Everyone remembers their first time — watching porn, that is.
It's no secret a ton of people enjoy watching porn. But for people within the LGBT community, watching (or accidentally stumbling upon) queer porn for the very first time can be educational and affirming — or it can be a totally confusing and misleading experience.
Yeah, it's complicated. So we asked a bunch of people to share the very first time they saw their identity reflected in porn (for better or worse). Here are just a few of their open and honest responses:
"The first time was when I was allowed to use the computer with internet by myself without anyone in the room. I think I was only 10 and really anxious that someone would found out that I was watching gay porn. I really liked to see just men. When I watched television I was mostly focused on the man rather than the woman. Ironically — despite the fact that I really liked what I saw — I still thought that I was straight.
At that time, I didn’t know that you could remove the browser’s history. So afterward, when someone else was typing an address the first thing they would see in the recommended websites was all gay porn. When loading a website it also showed pop-ups full of porn so, as you can imagine, I was dying. I got away with it because around that time everybody had issues with viruses, so I blamed it on that. Now I doubt that my parents ever believed that."
"The first time I watched queer porn I was thirteen. I remember searching 'lesbianism' in the search bar and clicking on the first video I found. Nothing had made me feel as turned on in all of my thirteen years."
"I started watching lesbian porn when I was in middle school because I was just figuring out my sexuality. I was very interested and it made me feel some type of way. Straight porn at the time made me super uncomfortable. I thought the guys were awful and I didn't like watching girls get fucked. After a while, I realized lesbian porn was fake and after I had sex with a person with a vagina I saw it all very differently.
While I wouldn't attribute porn to my sexual ability or curiosity, I would say it gave me an outlet to explore myself. "
"I was about 13 when I first started and because I grew up in a very Christian home, I was really scared. It may sound odd, but it helped me accept my asexuality. Gay porn helping a female come to terms with her being an asexual homoromantic person? Yeah, I know its crazy! Like, how do you figure out if you are not feeling something that most everyone feels? How do I know what attraction feels like? Watching porn kinda helped me find that out. "
"It felt like walking into Narnia."
"I hated the first girl on girl porn I watched, the fake fingernails were awful! It's still hard to find realistic girl-on-girl videos. Let's just say It didn't give me a realistic starting point to sex with women."
"Back in the day, I would sneak my dad's work laptop at night, use an AOL 'free 5 hours' CD-ROM and search for pics of naked guys. It was beyond thrilling, waiting for each line of pixels to load. It also was the first time I felt safe in my sexuality, having grown up in a very Mormon household in which I was taught to hide, hate and pray away the gay. In a real way, porn saved my young life."
"I first watched lesbian porn, which was better than any that included men, but it was professional, and it seemed fake, which turned me off."
"At first I only ever watched lesbian porn, as I assumed it would get me off, me being attracted to girls and all. But then I typed 'gay' in the search bar and hit enter — before I am done typing out what I want and up pops mountains of videos of gay guy sex. I was curious as I had never seen gay guy sex before so I clicked on the first video I saw. I thought I would be disgusted but was surprised to find how quickly I came once I started watching it. I only watch gay guy porn now. "
"Confusing. At first, I wasn't sure because I hadn't quite figured myself out yet — identity wise. I wasn't sure if I liked it or not."
"My first porn was lesbian porn because I was looking up lesbians because I thought I might be one and naturally porn is one of the first things I came across. I was a bit shocked none the less."
"It was a porn VHS my dad had in a box. It was a straight film, but there was one queer shot with anal sex: I was maybe 16 and I was in ecstasy."
"When I was exploring my sexuality. I was 'waiting' to be attracted to girls, but always found myself looking at guys... then eventually only guys. I used to feel really guilty after I'd jerked off because I'd think "omg, you just jerked off to a guy" but when I realized those feelings for girls weren't coming, I felt much better about it.
I always knew I was more interested in boys, but didn't know that that was 'a thing.' So when a bully called me gay, I asked him what that meant and he told me. I remember thinking, 'Yeah, I guess that might be what I am,' since that described the sort of porn I was watching. I didn't feel bad about it so much knowing that there were others out there who enjoyed the same thing I did, despite someone trying to use it as a slur against me that day."
"Started watching around 15 or16. A venture into very, very bad straight porn led me to explore other options. I've always felt that gay men just look like they're having more fun and pleasure than women/men in straight porn. Also with amateur women, it's nice to tell that they actually do end up having an orgasm. I've always felt that the orgasms in straight porn are very much put on. "
"What can I say? It was totally mind-blowing. It was a really deep recognition, like if I was with them in the scene myself."
"I was a teenager and my sibling rented a video with two guys having wild sex with each other. I was intrigued and it got me really horny but I had to wait until that night, when I was alone in bed, to masturbate and relieve my pent up horniness."
"I started masturbating at 13 to gay male porn actually. At first, I watched it because it gave me a tingly feeling *down there* and once I discovered what a clit was, I started masturbating day and night. I didn't feel that weird about what two men have sex — in my mind it was the straightest thing in the world, because there were no women. And at this time in my life, I was supressing my feelings for girls, so watching gay porn was comforting in a way."
"I saw The Kids Are Alright and wondered why there were lesbians watching gay porn. I thought it must be good or something."
"I was 9, it was scrambled cable, and I was transfixed. One program was definitely Playboy's Night Calls and one of the hosts talked dirty to a woman who called in while having sex with a man. The host was so confident, guiding her, asking her 'Yeah, are you getting fucked?' I had never heard women speak to each other this way. It was so energizing."
"Heh, in the back study while my parents had bible study going on in the living room. It was a thrilling taboo rush trying to make dial-up internet load some short little clip with the sound turned fully off. But I knew I loved it, even if it felt kinda wrong at the time."
"I was a teen when I found porn on the internet. It was in the dial-up days though, so it wasn't great quality. The first time I watched it was over almost before it started. I was so turned on about the chance of getting caught! I couldn't believe I got away with it, and then good old fashioned southern baptist guilt kicked in and I felt pretty terrible about it."
"I 'knew' it was wrong to find this sort of thing, but I was still so interested gay porn. It gave me a strange feeling that watching straight porn had never done before. Took me a long while before I came to terms with what the feeling was, and that this was what everyone else was feeling, and what I was missing out on."
"I was 16 and I had just gotten my first smartphone with the internet. I discovered how easy it was to watch porn online for free and decided to take a look. At this point, I was aware I wasn't attracted to women but never really allowed myself to explore my interest. I clicked on the first girl-on-girl video on the featured page and watched the whole thing. Twice.
I was instantly aroused and intrigued. After that, I think I watched multiple hours of videos, mesmerized by what I was seeing. I didn't even masturbate to them. I just watched them because it was almost a sexual awakening for me."
"OH GOD, I remember. I had just downloaded my first porn video and wanted to check to see if it worked before I went to school. Of course, this was when my mom walked in. So 15-year-old female me got caught at 6:30 a.m. on a school day looking at gay porn. Home run!
When I first started watching porn (straight stuff , I always wanted to see more dick action. So, I watched some gay porn. Boy did I get what I wanted."
"My first exposure to any videos of a sexual nature was actually lesbians making out when I was about 12. I eventually grew bolder and watched an actual porn video and I think it was lesbians as well. I liked it a lot but when I was younger I would feel guilty about watching porn and getting off.
There was an element of 'I shouldn't be doing this' that watching porn had that made me less inclined to watch it. As I grew older and realized that there was nothing wrong with watching porn is when I started to explore more genres of porn and found the ones that I liked."
"I googled 'cheerleaders' and 'sex' when I was in high school. A lot of crazy shit came up. I remember being turned on and then embarrassed because I was caught shortly after searching it."
"It was strange watching gay porn the first time. I don't remember how I wandered there as a teenager but it felt right and wrong at the same time. Probably due to the fact that I was so far in the closet then. But, later on, it absolutely was part of accepting myself. It helped me figure out that, yes, I am gay and this turns me on and I wanna try it with another guy. "
"The very first time I found porn, it was audio only of a woman masturbating, so my first videos were about that, too. I didn't know I was gay yet, so I was just happy to find videos without cis men in them.
I had my first (and only) cis boyfriend about the time I started watching porn in highschool. He started asking about sex, and the only penises I had ever seen were in porn and men basically acting like the women had the purpose to just take it and nothing else (I know, a great introduction). The mere concept of sex with cis men freaked me out. Porn really helped me figure out what I was attracted to."
"I saw two women kissing in the video and I was mesmerized. I grew up in a very conservative town and if there were a lot of queer girls at my school, I never knew about it. So porn was the only way that I had to explore my sexuality. "
Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.