A good friend of mine tipped me off to a friend of hers who had a TEDx Vienna talk I might be interested in. It was called, "Is The Porn Brain Our New Sex Educator" by Yana Tallon-Hicks, and by golly, my friend was right. This lady was spittin' some truths. Go check it.
She teaches classes about consent to young people, and she has a lot of good thoughts and stories about that. However, the TED Talk is largely about how the lack of acknowledgment that sex is pleasurable in sex ed classrooms all over the world makes it sensible that young and old alike are flocking to porn as a de facto educational device - even though porn is a pretty shitty sex educator...and that is a problem.
She describes some of the ways that porn fails to be a good teacher -things like the lack of verbal discussion and 2-way communication, stereotypical and sanitized characters and scenarios, and my very favorite - the bad info about lady-gasms.
She begins the talk by describing a past experience that started with her and her boyfriend getting it on to some bargain bin porn she found (she would normally be much more discerning in her porn).
So the woman is about to reach her pornographic climax, and the suave porn guy mutters in her ear, "Do you like that baby?" and Baby says, as she always does, "Ooooohhhhh yeeees. Yeees!" and then as she reaches her climax she yells, "I can feel you going all the way up to the top!" I freeze. "To the top?" I say, and now I'm practically yelling in my poor boyfriend's ear, "To the top? Really? Of where exactly? You know what? This is why. This is why everyone in our country is having such horrible sex!"Speak it. You see, this is the stuff that I get excited to hear because it acknowledges how insanely off-base porn (and really all media and our culture in general) is about the basic mechanics and physical realities of female orgasm. It's something I actually don't hear often. I often hear criticisms about how porn doesn't reflect the real emotional connections and goofy, messy reality of real life sexual interactions. However, that almost every female orgasm is faked and the actions done to get there are ridiculous and unrealistic while almost every male orgasm is real seems to somehow get lost in the porn-criticism shuffle. So, big props to Yana for leading with it.
But even bigger props for getting to the heart of the situation - that ladies need clit stimulation like men need penile stimulation, and it's absolutely insane that our culture still holds so tightly to the idea that a penis pumping in a vagina is going to be mutually orgasmic.
Yana tells us that as a sex columnist the biggest question she gets is from women who try and try but just can't orgasm. They think they're broken, but they are not broken, she tells us. The information they are getting is broken. She goes on to crush it by saying,
Over 75% of women require direct and consistent clitoral stimulation in order to have an orgasm - over 20 minutes of it, and yet P in V, penis in vagina penetration, is they way we're taught sex works. So when I hear a porn performer attributing her explosive orgasm to her partner pounding his way all the way up to the top...of wherever that is...it infuriates me.It infuriates me too. Let's start a goddamn revolution! I am officially adding Yana Tallon-Hicks to the ever growing and ever so prestigious list of Orgasm Equality Allies!
And just for fun, here are some bonus quotes from this talk:
"The main dilemma we face now when we're watching porn is which hand should I use to hold my phone and which hand should be on my junk?"
"When suave porn guy says, do you like that baby? Baby never says...actually you're nowhere near my clit, let me show you how to do this."