Porn is something young kids are exposed to at such an early age.

Anonymous, Freshman

Dec 15, 2021

I had so many unanswered questions, zero healthy information and no one with whom I could talk about it.

Dear Dad,
In my communications class we had a unit on Sexual Citizenship. My assignment is to write to one of my parents and share what I wish I had known. It is really important for me to share what I'm about to say with you. You will probably be surprised; this is going to be the most honest conversation I’ve ever had with you. I want you to know, I know you have tried your best to be as involved in my life as you can. You and mom did a great job raising me. There is just one conversation I wish we had.

In class I learned about what safe and healthy sex looks like. Unfortunately, it’s not what teens experience today. Porn these days is something that can be addictive and honestly scares me. The first time I was shown
porn was probably in middle school when my best friend Laura showed me it on an iPod that she hid from her mom. My initial reaction was very interested and confused. I thought to myself, “Is this wrong?” or “Is this normal?” So, for a long time I wondered about what I saw in porn and that was what I perceived sex to be. I was always so scared to even search anything related to sex or porn on my iPod/phone because I knew mom would have seen my search history. Dad, I had so many unanswered questions, zero healthy information and no one with whom I could talk about it.

The Sexual Citizenship unit in class made me realize how most porn is
definitely not a realistic or healthy depiction of sex. Especially because kids are exposed to porn at such young age, it puts ideas in their minds that are very unhealthy. Not just about violent expectations but what our bodies are supposed to look like. Porn these days is very violent and for many people addictive. It can be as addictive as alcohol or drugs. I wish I had known this earlier.

This is the hard part to share with you, the first time I ever “did something” with a guy was with the help of a porn video. I used it to “help me” do the “right” things. I hate that porn has such a strong focus on degrading/ hurting women. Almost every sexual encounter I’ve had with a guy, they have done most of what I've seen on porn… and by that I mean in a harsh abusive way. It’s very scary because this is so normalized for my age, and any guy who doesn't perform harsh or aggressive behavior to a woman, would be considered “too vanilla” or “innocent”.

This may be eye opening for you and is definitely a conversation we have never had. That’s why I am sharing this with you. As a young girl I wish I was warned about these things. Porn is something young kids are exposed to at such an early age.

I will definitely have talks with my kids in the future about porn and how their sex lives do not have to be harsh and violent just because that is what is portrayed on porn sites. I wish you guys introduced this topic to me so that I didn't have to learn everything on my own, the hard way. I know its awkward, trust me. But I would have benefited from understanding what healthy sex and relationships look like.