Porn-story-hero

Pornography isn’t a dirty word.

 I first fell in love with porn when I was 12.

Riffling through old magazines in my parents’ study one day after school, I discovered a book my father had received for his 40th birthday, 40 Years Of Playboy, and began to flip through it. Before I knew it, I was entranced by the women spread across its glossy pages. There was something powerful and entirely erotic about how free they were in their bodies. These looked like women who knew what they wanted. Women who weren’t ashamed of their sexuality. And I wanted to be one of them.

Fast-forward ten years to a rainy afternoon at home alone in my one bedroom flat, my boyfriend out for the day and the urge to snoop through his computer finally getting the better of me, when I came across a rogue folder and unopened a Pandora’s box of porn. There were images of women deep-throating men, multiple guys taking one girl and women being greedily enjoyed like pieces of steak. Some of it offended me. Some of it even frightened me. But most of it turned me on. A lot. And so began an adventure into the darkest depths of pornography.

Once a week, when my boyfriend would leave the apartment to work his Saturday shift at the corner store, I’d fervently flip open his laptop and go exploring, always ensuring to hide all traces of my deception. Soon I was losing whole days watching the newly uploaded flesh flicks stored in his not-so-secret folder, becoming almost savant-like at making myself come within seconds, my orgasms eventually rolling over into one another like an unceasing rainbow. The films that once shocked me had begun to look innocent, and I grew restless with the limited options available in his threesome-fetish-themed folder and finally ventured online.

Overwhelmed with options after clumsily Googling the word ‘porn’, I decided to narrow my search and began typing in terms that excited me. They all included submission, degradation and objectification; acts that should have horrified me, but instead excited me more than I’d experienced before. I watched and orgasmed at every given opportunity. Like an addict, I was hooked. And like an addict, I was overcome with guilt.

Porn-story

Everything I watched men do to disembodied vaginas, breasts and mouths behind the guise of my computer, buried under the duvet like a misbehaving child quarantined to the bedroom, encompassed treatment I was outspokenly opposed to in my everyday life: misogynism, humiliation, force and even violence. But I couldn’t get enough of it.

Was there something wrong with me? Was I depraved, a pervert even? I tried Googling less offensive terms; ‘porn for women’, ‘softcore porn’ and ‘romantic sex scenes’, but they all left me bored and disinterested. I wanted to feel less fraudulent nodding along with my girlfriends that men’s porn was shameful and sexist. I wanted to prove to myself the feminist ideals I’d regularly touted, like equal treatment and respect, held true when I was in the bedroom too, but my online viewing always landed back in realms of women being restrained, spoken down to and treated roughly.

Desperate to absolve myself of the icky sense I’d put a stain on the word feminist, I began to scrupulously delete all possible evidence of my online search history, even though I’d moved to using my private laptop, growing paranoid someone would catch me out, hurl an accusing finger at me and expose me publicly like a 15th century witch.

I never told my boyfriend about my viewing habits, preferring instead to conjure up scenes I’d watched when we were in bed together, surprising him with how quickly I excited. He eventually sensed my detachment and we split.

It wasn’t until many years later that I discovered I wasn’t alone, that there was in fact an entire subset of people, even women who considered themselves feminists like me, who relished watching male-oriented porn depicting female submission, and a name for it too. But it wasn’t till I finally confessed my true desires to my partner in my late twenties that a light-switch flicked on and I suddenly understood why I enjoyed everything men’s porn represented.

Allowing myself to openly explore what really turned me on with a partner allowed me to clarify it was the complete abandonment of control and power that had drawn me to degrading X-rated flicks. As someone who readily admits to being a fully-fledged control freak in my everyday life and will sooner chew my own arm off than let a guy call me “sweetie” or treat me as any less than an equal, the idea of surrender to a man turned me on behind closed doors, where it was okay to let go and not have to worry about constantly beating my male colleagues to answer questions in meetings or take charge of everything.

I watch a lot less porn today. I can even go months without it, preferring instead to let my partner fulfil the fantasies represented in the scenes that were at one point a major part of my life. But on the odd occasion I do wander online and flick on a quick flesh-fest, I don’t feel like a bad feminist anymore. I feel like one of the women in the early Playboy magazines; a woman who knows what I want, and isn’t afraid to own it.

 

Images via elitedaily.com and galadarling.com.