The Problem with Kink Porn

I post a fair amount of kink porn on my BDSMLR account (under ‘hadriantemple’, if you want to follow me there). I love kink porn! It allows me to visualize my own desires and think about what I really like.

But kink porn, like vanilla porn, has some dangers to it. Like all porn, it encourages us to compare our bodies unfavorably to the models and performers in it. So it encourages us to think we’re too fat, too scrawny, too old, too poorly endowed, or too whatever else it is we dislike about our bodies. It’s easy to forget that the guys in these images are mostly literal professionals–they get paid to pose for pics and videos and in order to do that, they have to bust their ass in the gym, sharply restrict their diets, spend time shaving their bodies and crotches and assholes, and otherwise doing whatever work is required to get paid to stand their naked. So we think about our own inadequacies without thinking about the rigorous lifestyle these guys have to follow to get paid their actually quite small wages.

And a lot of these guys have the same depressing view of their bodies that we have of ours. They obsess about their workouts and diets and so on, because their income depends on it. I used to know a professional escort who had an astoundingly hot body, but who was always talking about how fat he was compared to everyone else, even though he was probably at about 8% body fat, pretty muscular, and sexy as fuck. (Hi, Damian! Message me if you’re reading this.)

But kink porn has additional downsides beyond body negativity. Kink porn often depicts guys doing fairly extreme things–gangbangs, gapping and rosebudding, taking heavy beatings, suspension bondage, shoving huge toys up their asses, doing double-penetrations, and so on. So when we look at these images, we can often feel bad that we aren’t doing these things. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because we only do a mild spankings, have never done suspension, and can’t take dildos the size of my thigh that we’re not ‘real’ kinksters.

The reality is that extreme kink porn takes a LOT of work. Here are a few examples of what I mean:

  • Very often when a bondage scene gets filmed, there is a rigger–the actual bondage top–who ties up the sub and then steps aside for the sexier-looking guy who is playing the role of the bondage top in the pic or the video. So the top in the scene isn’t necessarily very experienced with bondage, or sometimes even with BDSM play. I’ve seen some very disappointing scenes where it was clear the top wasn’t kinky at all and didn’t know how to sell his supposed dominance.
  • Most extreme bondage is hard to maintain for a long time–a full shibari tie (the really artsy ties, usually) can take an hour or more to fully rig, so that by the time the tie is done, the sub’s joints are often getting pretty tired. They spend a few minutes getting photographed and then have to be untied.
  • Anal play of any sort almost always requires the bottom to skip a meal or two before the filming and then aggressively douche to clean out their guts. No one wants to see any flecks of brown on the top’s dick when he pulls out. And some scenes can take a LONG time to film. I can think of a Sean Cody orgy scene that starts in the early evening and ended about sunrise (you can tell from the light coming through the windows). So the bottoms in that scene were probably fasting for close to a full day.
  • Models who can take those huge plugs and dildos can’t do it on command. They have to spend time before the shoot relaxing and stretching their sphincters with increasingly large toys, so what you’re seeing on-screen is just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg. Even performers who are just going to get fucked will usually spend some time with a dildo before filming to get their holes to relax.
  • When things go wrong, they edit it out. So you don’t see subs using their safe word because what they’re doing is too painful. You don’t see bottoms have accidents because their lunch made its way through their GI tract faster than they were expecting. You don’t see it when the toy gets lost in the performer’s ass and they need to get it out.
  • Even if nothing goes wrong, it’s pretty common for the director to stop the play, step in, and tell the performers what they’re going to do next. The performers have to stay hard and look like what they’re doing is spontaneous and enjoyable. This is less of an issue with Only Fans and similar porn, but that stuff all suffers from the problem of bad camera angles and performers obsessing about where the camera is.

But all of that prep work is hidden from the view, the same way that the safety features of a Hollywood stunt scene are hidden from us (try jumping your car off a bridge sometime–I guarantee that car won’t be going anywhere fast after it lands).

The problem is that we see these kink images and we assume they happened exactly as they were filmed, with nothing important edited out. In other words, we think these images are totally real, totally spontaneous, and totally pleasurable. Even when the image is all of those things, we don’t think about the various safety precautions that were taken successfully. And so we think that not only can we be having similar sex, we ought to be having sex like that.

In other words, we think that because we’re not taking those huge toys or giving out beatings that leave the bottom’s ass seeping blood, we’re somehow doing it wrong. We tend to imagine that playing harder is automatically playing better, and therefore whatever sex we’re having isn’t enough.

The reality is that if you’re having the sex you and your partner enjoy, you’re doing it right, regardless of whether you’re doing suspension play with whips or if your only bondage is a silk tie you’ve bound your partner’s wrists with (although, silk ties are not great bondage tools–when they get really knotted, it can be hard to untie them). If you and your partner find it perfectly enjoyable when you give him a few slaps on the ass when you fuck, there’s no reason you need to move up to a serious session with a paddle or a wooden spoon. Don’t fall into the trap of making the kink porn you’re watching the standard that your scene has to compare to.

Kink porn can show you what is possible in terms of kinky sex, but it can’t tell you what sort of kink sex you should be having. Only you and your partner(s) can decide that.

2 thoughts on “The Problem with Kink Porn

  1. And of course, as you frequently point out on BDSMLR, a lot of the imagery in porn is of practices that aren’t safe or realistic. Aftercare is rarely shown. Porn is no more real than the murders in mystery TV shows and movies are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s a bit more complex than that. I think porn is often like reality tv—it’s real, but very shaped by editing. And there are scenes where you can tell the performers are really clicking and what’s happening is more spontaneous and ‘raw’.

      One of the things I like about Kink.com’s vids is that they do show some of the safety precautions and a bit of the aftercare.

      Liked by 1 person

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