An Elder Millenial’s Take on Porn, Pt. II - The Third Talk

An Elder Millenial’s Take on Porn, Pt. II

Like I spoke of earlier, I’m an elder millennial, meaning I’m a small cohort of a generation that straddles the line of life pre-internet and life post-. My adolescence was marked heavily by the internet, but not defined by it.

As a woman in my young thirties, I have friends with kids, many of whom I serve a ‘fun auntie’ role too. Most of them are on the younger side, between two and eleven. But, one of my dear friends, who is quite a bit older than me, has a daughter in her late teens.

I’ve known her since she was a young girl, and I’ve had the honor to watch her grow into a young woman. As she reached her mid- to late-teens, I began to be somewhat of a ‘big sister’ to her. While I’m still closer in age to her mom than I am to her, I’m a decade younger than her parents which makes me, in her eyes, much more relatable when it comes to matters of the heart, matters of teen drama, and matters of the uncomfortable.

These years being her ‘big sister’ taught me more about what kids face these days, especially girls. A lot of the stuff I could relate to: the loads of homework, navigating new friend circles, the pressure of perfectionism and sexualization as a young woman, the flaky guys, the fights with parents. But, there’s a big difference between her teenager story and mine: 24/7 technology.

Our discussions about the guys she was into, or were into her, always landed on a similar point of contention: the jumping from simple flirtation to callous explicitness. This showed up in different ways, of course. Sometimes it was the way the fifteen year old boy would talk about sex in a rather cold, even violent way. Sometimes it was the way a boy would be texting via flirt in a way that made her heart giddy, only to be let down when the conversation quickly turned to requests for nudes. Sometimes it would be overhearing her guy friends talk about porn, and wondering if when she had sex she needed to look like that, sound like that, be like that. Whatever the example, the thread was always the same: young men who had seen so much porn that they didn’t seem to know how to meet a teenage girl where she was at.

This is damaging to both young girls and guys, alike. For her, she felt less than, unsure of herself, timid about physical touching and invalidated in her desire to explore as it was always eclipsed by a sense of aggressiveness. And from my vantage point, the damage to young boys is that they’ve been filled with false preconceptions that deter them from being able to explore their early sexual experiences with a sense of novelty, a sense of curiosity, and a sense of sincerity.

Luckily, this girl and I had a relationship that allowed for us to talk about these things. And honestly, every young person needs that in their lives. A conversation is the first step. It’s no longer just the birds and the bees talk, the consent talk, the take it slow talk. Now, we need the porn talk. Join us at The Third Talk to start that conversation with the young people in your life today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.