Find me someone who knows more about good sex than these people.
Whether or not you watch porn, I think we can all agree that if there’s one thing porn stars know, it’s sex.
Not only do they know about it, they're experts at it. They're literally paid to have sex. Professionally. Like it's a goddamn sport. Hey, it might as well be. Having sex is technically a form of physical activity, especially when you consider how much and how often porn stars are doing it. And with porn viewership growing every year — total visits to PornHub grew from 21.2 billion in 2015 to 28.5 billion in 2017 — you can expect there to be a lot more fucking to come.
Knowing that, we thought it'd be interesting to find out what porn stars really think people need to know about sex, and that maybe we could learn a few things from the people who've (most likely) had it more than anyone else. Especially because porn can influence what people think sex should be — giving them unrealistic expectations of bodies, performance, and positions, among other things. So, we spoke to Moriah Mills, Donnie Rock, Jason Luv, and Tori Black. Here's what they had to say.
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Most of what you see in porn isn’t real.
I mean, obviously, right? It's worth mentioning, though, because there's lots of porn that might SEEM real — calling you out, amateur porn — when, actually, it all comes from a script. In fact, the actors will usually know exactly which sex acts are involved before the shoot is even booked, since their rates can depend on things like how much dialogue there is or how dangerous the fetishes being filmed are, Black tells BuzzFeed Health.
Even if it is real sex, it's still a performance, Mills tells BuzzFeed Health. There aren't any emotions involved like there would be in real-life sex, and sometimes there might not even be any chemistry between the two (or more) people having sex. Sometimes, the actors aren't meeting the people they'll be shooting with until the day of the shoot. “You never really meet the young lady until the actual scene,” Luv tells BuzzFeed Health. “They feel like that builds up the sexual tension by not seeing them. But I feel like you should talk to them for at least 30 minutes to an hour first to at least get the likes and dislikes out of the way.”
In some ways, working in porn is just like having regular work relationships. Your reputation in the industry matters, and people tend to work with people they like, if they can. “It's a tight-knit community, so reputations spread like wildfire,” Black says.
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Actually, most of the positions you see in porn aren’t meant to be done IRL, either.
I could list a whole lot of positions, but just watch some porn — you'll surely spot a position (or three) that look uncomfortable or difficult. All of these positions are done for the sake of a good camera shot. Porn stars are told to “open up for the camera,” Mills says, so that the sex act and whatever fetishes or kinks are featured in the porn can be seen at the same time.
“I shoot a lot of foot fetish scenes, so you're fucking her feet a lot, and every time you're having sex with her, the feet are in the shot,” Rock says. “I'm never going to fuck like that at home because it's very awkward. I have to pull her feet around so that they're right by the penetration; so that it's in the same shot on camera.”
Now, that's not to say you can't practice these positions when you get down. “You can do those in real life if your partner is adventurous or knows how to do those things,” Mills says, emphasizing that you should be strong enough and have the stamina to do them, too.
Why? Because sometimes it's really hard holding these positions, Luv says. “People try to do that in their regular life, and I'm like, 'Dude, you're definitely about to lose your wood trying to do that position,'” he says. “Sometimes I be shaking because holding the position causes so much [stress] on the muscles. My whole body be shaking. You can't tell in the videos, but I'm like, 'Yo, how many more minutes we have in this position?”
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There are a bunch of reasons dudes last so long in porn, and TBH, Viagra isn’t always one of them.
It's one of the most common questions from people outside the industry, Luv says. Sure, there are people in porn who use Viagra, injection therapy, or those gas station pills with really absurd names. But both Rock and Luv say you don't need those if you can train your mind and distract yourself. Fortunately for them, there are A LOT of distractions on a porn set.
“You just have to focus your mind on other things outside of the tingling sensation that you get on your penis,” Luv says. “Change the movement and the pace, and start thinking about something else.” That “something else” can be anything, they say. “If I feel like I'm going to come, I just glance over at the camera guy or something,” Rock says.
There's also the fact that no porn star goes all the way through a scene without taking a break. It's never 30 minutes to an hour of straight pounding, Rock says. “We're stopping in-between positions, drinking water, moving the camera,” and that's just enough time to think about other things and desensitize the penis, Luv says. So, if you're trying to figure this out yourself, try taking a quick water break, switching positions, or, as Rock does, teasing your partner a bit before jumping back in.
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And while we’re talking about penises, good sex has nothing to do with penis size. (🗣 For the people in the back!) It’s how you use it that matters.
If you have a penis, then you've probably — at least once! — been self-conscious about your penis size. It's a common concern, and something that a lot of people ask porn stars about: Does size matter?
“The answer is no,” Black says. In fact, the vast majority of penises aren't HUGE and they aren't small — they're right in-between, with the average erect length being 5.17 inches. “All you have to do is figure out how to use what you got,” and be confident in your sex game, she says. “You can't be saying, 'Oh, I don't have a big one, so I'm not able to be good. It's a cop-out. You've got all sorts of resources; figure it out.”
Something to remember: “You're not really good at it unless you can satisfy your partner,” says Rock. And that means pleasure from penetration as well as other things, like foreplay (which we'll get to soon).
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Watching porn is a great way to explore and learn about your own sexual interests, and get off on your fantasies.
For a sec, let's pretend that porn is a buffet and all the different foods are different fantasies. “You have every different cuisine. All these different cuisines that you’ve never heard of — you don’t recognize the majority of the food,” Black says. Porn lets you to take a bite out of the foods you've never tried before or thought you'd like, and it also give you the opportunity to dive deeper into the foods you do like. So if you're interested in, say, outdoor sex, double-penetration orgy sex, sex while smoking cigarettes, etc., it's all there for you.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to help people explore themselves,” Black says. “I feel like people lump themselves to the side of the buffet that they know, and they just have so much more of it. But just take a nibble off of a table you’ve never been to. Sometimes you just gotta get out there…and explore. There are so many feelings and smells and tastes. Things to hear and listen to.”
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And, assuming you don’t take it too seriously, it’s also a good source for discovering sex you’d like to try out.
Porn can give people new ideas, new positions, and different levels of passion to imitate, Luv says. “I like to think it helps people's marriages and relationships, and keeps the sexual tension up.”
So if you see a new position, kink, or fantasy that you want to act out, talk to your partner about it. You'll want to see if they're into it, if it's too far outside of their comfort zone, or if they have any concerns about it. You might not want to bring it up while actually having sex, because it could ruin the moment, Rock says. But also, it’s safer to ask your partner about trying something new ahead of time rather than asking them in the moment and potentially making them feel uncomfortable.
If you and your partner are really interested in expanding your sexual repertoire, Luv says that besides talking to them about what you'd like to do, you should also list your fetishes on a piece of paper, and then swap. See which fetishes are not too far outside of your comfort zone and commit to completing at least one thing on the list every month. “It's going to make for a vastly improved sex life,” he says.
Keep in mind that doing anything new will force you to step outside your comfort zone, even if it's only a little bit. But you're also going to learn what you really do and don't like, and that's both empowering and sexually liberating, says Black.
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If you and your partner get into something new, go slowly, and pay attention to how they respond.
Whether it's a fantasy like role-playing, something more straightforward like anal sex, or just plain sticking your fingers in your partner's mouth, you'll be better off easing into it rather than going full force from the jump. Paying attention to how your partner responds through body language, and then adjusting accordingly, is key, Rock says.
“You can feel it in the energy,” says Black. “In their eyes…goosebumps are a real thing. Muscle twitches. It heightens your awareness of another person. When you cater to someone and you pay attention to someone sexually, you find that your relationship improves because they feel catered to — like you're paying attention to them, like you're listening.”
Your partner will probably feel more appreciated if you pay attention, Black says, noting that people often feel vulnerable during sex. Conversely, neglecting your partner's interest in everything you're doing to them could make them feel uncomfortable, violated, or taken advantage of.
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And don’t forget that verbal communication is a thing — use it!
Maybe you don't really like the position you're in. Maybe your partner is trying a new kink out on you and all of a sudden you feel weird about it. Maybe you're the one trying to get your partner to have sex, but they're just not into it at the moment.
Look, rejection sucks. But sometimes you just have to take it. Sometimes, you have to be the one to reject someone. Either one is totally fine, and there shouldn't be any repercussions for it. We're all humans with our own emotions and thought processes, and sometimes we feel good about things, sometimes we don't.
“Sometimes I want to be cuddled and made love to. Sometimes I want to be really nasty,” Black says. Communicating how you feel is important in these instances, she says. And if you're on the receiving end, have patience. “Remember that your partner's response doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with their comfort level with you. It’s just how they’re feeling. It’s just what’s going on in their life. Maybe tonight’s not a good time. Maybe next week will be, or next month.”
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Also, educate and prepare yourself for something new before trying it out.
Not everything you try will be easy or feel good the first time you do it. So if you're thinking about getting into some bondage, read up on the types of things you'd use to tie someone up before getting a random set of ropes and tying them into a knot you can't undo. If you're prepping to get down with anal sex, figure out the best ways to prepare your butthole for it.
Case in point: “I did anal for the first time last month. I did it cold turkey, and it’s really different than regular vaginal. You really need to lube up and just prepare yourself… It was an experience,” Mills says, adding that there was definitely some pain. “But towards the end, it became pleasurable.” So, sure, it may take some time getting comfortable with new kinds of sex, but it will happen, and chances are the more prepared you are for it, the more pleasurable it'll be.
Also, quick side note: If you're ever unsure, lube it up. If you think you're good without it, THINK AGAIN. Lube. It. Up.
👏 👏 👏
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Never forget that foreplay makes for better sex.
“It's the warm-up to the main event,” Rock says. And though it might also depend on what you're into, I think we can all agree that at least a little foreplay can elevate the experience. “Exciting them excites me,” Rock says, and that should be your approach to sex too.
Foreplay doesn't have to involve crazy tricks or take too long, either. Sometimes, a good kiss is good enough, Mills and Black say. “The chemistry and passion get me off the most, more so than the act of sex alone,” Black says. “Give me one good, solid, passionate kiss, and I'm going to feel it through my whole body. … I can't imagine trying to have sex without any kind of foreplay. At least kiss my neck; give me something.”
@simimoonlight / @NickNPattiWhack / Via Twitter: @simimoonlight
And last but not least, if porn stars can have safe sex, so can you.
Truth: Porn stars often have sex without condoms. Another truth: Actors who shoot porn go through mandatory testing for sexually transmitted infections every 14 days, if not more frequently. Their results are also submitted to an online database called PASS, so that everyone involved in shooting the scene can verify that the actors' information is up to date. In many ways, porn stars are having safer sex than the general population.
“This is the safest I've ever been in my life when it comes to sex,” Mills says. “When you're out in the real world, people lie about their status. Some people don't even get tested.” In fact, all the actors interviewed for this post agreed that porn sex is MUCH safer than IRL sex. “Since I've been doing porn, it's put fear into me in real life, because I don't want to have sex with other girls. You ask them to get tested and they act like you asked them to cut off their right leg and hand it to you,” Luv says. “As a professional, that's your career. My penis is my paycheck. Without it, I can't clock in.”
So get tested at least every couple of months, Rock says, especially if you're having sex with multiple partners. And use condoms every time.
Now get out there and be sexually free!
OK, maybe not outside out there, but you know what we mean.
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