Hi Roomies, I’m Avril!
Introducing Avril Louise Clarke
A clinical sexologist currently based in Barcelona, Avril is an expert who helps people have better sex safely. As an educator, she often teaches teenagers, and as a counselor, she often works with couples.
The Best Person to Answer our Questions about Masturbation and Pornography.
Perhaps the most striking thing about Avril's entire career is her work in the Porn Industry. Avril works with world-famous director Erica Lust creating ethical pornography. When we explore pleasuring ourselves, when we have doubts about pornography, who can we trust more? So AROOO met up with Avril to get the low down.
We compiled some of our Roomie’s most common questions about masturbation and Avril gave us the answers!
🙋♀️ : There is none. That's the best answer I can give.
I think a lot of this concern comes from the lack of sex education in the world today. I think that we need to normalize the topic and the practice of masturbation.
I think that as long as your masturbation practices aren't affecting your livelihood. Are you showing up for your friends, your family, for work, are you taking care of yourself? If the answers are yes, then that's okay.
There's no too much. There's no too little. Not masturbating is okay too. I think that when we talk about sex and in my studies and my practice there's a lot of concern of people not being sexual enough. And I say well that's fine. You don't have to have sex to be sexual. You don't have to masturbate every day or once a week or once a month to be a sexual person.
It's completely natural and common to masturbate three times a day, or to masturbate never. That's okay.
🙋♀️ : I would say that the best place to begin is just talking more about it.
I think that porn and masturbation you know are often these conversations that we kind of leave behind the closed doors. It's something that we don't talk about. We don't talk about it with our friends. We don't talk about it with our kids. We don't talk about it with family. We don't talk about it even with our partners. It’s this very unspoken thing that's actually huge! Porn makes up like a third of the internet.
I think that it's really great that ‘A Room of One’s Own’ is interested in wanting to talk about this. I think the more that we normalize and talk about porn and masturbation the more that we can feel more liberated about doing it, about using it, about really getting in touch with our sexuality, with our likes and our dislikes. And it's the best way to explore and understand your own body.
So explore your fantasies and explore your likes and dislikes. Stop and ask yourself “Is this something that turns me on? Is this something I would maybe want to try with myself or with a partner” and just get more comfortable talking about sex and talking about masturbation and talking about porn. Because the more you get comfortable with it, with talking about it with your best friend, then you will be more able to speak about it with a partner one day.
And that's our goal. We want to have pleasurable sexual relationships and just kind of getting over that hump will make you feel less shame. It will make you feel more confident and more comfortable with, I don't know, buying your first ethical porn subscription, buying your first sex toy, using lubrication in the bedroom, asking for more things in the bedroom, and just overall being a safer sexual citizen which is what we're all hoping for right?
🙋♀️ : I think people are seeking and searching for porn that feels good for them to support and to watch.
When I go to watch Jurassic Park I know who the director was, I know it’s Stephen Spielberg. I know who was the makeup artist. I can find out all of this information. I know who the production company is. Where they filmed it. I can look up and find out information about it… When I open up a free online porn site I look at it and it can be like “okay well this might really turn me on but who created this film…? does this girl or this person know that this film exists on the internet?”
And so for me ethical porn is the production. It's really important that everything we do is transparent, and that everyone is fairly paid. That everything we do is in the best production process we can provide. At Erika Lust Productions, having an intimacy coordinator on set, having a talent manager. making sure that we're having consent and boundary talks, that there's all of these things that make up the ethically produced part of this film. That being said you can't look at a film, at the final product, and decide if it was ethical or not. Because it's everything that goes on behind the scenes. And so that's really the best way to describe ethical porn.
I think that also when people hear about ethical porn... sometimes it gets conflated with other terms, Like feminist porn or porn for women. And I think sometimes maybe it's also the gender roles or the gender expectations. But they think it's going to be the soft and beautiful and erotic porn. But actually some of our porn is like so kinky and so hot, and some of it is really beautiful and soft. And I think we have also a lot of different brands within Erika Lust. I feel Like it allows people to kind of find the porn that most matches and aligns with their values which is really important to us.