Q: I hate how my boyfriend has sex with me. He is 40 years old. It used to be fine, but a year ago he started adding new moves he obviously got from porn: smacking my pussy with an open palm, vigorously rubbing my clit, wrapping his hands around my neck. I’m not anti-porn; what bothers me is that even though I told him these moves don’t feel good on my body and hurt me, he doesn’t care. I’ve told him that it is painful when he slaps and manhandles my clit, and he responds that he likes it and I should feel happy that he still wants to fuck me six times a week. It’s not that I don’t want him to enjoy himself, but I don’t feel like his enjoyment should come at the price of mine. I don’t know how to get him to listen to me.
— Porn Lessons Erasing All Sexual Energy
A: Your boyfriend listened to you, PLEASE. You told him you don’t like his porny new moves; he told you he likes them and intends to keep doing them. So this isn’t about listening — it’s about caring. Your boyfriend is hurting you and “he doesn’t care.” Dump the motherfucker already.
And while you’re not anti-porn, PLEASE, and I’m certainly not anti-porn, it would appear that porn — the default sex education for too many people, young and old — is part of the problem.
“The porn industry, like every other area of popular culture, is dominated by a closed loop of white guys talking to white guys about other white guys,” said Cindy Gallop, legendary advertising executive, consultant, and public speaker. “The most easily accessed mainstream straight porn is all about the man, with zero empathy for the female experience, taken to ludicrous (and for the woman, painful) extremes.”
Like you and me, PLEASE, Gallop is not anti-porn. But she’s fighting shitty porn — and the shitty expectations it can instill — with real-life contrast via her innovative #realworldsex site/platform MakeLoveNotPorn.com.
“It’s a social sex-video-sharing platform designed to be a counterpoint to the porn industry while promoting good sexual values and behavior,” said Gallop. “We need to be able to view great #realworldsex in all its messy, funny, beautiful, silly, wonderful, ridiculous humanness in the same medium that we view porn: online. That’s why MakeLoveNotPorn.com exists. We’re pro-sex, pro-porn, and pro-knowing the difference.”
Gallop wants not only to balance out porn with socially shared #realworldsex, but to see the porn market flooded with porn made by women — which doesn’t mean porn made “for” women, she points out, but more disruptive, creative porn for everyone. “Seeing more innovative porn — porn that men would find just as hot — would result in everybody having a much better time in bed,” said Gallop. “Men need to see there is no bigger turn-on than being in bed with someone who you know is having an absolutely fabulous time because of you.”
Unfortunately, PLEASE, you’re having an absolutely miserable time because of him.
“PLEASE’s boyfriend is operating in his own closed loop,” said Gallop, “the belief that sexual gratification is all about him. He has no idea what sexual gratification really could be. She needs to leave him.”
You can find Cindy Gallop’s viral Ted Talk and a documentary about Make Love Not Porn at ifundwomen.com/projects/makelovenotporn. Follow her on Twitter @CindyGallop.
Q: My husband of 17 years has never been into sex — which I always knew was a problem, but the other stuff was good. He’s into pornography, though, and I’ve busted him many times. To say I am resentful is an understatement. He uses corn oil for masturbating, and I’ve been reduced to marking the bottle and booby-trapping it to see if he’s been up to his tricks. We have two children, so that’s what keeps me from “pulling the trigger.”
— Gagging In Chicago
A: GIC: You have three options.
1. Pull the trigger.
2. Redefine your marriage as companionate — it’s about child-rearing and family life, not about sex. If your husband is free to find fulfillment in the bottle (of corn oil), and you’re free to find fulfillment in the bedroom (of another man/men), maybe you can make it work.
3. Continue with what you’re doing now — your husband sneaking off to have a wank, and you monitoring (and booby-trapping?!?) every bottle of corn oil that comes into the house.
WHAM: Your boyfriend isn’t going to become someone else — he’s not going to suddenly become more interested in sex or more sexually aggressive — so if you don’t want to be sending me a letter like GIC’s in 14 years, end this relationship. People who want healthy, functional, monogamous LTRs — free from booby traps and busts — need to prioritize sexual compatibility at the start. That doesn’t mean things can’t go off the rails later (see the first letter), but they’re less likely to.
Q: I desperately wanted to be GGG in my past relationship. My partner chronically complained that I wasn’t giving him enough sex. I felt so guilty that I put up with some very coercive situations. I became an orgasm dispenser for a dumbass whose beard prickled my clit painfully, who complained my G-spot moved around, and who fell asleep fingering me. I put up with his shit for far too long. It would have been helpful to be told that GGG needs to be MUTUAL and feel good for both parties.
— Sassy Unconquered Babe
A: GGG — good in bed, giving of pleasure and game for anything within reason — is what we should be for our partners and our partners should be for us. So it absolutely needs to be mutual, SUB, and there are definitely limits.
“Being GGG means considering a partner’s reasonable sexual requests,” I responded to a reader who asked for a GGG clarification back when we had a brand-new and completely sane president. “Not all sexual requests can be fulfilled, and not all needs can be met. But two people who want to make their relationship work need to carve out a mutually satisfying repertoire that doesn’t leave anyone feeling frustrated or used. Does everyone get everything they want? Of course not. But each of us has a right to ask for our needs to be met (without being abusive or coercive) and the responsibility to indulge our partner’s reasonable requests if we can (without being abused or coerced). We should also recognize when the gulf is too great and end the relationship rather than engaging in sex acts that leave us feeling diminished and dehumanized.”