likely to completely hide their sexuality from their children and make sure they are asleep or being very quiet while having sex.

It may surprise you to learn that your parents probably are still having sex. They are probably not coupling every night anymore as middle age takes a toll on many things, including their sex drives. There is no one size fits all when it comes to sexuality. There are couples in their middle years still going at it like bunnies. Others can go months without having sex and it is fine with both of them. Most likely, when they do get around to making love it bears no resemblance to a pornographic movie. Most likely, neither will your sex life.

This is because pornography is about fantasy, not real life. Moreover, the vast majority of videotaped pornography is for the male, not the female. Since women these days watch a lot of pornography too, you may be under the impression that they are being trained to enjoy the male-oriented version of pornography. Perhaps some of it is rubbing off (no pun intended) but likely not very much. However, pornography might carry with it the implication that modern women should enjoy or at least accommodate men by engaging in sexual acts rife in modern pornography.

Ask any porn actress how much they enjoy being in porn. A certain amount will lie for the trade presses, but when interviewed most will candidly admit (gasp!) they are in it for the money and get little or no pleasure from participating in sexual acts in front of the camera. Any great sex they have likely happens off camera. For one thing, they are being tightly directed. Second, they are expected to act so of course for the most part they will be faking lust they do not genuinely feel. They are following a script for a few quick bucks so you (generally a guy) can get off. Their directors know what you want because they analyze their sales and follow trends. So if you see a lot of videos about something like anal sex, they are there to meet your market demand. Satisfying your lust is simply a business. Pornography attempts to render idealized sexual fantasy, nothing more. It is particularly unhelpful in educating you on how ordinary people make love.

So while you may think a sex act like anal sex might be very arousing, chances are any female you have a real life sexual encounter will not. Now, as in most things in life, there are some women who are into anal sex, and if that is also your passion, you two will have a lot of fun in bed together. Most likely though she will be into anal sex about as much as you would be if she were doing it to you. Most men don’t want to go down that road because it kills the fantasy and has homosexual implications. In any event, rest assured that those couples that do have anal sex are doing it slowly with lots of artificial lubrication and probably using a condom, something you are unlikely to see in a pornographic video.

The same can be said about almost any sexual act portrayed in pornography. If you are a male and can find a woman who is genuinely into your kinks, you are likely going to be a happy man in the bedroom. Most but certainly not all women may be into a couple of your kinks. Oral sex, for example, is now fairly out of the closet mainly because the tongue is much more expressive than a penis or a vagina. It is not too hard to find a woman who is willing to satisfy you orally, particularly if you are willing to return the favor. However, most women see oral sex as foreplay (although for many it is the only way they can get off with a man, providing he knows how to do it to them right). Relatively few women see mutual oral sex as the primary way to have orgasms. Do not expect your partner to be Linda Lovelace for she is no more likely to have mastered the gag reflex than you.

The majority of women cannot have an orgasm from intercourse alone. In fact, you may not be able to even give them an orgasm. Some women never achieve orgasm, but those that do often need a lot of foreplay and need you to exercise a lot of patience. You may need to slow down when nature says go faster because they may need to also use their fingers or a vibrator to get off.

The truth is that having a great sex life with your partner takes a lot of time and energy. Your first experience with someone new is likely to be memorable, but only so-so as far as actual sex is concerned. That is because we are all different and no matter how much experience you have between the sheets, the first time two people couple they are really just getting to know each other sexually. If you are a guy and your pattern is to move from woman to woman, aside from the dangerous aspects unless you practice very safe sex, you are likely to be disappointed.

In most cases, the best sex between two people happens months or years later after they really know each other, both as sexual creatures and as people. In short, sex becomes better the more trust and understanding there is between two people. Most likely, you will find that sex is best not when you are engaging in the latest bizarre position you saw in some pornographic Internet video but when in the sex act you become one passionate creature with your partner, each feeding off the signals from each other. When you do X to your lover in a certain way that creates a passionate response tailored to their sexual buttons and she responds similarly, that’s when sex really becomes great and transcendent. You feed off her signals and she feeds off yours and, if you are both lucky, for a few special moments you will experience transcendent pleasure, although the time before and afterward will be great fun too. You should feel connected sexually, emotionally and spiritually to your partner when this happens. Your orgasm, when it happens, will be so much more than an orgasm. Rather than be kinky as you see in pornography, it should feel wholesome, god-like and spiritually uplifting. What positions you are in do not really matter, nor does it matter how kinky or pedestrian the act is when it happens. What is important is the overwhelming sense of pleasure and intimacy between two people.

Trust me, it is way better than anything you are going to see in a pornographic video. No video can capture these feelings that happen inside you during these short but exquisite moments. The high comes from the feeling of mutual connection, not because you also had an orgasm. The orgasm is the frosting on the cake. The mutual connection is the cake itself. This is the difference between making love and having sex.

My suggestion is to go into sex in a spirit of mutual playfulness. Sex can have many meanings, both for good and ill. At its best, it is warm and playful intimate adventure between two people who are just really into each other, not just as sexual creatures, but also as people and with all the dimensions that this encompasses. That is way better than anything you are going to find in some pornographic video.

3 responses to “Real Life 101, Lesson 13: Great sex is not pornography come to life”

  1. Mark – I love this post! And thanks for the coverage of


  2. Hello,
    This is my first time visiting your site. I enjoyed this article. It is without judgment and full of important facts. This is what schools ought to use in sex education courses for young adults. You did a great job writing this! I think I’ll print it for my adult son. I tried to teach him pretty much what you’ve written here, but you’ve said it all so well. Thank you.


  3. Wow, what can I say….! It is so well written. Thanks for sharing your intimate thoughts on this topic.


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