How watching porn affected me—Daisy’s story

1) What effect did porn use have on your ideas about sexuality and your sexual behaviour?

I was groomed for childhood sexual abuse using porn. Porn was very different in the 70’s, though, than it is today. It was mostly nudie mags, and I was told how I was just as pretty as the girls (ha – grown women!) in the pictures. And, that I could prove it…

2) Did you notice how misogynist it was and how did you react to the misogyny?

Didn’t notice that at all. I thought ladies were supposed to strive to be pretty and pleasing, and what more could one expect? My mother has a lot of internalized misogyny, so it was normalized for me in my childhood. I thought gender roles were very strict, and that sexually pleasing men was ‘part of the job’ of women, but, at the same time, there was all that Madonna/whore stuff, too, about what good girls and bad girls did and with whom. I think porn as a grooming aid was the natural extrapolation of the general view of the female role. Sexual acting out was a form of rebellion, so I thought the abuse was normal, at the time, and did not associate it with my terrible self-esteem and other issues until much later. I credit my college education with helping me to see how toxic my first marriage was (I left him in second year), and also for helping me recognize how much I had been damaged by the childhood sexual abuse. My new husband is a good man and his actual affection and genuine support has helped me a lot, too. He’s the first man I’ve ever met who is sensible enough to STFU when women are talking about feminism, and our lived experiences.

After the CSA, I wasn’t particularly exposed to porn any further as a child, but my ex loved porn, and used it pretty frequently. I’m pretty sure he also used prostitutes and peep shows and stuff like that.

Sex always felt like a performance with him. He was very interested in how many notches, and what type of notches, he/we had on the bedpost. He loved to push my boundaries, and coerce me into stuff I wasn’t comfortable with. He also had lots of expectations about my appearance, and performance. I didn’t notice it at the time, but I’ve become aware of it since maturing a bit, and reading some feminist theory. This finally enabled me to vocalize what the problem was! 🙂 I don’t think he even realized how unhealthy it was, he was just trying to be so very, very cool and hip, and thought that was normal.

3) What made you stop watching it?

After the ex, I didn’t use it much on my own. (This was before internet!). When I did watch any, it didn’t do much for me, so I kind of quit. Also, my current husband doesn’t like it at all. So there wasn’t much impetus for me to seek it out.

And then, I had babies. No time for porn. When I checked back in on internet porn in the 2010’s it had hella changed from my day! Most of it now is just completely disgusting. I mean, I guess it always was, but at least it used to try to pretend that the sex might be remotely enjoyable for the female performers.

Reading the stories of exited women has just hardened my opinion.

4) What observations have you made in your acquaintances who watch porn and how it affects them?
My ex is the biggest example. He was a fucking sleaze. He played the nice, liberal, new age guy, but he was still a misogynist toad.

I have an ex-brother-in-law who was a heavy porn user in the 90’s. He was also an abusive creep, and none of his children are that healthy, sexually. Lots of abusive partners, and break-ups, and they all try to have the ‘super liberated, I’m much cooler than you’ thing going on, but none of them seem that happy with their relationships.

I would side-eye the Hell out of anyone in my social circles who admitted to me that they used porn today, honestly.

5) Anything else you want to add.

I’m very worried for what porn is doing to the next generation. I’ve seen how it shaped my expectations and views of sexuality and sexual expression, but it seems to have gotten more extreme, and kids seem to be using at younger ages.

I have two school-aged children. Neither of them has had any meaningful, biology based sex ed in their school (some good stuff about what to do if someone is molesting you, though). I’d hate to think that they would learn the mechanics of sex from watching “teen gangbang 69” or whatever the latest horror du jour is today. And, even though I’m trying to teach my kids my views and values, what about their peers? Will my daughter’s first boyfriend try to coerce her into anal on their first date, just because he thinks that’s normal? I hope my son will not be taught to believe that being a man means crossing his girlfriend’s boundaries.

This post is a part of an ongoing series of interviews from women who have watched porn. If you would like to share your story of how porn affected you, please email psage681@gmail.com.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “How watching porn affected me—Daisy’s story

  1. Thank you for sharing, Daisy. You brought up a really important point about not noticing the misogyny in porn because it’s no different than the misogyny everywhere else. In a way, female socialization itself is grooming for sexual abuse. When we teach girls that their job is to be pretty and pleasing to men, that they should always be nice and do what people ask of them, and that they should not expect bodily sovereignty or boundaries, we make them vulnerable to abusers. Porn is just a part of the culture that grooms girls.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No sex ed in school? Where is this? The US?

    I am frequently baffled when I read that some mothers don’t want their ten year old children to know how human reproduction works.
    There are problems with sex ed in schools, they’re rather piv-centric and so on, but if a child knows nothing at all, I think that’s the most harmful. As you say, they will “learn” from porn instead.

    Reminds me, just recently I went to the library and saw a parent with the book that my parents used to explain why I would get a little sibling. I was a toddler back then. Must be a very good book to be in demand even now … or no one wrote something better, which is a tad bit depressing.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s