The Encyclopedia Of Smut: I Is For Instructionals

2ConsultYourNotesWhat can you learn from watching pornography? Wait, back that up. Is it a good idea to learn anything from pornography? For the most part, studying sex by watching porn is like trying to become a herpetologist by studying dragons, but there are some notable exceptions; sometimes, educators and pornstars join forces and create films that are as enlightening as they are arousing.

Accidental Instructionals

All porn can teach you something. First-time viewers might discover some new and inventive places to put jizz; seasoned smut-lovers can pick up positions that make them feel like their favorite pornstars. When people talk about the negative effects of pornography, one of the usual complaints is that people learn too much from it, and instead of putting energy towards what feels good and creates an intimate sexual encounter, they try to recreate what the adult industry presents: easily-acquired, condomless sex that is more often visually pleasing than physically or emotionally satisfying.

That criticism is certainly valid, but we believe that all porn--from sensual, softcore rubdowns to spectacular hardcore displays of flexibility, stamina, and gagging--can contribute to one's sexual growth in positive ways as well. The key is simple: don't take porn too seriously! If you're watching two people fuck and you like what you see, take inspiration from them, note how teasing creates tension, file away some fantasies for later, but don't go changing your sexual habits to fit what you see and don't assume what works for professionals in a consensual, contractual setting will work in real life. Porn is fiction, and if you take fiction literally, you risk looking foolish (or, more to the point, having some bad sex).

[Above: Gracie Glam teaches us that the only way to please your partner orally is by gagging on four or more penises in a single sitting. Via "Massive Facials 3"]

Pioneering Professors of Perversion

Although PBS makes it seem easy, it's hard as hell to balance entertainment and education. We're not 100% sure who was the first to mix brains and booty, but when we think about the people who paved the way for sex-ed smut, a few important names come to mind:

· Annie Sprinkle - Her first porno was released in 1975, and her most popular mainstream porno came out in 1981, but Annie Sprinkle is probably best known for erotic/educational performance art pieces such as "Public Cervix Announcement," in which she inserts a speculum in her vagina so spectators can file by and take a good, long look at her insides. It's hard to briefly summarize how Annie contributed to the rise of instructional smut because even though she didn't release any bluntly educational or intellectual films in her early career, she's always worked hard to make her performances thought-provoking, and was encouraging discussions about controversial topics at a time when the adult industry was largely unwilling to hear them. · Nina Hartley - She's a registered nurse, a sex-positive liberal, and a veteran pornstar with over 900 films under her belt, so it's no wonder that Nina Hartley would turn her talents towards making educational porno. Her first instructional, "Nina Hartley's Guide to Swinging," came out in 1995, and dozens more have followed since (not including the surprise sex-ed appearances she makes in films like "Strap-On Sunny.") · Carol Queen - Dr. Queen started studying sex (as in training to be a sexologist) in 1980, and as her knowledge expanded, she put it to good use in myriad ways: she started (and continues to run) sex-ed programs at Good Vibrations, she founded the Center for Sex and Culture, she's restructured Sexual Attitude Reassessment, and she's written and edited countless books, papers, and erotica anthologies. As far as educational smut goes, Queen is best-remembered for being both instructor and performer in both of the famous "Bend Over Boyfriend" films of the late '90s. She continues to curate instructional videos starring super hot pornstars, such as (our favorite) "Gush: The Official Guide to the G-Spot & Female Ejaculation."

[Above: Nina Hartley and Mika Tan in one of Nina's more recent sex-ed productions, "Nina Hartley's Guide To Strap-On Sex"]

Modern Erotic Education

As the adult industry evolves, porn gains greater mainstream acceptance, and the viewership grows to include more women and members of the LGBTQ community, instructional pornography becomes an increasingly important subsection of the genre. It's not exactly booming in the way that parody porn was a few years ago, but there has been a noticeable increase in the number of educational films coming out, especially as the industry tries to court couples who may be curious about kink. There are many ways to learn about sex, but since porn can be as graphic as it wants, it can present positions and techniques with a uniquely alluring mix of frankness and titillation. These days, when we want to enhance our erotic selves, we turn to...

· Tristan Taormino - Tristan has been making educational porn since 1999, and though her style has changed, she continues to teach us more and more with each passing year--usually by letting her performers do whatever the heck they want! One of our favorite films of all time is "Tristan Taormino's Expert Guide to Female Orgasms." Every pornstar involved had a blast making it (sometimes a squirt, too) and it reminds you that sex is supposed to be really fucking fun. · Belladonna - She's not really a maven of instructional porn, but Belladonna's work for Evil Angel always has an air of openness and honesty that makes it feel safely imitable. She did make one serious instructional, and that's "How To: Fuck!" in which she takes you through her whole routine--from the smoothie she drinks in the morning to the enema she gives herself before a scene--all while dropping her sexual philosophies on you. · jessica drake - This Wicked contract star made a name for herself with her rambunctious sexual stylings, but lately, she's taken a step back in order to direct a line of how-to videos. She started with a guide to basic positions in 2011, and as of now, she has six guides on topics such as masturbation, anal play for men, G-spot stimulation, and (as you can see above) group sex. We wouldn't be surprised if she comes out with dozens more films, and we welcome whatever wisdom she's willing to impart!

[Above: jessica drake's words, as illustrated by Nikki Daniels, Victoria Lawson, and Jack Vegas in "Guide To Wicked Sex: Threesomes." All clips courtesy of AEBN (theater.aebn.net)]

[At top: a young woman consults her notes on anilingus, via Fuck Studies (galleries.fuckstudies.com)]

Tagged in: *how to, fetish, tristan taormino, carol queen, annie sprinkle, encyclopedia of smut, nina hartley, jessica drake, educational, sex education, top

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