Internet Porn Is The Best Sex Ed A Teen Could Have

Woe betide the sexual being who has a kinky fetish but doesn’t have internet access. You could waste years of your life—decades, even!—fretting that you’re the only sick f*** who likes her wrists handcuffed to the bedposts during sex. But with a few clicks of the mouse, anyone can get the lowdown via internet porn: Other chicks like to be restrained during sex, too! Lots and lots of chicks, actually. You’re pretty normal, girlie. In fact, you’re almost boring. All this is thanks to the 21st-century technology revolution, which isn’t only great for curious adults, but curious teens, as well. Make that really curious teens. “How Internet Porn Is Changing Teen Sex”argues that, these days, “porn-fed teens” possess “an encyclopedic knowledge of smut.”

Well, that’s one way to look at it. I say that it’s thanks to the internet that teens who think they might be gay can look at porn and get to the bottom of whether they’re a top or a bottom. Thanks to the internet, teens can look at porn and learn anal sex is normal and healthy and something people do all the time. Thanks to the internet, young people who get turned on by tats and piercings can get off to the Suicide Girls, content in knowing there’s nothing strange about not liking blond hair extensions and double-D boobies.

If I’d had the Internet when I was in high school, I might not have wasted my teen years feeling guilty and confused about my spanking fetish. As a teen, I used to pour over the one measly paragraph about erotic spanking in my copy of The Guide To Getting It On that I squired away from my suburban Barnes & Noble. Had I discovered spanking erotica online? Girl, you know I would have had a lot more fun in high school and college.

The subject of teen sex is a sure bet when it comes to moral panics. But let’s not forget: Teens are supposed to be learning about sex. Teens look at porn and get ideas of positions or acts to try, and that’s a good thing. Some of what’s in porn—threesomes, for example—might be unsavory to some of us, but it could be the greatest day of some young adult’s life to experiment with a sex act that they really love. Remember, there used to be a time when even talking about the most vanilla sex acts or referring to them on TV was verboten! I think we should be more, not less, open about all the ways sexuality can be expressed, and more, not less, accepting of young adult’s sexuality. We have to stop treating sex like it’s something you get the keys to when you turn 18.

The problem with internet porn isn’t the buffet platter of sexual activities it exposes to teens. The problem is when some teens don’t possess the emotional maturity or self-respect to say “no” to something they’re not ready to do yet. But that’s a problem for parents and educators to solve with more education, not with censorship. Teens should be empowered to say “no,” but for the teens who want to say “yes,” Internet porn is a sex aid for experimentation.

And it’s not just preferences that teens can work out online. According to the article, ninety percent of 8-to-16-year-olds have viewed porn online. I’m not saying that pornography is or should take the place of comprehensive sex ed, but maybe it is de facto taking the place of abstinence-only sex ed. If kids aren’t being taught about sex in school or at home, their curiosity will lead them online. The answer isn’t to censor this or to act like it isn’t happening, but to integrate it.

What do you think about teenagers and porn? Is it doing more harm than good, or is porn a good way for young adults to learn about sex? If you have young kids of your own, do you block pornographic sites on your home computer?

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