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Porn, Sex & ‘The Talk’

With the proliferation of streaming sex online parents no longer have a choice about having uncomfortable but necessary conversations.

by
Susan L.M. Goldberg

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October 6, 2013 - 1:00 pm
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sextalk

There’s a hysterical scene in ABC’s The Middle where the parents ask each other, “Did you have the talk with the kids?” After bantering “I thought you did,” back and forth, they finally conclude, “Eh, that’s what school’s for.”

Not anymore.

As former Loaded editor Martin Daubney recently concluded, “Ultimately, the responsibility lies with us, the  parents. The age of innocence is over.”

For my mother growing up in the 50′s, “the talk” about sex was unheard of. By the time I came of age in the 90′s most of my contemporaries masked ignorance with vague remarks about their older siblings’ Playboy collections or music video observations. “The Talk” was something held in sexually segregated health classes beginning in 6th grade (“We are talking about animals, not people,” I can still hear my health teacher adamantly explain) and stretching through 10th. By the time junior year rolled around the boys and girls sat together for a lecture on STD’s by Mr. Morelli who had no problem telling my fellow underage females that his favorite drink was Sex on the Beach. Senior year brought my friend Chris passing out while watching the live birth video. When my own mother attempted “The Talk” I insisted I knew everything I needed to know.  “Lalalala,” I stuck my fingers in my ears and went running from the room.  Sure, I was near clueless, but no one at the age of 12 wants to think their parents do that.

Today’s young teenagers, however, are better prepared than ever to teach Sex Ed classes, albeit from a rather skewed perspective, that is. A survey of 80 British teens conducted for a BBC documentary called Porn on the Brain “…proves the vast majority of UK teens have seen sexual imagery online, or pornographic films. According to the survey, the boys appear largely happy about watching porn – and were twice as likely as girls to do so – but the girls are significantly more confused, angry and frightened by online sexual imagery. The more they see, the stronger they feel.”

Surveying a group of teenagers, the documentary’s presenter Martin Daubney heard from one 15 year old girl, “‘Boys expect porn sex in real life’.” How are parents already uncomfortable with conversing about the basics of sex with their teenage girls going to breach the topic of “porn sex”? The bottom line is: They don’t have a choice.

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First Comment huh? The whole porn thing raises a couple of interesting issues.
We tend to assume that porn affects people's sexual proclivities, and it might, but I have to wonder at what point its the demand that generates the supply. I don't think I buy the notion that seeing something in porn makes it ok, unless the viewer already liked it on some level.
On the flip side, my experience is that there's an intent to which most people will watch something in porn that they wouldn't actually do in real life. To steal Adam Carolla's analogy: we all like watching disaster movies, but no one actually wants the world to end.
I think all I'm saying is you have to be a little bit careful about assuming that the most outrageous porn really reflects the tastes of its audience.
27 weeks ago
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