7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Discourage Your Child From Watching Porn

Yesterday I dropped the F-Bomb for the first time at wagthedad. It probably won’t be the last. I know that this might be seen as puerile and antagonistic, but I really don’t care about that. If I were going to write something nice all the time, I could just copy stuff that’s already out there.

Keeping with that impulse, so begins our 3-part series on children and porn. Not to be confused with child porn, which is abominable and should be punished by drawing and quartering.

Why You Shouldn’t Discourage Your Child From Watching Porn

So that no one starts vomiting condemnation, let’s assume we’re talking about kids who are already interested in sex, i.e. of puberty age or higher. If your six-year-old is interested in watching porn, you’ve got a whole mess of other problems that are outside of the scope of this article. And preventing a 6-year-old from watching porn is no big feat.

1) If you try, it’s only going to make them want to watch it.

This is valid for most everything you don’t want them to do. If you don’t want them to smoke pot, they will. If you are homophobic, they will turn out to be gay. If you can’t stand Democrats, then you’re going to wind up with a socialist.

Now. This does NOT mean that you should encourage your child to watch pornography. The opposite of discouraging is not encouraging. There are lots of shades of gray in between. I also know that somebody is going to say “Well, you could say the same about killing people. Or cooking meth. Or not paying your income taxes.”

Yes, yes, and yes. But that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is this:

If you don’t want your kid to do something, the WORST thing you can do is to actively discourage them from doing it. Telling them it’s not OK is one thing (whether porn is OK or not is debatable; more on this on Friday), but hounding them about it will just make them want to do it.

Case in point:

My parents made me cover my eyes or leave the room whenever any nudity showed up on the television. We’re not talking X-Rated. We’re not talking soft porn. We’re talking about back in the eighties when they still actually showed some brief nudity in PG-13 films. I could have all the violence I wanted. True to the American spirit, watching killing on television is OK, watching someone pretending to have an orgasm is not.

What happened?

We’re Going To Watch It Anyway, Mom and Dad

As soon as my father figured out how to splice TV cables, I bought myself a black and white television with my savings, hooked it up in my bedroom, and watched Europorn on Skinemax every Friday night. My parents, probably relieved that they could finally watch porn on the living room television, never questioned why I was in bed by 10:00 every night of the weekend.

2) They’re going to watch it anyway.

Yeah, yeah. Up crops the same old “well, they’re going to smoke/drive drunk/kill cheerleaders” argument we saw above. No, no, and no. Doing something harmful to your health or to others is one thing. Being curious about sex is part of becoming and being an adult.

You can’t stop that. It’s a biological thing. No matter how much abstinence you preach.

If you tell them they can’t do it, then they’re just going to find out a way to watch it. They’ll go out drinking, drive out into a cornfield and sit on the hood of a car, plugged into somebody’s iPhone.

Then they’ll drive back all drunk and stoned, somebody will get hurt and then everybody will wonder what has happened to society.

3) It is not humanly possible to stop them.

Think about how quickly technology has evolved over the past ten years. Have you kept up with the latest porn filters available for your computer/TV/cell phone? Are those going to be updated regularly by a reliable source?

I have no idea about this one. Perhaps because I work in the IT field, I wouldn’t trust any of that. Pornography has always been on the cutting edge of technology – online credit card transactions were first made possible because the adult movie industry saw a profit potential on the information superhighway – and regardless of how responsible a provider is going to be, there are bound to be some bad apples who are going to get through your standard erotic filter.

And even if you throw out all of your technology and live on a farm, your kid is going to wind up at somebody’s house some night, with the sound down on the TV and everyone snickering.

You’ll know it when they come home bleary-eyed, not smelling of alcohol and suddenly desirous of washing their own underwear.

My Child is Profane

I love my profane child. Actually, I love him BECAUSE he is profane. If he didn’t curse, he wouldn’t be as endearing. He would be normal. Normal being, of course, shitty.

I have no idea where he gets it. What I do know is that I came home the other day and while I was standing there, cleaning the dried blood from my shoes, he walked up to me and said:

“Daddy. Where is fuck?”

Being no stranger to profanity myself, I only glanced up at him for a moment before I picked up a spray bottle of bleach and began hosing the rubber soles.

“What?”
“Where is fuck?”
“Where is what?”
“FUCK!”

Confident that the DNA evidence had been thoroughly removed from my footwear, I straightened up and gave him my full attention.

“Buddy. What is ‘fuck’?”

I couldn’t have asked my daughter that question. She’s six and a half, and you never know when they learn things, do you? Had I asked her that question, she would have either blushed, giggled and run off, or she would have told me about pee pees and noonies, which is fine, I can deal with that, too, except I really didn’t feel like getting into any discussions about why you shouldn’t use swear words to describe the birds and the bees. Even if they are fucking.

My son, on the other hand, is too young to know better. So he’s off limits. Swear all you want.

My profane child. Profanity and innocence blend together and provide a warming feeling not unlike a good Bloody Mary. When they get a little older, and innocence becomes ignorance, that mix turns into something more like a Cement Mixer, but when they’re three years old, and you’ve spent your entire day running amok throughout the hallowed halls of a global corporation, walking over bodies and picking off the stragglers one by one, you need to come home to something heartwarming.

A Bloody Mary

Like a Bloody Mary. Or your three-year-old saying “fuck” for the first time.

My first impulse, swear to God, was to hug him and say:

“That’s my boy. Where is fuck? Welcome to the World of Men!”

Because isn’t that the question that most of us have been trying to answer since puberty? In many ways, life is a quest for fuck. We go to all lengths of trouble and consternation in order to get it, and then when we get it, we spend lots of money and effort in trying to hold on to it.

And, after all, this little boy in front of me was a product of all of that.

But he was pulling on my pant leg, awakening me from my reveries, and I realized that I had a question to answer.

“Buddy. What do you mean? What do you mean ‘Fuck’?”

“Vrroom-vroom!” he said, crouching down and making as if he were holding on to handlebars.

“Oh,” I said. “You mean Fahrrad! Your bicycle is called a Fahrrad!”
(Fahrrad being the German word for bicycle. We live in Vienna. We’re bilingual and shit.)

“That’s what I said, Daddy. Where is FUCK?”

It was outside, in front of the door. I wondered vaguely whether I was supposed to be doing anything. Something disciplinary. Something explanatory.

Meanwhile, my son had ridden off into the kitchen, chanting:

“Mommy look! Fuck!”