Porn In The Classroom?

James Gallegos Compulsion Solutions Therapist

James Gallegos
Compulsion Solutions Therapist

Think back to the time when you first started using pornography. How old were you? What got you started? Perhaps it was finding magazines in your own home or at a friend or family member’s home? If you’re younger, maybe it was accidentally finding “stuff” online during a web search. Regardless of your age or the times you grew up in, the common history for people who struggle with compulsive sexual behavior, such as an addiction to pornography, points to a lack of information or guidance around the topic. Exactly how do young people learn about pornography and the messages porn delivers?

 

How do you think it would have been different for you if you had received more information or an education on porn? A current excellent article on porn in the classroom is making waves. The sexologist, Professor Christian Graugaard, lives in Denmark, a country that has been at the vanguard on the topic of pornography. Teaching about porn in schools in the US or other more conservative countries would certainly meet with a lot of resistance … but finding a way to bring the discussion to light is vital. This is not lost on those of us who have struggled mightily with porn in our lives.

 

Graugaard’s proposals represent “lessons” much like we try to teach to and implement with our clients here at Compulsion Solutions. We work with our clients to help them change the old story of how we view porn, change the arousal template that has been developed through all the years spent taking in the messages that porn teaches. We work to teach our clients how to undo the years of habit and to look at pornography in a new way.

 

Teaching teenagers that pornography is nothing like real sex

 

For most porn addicts, our sex life is fantasy and masturbation via pornography. How do we then learn that sex is not this fantasy? If our “addict” is a teenager, how do we teach ourselves that porn is indeed not real?

 

Our clients learn to dialogue or talk to the part of them that’s addicted to pornography. A brief example would be:

 

Me:         What are you looking at?

 

Addict:   I’m looking at amazing women. They’re incredible.

 

Me:         They’re actually pixels…not people. You’re looking at images.

 

Addict:  Not to me.

 

Me:        Can you even imagine them as real people? What led them here? Why they’re doing this?

 

 

Make sure teens possess the necessary skills to view porn constructively

 

Can you imagine, embarrassing at it may have been, what it would have been like to have had a caring adult walk you through what you were viewing when you first saw porn? Can you do that for yourself now? We have many of our clients do exactly that.

 

Instead of seeing just pixels and digital images, they learn to see the person who is both on screen… and the person (themselves) who’s watching. Pornography sells a fantasy. If the reality is that you’re struggling with compulsivity and hating yourself afterwards, is the fantasy worth it?

 

Help teenagers distinguish the difference between media’s messages around body image and sex. Help them to become conscientious and critical consumers

 

We are consumers of porn. If you were going to contribute to an industry, wouldn’t you like to know who and what you’re contributing to? Many of our clients speak angrily about how they feel like “suckers” or “powerless” over their decisions to repeatedly look at online pornography … even when their internal instincts tell them not to. The basis of Graugaard’s point, and ours too, is to help you objectively see that you’re looking at a fantasy. How would it be to learn to make an informed decision on whether or not you really want to look at porn in the same way?

 

Pornography informs the viewer, consciously and subconsciously, about body image and sexual prowess. Many of our male clients often struggle with sexual performance due to desensitization (looking at too much porn) or compare themselves to the well-endowed male porn actors with the apparent ability to stay erect and never ejaculate. Our female clients too often feel that porn has shaped their perspective on what is arousing to their partners.

 

If you’re either someone who struggles with pornography or a parent to a child or teenager who is struggling, creating a dialogue and changing the landscape will prove to be your keenest resource. We are likely years away from having pornography taught in the classroom but you can create your own lesson plan today. We’re here to help.

 

By James Gallegos, LMFT, MA

 

compulsion

 

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