When Should Parents Let Their Boys Watch Porn?

I got a question from a father of a high school boy.  “What should I tell my son about watching erotica?  How old should he be?”

I think that the more important question would be, “What kind of guilt trip do I want my son to be on throughout high school?”   You see, parents don’t LET their sons look at dirty pictures.  The boys are ALREADY looking at porn.  This was true even before the internet.  Boys from the time of puberty are out on a quest to look at nekkid women.

Now, you can – at most Christian mothers DO – put their sons on a guilt trip about this.  In fact, I would dare say that this is much of the conflict between teen boys and their mothers – even if it is not the stated reason for the arguments.  The good, Christian mother, who has been indoctrinated into the “sexual desire is lust” cult is angry that her sweet little curly haired boy (who up to this point has been as pleasant as a girl) suddenly turns into one of those masculine lustful pigs.

I loved my mother very much.  Her opinions – even 40 years after her death – are the best guide to my opinions.  But my mother really had a problem with sex.  She had been taught to believe the Victorian standards lie.   So, when I was about 12 or so, she asked me,

“You’re not playing with yourself are you?”

“Oh no, Mom.  Of course not.  I would never do that.”

For some reason, my mom never wondered how I knew what she was talking about.  Nevertheless, she managed to send me into an 8 year guilt trip.  Not only was I doing this horrible thing, but I had LIED TO MY MOTHER!   And all of us know that there is a special place in hell for boys who lie to their mothers.  All through high school, and even into college, every sermon, every altar call was directed straight at me.  I can hardly recall those years without remembering the background of guilt which tinged every day with hell-fire.

So let’s make it clear.  Your sons are already looking at porn.  Do you want their lives to be filled with guilt.  Because, I can assure you, they will not be able to stop themselves.  You can put all of the nanny filters on their phones and on their computers and on the library computers and school computers and you can hedge their lives with jail bars, but nothing you can do is going to be strong enough.  Some dirty pictures WILL make it through.

So, given that they are going to look at erotica, I think that you should make sure that they have some direction on what they should, or should not, be jerking off too.

So, here is my advice to fathers with teenage sons.  I do not suggest that you buy your son porn DVD’s.  I don’t think that you should tell him that porn is something he SHOULD watch.  Rather, I think that you should just let him understand that porn is not something that you are against.  When comedians make jokes about porn you should laugh.  When Danaerys on Game of Thrones gets her clothes burnt off (again!) you should nod and say “Nice Ones!”

Here is the reason that I think you should take this attitude.

During the high school years, teenagers are going through what we psychiatrists call Erickson’s “Identity vs confusion” stage.  These boys want to know who they are, especially sexually.  In today’s culture, the school system is trying to confuse them.   You will probably remember your teenage fears of “being gay.”   Boys, today, are also plagued by this fear, but the culture is no help to them.  It increases their fear by telling them that they may have been “born that way” instead of admitting that this sexual identity is something that they have a lot of control over.   In  previous generations, the culture would encourage a boy to “like girls.”  It would tell them in a hundred different ways that they should enjoy looking at girls.  What happened, then, is that we found some of Daddy’s playboys, or the neighbor’s Hustler and masturbated.    Sexual pleasure, then, was associated with what we were looking at.   These magazines developed our view of what beautiful women were like (leggy with big boobs) and what good sex is like (blow jobs and doggy-style).
Now, of course, boys have free access to porn of all sorts.  A lot of it is of the “make her swallow” and “force her to take it anal”, gangbangs and gagging.    In short, humiliation porn.  No good man wants his son to believe that this is what good sex is like.  So, if my son were a teenager now, I would tell him that some erotica is good, and a lot of it (most of it, in fact) is evil.  We become what we look at.  So we should watch erotica that models the perfect ideal of sex.  Sex with life-long love.   I would then leave the subject alone there.   The fact is that he will not seek your permission to watch porn (did you ask YOUR dad’s permission?)  But I would check his browser history to see what kind of porn he watched.  He will probably look at everything, but I would be interested to see what he concentrated on.   If it starts going a direction that you don’t want him modelling, then talk to him about what good sex should be like.  A lot of this can be in the terms of girlfriends and future marriage plans.
The most powerful force to direct your son’s sexuality is your sexual behavior.   If you are close to him, then he is (consciously or unconsciously) modeling himself after you.  So you should be living the life that you want him to model.   Please don’t think that you can sneak around and do things on the sly that he doesn’t know about.  He is your son and he knows you pretty well.