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What To Do If You Catch Your Teenage Child Watching Porn?

  • JWB Post
  •  June 17, 2015

In India, we may not be very open about talking to kids who watch porn. This advice that we found on Ravishly.com is going to be a useful piece for parents who want to talk but don’t know how to.

(FYI, Momma Bare is the counselor)

Dear Momma Bare, 

I found my 14-year-old son looking at porn on his phone. It was embarrassing for everyone. I really don’t know how to go from here. I know he’s probably going to look, but what should I say? Anything?

Porn Puzzled,

L

Dear L,

Thanks for writing, I’m glad you did. I like to talk about porn! Yay porn! Ok but seriously, this is important stuff that’s worth discussing.

I’m going to break this down by areas of discussion. This is pretty much exactly how I have this conversation with my own children. I am not an expert — though I’d like to consider myself somewhat of a sex expert, there’s really no way to quantify that. I am a RN and a mother who loves her children and wants them to be happy, healthy humans. Alas.

Availability

Porn is widely available. If you have a computer or iPhone or really anything with an Internet connection, it is basically one of the easiest things to find, right after YouTube kitten videos. Porn sites get more visitors than Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter combined. Um…that’s A LOT of visiting. More than 30% of streaming data is porn. All of that is to say: friends, Romans, deluded countrymen, de-Nile is a river in Egypt. Pretending that porn doesn’t exist is not going to help you.  Porn is on Tumblr. Porn is on Twitter. Porn is on Pornhub. Porn is all the hell over Snapchat.

If your child wants to see porn, they can. And they probably will.  And they really probably will.

Breathe. This is normal curiosity. Young people are sexually aware and driven. People are sexually aware and driven. Period. It’s called nature. There is no point in shaming your kids. That will make them feel weird and shitty. Just don’t.

Education is a sound approach.

Objectification

It’s really important to point out that much of porn objectifies women. There are empowered sex workers, but your standard, run-of-the-mill porn shows women being used. The porn film industry is much like the Hollywood film industry: women are very rarely the protagonist and very rarely running the porn show. You can’t make sure your kids are going to see empowering porn. In fact, they are probably not seeing empowering porn at all, because that isn’t what shows up when you Google.

I am always certain to remind my kids that sexual slavery is real. Google THAT. If you don’t know the source of what you’re viewing, the source may be teenage girls from a foreign land who had no other way out, aside from selling their bodies. We won’t buy chicken that isn’t free range for fuck’s sake. We should be so careful about what we are seeing and who is being used to produce it.

Reality

Right off the bat, after I tell them they are normal for being interested, we talk about what they are seeing. Porn bodies are often not real. They have often been augmented. They are usually hairless (though there is a certain bush-specific genre). Women are usually in full makeup. Men usually have a perpetual boner.

In reality, breasts do not stand up when the body lies down. Also it’s pretty unusual to see cantaloupe breasts on a celery-stick body. Real boobs are mostly fat. Real porn stars are mostly not fat. Human beings have hair. And stretch marks. And acne. If your erection lasts longer than four hours you should contact your physician.

Porn Sex vs. Actual Sex

Kids are looking at porn because they are curious. They may not have had anything even close to sex.

With that in mind, this is a good time to remind boys that a threesome is the exception, not the rule. It’s also a good time to remind girls that it’s OK if they do not want semen on their face (and boys, don’t assume a baby gravy shower is OK without asking). Sometimes porn looks like real sex, but that’s not the typical situation.

Actual sex is messy and really sort of awkward. There is a fair amount of who and what goes where. Hair gets pulled, accidentally, not in ecstasy. There are noises. Vaginas make fart sounds. Men don’t stay erect forever. Also, penises are not that big. At all. Orgasms are often a finale, not a crescendo.

Moving Forward: After Porn

Remember, just because you’ve seen it on Pornhub doesn’t mean your partner wants to do it. Ask. Always ask. Consent is sexy.

Girls: You own your sexuality. You are in charge of your orgasms. You can demand one. You can demand more. You do not have to do ANYTHING that feels wrong or weird or even just a little icky. If you don’t like blowjobs, don’t give one. Even if he wants a blowjob, but won’t reciprocate. If you don’t want semen on your face, tell him he can put it on his own face. Also remember that just because men often look like insensitive assholes in porn, it doesn’t mean they always are. Some men really do love snuggles and intimacy and tenderness.

Boys: You are a male which, just by nature of misogyny, gives you the upper hand. Do not use that power for ill. Your orgasm isn’t the only one that matters. Female orgasm is harder to come by, so don’t give up. That’s a dick move. (P.S. The clitoris is not inside of the vagina. It’s hidden. Go find it.) And of course, you do not have to do ANYTHING that feels wrong or weird or even just a little icky.

Sex is tender and intimate and beautiful. Sometimes it’s hot and kinky and dirty. But it’s almost literally never under a spotlight with a film crew and fluffers.

Also, there are no condoms in porn. That is stupid. Use them.

in love, cake, and responsible porn consumption

Joni (Momma Bare)

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