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Pornography – The New Sex Ed? Parents Can Change This.

pleasure pornography respectful relationships talking to kids about sex Aug 26, 2021
Originally posted 26/4/2015

Pornography is the most commonly used sex education tool by young people. 

In general this is because: 
  • We don't provide an alternative education at home or school
  • It is so easily accessible to them
  • They have a normal human curiosity about sexuality that is not met elsewhere

Research varies, but it is estimated that average age of first viewing is around 11 years old. Kids can view it both accidentally and intentionally.
I recently read a very interesting article about pornography and girls - a must read for every parent. Click here to read it. 
 
Porn is giving our young people - of all genders - the wrong information about sex. The sex shown in pornography does not represent real/actual human sexual function of brains or bodies. Those of us working in the sexual health profession are extremely alarmed and concerned about the future of the next generation using porn as their frame of reference for intimate partnerships. We are already seeing and expecting high rates of sexual dysfunction in young male and females. I believe the main way to change the negative impact on future sexual relationships is for our children to be educated by their parents about the truth of intimacy, relationships and sexuality, both physically and psychologically.
Click here to see for upcoming sessions for parents that Talking The Talk are running.

In the article mentioned above, I especially like the highlighting of two topics: anal sex and consent. These topics are just two (of many) essential conversations we need to have with our young people.
 
 
ANAL SEX

Anal sex is used in porn for the entertainment factor - it is watchable action, novelty and a good camera shot. However, not all people enjoy it and those who do usually just explore with anal play or slowly build up to penetration with heaps of lube etc. Humans who want pleasurable experiences don't usually have anal sex the way it is shown in porn. This violent, unprepared, penetration can cause damage to the anus and surrounding tissue/organs.
 

The other thing you see on porn is penis going from anus back into vagina without being cleaned or changing the condom (condoms are rarely used) - this is a very high risk for severe urinary tract infections. Bacteria from the anus should never go into the vagina or near the female urethra.
 

Our children are being fooled that 'women always want' anal sex.
 

At the same time that we support boys with information about how fake porn is, we could ask them to contemplate if they themselves would like anal sex before they expect a partner to want to do it. Specifically, we can empower them with other ideas about how both partners can enjoy intimacy and sex.

From the article:
"However embarrassing it may be, we need to educate and embolden our daughters to fight back against pornography, which is warping the behaviour of boys who are supposed to be their lovers, not their abusers. Anything that hurts and humiliates you is never OK. I suggest that future sex education classes begin with this joke: "I asked my wife to try anal sex. 'Sure,' she said: 'You first.'"
Article by Allison Pearson for Essential Kids


CONSENT

Consent on it's own is not enough - 'enthusiastic' consent needs to be sought for all sex and intimacy. Porn teaches boys and girls that 'coercion' or even 'no consent' is normal. Consent is rarely shown in pornography. Porn teaches that males have entitlement to female bodies and that females should just 'take it'. Not only that, but enjoy what ever the male wants to do to them.
 

From the article, the author writes:
PS: I texted my own teenager for her view. She texted back: ''A lot of truth in this. I think dubious consent is the greatest problem of my generation.''
Article by Allison Pearson for Essential Kids.
 

CONVERSATION TIPS

We can empower our young people with conversation tips to negotiate with their partner about the intimate acts they do want to engage in. Especially when their partner suggests something they don't want to do.
 
#1 Tip Have their conversations outside the bedroom/at times when they are not being intimate:
  • "..I really like you and want us to be closer and have fun but I need to you to know that I am not into anal...."
  • "...I don't want to offend you if I say no to vaginal sex, I'm not rejecting you - I'm just not into that at the moment, what we could do instead that really turns me on is...."
Teach sex as positive and pleasurable
  • 50% of Year 12 students in Australia have had sexual intercourse
  • The majority (69%) of Year 10 - 12 students have experienced some form of sexual activity  
    (Mitchell A, et.al, 2014. 5th National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health 2013, ARCSHS, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)
 
I suggest parents buy the book listed below, read it and then pass it on to your adolescent children who are contemplating having sex.

Warning - It contains real photos of real sex. Photos are positive and realistic, not like the 'unreal' sex they have already seen in porn. I highly recommend this book for young people contemplating having sex:
 
 

From the Authors:
"Our book has been written for young people who are just beginning to have sex or thinking of doing so. We start from the idea that everyone has an innate ability to become aroused, but that sexuality (and how to enjoy it) has to be learned. We want to encourage you to find out as much as you can about what goes on in your own body and how it feels, and to work out what your own preferences are and where your boundaries lie. Then you’ll be equipped to discover the pleasure you can have with a healthy sexuality that’s been defined by no-one but you."