So, you’ve mastered the art of clever sexting exchanges. You’ve even been smart enough to store away some half-naked or fully naked shots (with or without your face, depending on your preference) for when you’re asked to send a dirty pic and you’re wearing sweats. While sexting might be the digital age’s form of tantric discussion, the seemingly ancient form of phone sex might seem out-of-date. But it’s not.
“People think it’s just talking dirty on the phone,” Turner tells Refinery29. “What a lot of people don’t realise is that the brain is the biggest sexual organ in the body. When you talk, breathe heavy, or moan, you’re doing this through a direct line to the brain.”
But if you need some help perfecting your dirty-talk repertoire and etiquette, don’t worry: We talked to a handful of phone-sex operators and got their best advice for upping your phone-sex game. These (ahem, detailed) tips will help you navigate any sexy call you’re on. Just try not to blush while you read them.
Adult filmmaker Erika Lust can recall exactly how she felt the first time she watched porn: She was conflicted, to say the least.
“Part of me was like, ‘Yeah, it’s somewhat of a turn-on,'” she told Refinery29. “But another side of me thought, What the hell is this sexist bullshit?” Or as she put it in her 2014 Tedx Talk, “Arousal tasted sweet,” but “objectification tasted bitter.”
These feelings led Lust to enter the adult film industry as a director. Her goal was to create porn that showed “all the intimacy, beauty, and joy of sex,” but not at the expense of the female stars. With most mainstream porn, Lust explained, it can be hard to tell if the people in the film “truly enjoyed themselves” — particularly the women.
Lust has directed over 10 films so far — you can see them here — and she shows no sign of slowing down as she prepares her first feature film. As her own career grows, she hopes to see more women take on behind-the-scenes roles in porn, citing Vex Ashley and female-led initiative New Level of Pornography as some of the more exciting sources of progressive adult cinema.
Lust shared a selection of stills from her film series, XConfessions, which was inspired by the sexual fantasies of her fans. The series reflects just how much Lust values her audience’s pleasure: “Sometimes, I get to do a tender story; and other times, it’s super kinky, or funny, or scary — it can be anything. I’m not limited to a narrow idea of sexuality. It’s that wide, beautiful universe of sensuality and pleasure — that’s the point.”
If you happen to be in Berlin, you can catch a screening of XConfessions and hear Lust give a talk at the Berlin Film Society on February 10. Everyone else can click through to see the aforementioned stills and get a glimpse into the wonderful world of female-directed porn.
“Being a responsible director means being sensitive to the needs of each individual performer…I work with a wide range of people. Some are really experienced with acting in adult films; some have very little or no experience. Some are comfortable having the team there; some might wish to make the team even smaller for a scene, so they can feel more relaxed. But my main advice to the performers is: ‘Forget the porn you have watched and performed in — now, it’s about sex and intimacy.'”
“I want to show real sex. It can still be full of fantasy, but I want to show as many layers of the sexual encounter as possible, as they happen in real life. My goal is to stimulate all the senses, to arouse the viewer in as many ways as possible. Sex is as worthy of artistic framing as any other major human experience. And that’s what I’m trying to do, to frame it like the beautiful act that I think it is.”
On whether or not sex-positive women are judged differently from sex-positive men: “Yes, for sure! Women get more scrutinised than men in most departments. There’s still so much slut-shaming and scrutiny over women’s appearances and sexist bias. Sex-active women are still seen as dangerous citizens. I call it the Basic Instinct/Fatal Attraction effect: If you are a sexual woman, most probably you are also a murderer — or at least a psycho.”
“I portray women as human beings, human beings with their own ideas and desires. The performers are obviously real people that I respect, so I want the characters they portray to be believable. It’s not anything crazy, I just like to show women as I see them — as sexual, complex beings with their own ideas about sex. They’re capable of intellect, capable of great pleasure, capable of anything. And I like to portray them as subjects of pleasure, not just objects of desire.”
“I feel beyond positive about the future for female-led erotica. It’s easy to look at mainstream porn tubes and think that everything is getting worse and increasingly violent and extreme, but there are actually many young voices who speak up and create the sort of films that they want to see, the sort of films that they think represent their sexuality best.”
“Regarding porn, I feel that the right fight is not to change it, but to educate the audience to be more demanding with porn. It’s like fast food, you can’t end that industry, but you may educate the consumers to be more respectful with what they eat.”
“My wife has told me I have a porn addiction. How do I know if it is an addiction, and what can I do about it?”
Gone are the days of a few tatty magazines hidden under the bed. Pornography has been supercharged via the internet. As most people know it’s as close as a click (or a poorly worded Google search) away.
So while therapists have always talked about sexual problems and compulsive sexual behaviours, the conversation about porn addiction is a relatively modern one.
It’s also still controversial, with some believing it is wrong to label it as such: it’s just an excuse for bad behaviour, or an innocent side effect of an excessive libido.
That hasn’t been my experience.
Many conversations with men over the years have convinced me that porn addiction is indeed very real, but like any addiction it is also just a symptom.
We recognise a number of addictions that don’t involve putting chemicals directly into the body, gambling being the main one, social media use being another.
We also recognise that through repeatedly engaging in pleasurable behaviour, we set our body up, through the over use of our brains own chemicals (or “neurotransmitters” and dopamine specifically) to get “hooked” on behaviour.
Like other addictions, it’s also the case that not everyone who uses pornography for sexual gratification becomes addicted. In fact for many it is a little harmless fun, or a normal part of a varied and healthy sex life – that is of course taking for granted that the porn enjoyed is legal, and consensual.
To define porn use as an addiction then, just like any other addiction, it has to cause problems.
More specifically, the amount and frequency of use tends to increase over time; the compulsion to use becomes more intense; there are repeated unsuccessful efforts to change; and the use is secretive or otherwise lied about.
But by far and away the most problematic symptom and consequence of compulsive porn use is a loss of intimacy or connection. The common thread with all men I have seen that struggle with this issue is that it has driven an emotional wedge between them and their partner, or compensated for a growing distance. And largely they haven’t known what to do about this, or how to fix it.
In my mind then, porn addiction is actually an intimacy problem: the immediate and constantly available nature of internet pornography offers a quick, one dimensional and ultimately unsatisfying fix of gratification. It replaces the messy, complicated and at times conflicted “real” relationship.
So, the solution is not to abstain from porn, but rather to do the avoided thing: turn towards the real relationship that is already there. Be more open, vulnerable and honest.
Rediscover the intoxication of your partner, and talk with her about your fantasies and what turns you on, rather than watching someone else do it.
Because real intimacy is addictive too: it’s just not a quick fix.
Ligar Seduction Blog: Relationship, Sexuality and Lifestyle