Learning about sex today is a one-click pony.
For most in my generation, it was a combination of fumbling trial and error, one secret unfolded after another.
There’s little mystery left today.
The ubiquity of porn allows for immediate accessible lessons to those yet to encounter any real contact with naked flesh. Boys and girls as young as ten are watching wild and racy stuff on the Internet.
Yet, in many households and classrooms, it is still the elephant in the room.
My kids and their peers do get a lot of sex education. It’s all about birth control and that’s crucial. So is learning about STDs, harassment and bullying. I am grateful for those lessons and underscore them when the opportunity arises. But where are the lessons about real intimacy? Who is telling our kids that the best sex comes from real connection?
Real connection involves mutual pleasure and often takes time to develop. It is hardly the stuff of backyard hook-ups.
The sexual revolution brought demands for mutual satisfaction, respect, and equal rights in every arena, including the bedroom. I doubt my soul sisters were envisioning the world where porn inhabits today. It is the message I tell my girls as they move towards independent lives. Received with rolled eyeballs, we know already, Mom, my words come amidst a barrage of warped sexual messaging. As adults, we can decode and discard, depending on our own fully-realized proclivities. Teenagers with firing hormones don’t stand a chance.
If you think asking a girl to dance takes guts then ponder, for a moment, the massive pressure to perform lengthy, unrealistic sexual acts. How about the salon visits to wax and bleach as girls attempt to match expectations seen on screen by inflated porn stars? Bombarded with cum shots, today’s teens need new tools in the search for happy relationships.
As a parent of teens, I have come to understand that my kids and their friends all want the same things in their relationships: to be heard, understood, and loved.
Boys and girls are no different on that front. Porn is the great wall that keeps them posturing and prevents them from truly seeing one another in first miraculous light.
The path to unlock the human heart has never been trickier.
A former classmate posted a letter recently, from mother to son, on Facebook. It is graphic but wholly necessary.
The elephant is shuffling. More dialogue will allow it to break out entirely. Does learning more about sex mean your kids will engage earlier? The debate rages on but should shift from when they become sexually active to what they will see and how they will behave when they do.
- Putting Pleasure into Sex Education ( see page 4)
- The Real Problem with Porn and Teens
- Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity
- It’s a Teen’s World: CBC Ideas podcast