Talking to the Kids About Porn

10.6.13


Growing up in the 70’s meant that more than a few parents left Playboy out in their living rooms. Reading material I suppose. My parents didn’t. We didn’t really talk about porn much but at a certain point there was a step-family connection and our refusal to talk about it actually became the talk. That’s an elephant from a very old and very wealthy ex-living room.

Porn became a little more mainstream when it transitioned from movie houses to VHS and then completely exploded (bad choice of words but I’m too lazy to go to thesaurus.com) with the internet. With free porn online it’s not a matter of if the kids will see porn, it’s a matter of when.

Last night Mr. G and I had the porn talk with each other and this week it’ll be a divide and conquer with the kids. I get Jane, he gets Alexander. We’re probably really late to have this first talk (all talks worth having need to be repeated for a dozen or more years) but at some point I’ll have to steel my nerves and talk to Jane about porn.

I need to ask Jane if she’s seen porn. Then I need to deal with her reaction to it. I can practice the scenarios in my mind a million times but this is going to be one of those talks where I just wing it. Mr. G and I have decided that there are important points that Jane needs to hear (I was shocked and thrilled that so many of these came from him):

  • Porn is as relevant to real sex as Marvel Comics are to real life
  • You’ll probably find yourself with at least one boy who only knows about sex from porn. If things seem weird and strange they are. Trust your instincts
  • It’s okay to not shave. This goes for armpits, legs and pubic regions
  • Sex isn’t typically an aggressively athletic endeavor
  • Use condoms
  • Seeing porn doesn’t make you bad

I’m sure there’s more to talk about, I have no idea what it will be because every time I try to plan one of these talks I find that my kids surprise me with both their knowledge and lack of it.

We’ve talked to them about sex, drugs, driving, trusting their instincts, protecting each other and being a trustworthy friend. We’ve talked to them about how to get out of uncomfortable situations and the myriad of things that could go very wrong for which they will never be punished so long as they never get in a car with someone who worries them (parents of friends included). We’ve empowered these kids every way we know how but we forgot about porn because when we were teens porn wasn’t in our faces. We didn’t have a free porn culture.

So this week we’ll be talking about porn. Poor Jane, I’m going to trap her in the car and have a good long talk.

 

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9 responses to “Talking to the Kids About Porn”

  1. mamadweeb says:

    I don’t know who it will be more awkward for….but you are an excellent mom for doing this!

  2. Tiffany @ The Bizy Mommy says:

    Just jump in! You already have a great open relationship with your kids from talking about everything else before now. Yes, it will be awkward, but it’s so important, as you know! Too many teens and young adults (hell, some older adults) have the crazy idea in their head that real life sex is supposed to be like porn sex.

  3. Oh man, I wish I’d had a talk like this with my mom when I was J’s age. Also a salient point- some guys (especially between now and the end of college) will probably do/say something because they’ve seen it in porn and think that it’s totally cool to do in real life. Just because they say everyone’s doing it/it’s in porn so it’s fine doesn’t make it fine and you have a right to say HELL NO to them!

    • Yep, that’s pretty much why we want to have this talk. We want to make sure it’s not a problem with either kid.
      Mr. G doesn’t really want to talk to her about it. I don’t want to start the conversation with Alexander but I’ll get to him too. How did we forget that we needed to talk about this????

  4. delwilliams says:

    I don’t blame about the filters. An open and honest relationship is the key, plus, anytime there is a filter, one of two things happen, it makes it a mission to see the blocked material, and two, it gives parents a false sense of security.
    As for the talk, great parenting. I am astounded how many parents leave it to schools to do, or don’t bother at all due to their own feelings of embarrassment. Jane is a beautiful girl, so there is a huge need, and don’t forget to tell her many of those women in porn are trafficked, drugged, runaways, etc., who can’t get out.

  5. Shefa Weinstein says:

    My friend and I just had this same conversation yesterday about talking to our kids. Her son’s friend (btw they are 9!!!) told him to Google XXX and that it would be funny. She saw the search… Open conversations about all aspects of life are so important. Wildly uncomfortable sometimes, but important. :)

  6. Rachee says:

    Oh lord! I’ve been talking with my 13 yo about sex and porn and cartoon porn. I still think I need to talk more about it!

  7. Ryan_SimpleMoolah says:

    Wow…I never thought about it really until you mentioned
    it. I guess you do have to have a
    porn talk nowadays because it LITERALLY is everywhere. I mean, with technology now, you can
    even watch it on your smartphone! Man, what happened to the days when life was
    much simpler when all you could do with a cell phone was make a call, and if
    you wanted to see porn, you had to rent it from the video store that wouldn’t
    rent it to you unless you had ID to prove that you were of age.

    I remember hanging out at a friend’s house in grade school
    and eating dinner with him and his parents and they were watching Porky’s. So many things were running through my
    head! I was like “whoa! This is so cool…but I feel awkward watching this with
    adults around. But who cares, his
    parents are the coolest ever and I am NEVER telling my parents about this”

    Clearly his parents were very liberal.

    But I really like your point to “never get in a car with
    someone who worries them (parents of friends included). “ That is a very very important lesson to
    teach them and it will give them the confidence to make the right decision
    knowing that they will not get punished.
    Awesome!

    I’d be interested to hear how your talk went. I could use all the pointers! I’ll need them in a couple of years.

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