Finding PORN At The Age Of 12

Anonymous, Freshman

May 12, 2022

Slapping and choking are more common for my peer’s sex lives because of porn!

Dear mom,
During this semester I took a Sexual Citizenship class and was finally formally educated about sex and relationships. In class I went through a lot of emotions and found myself feeling that you and I had seriously lacked communication about these important topics when the time came for me to become sexually active.

At 8 a.m., we were quickly awakened by the professor facilitating conversations about porn, intimacy, pleasure, and characteristics of different relationships. Discussing porn with people I barely knew made me uncomfortable and brought me back to when I was 12. One morning you just happened to go into my room while I was getting ready to go to school. I was sitting at my computer and had typed “peanus” into the YouTube search bar. All I remember from that small interaction before school was you telling me, “Jillian Margaret, this is so inappropriate. You should not be looking at this type of stuff on the internet.”

While I felt guilty for looking up something inappropriate, I never really understood why it was inappropriate. I was curious about a word I heard. Fast forward a few more years and I discovered PornHub trying to educate myself on how to “please” my partner. In the back of my mind I knew that what I was doing, watching porn, was wrong, because you told me years before it was “inappropriate”. But I was just trying to figure out how in the world I was going to perform in the bedroom for my boyfriend at the time. As I started watching those videos, I began to develop this fear of not being good enough in bed or being considered what kids my age call “vanilla”. This feeling of not being good enough or underperforming in the bedroom has followed me all the way to college.

I felt this way because every video I watched had some ridiculous expectation of what a woman is “supposed” to do for their partner every time and how they were supposed to look. I quickly
learned that those videos were not an accurate representation of what actually happens in the
bedroom. However, I have developed habits in the bedroom that you and your generation would probably consider abnormal. For example, slapping and choking are more common for my peer’s sex lives because of the influence of the porn that’s on the internet today. I just thought that was normal and happens in everyone’s sex lives. I had no idea that the “Porn Script”, what porn shows us over and over again is violent and unhealthy, this is the sexual behavior is how we learned about sex. The message is please the guy and prioritizing their sexual needs while simultaneously degrading the female, like slapping, choking, and degrading name calling.

While I saw nothing wrong with this at the time that I had started watching porn, it never
occurred to me that that type of narrative was blocking my ability to facilitate healthy sex
communication in my own personal intimate relationships. After learning about the effects of
porn and how watching today’s porn effects our brains it made me wish we had sat down and had a real conversation about it. Even though my personal experience of watching porn has been my primary sex education over the years, it’s crazy to think about how many other teenagers or even children are doing the same due to the lack of sex education everywhere especially from their parents.

I know you meant well and were trying to protect me from watching inappropriate things on the internet, part of me wishes you had done just a little more as a parent to help educate me so that I could’ve avoided unhealthy sexual encounters over the past few years. I am glad I know now that the porn conversation is not only going to be a hard one to have with my children but is also going to be a very important one. By communicating with me that porn is unrealistic and wrongly depicts how to treat your partner I could have avoided anxiety when it came to sex, unwanted sexual behavior and years of feeling ashamed of my body image.

Love You,
Jillian