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10 differences between porn and real life sex

The difference between porn and the sex in the real world


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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More and more people are watching porn because it has become so much more accessible. And although many people may feel that watching porn is harmless, there is the possibility it can give an unrealistic view of what real life sex and relationships are like.

The reality is that sex is rarely like how it is portrayed in porn or in movies. Sex can include any sexual act such as the touching or rubbing of genitals, oral, anal or vaginal sex. Sex can happen between people of any and all genders and sexual orientations. 

While most people can separate fantasy from reality, there is the chance that due to watching porn some may have expectations of sex that are not realistic. If you feel like your sex life just simply does not live up to sex you see online, you’re not alone. It’s impossible to live up to an ideal that doesn’t even exist.

Remember, people in porn are acting, and what looks great on screen may not work as well in real life. There are huge differences between real life sex and porn, and we look at some of them below.

1. Consent

Consent is rarely spoken about or even mentioned in porn, but it is so important. In porn, people always seem to be up for sex. This is not always the case in real life, and it is important that all involved consent to sex, and do not feel pressured into having sex. Likewise, make sure your partner is fully consenting. If they are not, you need to respectfully understand their decision and not pressure them to change their mind.

2. Body hair

In porn, everyone tends to be waxed or shaved, with no trace of body hair. Because of this, a lot of people might expect others to be completely hair free, and as a result many people may feel pressured to remove their body hair. However in real life people are hairy, and it really is up to each person to decide if they want to remove their hair or not.

3. Erections

Porn makes it look like you can get a hard on easily and that it can last for a long time, but this is not always the case in real life. If you are having problems getting an erection or experiencing premature ejaculation, it is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. If it continues to be a problem, it may be worth visiting your doctor.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a porn star will often have a very big penis. If you're feeling self conscious, remember that the majority of people are not as big as those in porn. 

4. Anal sex

In some porn, anal sex can be common. However, in real life not everyone is having anal sex. The position you choose to have sex in is completely down to what feels right to you and your partner and it should always be a position you are both comfortable with.

5. Foreplay

Foreplay can often be missing from porn, but it can be a very important element to sex for many people. People may not be able to come, or orgasm, from sex without engaging in foreplay. For your partner to really enjoy themselves, taking part in foreplay can be key, so it is important to talk to your partner about what their sexual needs are. 

6. Making noise

A lot of the noise you hear in porn is acting, and not everyone will be loud when they're having sex, even if they are enjoying it. If your partner is not making as much noise as you would find in porn, this doesn't necessarily mean they're not enjoying themselves. You should also not feel you have to make certain noises or act a certain way during sex, how you respond to your partner should come naturally to you. 

7. Dirty talk

Some people like talking dirty, some don’t. It comes down to personal preference. If you want to try dirty talk, make sure to set some boundaries with what your partner is comfortable with first. If you heard something in porn, check that your partner wants you to use certain terms before you engage in dirty talk. 

8. Protection 

Often porn stars have sex without using a condom or dental dams, but this does not mean that everyone will have sex without using protection. Porn stars undergo regular STI checks to ensure they don’t pass on any infections. Always practice safer sex, and that means using a condom and/or other forms of protection. Remember that condoms and dental dams are the only form of contraception that protects against STIs. You should never be pressured into having sex without one. Click here to learn about other forms of protection and contraception. 

9. Body types

Porn stars look nothing like how people look in real life. In real life people come in all shapes and sizes, have cellulite and lumps and bumps. This is perfectly normal, so try not to compare yourself to those you see in porn, as this can leave you feeling insecure.

10. Gender & Sexuality 

While all genders watch porn, a lot of porn is made for men and by men, which effects the way a lot of porn is made. Women are sometimes shown in porn as submissive, or are disrespected, or treated roughly or abusively. Other times the porn will only focus on a man’s pleasure. In real life, sex should be pleasurable and comfortable for all involved.

A lot of porn makes it seem like only straight and cisgender people are having sex, but this is not the case. In real life, people with all sorts of gender expressions and sexual orientations have sex. And if you are straight and cisgender, do not feel pressured to have sex like those people do in porn. There’s more than one way to be a man or one way to be a woman, and everyone has a different type of sex life

Remember: The age of sexual consent in Ireland is 17. If you're over 16, you can consent to medical treatment including any treatment or tests needed.

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Published May 29th2013
Tags porn sex sexual health
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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