Sex in porn isn’t as different from real life as you think.

As the Internet has gone from a technological curiosity to a standard utility, pornography — aided by the ultra-discreet nature of digital data transmission—has similarly become, if not commonplace, at least easy to find.

In some corners of the world, the proliferation of porn has led to a great deal of hand-wringing; in others, it has sparked a slightly more intelligent breed of discourse, one that attempts not to decry porn but to merely distinguish it from the kind of sex that people tend to have in the privacy of their homes, reports The Daily Dot.

Colloquially referred to as “porn sex vs. real sex,” or #realworldsex, this discourse was shifted into high gear by Cindy Gallop’s 2009 TED Talk, “Make Love Not Porn,” which analyzed differences between the kinds of sex that Gallop had witnessed in pornography and the kinds of sex that Gallop had experienced in her own life.

After her TED Talk exploded, Gallop increased her platform’s visibility with MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, a “don’t call it porn” porn site that seeks to counter the offerings of porn with depictions of “real world sex.”

Next, production studio Kornhaber Brown released a short video titled Porn Sex vs Real Sex, which took a by-the-numbers look at the type of sex acts that appear in porn and the types of sex acts reportedly had by people in their personal lives; it cheekily used various items of food to illustrate the differences.

There is certainly value to the “porn sex vs real sex” conversation, and it’s miles ahead of those who would simply dismiss porn out of hand as worthless filth. But — as often happens in broad discussions that are boiled down to mission statements and two minute videos — what’s missing is a great deal of much needed nuance about what porn is, what real sex is, and what we really need to talk about when we differentiate between the two.

Porn is not a monolith

To broadly discuss “porn” as one specific, undifferentiated mass is akin to discussing “portrait photography” as though there were very little variation between the work of Cindy Sherman, Terry Richardson, and Jacob Riis. Pornography is a genre, and like any genre, it is home to many different artists and subgenres with many different visions.

Yes, those who make their money in the San Fernando Valley tend to produce material that hews to a specific set of expectations, but pornography is also a label that applies to the work of Erika Lust, Petra Joy, Shine Louise Houston, Tobi Hill-Meyer, and — notably — the numerous gay porn directors who almost never seem to merit much mention in any discussion of pornography.

And despite Gallop’s protestations that the work she promotes on her site is not “porn,” as sexually explicit media that’s intended to titillate, it is, in fact, pornography. It just happens to be pornography that, like the work of the above named directors, offers a different view of sexuality than one found at most of the major porn studios.

Read the full article at The Daily Dot