Ask Abi: Butt toys, polyamory, and Is there such thing as too much porn?


Dear Abi,

I'm a straight male in a large US east coast city. I'm not going to lie: I love porn. I don't watch too much porn, I don't spend all day watching it or "overconsume" in any way, but I do indulge. I'm kinky and it's how I get that fix.

I'm in a LTR with a fairly vanilla woman. We don't live together, so she probably doesn't know about this side of my sexuality. I'd love to incorporate porn watching into our repertoire and watch it together, but I'm afraid she'll judge me for it. She's open minded about sex, but I'm not sure if she's down on porn users or not and I don't know how to bring it up.

Do you have any advice for how to talk to her about this?

Thanks,
Probably Or Really Not Addicted


Dear PORN Addicted,

There are ways to gently test the waters without going “let’s fuck to hardcore SM skinflicks!” straight off the bat. I suggest that you try to open a theoretical dialogue about porn in general: you can approach it as a political question. “I read an article in the news the other day about the feminist implications of pornography and whether or not it can be empowering for the women who act in it; it definitely made me think” – that sort of thing.

If she seems to be alright with the concept of porn in general, you can begin to relate it to yourself a little. My guess is that at least some of what you watch is from kink.com - they definitely have the monopoly, not to mention an excellent domain name that I’m sure my editor here would love to have bought first. Assuming I’m right, you could say something like this: “There’s this porn studio I know who finish all their films by having a chat with the women who acted in it about how they felt and whether they enjoyed it. It’s really interesting, because its primary purpose is to remind the viewer that the actresses are real people with lives and voices and opinions - and I think that’s very important.”

(Nobody actually speaks like that, I do realise. You should probably paraphrase, lest your girlfriend suspects you of turning into a character from an awkward workplace training roleplay exercise.)

Being a porn user is, in the Western world, probably more common than not being a porn user. I expect you’ll be fine - statistically, she’s more likely to say “oh yeah, here’s a link to my favourite erotica” than “HOW VERY DARE YOU”. A little caution in the beginning could help you rescue the situation if that turns out not to be the case, however!

 

**********


Dear Abi,

I'm a woman in my mid 30s, and my (female) partner and I are just getting into butt play - plugs, beads, dildos, vibrators. I'm a little overwhelmed by all the toys out there - what are your recommendations for a few starter-to-intermediate toys to pick up? Are there any online stores you would recommend that don't sell products made of those nasty plastics? We're in the UK.

Sincerely,
Inexperienced Butt Smitten

 
Dear IBS,

The trick with anal play is to start small and work up, which is why you can buy “training kits” containing toys of varying types and sizes. Many women - including some who don’t enjoy most anal play - find that vibrating butt plugs are an amazing sensation, so it’s well worth trying a small one of those. You’ll probably need to use a lot of lube, especially at first - make sure you have it to hand, and that it’s one that’s safe to use with the material of the toys you have.

Whatever you do, don’t use toys designed for vaginal insertion in your anus. They tend to be bigger and differently ergonomic, but more importantly than that they aren’t safe - the cervix prevents vaginal toys getting “lost”, but the anus leads directly to the large intestine and there’s really no stopping point up there. That’s why anal toys tend to have large loops, obvious stems or flared bases - those are important!

LoveHoney have a massive range, reasonable prices, and extremely reliable shipping and customer service. They sell everything, but they flag stuff up clearly - so you can separate the wheat from the chaff very easily. They have a selection of anal toy starter kits; for your purposes I would recommend this one, perhaps alongside this vibrating butt plug. Sh! are a lovely women-focused sex toy company whose London shops only allow men inside if they’re accompanied by a woman; their range is smaller, but they have some things you might be interested in if you ever want to ‘upgrade’ from the starter kit. EthicalSexToys have a very small range, but the clue is in the name - they’re everything you could possibly want in a sex toy company, really.

 

**********


Dear Abi,

I got into a long argument with friends last night over whether or not things like kinky and poly can be considered sexual orientations. I won't say which side of it I was on, but I'm curious to hear your opinion. What do you think?

Yours Curiously,
The Fencesitter

 
Dear Fencesitter,

I have three answers to this question.

The Short Answer: Kink and polyamory aren't sexual orientations in the same way that homosexuality and bisexuality are, but that doesn't devalue their importance to the individual.

The Longer Answer: When we talk about “orientation”, we’re really talking about a lot of different concepts - the word is often used in an unhelpfully limiting way. Trans* people are usually referred to in the same breath as queer people (“GBLT”), but trans* individuals have sexual orientations as well as a place on the gender spectrum: it’s not the same thing. Not everyone’s sexual and romantic orientations are the same - I describe myself as “bisexual and homoromantic” and many asexuals are not also aromantic, to give just two examples.

I wouldn’t be able to maintain a monogamous relationship for very long. I would quickly become unhappy with a vanilla sex life. There are people of all genders, any gender and no gender with whom I would like to have sex. I’m only interested in long-term primary In Love relationships with women. These are all true facts about my sexuality, but they’re also all separate ones. Any one of them could change (and I do believe that for many people sexuality is fluid) while leaving the others the same, and indeed some of them have changed over the years.

The Unpopular Answer: Really it doesn’t matter much how we use these terms - what matters is the effect that our usage of them has. Frankly, GBLT spaces can do without a lot of obnoxious straight cis men who happen also to be into BDSM traipsing all over everything with their loud voices and senses of entitlement*.

* Yeah, yeah: not all straight cis men. Some of my best friends are straight cis men, I’ll have you know!

 

Ask Abi is a bimonthly sex advice column written by Abi Brown. Email your questions to askabi@fuck.com or tweet them to us @fuck_dotcom. Abi is a freelance writer and general pen-for-hire devoted to genre fiction, social justice and M.A.C lipstick. Follow her on her website or @see_abi_write.

 

 

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