Mindful Sex: How To Feel Clean While Being Dirty

by Jessica Graham

Let me start with this. I like porn. I do not believe that someone who is spiritual can’t also enjoy porn. Of course all porn is not created equal. It’s important to know where your porn comes from and how it is made. There is no black and white in life, it’s all gray area. It’s our job as people who hope to evolve to see the the shades of gray.

Just because you meditate doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a rough bdsm scene or a book of erotic photography. Because you meditate, you’ll be able to enjoy porn more, and with less attachment. If porn is triggering for you, I still invite you to read this article. Stay in touch with your thoughts and emotional sensations. No one says you have to watch this kind of content, but having an aversion to it can create unnecessary suffering for yourself. Meditation is the path to freedom from suffering, and can be used with anything and everything. 

When I was a kid I was a bit of a snoop and figured I’d find something good if I looked on the top shelf of an older family member’s closet. I found dust, some loose change, and a healthy stack of dirty magazines. It was like finding a new planet or species. Women like I had never seen, with tiny waists and massive breast spread themselves over the thick pages. They had strangely groomed pubic hair,  juicy red lips, and long pointy finger nails, like some kind of mythical creatures. Some of them were touching their vaginas, spreading the lips open. They all looked back at me from the glossy paper, with coy smiles and pleasure filled eyes.

What I remember most about that experience is the joy and discovery I felt. These women were like nothing I had ever seen. They made my body feel something it had never felt. It was beyond exciting to see into this new world. I still think of good porn that way. It’s a peek into another human’s sexual expression. A glimpse past the conventions of our puritan culture that is afraid of sex and nudity. A feeling of connection with the people who are sharing their bodies, pleasure, and personality. Pornography at its best can educate, inspire, and heal us.

I can already hear the angry thoughts some of you are having as you read this. Don’t you fear, I most likely agree with everything you are thinking. Porn at it’s worst can exploit, misinform, and cause actual harm and suffering to humans. This is true, but that is not the only truth. Just like there is healthy food and unhealthy food there is healthy porn and unhealthy porn. Sadly, a great percentage of the content out there is of the unhealthy variety. If you are unaware of that, watch the documentary Hot Girls Wanted or do a little googling about how porn is negatively effecting our young men and boys. It doesn’t take much work to uncover the horrors of the pornography industry. The good news is that it doesn’t take much work to find ethical porn either.

Ethical Porn

What is ethical porn, you ask? Ethical porn is content (including films, photography, webcams, etc) in which the performers are fully consenting to the material. Ethical porn pays their performers well, and protects their health and safety above all. It can be performer owned and operated, based on an individual’s own sexual creativity. Any kind of porn can be ethical porn, as long as all parties are treated with kindness, care, and the utmost respect. Ethical porn isn’t usually free. Ethical porn is the only kind of porn we should be watching.

It is so easy to access sexual content online today. Before the internet, the best you could get on-the-fly was a scrambled cable channel with the odd breast or penis visible. Even when the world wide web came along, it was dial up and took forever to load just a short video. Now porn is available at your fingertips anytime you fancy, fast and free. This is where we must consider is this content ethical? Does is fall within my understanding of Do No Harm? It’s easy to brush aside your conscious with a justification, but you must be willing to look at the bigger picture. Even if you are paying for your porn, it’s your job to make sure it comes from a reputable source. Living a mindful and awakened life means mindful and awake even when it’s more convenient not to be.

The great thing about doing your research and choosing to only watch ethical porn, is that you can just sit back and enjoy. For me knowing that my porn isn’t causing suffering, allows me to get way more into the pleasure of viewing it. You can let go of any guilt or judgment and go for the ride. If you feel drawn to exploring porn as a part of your sexuality, let go of the idea that a “spiritual person” wouldn’t do that. You get to decide what is right for you.

Removing Attachment

As people on the spiritual path, lessening suffering—our own and others—becomes a no-brainer. Compassion is a side effect of sitting in meditation with your own mental and emotional experience. You begin to see that we all have the ups and down of thought and emotion. When you truly understand your own suffering you can understand the suffering of all living things. Meditation will also help you to expand your mind to include ideas that were once unthinkable. This doesn’t mean that if you meditate for a while you’ll go from hating porn to loving it. But the equanimity that meditation can help you find will relieve the rigidity around this topic and remove fear and judgement.

Meditation will also help you to let go of attachment to porn, or even recover from addiction to porn. For some this means abstaining from viewing pornographic content, and for others it means simply changing your relationship to it. There is a chemical component to porn addiction which you can withdrawal from relatively quickly. It’s the thoughts and emotions that keep you stuck in the addiction. By learning to meditate on your mental and emotional experience you will gain the ability to just watch that material come and go, without acting on it. You will also access insight about why you became attached to porn in the first place.

Porn can be a fun and educational part of your sex life if you use it mindfully. Obviously it’s not a requirement, and if it’s not your thing don’t watch it. But if you do enjoy watching super sexy professionals get it on, make sure the content you are viewing is the kind you can feel good about watching.

I’ve listed resources for ethically made porn below. Enjoy!

A Four Chambered Heart

Make Love Not Porn

Bright Desire

Pink and White Productions

O’ Actually

Read the full Mindful Sex Series here

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