New York Times “what Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn.”

That is the beginning of an upcoming article in the New York Times titled, “We All Have Exploited Our Teenage Hearts..

New York Times “what Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn.”

One of the things I love to do when I’m in the mood to read is to flip through a few pages of The New York Times Magazine and watch the howl of derision from the literary world. The music industry barely operates without these kinds of views, then the media that covers them runs with it, as if the shocking views laid out by a single editorial fit every article out there. Sometimes they even look as if their coverage of an artist is running solely on the opinions from a single source. How refreshing to read a section of the Times Magazine that encourages you to question what you’re reading and pull it back, throwing off the narrative around a certain column. This past week, that was LaGuardia’s piece on Cybersex for the Times Magazine.

“If you’re a high schooler with access to social media and a smartphone, when you’re going to do something as consequential as masturbate, you’re gonna do it on the internet,” the piece declares. Turns out, we’re not just teenagers, we are adults, the thinking goes. I could argue with that. Why do the opposite of what your peers are doing? If one quote published in the piece wasn’t telling enough, Adam Miller himself concluded the piece by writing: “Maybe it’s not such a revolution after all.”

Since I’m a guy and not a millennial (we’re boring people, as was the point of the piece, right?), I asked my older sister to read the piece, thus making me “transparent.” She agreed with me.

“As a teen, I’d see friends who had sex on the internet and have no idea what it was about,” my sister explained. “Only now that I’m an adult, I can understand that it’s not analogous.”

Now, I’m not “saying” we’re lying in our bedroom watching porn. If I were that age, I’d be watching porn with friends and looking through photos we sent or took. I’m just saying we wouldn’t be lying on the couch. My point is that we’re not good subjects to focus on because most of the time, we don’t want to tell your blank–hair–shot-girl of a bunch of dirty stories (okay, maybe tell a couple or just offer an answer for your ones, you creeper—all jokes aside).

The article ends with a digital sample that reads something like this: “Go there now. It’s a new episode of a new television show.” Of course, the show has long been on my DVR. I love it. When we binge-watch TV shows, it helps to feel a part of the ensemble. I saw a rumor go around that Netflix will soon have an entire “10 New Shows You Must Watch” for kids, and I imagine I’ll binge the entire thing in a month. We can get the girls to watch Sex Education together, bring the boys around—nothing more pressing.

The NYT piece does have a few thoughtful points. And what’s wrong with parents (or guardians) giving their teenagers laptops? One of them is that they’re encouraging easy access to sexually explicit material. As a father of an 11-year-old daughter, this worries me deeply, but equally, my desire to protect my daughter from unprotected sex is even more troubling. What’s even more problematic is the way this story is co-opted by those for whom general awareness and understanding is impossible to achieve without having watched a lot of porn, which doesn’t strike me as a very inclusive means to reach people.

Besides, we don’t have to look to the Perverted Science Police Department for education. I enjoyed Girls. Maybe it helped more of us understand our own sexuality and sexual identities. You can educate your daughter and son from books—they may not be known for their smarts, but whatever their ability, they know which the old man has read. He’s probably not sexy in bed, but it’s totally OK if you haven’t watched those videos yourself.

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