When I was eight years old, my friend Annie told me about a movie she saw at home. She described scenes of a naked woman riding a horse and a man peeing in a woman's mouth. Many (many) years later I realized Annie had watched one of her father's porn videos. (Is this a Sorry, Mom moment? I don't know.)
As countless comedians have pointed out, porn is so much easier to come across these days - both for adults and children. And because of that, we need to be able to talk to our children about it.
(And you thought having the sex talk with them would be hard.)
The good news is that your children are listening. A recent study by Texas Tech University has found that parents who outline the negative messages of pornography and indicate that they do not approve of it in an open manner reap results later on. By the time they reach college age, children who understood their parents' views on pornography were less likely to view it themselves, and they were less likely to have self-esteem issues later on if they ended up in a relationship with a partner who used it.
But the problem with pornography is knowing when to talk about it. Surely, the sex talk with your child should start first. And from there, most parents find it easier to prolong the conversation when there are opportunities: If a student is sent a questionable link by a friend or if something is referenced on television or a movie.
The important part, researchers point out, is that parents create the atmosphere that pornography is just another topic that can be discussed in the household and that they relate their views clearly and age-appropriately.
Did you ever come across pornography when you were young and didn't really know what it was yet? What were the circumstances? Tell me in the details.