Here’s why we need to see more condoms in porn

There are many ways in which safer sex can be really arousing. You might not have heard many people say that, but here’s why you should…

I remember being surprised the first time I saw a condom in a porn film, because the condom magically appeared halfway through the scene. One minute a woman was giving the guy a blow-job, and the next – hey presto! – you got a sneak peek of the condom as they had sex, although the angles showed that the producer was trying to hide it.

I think the visual effect can be one of the sexiest things about condom use. A guy I fancy, rolling a condom slowly and deliberately down his cock, with a look in his eyes that says ‘I’m so hot for you right now’? Yes please. And yet there are many porn directors and performers who’ll go to extreme lengths to try and avoid showing condom use – or any other safer sex measures for that matter.

How do you have safer sex?

At the recent shoot with Petra, Harry and Bishop, I was introduced to a whole lot more in terms of safer sex protocol. The hotness of a black latex glove, and the sexy sound it makes when it’s snapped on. Handfuls of lube smothered liberally to avoid breakage. Condoms easily accessible, enthusiastically used and their lustful application shown on camera.

To me it was a really gorgeous example of how to have safer sex in more than a ‘token’ way. Harry neatly summed up this full safer sex protocol as “using barriers for anything that goes in a warm, wet bit, and changing when it goes in or on a new warm, wet bit.” That means condoms for cocks and toys, dams for oral, and gloves for fingering, rubbing and fisting. Not only do they help prevent the spread of STIs, they can also be amazingly hot: no need to worry about rough hands or fingers when you’re wearing a pair of smooth and soft latex gloves. There’s also less worry about what gets under your fingernails, particularly if you’re doing anal play. Perhaps less talked about is that latex gloves can look so hot. Harry’s naturally punky appearance looked even more sexy with black gloves snapped on over their hands.

Petra explained to me why condom use is so important in her films:

“I believe all pornographers have a responsibility regarding what content they put out there. I am aware many people and especially youngsters use porn as sex education, so I choose to show the use of condoms and lube even though all performers are tested for STDs of course. I find it hot to show a condom being applied by an eager lover’s mouth or how lube makes sex toys glisten and glide. I hope that if my audience sees how playful and sexy safer sex can be, they are more likely to not feel awkward about practising safer sex themselves.”

Porn and sex education

In March this year, a Danish sexologist called for porn to be shown in the classroom – to young people over the age of consent, with teachers trained to encourage them think critically. Shortly after his announcement, the BBC released the results of a survey on young people and porn.

A quarter of 16-21 year olds who filled out the survey said that they’d seen internet porn by the age of 12. While statistics like this are frequently used to scaremonger, or call for greater censorship of porn, Petra’s solution is to provide more sex education through sexually explicit films– showing films that depict authentic, pleasurable sex. Including things like foreplay and oral sex on women shows that sex doesn’t have to be formulaic, and including condoms in porn helps to normalise safer sex. In an interview with BBC Newsbeat Petra expressed her wish that some of her films could be shown as part of sex education classes:

“If the kids watch porn anyway, why not porn that shows how to receive and give pleasure in its many variations, whilst staying safe – watched in a safe space where discussion is encouraged?”

But our sex education doesn’t stop when we leave school – we’re learning new things about sex all the time: in advice articles, with new partners and – yes – in porn. Putting positive messages about safer sex and condom use into these media can only be a good thing. A couple of days ago the Evening Standard reported a rise in STIs in London, and in May health officials from Rhode Island blamed the national increase in STIs on hookup apps like Tinder and Grindr.

Safer sex in porn won’t wipe out STIs, of course, but showing people how and when to use things like condoms, dams and gloves can help to normalise their use – as well as show just how sexy they can be. Instead of condoms magically appearing, being hidden or even non-existent, they can be sensually and erotically shown on screen. Safer sex, hot sex, natural sex: they all become one and the same thing.

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