Five Sex-Positive Alternatives To Mainstream Porn

I’m assuming you’ve been there, feeling sexy, all jazzed about getting into some solo play or getting it on with a partner, uncontrollable urges taking you from a cerebral, logical human to a single-minded slave to the promise of stimulation. You fire up some porn. No, not that porn. You look for something else. Still scrolling. This filth isn’t doing it for you and your motivation is dwindling. Ok, just pick something; this will do. Things are going well, you guess, but as soon as you’ve had your moment, you’re acutely aware that your visual aid wasn’t really what you wanted to be watching. In fact, you’re kind of disappointed.

If you ever find the world of mainstream pornography a little jarring or feel that it’s not for you, you’re definitely not alone. That’s not to say that there’s anything inherently wrong with the content that can be found on sites like Pornhub, if that’s your jam. However, much of the content on websites like Pornhub fails to appeal to a lot of women because these sites are driven by data that caters to their largest number of returning users – the largest demographic for these sorts of sites is typically heterosexual men.

The majority of clips, films and images found on these porn supersites don’t really float my boat and I’m pretty open minded. For starters it’s all so extra, so overdone and theatrical that, rather than helping me to feel sexy, it makes me anxious. Like, why is that woman making that noise? Surely being jabbed repeatedly in the soft stuff with a full set of acrylic nails couldn’t elicit that sort of noise. Could it? No, no, this ‘lesbian porn’ is not for me.

So, I’ve created a list of my favourite alternatives to porn, from sources for aural pleasure to apps that teach sensation and meditation practices. Have you tried any of them? Something I’ve missed? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Ferly is my new favourite thing. A combination of two great loves of mine – sex and podcasts – Ferly is an audio app that instructs its users in touch, sense experience and mindful sex. I’m aware of how ‘woo woo’ this sounds but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. I’ve gotten really into meditation apps lately, primarily because I’m a rubbish sleeper but also because I kept seeing the acronym ASMR being thrown around and wanted to find out whether Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response was just for weirdos or whether the sound of a woman speaking softly could actually coax me into a gentle sleep. Ferly is less about sleep and more about sensation, figuring out what feels good and encouraging self pleasure, communication and the art of physical touch. The team describe themselves as Pleasure Pioneers, and I’m here for it.

Another of my favourite platforms is OMGYes. This is a brilliant research-based project comprised of clips and short films that are both super sexy and educational. Hear me out please. Maybe ‘educational’ was the wrong word. Instructional may be a better one. Basically these videos are created as the outcome of experiments conducted by real women to find out what turns them on and the hows, whys, wheres and whats involved in the female orgasm. This is less visual stimulation to help you get off and more helpful how to’s on how to cum, which is obviously great if this is something you or your partner struggle with and mainstream porn is failing you.

Audio porn is here, honeys, and it’s actually really good. Dipsea is an app that dispenses erotic stories and scenarios that are both realistic and delicious. Think of it as a really hot audiobook version of a ‘choose your own adventure’. It’s pretty tastefully designed with a great user experience, various moods and categories to explore depending on whether you’re alone, with somebody, how much time you have on your hands and how adventurous or sleepy you might be feeling. The app’s founders, Faye and Gina describe Dipsea as ‘real, elevated and feminist’ which I’d say is pretty spot on.

Ok, so for visual porn I recommend Xconfessions, a project by adult filmmaker and director Erika Lust. Though Erika is a controversial figure, her ambition to change the landscape of pornographic media so that it begins to reflect actual desire seems pretty well intentioned. This project is a series of explicit films based on anonymous confessions. If your confession is chosen, you’re rewarded with a free access to the site, otherwise it’s a paid service, because hey, everyone’s got to make a living.

Erika says, ‘together we are changing the rules of pornography. We don’t just show what sex looks like, we tell stories about what sex and desire feel like, and how we communicate and interact sexually with each other. We want to keep surprising you, so we never use the same story or setting twice. Each film is visually arresting and pushes the boundaries of fetish, lust, desire and intimacy.’ I haven’t linked out to this site because it’s 18+ so please seek it out at your own discretion.

Instagram hashtags are another great source for erotic content. No really. For a platform that morally objects to women’s nipples there sure are a lot of them on the ‘gram. Actually, I’m pretty sure you can see mine in one of my snaps #sorrynotsorry. I’m not suggesting you go forth and perve on strangers but there are a lot of adult entertainers, sex educators, professional sexologists, photographers and filmmakers promoting their work on Instagram and they want you to find them, so go show them some love.

I’d like to end this piece with a very clear disclaimer that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with craving additional stimulation before partnered sex or solo sex to get your brain firing and your body responding. The resources I’ve mentioned are all great for helping with this, however, if you’re really struggling with a loss of libido or an overactive sex drive and think you may need help, consult a professional. Your GP is always a good place to start.

I’d also like to add that whilst some people might consider dating apps to be an appropriate alternative to porn, newsflash, they are not. If you happen to meet someone online and you’re both happy to indulge in a little dirty talk then more power to you. However, I’ve often matched with men – and in my experience it is usually men that do this – who’ve opened a dating app because they’re in the mood to masturbate and they’re looking for material to get off to. There are apps for that, but Hinge, Tinder, Bumble et al: not created for this purpose. So, out of respect for fellow users, if you want to sext with a stranger, always ask first and for the love of sweet baby Jesus, don’t open the conversation with a picture of your dick. Chances are, your girl won’t go for it.

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