Using porn to teach your children about healthy sex and sexuality, but not the way you think

Nothing confounds me like a good discussion about porn. Well, that’s a lie. Math scrambles my synapses. Political discussions make me lightheaded. Religion? Oh my ovaries! And tailgaters are enigmas, too. Very confusing. Because why the FUCK does driving bring out the worst in people, turning them aggressive assholes? It boggles the mind. Hmmm…but I digress, as usual. I was talking about porn, wasn’t I? Can parents use porn as a tool for helping children and teens learn sexual development and healthy sexuality?

I say yes, but not in the way you think, you sick fuck!

Is porn simply raunchy, abusive, demeaning, and full of smut that features children, animals, or damaged and drug addicted people, unaware or unhappy they are being recorded? Are people in porn films always unhappy individuals engaging in uncomfortable and unnatural sexual acts for money or drugs, or worse yet because they have no other choice?

Is there any porn that attempts to teach a greater appreciation for the beauty of male and female bodies? Can porn be used as an educational tool, teaching people in relationships how to achieve greater intimacy and variety in their sex lives?

If you are a parent, I'm asking YOU to think about these questions, because you need to know where the hell you stand on this issue, and be prepared to discuss this with your kids. Because porn can fuck up the young ones. That is a fact.

There is no official, legal definition of pornography. When I looked online, the definition I like best is the one I found on The Free Dictionary.com.

The representation in books, magazines, photographs, films, and other media of scenes of sexual behavior that are erotic or lewd and are designed to arouse sexual interest.

I don't know about you, but that definition isn't going to help my kids understand. It's too broad. They have no context for these abstract ideas. Define erotic to an eight year old why don't ya? Try explaining lewd to your 12 year old boy without squirming. Let me know how it goes. Moving on.

Lewd and obscene are cousins, and there IS a legal definition of obscenity, and obscenity in porn is NOT legal. So how does one untangle the two? But what kind of porn is considered obscene? If we exclude the things that are legally defined as obscene and against the law, the “I know it when I see it,” argument doesn’t hold up with regard to pornography, because sexuality and sexual preferences are unique to the individual.

How do I explain porn to my kids, and how do I help them develop healthy attitudes about sex and sexuality in a culture that doesn’t offer up realistic and healthy images and is completely saturated with unhealthy expectations with regards to sex and sexuality?

It confounds me, and it doesn't. I'm a walking, talking juxtafuckingposition!

When was in college, old enough to know my sexual preference and specific interests, I admitted to friends that I had never seen a porn film. I was not alone. We were curious, so a bunch of us hopped in the car and drove to the nearest video store, picked out a few titles, and settled in with some beer and snacks to enjoy the show.

MIND BLOWN!

The lead female actress was pretending to be an enthusiastic recipient of three different peens in three different places – at the same time! Whoa! I didn’t think there could be women in the real world that actually enjoyed having a bunch of abnormally gigantic wangs plugging up all their orifices and squirting all over their bodies. And this movie didn't change my mind about that. I know damn well that most chicks do not enjoy that. But I acknowledge that some do.

So was this typical porn? Adults engaging in what can only be described as a very complicated and highly choreographed sex act that CLEARLY required the kind of core fitness and endurance found only in professional athletes, and obviously not within the range of normal for sexual behavior and preferences of people in real relationships. If so, I wasn’t interested, but I can’t say that would have been the case had I been an insecure and raging with hormones teenage girl, trying to figure out what sex meant to me and what role sex and my sexuality would play in my life as a whole.

At the ripe old age of 43, a middle-aged mother of two with limited experience, I have yet to find any porn that portrays relationships, intimacy, and sexuality in a healthy way. But that’s not the point of porn, is it?

So what the fuck IS the point? And how do I talk about it with my kids?

Sex is the ultimate ironic juxtaposition. It is natural, necessary, can be pleasurable, loving, and satisfying. It can also be terrifying, dangerous, painful, abusive, aggressive, and deadly. Sex is simple, yet complicated. Sex can nourish, yet it can just as easily destroy.

Like most people, I don’t see porn as a healthy way to explore sexuality and sexual preferences. Most people can do those things just fine without porn, and have for thousands of years. I find porn to be just as unreal as an action or horror film. I don’t see it as anything other than just what it is – and it is just simply people pulling out all the stops (pun intended) to feed the sexual appetites of those who seek to have their sexual appetites satisfied through visual imagery catered to their specific preferences.

Do I think porn is bad? No. I don’t. Let’s go back to that sex as the ultimate juxtaposition thing, (which sounds like a sexual position, doesn’t it?) porn serves a purpose, it always has, and it always will. But as a parent, I have to have an opinion about it as it pertains to my children.

I have a 13 year-old boy now, a boy who will inevitably get his hands on porn, if he hasn’t already, whether he seeks it out or is introduced to it by a friend. What I know for sure, is that defining healthy sexuality is a process, a process in which we as individuals should be comfortable with our own preferences as long as these preferences don’t violate the rights or harm others involved.

Can porn be used as an instrument, an educational tool for helping people have healthy attitudes about their own sexuality and preferences, even if these preferences include things that might fall outside the range of normal, yet still legal and safe? I think so, but I'm not talking about having family movie night complete with popcorn and a porn double feature.

Children and young teenagers should not watch porn. Never ever. Their brains are not ready to process the images and ideas. Viewing porn damages young children. It negatively affects their attitudes about sex and sexuality. I’m not alone in having this opinion, and those who agree with me base our opinion on a solid knowledge of human development and healthy sexual identity development. If you disagree, then we will have to agree to disagree. But I do think that kids and teens should know what it is, why it exists, and when and how they might find themselves in a situation where they might encounter porn, and why they should avoid it, even if they are curious.

Am I anti-porn? Hell no! But as a parent, I’m doing my best to keep my kids away from it until they are old enough to really understand what it is, and why it exists, so they can see it for what it is; nothing more, nothing less, and something that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And neither is the Disney channel. Pfffthhh......

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