Healthy Sex vs. Porn Sex: 7 Crucial Comparisons to Teach Your Kid (Before XXX Hijacks Their Future)

by Feb 10, 2020Teach Healthy Sexuality

Today’s parents are competing with the porn industry for the hearts and minds of their children. Tragically, pornography is manipulating the way children think and feel about sex. That’s why kids need a powerful and persuasive comparison between healthy sex and porn sex. 

Kids are learning that sex is disturbing

Not too long ago, I was devastated when I read this from an 11 year old girl: 

“I didn’t like it…the man looked like he was hurting her, he was holding her down and she was screaming…I know about sex but it didn’t look nice. It makes me feel sick if I think of my parents doing it like that.” 

And this from a 13 year old girl:

“You see what is happening in porn and you almost get worried about other people’s relationships and it puts me off having any future relationships as it is very male dominated and not romantic or trusting–or promoting good relationships.”

These are taken from a UK report on how pornography affects children’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. These children saw the violence (choking, gagging, hair pulling etc) and the degrading acts (I’ll spare you) and wondered if they ever wanted to have a sex life.

That’s sad, even tragic. Sex can be a beautiful, strengthening part of a couple’s relationship. And that’s what we need to intentionally teach our kids–the ideal of healthy sex vs. the toxic, violent sexual acts portrayed in porn. 

7 differences between healthy sex and porn sex

To help kids reject porn, kids need to learn these 7 differences between healthy sex and porn sex.

1. Loving vs Hateful:

Ideally, you love, trust and are committed to the person you have sex with. Many studies bear out that the people who have the most and best sex are married. Unfortunately, that common wisdom is not so common, thanks in large part to the porn industry. However, a groundbreaking study showed that 88% of the scenes in the most popular porn videos include acts of violence, both physical and verbal, towards the female performers. (Just reading the video titles and descriptions on any porn site will convince you that porn is violent and hateful, degrading and dehumanizing.

Let’s teach children that sex is a way of loving, not hurting.

Related: 5 Things about Love Every Porn-Immune Kid Knows

2. Bonding vs Isolating:

Healthy sex leads to emotional bonding between couples which helps them weather the storms every relationship experiences. Pornography often leads to addiction and isolation. Instead of dating and getting to know women, men often find themselves alone watching porn. In fact, one study in Germany found that pornography was highly correlated to the decline in marriage and most likely a causal factor. This article in TIME brought to light the fact that men are increasingly suffering from porn-induced erectile dysfuntion–in other words, men who use pornography find it difficult to be aroused by their actual sexual partners. 

Let’s teach kids that healthy sex is a way to be fully united with their future spouse, instead of a solo sport involving screens and masturbation. 

3. Selfless vs Selfish:

Ideally, sexual partners are thinking of each other’s happiness and enjoyment. Porn teaches the opposite. It promotes using people. Porn says, “Get what you want, no matter how much it hurts the other person.” 

In fact, studies show that internet porn use increases narcissism. “The hours spent viewing Internet pornography was positively correlated to participants’ narcissism level. In addition, those who have ever used Internet pornography endorsed higher levels of all 3 measures of narcissism than did those who have never used Internet pornography.”

Let’s teach kids that healthy sexual intimacy is not selfish–the best sex occurs when each partner is focused on the other’s happiness. 

4. Wholistic vs Objectifying:

Healthy sex values the whole person–their character, their personality, even their intellect. Most pornography teaches that people are parts to objectify. It’s easy to hurt an object and feel no shame. It’s much harder to hurt a whole person without feeling guilty. Porn turns people into objects to use and abuse. Listen to Shelley Lubben, a former porn performer who had to endure tortuous sex acts, and you’ll find out how the vast majority of them take drugs to cope and get through it. 

Let’s teach our kids that healthy sex is between two persons who respect and love all of each other and not just their body parts.

5. Real vs Fake:

Sex is healthiest when it’s between two real people who esteem each other despite their flaws. Pornography promotes a completely fake version of sex. It teaches kids that their bodies have to be perfect or artificially exaggerated in order for someone to desire them sexually. Porn performers don’t look real. Many rely on plastic surgery to artificially and drastically change their bodies. And beyond that, they are ACTING like the painful and degrading acts they engage in are pleasurable. Finally, sex dolls and robots are taking the place of real partners. No wonder kids are confused! 

Let’s teach our children that the best sex is real, with a real person, but pornography is filled with fantasy and faking. 

6. Uplifting vs Degrading:

The benefits of healthy sexual intimacy cannot be overstated. Healthy sex uplifts and builds each partner. Healthy sex is beautiful, inspiring and kind. Pornography couldn’t be more opposite. The most degrading acts that you could imagine (and many you could not) are standard fare in porn films. So much of porn seems designed to degrade and punish women

Gail Dines, PhD, explains in this video how much of porn seems designed to degrade and punish women. 

“In porn, the man ‘makes hate’ to the woman, as each sex act is designed to deliver the maximum amount of degradation.” 

Do we want our sons soaking up those messages? Or our daughters? No! 

Let’s make sure our kids understand that healthy sex is uplifting to the human spirit. 

7. Empowering vs Addicting:

Couples who enjoy a healthy sex life are empowered and supported. They feel a strong connection with their spouse which actually makes them more confident. Pornography promises pleasure, but delivers addiction. Study after study has proven the addictive nature of pornography

Psychiatrist and New York Times bestseller Dr. Norman Doidge agrees:

“Pornographers promise healthy pleasure and relief from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is an addiction, tolerance, and an eventual decrease in pleasure.” (The Brain That Changes Itself, 2007, chp. 4.) “Paradoxically, the male patients I worked with often craved pornography but didn’t like it.”

Kids deserve to know how to protect their brains from pornography addiction, which is what they learn in Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids

Let’s give kids a real chance to reject the drug of pornography!

Related: Marriage and Porn: What Everyone Needs to Know

“Have you wanted to talk to your kids about pornography, but didn’t know what to say?! I’ve felt that way for quite some time and finally found a solution – Good Pictures Bad Pictures. . . I highly recommend this book to all people with children. A must have for all parents!” – Amazon Review. CLICK HERE to learn more about Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids.

Parents are competing with the porn industry for the sexual templates of their children. Without proactive and intentional teaching, kids can easily accept the toxic messages about sex from the porn industry and popular media.

Related: Let’s Talk About Sex: 8 Books to Read Together

It’s crucial to explain that pornography is not simply inappropriate erotic material, it’s a toxic version of what healthy sexual intimacy can be. Kids who understand this difference have more power to choose a healthy future instead of one poisoned by pornography.

Kristen Jenson
Kristen A. Jenson is the founder of Protect Young Minds and author of Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids. Kristen enjoys speaking, writing and anything else that will help empower kids to reject pornography. Kristen earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and a master’s degree in Organizational Communication. Kristen currently lives with her husband in Washington State, where she enjoys growing a vegetable garden, watching Masterpiece Theater, and taking long walks with friends who tolerate her incessant talking about you know what. Above all else, her husband and three children are her greatest treasures.

Healthy Sex vs. Porn Sex: 7 Crucial Comparisons to Teach Your Kid (Before XXX Hijacks Their Future)

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