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"Hurry up, would you? The movie's starting!"

"I'm comin', I'm comin'," my sister-in-law said, jamming a lit cigarette in her mouth so she could grab her cup of coffee and a bag of chips. "Keep your pants on."


She walked into the living room of her home and I trailed behind. I took a seat on the sofa — at the complete other end from where my partner sat — and curled up into myself. Outwardly, I looked like everyone else. Just watching a movie with the family.

Inwardly, I wondered what sort of family watches porn together every night.

But this was normal for them. All four of us would sit, eating popcorn, while watching guys go down on girls, girls do other girls or girls take on a couple of men. Sometimes the movie was one of the "better" ones, and there'd be massive orgies or group scenes.

We'd sit there and listen to the tacky scripts, punctuated by faked groans and grunts or the occasional cheer from my brother-in-law. "Oh yeah! Give it to her," he'd shout with glee.

A couple of hours later, when movie night was over, my partner and I would go home like it was any other night. I always hated the sex that followed. I felt dirty and disgusted. My ex felt turned on and inspired.

The irony is that I thought I was the one who wasn't normal. Here were three people who were perfectly upstanding members of society watching porn as a family unit. They had regular jobs. They paid bills. Their home was tidy and they were average people. There was nothing wrong with them. It confused me.

It took me many, many years to realize that there wasn't anything wrong with me at all. It took many more years before I understood that sex wasn't dirty. But I still have trouble enjoying it fully.

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