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I loved porn until I had daughters

Sasha Brown-Worsham

by

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Sasha Brown-Worsham has written for dozens of publications over the course of her years as a journalist and blogger. She lives outside NYC with her three children, husband, and multiple pets. She is working on her first novel.

Porn was a huge part of my sex life until I had two daughters

When my husband and I were in our early 20s, porn — and strip clubs in particular — were a huge part of our sex life. We went out to clubs with groups of friends on a weekly basis, sometimes even more. We wouldn't do much (except for the occasional lap dance), but it was fun and risqué and felt a little badass. I never saw any issue with it. The women were getting paid and we were getting a bit of fun. No harm.

That was before I had daughters.

For me, in my 20s, I felt hot going into those clubs. I felt like a cool woman and like my husband was lucky to have a wife who, not only didn't yell at him about strip clubs but went along for the ride. I had friends who came with us, too, and we always had a good time. The women on stage usually paid extra attention to me and my friends since we were often the only women in the house. My husband joked that he always got a better show when I was there than when he was with his guy friends.

It was all fun and games. As we got older, we stopped going as much mostly due to logistics and boredom more than any change of heart. We had been there, done that. Until a couple of years ago when we went to Amsterdam. Like most tourists, we went to the coffee shops and walked through the red light district. We went into the sex museums and took in the wild sights. We also decided to go to a sex show. I was already a mother at this point. One boy and one girl. And for some reason it was less fun.

Later, when I thought about it, I realized it was the lack of pubic hair. Obviously, that wasn't everything, but that felt like the most obvious. All the shows were 18+, but porn, which is similar, is readily available to anyone who wants to see it, 18 or not. That means that any girl who stumbles onto porn, whether intentionally with friends or not, will see an unrealistic portrayal of women's bodies. And it's not just pubic hair.

It's everything. The sex they were selling wasn't natural. Or normal. Or even something the women enjoy. There was a reason the women at the strip clubs focused on me and my female friends. Many of them had started to hate men. Or at least that's what they told us when we chatted. I would never want that world for my daughters.

I am still not adamantly against porn, but I no longer think it's a harmless, fun thing. The ramifications are larger than I ever could have imagined and they affect even the people who've never considered walking into a strip club. Our culture is permeated with it and whether we admit it or not, it hurts both our girls and our boys.

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