“””\””what Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn,\”” New York Times Magazine (feb. 7, 2018)”””

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“I can’t stress it enough — you do not need to watch porn to know what it’s like to have a sex life. But you might still be curious. To further prepare, here are some accounts from the sexual and emotional part of teenage life that — for many reasons — both satisfy and disturb. The point is not to lecture them, but to inform them.”

“…I watch porn.

I mean, it’s not like I’m gonna be like, ‘OK, I’m gonna lie down on that couch all day and make cookies.’ And then be like, ‘Mom, I’m gonna pay the college bill.’ But sometimes it’s like when you see someone else and they are so strong and they get so high with the passion of the moment that it just makes me wanna have that in front of me, to take in those balls and those feelings.”

• ~ Maddy Greene, 19, Maryland

“But I would look at it differently if I weren’t sexually active. I’m just a queer person, so I don’t really know if it would bother me or not. It’s honestly pretty common, that people like the experience of being sexually active and then also seeing things.”

• ~ Emily, 21, Toronto

“I’ve been on the Internet a lot since the age of about 15, when I first joined Tumblr. I’m at college now. People say that I’m like your typical teen girl, ‘and you don’t have a boyfriend, you’re unattached, you’re a virgin — but you’re also a crazy Sex and the City fan!’ No, I’m a Sex and the City fan.

There’s porn on there — but I really don’t know what to think of it when it’s on my phone. The first few times I saw it, I was like, It’s weird and all. Then I saw things like a guy throwing a spoon up his ass, and I was like, OK, you know that? That is weird. I really think that most sex education is usually inappropriate to have on your phone, because it’s a basic human instinct to avoid it. But even things like naked men just fucking naked women — I feel like that’s not going to do anybody any good, and there’s nothing to be learned from it. I feel like I’m pretty open to anything like that. It might not be what any straight girl wants, but it’s normal for me.”

• ~ Frankie, 24, Los Angeles

“I watch porn just like all my friends do, but since I’m into queer porn, it’s always more about the fantasy than the actual sex. Sure, I can fantasize about somebody touching me, but I’d never go for it. It’s interesting when it’s ‘What happens if you touch my butt?!’ with two men. That can be really effective.”

• ~ B, 20, Arizona

“I try to avoid the stuff that seems weird — even when it’s really explicit! There’s stuff that I’ll see where the guy is making a lot of really heavy noise while the girl is getting fucking high. It’s just really weird.”

• ~ Claire, 20, Australia

“It depends on how old you are — for me it’s the talking part. If I was 12 or 13, that would bother me. The fact that they’re screaming it like it’s an emergency situation. I could never deal with that, no matter how much sex and porn I watched. If I were that age, I probably would just be like, ‘I’m not doing that.’ So watching porn is more of an indicator to me that I’m too young, for sure. But now, at 21 and living in the city, I find that watching it doesn’t make me cringe nearly as much. I feel like some of it could actually be showing me that I’m moving in the right direction.”

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