I too had my share of porn experiences when I was young, though I never had a porn ring like Kasini. My father didn’t own any porn, he felt he didn’t need it because he had a healthy view of sex and sexuality. Surprisingly, his voicing of that opinion probably did more to damage my view of sex than early exposure to pornography could have.
A healthy view of sex and sexuality precludes an interest in porn.
Like any other pubescent male, I was very interested in images of naked women and sex. All of my friends had access to pornographic magazines or movies. Every father on the street had a treasure trove buried at the back of their closet. But not mine.
I was probably ten or twelve the first time I saw a pornographic magazine, when a friend brought out his father’s stash. I had regular access to porn in that manner, where we would sit around and point and giggle and ooh and aah. But I wanted more, I wanted to take those magazines and movies and run off by myself, and I didn’t know why. They moved me in disturbing and compelling ways. I managed to find enough to get by, but barely.
When a friend got caught stealing his father’s stash to bring to the neighborhood clubhouse, all the mothers were notified. Mine sat me down to talk about it, probably thinking she was going to be enlightened and open. All she did was confuse me. I was told it was ok to look if I was curious, but in the same breath she told me only perverts and men who didn’t respect women would ever keep that kind of stuff in their house. She offered to buy a Playboy for me, so that I would not try to steal one, but only a Playboy because anything else was filthy perversion.
I was 19 before I had my own stash, a stack of mixed magazines I found in a parking lot. Again, my mother sat me down to talk about it after she found them, once again thinking she was being enlightened and open. “It’s ok to have those,” she told me, “but you do realize, don’t you, that women don’t really do those things?” What, don’t enjoy sex? Don’t suck cock? Don’t kiss other women or play with dildos or masturbate? So much for a healthy and open view of sex.
Well, all I knew was I was hooked. Not addicted, just fascinated. I loved looking at pictures of beautiful naked women, I loved reading stories about sex, I loved everything about those magazines. And I was torn. On the one hand, I had been taught to embrace my sexuality, that whatever I was feeling was natural, but on the other there were unspoken-and sometimes explicitly spoken-limits to what I should feel. It was natural only if it conformed to their expectations.
I went though my teenage years wondering if I was some sort of sexual deviant. I thought about sex a lot. A LOT. I know now that was normal. But I had no basis for normal. I was the odd kid out, the only one with permissive parents who didn’t make me feel bad for masturbating, and yet I was the only one whose father didn’t own any porn. When the other kids got the urge, they could just sneak into their father’s room for a peak. Not me.
And now I have internet. As much free pornography as I could ever want, right at my fingertips. I still look at pictures of beautiful naked girls. Hell, I have a second tab open right now, with, you guessed it, pornography. I don’t think pornography is dangerous or repressive of women. I think it can be, but no more than any other institution. I think banning pornography is more dangerous than allowing it. I do not think it is intrinsically repressive to women. Woman can give consent, and claiming that all women who participate, even those who do so willingly, are being coerced or degraded, is doing a disservice to women. By making that claim you are putting women into the same category as children or animals or property, as something that is incapable of making an informed decision, something that has to be protected and coddled and taken care of. And I absolutely hate that attitude. I do not deny that there are women being exploited for pornography. But there are women being exploited in every industry somewhere in the world. I still wear shoes, even though women receive less than 20 cents a day to make them in China. I don’t wear shoes made in China, nor do I enjoy porn made by exploiting women.
Worldwide pornography generates between fifty to a hundred billion dollars annually, and Americans spend more at the strip clubs than they do at Broadway, off Broadway, regional and non-profit theaters, the opera, the ballet and jazz COMBINED. This is not a sign of sickness, this is a sign that humans are incredibly sexual creatures, and we need an outlet for that sexual energy. Studies have shown that societies with easy access to porn have a greatly reduced incidence of rape and sexual dysfunction. Pornography is a reflection of sexual desire, not a creator, and usually serves to liberate and satisfy. And not just for men, porn can help women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders explore their sexuality and even empower them by helping them realize that they are not alone, that their urges are normal and shared by others.
Now, there is porn and there is porn. I do not like fake porn. Professional porn. Women with elaborate hair and makeup and obviously fake breasts being pounded by men with sculpted muscles, tribal tattoos, and ten inch cocks, that does nothing for me. That face they make when pretending to come, I hate that face. “Oh, yeah, give it to me, oh yeah’. Shudder. I don’t like to feel that they are acting. I like amateur porn. I like regular girls, girls next door, MILFs that you could meet at the corner drug store. Real women who are genuinely enjoying themselves. Curvy girls, girls with love handles and real tits instead of scrawny skanks with plastic faces and silicone boobs.
Even when I was a teenager I knew the difference between fantasy and reality when it came to porn. I knew what was staged, what was done for the sake of more magazine sales. Penthouse Forum, yeah, I didn’t believe any of those stories then either(of course, now I get to live them, but that is another post). I could tell by a model’s expression that she was not really into having her pussy licked by another women or didn’t really like having a cock up her ass. But on some of those spreads, I could tell she did enjoy it, and that opened up a whole new world to me. Women could enjoy sex, and sex could be more than just missionary between a husband and wife. Women enjoy sex. Isn’t that one of the tenants of the feminist movement? Women enjoy sex to, it’s not just for the man. And porn taught me that.
Despite my parents best efforts, I learned a lot from porn. I had no idea you could lick a pussy until I saw it in a magazine. Kids talked about it, but there was no mental image to with the words. I didn’t know what they were talking about. I didn’t know the mechanics of sex, other than insert Tab A into Slot B, repeat. And I didn’t get to experiment till Bayani and started having sex at age 19. My parents were ex hippies, with a healthy fear of AIDS. “It’s not like it used to be, it’s not safe any more”. Save yourself for marriage, that was the message.
I want my children to have a healthy view of sex, I want them to grow up as well balanced and open minded as they can be. But what kind of double standard would I be giving, if I hid my porn from them? Do I let them see what is on my computer at this age? No. But when should they be able to discover it? Should I let them find it on their own, when they are ready? Should I carefully select examples of healthy sex for them to find? Should I just let it happen and be there to talk to them when they have questions? Will people react differently about exposing my teenagers to porn if they know I have daughters instead of sons?
Raising children with a healthy knowledge of sex and sexuality has been on my mind lately. How much of our lifestyle should I let them see? Will Fanny be nothing more than a good friend, or will they be allowed to see consenting adults showing affection for one another?
Our society has certain expectations about sex and how we talk about it, certain rules. Should I teach my children those rules? Or should I teach them how to hide, how to blend in, how to pretend for the sake of appearance? What will that do to them, knowing that their family is different?
I am torn. I do not have all the answers. No parent does. These are all things we have to grapple with, and I like to believe that the fact that I think about it will give my children an advantage over those who just let their kids grow up on autopilot, expecting that whatever society teaches them is good enough.
So I do the best I can, and hope I don’t mess them up to badly.