May 12, 2022
Grooming Starts Earlier Than You Think!
Dear younger self,
I wish we could have had an honest relationship with sex and sexual education. I’m taking we are learning about sexual health and sexuality and the importance of both of those. A couple of days ago, we talked about human trafficking. I know you think this doesn’t really pertain to you but please read everything I'm saying carefully. Did you know that today you don’t need to be physically taken or abducted to be considered trafficked? Did you know the grooming age starts at 8 now? That’s when older men started reaching out to you. Remember when you got in that huge fight with mom and Janna because she was worried too many random people were following you on Instagram? Remember how embarrassed you felt. Even though that was an uncomfortable moment I’m glad she told mom. It didn’t hit me until halfway through the lecture, but I remember when I was younger, and a man found my Kik account. He began a “friendship” with me, and talked about things my friends and I talked about. Then I remember he sent a picture of his penis. He was definitely older than 9. I felt sick, I wanted to throw up. I deleted the app afraid mom would find it. I thought it was my fault. I now know he was trying to groom me and probably other young girls.
Remember when you told that 22 year old you were 14? You were actually 12 and thought 14 was so much older. I wish you knew all I am learning about in class, how that can be so dangerous and how that age difference creates an unhealthy power dynamic that disempowers you. You don’t need to grow up fast.
At 19 I’m learning things I wish I knew when I was younger. For example, I remember when I was 16 and had this “profound” idea that every guy wanted to have sex with a porn star and that would be the best sex of their life. I don’t really know why I thought that, but it influenced my behavior a lot. I viewed sex as a performance.
I felt so much pressured to look sexy, know what I’m doing while still being a virgin, be the most experienced inexperienced girl. That’s so upsetting to think about now. Sex isn’t what porn tells you. Sex is fun. Awkward. At times really funny. Sex and porn are not the same things. Porn is not real sex. In porn there is no consent or body positivity. Please do not idealize porn. Trust me it will benefit you in the long run. Don’t feel rushed to have sex. What sex means and looks like can be completely up to you and while porn never shows consent you should never feel bad about wanting to stop sexual activity at any time. No matter what the guy says, how he acts or the faces he makes. Don’t feel pressured to do something you are uncomfortable with just to make him happy because, it’s your body, you choose what you need. Because I didn’t, you will go a long time being fearful and hateful towards sex. That’s no way to live. I needed to know these things back when I was 12.
Your future self