[Sex] Porn, Sex-Ed and Movie Moments


Erotic Journal Challenge, Sex, Sexuality / Friday, March 29th, 2019

Image Via Pixabay

This week Brigit has invited us to catch up on any of the Erotic Journal Challenge prompts we might have missed. Which is great because I missed two, though not intentionally. For anyone who has missed this particular meme, you should definitely give it a visit, especially if you are looking for new ways to share your thoughts through your blog.

The prompts I missed were ‘Watching’ and ‘Sex Education’. Brigit asked; ‘Similar to reading about sex, watching sex can definitely influence what we think or feel sexually. Write about the films, television shows, or porn that have shaped your sexuality’ and  ‘Sex Ed – What were you taught about sex as you grew up? What did you not know that you wished you’d known? What/how did you teach yourself? Who taught you the most?’

Initially, I thought my answers for both were a bit thin on the ground, but as I began to consider them more I realised they probably fit together far better than I imagined. Which means I am going to take you with me on a ramble about my experience with sex education and the wicked things I watched to fill in the gaps.

Sex education in the U.K in my experience isn’t just lacking, it’s non-existent. I say this as a 34-year-old woman who was at school from the late 1980s until the early 2000s. So forgive if things have changed, though I suspect they haven’t. Sex education at school involved a very brief anatomical lesson of the how of sexual intercourse and why. The summary of that being the penis goes into the vagina and that makes a baby.

As a sex-positive, queer leaning bisexual adult I have for a long time been all too aware of how lacking my sex education from the school was. Like many people, I’d like to see young people educated in the pleasure of sex, the safety of sex, consent, sex for LGBTQ+ folks and that is just the tip of the iceberg. What I don’t want to see is sex education focusing on abstinence, scare tactics and moral judgements.

In secondary school, I was probably around the age of 13, we had some additional classes on sexual health. Sounds promising doesn’t it? It did in fact come under the scare tactics approach to sex education, with a side serving of moral judgement. While I definitely advocate having knowledge of sexual diseases, regular STD testing and safe sex practices I do not think the slide show we got was helpful in promoting any of these things.

A teacher who I’m sure had zero desire to be educating us on any sex-related issues was armed with a projector and some slides that showed images of a range of sexually transmitted diseases. The images were clearly of the worst cases of any STD’s that has a visual representation, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them weren’t actual STD symptoms but just images of genitalia with puss filled boils. We didn’t cover STD’s presenting without symptoms, we didn’t cover how to get tested, or practicals ways on how to stay safe. It was quite frankly a case of if you have sex too soon and sleep around this is what will happen to you.

I remember one classmate bursting into tears and running out of the classroom because she thought she’d be sick. I fail to see how this was in any way helpful. I don’t think anyone left that classroom with any relevant information. Especially as the following year, we had a classmate fall pregnant and by the end of the summers holidays after we left school at least three more girls were to my knowledge pregnant. Which means they clearly weren’t put off by the scaremongering but also possibly weren’t armed with enough information to avoid pregnancy.

The sex education I received at home wasn’t vastly better, but I later found out this was because they assumed the school were handling it. We did have a relatively open household though and I’m sure if I’d ventured to my Mum with questions she would have answered. The only time I remember sex being specifically acknowledged was when watching something on tv when I was about 11. I remember a sex scene appearing and suddenly feeling a bit awkward, as is often the case when you’re watching with a parent and in an attempt to diffuse the situation my mum just said ‘yes they’re having sex, it’s not a big deal’. She was of course right, but also that being my own recollection of our discussion surrounding sex in my formative years seems a little odd.

As time moved I did discuss sex a little more frankly with my Mum and I discovered that she’d never really got what all the fuss was about and generally felt I knew far more about the subject than she did once I was a teenager. I think armed with this knowledge I can forgive the fact she didn’t have more of an input into arming me with lots of sex positive and factually correct information. That said, my Mum did encourage in me a general sense of self-confidence and curiosity that has probably done more good for my sexuality and sex life than she probably ever intended.

In terms of the visual aids to fill in the gaps in my sexual knowledge, I found a few, though probably not as many as I would have liked. In reality, they probably weren’t solid sources of decent information but they did mean I was baffled by the physical side of things and had some kind of awareness of some of the acts that definitely didn’t get mentioned in school lessons.

My Mum and Dad divorced when I was a bambino so as I grew up I spent every other weekend with my Dad, we had agreat fun together, went on lots of adventures and it was on those weekends that I discovered I had access to pornography! My Dad used to pay to get the adult channels on his T.V and I don’t suppose putting a parental lock on it ever occurred to him, which was a blessing for me.

When all was dark and listening ears were fast asleep I’d switch to those channels and watch with a fascinated gaze as dicks and fannies went hard at it. The, just like now,  the storylines bored me and I just wanted them to skip to the actual fucking. Even these days if I’m going to watch any kind of porn, my favourite bits are when actual body parts are stimulated, the build-up does very little for me.

I also found a porn VHS of my step-dads but that did not educate in any way. Although it perhaps put me off bukkake for life. It was not a nice porno in any way, shape or form! My step-dad was very adamant he didn’t watch porn, so finding that was a good insight into how some men work. He was very much the type of guy who said one thing, because he thought he should, then did another. Despite his many good points, I saw this as a massive personality flaw and I learnt to spot in people very early on in life and finding that porno was the moment I started to realise that deceit was a common thing in many relationships.

I also remember thinking at that time why he didn’t just admit he had it and that he wanted to watch porn sometimes. I was wise enough to know my Mum probably wasn’t a fan of it, but I honestly thought two grown-ups should be able to compromise on stuff like that and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why enjoying visual sex was any worse than enjoying having the sex.

In terms of TV shows or movies that influenced my sexuality, there is one that didn’t perhaps shape my sexual interests but was perhaps an indicator of who I would grow to be, especially terms of the blog and podcast. In the mid-1990s I watched a TV show called Band of Gold which was a drama about a group of sex workers. It wasn’t a glamorous depiction and at times it was actually quite harrowing. I remember very clearly though wondering why they couldn’t sell sex in a safe, clean and legal environment.

I think that was one of the very first viewpoints I had that made my Mum squint at me while labelling me a liberal. Which is an insult I’ve had thrown at me on many occasions since, as well as being called a free loving hippy and being accused of wanting everyone in the world to love each other. I have zero affiliations with liberal as a political term, but the dictionary definition of ‘willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas’ doesn’t seem like much of an insult to me.

A slightly more upbeat TV show that definitely highlighted one of my early kinks was Queer as Folk, which I had to watch in secret. This is particularly fascinating to me because my Mum was fairly accepting of gay men, less so lesbians for some reason, yet I knew this viewing would not be approved. It was however aired 2-3 years after Band of Gold which we would watch together. So sometimes harrowing depictions of prostitution were okay but explorations of gay culture and sex were not, I’m sure a long and hard think about this would yield an answer, but now perhaps is not the time to explore that tangent.

When I watched Queer as Folk I absolutely lived for the moments it got sexy! Seeing those dudes kiss and touch each other up was so fucking beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, this was another series that didn’t shy away from the hard-hitting issues and probably wouldn’t be approved now seeing as one of the main characters was cited to be fifteen and already exploring the gay scene. I’ve got no idea if I had this kink before watching Queer as Folk, or if it developed while watching it. However, as readers of That’s My Kink – Watching Guys Fuck Guys will know it is a kink that is still very much present in my dirty mind.

As for movies for me, it is either small scenes in a movie that stuck with me for whatever reasons or one aspect of the movie resonated with me as sexy. Please remember before I list my movie turn-ons that a) they were released a long time ago, b) I was very young and c) don’t debate how they are now problematic in my comments section! I know that as time moves on we see decades-old media with a different eye, but that doesn’t mean we can still have fond feelings for how they shaped us, especially when in my case those effects they had were largely positive. With that mini rant over, here are some of the movies that made me go ‘phwoar’.

  • The piano scene in Pretty Woman
  • The bleeding in Stigmata
  • Everything about Wild Things
  • The whole queer vibe of Bound
  • The taboos of Cruel Intentions
  • Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes in Romeo & Juliet

Even now looking back at that short list I can 100% see why I was into them and can easily pinpoint which of my kinks and which aspects of my sexuality still align with those movies. Where they the best replacement for sex education, probably not, but lucky for me I was smart enough to seek out the factual information to go alongside the sexual interests I eventually developed.

As a grown woman you’d maybe think that my days of needing sex education are over but in all honesty I am constantly learning from other sex educators about sexual health, sexual innovations and ways in which we can all promote sex positivity to the folks we connect with via the blog, podcast and in real life. As a parent, my journey with sex education is only just beginning and whle we’ve had some low key conversations about certain aspects of anatomy, baby making and contraception, the big stuff is yet to come. I am ready for it though and let’s be honest, I can definitely improve on the sex education of my own youth, so I am already winning.

One Reply to “[Sex] Porn, Sex-Ed and Movie Moments”

  1. Pretty much all young people crave information about sex. I was of the generation where abstinence and scare-tactics were the only information provided by the school and threats of punishment came from home if I ever came home pregnant (though I had no idea how to avoid it other than condoms and keeping my legs closed). While school training doesn’t seem to have improved much (not because the school wouldn’t love it to, but because the community won’t allow it – god forbid our babies know anything about pleasure, right?), some of us have grown up to be more insightful moms and dads, helping our kids navigate sex ed in healthier more open ways.

    I’m already doing a better job than my parents did (god bless ’em), and I know my son is more accepting and more willing to ask questions about sex because of it.

    More parents like us means more kids that grow up to be healthy sexual adults. And they will continue the cycle. Culture can be slow to change, but this is how it happens…one family at a time.

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