Jérôme is in town, visiting from Paris. Last week, we grabbed dinner at a tiny Chinatown eatery — tucked away from Canal Street’s tourists — where the door’s signage was completely written in Chinese and the patrons didn’t speak English. Good food, and the conversation with Jérôme was even better.

[Best when read with a French accent.] “It is very weird, you know … what the internet is doing to sex.” The 25-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed guy forks rice in his mouth and continues explaining he thinks there’s a difference mid-20somethings who grew up on the internet’s cusp and early 20-somethings (and teens) who’ve never really experienced a Firefox-free life. “When you sleep with these younger people, it is like porn. They have sex like they’re in a movie.” He describes a tryst with a chick who was 19. (SIDENOTE: At 25, Jérôme can still sleep with people that age without getting frustrated by the gap in sexual experience.) Anyway, so, he explains the chick rode him hard, let out a shrill and started screeching: “FUCK ME, BABY!!! OOOH, YEEEAAAAH. Like that! Fuck me deeper!!!!” As he’s talking, I start laughing. I really get a kick out of hearing people imitate others’ sex noises.

Internet Porn

“So, I threw her off me.”Jérôme continues, “I tell her, ‘Look, there are no cameras here. We’re not making a porno.'” He goes on to explain, when he was growing up, it was hard to find places to watch people having sex. “You had to work for it back then. You couldn’t just click and have access to porn. Now, younger people go on the internet when they are horny at 8 years old, and they have everything they want.”

I pause as “The Internet Is for Porn” from Avenue Q runs through my brain. I tell him, “It’s true. It’s possible to watch tons of ‘real’ sexual experiences before you’ve actually done it. One has to believe that shapes what people think sex is and how they perform it.”

Jérôme and I crawl deeper into the discussion, though I’m still not convinced porn spoils sex — for men or women. For example, in bed, I’ve had guys do porn-like positions and say things like “I want you to cum on my face” and “I want to fuck that sexy body” and other things that sound very, well, “porny.” Yet, I don’t think that’s inherently bad (or good). I’ve read Gail Dines’ book Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality. It’s a good read. Though, generally speaking, I think porn — like most media — is a tool. It can be helpful when it arouses, stimulates and inspires sexual creativity. It can have the opposite affect if it diminishes sexual pleasure, reducing our ideas about what’s “really” sex, or infuses violence against ourselves or others. Please feel free to use the comment section below to tell me if you think porn ruins men’s sex lives, make their experiences even better, or has a different influence all together.