Talking to a Young Person about Sex and Pornography

I am writing this with help from my son. He is sitting right next to me. He is eleven. This is a little about what we have done together on the topic of sex and pornography.

We do a lot of things about bodies. We always have. One year at Thanksgiving (my mother, stepfather, brother, and sister are all in RC), my son and his cousins got all of us laughing and doing the “butt dance,” right at the dinner table. We did it for an hour and a half. It was brilliant leadership on their part, and a great session for all.

I had been shy about talking to my son about sex. Finally I did enough discharging that I thought I could get my tone right. He and I ended up having three different conversations. We went slowly together through the best book on sex we could find and laughed, and he asked questions.

He told me that boys in his class for the last year and a half had been joking more and more about sex and penises and sometimes girls’ bodies. He said that he thought it was stupid but had also laughed with them. Mostly the tone hadn’t been harsh when they’d talked about women and girls, yet.

He was starting to use the computer a little more on his own, so I did an Internet search. I typed the word “sex” and was astonished at what came up. His dad and I quickly put parental settings on everything. I have an iPhone, and we had to take the built-in application for YouTube off of it. The way the application was set up, you could only choose a medium-security setting. (I am sure that was intentional.) So we had to take it off all the way. It was not easy.

I decided to talk to my son about the images before he found them. I said that they were meant to trick people into things and make money off of people’s loneliness and that they were particularly aimed at men and boys. He and I often talk about how boys are separated from each other, and from everyone, and are “supposed to” not show they care about anything. When we put pornography in that context, it all made sense. He understands how capitalism functions. We talked about how pornography is all about making profit. Having the bigger picture was helpful to him.

I also told him that sex is good and nice and fun and that he is going to enjoy it and use it as a way to be very connected to another person. I also said that he will enjoy it even more if these images are not in his mind. I told him how much I love him and don’t want anything to get in the way of his being connected to any person, especially a woman.

We talked through different scenarios—like what if he accidentally saw some pornography, or some friends wanted to show him some and he didn’t understand that that was what they were doing. We agreed that we would stay really close, and talk about this a lot.

I haven’t told him any details of the harshness of the images, and I won’t. I have told him that they are scary and that I know of a young person in RC who has been discharging for years about some images she saw by accident.

He may never see them, but that is unlikely. At the moment he is not drawn to them, but that may change. I just want him to be prepared. We talk about everything—why not this?




Last modified: 2023-04-15 09:24:12+00