Opinion

Ask Ms. M: Fantasies and Porn 101

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Ask Ms. M: Fantasies and Porn 101

Hi Ms. M,

What advice would you give to a (formerly) straight-identifying woman who tries sex with a woman and loves it and is suddenly very confused? Asking for a friend.

Dear Asking For A Friend (wink wink),

Sex has no inherent meaning except pleasure, and sometimes power. It doesn’t mean sex is devoid of emotion, it just simply means that we are the ones responsible for assigning meaning to the sex we have. So if you enjoy sex with a woman and love it, does it mean you’re a lesbian? No. Does it mean you might be able to have a relationship with a woman? Maybe. Only you can know this as there’s no one size fits all formula. Everyone is different, and everyone has to do the work of self to finely tune their sexual self-awareness; this cultivation of sexual self-awareness is an ever-evolving process, not a destination. So whether you try something and love it or try something and hate it, your best bet is to practice emotional intelligence and self-compassion, and try not to assign meaning to anything too quickly.

 

Hello M. I watch porn and masturbate daily. I usually can’t get off and sometimes can’t get hard when I’m with a woman unless we’re watching porn. It’s a problem. I just started seeing a girl I’m super into, but I’m terrified to take her to bed and I know she’s starting to wonder why we haven’t boned. How do I fix this? Do you think I’m a porn addict?

Dear Haven’t Boned Yet,

The issue quite literally at hand is that you’re feeding your erotic mind the equivalent of McDonald’s every day, and we’ve all seen what happens to that dude in Supersize Me. It’s time to man up and learn how to cook for yourself, metaphorically speaking. It’s more work, but healthier and way more sustainable in the long run.

Take a self-imposed break from porn for a week or more. Will you suffer from withdrawal like an addict? NO! Will you be frustrated and uncomfortable that you have to learn how to cook instead of getting your quick fix at the McDonalds drive-thru. Quite likely. But you’ll get over it.

Pick up some erotic novels and read for a while before you start to masturbate. This way, you get to be the movie director of the scene you envision in your head, which jumpstarts the process of igniting your own erotic imagination. When you watch porn, you’re eating someone else’s version of fantasy rather than cooking up your own. As far as a potential “porn addiction”, it’s not listed as an actual addiction in the shrink Bible aka the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. People in the addiction business sure are making LOADS (wink) off of the idea though. There could in fact be other secondary root causes, such as OCD or borderline personality disorder; focusing on porn as the problem masks these issues. So unless you suspect you’ve got other mental health concerns you wish to address, it’s time to choose the mature route of self-discipline and make some changes to sharpen your erotic imagination. See how you’re feeling after a week of exercising your erotic mind, and don’t hesitate to check in with me about your progress.

 

Hi Mal. I watch girl on girl porn and find myself extremely aroused by it. I fantasize about being with women all the time, but I’m scared to try it. In your professional opinion, are there any signs or ways to know when you’re ready to actually try it out?

Dear Aroused But Scared,

The surest sign you’re ready is when you’re on fire to do it! Desire is the driving force behind everything we do. Without it, we have no sovereignty and we have no hope. As a kid you might have fantasized about being an olympic swimmer, but the only way to know if you’re good at swimming, much less if you enjoy it, is if you try it. And you’re not going to be an olympic swimmer the first time you’re thrown in a pool. Be realistic that your first experiences likely won’t be as great as they are in your fantasy, but remember: practice makes perfect! 

Have a question or concern? Email: AskM@centerforeroticintelligence.org

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