My first experience of porn was a tattered shred of an old Fiesta, or Knave magazine found in the fields behind my primary school. I assume it had been stashed there by the older kids as a full magazine and never retrieved for one reason or another. The faded colour picture of a hairy muffed naked woman was the most erotic thing I’d seen up until that point. My second experience of porn was finding my father’s porn collection in our loft when I went up there to build our immense model railway. Far higher quality, Penthouse and Mayfair don’t you know. Oh, and a copy of Razzle in the bottom of the box, LOL.
Leafing through those mags taught me more about the female anatomy than any school sex-ed lesson. It also introduced me to the tingling sensation that would eventually lead to regular erections and then to masturbation. Because of the era in which those magazines were photographed a few stylistic points stuck which I’ve realised formed a significant part of what I find sexually arousing when I see a woman in a sexual context.
The early/mid eighties date of the publications means I have a thing for curly hair, late summer afternoon sunlight, the occasional leg warmer and ankle/waist jewellery. Yes, high heels, stockings and suspenders too but all men love them, don’t they? Yes there are certain little details that are guaranteed to get me going and they are, on the whole, a direct consequence of the images that accompanied my first excited fumblings. Bring that forward to today, apply it to a kid of the same age taking their first steps into sexual arousal and I get a bit worried.
No longer is it necessary to dig around in the back of wardrobes for visual stimulation or buy a tattered copy of a magazine, complete with dubious stains, from an older schoolmate. The Internet provides anything and everything. Of course much of it is quite unrealistic. That’s fine if you have the life experience to know that most girls don’t do anal on a first date with two guys they’ve only just met and don’t have huge boobs and no body fat. But if you’ve never seen a girl naked, let alone explored her body, you could be forgiven for thinking that the insertion of a huge butt plug in her ass was the perfect start to foreplay.
It makes it all the more important that we ensure we teach our kids about sex in the context of relationships and wider social interaction. They need to understand that sex has to involve restraint, empathy and understanding. Not talking about sex to kids or telling them that they shouldn’t have sex until they are married in a society where marriage has become the exception rather than the rule is naÃ¯ve at best, cynical at worst and will only lead to more dysfunctional realationships.