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  • Ali Eggleton

Porn, Sex and Sexuality

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

The sexualisation of women's bodies is not new. The sexualisation of lesbians and wlw (women loving women) is not new. The porn industry strives of the wills and needs of money - straight men. Arguably, to play into the hands of this billion dollar industry is to play into the fantasies of the men whom choose to oppress the queer spaces to which we exist.

Yet that was the porn I was watching? My sexual understandings were confusing, upsetting and to this day, still not truly understood. I spent years chasing after men I thought loved me and ignoring the advances of any women whom may have looked my way; well because that’s what’s expected of me publicly!

However when you’re in your bedroom at 2am and there’s absolutely nobody to tell you off, the world suddenly becomes your sexual oyster. I was able to view sex in a completely different way.

The funny thing about porn, especially as a woman watching porn, is that there is such a huge stigma about it that you feel you have to hide it, you feel you have to understand it under the covers. It feels dirty and wrong, it's not but that is how it is presented (especially when you go to a Catholic School). Double up your shame with porn and sex with your shame about your sexuality, you definitely get a cocktail of guilt, shame and oppression.


I started with what was expected of me: pretty vanilla, men and women ‘straight’ porn. The roleplaying nurse situations, the step siblings situations, the boyfriend and girlfriend in love. Nothing too crazy, everything you may find on the PornHub website’s homepage.

But one thing I was sure about, the women were more appealing. I would only stare at them and I would only pay attention to what was happening to THEM, the WOMEN. Their bodies were more interesting, almost a foreign land for me. I knew what this was, I knew what their bodies because I had one myself. But still these women were FASCINATING! Everything was different and I felt DIFFERENT for once in my life.

And BOOM:

I knew I liked women. At least sexually.

And the thought crossed my mind for a split second.

But then BOOM:

No I couldn’t like them. I just liked what the men were DOING to them. I wanted to experience that!

I didn’t like the women. I couldn’t like the women.

Obviously.

Obviously?

Obviously I did just like the women.

The porn industry is riddled with disgusting people and disgusting stories - it’s naive to think any differently.

But for me porn was about a freedom of expression for my sexuality, It is truly a space where I felt able to secretly work out my love and lust for women. Of course this came with confused understanding of wlw sex and hyper sexualisation of women but at least I knew. I knew more than ever before.


I remember a few years later, when I was inevitable asked if my sexuality was 50/50, saying that I was more sexually attracted to women than men and I was more romantically attracted to men than women. This is definitely not true but I think in hindsight it was the secretive nature of my exploration of sexuality that made me hyper sexualise my relationship to women and in reality, I was just publicly used to being attracted to men and therefore didn’t need to dwell on that attractive and could focus all my attention on women.

These days I’m attracted to people and personal connections and gender comes as a second thought. But it is always important to understand why you believed what you did; how we come to understand ourselves is mounted in our past - even though we are always told not to dwell on it.

Nowadays I use a website called bellesa.com to watch porn. It is run by women for women and makes you feel a little less weird and guilty about the women you are watching in these videos.

The videos are well shot, edited and feel like ethical porn and continue to help me understand who I am sexually.

Porn is not the answer to sexual confusion, please don’t think this is what I am telling you. Nor is porn bad.

Porn is a complicated industry which is so overly stigmatised, especially for women, that it can be hard to talk about the positives of it. But I am a big advocate for women watching porn !! Learn to love your sexuality and learn to love sex - this is not a taboo, do not let people tell you it is.

In fact I’m doing my dissertation (I do theatre so a practical one.) on just this - the positive effects of porn on women and why women watch porn. So a lot to explore there and i'll probably write a lot more about this in the future. But this is a start.

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