Porno Jim wants to help you have better sex

illustration of a banana and a condom

The Manhattan sex whisperer takes it there.

Fourteen years ago, when Jim Graham started his New York City-based nightclub show about porn—appropriately titled The Porno Jim Show— he did so with a clear goal in mind: improving the sex lives of everyone in attendance.

“I would show edited porn clips, good and bad, to entertain the audience and to teach men about female orgasms,” Graham told the Daily Dot. “At that point—this was a long time ago—men really weren’t very good in bed. I met all these women who hadn’t had a real orgasm until they met me. So I thought I could be helpful if I could show men what real orgasms look like… you’d hope, then, that the men would be able to recognize when they were doing it right.”

Or, as Graham told an audience back in 2011, “I think more people should be having more sex with more people more often. That’s what I’m all about.”

The way we talk about and consume pornography has changed dramatically since Graham first performed The Porno Jim Show in March 2002. The ubiquitousness of the Web has led to everything from virtual reality and the increased accessibility of feminist porn, to the abuses of revenge porn and the rise and fall of megastars like James Deen. It’s also becoming harder to ignore the reality that women are watching porn, too, meaning that conversations about porn need to prioritize female perspectives.

It makes sense, then, for the conversations themselves to update with the times. That may explain why, last summer, Graham expanded the Porno Jim empire beyond the bars and swinger clubs of Manhattan and onto the airwaves. The Porno Jim Show is now a talk show on Radio Free Brooklyn, a “non-commercial community freeform Internet radio station” established last spring.

No longer a live performance narrated by Graham and featuring porn clips chosen exclusively by him, the new Porno Jim Show features conversations between Graham and his guest reviewers—all of whom are women. Guest reviewers are invited to choose several porn clips to watch and discuss with Graham, providing an opportunity to skew the traditional male gaze and perhaps even educate male listeners.

“Who would want to hear two men talking about porn?” Graham explained. “It’s way more interesting for me [to have female guests], because I like talking to women way more than I like talking to men. And it’s more interesting to the audience, I think.”

In prior iterations of The Porno Jim Show, Graham focused on porn videos that appealed to him personally, either intellectually or erotically. He told the Daily Dot that while he enjoys seeing breasts as much as one might expect, his primary interest when watching porn is scenes in which the female performers appear to be enjoying what they are doing.

“Love, in our culture, is either this ephemeral, weird, Hallmark, crappy thing, or it’s the result of good sex.”

“Sometimes I watch it in double-time fast forward, because then you can really see if they’re bored,” Graham added. “If I’m watching and the woman looks unhappy, bored, done, whatever, or if the guy keeps doing stuff that’s about to work and then he stops, I won’t even watch that scene. Most men are not interested in the woman’s pleasure, and those scenes are of no interest to me.”

By showing audiences authentic depictions of female pleasure, Graham was able to teach men how to recognize enjoyment in their female partners and, by extension, improve the sex lives of men and women alike.

The radio show focuses on this type of education as well, but Graham employs a different strategy. Now, The Porno Jim Show allows guest reviewers to share their own personal tastes, preferences, and philosophies with both Graham and his listeners. Although Graham encourages reviewers to choose accessible and free clips off of sites like Pornhub, so that listeners can easily watch the videos themselves, he gives full reign to his guests to select clips of their choosing. They range from mainstream to alternative, feminist, and queer, and the diversity of the views and videos lead to thoughtful dialogue. Most importantly, by highlighting the perspectives and insights of actual female porn consumers, male listeners are able to better understand what turns women on.

In addition to reviewers, Graham also features expert guests on his show, such as recent guest Lynsey G, a porn critic, writer, and artist, whose film Consent: Society won a Feminist Porn Award in 2013. She and Graham spoke about the evolution in the porn industry and highlighted the influence that female porn viewers have on the industry and its male consumers.

“I would like to attribute a lot of the changes that have happened [regarding the increase in images of female pleasure and the decrease in degrading hardcore violence]… to women being more clearly porn consumers than they were in the past,” Lynsey G said on the show.

Graham is optimistic that, as more listeners tune into his show, they will broaden their understanding of porn and engage with it in ways that are pro-sex and pro-feminist. He considers porn to be “inherently feminist,” and he views his work with The Porno Jim Show as an educational tool for spreading that message. Though his style and medium has shifted over the years, his ultimate goal never has.

“I am in favor of more people having better sex,” he told the Daily Dot. “Love, in our culture, is either this ephemeral, weird, Hallmark, crappy thing, or it’s the result of good sex. So I’m in favor of more good sex for people, and my show and my whole thing is about making it so that more people can have more fun without shame.”

Illustration by Max Fleishman

Carrie Nelson

Carrie Nelson

Carrie Nelson is a writer and documentary filmmaker. Nelson’s reporting for the Daily Dot focused on LGBTQ issues, feminism, and internet culture.