Sex Talk – rua – School of Life’s Pornastherapy and other viewpoints

paris‘Twas Viv who told me about School of Life’s short films on sex, conversations on sex, and all in between.

For those of you who don’t know about School of Life, initially based in London with ‘branches’ all around the world (Melbourne being the closest to NZ) this is what their ‘about’ page says ‘about’ them:

croppedimage690358-2014-03-24-16.27.10Headquartered in London, we operate around the globe, delivering our services down a number of channels to suit your different needs. We offer classes and therapies in person. We also publish books, create films and make and sell a range of objects & tools that will assist you in the quest for a more fulfilled life.

You’ll remember my motivation to explore sex came from an on the couch convo with my husband and his mates, and the epidemic of young pre-teen boys finding porn and the ramifications of this e.g. their expectations of sex after being introduced to it through porn, their inability to decipher the ‘code’ of porn. By code of porn i mean these youths don’t have the life experience and education (or even conversations with adults) to understand porn’s intention and limitations. Such as the fact we don’t see ‘couples’ in an embrace in porn because this could disturb the manicured nature of the shot, and block view to the ‘point’ of porn being the ‘point of entry’.

As i write this, i guess it’s an opportunity to talk candidly about porn with our young ones, and perhaps watch it with them and explain it? Maybe we do this if when find they’ve watched it? I’m developing my ideas here as i write. The million dollar question – when do we start to talk about sex with our offspring? Holland (the land of the Dutch) advocate 5 years young. A Buddhist teacher once said to us it’s important to allow and accept the world our children live in. If we disallow them TV, or whatever we deem a pollutant, we are saying we don’t accept ‘their’ world, which is to say we don’t ‘symbolically’ accept them. Better to instead sit beside them as they watch an age appropriate TV programme. Be there. Be available. To them and their questions.

Anyhow, tangents, tangents…

Here’s a short fascinating film about the un-helpfulness of ‘current’ porn. It begins by telling us over 30% of google searches involve porn and our young teen boys are starting to look at it around 11 years of age.

Here are some quotes to whet your appetite:

The parents wouldn’t want to deny their offspring’s sexuality, it’s just they’re in protest of what they see online is going to mould their sexuality.

Parents worry porn:

  • give boys an unrealistic picture of female’s desires
  • it divorces sex of emotions particularly those of kindness, respect and love
  • it degrades both parties through fantasy and amorality


Instead of merely complaining about this issue, School of Life is now offering Pornastherapy – Better Porn.

A curious looking site – black and white and very ‘boxy’ (no pun intended). When i first visited it i thought it looked broken. Contaminated? Virused? Curious to consider the artistry, the psychological intent behind the very stripped back facade?

But, Porn As Therapy ( containing beautifully shot still images (artistry), accompanied by (well written) text. The intimate and mostly hot images not only show explicit sex, but highlight the complex interesting lives of the people ‘captured.’

bike-picI am further curious. One still has to claim one is 18 to enter the site. What’s this about? Governmental protocol? Where in the world is sex ‘allowed’ ‘accepted’ younger than 18? Papua New Guinea – I’m sure i read about that travel writer with the equally famous doco making son, stumbling upon an infamous yam sex fest on an outer Papua New Guinean island. Madagascar? A place without religion? Or should i say with indigenous/pagan philosophy (religion) instead of our ‘top’ (major) 5 or so religions . And now I’m getting into another debate (with very little knowledge) in a post Prana Festival state. Another day.

School of Life suggests rather than abolishing porn and our desire to watch it

the goal needs to be to make ‘better’ porn – better for us, less at odds with the rest of our lives.


They argue

looking at a lot of porn generally leaves us feeling disconnected and hollow, that’s because it doesn’t seem linked to anything else we value in the rest of our lives, it’s merely about sex, rather than being about other things we care about, like love, self understanding, kindness of even intelligence.


IMG_2305If you’re ‘up’ for watching porn but love reading about sex The School of Live has short films with titles such as:

The Philosophy of Oral Sex
How to keep having Sex
The Pleasures of BDSM

And finishing on an intellectual note in ode to my brainy neighbour…
Click here for Alva Noe’s argument (on Big Think) about Porn and its inability (by definition) to be artistic.

Stay tuned for more sex talks featuring Esther Perel, Make Love Not Porn and other sites and stories about sex.


  1. Well I’m glad I can influence you in somehow! though really it was James who found all the School of lIfe stuff. It would be cool to work for them – should we offer to open a branch in Tauranga? Much call for it around here do you think?xxxxxx

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