Posted by on Jan 20, 2011 in Relationships and Sex | 0 comments

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Ah, pornography. Say what you will about it, but it has fueled the fantasies of men, women, and pubescent boys since the human race sketched its first amply-sized penis. And, dare I say, it has made us better (and more adventurous) lovers.

Sometimes I think about what sex would be like, were it never graced by the silicone-stuffed artist’s interpretation. Rather than the (mostly) seamless choreography we’ve come to enjoy: Make out, feel up, clothes off, I-do-for-you, you-do-for-me, it might be a series of clumsy maneuvers centered on caveman impulses. I have been with one man who was appalled by, and therefore never watched a pornographic film; he practically yelled “Ooga chaka!” as he tried to pile-drive his penis through my underwear. After five seconds of foreplay.

The right type of porn can teach us how to be selfless, open, assertive, and where the clitoris resides. I applaud the whopping 79% of you who proclaimed porn as a means of pre-coital excitement. Watching others get down and dirty is a great way to tap into sexual potential we never even knew existed.

Now, this potential may come in many forms. For some couples, it may be a mutual voyeuristic itch. In a porn-free world, if a man said to his girl, “I think we should peak in the neighbors’ window while they’re getting it on,” he might earn a slap in the face. But thanks to the pervert’s paradise that is the Internet, a couple can indulge in hours of shameless peeping. No black ski masks required.

It may also come in the form of adventurous, far-fetched fantasy. Whatever your deviant desire—group sex, BDSM, chicks with dicks—there’s a world of it at your fingertips. Real-world boundaries don’t always support our innermost yearnings, but erotic media almost always does… at no consequence. If you and your lover have a thing for farm boys fucking goats, tell it to your search engine (but probably not your boss when you’re drunk at the office Christmas party).

If porn simply isn’t your cup of tea—you find it degrading, it makes you feel fat, inadequate, lazy, grouchy, weepy—don’t write it off just yet. It can be a wonderful instrument for indirect excitement: If it drives your partner nuts, you might enjoy getting off on his cinematic high. Have him watch it on headphones, with the screen facing away from you. The more he squirms, the closer you move to him. When you’re both good and ready, turn off the entertainment, and embark on your own erotic journey.

Porn can offer a little something for everyone. But if doesn’t speak to you, I have one last suggestion: Whip out your own camera and MAKE it speak to you.

Jenni Perez authored the 2008-2009 edition of the popular sex issues column, “The Wednesday Hump,” in UC Santa Barbara’s Daily Nexus. Her leap from writing about early twenties dating angst to late twenties relationship anxiety is a natural fit.