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How to talk pornography with your teen...

Hard as it is (excuse the pun) to talk so frankly with our teenagers’, talking porn is a really good way to help educate the young people in our lives about many facets of sexual activity….

Use pornography conversations as an opportunity to introduce the importance of consent. Explain the fact that very few of us are porn stars, and point out that most people do not have bodies like the actors performing online. Men generally find it hard to penetrate hard and fast for long periods of time like you would think by watching such scenes. Point out foreplay is the secret to great sex, not jumping someone at the entrance to the door all the time. And many other sexual messages that can come from digesting the scenes we commonly encounter when watching pornography.

As suggested, explaining pornography to teenagers can be a delicate and sensitive conversation for parents. Here are some guidelines to help you approach this topic:

  1. Choose an appropriate time and setting: Find a comfortable and private setting where both you and your teenager can have an uninterrupted conversation. Ensure there's enough time to address their questions and concerns.

  2. Start with open-ended questions: Begin by asking your teenager what they already know or have heard about pornography. This allows you to gauge their understanding and provides a starting point for the conversation.

  3. Provide accurate information: Offer age-appropriate and factual information about pornography. Explain that it involves explicit sexual content created for the purpose of adult entertainment. Emphasize that pornography does not reflect real-life relationships, emotions, or expectations.

  4. Discuss consent, respect, and boundaries: Explain the importance of consent, mutual respect, and healthy boundaries in sexual relationships. Help them understand that the scenarios depicted in pornography often do not reflect these principles and can promote unrealistic and harmful expectations.

  5. Address potential consequences: Talk about the potential negative effects of pornography, such as distorted views of sexuality, unrealistic body expectations, and the objectification of individuals. Discuss the potential impact on self-esteem, relationships, and intimacy.

  6. Digital citizenship and online safety: Highlight the importance of responsible internet use and maintaining privacy online. Discuss the potential risks associated with accessing pornography, such as exposure to explicit or harmful material, the risk of addiction, and the legal implications of sharing or distributing explicit content.

  7. Encourage critical thinking: Teach your teenager to critically analyze media messages, including pornography. Help them develop skills to question the influence of pornography on their own perceptions and choices. Encourage them to seek healthy and diverse sources of information about relationships and sexuality.

  8. Discuss healthy relationships and communication: Emphasize the importance of open communication, consent, and building healthy relationships based on trust, respect, and emotional connection. Encourage your teenager to have conversations with their future partners about their boundaries, desires, and expectations.

  9. Be available and non-judgmental: Let your teenager know they can always come to you with questions or concerns about pornography. Maintain an open and non-judgmental attitude to create a safe space for discussions.

  10. Monitor and guide internet usage: Set clear guidelines for internet usage and establish parental controls if necessary. Regularly discuss online safety and remind your teenager about responsible digital behaviour.

Remember, the goal is to provide accurate information, promote critical thinking, and foster healthy attitudes towards relationships and sexuality. By maintaining open lines of communication and offering guidance, you can help your teenager navigate the complexities of pornography in a responsible and informed way.

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