The Pornography

large (9)

Porn was first thrust upon me, much like anyone else who grew up in the noughties, in the charming form of Two Girls, One Cup. Suffice to say, I haven’t had a great relationship with the medium since.

The next thing I remember was a school trip to Wales, where boys who had only seen nudity in print, were passing a copy of Nuts Magazine around the coach. They shared their thoughts about a lack of pubic hair and different shades of areola, as us girls looked on with both intrigue and fright.

My boyfriend during these younger years was caught watching porn by his mum – an act as alien to me then as peeing standing up – and despite it being a moment of awkward humiliation for them both, she took it upon herself to stand there and give him a rollicking for objectifying girls: what a woman.

Following on from my teenage years, my male friends at university developed my fascination with porn by introducing me to the delights of ‘Sausage Pizza’. One of their favourite past times was to leave ‘Meat Spin’ running on my unattended laptop during dissertation time for me to return to as a treat after running off for a quick toilet break.(If you’re not sure what either of those food related porn titles are, take it from me, it’s better that way.)

Back in the day, and by this I’m only talking ten or so years ago, porn was taboo and the only way to get yourself off was to watch the 10 minute preview to an adult film on some obscure 900 Sky channel or switch over to TOTP where Rachel Stevens was doing her thing. Nowadays, we can access a whole world of sexual fantasy, in ultra high definition, from behind a computer screen, or even more conveniently, through our smart phones.

The majority of both my male and female counterparts watch porn on a regular basis and I’ve even known guys to share porn between friends. It has become so much a part of our daily lives that questioning the morality of it would be like questioning the morality of a roast potato. But aside from the fact that (some of) the stars of the small screen make a stack of money, how else is it enhancing the lives of these men and women who are having sex for cash? To me, there’s no difference between this occupation and that of a hooker on the streets of London, and any monetary transaction that exists when having sex, whether a punter or a production team is paying you, is just wrong in my opinion.

There’s obviously a darker side to the industry, and between the inappropriate videos out there and how easy they are to access, I can’t help but fear for future generations who are watching this stuff as children. Not only are they being educated in the art of bad sex, but these films are taking ideas of brutality and domination, and normalising them. In fact, these films are such a poor example of what sex is really like, that I’d probably give those sex education videos from my school days a little more credit. I also think more time should be given to educate those of an older generation who aren’t aware that these films are but a click away from their child’s reach, but I’ll save that for another day.

A guy I was seeing at the end of last year said that there was something he found shameful about masturbating and that he always felt a little self-deprecating afterwards, like he’d done something really wrong. I think it’s important to recognise that there’s nothing wrong with a little self love, but it’s the tools that are used to get you there that might be the problem.

Perhaps porn is a good way to vent mismatched sexual desires that you don’t share with you partner, or to tide you over until your next conquest, but we need to remember what it was like to be obsessed with what sex was going to be like before we had it. The whole world is obsessed with it because it’s amazing. And why is it amazing? Because you get to touch another person’s body, feel great and if you’re really lucky, connect on a higher level. Watching porn, albeit a fantastic form of contraception, just means more time spent staring at a screen as opposed to each other and I find that tapping at a keyboard to watch people have sex is much like staring through the window of a great restaurant to see people eating instead of heading inside and trying the menu for yourself.

Taking all of the moral questions surrounding the industry such as how these people are being treated behind the scenes and how many of them have chosen this as a career choice away, I don’t actually have a massive problem with it being watched, even within the realms of a relationship. I’m safe in the knowledge that my boyfriend isn’t thinking about me as he watches Jenna Jameson’s puppies jump up and down onscreen, but I’m cool with that; after all, my boobs will never be as big as hers and I wouldn’t want him to miss out, being the boob man that he is. But when it comes to my turn, why am I expected to enjoy ‘female friendly’ films?  I feel a need to let all of you porn producers out there know that not all of us girls want to be caressed with scented oils or fed fresh strawberries and I find it simply hilarious how this new age porn industry can be so regressive at times.

As you can see, I’m not 100% sure where I stand on the whole porn debate, but as a little experiment, I think I’ll steer clear of it for a while.

Think that might take too much will power as the winter nights draw in? Film your own and be safe in the knowledge that both parties have consented, are being taken care of (in more ways than one) and I’m sure you’ll feel far more satisfied watching a demonstration by someone with a good working knowledge of the female anatomy, because FYI, what they do in porn films is not good sex and I can guarantee it will not get your girlfriend anywhere near where you want her to be.

I am, shamefully however, looking forward to Fifty Shades of Grey coming out at the cinema next year.

Does that count as porn?

Who even knows anymore.

The Chase

large (6)

Mexico. 2008. Spring Break.

My first encounter with a chaser.

I.e. A soft drink that jocks knocked back after shotting vodka or tequila.

London. 2013. Spring Term.

My second encounter with a chaser.

I.e. A lot of teasing which led to a dumping which burned like a shot of Sambucca but was forgotten as quickly as a hangover.

Ever since Nursery school, chasing has been a major part of our social interaction. The boys would relentlessly follow us girls around the playground in pursuit of an innocent peck until the bell went or the whistle blew. I then went home to sit in front of Tom & Jerry which was essentially twenty-five minutes of the same thing. This frantic cartoon was later exchanged for ten years worth of cat and mouse action between Rachel and Ross. Pretty much the same plot line except for I don’t think Tom was trying to shag Jerry the whole time, unless I missed something really quite pivotal, of course.

I feel like I’m now living out this childhood game, except for now it normally takes place in dark rooms with loud music and vodka and comes to a halt at last orders.

Although undeniably thrilling to watch, I think we have to ask ourselves why we permit ourselves to enter into this exchange later in life? Why do we bother to chase or be chased? I think it’s to fill a gap until something better comes along. That probably explains why, when we finally get what we’ve been pursuing for such a long time, we lose interest. To the chaser, it’s normally just a passing the time supper with a side of ego boost. Think about it. Why did Tom never actually catch Jerry?

We must be careful. Along the road we chase upon, wooing can lead to winning someone’s affection rather than just their attention and it’s at this point you should stop teasing and start walking.

The truth of the matter is, you shouldn’t have to try to win someone over. If they like you, they will be with you. End of story. A chaser might chase you all the way to the top of Primrose Hill, but if it’s for all the wrong reasons, they won’t be waiting for you when you get to the bottom.

Spend your life chasing your dreams rather than people; the rest will fall into place.

The First Love

large (3)

In reality, my first love was a pink, holey leotard that I used to prance around the house in as a child. I was given it at five, grew out of it by seven, still wore it at eight and verged on camel toe by nine when mum decided to throw it out and I went into mourning.

Much like my tatty leotard, first high school romances generally don’t fit properly. Hence why it’s a romantic rarity for couples to remain together from the age of nineteen to ninety, or why most girls blub at The Notebook (myself not included).

Me and my first boyfriend went to the same school. We found ourselves in the same friendship group. I lost my virginity to him while his mum had popped out for a Chinese. We stuck The Streets on, fumbled around for a bit and soon enough it was time for dad to pick me up. There was no fuss and it probably sounds a lot like your first time. And, probably not too dissimilar to your version, we loved each other a little too much. I, for one, was infatuated. In fact, if I’m honest, I was bat shit crazy. My MySpace was pretty much homage to him, we spent days at a time in bed and a two week holiday away from him felt like a twenty year stint in Holloway.

Never mind how serious your current relationship (or marriage) is now, that ability to love too much is something that cannot be recycled. Much like that teddy you lost as a child, you always hope that they are sitting safely somewhere, undamaged, with someone to love them as much as you did.

But do we ever really let go? Of course we do. However, just like your old toys that are stowed away in the attic, gifts from him are probably dotted around your room. You might not wear that bracelet someone bought you for your christening any more but you still have it, just like those disposable photos you took by the sea on that weekend away together. There’s a naivety that surrounds that first love that you’ll always want to protect. It reminds you of a time where cheating was only committed by the most wretched of humans and marriage didn’t seem so ridiculous. You’re basically reminding yourself that cynicism didn’t always exist.

It would seem that first loves bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood; no matter what age it strikes. It teaches you your capacity to love, exposes you to terrible loss and, of course, what to do with someone else’s furry bits.

So what would you say to your very important person if you could talk to them now?

I’d probably say thanks for teaching me at a young age that not all men are idiots. Oh, and for introducing me to capers.

Still with your first? You might as well write a book it’s so rare.

Wish you were still with yours? You could always put your faith in that cliché about ending up wearing the first thing you tried on…

Or you could just get out there a little more. They might have been the first but that certainly doesn’t mean they’re the one.