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Porn in School – Why this needs to happen

Nuts magazineWe are the instant generation, we are people who can look at whatever we want whenever we want to. From our phone to our tablet and laptops we have so many different ways to access the internet. What do most people use the internet for? There is a short answer, porn. Porn sites get more hits than twitter, Netfilcks and Amazon combine. But no one talks about it.

20 years ago school kids would find dirty mags in the bushes in the park or find them hidden away somewhere in their parents’ bedroom. They would be brought into school and everyone would gather round entranced by what was on display. Oh how quaint those times seem now! With the imminent death of Nuts magazine, it seems that titillation via print is falling out of favour with consumers. Page 3 is holding on by the skin of its teeth under the weight of 4th wave feminist campaigners, the public mood doesn’t want to expect this in our newsagents anymore. Besides you can see more online and you can see it without the embarrassment of having to go into the shops and making polite conversation with a shop keeper. With 66% of 7 – 16 year olds being able to access the internet from their own bedrooms, there is no doubt these young people will be able to get access of porn. Parental controls only work if the parents have more knowledge of computers than their children do, we all know this is a rarity. National newspapers have reported stories of very young people getting hold of pornography and misunderstanding it, with terrible consequences. However sensationalised or rare this is, it is certainly worrying that even in a small number of cases this has happened. By law no person under 18 should watch pornographic material. However the legal age to have sex in this country is 16, I argue show porn in schools to 16 year olds. Tell them what it is. As otherwise they understandably will go elsewhere to find out more, the internet is an obvious place, with thousands of different types to choose from. 18 certificate movies and the music industry prays on people’s curiously, sex sells in this industry and it sells to an underage demographic. It is therefore understandable teens will look to find out more, with starlets and hunks gracing our screens in a uniform ‘this is sexy’ fashion. So therefore to seek out vanilla porn (heterosexual, no niche popular porn) is not a big leap, especially when it is so readily available online. After all it’s fuelling a curiosity that is constantly teased by the mainstream media.

My sex education at school focused on periods, underage pregnancy and STDs. The description of sex was scientificporn hub  and non-emotional. Through the embarrassment and self-consciousness of puberty it almost felt like sex was something we shouldn’t enjoy, the bad things that could happen far outweigh the good things. But there is so much more in sex and relationships than that, sex in porn and ex-rated movies is the only place that wasn’t afraid to tell us about sex. However I wish that wasn’t the sort of sex I’d encountered first, I didn’t fully understand the implications of a broken heart until I’d encountered it, the hell of sharing something as important as sex with someone who could hurt you like that. I wish I hadn’t tried to copy pop stars and actresses in the way they dressed and behaved. I wish I’d known the difference between sexual harassment and harmless flirting. I didn’t realise that when women were being submissive in films that didn’t mean that all women had to be. Porn was never for me, I had never sought to watch it as I didn’t see anything in it that I couldn’t learn from mainstream films. Plus it always felt like it was something for men. I want all schools to show and talk about porn with their students. To explain to them about consent and about fantasy. To give them the tools to know what is acceptable and what is real. From things that might seem obvious like the fact that women do have pubic hair and that men penises aren’t usually that big. Challenge all the myths that surround porn. To give us the tools to understand why the media and porn industries have such a close relationship, why it makes business sense for Hollywood and the pop industry to cash in on the ‘sex sells’ ideology. Give us the tools to fully understand what we are seeing in the public and online spheres.

The difficulty in talking about porn and sex in these real terms is that it makes me seem like a prude. This really isn’t the case, I promise you. I get it, I understand the need for escapism and fantasy. I love romance novels and movies. It’s corny and it’s cheesy but this is my way of getting off it you like. Romance turns me on because, to be quite honest, porn scares me. I’ve never found anything in it I can relate to, talking here of mainstream porn, I cannot admit to looking for any other niche types. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like or desire sex, trust me I do. I wish somewhere along the line of education someone taught me the difference between porn, media and reality where sex is concerned. I looked up to people who would dress provocatively to get there man, who would be submissive sexually, who would always look a certain way. Role models are a huge learning tool for young people, we can never underestimate the strength of them, there is no one way to be sexy or have sex. We need role models to represent that. We are attracted to people with sex appeal. We cannot argue this. It’s appealing it’s exciting. Porn doesn’t just effect the people who watch it but it effects their partners to. It doesn’t need to be a secretive or taboo because statistics tell us that everyone is doing it. Watching and being interested in porn is normal, fantasy is normal and having your own individual ideas of what is sexy is normal. A teenager said to me this week that when she had seen porn she didn’t like it because she felt like it looked like the women was being raped. These are questions we must answer, we must talk about. We need to set our own moral standards.

classroomI don’t want vanilla porn, or Hollywood’s reflection of it to dictate what sex is to the younger generation. The fantasy world Porn is there online for anyone and everyone to access. In the same way people look at films for escapism this is reason people look at porn. Whether the government puts a blanket restriction on access to these sites or not, teenagers will always find a way to access them. I am sure that they will know how to ‘opt in’ before their parents do.  There is an argument that porn needs to be a free place for people to play out their taboo fantasy’s, that between consenting adults almost anything goes, this is a reflection of the sexual revolution we are encountering. Porn is changing, with ‘free trade fucking’ and ethical porn sites springing up all over the internet, women making porn for women breaking the stereotype of porn being made of a male audience. It is something that is evolving constantly and being this huge online entity with a spectrum of morals and ideals, it isn’t something that can realistically be policed. So when those who are most vulnerable stubble upon these sites they need know what they are looking at. Education. It’s as simple as that. Show it in schools, talk about it in schools and ask parents to do the same at home.

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