Tuesday, May 24, 2011
People always assume sex & orgasms go hand in hand... but really, its not always that straight forward...
One happy day, not too long ago I began corresponding with an exceptional, brave, self-aware and opinionated Pakistani woman. The country needs more women like this. The fact that she shared so honestly will benefit other women in similar positions I hope, especially the one's that are not bold enough to speak up. But for god's sake, if you can......question things!
*Please note: irrelevant parts of email correspondence have been cut out.
Also, I have not posted the entire interview, but only the subjects that I have covered in previous blog posts. I will continue to post Sam's thoughts, experiences and opinions along with the other interviewees..as we move on to other topics.
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Came across your blog through some links and references from other blogs. I don't know if you're looking for a particular profile for your interviewees but I am a Pakistani female and i'd be more than happy to talk about sex....
I wish more ppl had talked about it, I wish more children and young adults were encourgaged to embrace and be open about thier sexualities. Its tragic the kind of damage our attitudes towards sex have done to our people.
Hope to hear from you and best of luck for your project. It's about time, what you're saying, was said out loud :)
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Ok so i've filled it out and i've gone on and on hehe..its just one of those topics i feel strongly about and have a LOT to say………… just to clarify, my husband and i are from a normal, upper-middle class Pakistani family, we were raised muslim and we both lived abroad for a few years between in our teens. Before and after that we've mostly been in pak. I share that because I just wanted you to know that I am largely a product of pakistani society.
…………. I've been pretty open about my views and personal sexual issues. I know you're not sex therapist but since you've been working on this subject, if theres any advice you could offer i'd be more than happy to hear from you.
best of luck for your project!!
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Sam, 28, Female
At what age (approximately) and how did you come to know about sexual intercourse?
i think it was information that sort of indirectly trickled down through different sources and experiences . I certainly wasn't informed by my family or parents or even friends. No one even told me about periods till I got mine. And I'd like to point out that my family were never the most open minded people around, but they couldn't be considered conservative or religious either, which shows that even educated, progressive parents don't see the need to inform their children about such issues. It was basically a topic they avoided till possible.
I think tv and books were the first source. Before that was the time I walked in on my parents naked hehe. which was traumatic for a 11/12 yr old to say the least. At this point I had no idea about anything, and the idea that two adults would strip in front of each other was initially most disturbing. I think I only acquired complete (and very thorough) clarity when I moved out of Pakistan in 8th grade and had a full fledged semester of Health class dedicated to sex ed.
I didn't think much of it at the time, but I think that one class really helped clarify all misconceptions about the basics of sex and sexuality.
Is Pakistan sexually repressed as a nation?
Yes!! it is repressed and its really keeping people from being able to enjoy one of the basic pleasures of life. and because its so repressed its leading to a sick frustrated society plagued with problems and people are SUFFERING. Though having said that, I think that middle class sexuality is most suppressed, followed up by the upper rich class and the least suppressed are the poor.
I say this primarily based on my own interactions and conversations with people. The very poor, don't care much anymore, they behave (and I apologize for using the term, but its one of the by-products of poverty) like animals. They'll do it with anyone, whenever they can. They don't have that middle class veneer of morality to protect. I have maids, cleaning women, janitors etc who share stories, about daughter-in-laws impregnated by father in laws. women in slum colonies living with two men, husbands who are ok with their wives sleeping with other men, adults sleeping with children etc etc. I don't think this is necessarily the kind of freedom we should aim for but they are certainly not as repressed as the rest of pakistan. But again this kind of behavior would vary from area to area, I think its more rampant in the urban slum setting. Whereas in rural areas of smaller communities it may not be as open.
As for the rest of us; if you look at how Pakistani society is structured, there is no concept of sex outside of marriage in this country!! If you think about it, its completely absurd! Basically unless you decide to get married you can't have sex. Young adults very rarely live on their own, bringing a partner to your home or sleeping over is out of the question.
On your nikkah nama there are three options the bride must chose from: Virgin, Divorced, Widow. Which assumes that unless you are divorced or widowed you can’t have had sex; so you have to be a virgin! its ridiculous. There is no one to advise you on sex issues, doctors will always assume if you unmarried, you're not having sex and the list goes on!
I'm not saying Pakistani’s aren't having sex outside of marriage, but society effectively pretends they don't, and if you are having sex it deems you're doing something wrong, so you will not be offered support in any form. so to say that we're sexually repressed would be an understatement.
And all this is just the tip of the iceberg, you go deeper, to how we teach (or fail to teach) our children about sex. the attitude we have towards it. Parents who are embarrassed to discuss such topics, teach children to be embarrassed of their own bodies and sexualities. They raise children who will find it difficult to embrace their sexuality, even in the privacy of their own bedrooms. Even adult Pakistani men and women view each others private parts and certain forms of sex with disgust (oral). Sex is something most ppl just do. They don't realize how much it can involve and how important it is to make an effort to have and share healthy satisfying sex lives.
Have you ever had/Do you enjoy having sex?
Yes I am having sex, i'm married so its assumed but i started having sex much before I got married. I am actually currently not enjoying sex so much. Its something which is seriously bothering me because I always enjoyed having sex but for a little while now its not been that great. Sex was always a big part of my life but I have been going through some personal problems in the last year or so, perhaps that’s what interfering. I have been trying to identify why I'm feeling like this and I've spoken to my husband as well and maybe we need to try something new, spice things up. Work at it a little more, I guess initially with a new partner sex is new and excited so its easier to enjoy and with time you need to put some work into it. I really hope I can get back in the 'groove' hehe because I did LOVE having sex..sigh..
On premarital sex:
I wouldn't encourage young teenagers to have sex, because they're too insensitive towards each other, yet over-emotional and especially for girls there’s always the risk of feeling 'used' coz some guy will sleep with you and then pretend you don't exist. that hurts even if you're an adult but with a little age we learn to understand and not take such behaviour too personally.
Secondly, I don't encourage it because I feel that young children are far too sexualized at far too young an age. and its kind of sad, because childhood is a precious time, it shouldn't be burdened with the weight of sexual politics. Sex is also intrinsically linked with your self-image and girls in particular shouldn't have to stress about how they look at so young an age. They'll obsess about it as adults anyway, so they should enjoy the relatively care-free nature of their childhood as much as possible. I cherish my school days, uptill college, (even beyond) for that reason, we were busy laughing and running around and giggling to care about make up and clothes much.
Apart from these reservations, I'm all for pre-marital sex. I never had an issue with it, I was never religious and I always just assumed i'd have sex before I got married. I think it was mostly the influence of all the books and media i was exposed to and living abroad when I was younger.
I had sex for the first time when I was 19, (7 yrs before I was married). I think it was good age, and I was in a serious relationship so it didn't have any negative after-effects. the first physical relationship I had when I was 16.
I personally think its really important to have pre-marital sex. It seems stifling to think that one can experience only a single sexual partner in their lives. Relationships (sexual and romantic) are important, they help you figure out who you are, what you want and different people teach you different things. Which doesn't mean everyone should have at least 10 partners before marriage, but be open to everything. If one person makes you happy and you don't feel the need for more, thats great. But if they don't, (and usually the guy u meet at 17 won't) then move on, doesn't matter how many it takes, there shouldn't be caps.
I didn't have many partners but it was because I thought I should just always end up in long term relationships so i never gave myself the chance.
Further as I tell most people around me, sex is a very powerful need. You need some kind of outlet. What I notice with so many people around, specially in pakistan, is that because they're not having sex, and their attraction to their partners is so strong, they convince themselves into thinking that this person is it, they wanna get married and they're in 'love'. Actually its not always love, its just lust. They're looking at their partners with sex-coloured lenses and till they have sex, those lenses won't come off. This applies to men and women. So I jokingly and seriously tell all my friends to just have sex when they want, preferably before marriage. Once thats out of the way, look at their partners objectively and figure out whether you want this person for anything more than sex. Most of them don't follow my advice!
Besides I think sex adds an entirely new dimension to a relationship, and you should be aware of those dynamics between yourself and your partner before taking the plunge.
But before indulging in any kind of sex- be informed, be aware. know the risks and take precautions! I think I was lucky coz that sex-ed class in 8th grade made sure I was always aware and careful!
On Arranged Marriage:
I didn't have an arranged marriage but i'm not opposed to certain kinds of arranged marriage. There are the 'never saw each other till the wedding types', there are 'met through parents, then had got to know each other in every way possible n got married' types, and there are the in between ones 'met through someone and dated and/or talked for a while'. The first category is just f**ked up, so won't go into that- and it could work out but its just sad and stupid that people would out-source such an important decision. But thats just my feelings towards the arrangement, how it affects sexuality is different. The second and third category aren't any different than being set up for a date by someone, its really how you go about it.
I wouldn't have opted for it coz I didn't want to get 'married' ,it was somethin that would happen, if it did, otherwise i was fine. The pressure or need to get married is a whole saga on its own. i'll stick to the topic of sex for now :)
honestly I think sexuality is something very personal, its about how you approach it, how much you invest in it and how open you are about it. I can't say for sure, but i like to think that regardless of how two people come together, provided they have a good relationship they can have satisfying sex lives. I dont know enough to say otherwise. You could have had a long steamy passionate relationship prior to marriage but when the initial flame fizzles, if the two of you aren't prepared to invest further into it, your sex life won't be much to write home about!
Have you had more than one sexual partner in life?
I've had four physical relationships, two people i've had sex with (including my husband). Its sad though..looking back i think i should have been more adventurous (i'm scared of STDS hehe) and i just start 'loving' everyone i'm with and spend far too long on one partner hehe.
On Sex & Equality:
I believe sexual intercourse itself is an equal act, because with proper consideration, theres no reason why both parties shouldn’t enjoy it.
I hear there are some women who never enjoy sex..i guess for them its not but then i don't think they should bind themselves into relationships. Coz asking someone to be your partner and then not wanting to have sex with them isn't really fair.
but generally i think both men and women enjoy it and as long as you're both getting pleasure out of it, it is equal. I don't even think a woman's lack of an orgasm makes it unequal. the truth is just because you're not havin an orgasm doesn't mean she's not enjoying sex.
i love having sex and i've never had an orgasm.
(sorry, I had to recycle an image from a previous post here...i thought it worked too well to not use again)
i think inequality comes in when people become selfish. If a man is using a woman's body purely to make himself orgasm, without consideration for her enjoyment, it becomes selfish and unequal. If one partner expects oral sex and offers nothing in return it becomes unequal.
It's true that some partners have more control during sex than others, but i don't think this necessarily makes it unequal. its really about the chemistry between the two of you and what each partner wants. I enjoy control from a man, it doesn't mean sex is on his terms entirely though, its sort of like role play and its something that doesn't influence the non-sexual aspects of our life.
Though I enjoy the control, doesn't mean its ok for him to be selfish.
What do you think nature and the physical differences between men and women have to do with gender roles in society?
I think they have a lot to do with the roles we have in society today. Our current roles evolved from our natural and physical differences but I think they have been heavily manipulated and conditioned by many other factors, including power, religion, politics, etc.
Our basic roles are of men hunting and spreading seed, and women nourishing, caring and protecting. now I don't argue with these basic non-evolved roles because they are what you see in animals aswell. We were designed for these purposes. Having said that I no longer see these roles as applicable in todays' society BUT they are still the models we seem to follow.
For a long time this hierarchy between men and women made some sense because it was all based on a 'might is right' philosophy. if you had physical strength you, you were in control, like animals. As civilization evolved, the need to rely on physical strength diminished, weapons offered a slightly more level playing field. Governance and law offered protection. And most recently women began to exercise control over whether they wanted to have children or not.
Yet somehow the gender roles did not change much, especially in certain societies. I think these roles were reinforced and retained because it suited certain interests. It allowed the patriarchal society to maintain status quo, it allowed certain factions to retain power and along came religion to offer divine approval to this whole arrangement. So even if you had some objections before, now that the religious stamp was there, most people didn't argue.
Women are still expected to rear children, submit to the man, play house, keep themselves covered and be "sharif" or sex objects (two ends of the same spectrum)! Men should be macho and its ok it they sleep around/ogle, and they can't exercise control over their instincts and needs..but they're more stable coz they don't have PMS!- what bullshit!!
I believe the basic biological purpose of every living organism (including men and women) is to reproduce, and yes women are the primary means of reproduction (though that may change with time as well). BUT we are no longer base organisms, we are individuals, we have personalities, we have a consciousness, we control who or what we do and become. So No, a woman's purpose is no longer to breed children and support the husband. she can be anything she wants to. Men or women can no longer be classified into categories and specific roles. Its not fair to do that.
Maybe some women do enjoy raising a family and thats wonderful but as a parent its your duty to offer your child (son or daughter) the option to be/do whatever they want. and the same goes for the sexual dynamics between people- gender should no longer define how you behave and what role u play in a relationship.
Have you ever experienced a multiple orgasm?
No. i enjoy sex and though i and my partners have tried. i have never had an orgasm
Have you ever found or had your g-spot found?
No. again tried but couldn't find it.
Do you know anyone who has sex but has not yet experienced an orgasm? What are your thoughts on that?
Me. I don't think abt it much coz i've just gotten used to it. and also because the lack of an orgasm never kept me from enjoying or wanting sex. i would LOVE to experience it because other women tell me its amazing. i'm thinking of buying a vibrator next time i'm abroad..maybe it'll work !
Do you think about sex every day? How often?
Yes, at least once or twice. it used to be a LOT more when I was younger hehe,
Do you think sex plays a major role in your life?
Yes, its not only something important to me personally but i think it plays a very powerful role defining and strengthening our relationships with our partners. Having a good sex active life gives you confidence, keeps you satisfied, it helps reduce stress and remain healthy.
I think its perfectly natural. I think all people have or should have indulged in it at some point. Its really your first point of sexual exploration. and sex toys only became common recently (and still not so common here), so before that it was really all you could do to satisfy yourself.
I think its idiotic and prudish to preach against it. Its probably the healthiest safest way to satisfy yourself. All men masturbate, i think all women do aswell, but they don't admit it. Plus it would be helpful to figure your body out and know what works for you.
Would you morally, ethically or in any way, have a problem with marrying someone who had had sex with someone before you?
no. it would be hypocritical to expect my husband to abide by morals i don't believe in and have not abided by.
I don't have an issue with people looking at porn because EVERYONE does.
but on an ethical level I don't agree with it because its portrays women as one-dimensional objects. For many ppl (and most boys) porn is thier first and only exposure to sex and its not an honest or accurate depiction. They grow up expecting sex to be always be dirty and raunchy smut! but sex isn't always like that, sometimes it'll be that, sometimes its just relaxed and smooth, sometimes its romantic.
What also bothers me about porn is that its so fake and the women don't seem to be enjoying themselves. I don't mind a good sex scene in a movie, sometimes its a real turn on but because they make it seem natural and its in context and built up. General Porn is just pathetic, and not much of a turn on, its just designed to please men. It may be part of the reason why men are so selfish in bed, coz porn doesn’t seem to have the concept of women actually enjoying themselves.
For this reason a few days back I decided to try look for porn for women. Something sensual where women actually seem to be into it. I couldn't believe that I searched the net for half an hour and found no FREE porn for women. There was some sites, but they all required payment, sort of like a premium service. Whereas the internet is drowning in common porn- which is basically porn for men!
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thanks so much for filling it out quickly :) I found some parts really very interesting, i'm thinking about doing a whole post on you actually…..
The most surprising part of your interview was the fact that you're a liberal, sexually aware woman, who enjoys sex... and yet has never had an orgasm....if you're enjoying sex, it means you're feeling something.... and perhaps working your way towards an orgasm. Maybe just stopping too soon. And you know you've got the perfect thing to spark up your sex life waiting ahead of you, the search for an orgasm. Things obviously don’t remain as heated as in the beginning of a relationship... so I don’t think you’ve got anything to worry about there. If you've gotten wet before, you will find it!
Also.. you should definitely invest in a vibrator, no jokes! and, if you're open to masturbation, i don't quite get how one is motivated to masturbate without the promise of an orgasm in the end? Do you just stop, cuz you get bored or what? How about oral sex, that doesn’t do it for you either? Sorry for all the questions, but im just trying to understand the situation better... so I can offer some more advice. Heck i'll mail you a vibrator from here if i have to....
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It was great hearing back from you. Sorry for not replying earlier. Hope you're well. having been keeping up with the blog and i enjoyed some of the new posts.
……as for my inability to orgasm hehe, honestly it puzzles me just as much. the thing is I really really do enjoy sex. (speaking of which me and my husband seem to have come out of our slump, so i'm feeling great again hehe) and there are times when I feel like i'm just abt to climax..but i never do..
there are times i've even thought maybe i have orgasms but I can't tell because I have no point of reference. but then when I discuss it with women who do have orgasms..they seem pretty sure about it and it seems like if I had one, i'd definitely know it was one.
as for masturbating..well its strange..i do it because I feel like sex and its unavailable..and since sex is orgasm-less for me, and yet I still want it, the motivation is the same. its pleasurable but does not necessarily peak..
but having said that, if I do masturbate its not vaginal..its purely clitoral and I do reach a slight peak, its nothing mind boggling or anything and it doesn't feel like much of a climax..but my body seems satisfied. i have often wondered if this is an orgasm..but when i'm with a guy, this doesn't satisfy me, and I want actual sex with penetration and that feels great but i don't reach the point where i'm satisfied. so sex will only end because i'm tired from going at it for so long, or if my partner has climaxed and tired himself out hehe.
so yea..its confusing i guess..but i've never had notes to compare with anyone who doesn't have orgasms. Apparently most ppl i can talk to abt sex do have them..
what do other women who don't have orgasms say? is it not normal to enjoy sex so much without an orgasm?
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great hearing from you too ... and again, this is such an interesting email.... do you mind if i post some bits from these emails along with ur interview when i do my post about you ? I think it could benefit a lot of women.
Sounds to me like when u masturbate you probably have (at least a few times reached an orgasm), but just a very weak one. Since they do vary from mind-blowing to the 'slight peaks' you refer to. Maybe you should try bringing yourself almost to that peak... and stop just before..... start again... and stop just before.... repeat a few times.. and hopefully that'll strengthen the intensity of the orgasm. (of course you can really exercise that degree of control when you're with yourself... with a partner it'd be harder...) - And most women I've spoken to claim when they masturbate its mostly clitoral... so that’s nothing to worry about... :)
I'm happy for you that you guys are out of the slump.... but you know that’s completely normal... every sex life goes through lulls... especially when you're with a long term partner.. you can't always expect fireworks...
Also, im sure you're aware that most women can't achieve an orgasm from purely vaginal penetration... so you're definitely not alone there.
And i haven't spoken to too many women that have never had an orgasm... because most don’t want to talk about it... but the ones that have opened up have said that sex is more chore-like than pleasurable... some even say its painful.....and some are just happy with the way things are...they do it, but will never actively seek more enjoyment from it...a very blah attitude.... so i think you're the first one i've spoken to, that actually enjoys it and yet doesn’t have orgasms.... which is interesting because usually its the enjoyment that leads to the orgasm...
Im glad you've been checking in on the blog and enjoying it, and thanks for attempting to find new recruits.. but hey... even if they don't end up interviewing... one hopes they'll at least check out the blog :) and that'll make a difference.
ps - have you ever used a vibrator?
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Hope you're doing well.
Thanks for the advice and info! it makes me feel somewhat better, i always thought i was missing out on somethin huge, but maybe i'm almost there and the fact that sex is still very pleasurable means things aren't that bad :D
Please feel free to use the email content for the blog. and no i haven’t used a vibrator, which is why I think it might be worth my while trying one! who knows it might be the missing ingredient!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
I can't imagine what it'd be like to have the sex-drive of a guy.
I was watching something on TV about a trans person... and he was talking about how crazy it is to experience the male sex drive all of a sudden. With all the testosterone shots, you probably do see it spike like crazy. And to be able to compare to before... that must be quite an experience.
I've talked a lot about women in porn, and exploitation, etc. But what about men in porn... its gotta be freakin' hard (pun intended :P) to maintain an erection for all those hours. And if it involves meds... taking viagra all the time, that can't be good for your health.
I suppose this applies to both genders, but what about desensitization? If you're thrusting in and out 5 days a week from 9-5 (im sure its not such regular hours, but still) surely, bringing your 'work' home with you is bound to make you a little less than enthusiastic. How on earth do they maintain the same (or any) enthusiasm for sex in their free time. Getting aroused in real life situations has gotta be tough for experienced porn stars...
And oh the hypocrisy..especially when it comes to guys. There are way too many holier than thou Pakistani men, that look down on women for having a sexual appetite, yet all they fantasize about is porn type situations. I have known several myself..."good" family men (supposedly), religious, go-to-the-mosque-to-pray types, but yet they're the perviest fucks out there. These are the guys with large porn collections...the ones that cant stop thinking about sex, and fantasizing about blondes with fake boobs. People tell me about Rainbow centre (the market that sells porn in Karachi), supposedly a large portion of the people buying and selling these movies are bearded. Really. Why project that image of yourself, when you're clearly going against your own beliefs. I never get that. How do people exist lying to themselves?
Speaking of beards (it seems to have become a fascination of mine lately, just the mindset that comes with projecting that 'religious' bearded image of yourself...), via Twitter, I got to see a video of "religious" men protesting a Gillette shaving event in Pakistan. I mean, FFS.. this kind of thing never fails to shock me. Like REALLY, do they have nothing better to protest than corporate events promoting Razors? There's gotta be something more worthwhile than that, even in their pea sized brains... Blaargh...
Correct me if im wrong, but according to Islam, aren't u supposed to keep things well groomed in the nether regions? If that's the case.... why is face shaving even an issue for these weirdos...thats hardly logical...but then again, religion begins to unravel if u look at it too logically..
Is the take away message here...shave your balls but not your face? It seems the fundies want your face to look less groomed than your crotch. That explains a lot actually. Wtf kind of world are we living in...
My Male interviewees share their thoughts on Porn:
Fahad, Male, 24
Wow that is a pretty loaded question. Not sure where to start…I guess the first thing I’ll say is that I’m not anti-pornography. I feel that it’s something very personal and rather than be banned and hated, it should just be accepted as part of society. Unfortunately it’s shunned in every single society in the world, and that leads to a lot of abuses in the industry – such as drug abuse and violence. Another unfortunate consequence of porn being shunned by society is how it influences young minds. For me personally, it was great to answer any questions I had about sex when I was a kid. I guess I was able to take everything with a grain of salt and not believe that every woman begs for cum on her face! Benefit of taking sex-ed in school! Unfortunately, I’ve known many guys in our culture who think that porn (the mainstream kind) depicts what sex must be like. I’ve known guys that think anal sex is a common and regular part of sexual intercourse because it’s so frequently portrayed in porn.
In Pakistan, I think there really needs to be a porn industry. We’re such a closed society and watching western porn doesn’t do us any good. I think it would be great to have Pakistani porn actors and actresses so that the folks who’re wanking off to it can actually relate. I’ve seen some desi porn but unfortunately it’s not too appealing as it usually involves a shalwar and a shaky camera!!
Sultan, Male, 19
I think as long as porn exists, then sex turns into a market. I’m sure even if they manage to eliminate pornography, there will always be a market for sex. But I don’t think it should be encouraged in anyway because it fucks people’s lives up – a porn star I think, is a soulless person. They sell something that’s so personal to the whole world. Man is an evil creature; there will always be a market for it.
When asked if he blames the porn stars themselves he says,
No, they are just very intellectually inferior people that are just finding another way to get rich. I don’t think pornography corrupts anyone as such but I think porn stars fuck themselves up just to make pornography and I think its bad only for them, not for anyone else.
Khizer, Male, 26
Its just porn man, looking through a porn magazine is like looking through a car magazine, yeah it’s a stimulant. But some people do have an issue with it – anything can affect your life, you can be addicted to carbonated cola and that could affect your life. As far as porn addiction is concerned you could become kind of a hermit, you’re stuck in one room with your porn. You won’t grow mentally or socially or in any way.
Imad, Male, 25
Pornography is something that exists. It’s there for a particular purpose. Just like a lot of other things are there for a particular purpose. Nothings wrong with it. Pornography goes such a long way back…I don’t think there is anything wrong with it technically.
Qasim, Male, 26
Porn is not for me....if nudity is done in a tasteful way... then yes I have no problem with it.. if it’s part of something else.. I’m not one to sit there and watch porn .. but I watch a lot of shows that people would consider to be soft core porn. to me porn is quite cheap.
Ali, Male, 29
I think at times porn’s good... but I think you should not make it a habit everyday.. it’s good once a month.. or twice in 2 months.. but you should not let yourself get addicted... .