by Thought Catalog on July 31, 2013

6. Must be Longer Than Five Minutes

Now I don’t require a three-hour, Lawrence of Arabia-esque, epic, but I do need something that’s going to last longer than a Sonic commercial. Five to ten minutes has proven to be the perfect duration, thanks to countless tests run in my basement laboratory aka my bedroom. Anything shorter and I’m reminded of my own real-life failures in endurance, and I don’t need to be breathlessly apologizing to my computer screen.

5. Background Music Should be Minimal

If your production company would like to throw a little music over the opening credits, be my guest, but please tell the guy in the editing booth to hold back on laying some neo-soul-jazz-fusion or adult contemporary down over the rest of the video. I cannot stress enough how difficult it is to maintain an erection while some middle-aged, white woman is scatting in the background. “Art porn” seems to be the biggest culprit here, as if other forms of art needed such dreck to feel sophisticated. Last I checked, Kurosawa wasn’t begging his sound crew to pump a little Diana Krall into the background of Yojimbo.

4. There Must Be Some Foreplay

Unless you’re a frat dude, you wouldn’t dare try to fuck a woman without ample foreplay, so why some videos feature guys just throwing it in right off the bat is beyond me. It’d be like Derrick Rose stepping onto the court and trying to dunk from the foul line without any pre-game stretching; he’s not going to do that because he’s a professional, and that’s the approach these sex “pros” should adopt. Plus, what kind of actual, straight male sees a vagina and doesn’t want to immediately put his mouth on it? A true fucking weirdo, that’s for sure.

3. The Actors Should Start Fully-Clothed and Gradually De-Robe

There are a number of scenarios where a scene would naturally start with both participants already nude: shower, massage parlor, nudist resort, etc. I’m not interested in those. Taking off your partner’s clothes (gross, I just typed “partner”) is an exciting part of sex; don’t deprive the loyal viewers of that experience. If anything, clothing gives me longer to avoid having to see the guy’s ugly dick. (Yes, all dicks are ugly).

2. There Needs to Be at Least a Pretense of a Story

As humans, we are rich, complex, multi-faceted beings with layers of deep personal history. Even when we are fucking one another at our most base and animalistic, there is an intricate personal narrative at play. So why some pornographic videos eschew even the slightest excuse for a plot is unfathomable. Sure, there are the standard tropes and clichés: the pizza delivery guy, the plumber, the schoolteacher, the neurophysicist, etc. (maybe I made that last one up), but these should be jumping-off points, if anything. I am an inquisitive soul; I have a lot of questions when I watch these videos – How long have these two known each other? How is he able to afford that house? Why does she have a tattoo of a dove on her butt? What if a customer walks into that laundromat? I would like at least some of them to be answered.

1. The Female to Male Ratio Should Be Either 1:1 or 2:1. That’s it.

I’ve mostly been speaking to the run-of-the-mill, one-on-one sexual experiences, but I would be remiss not to mention the allure of the MFF threesome (I don’t even want to think about more than one penis. No thank you), which also ties into the previous porn point; a threesome video with a solid story leads you to believe a similar experience could happen to you. It’s when you skew the above numbers any other way that things get problematic.

Orgies stress me out. I don’t know this form personal experience, but if I let my imagination run rampant, I get minor panic attacks. There are obvious hygiene concerns and too many people seeing your awkward, hairy, naked body and who do you pay attention to first and I have a difficult time satisfying one woman, why add several more and what if I get accidentally slapped by someone’s dick? These are all gravely serious concerns.

Wow, the more I think about it, the more I realize I am better off staying in bed and going at it alone.

This post originally appeared on Thought Catalog. 

Let us know what your porn-watching standards are in the comments!