Script #2: The Harms of Porn
This script begins a conversation about porn by explaining that it is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Porn is created to make money in a way that is destructive for well-being and spreads damaging misinformation about pleasure and sex. Through this conversation, you share how, over time, porn programs the viewer’s brain, which can lead to unfulfilling sexual relationships. Your teen needs to understand why porn is destructive, and that porn should never be used to learn how to have pleasurable sex.
Module 6: Porn and Sexual Conditioning
I want to talk with you about an industry that makes a massive amount of money on the internet and has a very destructive effect on young people and adults.
It’s the porn industry
Please! We do not have to talk about porn.
I know this can seem weird and embarrassing. But I do need to share some information with you because I don’t want you to be manipulated by a multi-billion-dollar industry. And this manipulation is done in a way that can be destructive for your health, as well as giving you some really terrible information about sex.
Okay. So I won’t watch porn. Whatever.
That’s a really positive idea. But, in fact, the porn industry is so intrusive into people’s lives that the chances are you will see it even if you don’t want to. As I am sure you know, porn pops up even when you don’t want to view it.
So. It’s not going to kill me if I see it by accident.
No, it’s not going to kill you. But it is essential to know that the pop-ups are a marketing tool, designed to appeal to your natural curiosity about sex. All marketing is about getting our attention and stimulating our desire. And the porn industry is very good at doing both. That’s how they make their money.
Okay – so is that it?
No. There are a few other things about porn that I need you to know. Some are about the values that we have as a family. And others are about the way that porn interacts with the brain and how that impacts being able to have a healthy, enjoyable sexual relationship.
We really don’t need to have this conversation now. I’m not interested in this stuff.
That’s great, but I still want you to have accurate information about porn.
Okay – what do you need to say?
Thank you. The first thing is that being curious about sex is a beautiful and healthy part of growing up. Curiosity is great. And sex is great. But how you first understand sex is important because it actually creates the first pathways in your brain to understand this stuff. So if the first way you learn about sex is through porn, then that becomes the way you think about sex, and about what is pleasurable and expected. Porn gives you a very twisted and destructive version of what sex is like.
How is it destructive?
First of all, almost all porn is created for an audience of men. It is designed to give them something to masturbate to, so they quickly reach an orgasm.
So, what’s wrong with that?
Good question. There’s nothing wrong with masturbation. It’s an effective way of releasing sexual tension. But how you program your brain to have an orgasm does matter. When you repeatedly masturbate to particular types of visual images, then that is the only way your brain knows how to have an orgasm. And what are those images? In porn, most often, women are portrayed as objects for men’s pleasure. They reinforce again and again that women are merely props, used to achieve orgasm. Often this can involve violent or extremely aggressive behavior, where women are being raped or tricked into sex. Porn also portrays women as enjoying violence. These images are used to make men feel powerful and in control. But they are hardly a road map for understanding what good, consensual, and mutually enjoyable sex would be like.
Maybe some people do like aggresive sex.
People have different ways of enjoying sexual pleasure. This is not about judging that. But nobody wants to be reduced to nothing more than an object for someone else’s sexual use. Also, women do not have orgasms the way it’s portrayed in porn. But when you learn about sex from porn, that’s how you think men and women act when they have sex, and then sex can be very disappointing.
So, how are people supposed to learn about sex?
That’s an excellent question. There is no “one way” to have sex. Each person is different, and therefore it is most important to know what is pleasurable and comfortable for yourself and also for your partner. When you are relaxed and you care for another person, you can take your time and find out what pleases the other person. You can experiment with what is pleasurable for you both. It’s a whole new way to get to know someone and get pleasure from seeing their joy, while at the same time letting them know what pleases you. Then sex is personal and custom made for your relationship. Then sex can be great!
Okay. I got it. Are we done?
Almost. Heaps of people are discovering that watching porn is leading to brain changes.
True story. Countless men and women (young and old) are having trouble getting aroused to a real person because they are so used to being turned on by what they see on the screen.
Yep! The very thing people want—good sex—is getting further and further from reach the more porn someone watches. Deep neurological brain changes can occur, leading to porn-induced erectile dysfunction and low sexual desire.
It’s kind of like water running down a hill. The heavier it rains, the deeper the trench that’s carved out by the water. So with porn, the more someone watches, the deeper the brain changes. Most people don’t realize they are hooked until they notice it impacting their sexual relationships. Quitting porn is the only way to regain sexual function and reverse the brain changes. The porn industry has a perfect business model—get someone hooked on porn and they have a customer for life.
Wow! Who would have thought? Is that it?
Just one more thing. In our family, we do not want to support anything that can be harmful to another person. We don’t want our enjoyment to depend on someone else’s pain or manipulation. Our family does not support that. That’s important for you to know.
Okay, I got it.
Thanks for listening. I care about you.