Tag: sex-ed

Utah Declares War On Porn Epidemic

A colleague of mine wrote this excellent article published in Psychology Today on this proposed bill.

Utah Declares War On Porn Epidemic


David J. Ley Ph.d.

Utah state Senate resolution that porn is addictive and destructive to marriage

Utah Declares War on Porn Epidemic

Republican State Senator Todd Weiler in Utah has introduced a resolution to the Utah legislature, calling on the State to recognize and oppose the destructive, addictive nature of pornography. Disturbingly, this legislative action is based on hyperbole and morality, ignoring much of what is known about pornography and its effects. Further, the Senator’s resolution relies on pseudoscience in a manner which has no place in governmental action.

The full text of the bill is available.

The bill suggests that pornography represents a public health crisis, damaging teens’ brains, affecting the state of marriage, increasing rates of rape and sexual violence, and causing a host of other social problems. Weiler calls on the State Government of Utah to engage in education, research and prevention efforts to address this “epidemic.”

It would take far too long to address in entirety, each of the insubstantial claims made by Weiler’s resolution, but a few salient points are clear:

WHEREAS, this early exposure is leading to low self-esteem and body imagedisorders, an increase in problematic sexual activity at younger ages, and an increased desire among adolescents to engage in risky sexual behavior;

Weiler suggests that pornography exposure causes low self-esteem in teens, and leads to risky sexual behaviors. In fact, a massive study in the United Kingdom, which reviewed over 40,000 research articles on the effects of porn on teens was unable to substantiate any such effects.  A longitudinal study conducted in the Netherlands found that pornography exposure in teens explained less than 1% of the behavior of such teens, including risky sexual behavior. Blaming porn for such problems is a distraction of the worst sort, ignoring the critical issues of education, poverty, family variables and substance use/mental health

WHEREAS, exposure to pornography often serves as childrens’ and youths’ sex education and shapes their sexual templates;

The Weiler resolution suggests that pornography often serves as sex education for teens and children. Here, surprisingly, we agree. Pornography unfortunately IS often a form of sex education for youth, most notably, when they have not received sex education which adequately prepares the youth for the world of modern sexuality. Weiler seems to be indicting the state of Utah’s sex education curriculum. One can only hope that he will thus support greater sex education efforts for youth in Utah. (Utah is currently embroiled in a battle against comprehensive sex education)

WHEREAS, recent research indicates that pornography is potentially biologically
addictive, which means the user requires more novelty, often in the form of more shocking material, in order to be satisfied;
WHEREAS, this biological addiction leads to increasing themes of risky sexual
behaviors, extreme degradation, violence, and child sexual abuse images and child pornography;

SCR 9 suggests that pornography use causes a biological addiction, which leads to desire for more extreme porn, and which causes sexual violence, including sexual abuse of children. Sadly, Weiler appears unaware of the wealth of research demonstrating that increased porn access in societies correlates strongly with a decrease in sexual violence and sexual crimes. Further, Weiler’s promotion of the concept of porn addiction in legislation, furthers psychological damage to the citizens of Utah. Research has shown that belief in porn addiction causes feelings of distress and depression, feelings unrelated to actual porn use.

WHEREAS, pornography use is linked to lessening desire in young men to marry,
dissatisfaction in marriage, and infidelity;
WHEREAS, this link demonstrates that pornography has a detrimental effect on the
family unit;

It’s in the final terms of Weiler’s bill though, where his conservative interests become most clear. Throughout the resolution, it is clear that Weiler believes that it is men who watch porn, and women who are abused by it. There is a pervasive heteronormative tone throughout the resolution, suggesting that Weiler’s main concern is that pornography decreases males’ interest in marrying women and having children. The fact that pornography is often a safe, healthy outlet for women, and for those who are not heterosexual, and live in socially conservative areas such as Utah, seems ignored.

There’s really little new in Weiler’s resolution. The Meese Commission, US Senate hearings by Sam Brownback, etc, have all involved political efforts to deem pornography as a public health issue. Pseudoscience such as sex addiction, or the famous testimony about “erototoxins” often makes an appearance, to support the moral agenda which is truly behind these politics. In Utah, groups such as Fight the New Drug are presenting similar morally-laden pseudoscience in public schools, in place of sexual education.

Utah is, according to numerous reports, one of the states with the highest rates of pornography use in the US. In 2013, Weiler introduced a similar resolution, which was passed by the Utah senate, declaring that pornography was a “gateway” behavior which affected teens’ brains. Clearly, Weiler, and the Utah Senate are concerned about what high rates of porn use in their state will do. Perhaps they should instead be wondering what it means, that so many in Utah are unable to express or understand their sexual desires, and turn to pornography as a private outlet. Utah remains committed to abstinence only sexual education, and prohibits teachers from instructing teens about contraception.


Everything We Think About Porn is Wrong

Excellent article regarding Porn, originally printed by the Good Men Project, taken from The Daily Dot.


As a woman, and a person who talks a lot about sex, there are two things I’ve heard repeatedly about pornwomen don’t watch it, and feminists want to destroy it. These statements are both semi-correct and completely ludicrous, and as such are symptomatic of a larger problem: the whole porn conversation is ineffective and misleading. I’ll explain.


When we talk about porn, we usually fail to adequately address agency and the complexity of human sexuality. In doing so, we prevent any real progress or sexual liberation across the gendered spectrum. The way we think about porn is wrong, and assigning blame to either men as a group or the porn industry as a whole will foster neither critical conversation nor durable solutions to issues of sexual repression, violence against women and men, or exploitation. It is imperative that we start changing our conversation, beginning with the way we talk to young people, especially boys, about sex.


A large proportion of anti-pornography rhetoric from activists, feminists, and the average anti-porn human centers around the idea porn is a qualitatively male endeavor that caters specifically to the twisted sexual desires of men at the expense of women’s agency and sexuality. It is this idea that has led to a burgeoning humor industry of “porn for women,” including pictures of half-dressed men doing domestic activities. It’s funny because, obviously, women can’t possibly be aroused by or interested in consuming sexual materials in the same ways that men can.

Here’s the thing about “porn for women”: it already exists. It’s called porn—and it’s on the Internet. For some reason, no one wants to talk about the fact that women watch porn, too—and a lot of the time, it is the same porn men are watching. Though there are a whole host of politicians, religious leaders, and parents who want to convince you otherwise, women are humans and, therefore, are sexual beings. As such, many women need and want sexual outlets in the same ways that many men do. Even more importantly, many of these women and men are curious about sexual exploration and are turning to porn to find answers.

One of the greatest constraints to acknowledgement of this fact is that we as a collective society make every attempt to desexualize young people of all genders at the expense of both comprehensive sex education and validation of natural sexual feelings. Our rhetoric around youth and sex is dangerously misguided: sex is introduced as a solely reproductive act along with a myriad of strategies used to prevent you from doing it. STDs. Depression. Religious and familial ostracism. Damaged reputation. Pregnancy and teenage fatherhood. Destruction of marriage potential.

The general shaming of sexuality of young people runs concurrent to a world oversaturated in commercial sexuality, and yet we keep our friends, our families, and ourselves as non-sexual as possible despite clear biological sexual imperatives and cultural motivations. We raise our children to call their genitals by “cute” and unrelated names. We police clothing at school to keep boys from the uncontrollable sexual temptation of possibly seeing a shoulder. We instill early in girls a sinister and pervasive message: you are only worth as much as your sexuality, and thus, you should keep it “pure,” and private.

From the time we are born until we are old enough to independently consume sexual materials, we are discouraged from all sexual outlets or inquisitions. Masturbation is shameful, sexual thoughts are impure, natural sexual interest should be suppressed. The result of this process is the mass consumption of a free and secret sexual outlet: porn.


I am not arguing the semantics of at what age one is old enough to watch porn, nor am I advocating that we should oversaturate youth with porn or encourage anyone to have sex before they are ready. However, I do think that our approach to youth and sexuality is in part responsible for the problems in our porn culture that expose us to unrealistic and harmful ideals about our bodies and our sex lives. Porn perhaps reflects these problems, but I would argue that it certainly doesn’t cause them.

When we seek to completely restrict access to realistic approaches to sexuality, we force both the earliest sex education and sexual expression into a clandestine sphere controlled by mass media. Of course, porn provides young men and women with unrealistic, harmful expectations, and a lot of the time it is simulated sex, but the problem is that no one has ever told them any differently.

By restricting access to sexuality, I don’t mean suddenly telling eleven-year-olds that they should go have sex. I mean the cultural refusal to acknowledge the fact that at some point, a large proportion of young humans develop sexual urges and that our response to this thus far has been complete and total repression. We don’t talk to our kids about sex, unless it’s the  “when two people love each other” conversation. We don’t talk about the fact that bodies are weird and do weird things. We don’t talk about consent, we don’t talk about the vast scope of sexual possibility in both desire and act, we don’t engage in conservation about real bodies, real needs, and real consequences.

We don’t talk about sexual violence (against all sexes) or what to do if you and a partner have divergent sexual interests, or the fact that most people’s breasts and testicles are actually different sizes, that everyone enjoys different sexual things, or that on average, hard penises aren’t actually nine-inches long. Instead, we leave those we are responsible for educating to a world devoured by dressed-up, photoshopped, and scripted sex in an attempt to protect them from…from what? From the truth?

As Candice Holdorf writes in the Good Men Project, “I feel that porn limits us when we view it as the ultimate authority on sexuality. For those whose only sex education is pornography, sex must equal a penis entering a vagina, a big-busted women screaming as if she’s in the midst of an apoplectic attack, an impossibly endowed men pounding her like a jackhammer and both of them cumming (hard) at the same time, preferably with jiz  everywhere (especially on her face).”

Why are we relying on the capitalist media enterprise to falsely educate us about sexuality and then blaming the industry when they do just that? This is a great disservice, and our shifting of blame entirely onto pornography reads as little more than a self-diversion from our own failings.


Many (but not all) of the problems with porn culture can be understood as the consequence of a perfect storm. When our failure to have real conversations about sex and the permeation of violence, classism, racism, and sexism into the sex industry combine, the result is a culture with the potential to distort sex, misinform sexual consumers, and endanger men and women.

But here’s the thing about “the porn issue”: the porn issue isn’t really about porn. The issues of dehumanization, violence, racism, classism, and sexism in the sex industry are devastating and require impassioned opposition. The goal should be the destruction of power asymmetries, and as such advocacy should strive towards a sex industry that engages only willing and voluntary agents into non-coerced sexual activity.

But advocacy should also celebrate liberated, consensual sexuality. Many of the inequality problems within porn are resonating elsewhere as well, as they are symptoms of a larger exploitative socioeconomic, gendered, and race-based structure. The contention that consenting adults performing in filmed sexual acts that are available for public consumption is somehow immoral is itself anti-feminist, as it deprives the actors of agency over their bodies as well as perpetuates a highly anti-feminist view that a woman’s value is inherently degraded by mass consumption of their sexuality.

Turning our lens of blame to pornography for its universal and incontestable “exploitation of women” infantilizes the myriad of women who want to be in the sex industry (see: Wendy McElroy’s work) and those who consume porn—and weren’t forced by men to do either. Pornography itself isn’t the problem; the problem is that these dangerous elements are not being combated within the sex industry. Clearly, the solution is not prohibition.

Read more: http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/everything-we-think-about-porn-is-wrong/

Meredith Loken is a Seattle-based Ph.D student, sexual violence researcher, sex-positive feminist, and cat enthusiast. She can be reached for comment at mmloken@gmail.com. This article was originally featured on the Good Men Project and republished with permission.

Photo via Crysco Photography/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Video-Sex.Ed-Porn-Penis-Vagina-Green Curry-Anal Sex-Birds-Bees-Frogs-Sex.Ed-Julia Sweeney-Monologue

This Tuesday, July 15 – The Erotic Literary Salon Live with Heidi Champa and 20 readers.

Comical video reminds all parents of the awkward moments when kids want to know about procreation. My advice – be prepared.


Image available as T-Shirt


4 Major Myths About Penises

Thought I would start your weekend with a bit of Sex-Ed. It is not only good personal information, but might be of interest if you are an erotica writer. Enjoy the read.

Don’t fall for the hype!


You’ve probably seen a penis or two by now—and yet, some misconceptions persist. Below, a rundown of the most common myths and the raw (and, yes, occasionally disappointing) truth. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Shoe size is a good predictor of penis size.
No, it’s not. In fact, there is no good predictor. And it’s not for lack of research—studies have examined correlations between penis size and race, height, build, and the size of a man’s feet, hands, and even butt.

You can’t break a guy’s penis, since boners don’t contain bones.
“There’s no bone, but there is something called the corpora cavernosa—fibrous tissues that carry blood supply, protected by ligaments. Those can rupture,” says Harry Fisch, M.D., a clinical professor of urology and reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, who reassures us that the injury is rare. “I’ve been practicing for over 25 years, and the last time I saw one was as a resident in the ER.” A fracture in the structure of the penis (which will feel slightly less painful than a broken leg) is an emergency—one that requires surgery. The usual culprit is misalignment during woman-on-top sex, so be careful up there, just in case.

There is a pill/cream/device/surgery that will make a penis larger.
While there’s no way to become bigger, he can make the most of his natural state by getting as hard as humanly possible. “Heart-healthy behavior is penis-healthy behavior,” says Fisch. “He should quit smoking, eat more low-cholesterol foods, and get plenty of regular cardio exercise—particularly squats, hip thrusts, and leg lifts—to send blood rushing to the pelvic and gluteal area. Supplements and medications like Viagra can increase nitric oxide, which improves blood flow. Think of it like inflating a tire.”

If he stays erect after sex, he wants another go.
Not always. Sometimes erections remain even after he’s ejaculated. How long a guy can stay hard afterward depends on the quality of his blood flow, his level of arousal, and whether he has the help of a little blue pill. Some men are able to perform again within five or 10 minutes, some dudes need a half-hour, and others require a full day to recover.

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