What Your Tastes in Porn Say About You

What Your Tastes in Porn Say About You

Why you should care

OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”

The Terror of Tastes in Porn

EUGENE, SIR: This is going to be one of those “discovering your partner has weird tastes in porno” questions. Based on his browser history, my boyfriend appears to very much likes the Japanese porn in which unwanted touching on a train leads to sex, with the woman, or sometimes “schoolgirl,” either forced into it or unhappily submitting to it. The sex isn’t especially violent, but in what seems like half the cases the woman is unhappy throughout. In the other half, she comes to enjoy it. Sort of. In real life, this has led to women-only train cars in Japan. I find the porn about erotic as I do any other depictions of nonconsensual sex, but I know these are paid performers, so my question is, what does this say about my boyfriend? And how does porn work on the male psyche? I mean, is this what he’s thinking about when we’re together? — Elaine

Dear The Song Remains Elaine: A friend of mine once decided to play hooky from school one Friday expressly to follow his father. They lived in Queens, but the father worked in midtown near 42nd Street which, at the time, was a teeming red-light district. My friend’s father went to a succession of porn bookstores before finally emerging from one with a package. The next day, my friend waited for his father to go out so he could search for the hastily hidden purchase.

He found it but had no idea what it was. It looked like a hot dog with a long, thin, flexible rubber tail. This was pre-internet, so my friend was at his wit’s end trying to figure out what it was. One day he came to school crestfallen.

“I found out what it was,” he said. After looking through porn mag after porn mag, he discovered that what his father had purchased was called an “anal slip-and-slide.”

Now, this information didn’t improve the quality of my friend’s life. It did not illuminate his understanding of his father’s inner life. It was a bit of personhood that he could have comfortably lived the rest of his life without knowing. But now? Well, now he knew.

Similarly, unless your man left his laptop on your face or used your computer to view his preferred porn, you have discovered something heretofore unknown about your partner. Your question regarding what it says about him is simple: everything. Or nothing. I think porn and the male psyche works like any sort of image projection works with anyone: It’s a dreamscape of fantasy, desire and sometimes less than noble sexual predilection.

What I’m saying is: Don’t worry. If you want to worry, your best move is to talk it out with him, but assuming that this means the worst is not what I would do. If you had said he was watching snuff films for hours, I’d say there might be some cause for alarm.

In any case, just to be clear, I’m not suggesting his viewing habits are harmless in a wider sense, but I am suggesting that they might not be harmful.

Oh, Onan!

EUGENE, SIR: How can I prevent masturbation? I am a 21-year-old. Help me, please. — Lukunza

Dear Mr. L: I don’t know that there is any reliable way to do this outside of no longer being 21 years old. And even then. There are plenty of people who do not masturbate, for whatever reason. There are also groups that will help you try to stop. And if you were to present this as a problem to an analyst, they might try to help you, as they would with any other form of obsessive behavior that you feel is controlling your life. But I would hope, unless you’re masturbating while shopping or in some other way making your masturbation criminal, that what they’d be helping you realize is that on a long enough timeline, how often you masturbate, or that you masturbate at all, is probably insignificant.

Or perhaps as one of my doctor friends once opined, “Masturbation occurs across species, so I imagine it serves a biogenetic purpose minus any of the moral shading that tends to color certain people’s thinking about it.”

In other words, relax. Your obsession with your masturbating might be more injurious than the act itself.

A Perfect Sex Triangle

EUGENE, SIR: I don’t know why there’s so much confusion around a girl-guy-girl threesome. Just tell people the rules are simple: Let the woman pick the woman, view your role as helpmate and not the headliner, and when, or if, you orgasm, it should be with your primary partner. It’s that simple. Jeez. — Name withheld by request

Dear Alexa: You know what I almost never get letters about? The biomechanics of guy-girl-guy threesomes. Which is interesting and probably a nod to women being the apex gender in matters of sexual sensibility, but guy-girl-guy threesomes seem very cut and dried and the few letters I’ve gotten about them almost always have to do with homosexual panic. But yes, girl-guy-girl is an upgraded level of complexity that it behooves the male participant to think about lest he finds himself making the mildly complex, majorly complex. And your suggestions are steps in the right direction.

Based on my mailbag I’d also throw in a few others. Talk less, because the only thing worse than too much sexy talk is too much bad sexy talk. Also, no one here needs a conductor. Adults sometimes have a good sense of what best goes where in their bodies. And shower more. No one should need to explain this last one to anyone.

Finally, insofar as you’re invited to do so, make sure everyone gets what they need. Your needs will at some point be attended to by an appreciative audience of two if you’ve played your cards right. That seems to about cover it. Good luck setting sail for those shores!

OZYWildcard

Square pegs. Round holes.