I remember when I was about twelve or thirteen, I got my hands on a porno. I don't remember the "plot", the stars, or even how I acquired it in the first place. But I do remember waiting for my mother to leave the house so I could watch it. I don't need to tell you the rest of the details, but I will say that it was a unique experience. I mean wow!!! I'd seen Playboy, Penthouse, and even swiped a Hustler from my best friends older brother, but this was real. Or at least as real as I had ever seen. Eventually, my mother found it in my room and took it away. Boy, did I get in trouble that day!!! But, as much trouble as I was in, I could help but be angry that she took it. Pornography was almost impossible to get your hands on back then, and a boy hitting puberty is a slave to his hormones.
I mention this because it occurs to me that since the invention of the Internet, what was once difficult for a kid to come by, is now impossible for him to avoid. More than that, the type of pornography available exposes him (or her) to a dark side of sexuality that isn't usually explored until a man or woman reaches maturity. There are aspects of our sexual natures that take time to develop. Our tastes and desires, over time, change and become more sophisticated. We figure out what we like, and what we don't. What makes us excited, and what makes us uncomfortable. And in the past, this part of ourselves was given proper time and maturity, so that we could emotionally cope and navigate a complex, and sometimes confusing, aspect of our humanity.
Today, kids are not given the time to grow before they are exposed to these things. Boys are expected to enjoy acts and behavior that they can't possibly understand. Girls are expected to perform like porn stars their first time. This is a dangerous trend. Can you imagine what will happen to an entire generations sexual health, when they reach sexual maturity before they reach emotional maturity?
I look at my nine year old son, and wonder what I can do? I monitor what he watches, but the fact is he will see these things sooner or later (and as things are today, likely sooner). What conversation can I have with him that can prepare him for this? I don't think the birds and the bees will cover it. I suppose I'll have to be direct and honest with him in a way I can't even fathom.