How To Keep Porn From Derailing Your Sex Life

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In case you haven't noticed, porn is here to stay. It’s pretty likely that some of you ladies are high-fiving that fact right along with the zillions of male connoisseurs out there. But, whether you’re a skin-flick watcher or not, there may come a time when you feel like you can’t measure up to the ultra-hot, moaning-like-a-banshee bombshell that your partner “visits” during late-night porn patrol. She’s 20 years old, six feet tall and weighs 115 pounds. Her heaving breasts pop the buttons right off her top and she’s known to have 20 orgasms in a row — doggie style. Ugh.

It’s no wonder that some women feel like they can’t compete with this celluloid fantasyland. We cope by sanctioning certain sexual positions because our cellulite might be visible. Or, we shut it down even further with a "lights off" policy because our ‘O’ face hardly resembles the mewing sex kittens on hotorgy4u.com. Too. Much. Pressure.

So, what to do? First, stop thinking about your partner (or future partners) and start focusing on yourself. That’s right. Get selfish and realize that you’re hot as hell, and you deserve to get off, too — during couples sex, solo sex, all of the above. “It’s important for a woman to cultivate her own sexiness or erotic identity by discovering what turns her on,” says Dr. Sari Cooper, a certified sex therapist in New York City. “She can work out so she feels alive and aware of her body…or read erotica that allows her mind to fantasize.” Or, watch some soft-core on Skinemax at 3 a.m., or buy a vibrator — you get the picture. It all depends on your comfort level, but it’s important to focus on what gets you off.

Our culture definitely places a lot of pressure on women to be perfect. Yet, it’s important to remember that porn stars are actors who screw because it’s their job. If they don’t act wet, wild, and more hardcore than the next star, they’ll be out of a paycheck. “Directors, producers, and actors in porn often say that there has been increasing pressure to produce more hardcore and unusual films,” says Debby Herbenick, Ph.D, a research scientist at Indiana University and author of Sex Made Easy. “That does not mean people should change their sex life in any way unless they want to. Action films are also more violent — that doesn't mean we should be violent as a society. Porn is fiction. People don't have to follow it.

And, on the issue of XXX films and fantasizing, it’s time for a gut check. When your partner is watching porn, it’s entertainment — typically with a quickie result in mind. “When in fantasy mode, neither men nor women are comparing their partner to the fantasy partner," says Allison Vivas, CEO of porn production company Pink Visual and author of the upcoming book Making Peace with Porn: Adult Entertainment and Your Guy . "That would just totally ruin the experience.”
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Also, admit it: Women fantasize, too. “Most women [do],” says Vivas. “Women need to put things in perspective and recognize that when they fantasize, they just enjoy the experience. So, don't over-analyze things.” That means less thinking — and more sensing. “If you’re spending time focusing on how you look and trying to measure up, it’s much less likely that you’re going to enjoy sex,” says Dr. Rachel Needle, a psychologist and certified sex therapist in West Palm Beach, Florida. “It’s important to stay present and focus on the sensations and your arousal.” In other words, get yours.

Here’s something else to think about. When your five-minute fantasy ends, you snap to reality, right? That is, the reality that your partner may not have six-pack abs, a tight ass, or a full head of hair. But, he’s a good dude — the person you choose to be with 24 hours a day. “I think most men and women have a sense that porn does not match up all that well with real life,” says Herbenick.

Okay, maybe you’re still not thrilled with your partner’s penchant for porno. Having a heart-to-heart may be helpful, and yes, it will probably be awkward. “The general idea is to say something like ‘This is difficult for me to talk about, because I care about you and I want you to know that I respect your own sexual interests and desires, but the idea of you watching porn (or of us watching porn together) makes me feel uncomfortable and I'd like to talk with you about that,’” Herbenick says.

It’s important to be clear about boundaries and be considerate of each other’s feelings, too. That goes for you, and for your partner as well. “If a man says to his partner that a certain behavior is something 'most' people do — even if that is true, it doesn't mean a person who doesn't want to do it is uptight," Herbenick says. "The important thing is to find what you both like, are interested in, or could possibly try. It's no one's right to shame their partner or be mean to their partner just because they're into something you're not.” And if your partner still makes you feel pressured? The problem may be less about porn, and more about who you're with — and that's something that can't be addressed just by logging off.

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