I disagree that pornography (and its repercussions) is the new drug.
These issues have been escalating for decades, only now smart phones and easy access to the internet have exponentially increased the availability of sexually explicit material. It’s relevant to the point that WE HAVE ASSEMBLIES AT SCHOOL TO TALK ABOUT PORNOGRAPHY.
Let that sink in.
[ Please read this article – if you’re a parent, if you’re a teenager, if you’re in a relationship affected by pornography. ]
This is complicated. It’s rampant. And it’s gravely affecting the opportunities for intimacy in relationships in the future. Having sex, or participating in sexual activities BEFORE kissing?? There is no natural progression of a relationship… remember when you’d get all giddy because you held hands for the first time? Got your first kiss? Oooh, or french kissed?
Our children are learning (through an illusion) that girls are supposed to look hot and sexy, while boys get their jollies. They’re all learning that females are objects to satisfy male’s lust. And just about everything they are seeing reinforces this… they think it’s NORMAL.
And unfortunately, that culture spreads into other areas of life.
Consider a future where dating is obsolete. Hooking up is the standard.
Consider how this affects the possibility of creating healthy relationships. How does marriage look when men feel they are entitled to an All You Can Eat buffet with constantly changing dishes? What about the wife who painfully learns that nobody wants to eat the same meal at home every night?
Sexuality is a BEAUTIFUL gift.
As a mother, I want my children to anticipate this wonderful, complex, dynamic experience. I hope they learn self-confidence and empowerment, as well as how to appreciate another human being for more than the physical attributes that are being glorified in porn culture.
My heart hurts at the thought of my daughters being treated as objects, at the thought of my son missing out on LOVE and connection.
It’s our job as parents to teach them. I’m choosing the approach of warning my children about the dangers associated with pornography. It’s tricky, though. Because how we approach the subject affects how they will absorb the information. It has to be a frank discussion, without dogma. Lust and addiction don’t respond well to moral lectures.
The images create nearly impossible standards for our girls to live up to (believe me, I’ve felt my own inadequacy acutely)… competition, comparison… it’s damaging to their self-esteem, to their entire self-concept. I want them to know they are valued for their intelligence, creativity, spunk, quirks, hopes, dreams. They have so much more to offer than BODY PARTS.
Our boys need to know that while the images are scintillating, they are ILLUSORY. The choreography is misleading. Tell them: Women do not exist to satisfy your lust, to give you pleasure.
They need to know that this fantasy realm they are viewing is missing some of the greatest experiences that life has to offer: connection, vulnerability, intimacy, reciprocity.
They need to know that the sensations coursing through their body are addictive, that it may seem harmless and everyone is doing it, but it can quickly become a habit that can turn into an addiction that has dire future consequences… that it can cost them the opportunity to have a healthy, intimate relationship in the future.
They need to know there are powerful, emotional, blissful, ecstatic experiences available to them. That sex can be so much more than hollow visuals.
If we don’t tell them, how will they know?