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Porn lies behind cuts and bruises of rough sex fad

Emer O'Hanlon


'Vanilla' sex is now seen as prudish in an age of shocking TikToks of sexual injuries

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TACKLING IT HEAD ON: Michaela Coel’s TV series ‘I May Destroy You’ is about the aftermath of a hook-up gone wrong

TACKLING IT HEAD ON: Michaela Coel’s TV series ‘I May Destroy You’ is about the aftermath of a hook-up gone wrong

TACKLING IT HEAD ON: Michaela Coel’s TV series ‘I May Destroy You’ is about the aftermath of a hook-up gone wrong

There was a time, and it wasn't so long ago, when showing concern at the sight of a woman's body covered in bruises inflicted by her boyfriend would have been considered normal and uncontroversial. Increasingly these days, however, the right to beat up your partner is not seen as an abomination, but the sign of a mutually beneficial (if a little risque) sexual relationship.

In a new TikTok challenge, women are even sharing post-coital videos of their bruised and cut limbs, in an attempt to emulate the recent Netflix kidnap-porn film, 365 Days. These aren't small wounds - sometimes bruises are larger than the women's handspans, as well as cuts that definitely go beyond surface level. One such video went viral across social media last week, and has been viewed more than 33 million times with nearly six million likes.

Why has this video resonated with so many people, or, at the very least, been considered entertaining enough to like? It's merely the latest manifestation of a growing cultural feeling that 'vanilla' sex has passed its heyday, and that getting rough is the best way to curb boredom.