Bare Bodies


Porn is huge. Online video pornography⁠ , specifically, is a massively lucrative industry that dominates large swaths of the internet. In America, as of 2008, over 90% of young men and over 60% of young women in college had encountered online porn before they turned 18. Given the abysmal state of school and community-based sexuality education in America, combined with porn’s vast online presence, it is no surprise many young people turn to porn looking for sex⁠ education.

I’ll be exploring mainstream porn in this piece—the content that is available for free on tube sites—meaning porn that is not explicitly or intentionally feminist, queer⁠ , or alternative. This first installment talks about the landscape of mainstream video porn in America, and the ways in which it is — or spoiler alert: isn’t — accurately representing bodies: from penis⁠ size, pubic hair⁠ , and anal douching to race, disability and gender identity⁠ .


Articles in this series

A clear-eyed, in-depth exploration of mainstream porn that can: amp up your sexual media literacy so you can better suss out what's really going on with and in porn, fill you in on how it may or may not -- and sometimes just plain shouldn't -- match your expectations or experiences of sexuality offscreen, and tell you more about its politics and behind-the-scenes realities.

Part two of Alice O's exploration of mainstream porn to help increase your sexual media literacy. Includes information about sex positions, orgasm, consent and communication, boundaries, birth control, safer sex and more as they exist (or don't!) in mainstream porn, and how this can or should all go in real-life-sex to compare and contrast.