An Open Letter to My Son About Sex

photo by ashleysauers

“Your greatest challenge will be to honor the erotic feelings and desires that will come up inside you while also staying fully present and respectful.” Advice from Janis Whitlock to her son.

I simply cannot be quiet anymore. Amidst the silence that has always surrounded sex even when the billion dollar industries it fuels scream loudly in your ears (and mine!) day and night, I must speak to you in a voice you can hear. I’ll not embarrass you by having this conversation in your presence, I can already feel the strangled mix of emotions that arise in you when the topic comes up at all. I will respect your privacy by saying what I have to say to you in this way, so you can have your feelings without witness.

I ask of you only one thing: that you read my letter from start to finish. I cannot scream as loudly as the pictures and jokes and sly games that mark the passage into the sexual aspects of boyhood in this culture. I have to speak in a normal voice and I have to request, as your mother and a woman who has lived nearly 50 years on this planet, that you simply read what I need to say all the way through.

 ♦◊♦

First, I want you to know I like and have always liked sex. The feelings and touching that goes along with all of it is fun. Flirting is fun, wondering what might happen, even if nothing ever does, enjoying the simple way it feels to be touched by someone I am attracted to, is all good. Wild sex or soft slow sex or whatever kind of sex I am in the mood for has always been nice and I would wish only the very same for you. But, I am rare in many ways. I am one of the few women I know who has never been really hurt by sex. I was never raped or held in any way against my will. The closest I came to a compromising position was with a guy I was dating who would not stop pestering me to have sex one night after a date until I eventually gave in. It was very much not enjoyable, but I knew that I could have simply walked away and I did not. I learned a lot from that experience, though, including how to never make the same mistake again, so it was a good lesson learned in the long run. You may have some of those too.

So, all in all, my sex life has not been anything like you have probably already seen on movies or in porn clips or whatever is passed off today as sex for the cheap thrill it brings. I have loved most of my partners and definitely felt connected to everyone else (except one – story for another time). This was both a choice and probably easier to pull off in my youth since there were so many fewer ideas floating around about what sex was and how it is done and what it is supposed to look like than you have. I had to use my heart, my head, and my body to figure my way through; it worked well for me.

It will be much the same for you; even in the crazy pornified world you are growing up in. You may have to work a little harder, though, to make it that way since the movies you watch and the fast and easy porn you have undoubtedly already seen is pretty much impossible to avoid these days (one had to really seek that stuff out when I was young). So please listen closely to what I will say next, I need you to hear me say all of it:

♦◊♦

There is nothing you have seen that I have not seen or do not know about. I am not a fool and I am not blind. You do not need to protect me from what you know.  And, most importantly, there is nothing you have felt inside yourself that I have not felt myself and / or have seen or felt in the men in my life. No person on the planet (well, none that I know of or have ever met) can avoid the strong sexual feelings that come up when they see sexual pictures or movies or, in many cases, when they see naked or otherwise sexy bodies. These feelings can be especially strong for boys and men. I remember these feelings as a teen and I recall both the force they had and the feeling of being overwhelmed at times. That gets easier over time, but having those feelings come up is normal and healthy; it means you are human.

Your greatest challenge will be to honor the erotic feelings and desires that will come up inside you while also staying fully present and respectful.  This is a tough one—particularly in this time and particularly for boys and men who are relentlessly sold the idea and lots of things to go along with it that women are things when you want and need them to be. So many of the movies you watch and all of the porn you will ever see will convey this one way or another—each person is an object, there is not real connection between them, and the only important thing is that you receive sexual pleasure (giving is never taught at all). Telling you this is away to get you buy things for the “high” sex offers. Your desires become to tool to getting you to consume. It is clever because the marketers know it works for most people since even the images produce drugs in your body that make you want more.  It is absolutely critical and is the mark of true manhood, that you both understand this and learn how to enjoy and cultivate your sexual self without using another person solely as a tool; even if she seems to be saying that this is okay. It really is not. Similarly, no person has the right to make you a tool for their sexual pleasure; no one wins anything this way, it simply ends up feeling cheap. I do not expect you to be a saint and I do expect that you will have to make a few mistakes along the way, but I am here as your mom and as a woman to tell you that getting this lesson is one of the most important things you will ever do as a man and as a human being. And, it has never been harder to strike this balance than it is now, so please let me or your dad or stepdad or anyone else you trust know if you ever want advice about how to do this. It is normal to want and to have those feelings of want overcome everything else; just ask yourself to not be lazy in this way.

Women do not actually enjoy most of the things you see in porn. Actually, most men do not either. Porn is way to sell you a drug; a whole bunch of drugs your body produces when watching (in particular—dopamine, norepinephrine, testosterone, oxytocin, serotonin—a lot!  I can tell you what each of these do inside of you if you like). Sex with a real person that you like does this too, but having this happen with a real person causes you to feel attachment to a real person; having this happen with porn causes desire for more porn. Unlike being with a real person, though, using porn, images, or even other real people with no emotional connection present will not ever fully satisfy you. The things you see in porn are designed to get you temporarily high, not cultivate an authentic connection with another or to teach you about good and pleasurable sex with someone you like and would actually want to please or be pleased by. Most of the men you see are jacked up on drugs to stay hard for hours on end, the women also often take drugs to be able to produce scene after scene; their bodies are there but their hearts and minds are far away. Bodies are aroused by friction and body contact and porn limits that so that the camera angles will get the shots that will best deliver the drugs to viewers. Many of the activities they do are not actually pleasurable (e.g. women do not like men to cum on their face, many do not particularly enjoy anal sex, and most women do not actually want several men inside of them at once..). These are ploys to get viewers aroused and wanting more; nothing else. A real girl and woman will want you to touch more of her body than her genitals, will like slow kissing, cuddling, talking and touching before anything more serious happens, and will want to feel safe and respected by you; not used by you. Basically nothing you see there or even in many of the sex scenes in most movies reflect good sex. Don’t mistake this for education.

The very best sex happens in a relationship. Study after study has shown this. For men and women, the best, most pleasurable sex you will ever have will be with a real person and with someone that you feel emotionally connected to and safe with. No matter how it “looks” from the outside, what your buddies say, how hot she is etc.. – I guarantee that the best sex you will ever have will be with a woman you actually really like and who likes you back. This liking and trust will allow each of you to be more honest about what does and does not feel good, what do you do and do not like and the sense of closeness and trust you have before during and after will make the whole thing awesome. This is the best and I wish it for you. The quality of the sex and touch and cuddling alone is worth taking time to really find someone you like!

Appreciating a woman’s prettiness, sexiness, or beauty is sweet but blatantly staring, making comment, jokes or other kinds of overtures feels invasive and yucky.  Please pass the word to your guy friends now before they fall into bad habits—women do not like to be ogled. Long stares, looking her up and down, focusing on something other than her eyes or face when talking, making comments or joking with friends as she passes are rude and contribute to girls and women feeling unsafe and disrespected. This leads women to feel like an object rather than a person (hence the term “objectified”). This is true even when she is dressed or acting in a way that seems to invite this type of attention. There are all sorts of reasons that girls and women dress or act in a way that seems to invite this male sexual attention and it rarely has anything to do with really wanting that, or if it does, it has more to do with wanting the chemicals I mention above that wanting an actual person. Just because she makes an object of herself to escape her feelings, does not invite you to. Please remember to always be a gentleman in this way; it will make you a great friend to many wonderful women and that is a true accomplishment since there is no more beautiful place than a woman’s heart, honest.

You do not need to protect me from your sexual feelings. I do not mean to say that I expect you to talk to me; talk to whomever is comfortable, only that I am fully aware that you have these feelings and that these may feel a little or a lot confusing at times. I can imagine that even trying to see me as a sexual person feels overwhelming since you are just coming to terms with this in yourself. That is fine and will pass with time. I am totally willing to talk to you at any time about anything; there really is not much that could shock me—as someone who used to teach sex education and as a woman with nearly 5 complete decades on the planet, I have seen it all and I understand most of it. The capacity to feel so close to someone that you wish to merge bodies is an amazing gift here and one I hope you will really cherish and enjoy as you grow up.

I love you with all of my heart and am so happy to be sharing this life with you!

Mom

 —

photo: ashleysauers / flickr

About Janis Whitlock

Janis Whitlock is a mom, partner, yogini, scholar and researcher, and a variety of other things in her spare time. She studies adolescent and human development with a focus on suicide and self-injury prevention, resilience, and connectedness. She lives in Ithaca, New York with her husband, Ravi, and various adolescent members of their blended family. Her life is never dull.

Comments

  1. that what i i would said back in my teenage days……https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9AwJG1ATlA

  2. Thank you for writing this article. I got a lot out of it. It is a lot to think about and to talk/write about to my 15-yr-old son. Thanks for showing us how. How did you son respond to it?

  3. Dear Janis,

    I like what you said. And in our culture, which is in fact very adversarial and predatory in many ways, it is very important to discover ways for men to mature into beings and roles that are supportive of the advancement of individuals and groups toward an actual civilization. We may have some of the trapping of that, but not the functions, as we wast astonishing amounts of energy of fictions, frictions, and fantasies. Even in government. Maybe especially there.

    The one useful thing I might add here is to highly recommend for readers of any gender or persuasion thereof, a wonderfully insightful and practical book by Naomi wolf. It is called “Vagina: a new biography.” It is an eye opening read on every level, and is written, though very scientifically based, in a very readable way. I cannot reco0mmend it enough.

    Thank you for your article. It was worth reading.

  4. Janis, completely off topic. Did you work for the CA Youth conservation corp at Torrey Pines the summer of 1981 or 82? If so, I’d love to catch up. This is Stephanie Irey (then Cromley). You can email me if you like.

    Stephanie

  5. Sorry about my typo
    I wanted to ask if you live in India now.
    Maybe this was a Freudian slip.

  6. Rational Thinker says:

    Telegraph co uk 2013

    NSPCC: ‘Girls think they have to act like porn stars to be liked by boys’

    Girls think they have to look and perform “like porn stars” to be liked and
    valued by boys, a landmark report by the children’s charity NSPCC shows.

    By Louisa Peacock and Emma Barnett

    7:00AM BST 03 Sep 2013

    Almost a third of school pupils believe online pornography dictates how young
    people have to behave in a relationship, the study of 601 pupils aged 11 to
    18 reveals.

    The majority of pupils surveyed – 72 per cent – also said porn should be
    talked about in sex education classes, suggesting existing lessons are too
    focused on the mechanics of reproduction and lack meaningful discussion
    about the issues young people face online every day.

    Claire Lilley, policy advisor at NSPCC, said: “It’s natural for children to
    become curious about puberty and sex. If they are not learning what they
    need to at school or at home they will turn elsewhere, including to porn.
    What pornography teaches boys is that girls are for sexual gratification,
    whilst girls feel they have to look and perform like ‘porn stars’ to be
    liked and valued by boys. This makes children vulnerable to being forced or
    pressured into behaving sexually.”

    The comprehensive study, commissioned by The Daily Telegraph,
    highlights the extent to which the growth of online porn is, in many cases,
    distorting school children’s ideas and real-life experiences about what a
    good relationship looks like.

    Some 28 per cent of pupils think porn definitely “influences how young people
    have to behave in a relationship”, with a further third saying it
    “sometimes” affects how young people act when with their partner.

    Ms Lilley said it was vital that sex education lessons reflected the digital
    era that we now live in, equipping teachers with the right tools to help
    pupils interpret what they see and come across online – from porn to the
    sexualisation of women and peer pressure on social media – and understand
    what a good relationship is.

    “We can’t afford to be coy about sex education. Many children will have
    already been exposed to a vast amount of inappropriate, unrealistic and
    sometimes downright harmful pornography through the internet. This can warp
    their view of what is normal and acceptable sexual behaviour, how they treat
    others and how they expect to be treated.

    “To protect children from these damaging messages they must be taught about
    sex in the context of healthy, caring relationships and how to protect and
    respect themselves and others.”

    In England and Wales, sex and relationships education is currently taught
    within personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) lessons. But the
    statutory [check] sex and relationships guidance teachers use to plan
    lessons was last updated in 2000 and practically predates the internet, not
    least the rise of social media.

    The NSPCC findings come as The Daily Telegraph launches a campaign for
    better sex education in secondary schools, starting with an update to the
    sex and relationships guidance to reflect the digital era.

    The current guidance makes no mention of the internet or the challenges young
    people face regarding the ease and accessibility of online porn, the
    pressure to document their lives and relationships on social media, online
    bullying or sexting.

    Claire Perry, Conservative MP and the Prime Minister’s advisor on children,
    said: “It is because of this brave new world we find ourselves in, that I
    welcome The Telegraph’s ‘better sex education’ campaign.

    “The rise of sexting, online bullying, porn and young people documenting their
    entire lives on the web, needs to be a core tenet of how we teach sex and
    relationships to children in secondary schools.”

    Many teachers feel they cannot stray from the official guidance on what to
    teach and don’t have the right tools to plan a meaningful lesson or know
    what to do when sensitive subjects come up.

    Ms Perry said: “Rather than putting one more set of responsibilities on the
    shoulders of hard-working teachers, it should be possible to encourage
    schools to develop working relationships with the many excellent charities
    and organisations that used trained experts to deliver the right messages to
    young people in appropriate and high impact ways.”

    A wave of reports in recent months have demonstrated the need for the
    Government to act to improve sex education in secondary school. A report by
    Ofsted, the education regulator, recently found that PSHE education in
    schools is “not good enough” in a significant number of schools
    and that this is leaving young people vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

    Separate research by the Children’s Commissioner found a shocking number of
    young people don’t know what a good relationship looks like.

    • Hi Rational Thinker

      Here is from the newspaper article you posted:
      “✺”The comprehensive study, commissioned by The Daily Telegraph,
      highlights the extent to which the growth of online porn is, in many cases,
      distorting school children’s ideas and real-life experiences about what a
      good relationship looks like.”✺

      On GMP we have another thread about men opting out as fathers. Men wanting causal sex and abandoning pregnant girlfriends is not a new phenomena. In my country this was a problem in the working class in the period after WW2 1945-1965 and resulted in a huge increase in adoption of children. The stigma to be a single mother was to hard ,and society punished the women in all sorts of ways. Now we have this problem in America.

      It is said men opting out of fatherhood in America. First it looks to me like this is not men opting out as fathers but men opting out of committed long term relationships. They will not marry and cohabitation in America last shorter than in any other Western country.

      I wonder if todays men’s use of porn have anything to do with that? I understand there are many factors behind mens choice to opt our ..but how important is porn ? Men complain that women do not need them anymore, but do men need women for intimacy and relationships when they have porn? No nagging wife there,no diapers to change and no bills to pay.

      When your love relationship is “a love relationship ” to porn ( or certain porn stars) and not a partner, then how can be motivated to bond and build good relationship?

      All chemicals released that used to bond couples together are now spread all over the place……..and there is a distorted picture of what real life relationships look like.

      • Rational Thinker says:

        “On GMP we have another thread about men opting out as fathers. Men wanting causal sex and abandoning pregnant girlfriends is not a new phenomena. In my country this was a problem in the working class in the period after WW2 1945-1965 and resulted in a huge increase in adoption of children. The stigma to be a single mother was to hard ,and society punished the women in all sorts of ways. Now we have this problem in America.”

        – Its not quite the same problem here in the States, but it used to be back in the 40s, 50s and 60s when it was a social shame for girls and women to get pregnant without being married. A lot of babies were given up for adoption back then too. Nowadays there is no shame attached to single parenthood.

        Women who are sexually active but have no committed partner who wants to have a child with them need to carry condoms in their purses and make every man they sleep with wear one. No glove, no love. Unless of course they WANT to be a single mom, which some women in fact do want.

  7. Hi Janis

    This is a website for men and their issues.
    One problem many men talk about is their “sexless marriage”.
    Can you give advice to them about how to handle the fact that sometimes women seems to loose all interest in them sexually.

    Some men on GMP are also incels. They have not yet found their first girlfriend. Maybe they would like to ask women a few questions before their first lovemaking ?

    Somehow I fear that an article about porn addiction is not what they want right now.
    What they see as their problem is not porn.

    When dr.Brandy Engler gave good advice about how to be a good lover,she got little response.
    I wonder why?
    Maybe men tend to believe only other men can tell them how to be good lovers.

    If you open up for questions, then maybe some come forth and ask.

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      ” When dr.Brandy Engler gave good advice about how to be a good lover,she got little response.
      I wonder why?
      Maybe men tend to believe only other men can tell them how to be good lovers. ”

      Ah is not true, Iben, doctor Nerdlove gets also lots of criticism (rightfully so) beside IMO the best dating advices are found in the PUA community, and most of advices outhere, feminist or otherwise recycle lots of PUA materials. So better go to the source. Beside lots of incels guy learned on how to approach women from their mothers, sisters and female friends. No wonder they dont trust female advice. But im open for it, but I think I missed that article. Beside, there are also lots of important topics who also get little attention.

      About porn, its a dead horse, and there is no point of agreements on this topic. All blog post about porn is a gender war. Better leave it alone. The blogger women believes that porn is the source of mens problem, or some problem, and men claim the contrary. Now being a man, I say straight out focusing on porn is a waste of time. And only a source for irritation and bad mood. And there is nothing more annoying than talking to a wall….so forget about that.

      • Hi Mr Supertypo

        You made me laugh. I love this sentence:
        ✺ “Beside lots of incels guy learned on how to approach women from their mothers, sisters and female friends. No wonder they dont trust female advice. “✺

        Mammas boys need to cut the umbilical cord.
        But remember dr. Engler is a sexologist. Psychologist or psychiatrist.

        I agree with you that debate about porn always turns into a gender war.
        My curiosity brought me to some PUA sites, but they all seems to have the similar advice for men in bed. To be dominant and lead. That implies that all women like to be submissive and like to be dominated,hold so fast that can not move etc.

        The fact is that NOT all women are like that. And some of us even like genuine feelings instead of insincere role playing dominance.
        I don’t know how to express this. Passion, confidence is not the same as dominance .
        Making love,having sex can be like dancing and interaction,not a boss and a subject..

        But I do understand what you mean,if PUA teach a sort of “masculinity”.
        I would rather see confidence, and a man that is comfortable with showing all feelings and passion.
        It is impossible to be wild if you are shy,insecure and inhibited.
        Thank you for the good laugh you gave me today 🙂
        “.

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          ” You made me laugh. I love this sentence: ”

          LOL glad for giving a good time 🙂

          ” I agree with you that debate about porn always turns into a gender war.
          My curiosity brought me to some PUA sites, but they all seems to have the similar advice for men in bed. To be dominant and lead. That implies that all women like to be submissive and like to be dominated,hold so fast that can not move etc. ”

          Oh the best way to have a porn conversation is to remove all anti porn folks and “rational ” thinkers that infest these threats. No imperatives and it should be clearly stated that not all porn is bad and not all porn is good. Period. Otherwise its good night and the fireworks starts. The quasi trolls play the music and the porn stars dance. And with this nothing good comes out, as we can see on all the xxx blog post on porn.

          About PUA’s you dont have to forget a important point, who are the targets of the material? all the lines, all tricks, all the mind games, attitude exercises etc are here not (contrary to popular belief) to attract women but for helping the guys (students). All the perhaps, disturbing material you read are pointed to a precise category of people, who are clueless and utterly incapable not only to have a normal conversation with a woman, but to function in a social environment any social environment.

          PUA is not for everybody, not everybody need it. The material that somebody label as misogynistic in reality is there to dis empower the women who exist in the mind of the student, women who in his personal world are god like.
          Students learn how to adapt and how to be fluid in the realm of the circumstances, not to get rigid and mumbling few and strange sounds but to dance with the flow of the words.

          We can argue from here to the moon about the validity of the background theory, but its pointless, because like most gender and social theories, PUA theory isnt any better. Like all the others its pure smoke. But the technique works, like a miracle students that before could barely speak in front of a woman, slowly they losen up, slowly they are made functional in the social reality be it a party or a funeral. Soon they get a girlfriend, and lots of friends. While few months before they were close to a pariah.

          Listen you need to have been there to understand. In the dark alley of loneliness, in the cold prison of your fears. A shadow between the shadows. Mr nobody seeking desperately refuge in the world of fantasy dreaming to be a hero fighting against dragons and trolls, while the only real dragons trolls and wizards you need to defeat are the one who hide in your mind. Fix the mind fix the person (for the most part) and thats what real PUA ism is about. Unlearning all the wrong and bogus teaching you got from friends, parents, media etc. Wrong inputs that have shaped your personality to be rigid and super shy. Be fluid, adapt and you will fit in, and you win.

          ” But I do understand what you mean,if PUA teach a sort of “masculinity”.
          I would rather see confidence, and a man that is comfortable with showing all feelings and passion.
          It is impossible to be wild if you are shy,insecure and inhibited. ”

          I dont know, PUA challenges masculinity. Like makes you walk around in a city dressed like a bunny or with a dildo glued on your head. Dress in red or pink, take a wig or dance with a tutu. All this to demolish your insecurity and anxieties. When the person is open he wil show the feelings and the same time be confident. Neill strauss was a insecure and shy person, later he became a rock star. how did he do it? if you read his book ‘the game’ you find out about his and other people struggles, frustrations defeats and finally enlightenment and freedom. But its all a process and it is worth.

          ” Thank you for the good laugh you gave me today 🙂 ”

          U r welcome 🙂

        • Hi Iben,
          Mammas boys need to cut the umbilical cord.
          Thanks for showing that you totally missed the point on receiving dating/love-making tips from women.

          • Hi FlyingKal
            I agree, that remark was insensitive and stupid.
            But somehow a few men are actually too closly tied to their mothers as adults and all sex for them has an incestous flavor…

            But there are thousands of resons why men and women are incels. The “mambo” we call them as opposed to “sambo” in Nowrwegian. Mambo means a man still living with his mother like Fleksnes..

            • Hi Iben,
              Still, regardless of how you live, the point was that if you need advice, be sure to get it from someone who knows (from experience) what they are talking about. Getting it from someone who just think so may often be counterproductive.

              On a side note, I heard that Rolv Wesenlund passed away just recently. May he rest in peace.

              • Hi FlyingKal

                We can agree on that.
                Rolv left us. We are all sorry he had to leave us so soon.

                You write:
                “the point was that if you need advice, be sure to get it from someone who knows (from experience) what they are talking about”

                And both men and women can give advice about sexualty based on own experience .
                But what really makes two persons so happy together that the earth moves when they make love is the large unknown X. It is not technical skills. Maybe it is spiritual or a transcendencedental experience ….. I have no words for it , but know it is like a religious experience.

            • Rational Thinker says:

              Regarding the “mambos” and “sambos”, in many cultures men live with their parents until they get married, and in some cultures (like mine) men live with their parents their entire lives, bringing their brides home to live with them too!

              It is very common in South Asia.

              • Hi Rational Thinker

                Yes you are right . As far as I know it is also the culture in places like South America and Spain.
                So this is very much a cultural thing and I was wrong to use living with your family as an example.

                Do you love in India now ?

    • Rational Thinker says:

      “When dr.Brandy Engler gave good advice about how to be a good lover,she got little response.
      I wonder why?
      Maybe men tend to believe only other men can tell them how to be good lovers.”

      – They’d be making a huge mistake. The only way to become a “good lover” is for a man to listen to his partner and do what she says turns her on. And that’s just one woman. He’ll have to keep listening and changing his technique with every new partner because every woman is different.

      “One problem many men talk about is their “sexless marriage”.
      Can you give advice to them about how to handle the fact that sometimes women seems to loose all interest in them sexually.”

      – Wives also complain about “sexless marriage”, particularly the lack of QUALITY sex.

      But frequent sex is not important for a loving marriage. Please listen to this man, a father of 5 children, who shares a great relationship with his wife, about the sexual patterns in their marriage;

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwcTDg1OufU

      • Rational:
        They’d be making a huge mistake. The only way to become a “good lover” is for a man to listen to his partner and do what she says turns her on. And that’s just one woman. He’ll have to keep listening and changing his technique with every new partner because every woman is different.

        And vice versa.
        However, withdrawing from listening and discussing as well as practicing, sure isn’t gonna make a “good lover” out of anybody, regardless of gender/sex.

        Wives also complain about “sexless marriage”, particularly the lack of QUALITY sex.

        I’ve ony ever heard one woman complain about lack of sex, and a month later she was pregnant, so I guess she wasn’t all that out of it. 😉

        But frequent sex is not important for a loving marriage.
        I guess not, for people who lack sex drive.
        But who’s to regulate what is important for other people they have absolutely no connection with?

        • Rational Thinker says:

          “However, withdrawing from listening and discussing as well as practicing, sure isn’t gonna make a “good lover” out of anybody, regardless of gender/sex.”

          I don’t understand the meaning or context of the above. Care to explain?

          • @Rational Thinker:
            I can’t really see any ambiguity in it, but anyway:
            The context or background to the comment was a man, being in a sexless relationship, trying repeatedly to discuss the situation with his girlfriend, to get her view of it, and to find out whatever faults or shortcomings (technical or otherwise) he may possess that ought to be worked out to improve the situation.
            His girlfriend’s position, however, was that it was perfectly natural for a woman to be less interested in sex than a man, and also losing interest in a relationship. And that there was no point in discussing it since it was othing to be done about it. And since it was no big deal for her, it shouldn’t be any concern of his either…

          • @Rational Thinker:
            The context is that for someone to listen in order to improve, it requires a partner that is interested in the improvement as well as an understanding of what needs to improve and an ability to talk about it.

            If your partner isn’t interested in either having sex or talking about it (how to improve it), then whatever your ability to listen as well as your willingness to improve, does not matter much for your rate of becoming a better lover.

            A successful communication takes (at least) two participants!

      • Hi Rational Thinker

        You write:
        ✺”The only way to become a “good lover” is for a man to listen to his partner and do what she says turns her on. And that’s just one woman. He’ll have to keep listening and changing his technique with every new partner because every woman is different.”✺

        I only partly agree.
        If you want to dance you first have to learn a few basic steps. If a man wants to make love to a woman he should also knew the basics first and not expect to be told what to do.

        Maybe some women like to instruct and educate their man in bed. I do not.
        A man can learn you things in bed, things you never would have asked for or told them to do because you did not not know about it.
        That is my experience. Pleasant surprises….

        Of course we all have to tell what we like and especially
        what we say no to, but it is best to come prepared.
        So i rather that he read some good books about it first if he is inexperienced.

        I travel to France with a man,I will be delighted if he speaks French. I will love him just the same if he don’t speak French, but I expect him to be able to read a map,know the territory and have read up the important facts on France before we start on our journey together.
        I would do the same.

      • Rational:

        A better sexual relationship is created when both partners both listen to and express their desires to each other. Good lovers do not only listen, they also share their interests.

        The way your comment is written it appears that you want men to obey women sexually without women also listening to men. There needs to be two way communication. Both partners can bring new ideas to relationship from various sources: the karma sutra, conversation with friends, even porn!

  8. Johanna Trahan says:

    What a great article! As a life-long lover of porn, I do have to agree that seeing plastic people pretend to get off isn’t the best basis for developing a real sexuality… but that’s why they have amateur sites!!!!!!

  9. Hi Janis

    Yes we need a GMP blog about sexual intelligence! Please Janis and Rational Thinker we need you 🙂

    I found no room for comments about circumcision. As a woman I am 100% against it, but not because of my pleasure but HIS pleasure and health.

    For me the sexual experience has never been less intense or less pleasant with a cut man.
    But Danish studies say it so for some women.

    • Janis Whitlock says:

      Thanks for the prompt Iben! I do want to write more on all of this for GMP so maybe that is the next one? Rational, what do you think??

      What would you want to be sure it said?

      I have also been amazed that GMP has nothing on porn or sex addiction – that seems important.

      • Rational Thinker says:

        Janis, you’re the expert, so I say you should do that. Maybe you could have a regular “Ask The Sex Educator” column here.

      • a few years ago here, there was a couple that wrote article after article after article, about porn addiction
        (i remember there being few replies, so i think they got bored and left)
        you might their articles in the archives, though cataloging can be weird

    • Rational Thinker says:

      There’s an excellent website by a doctor I came across with videos (porn?), diagrams, and everything, regarding the difference between cut and natural.

      I’ve searched for it again but can’t find it.

      I have heard that they use cut men in porn because supposedly it “looks better”. Is that true? Seems odd to me.

      • As the rate of circumcision in the US continues to drop more natural penises are being found in porn. Also, once erect, the visual difference between a circumcised and intact penis is minimal.

        “Looks better” is in the eye of the beholder.

  10. Hi Scott
    You get offended easily .
    You seem to be totally blind to the fact that your values and ideas are insults to lots of persons.
    Stop whining about being insulted when you are unable to change others into your own views and attitudes.

    • Iben,

      I thought you said you were not longer going to talk to me.

      I’m not really sure what your “whining” about now (your term, not mine). I suspect that there may be a bit of a language barrier here. Is English your first language?

      If my “values and ideas are insults to lots of persons.” then consider that yours may also be insulting to many people as well. You seem to have fallen into the hypocrisy trap on several occasions during this debate.

  11. I don’t really know how to put this.
    But anyway. In my experience. I like to think that most people, a vast majority, are able to put at least a minor amount of restrain to themself.
    Alcohol is also an addictive substance. But most people who may taste alcohol for the first time in their teens actually may enjoy the occassional beer or glass of wine on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon, and do not go on to become full-fledged, full-time addicts with time.
    I like to believe it’s the same with depictions of sexual activities. They are a pastime, used for arousal. But as someone said earlier. For the vast majority, if there’s another real-life, interested human being in the room, there’s not even a competition.

    • Janis Whitlock says:

      FlyingKal – yes, that is an important distinction. My issue is that there is evidence that with the widespread availability of porn, there are an increasing number of people who prefer that to a real human being 9and women seem to be increasingly drawn to chat rooms) or to porn or online hook ups in addition to their partner 9and the partner often has NO idea..). The other issue is that the images and availability is serving as a sex and relationship education tool for youth and adults and this is NOT good – it is a masturbation aide and no more.

      Maybe we could ask porn sites to add a disclaimer at the top, “Warning: the depictions in the following vides are fictional and do not represent what really happens in the giving and receiving of pleasure between men and women. The people you see are actors with drug augmented body parts, skills, desires, and behaviors. They are also being paid a lot of money or have really low self-esteem so are happy to fake it for your entertainment. Please note that we limit actual touching for your viewing pleasure. Most of this is not likely to result in your or a real partner’s sexual satisfaction if reproduced this way at home.”

      • Hi Janis, and thanks for your answer.
        It does however stir another question:
        there are an increasing number of people who prefer that to a real human being 9and women seem to be increasingly drawn to chat rooms)

        If both men and women are increasingly withdrawing from human interaction in favour of the internet, is it a bigger problem that the men do it than the women? Is it less of a problem that women get their needs/fantasies/desires fulfilled that way than the men?
        Or can it be seen as a mutual, interconnected, and self-perpetuating problem, that both groups withdraw from human interaction because they get what they think they need as easy fixes from the internet?

  12. Hi Rational Thinker

    I read your reply to Scott about South Asians and sexualty.
    This is interesting. Do you know if persons that live like that have lower divorce rates than us in then West?
    For me marriage was a shock because sex was expected and wanted daily or many times a day, and i reacted against it,and comflicts arose. That marriage did not last.
    Can you recommend any literature about what you tell Scott about?

    • Rational Thinker says:

      Hi Iben. Indians like to brag about their collective very low divorce rates. However I can tell you that this is not reflective of a huge collective of happy marriages but more a reflection that divorce is severely stigmatized in Indian culture.

      Most Indian marriages are still arranged and while I’d like to think most couples “fall in love” over time, and indeed, many do, there are some that never do but they stay married because that is just the done thing in the culture. Even in cases of abuse many Indians will stay married because divorce is just not the done thing in the culture and it is highly stigmatized.

      So yes, Indian divorce rates are low, but not necessarily for the right reasons.

      I also don’t think most Indians are following a moderate template of married sex life due to any insight into yoga or liberation. While Hindu culture has those themes running through it and on play in the background, there are many aspects of life that many Hindus would not connect to the bigger picture out of ignorance or un-willingness.

      Nevertheless, married sex life is not a free for all because most Indians live in a joint family household, not a nuclear family household. That means that Indian brides go to live in their husbands’ parents home. So in one house you have the young husband and wife, the husband’s parents, the husbands brothers and their wives and kids, as well as any unmarried sisters.

      Privacy is practically unheard of and married couples have to sneak around and keep things very quiet in order to have any sex at all.

      The negative side to this is that it can result in a type of sexual repression which I think is one of the reasons India has such an epidemic of street sexual harrasement.

    • Rational Thinker says:

      “For me marriage was a shock because sex was expected and wanted daily or many times a day, and i reacted against it,and comflicts arose. ”

      Sexual compatibility is very important in a marriage and I think these things should be talked about before any commitment is made.

      Obviously someone with a moderate libido is not well matched with someone with a high one.

  13. Janis,

    I don’t think you and I will come to terms on the issue of porn. But, I thin I have seen some glimmers of meaningful exchange on other gender relation topics. I think there are some interesting threads to follow. This forum seems to have devolved into a debate about porn and only porn. It would be useful to debate some of the other aspects gender dynamics – without derision. If only we could keep the porn issue from derailing the conversation.

  14. Rational Thinker says:

    Janis, with the subject of “not trusting male sexuality” or “not trusting Testosterone” being brought up, we have to face the fact that probably most parents warn their daughters about male sexual predators. We teach them to be wary of leaving their drinks unattended, going off somewhere alone with a stranger, etc, etc.

    Is this because we all (both mothers and fathers) know that Testosterone, if not controlled, can lead men to behave in predatory, even criminal ways, if all the “stars align” so to speak to provide them with ripe oppurtunities for exploitation, or is it because there is a small minority of sexually deviant men out there?

    This is a perplexing question because on one hand it is believed that all boys and men need “sensitivity” training in order to prevent themselves from exploiting others, but if the only people who would actually do this exploiting are a small minority of deviants who “can’t help it” anyway because of perhaps genetics or some “off” chemical wiring in their makeup or something, well, what is the point of these sensitivity trainings?

    I don’t know the answer. I’m putting this out there for food for thought. Anyone here have any insight?

    • Janis Whitlock says:

      Great question and I am not sure. Sexual assault is common enough to not really qualify as deviancy I think. But, it is also true that a large percentage of the males who sexually abuse anyone else have been a victim of abuse first (over 90% of the guys I provided sex education to were in for sexual assault and about 90% of those had been sexually assaulted). So, wounds beget wounds. Honestly, I think it has less to do with a chemical, per say, than a consciousness. And, in all honestly, I do think things are better than they have been in the last 1000 years. We are growing and evolving and we would not be having this conversation if aspects of our consciousness were not waking up to more base elements. I think all of use need sensitivity training in some ways and we need compassion even more than that. I honestly cannot imagine what it would be like to have a chemical that makes me feel horny all of the time running through my veins for years. It must be very difficult to exercise restraint all of the time. When that is coupled with rage or hurt or isolation, it is easy to see why sexual damaging things happen (and why porn is so popular). I was told a story tonight about a Take Back the Night march recently where a man came up to the open mike portion and disclosed that he had raped someone some years prior but had never been held accountable. He came to begin the disclosing and amends making process. I thought that this was amazingly courageous but several of the women there, I was told, were outraged. I get that, as well, but how will we ever collectively evolve if we do not “grok” (to get in our bones) another’s human experience. It is all leela, no?

      • Rational Thinker says:

        “Sexual assault is common enough to not really qualify as deviancy I think. But, it is also true that a large percentage of the males who sexually abuse anyone else have been a victim of abuse first (over 90% of the guys I provided sex education to were in for sexual assault and about 90% of those had been sexually assaulted). ”

        – There seems to be varying degrees of sexual inappropriateness. Hardcore sexual predators, like pedophiles and serial rapists come from backgrounds of abuse. I’ve read with pedophiles the age at which they themselves were abused becomes the “default setting” for what they find sexually attractive. So if a boy was consistently sexually abused from the age of 5 onwards and never had a “healing” around his experience and went on to abuse others, the age he would find most sexually attractive would be around 5 years old in his targets.

        Have you seen this in your experience?

        And of course serial rapists usually have horrific stories of being abused in their childhood/youth by adults in some way. I’m no expert but I’ve seen documentaries if that counts.

        And of course not everyone who was abused as a child goes onto abuse others.

        “Honestly, I think it has less to do with a chemical, per say, than a consciousness.”

        I think “consciousness” plays a part in sexual inappropriateness that is not “pathological”. In India there’s a lot of street sexual harrasement of women and in large part this is due to the low consciousness of the men doing the harrassing. They are choosing to behave inappropriately, they are not driven to do so uncontrollably.

        But in extreme cases of sexually predatory behavior, like pedophilia and serial rapists, it has been explained that when trauma happens to a person at an age when their brain is still developing, the brain “wires” in certain ways from that trauma.

        Now for that street harrasement in India….

        It seems to have gotten worse these last number of years since porn as become so available on the internet in India. This is a sexually restrictive, even repressed country and culture and to have access to such extreme images of bizarre, even violent sex when even ordinary sex is not within their reach, its a recipe for disaster. I mean, India is a place where even basic sex education is not deemed correct for public or private schools and many people marry virgins, even never being kissed. So you take this level of ignorance and inexperience and combine it with images of “facials” and you’ve got the biggest WTF situation in the entire world. That’s another thing that irks me about the porn “industry”. It has no consideration for cultural context at all. It just wants to spam the entire globe from Nashville to Nicobar with explicitness, consequences be damned!

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          Rational – I have seen even “soft core” sexual assault cases with teen boys as perps who have been abused. I think it is more common than we know – just like with girls. As for the street harassment – that blows me away and really does smack of socialization, not trauma. We are seeing more of that here (less pronounced, but definitely different in flavor than when I was a girl) as a result, I think, of porn images and accessibility – is communicates acceptability of using women in that way and primes the brain to look at women, even off-line – as objects. I am sure that even women regularly using porn being to look at other women in this way. That I said, I wonder what you think about the possibility that street sex activity in India might be related to drug seeking behavior as a means of just taking a break from suffering? Most clearly, sex addiction experts claim that the dopamine, adrenaline, oxytocin, vasopresson, seratonin cocktail delivered by sexual activity can be and is used as a drug with the subjective effect of “washing away” negative emotion for a short while. This is a particularly pronounced effect for males, in general. Might the desire to have negative affect washed away for a short time simply be proliferating in an era and place where there is high perceived suffering mixed with higher acceptability of public sex drug use?? A bit a of a stretch, perhaps, but I wonder what you think…

    • @Rational Thinker,
      [but] if the only people who would actually do this exploiting are a small minority of deviants who “can’t help it” anyway because of perhaps genetics or some “off” chemical wiring in their makeup or something, well, what is the point of these sensitivity trainings?

      That’s a thing I’ve been thinking about quite a lot too.
      I’d wager that 99% of the men who are reading and actually taking to heart what is written in articles and/or on pages like this, are the ones who actually need it the least…

      • Hi FlyingKal
        Unfortunately it is not so.
        Look at some of the comments to the article here on GMP:”Washing Post runs a piece arguing teachers shouldn’t be jailed for sex with underage students”

        http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/washington-post-runs-a-piece-arguing-teachers-shouldnt-be-jailed-for-sex-with-underage-students/

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          Re Washington post article: Scary!

          The only upside to all of this that I can see is that we are finally getting honest. The statements, the beliefs, the desires that were formally reserved for the locker or backroom conversations are finally coming out.

          I do think sensitivity trainings are helpful for a variety of people. for example, we had a guy where I worked who was a nice guy but was inappropriate with me and few other women. I do not think he was a radically damaged person and I think that if we had the sexual harassment training we had last year while he was here, it would have really opened his eyes (and mine!) since, at the very least, he might have clued into the illegality of his actions. I might have also been moved to mention his behavior to more than my girlfriends. I think these trainings, like porn!, actually do a lot for creating an opening for conversation, introducing language, and just communicating expectations for behavior. All good when applied here.

          • If we want to stop assaults and sexual assaults, we need to understand the motivations of the perpetrators. Yes, they are still accountable for their actions, but we need to understand what happened in their life to cause them to behave in such a way and try to prevent it from happening to others.

          • Rational Thinker says:

            “I do think sensitivity trainings are helpful for a variety of people. for example, we had a guy where I worked who was a nice guy but was inappropriate with me and few other women. I do not think he was a radically damaged person and I think that if we had the sexual harassment training we had last year while he was here, it would have really opened his eyes (and mine!) since, at the very least, he might have clued into the illegality of his actions.”

            – Yes. I think sexual inappropriateness, like sexuality itself, runs on a spectrum. Some people just don’t have social skills and don’t know any better. Sensitivity training can give them that “ah ha” moment.

            For those whole sexual inappropriateness is pathological, peadophiles and serial rapists, well “sensitivity training” won’t do diddly squat for them.

        • Hi Iben,
          Unfortunately it is not so.

          I don’t know what you mean, and don’t understand in what way the linked article disprove my statement.

  15. This is interesting. I think what really is IMPORTANT here is that mom is truyingto teach son to be aware of his future partners. That they are humans, they have thoughts and feelings.

    What is a little danergous to me is saying “women don’t like…xyb” We are all different. If he grows to be an involved and in-touch human he will be happy and his partners will be. What if he encounters a women who DOES enjoy cum on her face? It’s not up to anyone else to disect the whys and hows. We all have different things we like and it is a bit scary to teach someone to think that because those things are highly synthesized in the consumer sex world, that they are not valid desires as well.

    • Janis Whitlock says:

      Kelsey, I assume that he will figure that one out as he goes along – I just do not want him to assume that simply b/c he’ll likely see more “facials” in his teen years than I and 100 of my friends will or have seen in a lifetime. I am sure you are right that there are a few women out there who do not mind it, but I suspect that the number who LIKE and want cum on their faces are a) about as many as men who want that and b) are about as many of us all who like bee stings and go looking for them. My son may meet an exception here or there – I am starting with basic assumptions here.

      • Rational Thinker says:

        “. I am sure you are right that there are a few women out there who do not mind it, but I suspect that the number who LIKE and want cum on their faces are a) about as many as men who want that ”

        Bingo!

        So why aren’t there just as many “money shots” of men receiving “facials” from women squatting over them, as there are women receiving them? Hmmmm?

        ” What’s interesting about porn or strippers or any other kind of sex work is, you know, it’s women whose job it is to impersonate lust or to fake arousal. The idea that you are going to get more in touch with your own authentic, personal, innate sexuality by imitating a woman who’s job it is to imitate sexuality. I mean, you’re getting pretty far removed from the real thing.”

        = Ariel Levy

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          Nice quote. From what I understand about sex addiction, interestingly, is that many of the men and women who use sex as a way of getting out of feelings are also really deeply seeking human connection. Since access to unity consciousness is often closer during orgasm than in many other daily activities, sex becomes a kinda overused and sad tool for a really understandable desire. So, sex workers become sources of comfort and betray a yearning for the divine – go figure!

          • Your perspective is deeply entrenched in the tantric traditions. Other people don’t use sex in such a way. They may view the tantric use of sex as unusual and a bit strange. It doesn’t make either perspective wrong, they are just different.

            You may think tantric sexual practices are the only correct way to use sex, but that is only your opinion.

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              No, only my use of sex these days is tantric (mostly). My perspective on what is really going on and what people are really after, even if they are not aware of it, is grounded in my knowledge of psychology and human development (I am an academic who specializes in human development and connectedness). I am also a former sexuality educator so have and do spend a lot of time endeavoring to understand, from a very western perspective, what motives sexual experience and activity. With the numbers of men (and women, but less steeply) with sex and porn addiction skyrocketing and the porn “look” becoming the “cool” look for teen girls, I have become increasingly attentive to the question of motivation and pay off. It is complicated, but please do know that my observations about what is really driving the more damaging aspects of the trends we see is not “tantric” in origin (though I do see the tantric perspective as an antidote; once we understand that sexual impulse is energy (kundalini) then we can talk about working with it and using it to create in entirely different ways).

              • I suppose the solution is simply everything in moderation. Porn, used in moderation, is not destructive, so long as one keeps in touch with reality, real sexual partners and the rest of life. Just like alcohol, if it’s used in moderation, it can be enjoyable and not damaging.

          • Rational Thinker says:

            “Kelsey, I assume that he will figure that one out as he goes along ”

            – Figuring out one’s own sexuality through self pleasure/masturbation as well as exploring sexuality with one’s partner face to face and one on one, through communication and trial and error, seems not to be the done thing anymore since internet porn made its debut.

            Its almost as if some people think one needs to watch porn in order to have a sexual awakening at all. Very strange.

            Humans experience sexual awakening during puberty when their sex hormones kick into gear. That’s when masturbation becomes a regular habit for girls and boys. Before that, as toddlers, kids figure out that touching their genitals can feel “soothing” but they don’t connect it to sexuality because they are pre-pubescent, their sex hormones have not kicked into gear, and hence they have not had their sexual awakening.

            For millions of years humans have managed to meet each other, mate and reproduce just fine without internet porn. We don’t need porn to “explore” or “express” our sexuality and this idea that someone who does not watch porn or does not like porn is somehow repressed or not in touch with her sexuality is utterly imbecilic.

            I’ve been “in touch” with my sexuality since puberty, giving myself explosive orgasms through self-pleasure. Believe me, most girls do not need porn in order to know how to bring themselves to orgasm, it is instinctual, and perhaps this is why some men are so keen to get their female partners to watch porn. So that they can somehow convince them that what brings them to orgasm is not the “right way” to go about it, but the male centered stuff on porn which brings MEN to orgasm, is actually the “correct way.”

            I know exactly what works for me in sex and if my partner really wants me to experience orgasm then he will listen to my instructions and follow them, no matter how long it takes. But I do realize that there are men out there who do not want to take the time to learn, do not want to follow instructions, and don’t give a flying fig if their partners orgasm or not, multiple orgasms being completely out of the question.

            That’s also why some men do not want to believe the extent to which women fake it just to get the relentless and very boring “pounding” over with.

            Oh but women scream in orgasmic ecstacy over just relentless pounding alone, even in the butt, on internet porn so if you really want to “learn about, explore and express your sexuality” you will watch porn and do what those women do!!!!

            What a crock!

            I just do not want him to assume that simply b/c he’ll likely see more “facials” in his teen years than I and 100 of my friends will or have seen in a lifetime.

            • I know this is probably an impossible question. But do you think women, in general, enjoy receiving oral sex? If it is from a man who actually does take instructions (if they are conveyed in a somewhat interpretable fashion), is willing to learn, and draw great deal of pleasure out of actually providing enjoyment and pleasure for his partner?

              //From a man who has been giving “head” on probably a 20:1 ratio in his adulthood

              • Rational Thinker says:

                “I know this is probably an impossible question. But do you think women, in general, enjoy receiving oral sex? If it is from a man who actually does take instructions (if they are conveyed in a somewhat interpretable fashion), is willing to learn, and draw great deal of pleasure out of actually providing enjoyment and pleasure for his partner?”

                YES. In a culture where oral sex is normalized, such as post-modern Western cultures, yes it is reasonable to assume that generally women from such cultures would enjoy all the above.

                In cultures where oral sex is not normalized, probably not. Or maybe many would like it but they’d have to overcome the cultural taboo.

                Generally in many cultures oral sex is considered unhygenic.

            • It sounds like you just don’t think generous male lovers exist. It also sounds like you feel that the only correct way to have sex is if the man is obedient to the woman’s sexual requirements.

              A better model would be both partners discussing their preferences and together arriving at an expression of their sexuality that is mutually satisfying. Ideas for thing to try in a sexual relationship can from porn, the karma sutra, original ideas or discussions with other people. So long as both parties are enjoying themselves and enjoying what is happening I don’t see why the sources of the sexual ideas is an issue. If a man shows his sexual partner a position he found in in the karma sutra and a woman shows him a position she found in a porn site are either wrong?

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              Rational: I really agree with you about the demise of using our own, personal and real life experience to figure it all out. I have always wished for more candid discussion of sexuality with youth (this is what drove me to become an educator out of college) but porn is really not what I had in mind for education. It seems to be creating a sexually lazy and anesthetized population. Why even bother with real people and other’s desires when you can watch her screaming away while he is pounding (filmed for the male perspective, of course) and just pretend that it is you and that “she is loving it”? This is a consciousness, though, and it pervades everything we do, On my more dubious days, I fear for us all.

              • I stil think the effect of mass circumcision is under estimated in the sexual behaviour of men. Not only is a significant amount of very sensitive sexual tissues removed but, the head of the penis is dried out and the skin keratenized due to being exposed all the time and rubbing against clothing. The fine touch receptors are deadened, so pressure receptors become the main sensory input point.

                So, to achieve pressure on the penis circumcised men tend to “pound away” at the woman. I also think that is where the fixation of “tightness” of the female comes from.

                A little experiment a circumcised male can try is to keep his penis head moist by applying some lotion and wearing a condom regularly for two weeks. He will notice a significant increase in sensation in very short order and the sensation of slowly entering his mate becomes very stimulating. It make a guy want to enter very slowly. Nature knew what it was doing when it designed our genitals.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  Re: circumcision.

                  I agree and I wrote above comparing and contrasting the cut experience with the natural experience.

                  I could have never married a cut man.

                  In my opinion circumcision is child abuse and should be outlawed.

              • @Janis,
                Rational: I really agree with you about the demise of using our own, personal and real life experience to figure it all out. I have always wished for more candid discussion of sexuality with youth (this is what drove me to become an educator out of college) but porn is really not what I had in mind for education. It seems to be creating a sexually lazy and anesthetized population.

                I am fast approaching middle-age, however you define it. (Most people would probably say I’m already there.)
                But I assure you that being sexually lazy and avoiding candid discussion about it is nothing that is reserved for the youth of today.

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          There are, and lots of men enjoy drinking the cum of a woman, or having her sitting on top…..

          Rational people know’s that. And its not even difficult to find it, but for some other people…..

      • I have personally been asked by a few women to unload on their face (or other parts of the body), without so much as a hint from my part. It’s not that rare, so either my experience is exceptional or it’s not that rare overall. I suspect that your estimate of how many women want this is biased, because you just can’t imagine someone liking it. Granted, the frequency at which this happens is far less than what porn would suggest. I can’t imagine why a woman would like it, but It’s quite possible that some women end up liking it because they believe that their man will get extra satisfaction this way. It is also an act of submission, and women are by nature more submissive on average. In the end, a lot of sex is about people-pleasing and dominance.
        Plus, this has nothing to do with whether a guy would like it to happen to him. Same way no hetero guy would want a penis inside him, yet a reasonable number of women are happy with that in several forms.
        Tell your son to be respectful and not to make porn the norm, but don’t tell him nobody (or almost nobody) likes that stuff.

  16. Hi Janis and Rational Thinker

    The two of you are great . I love you:)

    • So those who have different perspective and opinions arent great? Haha just kidding 😀

      • Hi John

        It is easier to say I love you to women than to men since they know it is usually meant as flirting.
        But I love you too John, and liked the letter you wrote to your future son. Kindness….

    • Janis Whitlock says:

      Thanks Iben! The feeling is mutual! 🙂

      Yes, John, unfortunately we humans tend to be somewhat tribal but if you change your opinion a bit and join the tribe you can be great too 🙂

      • Hmm, what from my opinion need to change? Did some of my post offend you?

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          I qm playing with you, John. I welcome the conversation – even when I do not agree with you. Last night I saw a post of yours come in that I cannot find now and since I really need to turn to work, I will respond here.

          You wrote:

          No its not . Porn its just a fantasy movie about consensual adults having sex. Everything else its just bull. I know ‘Rational Thinker’ have fantasies about snuff porn and lot more. But they are the minority of it and are not representative. Yes a porn movie, are exactly the same as a normal movie, or a youtube clip. No more no less.

          But they do have. All movies I mentioned, are fiction, so is porn. All focus on a particolar event/situation, so do porn. All the mentioned can be artistic, so can porn. There is a ocean of similarity between porn and the rest.

          I think what the elephant of the room is, its the cultural back ground. You have been raised to believe that porn is bad, and the people surrounding you do agree with you. Therefore it becomes in the end a emotive reaction not a rational one. Because if it was rational you could also see the positive aspects of porn.

          What can we do from here? well since we talk about women and porn the first thing is imo to educate women to be more open and confident about their sexuality, and not consider it something sacred. Its just biology, no divine intervention here. Second, educate women in understanding better porn, so they dont go all offended like after watching a facial clip. I mean, whats up with the facials? why it is so upsetting? a lot of women practice it in the real life, and alot enjoy it, I mean its not like they are inciting people to steal your car or something. So if you dont like it dont watch it. Simple. I for one avoid feminist spaces, because frankly, they can ruin my entire day. But I dont advocate in shutting them down.

          What its wrong with porn is: to easily accessible for everyone (as we speak surely millions of small boys and girls are watching) so I agree they have to find a better way to keep the minors out. Maybe with voice recognition or something else, but with modern tech it should not be impossible.
          Second add more options for women, and not only lesbian/gay sex. There is the need for something more.

          Finally lets stop with the stereotype, that women dont like porn, a lot actually do and their number is growing, slowly but steady. The truth is some women are better to free themselves from all the social conditioning they have received. So they dont spent time sobbing and dreaming to be married. They go after what interest them. But others (not speaking about you, just in general) are still confused and balancing between traditional and progressive And this makes them feel confused and depressed in the presence of porn, because it contrast with their upraising. At least so do I think, but I can be wrong.

          And my final words, porn dont cause rape, porn dont cause violence, porn dont cause war, and porn is NOT the reason for all or some of male problems (as male sexuality is predatory) because male negativity, predates the invention of porn. And so did rape, general violence and war.”

          My response:

          I simply cannot agree that porn is not degrading to women but do respect that it is your story and you are sticking to it. I will end this conversation from my end here by saying that ultimately, what I want for my life and the lives of those I love is a life that feels inspiring, uplifting, and enriching. In my experience as a woman and partner, porn and similar depictions of women as well as the offline treatment of women (and men) it engenders, can never lead to this. I am immensely grateful to love and live with a man who also feels this way. Our lives as individuals, as a couple, and as a family are rich – in part because we are deeply honest with each other and because we bring our intimacy and are raw sexual needs to each other. Sex is great and so is the trust between u s- there is actually nothing to me more sexy than a deeply authentic man. I wish the same for you.

          I am going to bow out of further conversation – it has been fun though! Maybe I’ll see you in future forum.

          • Mmmm Janis,before you left, I want to tell you, I never wrote that. Its Scott post if I’m not mistaken. I’m actually in many ways ( including porn ) disagree with Scott, and I agree with you about porn. My point in my previous post is I have another message that aren’t in your letter ( and many other letter from parents to sons I found on the internet ) that I think really important to teach to our sons, about male sexuality and gender role in society, about how to respect their body and sexuality first, about men role as an approacher in dating etc. For porn, I say this once again, I agree it is bad and wrong, I just dont think it is the root problem of male sexuality. How our society think about men body and men sexuality and men role are. That’s are the message I want to tell to my future sons ( and after that I can tell him how women exploitation & objectification and porn are wrong and damaging to men sexuality ).

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              Thanks for this clarification, John. I really appreciate these messages you would emphasize in a letter to sons or boys and honestly do hope that you will speak this to young men you know – before you have sons. I think it is more difficult to grow up a male in this culture than a female, quite honestly, and I think boys and young men really need straight up talk from other men. I do not even think porn is bad and wrong – just better in small doses and mixed in with a varied set of authentic messages about what sex is and can be. Some sex is pornigraphic and sometimes that is really fun (though I have never even come close to wanting that with someone I do not know and trust; but some females do I suppose). I think porn is WAY too easy to access and that porn culture and imagery dominates so many of the messages all of us receive about sexuality and relationships. It is just over the top. It is the excess that I find damaging (and the over the top misogyny – I wish none of that existed at all).

              • Interesting, perhaps there is some area for agreement between you and I.

                “I do not even think porn is bad and wring – just better in small does and mixed in with a varied set of authentic messages about what sex is and can be.”

                Just as a vibrator is a quick release for women, porn can be a quick release for men. Neither should replace real relationships or become the dominant form of sexual expression – in my mind at least.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  “Just as a vibrator is a quick release for women, porn can be a quick release for men.”

                  Porn is not an equivalent corollary to the vibrator, a flesh light is.

                  Again, what you and John and possibly a few others here seem to miss is that porn involves actual human beings. No other human suffers for my private choice of using a vibrator. However the porn industry depends upon the broken spirits of suffering human beings.

                  There is no way such an industry could be “supported” by anyone ethical who has done the research.

                  • The porn industry, like all industries, has aspects of exploitation and aspects which are ethical. Many people involved in porn do so of their own free will and are well compensated.

                    The child labourer working in a factory making your vibrator for 83 cents a day might consider themselves exploited for your sexual pleasure.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      “The child labourer working in a factory making your vibrator for 83 cents a day might consider themselves exploited for your sexual pleasure.”

                      I don’t have a vibrator. I can’t imagine putting such a thing up into my vagina.

                      I shudder at the thought.

                    • Hi Scott
                      It is a myth that all women have and use vibrators.
                      I don’t.
                      And actually using it may make it harder to orgasm in ordinary vaginal intercourse with a man.

                    • Iben,
                      I thought you were no longer going to converse with me?

                      Rational,
                      You deflected the point. “No other human suffers for my private choice of using a vibrator.” I contend that they likely do suffer.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      “No other human suffers for my private choice of using a vibrator.” I contend that they likely do suffer.”

                      All the more reason for me to oppose the sex industry in toto then!

            • Rational Thinker says:

              “For porn, I say this once again, I agree it is bad and wrong, I just dont think it is the root problem of male sexuality. ”

              Who here claimed that it was?

              I explained on the first page of comments that high T levels are the root problem of male sexuality and that our culture is making a big mistake in trying to get men, even very young men, to increase their already high enough T levels.

              • Devotes of the tantric traditions do not represent most people. Most people do not consider testosterone a poison as you do. Low testosterone in males is associated with depression and suicide. Testosterone, like estrogen, is a vital part of properly functioning humans. You may disagree, but that is only your opinion.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  “Devotes of the tantric traditions do not represent most people. Most people do not consider testosterone a poison as you do. Low testosterone in males is associated with depression and suicide. Testosterone, like estrogen, is a vital part of properly functioning humans.”

                  Oh blimey! Again you are being hyperbolic, “consider T a poison”… really, now?

                  Nowhere did I say that low T levels are healthy. Estrogen is also unhealthy in access.

                  Moderation is the key.

                  This is the second time I’ve said that.

                  • “The cultures that do not trust Testosterone are the spiritual cultures. Yogic culture, Buddhist cultures, all the global monk cultures. They have diets and other guidelines for men to follow to lower T levels in these traditions. The reason is, like I said, moderate T levels are needed for those with a wife or otherwise committed partner to whom they are joined for the purposes of reproduction or romantic/sexual involvement. When one does not have that, because they have chosen voluntary celibacy, it is advised to keep T levels and one’s passions at low levels, in order to successfully carry out their celibacy and other spiritual practices.”

                    Seems to me you are encouraging low levels of testosterone.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      Scott said, “Seems to me you are encouraging low levels of testosterone.”…..

                      …. after quoting the following …

                      “The cultures that do not trust Testosterone are the spiritual cultures. Yogic culture, Buddhist cultures, all the global monk cultures. They have diets and other guidelines for men to follow to lower T levels in these traditions. The reason is, like I said, moderate T levels are needed for those with a wife or otherwise committed partner to whom they are joined for the purposes of reproduction or romantic/sexual involvement. When one does not have that, because they have chosen voluntary celibacy, it is advised to keep T levels and one’s passions at low levels, in order to successfully carry out their celibacy and other spiritual practices.”

                      —- So the above is describing where I explained high T levels are not recommended for those volcels or incels (voluntary or involuntary celibates) who do not have sexual partners — for their own peace of mind.

                      I did use the term low levels, admittedly. I did not mean unhealthily low levels. Basically they should not go out of their way to raise their T levels above where they are, assuming they are already at a healthy level.

                      For celibates it is recommended to avoid any sexually explicit material or conversation as well.

                    • I think you will have an uphill battle trying to promote celibacy. Multiply religions have been preaching that for centuries with a rather poor success rate.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      “I think you will have an uphill battle trying to promote celibacy.”

                      Where did I say I’m “promoting celibacy”?

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            Janis I wrote this, not John

        • Rational Thinker says:

          “What can we do from here? well since we talk about women and porn the first thing is imo to educate women to be more open and confident about their sexuality, and not consider it something sacred. Its just biology, no divine intervention here.”

          – What? “Educate women to be more open and confident about their sexuality?!

          Let’s employ some rational thinking skills here.

          1. First, define what you mean by “open” and “confident” and
          2. Once that is defined, explain why you think women who are NOT open and confident about their sexuality, and the steps that led you to that conclusion.

          “I mean, whats up with the facials? why it is so upsetting? a lot of women practice it in the real life, and a lot enjoy it”

          1. A lot of women? Do you have any statistical data on that? What particular cultures are these women from? How long have they been “enjoying” that? Does the practice predate internet porn? Does it predate male homosexual video porn? How did it make its way into the collective consciousness of the heterosexual collective consciousness of this particular ethno-cultural group, if in fact it did?

          “What its wrong with porn is: to easily accessible for everyone (as we speak surely millions of small boys and girls are watching) so I agree they have to find a better way to keep the minors out. Maybe with voice recognition or something else, but with modern tech it should not be impossible.”

          – That’s what Janis and I have been saying all along.

          “Finally lets stop with the stereotype, that women dont like porn, a lot actually do and their number is growing, slowly but steady. The truth is some women are better to free themselves from all the social conditioning they have received. ”

          – Porn is not a form of social conditioning? Have you ever taken a media literacy course?

          “So they dont spent time sobbing and dreaming to be married.”

          – Oh gee. What a quaint non-argument about a dichotomous polarity that does not exist: Open and confident sexuality vs wanting to be married.

          “But others (not speaking about you, just in general) are still confused and balancing between traditional and progressive”

          – Another faux argument about a non-existent dichotomy in this context.

          ” And this makes them feel confused and depressed in the presence of porn, because it contrast with their upraising. At least so do I think, but I can be wrong.”

          – Yes, you are wrong. At least you admit that much.

          • Just out of curiosity “Rational”,

            In your mind, have you ever been wrong? Have you ever changed your mind. More and more I am starting to view your mind as a rather interesting case study.

            • Rational Thinker says:

              “In your mind, have you ever been wrong?

              Many times.

              ” Have you ever changed your mind. ”

              Many times.

              But unlike many people I have since childhood had a highly developed internal values system (that did not come from family, media, religion and/or cultural conditioning, hence “internal”). That values system is constant.

              Exposure to pornography that I have not searched for, is against my internal values system. As well as nearly all the stuff that people directly involved in the industry describe about the internal workings of the industry when interviewed.

              In general my internal values system is one of simplicity, self-actualization and the lessening of suffering.

              “May all beings know peace, not piece of ass.”

              😉

              • Do you believe that your version of truth can co-exist with someone else’s version of truth if they are not the same? What I mean is that, as sure as you are in your opinions, do you think that other people can be justified in holding an opinion contrary to yours?

                Truth is a very slippery term and is relative to each person’s experience. You seem to have reason to fundamentally distrust and dislike all males, so your “truth” is different than mine.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  Scott, John or whoever wrote this,
                  “Finally lets stop with the stereotype, that women dont like porn, a lot actually do and their number is growing, slowly but steady. The truth is some women are better to free themselves from all the social conditioning they have received. So they dont spent time sobbing and dreaming to be married. They go after what interest them. But others (not speaking about you, just in general) are still confused and balancing between traditional and progressive And this makes them feel confused and depressed in the presence of porn, because it contrast with their upraising. At least so do I think, but I can be wrong.”
                  ………………………

                  ” What’s interesting about porn or strippers or any other kind of sex work is, you know, it’s women whose job it is to impersonate lust or to fake arousal. The idea that you are going to get more in touch with your own authentic, personal, innate sexuality by imitating a woman who’s job it is to imitate sexuality. I mean, you’re getting pretty far removed from the real thing.”

                  – Ariel Levy

                  • What’s so fake about sex work, Yes I understand It’s not love, but s/w comforts, creates orgasm’s and allows the luxorious experiences that is required of sex….. So What is so Unreal about that?

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      In the field of prostitution its part of the job to feign some sort of interest in and sexual attraction to the client. And of course fake orgasms are part of the job too.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  ” You seem to have reason to fundamentally distrust and dislike all males”

                  Enough with the Manospherian hyperbole.

                  • Why, just because you say so? You can’t even be bothered to reply to an individual directly. You get upset when people don’t agree with you and start insulting them. Well, do your worst, I will not agree to be the sort of slanted, jaded person you seem to want people to be.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      Scott, if you scroll through yours and my “exchange” you will see that you have not addressed any of my points regarding pornography. All you did was reply with questions and then statements such as….

                      ” You seem to have reason to fundamentally distrust and dislike all males”

                      ……. but you’ve never addressed the actual points.

                      So if I do the same – then?

                      Nor do you point out what specifically gives you the idea that I “fundamentally distrust and dislike all males”? Why? Because I don’t watch porn? Because I think something needs to be done about the fact that porn images come up on non-porn sites? Because I spoke of the effects of boosting T levels to above moderate levels?

                      All of this somehow is extrapolated to mean I “dislike all males”?

                      Seriously?

                      Hence the accusation of “hyperbole”.

                    • It seems the word “hyperbole” must have popped up on your word of the day calendar.

  17. Rational Thinker says:

    Admin:

    When I posted my previously used IP the site page was constantly sliding upward making it difficult for me to read and comment, as well as in the bar below continuous urls for ad sites were flickering. When I switched IP addresses those problems went away but I did not see any of my comments getting posted.

  18. tough crowd. obviously a lot of personal passion and professional insight (universal truths or not) were written in these words. as one of the most influential people in your child’s life, it will be infinitely more significant to the intended audience. thank you for sharing something that holds such meaning to you and your son.

    the critics raise interesting points, though the responses were as if this were some proclamation for all of civilization to base their lives upon. constructive criticism typically entails some level of respect towards the party being critiqued and after all, part of your message seems to simply deal with having manners or using good sense.

    a healthy discussion surrounding men’s lives from the perspective of these men (the critics) would be completely understandable, considering that your letter is posted on a website geared towards “fostering a national discussion centered around modern manhood and the question, ‘What does it mean to be a good man?’ ”

    in all honesty, i like the intent of your letter and that should not be muddled by semantics. as for the debate end of things, the comments have been respectful for the most part, but i am not convinced one way or the other. as with all of the behaviors mentioned (drinking, smoking, drug use, risk-taking, consuming porn, etc) it seems fair to warn our youth to be careful of their pitfalls, regardless of studies.

    everyone will use their own language and perception to identify what it means to allow a substance to control our minds or bodies, based upon their beliefs, values and life experiences. if you were writing this in a medical journal or reading it to my kids, I suppose I’d have cause for concern if it wasn’t exactly how I see the world.

    • Janis Whitlock says:

      Agreed and thanks – I am glad that you see some merit! I do see that there are some pretty big gaps in perception between some men and women. My hope was to inspire other parents to share their own letters (or face to face fissions) with with their kids; this is a topic about which there is way too much silence.

  19. Maybe this perspective might help when talking with our sons.

    http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/andrew-smiler-a-guys-guide-on-when-to-refuse-sex/

  20. Graeme Daniels says:

    I know you wouldn’t print my full opinion on this. I’ve had one lengthy reply posted, another rejected. Not wasting my time wondering, or self censoring, so I’ll just write that this mother’s letter makes me feel sick.

  21. Janis et al,

    Since it is your position that porn leads to unrealistic expectations of sex, what would you think of promoting a more realistic type of porn. One that is more in line with realist expectations of a real relationship. That demonstrates a caring relationship more in line with your expectations of how people should behave?

    Perhaps books could also be produced that also reflect a more traditional relationship?

    Just a though, I’d be interested in your thoughts.

    • Janis Whitlock says:

      Scott,

      That is one approach. The definition of pornography is “material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement; the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction” so by its very definition the purpose of pornography is sexual arousal, not education or intimacy. So, yes, when that is the goal, I would LOVE to have the images and scenes used be more relationally and intimacy based, more like real life intimacy and arousal might look. I would love it if neither sex was commodified and if we could somehow have the images our young people and adults see be much more in alignment with both reality and with true intimacy. Images DO shape our inner realities; our mammalian brains real cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy – there are many studies showing that in some really fascinating ways. Differentiating reality from porn happens in the prefrontal cortex after the stimulus is triggered. Chronic viewing of anything shapes the way we see the world and porn, in particular, teaches viewers how to “see” women (men too, though men are less sliced and diced. I do know that penis size and performance issues do come up for men using porn, though, for similar comparison reasons). The curves, the angles, the things that catch the eye, the little flashbacks to women or scenes or body parts from recent images triggered by a live woman walking down the street or in front of you in line – these Do affect behavior, desire, and perceived reality – even if some part of the user “knows” the difference. Media studies are unanimous – what we see does shape what we expect, what we focus on, what we turn our attention to and, ultimately, what we create in our worlds. That has been shown over and over again.

      I do not want my son to know “traditional” — just loving. I am not even against all porn, just its ridiculous over abundance and relentless reduction of people to body parts. Imagine just for a minute what it would be like if we had porn sites and labels for men like we do women: categories and titles like: Big pecker, Skin on, Skin off, Hard as a Rock, Big pecks, and so on… Maybe men would not find this offensive and, heck there maybe sites with exactly this already, but I can tell you as a woman, I find porn and its many contemporary offshoots in mainstream media and culture offensive. And, I find the residue it leaves behind on the men I know who use it, really icky. I really just want my son to know that he has options and that real love and connection and deep sexual satisfaction is far more likely to be found in authentic connection with another person than in connection to some idea of the perfect body.

      I don’t know bout books – maybe. I grew up using my imagination and my stories were pretty perfect for each moment I wanted them. The images or stories or whatever I gave myself were not real graphic and evolved as I and my moods did. I have never seen a rape video and hope never to see this. Unfortunately, most of the teens I know and who are honest, have already seen that. I know it have an impact. What happened to just using your imagination?

      • Hi Janis,
        I’m glad your opinion is somewhat malleable.
        I notice that you often refer to studies. It would great if you could post some of the links. From my experience with research, they are rarely if ever unanimous on any subject. If they are it is cause for skepticism. To fully appreciate a study I need to evaluate the methodology. The social sciences do not have the best reputation when it comes to removing bias in their studies.
        I know you find porn offensive, and you’re entitled to that opinion and you are entitled to pass on your values to your son. You seem to make a correlation between your preferences and how you think society should be. Are your preference really reflective of women in general? Most people do not openly discuss their sex lives, particularly if they think their tastes are unusual. Perhaps it is not that other’s behaviour is aberrant because they are extreme, but rather that your own preferences are unusual for being more sedate than average.
        Porn is a true free market. It only exists because there is money to be made at it. If masses of people are voting with their computer mouses, saying they like porn, does it not stand to reason that that might be a more accurate reflection of “normal” than what we think it is? It might be that porn is following human behaviour rather than leading it.
        You have given examples of “extreme” sexual behaviour amongst young people, but do we know that this has not always happened? The Marquis de Sade existed long before internet porn. The cultures of the past shame was used to repress people’s sexuality. Certainly they were not allowed to explore their sexuality. Perhaps the anonymity of the internet has allowed us to see what has always existed. Porn, itself has always existed and has always been sought out by young people. Are farm kids negatively influenced by seeing farm animals copulate without foreplay or tenderness?
        I still have difficulty accepting that porn is so much more powerful an influence than other forms of media or that there is an significant increase of unrealistic sexual expectations since the advent of the internet.

        • Rational Thinker says:

          “The Marquis de Sade existed long before internet porn.”

          An outlier.

          “Porn is a true free market.”

          Yep. In one documentary a porn enthusiast boasts with glee about how porn is the natural end result and pinacle of capitalism and is doing America proud. I totally agree that porn is a genuine reflection of “American values”.

          ” If masses of people are voting with their computer mouses, saying they like porn, does it not stand to reason that that might be a more accurate reflection of “normal” than what we think it is?”

          Fake boobs, fake penises, fake vaginas and fake orgasms are “normal”?

          ” It might be that porn is following human behaviour rather than leading it.”

          If porn followed my behavior I’d have no problem with it.

          “You have given examples of “extreme” sexual behaviour amongst young people, but do we know that this has not always happened?”

          Choking, peeing while in the vagina, then pulling out and peeing on the woman’s body then placing the penis while still urinating into the woman’s mouth while still peeing, and then having her “fisted” by somehow simultaneously, and then she turns over and gets anally penetrated while all of the above still goes on? Nope this has not always happened and it is not normal. And there is no way that that type of porn is “following normal human behavior’.

          I can tell you with full assurance that the majority of humans on the planet are not doing that. And they are not doing “brown sports” either. Disappointed?

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            Rational, what kind of porn do you watch? I didnt even knew these categories existed…..anyways, porn is quite natural, thanks to the sexual revolution and internet people are free to explore and try what they like. Porn make’s you free 😀

          • “rational”

            The point that I was trying to make is that “normal” is a very subjective term and people’s tenancy to keep the details of their sex life secretive makes establishing what normal is very difficult.

            “If porn followed my behavior I’d have no problem with it.” But it may be that your preferences are not normal. Perhaps porn follows other people’s perspective of “normal” and not yours.

            For someone who claims to be a “rational thinker” you seem to easily dismiss facts without providing any of your own.

            ““The Marquis de Sade existed long before internet porn.”

            An outlier.”

            – Do you have any evidence of the historical prevalence of BDSM to present or is this just your opinion?

            You have presented the most extreme representations of porn you could find. I’m sure you understand that this does not represent the “average” porn found out there. It seems like you have already decided what the “truth” is and are not open to discussion.

            “[S]”He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts – for support rather than illumination”
            – Andrew Lang

      • Hi Janis,
        I’m glad your opinion is somewhat malleable.
        I notice that you often refer to studies. It would great if you could post some of the links. From my experience with research, they are rarely if ever unanimous on any subject. If they are it is cause for skepticism. To fully appreciate a study I need to evaluate the methodology. The social sciences do not have the best reputation when it comes to removing bias in their studies.

        I know you find porn offensive, and you’re entitled to that opinion and you are entitled to pass on your values to your son. You seem to make a correlation between your preferences and how you think society should be. Are your preference really reflective of women in general? Most people do not openly discuss their sex lives, particularly if they think their tastes are unusual. Perhaps it is not that other’s behaviour is aberrant because they are extreme, but rather that your own preferences are unusual for being more sedate than average.

        Porn is a true free market. It only exists because there is money to be made at it. If masses of people are voting with their computer mouses, saying they like porn, does it not stand to reason that that might be a more accurate reflection of “normal” than what we think it is? It might be that porn is following human behaviour rather than leading it.

        You have given examples of “extreme” sexual behaviour amongst young people, but do we know that this has not always happened? The Marquis de Sade existed long before internet porn. The cultures of the past shame was used to repress people’s sexuality. Certainly they were not allowed to explore their sexuality. Perhaps the anonymity of the internet has allowed us to see what has always existed. Porn, itself has always existed and has always been sought out by young people. Are farm kids negatively influenced by seeing farm animals copulate without foreplay or tenderness?

        I still have difficulty accepting that porn is so much more powerful an influence than other forms of media or that there is an significant increase of unrealistic sexual expectations since the advent of the internet.

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          Scott- I need to get off soon and head out into the real world but go ahead and start here: http://psi.sagepub.com/content/4/3/81.short This is a good synthesis of literature. There are many links at the boom of this abstract to other studies and you can go ahead and search google scholar for “effects of violent media on youth” or something like that and find it all yourself. There have been many longitudinal studies conducted at this point and they all show the same thing: it has an impact.

          Gotta run

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          Scott: this summarizes a study on ED trends in men: http://www.prevention.com/sex/sex-relationships/ed-rates-rising-among-younger-men. The full study ran in a 2010 issue of ournal of Sexual Medicine- should be easy to find. Also see: http://www.fpcmtc.org/node/105 for a really interesting study and note that one of the few studies on ED in young men (never really needed before now) showed a 13% ED rate in men aged 13-29. That is MUCH higher than expected.

          • Jason Harrison says:

            The high ED rates in younger men were reported to be related to alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. Tobacco smoking leads to “inflamed, clogged, and crippled arteries, regardless of which organ aka Atherosclerosis”
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/survival-of-the-firmest-erectile-dysfunction-and-death/

            Thus it might not be the porn consumption part of the lifestyle, but other elements of the lifestyle that are more tightly coupled. Many of the neurotransmitters released by porn, are also released, or provided, by tobacco, alcohol and drug use. So you’d probably also find that these men are also more likely to be “risk junkies.”

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              Possibly, though that does not offer much reassurance – why create such ready environments that prey on vulnerabilities? Besides, this research is still young – there are many young men of which I am aware anecdotally (and grown men) who do struggle with porn related ED but who do not fit the risk junkie profile. Research in this area is new so stay tuned..

              • One should not discount the effect of circumcision. Removing a large area of sexually sensitive tissue has an effect. One cannot change the form of an organ without changing it’s function too. One of the areas that the social sciences historically struggles with it the temptation to accept a correlation as a cause.

                http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/06/13/ije.dyr104.full

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  “One should not discount the effect of circumcision. ”

                  I’ve had sex with both natural and cut men, and believe men, I don’t discount it. There is a marked difference in the “rhythm” between the two because of the different angles at which cut and natural must position their hips in order.

                  Natural is more enjoyable. The angle and the rigorous “pounding” that cut men must employ in order to get a semblance of the pleasure that is easier felt by natural, intact penises, can be painful to the vagina.

                  • Well, I never thought I’d see the day Rational, but I agree with you.

                    • Janis Whitlock says:

                      You two are pretty funny, you know? I am loving the discussion. Rational, I have only once been with a “natural” man in this way and simply cannot recall what I thought was different so this analysis is really interesting. My son is uncircumcised, however, and I have often wondered whether he will regret this or now. It sounds like it may be even better for him too!

                    • Janis,

                      At least by leaving your son intact, he has the option of choosing how he wants his penis to look. His body, his choice. You’ll never have to explain why you had part of his penis cut off. If he really hates his foreskin (which I doubt) he can choose to have it removed – but it will be his choice.

              • Janis,

                I wonder what your thoughts are about vibrator use by females and if there is any association with difficulty of some women to achieve orgasm. From what I understand, your theory is that porn makes men accustom to archiving orgasm through a method that is not with a real female and therefore makes them unable to achieve erection with a real female. In the same way, does a vibrator not teach a woman to become aroused and achive orgasm through “unnatural” methods?

                • Janis Whitlock says:

                  Scott,

                  Vibrators reduce sensitivity over time so constant use is not advised – particularly if one wants to also be able to orgasm from a partner’s touch. In this way, the relation you draw between porn and vibrators is similar. The difference is that vibrator use is not dependent on a billion dollar industry that exploits people and feeds women a steady diet of relationship distorting fantasy (though I assume some women use a vibrators while looking at porn; there is no association between introduction of the vibrator and porn – women are pretty good at using their imagination and vibrators makes it all go very fast). However, steady vibrator use can also lead to preferential use of vibrators, maybe even solo, to a partner – this is a major issue with porn use as well.

                  • “women are pretty good at using their imagination and vibrators makes it all go very fast).”

                    So, male masterbatory aids are immoral, female masterbatory aids are moral but should be used with caution?

                    You had said earlier that many girls get their sexual education by looking at porn. Do you feel that female porn users are less culpable than male porn users? I’d be curious about the proportion of porn users who are female.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      “I wonder what your thoughts are about vibrator use by females and if there is any association with difficulty of some women to achieve orgasm.”

                      If they are orgasming with a vibrator then there is no “difficulty” in achieving orgasm, is there?

                      If a man is unable to bring a woman to orgasm, the “difficulty” lies with him, not her.

                      When men are unable to bring their partners to orgasm they use the cop out, “she’s not orgasmic” or “she has difficulty orgasming”…..HOG WASH! Ask the woman and 9 times out of 10 she’ll say she has no “difficulty” orgasming at all, with herself or with another man.

                      There are some men out there (and their numbers are not few, lemme tell ya), who simply do not want to put in the time, effort and dare I say work, to bring their partners to orgasm. Forget about multiple orgasms.

                      These are the same men who say, “you are responsible for your own orgasm”, and then when their partners “take responsibility” by trying to tell them how she can and will orgasm, they zone out or leave altogether.

                      There is no such thing as a “non-orgasmic woman” – only men who are unable to bring her to orgasm.

                    • Janis Whitlock says:

                      “So, male masterbatory aids are immoral, female masterbatory aids are moral but should be used with caution?

                      You had said earlier that many girls get their sexual education by looking at porn. Do you feel that female porn users are less culpable than male porn users? I’d be curious about the proportion of porn users who are female.”

                      I am not making viewers individually culpable for the widespread and damaging availability of pornography. If donuts are sitting around people generally eat them. Can and should individuals exercise restraint? yes and yes, but I know that this is remarkably difficult in this terrain and that young people have a particularly hard time with this. My beef is with the industries and the carriers, though I DO think that all users need to be aware of the effects of consistent use of porn on their lives and the lives of young people just starting out in this area.

                      Re: orgasm – I think this is a two way street. I am not totally in agreement, Rational, that men are responsible for a partner’s orgasm -what goes into that for women (and men, though perhaps less so) can be really mixed up with emotional comfort, trauma history, ability to relax etc.. I do know women with awesome and caring partners who really struggle with orgasm – not b/c their partner has not worked at it in all of the best ways. That said, there are many men who really haven’t a clue about how a woman’s body works. My own husband said last night that until he met me, he did not know that wetness has little to do with readiness to orgasm – he thought that it happened as quickly for women as it does for men. That sexual arousal for women is often a longer slower build was new news. There are other examples. If porn is the only place that men learn about pleasuring women – they will be even more ignorant than if they worked at figuring it out themselves. Most school districts do not even allow the use of the word “pleasure” in sex education so I am not surprised at the crazy assumptions I hear. maybe we need a GMP blog os sexual intelligence!

                    • Janis,

                      I would agree that kids should have more information about how porn, like doughnuts should be used in moderation, if they choose to use it. It can be addicting and people need to make sure it does not interfere with living real life.

      • Rational Thinker says:

        ” I do know that penis size and performance issues do come up for men using porn”

        I wonder how much. Those issues sure didn’t come up for one ex-partner I had who took a passive-aggressive dig at me and suggested I watch porn. I was like, “Dude, me watching large chocolate penises is not going to work in your favor, trust me”.

        He shut his trap fast after that.

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          Yeah, you may be right. 🙂 I just know that this whole subject is so loaded for all of us – men and women alike. My partner has been pretty candid about the performance issues many of the men he knew had struggled with and it really enlightened me to some of the issues men face that I never think about at all.

          • Rational Thinker says:

            “My partner has been pretty candid about the performance issues many of the men he knew had struggled with ”

            Those performance issues were porn related?

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              He has said that he thinks that they often are. But he also says that teen boys worry about performance regardless of whether there are real performance issues – it is just a thing that men seem to think about, according to him, much more than I knew. For guys who have been using porn regularly or who are older, performance issues with real women often are tied to this and they find that they get their mojo back once they kick the habit, assuming they do.

    • Rational Thinker says:

      “Since it is your position that porn leads to unrealistic expectations of sex, what would you think of promoting a more realistic type of porn. ”

      Why the need to “promote” porn at all, of any type? Humans have managed to meet, mate and reproduce just fine for multi-thousands, if not millions, of years before porn.

      • And people are still managing to meet, mate and reproduce just fine. Last I checked most countries’ population is increasing and all those people are a product of people managing to meet, mate and reproduce. I, however, think that is a pretty low standard to aim by.

        I am also curious about when you think porn first appeared since you’ve postulated that humanity (and I am going to be specieist enough to assume homo sapiens) have procreated for millions of years before porn existed.

      • The Chauvet Cave in france have art on them which has been dated as being from about 26,000 BC. Among the images are paintings of a human vagina and sexual acts. So, given that “porn” has been around in one form or another for at least 28,000 years, I think it would be difficult to say that porn has not coexisted with human mating for some time now.

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          Scott, I seriously doubt that men sat in front of those cave drawings and masturbated. Porn is a masturbation aide, not a depiction of human life and ritual. Those paintings had social and possibly religious meaning. While I know that porn is a religion for some folks, I certainly hope that is not what is left to find of us after we all go! At this rate, though, it may well be – imagine that!

          • So is it porn, the masterbation or both that you dislike. I know that the tantric teaching would have a man retain his sperm and deny himself orgasms. Do the same restrictions apply to female sexuality?
            I don’t think the majority of society is against masterbation. My feel is that most people would consider masterbation a healthy expression of sexuality and, particularly in the young, a healthier way to vent sexual tension than having a sexual relationship before they are mature enough for it.

            • Rational Thinker says:

              Your questions are addressed to Janis but I’ll chime in as well.

              “I know that the tantric teaching would have a man retain his sperm and deny himself orgasms. Do the same restrictions apply to female sexuality?”

              – No. The reason for this is that it is believe that men “lose energy” through the loss of semen whereas women do not lose energy through their ejaculation but rather in some instances become invigorated by it . There is also a practice by which the woman’s “juice” is drawn up into the man via his external urethral orifice. Who knows if anyone has ever done this, but the process as been described.

              Generally ejaculation is seen as tiring and life depleting for men and hence they are advised to “preserve their energy” through the process of withholding ejaculation unless they want to purposely impregnate. They can also experience “multiple non-ejaculatory orgasms” if they practice and become adept.

              As far as masturbation, its generally understood that kids and young people, both male and female, will do this, it has nothing to do with yoga, tantra or being or not being celibate. I’m sure that many of male and female yogis, monks, nuns, and members of ashrams and monastaries masturbate, even if, as I’ve heard from Catholics, it is considered a “sin”.

              From the Indian traditional side, we do not consider masturbation sinful however I’m sure there are yogis and monks and nuns in our traditions that would consider it to be “energy depleting” for both men and women who have chosen a celibate lifestyle.

              • From the reading I’ve recently done on tantric sex it appears that some practitioners do advise women to limit their orgasms as well.

                If you practice a version where women can orgasm and men cannot – well, that doesn’t seem like a lot of fun really. It seems more like a Femdom or cuckholding activity than mutually satisfying sex.

                Masterbation may be depleting of energy, but that can be a good thing. I’ve encountered quite a few angry people who would do better to go home and deplete themselves of energy for a while and hopefully come back a happier person.

                • Janis Whitlock says:

                  Re: masturbation, tantra & orgasm:

                  All worthy of days of discussion but my two cents is this: masturbation is normal and healthy – particularly for younger people learning about their own bodies and preferences. It becomes damaging to a person when a) it is regularly used as away to cope with stress, emotional discomfort, and life in the way that one would use a drug – to anesthetize, b) when it becomes preferable to a living partner and real intimacy, c) when it cannot be accomplished without the use of pornography, d) when it becomes compulsive (e.g. performed even when a person is not feeling real sexual) or obsessive (e.g. when one begins to think about it all the time, assess real women for their usefulness as a masturbation aide, need more edgy material to get the same effect etc..). Masturbation, particularly to porn or other real person based fantasy, can be tough on a relationship so it is ideal if partners can be honest about what they want and do; having secrets here may do much more harm than being open.

                  Scott – tantra for men does not mean never orgasiming (unless exclusively engaged in “cool” tantra which is actually quite nice for older men so don’t knock it :)), it means learning to control the high and choosing to release or not. it is actually quite wonderful for men, says my partner, since it can make love making last for hours (some tantra teachers suggest that men go up and come down the pleasure mountain 3 times before letting go – that can make it last quite long and the build, so I am told, is pretty incredible). He actually likes to have tantra sessions where he comes close to orgasming but does not so that he can experience the pleasure w/o the “low” that can come after release of semen. A few days of that, though, and he really cannot hold it so it is a great mix. We look forward to cool tantra sessions as we age when erections and orgasm become more difficult. It is nice and definitely does not mean you have no fun – you have even more fun! it does mean, however, staying more present to yourself and your partner and learning a lot of self restraint.

                  • So, is restraint from orgasm for females also encouraged?

                    It sounds like this might be just a version of edging. Where one is able to get to the edge of orgasm but not go over by controlling one’s self. I can extend things usually to a 3:1 ratio of her vs me. But I don’t know if I could ever really discontinue an engagement without finally going over the edge without being disappointed – and uncomfortable.

          • My point was that porn has been with us for a long time. Individuals, men or women, may have used them as porn, I’m sure you don’t claim to know, I certainly don’t, nor do the scientist who are studying the cave. The line between art, erotic art and porn is very subjective.

            At this point “rational” will give us a sampling of the most extreme description of porn that no-one has ever scene. Once she is done we can get back to the discussion.

  22. Rational Thinker says:

    “I have seen you bring up the idea that the fault of the negative perception of male sexuality is the fault of porn on 3 different posts here.”

    And you keep referring to societal gender stereotypes. Face it. Media IS our society today. I would think you, a person who expected me to behind a computer all day yesterday in order to track your comments and then reply “right now damnit!” , of all people should understand that!

    Janis is teaching her son media literacy, that is, to question and deconstruct the stereotypes that society perpetrates on our collective consciousness through media.

    • I disagree with your basic premiss that media is society. It is reflective and influences our society, but they are not the same.

      I wish we could elevate the level of discourse here to talk about ideas rather than personal insults and ad hominem attacks. Maybe look at these links and we can all have a better discussion.
      http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html
      http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/michael/blog/2008/05/paul-grahams-disagreement-hierarchy/

      • Rational Thinker says:

        “I wish we could elevate the level of discourse here to talk about ideas rather than personal insults and ad hominem attacks. ”

        Personal attacks? Ad hominem? I’ve gone through most of the comments here and don’t see either. You, on the other hand, made all kinds of assumptions about myself and Janis when you didn’t get replies to your comments in the exact time frame that you wanted them.

        You don’t seem to have any regard for that fact that we have other things to do than be at your online beck and call. Are you childless by any chance? Many childless people I know assume that people with kids have just as much free time as they do. We don’t.

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          from Rational awhile ago:

          “Hii Janis! Yes its sometimes described like that but its also sometimes described that the masculine is the place of deep knowing and acceptance and the feminine is the activating force, or the active force. Maya itself is feminine, a female deity. She is the active element of this material phenomena, the one who gets the ball (heh) rolling and “creates” all these names and forms, vasanas, samskaras, karmas, etc.

          Scott, to answer your question YES, in all of the classical Indian traditions that I have been exposed to women and men are advised to view their partners/spouses as earthly embodiments of divine feminine AND masculine expressions of divinity, respectively.”

          Thanks for the clarification, Rational – I always forget how that goes. Yes, it was Eve who actually ate the apple, right? Welcome samskara!

  23. The Wet One says:

    What is tool sex?

    Not really familiar with the term. I suspect I know what it is, but I’ve never heard that term before, so I don’t know.

    Thanks!

    • Janis Whitlock says:

      My own shorthand (sorry!) for using another for sexual gratification only w/o any real connection except a shared (or not so shared) desire to get off.

      • Janis Whitlock says:

        Actually – as a footnote to this. I saw a study a while ago that showed that when young men were showed sexy pictures of women they do not know when in an fMRI machine, the portion of their brain associated with tools (e.g. hammers, nails etc..) lit up (this was the source of my mental reference to “tool sex”). When a picture of their girlfriend showed up, an entirely different part of the brain lit up – one associated with relationships and social exchange. Current understanding suggests that this tendency is likely a mix of hardwiring and environment. It did help me understand the dichotomy that men talk about between random sexual attraction to unknown women being very different than what they feel about their lovers / partners, but I do think reducing people to tools in this way needs to be somewhat mitigated. Contemporary culture seems to capitalize on and commodify on this tendency rather than assist us in finding healthy and satisfying outlets for this.

        • The Wet One says:

          Ok. Thanks for that.

          I heard about that study. For my part, I don’t think it proves much. Question is, what do people not exposed to our society show in the machine when shown the same image. I was unaware about the picture of the girlfriend aspect of it. My question is, which phenomenon was seen first? Do images of women normally trigger the tool use part of the brain of males? Is that something we only see in our society or is it universal? What if it’s a universal across cultures? Then our media does nothing, or at least the argument it does something isn’t nearly as strong. It’s kind of a useless study in that way.

          As for men compartmentalizing relationships and sex, well, prostitution has been around since forever. Loving relationships have a pretty long history too if the stories are to be believed. As such, I don’t think there’s anything new under the sun. Plus, an earlier version of our society exists. It’s called Pompeii. Once upon a time, they wouldn’t let the regular folks see the artifacts from Pompeii on the basis that their lowly nature would be corrupted by the highly porngraphic artifacts from Pompeii. Eventually, society got over that ridiculous elite view of things. Furthermore, Pompeii’s graphic sexual artifacts (not movies, or internet, but sculpture, frescoes and art, the media of the day I suppose) are pretty much the same thing as today’s widespread unrepressible porn. Same thing, different era, and as always life went on at least until Pompeii was buried in volcanic ash, but that had nothing to do with the porn. Just ask the geologists. Anyways, I digress.

          • Janis Whitlock says:

            yes, I agree about the antiquity of the issues we discuss, but the “moderation in all things” advice that is equally ancient also applies here. I would say that we have lost the moderation side of things in a big way. We see the effects of this consciousness (“wow, if a little feels good, a lot must be that much better!”) in every part of our life – globally and locally (think environment, prescription drug use, food portions, car sizes , whatever.. we are living it out fully!). So, time will tell.

            Your questions about the study are good and there are some answers to this from other studies. In short, there is some evidence that both male and female brains do become tool oriented with priming, that this happens more readily for males than females, and that this is largely an effect of environmental priming / messaging in conjunction with natural proclivities. Interestingly, the tendency to objectify body parts tends to be largely projected onto women (even women do this to other women more than they do to men) because of cultural scripts and priming. These objectifying tendencies can be reversed, at least in the short term, by activities that ask the brain to engage in activities that require more global neural connections. So, for example, participants “see” women’s bodies differently after engaging in these activities (focus less on specific parts than on global appraisals of the whole person; most of us do this for men always).

  24. Some of the posters don’t understand the perspective of people like John and myself. This posting from TGMP might help understand a bit of our perspective. John, I hope I haven’t overstepped by speaking a little bit on your behalf.

    http://goodmenproject.com/international-mens-movement/imm-how-do-i-protect-my-son/

  25. Rational Thinker says:

    John and Scott and a few others who object to Janis’s points might do better to object to the way men and male sexuality are consistently portrayed in porn as well as our ever-increasing pornified mainstream and even alternative “media”.

    Janis is not assuming her son is a predator or perpetrator at heart, rather she’s assuming that he’s been exposed to countless media platforms that portray men and male sexuality as just that. Why? Because he has. We all have. And it is that inaccurate and unnatural portrayal of male sexuality that she wants her son to not feel he has to emulate in order to express his own sexuality.

    I find it really telling that these commenters are taking issue with Janis’s letter but not saying a word about the way men and male sexual expression are portrayed in pornography and other increasingly pornified media.

    Where is all the “outrage” from men on a collective societal level at the way men are portrayed in porn?

    I agree that girls should not be growing up fearing genuine expressions of male sexuality, however there is something for both boys and girls to fear with regards to porn.

    I also agree that as boys should be encouraged to not fear their own innate sexuality but rather embrace it, so should girls. Not that on the one hand girls should be taught to honor male sexuality and not honor their own, or somehow honor male sexuality but simultaneously “protect herself” from it.

    Here’s an example of a father doing “real sex talk” right by his daughter;

    http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/brand-dear-daughter-i-hope-you-have-awesome-sex/

    The hypocritical stance taken by many in the “manosphere” is “male sexuality should not be shamed however my daughter better not be going anywhere near it. ”

    In other words, men going to strip clubs is perfectly normal and should be neither stopped nor shamed, but somehow those same men better keep their own daughters “off the pole”.

    Either something is natural and good all the way or its not at all.

    Choose.

    • I absolutely agree that the “Dear daughter I hope you have awesome sex” article was great. I also note that of the 3 or 4 “letters to my son about sex” type articles TGMP have published none even came close to that one. They only perfunctory mentioned enjoying sex and the boy’s own consent.

      • Rational Thinker says:

        ” They only perfunctory mentioned enjoying sex and the boy’s own consent.”

        Because boys and men are still seen as the initiators of sex. That stereotype is played out over and over again in even benign mainstream films and TV.

        Like I mentioned as well, the “manosphere” which screams to high heaven if “male sexuality is shamed”, at the same time screams to high heaven about (female) “sluts” and parents who do not lock their daughters down.

        Now you tell me, if male sexuality is not shameful, then what on earth is there to “protect” daughters from?

        That they cannot, or will not, answer.

        • Because boys and men are still seen as the initiators of sex. That stereotype is played out over and over again in even benign mainstream films and TV.

          Yes, so why is there so many people here cheering for yet another letter which validates and solidify that stereotype? At best it treats the son as the exception to prove the rule.

          Now you tell me, if male sexuality is not shameful, then what on earth is there to “protect” daughters from?

          Considering that I wrote that I thought the “Dear daughter I hope you have awesome sex” article was great I really don’t understand why you ask me to defend a position I’ve indicated that I don’t hold?

          Daughter’s don’t need to be protected from sex. They need to be brought up to be self-confident and self-respecting so they can determine and stand up for heir own agency, boundaries, wants and needs regarding sex. After that it becomes much easier to teach them to be pro-actively aware of and to respect their partner’s boundaries. The same goes for boys. So to iterate; in my view Ferrett Steinmetz does the right thing in his article/letter while this letter failed.

          This quote from this article by Abigail Rine pretty much sums up my view:

          Many feminists have written, particularly in the wake of Steubenville, of the need to teach boys the importance of consent. I agree – but I think we must begin by teaching them the importance of their own consent, and the sacredness of their own bodies, and to empower them to speak out if anyone, anyone, ever violates that.

          • Nice work Tamen,

            If we were to teach boys and girls the same lessons about sex, sexuality, relationships and consent they might have fewer misunderstandings and better relationships.

          • RatIONAL Thinker says:

            I agree with Abigail Rine’s point. Interestingly enough there are a lot of men, and the Manosphere is very vocal about this, that oppose “sensitivity training” or any kind of seminar in school or the work place, put in place to inform students or employees what exactly constitutes “sexual harrassement” and “sexual assualt”.

            As a person who lives and works in a co-ed environment, it is in my best interest to know what words or actions could potentially cost me my job or even worse.

            Just as I continue to be bemused by the lack of men speaking out against porn, I continue to be bemused by men who feel “put upon” by information that can increase their knowledge base about what could potentially cost them their scholarships, their jobs, heck could possibly even land them in jail!

            Knowledge is power. Knowledge is empowerment.

            • In answer to your bemusement, a lot of men have reached their tolerance for being told that their behaviour is wrong.

              • Rational Thinker says:

                “a lot of men have reached their tolerance for being told that their behaviour is wrong.”

                And the law books give a flying fig about this…….. how?

              • Janis Whitlock says:

                What if their behavior is wrong? Is is possible that they, as human beings, are wonderful, loving, beautiful people who may have to work a little harder than women by virtue of their gender on regulating impulsive behaviors? Discipline is not a bad thing in life, in any way, and I do not see any problem with asking individuals to exercise it when not using it leads to harm. Other than imposing on men’s rights to objectify and, in sexual harassment cases, act this out on someone else, are there ways in which you feel like men are systematically invaded or damaged?

                • This is about as close as you have come to confessing your true feelings about males and females – in particular the inherent virtue of each gender.

                  “…there is no more beautiful place than a woman’s heart, honest.”

                  It’s a pity you do not view a man’s heart as equally beautiful.

                  • Janis Whitlock says:

                    Honestly, I am so sorry if this offends you. In the tantric traditions which relate to sex and the relationship between feminine and masculine (these emerged in India around 1100AD it is estimated, though exact dates vary), the feminine energy is very much a heart energy – it is a creative force which is potentiated by the masculine. In tantra, men achieve their highest sexual and spiritual states through serving the feminine – whether this be a female partner or the feminine energy in themselves or another man. The masculine is very much a driving outward force and the power, in these practices, his achievement and satisfaction lay in discipline — prolonging ejaculation, cultivating his feminine partner’s opening, and most certainly not wasting seed in front of a screen. In my own experience I see this – the feminine in all of us is the yielding place, the place of deep knowing and acceptance. The masculine is an activating force. They work together. Whether it is in yourself or with another, the feminine “heart” really is an amazing place. You do not need to be a woman to find your heart.

                    • I think I understand that when you say “feminine heart” you do not mean, necessarily the heart of a female, but rather the feminine aspect of the heart of anyone – in this religious perspective.

                      With this in mind, your comment is not offensive. However, without the understanding of how you meant the comment it did, at first blush, look very sexist.

                      I cannot say that a doctrine that believes “men achieve their highest sexual and spiritual states through serving the feminine – whether this be a female partner or the feminine energy in themselves or another man.” sounds particularly egalitarian, but I get what you’re driving at. Does Tantra also speak of the feminine serving the masculine aspect of a person?

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      ” In my own experience I see this – the feminine in all of us is the yielding place, the place of deep knowing and acceptance. The masculine is an activating force.”

                      Hi Janis! Yes its sometimes described like that but its also sometimes described that the masculine is the place of deep knowing and acceptance and the feminine is the activating force, or the active force. Maya itself is feminine, a female deity. She is the active element of this material phenomena, the one who gets the ball (heh) rolling and “creates” all these names and forms, vasanas, samskaras, karmas, etc.

                      Scott, to answer your question YES, in all of the classical Indian traditions that I have been exposed to women and men are advised to view their partners/spouses as earthly embodiments of divine feminine AND masculine expressions of divinity, respectively.

                      Unfortunately not all Indian people do this.

                    • Mind you, you did say “a woman’s heart” not the feminine heart.

            • Well. my understanding is that most of such opposition is not against the “sensitivity training” per se, but rather against the threshold of what is considered sexual harassment and not least against the unbalanced view where women are the victims of said harassment and men are the perpetrators.

              • Agreed!

              • Rational Thinker says:

                “Well. my understanding is that most of such opposition is not against the “sensitivity training” per se, but rather against the threshold of what is considered sexual harassment ”

                Sorry honey but the law doesn’t care if they are opposed to the threshold of what is legally considered sexual harrasement or not. Therefore it is in the best interest of men to learn what they could potentially lose their jobs or be dragged to court/jail over.

                • Sorry honey but

                  I’ve treated you with respect and expected the same in return. Please refrain from patronizing me.

                  the law doesn’t care if they are opposed to the threshold of what is legally considered sexual harrasement or not. Therefore it is in the best interest of men to learn what they could potentially lose their jobs or be dragged to court/jail over.

                  Yes, it is in everyone’s best interest to know the law/rules that apply. I pointed out that depicting the opposition against sensitivity training as stupid in the sense that doing so leaves one ignorant of law/rules and the legal/litigating consequences of running afoul of said law/rules is missing the mark as most opposition I’ve seen have been from people aware of the laws/rules and who thinks the laws/rules are too stringent. It’s a stance which differs from the one you outlined as it’s not built on ignorance, but rather on disagreement.

                  But if it is important for you to believe that any opposition against sensitivity training is about people being stupid and wanting to be ignorant and at legal/litigation risk and not the more rational reason of being in opposition to the actual laws/rules and/or their content.

                  My beef with sensitivity training (corporate) and anti-sexual harassment/violence training (school, colleges) is that they still too often is gender biased. The residue of the time when bringing up sexual harassment of men by women were considered antifeminist blacklash is unfortunately still present.

                  • Rational Thinker says:

                    “But if it is important for you to believe that any opposition against sensitivity training is about people being stupid and wanting to be ignorant and at legal/litigation risk”

                    – Its about the Manosphere creating false flags.

                    ” and not the more rational reason of being in opposition to the actual laws/rules and/or their content.”

                    – The best way to “voice opposition” is to show up to the trainings and voice them.

                    “My beef with sensitivity training (corporate) and anti-sexual harassment/violence training (school, colleges) is that they still too often is gender biased. ”

                    – The trainings and laws are gender neutral.

                    Oppose away!

                    • – The trainings and laws are gender neutral.

                      Am I to assume that you know them all – laws and training courses? The law is not gender neutral in India for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sexual_Harassment_of_Women_at_Workplace_%28Prevention,_Prohibition_and_Redressal%29_Act,_2013

                      The laws are also not gender neutral in China (Law on Women’s Right Protection).

                      A lot of the training courses uses dramatic training videos. For a training course to be gender neutral I’d expect them to have a close to equal number of scenarios depicting female and male perpetrator and also female and male victim. Yet the ones I’ve taken mirrors this example: http://www.kantola.com/Sexual-Harassment-A-Commonsense-Approach-Employee-Version-PDPD-1-K.aspx
                      Notice something in common for all three clips available on that page?

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      Tamen, “Am I to assume that you know them all – laws and training courses? The law is not gender neutral in India for example: ”

                      India and China? We are talking about “sensitivity trainings” in colleges and work places in the West and USA in particular since this is an “American” blog. They don’t even have “sensitivity trainings” in Indian colleges and work places and I know this because…. I’M INDIAN.

                      And since you bring it up, India is one of the absolute worst places on the plane to be born female. The fact that there are “MRAs” in a country where sex selective abortions take place, where dowry is common, dowry deaths are not uncommon, where brides (both child brides and adult brides) are expected to live with their in laws and take the lowest rung on the family hierarchal ladder, where “eve teasing” (sexual harrassement) of women is an epidemic on the streets, in public spaces and public transportation systems, where there are NO sensitivity trainings in colleges and work places, and where the overall state of things is a highly oppressive one for women, ….. well the fact there are so called “MRAs” organizing there because “Indian women who refuse to live with their husbands’ parents are radical Feminazis who want dismantle thousands of years of Indian culture”… is just either the biggest joke in the world or the worst tragedy.

                      India? Seriously?

                      The story MRAs don’t want to hear but that women face daily in India, told through the experience of an American tourist, who had to seek mental health professionals upon her return;

                      http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1023053

                    • Mr Supertypo says:

                      Rational, naturally India have MRA’s. Its not only bad for women, over there, but also for men. But we tend to focus only at out own, ignoring or forgetting what happens to other people. So you lament,rightfully, the condition of women, but what about the condition of men? or in your eye they are all rapists?

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      Mr Super Type A Personality said, “So you lament,rightfully, the condition of women, but what about the condition of men?”

                      What about the “condition” of Indian men? What do they face that Indian women also do not face? On top of facing what Indian men have to face, Indian women face more, based on their gender. So Indian women get hit with the double whammy, while Indian men only face the problems that are generally faced by ALL Indians.

                      There is absolutely NO NEED for a “mens’ rights movement” in India.

                    • Mr Supertypo says:

                      ” Mr Super Type A Personality said, “So you lament,rightfully, the condition of women, but what about the condition of men?”

                      What about the “condition” of Indian men? What do they face that Indian women also do not face? On top of facing what Indian men have to face, Indian women face more, based on their gender.”

                      And how can you say that? based on the trope, women suffer more? As far as I can see, India is a complex society with strong conservative elements, based on the specialization of the sexes. Therefore I cant claim women or men suffer more, because that is frankly incorrect. Men suffer, women suffer. Both genders faces challenges based on their role in the society. And this is a accurate description.

                      ” So Indian women get hit with the double whammy, while Indian men only face the problems that are generally faced by ALL Indians.”

                      And you know this…how?

                      “There is absolutely NO NEED for a “mens’ rights movement” in India.”

                      Im afraid your statement is incorrect.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      Me: ”So Indian women get hit with the double whammy, while Indian men only face the problems that are generally faced by ALL Indians.”

                      Mr. Not-my-Type: “And you know this…how?”

                      Ummm, I’m Indian. I grew up there. I divide my current time between India and the US.

                    • Mr Supertypo says:

                      ” Me: ”So Indian women get hit with the double whammy, while Indian men only face the problems that are generally faced by ALL Indians.” ”

                      Nope, yes both men and women are faced with the general issues faced by all indians, but men are also going to deal with the issues usually faced by all men, in the unique Indian cultural enviroment. I know that for a woman, a man seems to be invulnerable and strong. But thats just a illusion. Men have their own issues, and just this conversation shows that you (woman) dont have a clue on the conditions of men. So let the men have this conversation, while you deal with women.

                      “Mr. Not-my-Type: “And you know this…how?”

                      Its SUPERTYPO, not SUPERTYPE, not SUPER NOT MY TYPE. Lets call each other with our proper nicks, thank you.

                      “”Ummm, I’m Indian. I grew up there. I divide my current time between India and the US.” ”

                      And yet you dont seem to have any clue on what happens with the other gender in your country. But thats not so strange. In past (century ago) when the first women raised their voices, few men listened because they believed women were just fine, all they needed was a good man to marry. Now you are doing the same.

                • “Sorry honey”

                  And with that, the last shred of respectability for you has flown out the window. You are apparently just a hypocritical troll.

                  Janis, do you still feel you are in allegiance with “rational thinker”.

                  • Janis Whitlock says:

                    Scott, I claim no allegiance – only to my highest knowing. I think Rational and I share perspectives because we share experiences here; experiences as a woman that have been painful to live through and to witness in those we love. In this way gender binds us as it does you with a few others in this discussion. My goal is not to win friends or allies, but to learn and, maybe, impart some of my own heart’s voice in a way that you and others might hear. Rational knows this whisper already I think, so it is easy. Stay open and willing – who knowns what we might all see..

                    • It is difficult to remain open when “rational” seems bent on an insincere, belittling approach to those who disagree with her. I try to hear the message behind the hate, but it’s difficult. I appreciate the few glimmers of compassionate communication that do occur.

                      In the whole gender debate, resolution can never come from a place of anger. It can only happen when both sides are willing to put down accusations and approach one another with compassion, empathy and acceptance.

                    • I wonder if you might call out her sexist and demeaning treatment of others. We are often urged not to be a bystander in the face of abuse.

                      -“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

    • hello Rational,

      I have seen you bring up the idea that the fault of the negative perception of male sexuality is the fault of porn on 3 different posts here. I understand what you are saying and I have responded to you. You have not replied to my suggestions however. So, I don’t think you need to keep repeating yourself if you are not willing to participate in a dialog.

      I hear what you are saying with the contradiction of some fathers who still view their daughter’s virginity as somehow their possession to guard and I also condemn that sort of backwards thinking. Boys sexuality is viewed as predatory and girls sexuality is shamed – both are wrong. We would be better off if both males and females were able to express their sexuality without fear or shame in respectful relationships with each other. I think we are making moves in that direction, but it’s painfully slow.

      I invite you to have a read through the ideas I have presented in my other posts and perhaps we can both learn something from each other.

      • Rational Thinker says:

        “You have not replied to my suggestions however. ”

        I’m sorry, Scott. You’ll have to forgive for not prioritizing responding to a stranger’s comments on a blog over other aspects of my life such as spending time with family and friends, working, going out to exercise and enjoy nature, cooking, eating, cleaning and oh, about a hundred other things that I do in any given day.

        Perhaps I’m wrong in not putting my life and family on hold so that I can wait around in front of my computer screen until my comments get through moderation, then waiting to see who responds after that, and then responding. Perhaps that would be a better use of my time and life than all of the things I listed above and all of the things that I actually did today.

        • Let me know when your ready to come down off the cross and have a discussion.

          • RatIONAL Thinker says:

            “I have seen you bring up the idea that the fault of the negative perception of male sexuality is the fault of porn on 3 different posts here.”

            I’ve addressed this in a few new comments today but scroll to the bottom, I will address it again.

      • Hi Scott

        Please don’t speak for others than your self. John has his own voice. And Archy is a grown man, strong enough intellectually to defend his own view when he feels like it.

        • Hi Iben,

          If John has a problem for me implying he might feel the same way I do then I will apologize to him, not you. As you said, John has his own voice and dose not need you to speak for him.

    • Hi Rational Thinker

      You write :

      ✺”I find it really telling that these commenters are taking issue with Janis’s letter but not saying a word about the way men and male sexual expression are portrayed in pornography and other increasingly pornified media.”

      Where is all the “outrage” from men on a collective societal level at the way men are portrayed in porn?✺

      Well said.

    • I’m sorry if my previous comment seems to dismiss what the writer said on this article, its not my intention. As I clearly stated in my previous comment, I’m not in any way disagree with points on her letter. I agree most rapists are men. I agree porn have bad effects on male sexuality. But in my opinion, the real culprit on why many men have trouble with how they express their sexuality is not porn, but how as a society we view gendered role on men and women about sex.

      For example, we are taught that men bodies have not any sexual value ( not beautiful and sexy ) and just a tool, while women bodies are work of art. Who taught this, porn? No, its parents and teachers. I remember hearing my mother saying with disgusted face “Ugghhh, who want to look at men bodies? eww”. My teacher ( female ) saying in class that women are made naturaly more beautiful than men bodies. This kind of view that women bodies are more beautiful than men created several problems, including porn. Why? Because it make us think objectification of women arent bad, because if women are the fairer sex, its obvious we would love to see more women on billboard right? Even women would like to see women more than men. Thats are the usual argument from men about women objectification, for example the recent “Blurred Lines” video by Robin Thicke. Many men dont understand why objectification of women is bad, because they think its normal to see women bodies naked while men are clothed, because women bodies are beautiful while men bodies are ugly ( and no one, including straight women, want to see it ). See how its makes the problem? The same can be said about porn. Men dont think their bodies have value so they learn to objectified women, in street, movies, video games, porn. Such a simple view about “gender role” really messed up our sexual relationship. Thats why I consider myself feminist man, because I think men and women are equal, and strict gender roles we have makes problem for our society.

      I have other example of gender roles that messed up men sexuality, like the role of man as an pursuer and approacher in sexual relationship, and how a value of man is defined by how good he is at attracting women ( whether for relationship or sexual partner ). And I think its is the root of “rape culture” we have.

      Saying “porn is bad” and “dont stare, ogle, touch women” without really look at the root of the problem ( men and women gender roles ) in my opinion is not gonna really help. If we really want to teach our sons about sex, we need to teach him about real sexual value he have as a man, not value defined by society ( not just media and porn ). Teach him many of gender roles and stereortypes are wrong.

      • Hi John
        You write :
        ✺”have not any sexual value ( not beautiful and sexy ) and just a tool, while women bodies are work of art. Who taught this, porn? No, its parents and teachers. I remember hearing my mother saying with disgusted face “Ugghhh, who want to look at men bodies? eww”. My teacher ( female ) saying in class that women are made naturaly more beautiful than men bodies”✺

        When mother pass on attitudes like that it is child abuse,the way I see it. And the teacher has problems or is stupid…..
        But take a look at the interesting article from The Guardian. And make sure to read it all the way to the end.

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/22/honi-soit-vulvas-censorship

      • Janis Whitlock says:

        John,

        First, I have to tell you that I am profoundly sorry that you were ever told by anyone, but particularly you mother, that your (a man’s) body is not beautiful. That is simply untrue. Men’s bodies are profoundly beautiful and I am personally very glad that men are here; I cannot imagine life without the men I love.

        Second, thank you and the others for broadening my idea of what I need to communicate to my son. I have been so personally struck by the profoundly damaging (yes, my opinion – I own it) exploitation of both men and women’s sexuality in contemporary culture that I felt a strong need to caution my son about it and urge him to really question what he sees and hears and to listen closely to his own heart and body. In a time when young teens learn to pleasure themselves in the presence of porn (do not even ask me what I and other families I know have found on our kids’ computers. A 14 year old girl learning to self pleasure to rape videos and PornMD anal probe videos is simply not a healthy expression of human sexuality no matter how you slice it in my mind; though I do know others may disagree). There are 20 year old boys on the increasing number of porn addiction recovery sites sharing their confusion about real sex and this dismay that at 20 years old they cannot achieve an erection to a real person and, in many cases, even to their favorite porn (which gets harder core over time and often ends up with forays into paid sex). I suppose that this has all been coming to some degree, the natural byproduct of a really imbalanced collective relationship with our own sexuality (think “sin” here), but I really struggle with knowing how to raise sons and daughters with really healthy sexuality in this climate. Indeed, it is difficult to maintain healthy marriages in this climate – even among those of us who did not come of age in this pornified time. All I do know is that we have to collectively speak, debate and talk to our kids so this is all very helpful.

        • Rational Thinker says:

          I don’t understand the opposition to your letter. You are teaching him media literacy. To question and deconstruct everything porn and our increasingly pornified mainstream media wants to tell him is “masculine”.

          The fact is that the media in the form of radio, TV, films, internet, i-pads, i-phones and every other gadget out there is in American kids lives 24/7 now. It is invasive.

          The commenters here who are telling you to teach him about “society’s stereotyped gender roles” don’t seem to get that the above media IS the society now and that is exactly what you are teaching about.

          • Janis Whitlock says:

            Thanks for the support, Rational Thinker. I have a feeling that people struggling with this letter are really struggling with an inner dialogue about this stuff. I have learned that porn and masculinity and women and sexuality and relationship seems to bring up our individual and collective stuff like nothing else. This seems trickier territory for men in my experience because, I think, porn and the ubiquitous pornification of media really tailors to one element of masculine wiring. It’s like just having way too much chocolate around – it tastes wicked good but, let’s face it, it really needs to be just one part of a larger more balanced meal. We live in the era of “what the hell – eat dessert for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!” and it seems like many of us who really love this fact are ecstatic to partake but also know or at least suspect that it really is shortening or circumscribing our lives in some way. We really hate it when someone shows up and points this out cause the specter of not being able to pull up to the dessert table whenever we want is worse! I do get it but it makes me sad.

            Alternatively, I have it all wrong and am just another feminist downer showing up to rain on the porn parade! 🙂

            • I, and I suspect others, just don’t believe that porn is the cause of negative view of males and male sexuality. I think it has more to do with groups that fear monger. There doesn’t seem to be any room for discussion of this point on your behalf.

              Just as we don’t believe movies are real, I fail to understand why you think people would be so much more gullible when it comes to movies about sex. Also, there is all types of porn out there catering to any tastes. If you like larger people, there’s porn for that, if you like gentle romantic porn, you can find that, heck if you like to dress up as a furry animal and have fun there is porn for that. It just seems that people, such as yourself, who have said they don’t like porn and don’t look at porn, seem to have decided it is the cause of all the ills of the world.

              I know you are doing research into the subject but, as you know, correlation does not equate to causation. If you have found that young men are unable to become aroused with real females, what are the other causes. You live in the epicentre of male circumcision. Perhaps the when one of a child’s first experiences in life is the cutting of sexual tissue it has an impact on his sexual development. Perhaps the loss of sexual tissue and the resulting keratinzation of what remains has an impact as well. I’m not saying this it the case for sure, but it is a reasonable postulation. http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/06/13/ije.dyr104.full

              • Rational Thinker says:

                ” Also, there is all types of porn out there catering to any tastes. If you like larger people, there’s porn for that, if you like gentle romantic porn, you can find that, heck if you like to dress up as a furry animal and have fun there is porn for that.”

                Who cares? I propose an opt in option for internet consumers when they purchase their internet service. They can choose to opt in to porn and pay for that service as well. People like myself should not have to be subject to it when we are not searching for it, which has happened to me several times and a few times with children sitting next to me.

                ” It just seems that people, such as yourself, who have said they don’t like porn and don’t look at porn, seem to have decided it is the cause of all the ills of the world.”

                “All” of the ills of the world? Where has anyone said that? Janis’s blog here is about portrayals of male sexuality and the influence such portrayals could potentially have on her son.

                • I don’t think you understand how the intent works, it’s not like cable tv packages.

                  • Rational Thinker says:

                    I recently read where ideas are being bantied around about an “opt in” option for internet porn in the UK. There are some details and technicalities to be worked out of course, but if even an incomplete program can prevent me from being exposed to the inside of a**holes when I have not search for that, I’m all the hell for it!

                • Hi Rational Thinker
                  We all know it is discussed in Island. I doubt that politicians and academics there are lacking in knowledge about how it can or can not be done.
                  It is discussed in the UK . The Guardian has written a lot about it lately.
                  I do not rember the details. If I rember correctly politicians work to give families this option when they buy cabled Internet access.
                  I don’t know if it possible also for us that use mobile Internet.

                • Hi Rational Thinker
                  Below I mentioned how they discuss porn filters in UK.
                  Here is one recent article from The Guardian discussing this porn filter.

                  Quote:
                  “Nevertheless, the ISPs are feeling the heat from a government desperate to be seen to be “doing something” about porn. The biggest four companies (BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media) have now “voluntarily” agreed to adopt network-level filtering and will present customers with the option of whether or not to enable it and which “categories” it should block”
                  http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jun/30/internet-porn-panic-ethical-minefield

                  • Filters are not the same as subscriptions to tv packages. Filters have been around for decades.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      People who do not want to consume the product of porn should not have to pay in order to not consume that product. Consumers who want the product should pay for the product.

              • Rational Thinker says:

                “I, and I suspect others, just don’t believe that porn is the cause of negative view of males and male sexuality.”

                Its not the root cause.
                The root cause goes far beyond porn, far back into antiquity.
                That root cause is Testosterone.

                • Well thanks for clearing that up. You seem to feel that 1/2 of the population of the world is somehow evil. But, just so you know, women have testosterone too.

                  • Janis Whitlock says:

                    Scott – I do not hear Rational saying that men are evil, only that a chemical we all have and and some men in high doses, has consequences that transcend their lives only. The porn industry has larger revenues than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined. 2006 Worldwide Pornography Revenues ballooned to $97.06 billion – this is an industry designed to cater to the drives that emerge from testosterone, not all of which are healthy (think sexual slavery and child porn) so there are reasons to be thoughtful about this. It is not an indictment, just a reality we all live with.

                    • Right, so the main chemical responsible for masculinity is not to be trusted. If I were to say estrogen is not to be trusted because of the destabilizing effect it has on a person’s emotional state would you support that or call it misogynistic?
                      The effect of estrogen on emotional fragility can be seen by monthly alterations in behaviour and in post partium depression, both of which are associated with variations in estrogen levels.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      “Right, so the main chemical responsible for masculinity is not to be trusted. If I were to say estrogen is not to be trusted because of the destabilizing effect it has on a person’s emotional state would you support that or call it misogynistic?
                      The effect of estrogen on emotional fragility can be seen by monthly alterations in behaviour and in post partium depression, both of which are associated with variations in estrogen levels.”

                      – Why should we place our “trust” in hormones at all? We are humans with highly developed brains and a highly developed nervous system capable of making well thought out, rational decisions.

                      Pranayama can help you regulate your emotions and rise above repetitive, instinctual habits.

            • “Alternatively, I have it all wrong and am just another feminist downer showing up to rain on the porn parade!”

              Janis, I never said you are wrong and your article is a feminist propaganda. (In fact I consider myself feminist also right? ) I agree that porn is bad, but in my opinion the problem of male sexuality is deeper than that, and porn is just a surface of it. I didn’t even said all you wrote is wrong, in fact I consider it all truth, but in my opinion we have to teach our sons in a different way if we want teach him about sex, because the primary message ( in my opinion ) is left as a secondary message in your letter. You can read my post before about what I really wanted to teach my sons ( and what I mean as my primary message ) , a message that aren’t in your letter. Your letter isn’t wrong, but I have a different letter and I already shared it with you. Mind you, I didn’t want to hijacked the thread or dismissing your letter, I just have different message and perspective. Hope I didnt offend you with my comments.

              • Rational Thinker says:

                ” I agree that porn is bad, but in my opinion the problem of male sexuality is deeper than that”

                I agree. Male sexuality gets a bad rap because of Testosterone.

                Yet ironically enough Manosphere sites always write about how to “raise T levels”. If T is such a problem, why raise it?

                • Mr Supertypo says:

                  why about T? some of the best people in this world had and have T so the hormone is not a problem. Instead a egocentric culture who is all about me me me and me is to blame. Good manners and more altruism is needed. Rather all this mumbo djambo about T.

                  • Rational Thinker says:

                    “what about T? some of the best people in this world had and have T so the hormone is not a problem”

                    I know. I also have it 😉

                    “Instead a egocentric culture who is all about me me me and me is to blame. Good manners and more altruism is needed. Rather all this mumbo djambo about T.”

                    You can research the effects that very high T levels have on “good manners and altruism”.

                    • Mr Supertypo says:

                      Im aware on the effects of high T but this is not a excuse to bioengineering. T are just fine, there is nothing wrong with it but lack of good manners and respect is the key issues and their are cultural. And you dont need high T levels to engage in destructive behaviours.

              • Janis Whitlock says:

                Hi John,

                No offense at all – the dialogue is great and I am grateful for the insights it is offering me on what it feels like to be a man here. It appears to feel belting or negating for some and I thank you for raising this. What I really want is collective caring and respect – for self and others. I feel like we are careening off the edge of a cliff in this regard all over the place and dominant messages about sexuality is just one area.

                Thanks for sharing all of your ideas.

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            simply because people disagree doesent mean they dont get it. Rational. It means they disagree with her about the points she states. Some claim that porn is the root of the problem, others claims that there is more into it. So said this, I dont understand the why somebody has to cristallize themselves into some positions? I do agree with the others that there is more to the story, and this is hard to deny. Beside the users who oppose Janie, are pretty much clear of the why, so I suggest you to be a better reader, and who knows maybe you can learn something 😉

        • FlyingKal says:

          Hi Janis,
          ). There are 20 year old boys on the increasing number of porn addiction recovery sites sharing their confusion about real sex and this dismay that at 20 years old they cannot achieve an erection to a real person and, in many cases, even to their favorite porn (which gets harder core over time and often ends up with forays into paid sex). I suppose that this has all been coming to some degree, the natural byproduct of a really imbalanced collective relationship with our own sexuality (think “sin” here), but I really struggle with knowing how to raise sons and daughters with really healthy sexuality in this climate.

          I grew up in the pre-internet era (guess I gave away my age there…). And in my days “porn” was usually a magazine with pictures of ladies who more often than not kept their panties on. Pictures including men were rare, and actual intercourse even more so. And giving each other oral pleasure was usually referred to as “advanced sex”…

          But I can’t say that I’m any less “confused” about sexuality for that. Or that erectile dysfunction/premature ejaculation in 20-somethings was unheard of, because of sheer nervousness and/or over-eagerness.

          • Rational Thinker says:

            “And giving each other oral pleasure was usually referred to as “advanced sex”…

            Yes, I remember when oral sex was considered something even more intimate than vaginal intercourse, as well as a sort of “treat” from time to time for your spouse/partner.

            Now teen boys are texting their classmates during school for blow jobs out back, anal sex is considered “normal” for heterosexuals (despite the longterm medical complications of it), “facials” are no longer something women go to the beauty parlor for, and if a young woman dare to not wax, shave or somehow get rid of her pubic hair, she can be mocked and ridiculed.

            Bizarre.

            • Hi Rational Thinker,

              You’ll have to forgive for not prioritizing responding to a stranger’s comments on a blog over other aspects of my life such as spending time with family and friends, working, going out to exercise and enjoy nature, cooking, eating, cleaning and oh, about a hundred other things that I do in any given day.

              Perhaps I’m wrong in not putting my life and family on hold so that I can wait around in front of my computer screen until my comments get through moderation, then waiting to see who responds after that, and then responding. Perhaps that would be a better use of my time and life than all of the things I listed above and all of the things that I actually did today.

              You seem to have rearranged your priorities over the last couple of days, haven’t you?

        • Rational Thinker says:

          ” A 14 year old girl learning to self pleasure to rape videos and PornMD anal probe videos is simply not a healthy expression of human sexuality no matter how you slice”

          It sure as hell ain’t. But you see. If they start ’em young, by the time they’re 19 and ready to “leave home” they’ll be all set to seek out a (male of course) porn producer. That’s the industry’s hope, anyway.

          And dare I ask, what is Porn”MD”?

          • Janis Whitlock says:

            PornMD is the website my friend’s 14 daughter visited a few weeks ago to check out an “forced anal probe” video. She also seems to like a site featuring something called “Hanai rape” or some such thing. Can a 14 year old girl really know what she prefers?? I think she, like most people, will go where she gets the biggest dopamine hit and for her it seems to be these sorts of scenes. I have never seen either, but can imagine that PornMD is porn featuring medical personnel, instruments, settings etc. Really unsettling to me.

      • Janis Whitlock says:

        Wow so much here. Yes, we can have filters at the country level – the UK s a great example of this. John, yes, I agree that the issues I raised in my letter to my son were not the only important messages. it is just where I chose to start and I am sure this is because I DO feel profoundly affected by the direction our lusts have taken us and the effects I feel like it is having on relationship and healthy adolescent development. The points you raised in your letter are awesome and I will be mindful to inject them into my communications with my son. FlyingKal – I am with you in when I was raised (and thankful for this!). I am sure that ED has always been around to some extent, but from an academic /scientific perspective, I can tell you that the rates of young men with ED and needing drugs for this has skyrocketed in the past few years. We see it at the University medical centers and in newer studies from inside and outside of the US. Most nervousness induced ED is fixable w/o drugs. This is not the case for many of the guys coming in now with it.

        • WOW!! Are you really suggesting internet filters on a country wide level? That would put us on par with countries like China and some radical muslim countries. If that’s where your train of thought is heading, please stop the train as I want to get off!

          Secondly, you have quoted lots and lots of studies but have yet to provide a link to any of them. If there really is a skyrocketing rate of young men seeking treatment for ED let’s look at the evidence. Let’s consider the confounding factors and the research methodology. Anecdotal evidence is the weakest form of evidence, and so far that’s all you’ve provided.

          • Rational Thinker says:

            “Are you really suggesting internet filters on a country wide level? ”

            For porn, why not?

            As far as it goes now people have to pay to block it. That makes zero sense. Paying to *not* get a service? Hello!? Those who WANT the service can pay for it.

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              Agreed – why should porn be free and widely available? It never was before the Internet. It should take some effort and money to secure – make you think about how much you really want it first. Indeed, I wonder why it is so free and widely available in a culture in which everything that can be sold is. Freebies always come with a cost or for a purpose. I will admit to feeling at times like mass availability of porn and infusion of the porn worldview everything is a little like Coke giving out samples, renaming, rebranding and slipping their products into all niches while no one noticed. The ubiquity of porn feels like a mass drug campaign – what are we not supposed to be paying attention to?

              • There is nothing anyone could ever say to change your mind on the topic is there.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  Scott, “There is nothing anyone could ever say to change your mind on the topic is there.”

                  Some people have clearly defined values.

                  I know that’s not popular in today’s ooey-googy-feel-good-everyone-is-a-special-snowflake-I’m-ok-you’re-ok post-modern culture where how someone “feels” about something is the only arbiter of truth.

                  • I’m just not sure why you engage in debate then. Clearly, you are not open to new ideas, you are fixated on your own perspective.

                    Buddhism teaches compassion toward all sentient beings. Your actions on in this debate do not seem to be in line with this goal.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      “Buddhism teaches compassion toward all sentient beings. Your actions on in this debate do not seem to be in line with this goal.”

                      Scott, you interpret “compassion” as being “malleable” to any and every idea or behavior, including unethical ones. Its a common misunderstanding that post-modern Western people have, hold onto and then try to map onto their new agey forms of Buddhism, Yoga, whatever Eastern practice fits their fancy at any given time.

                      Compassion is actually doing what one can to end the suffering of those within one’s sphere of influence. This might have to take the form of some pretty straight and blunt words in order to impress upon them the depth of their suffering and the urgency to end it.

                    • Compassion does not involve the belittling, insulting, vitriolic speech you have engaged in. Tell me, how does calling someone “honey” in a condescending way constitute compassion? Your actions smack of cultural imperialism. Just because someone disagrees with you dose not mean they are wrong!

            • Firstly, the internet does not bring content to you. The internet simply allows you to seek out the content of others. Individuals pay for access to the internet, not to fund each individual website.

              There are some programs that try to make their content more easily found which advertisers use to promote their product. This is likely why porn content comes up when you search unrelated items.

              As an analogy, think of the internet as a street. You pay for access to the street. The shops that set up along the street (websites) are not paid by your access fee. Their presence or absence has no effect on the cost of access to the street.

              Hope this helps.

              • Rational Thinker says:

                “Firstly, the internet does not bring content to you. ”

                Scott, I already gave you a few examples of how indeed the internet “brought” porn “content” to me, and one example was when I was sitting surrounded by kids.

                Not links to porn, but porn itself. I believe I provided you with only 2 examples but I have had this experience dozens of times over the past decade.

                • ” I have had this experience dozens of times over the past decade.”

                  So, on average 4 times a years? Hardly seems like an epidemic. Sounds like your more likely to encounter a shockingly explicit sex act on the street than on the internet.

                  There are programs advertisers use to bring content to your computer, this is not the internet itself. There are also programs you can use to defeat the programs advertisers use. Yes it’s not fair you have to pay for them, but it’s the same story with computer viruses. If you are waiting for life to become fair you will have a long wait.
                  Supervise your children while on the computer, turn your parental controls on your internet browser, and if something “evil” pops up, x out of that screen.

        • Hi Janis

          Dr. Brandy Engler has written many good article on GMP. She is a sexologist. I would said that makes her well qualified to speak about ED.

          She also writes about porn in her book The Men On My Couch. An interesting book.
          http://yourbrainonporn.com/erectile-dysfunction-increases-among-young-men-2013

          EU, The European Union also discussed porn and regulation just like Island discussed it.
          I have looked at summerhouses in Island. 🙂

          • Janis Whitlock says:

            Iben, thanks for this link. I like the YBOP site – there is a lot of important info coming out of there and the TED talk is one I showed my son. Wow, wouldn’t it be a blessing to live in a place where porn is unusual and a once in awhile thing? I would so love this; maybe all of the teen girls I know who talk about having a life plan that includes a brief stripping phase (and dressing like it in the meantime) would look for a more uplifting summer job..

            • Rational Thinker says:

              ” I would so love this; maybe all of the teen girls I know who talk about having a life plan that includes a brief stripping phase”

              Seriously?!

              Or were you being sarcastic or facetious?

              • Janis Whitlock says:

                Serious, Scott. My daughter recently shared that her best friend wanted to be a stripper for awhile in college. I am not at all surprised. When “Secret Confessions of a Call Girl” is the hot teen show, girls and boys are becoming enamored with this lifestyle. You laugh but wait till you have kids. With google glass and holographic computers coming soon, your kids, if you have them, will probably be using apps to virtually undress the girl in front of them in line and holograms to beam in naked chicks to their bedrooms. Good luck – I am SO glad my kids are nearly there. I shudder to think with the future will bring in this regard!

      • Rational Thinker says:

        “Even women would like to see women more than men. Thats are the usual argument from men about women objectification, for example the recent “Blurred Lines” video by Robin Thicke. Many men dont understand why objectification of women is bad, because they think its normal to see women bodies naked while men are clothed, because women bodies are beautiful while men bodies are ugly ( and no one, including straight women, want to see it ). ”

        Oh puh-lese. You seriously think “Blurred Lines” had naked women dancing around fully clothed men because that is “what women want”? Come on.

        I mean, Robin Thicke is a sex symbol desired by many women who in fact would like to see him naked. And don’t forget the other man in the video is black, and women definitely want to see some raw hot chocolate. Black male sexuality is in fact objectified. (Perhaps Thicke didn’t want to be exposed because he wouldn’t show up so “thick” afterall?)

        That video was made as eye candy for men. And it doesn’t matter if Thicke’s wife directed it. That’s not how the business works.

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          Okay, I am seriously going to have to retract my line to my son about there being nothing I have not seen – I have no idea who this guy is, what you are talking about and I only barely recognize some of the more advanced “techniques” you have mentioned in other posts, Rational. I think I am really old fashioned and out of the current loop here – thank the Goddess!

        • Its not what I think, but what I believe many others think. Our society think naked men are offensive & disgusting while naked women are normal, because our society see they are naturally the beautiful one. Thats why they called the fairer sex. Dont believe me? Just ask any female friend you know, who have more beautiful bodies, men or women, most of them would answer female, even though they said they attracted to men sexually.

          • Rational Thinker says:

            “ust ask any female friend you know, who have more beautiful bodies, men or women, most of them would answer female, even though they said they attracted to men sexually.”

            It may be that in this culture a greater percentage of women than men have fit, attractive bodies. Most men in the US are not sexually objectified and lets face it – most men in the US don’t have sexy bodies. However, there are men in the US who do have sexy bodies and THOSE are the men we women enjoy seeing shirtless on the beach.

            As far as nudity in films, womens’ breasts are secondary sex characteristics while generally a man’s chest is not seen as a secondary sex characteristic (though male butts are). That means if you see a topless woman in a film, it will be rated R but a topless man can be in any film.

            Obviously neither vagina nor penis is shown in R rated films because genitals are primary sex characteristics.

            And if you don’t think women don’t want to see HOT men’s bare chests and asses, then go watch some interviews of women who saw the film “Magic Mike”. They’re all saying, “its about damn time.”

            But the catch here is, women want to see HOT male bodies, not average ones.

            Sorry guys.

            • “But the catch here is, women want to see HOT male bodies, not average ones.”

              If someone were to say that guys want to see HOT female bodies, not average ones, I’m sure you would loose your mind replying with angry comments. But you seem blind to your own double standard.

              • Rational Thinker says:

                “If someone were to say that guys want to see HOT female bodies, not average ones, I’m sure you would loose your mind replying with angry comments. But you seem blind to your own double standard.”

                I have no double standard. You continue to make all sorts of hyberbolic assumptions about me.

              • Rational Thinker says:

                And the reasons you make those hyberbolic assumptions is because you spouting off rhetoric from you Manosphere script.

  26. My father and grandfather raised me on porn. They taught me that porn would show me how to treat a woman and that women are basically there to prove my manhood by f***ing as many of them as I could; and of course controlling my own spouse so she would not cheat. Me growing up, my Mom had more affairs than I care to remember. needless to say I am a pretty bad man…and was a horrible husband. I am now in therapy to unlearn everything I was taught. I jsut want to tell the writer that her son is extremely blessed and lucky to have her as a Mom. Ia m sure she is not perfect, no one is, but to be so honest about such an important topic…and one that is so hurtful if not taught correctly is the best gift she can give her son. God Bless Mrs. Whitlock

    • Janis Whitlock says:

      Wow, Milton, thanks for being so honest and for validating one of the slivers of experience I wanted to address. Having been a young woman and now raising one who is quite pretty, I am so struck by the seemingly intensity and obviousness of what I think of as the “porn gaze.” I suppose it has always been around, but I think it is far more prevalent than ever – it is a challenge for me to even walk around with her since I want to deck the 50 year olds who seem so comfortable looking her up and down like a piece of livestock. But, I know that not all women dislike that and I am not even sure my daughter dislikes it! I also know that women like to feel wanted and desirable (in fact, this is one of the primary reason women cite engaging in “hook ups” on campus – they rare actually orgasm and this has led quite a few to believe that hey cannot orgasim at all. Bizarre but true..), and I think that this paradox must be very confusing for men and women alike. Coupled with the amazing prevalence of messages about the thrill of casual and tool sex, I think that many contemporary kids grow up thinking of as intimacy and “hot sex” has nothing to do with one another. And, they seem far more versed in the hot sex category than in intimacy and authenticity. There is a total void of candid discussion about what it all is and where it all fits best. As I said in my letter, I really love good sex in all of its forms – really hot and simply warm and loving. But, I like to feel safe, connected, and respected through it all. And I very much like being able to move into my partners arms after all of the hotness and orgasming is done and feel seen and cared about. I know this is not everyone’s need or desire, but I do want my kids to know it exists since from what I can tell, absolutely nothing they see anywhere in contemporary culture, depicts this experience. I hope that my letter to my son is just the start of discussion with him and discussion in public – we all have something to say.

      Re: your path. I also have some experience of your path through the experience of someone very dear to me. He has really struggled, too, and I SO admire everyone is willing to undertake this inner journey. I know it is a hell of a climb. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for your courage.

      • Hi Janis,

        I’m a bit disappointed that you seem to only engage in conversation with people who agree with you. I don’t think any new ideas can develop in an echo chamber.

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          Scott, I have addressed your points above to whatever degree I can. I think Rational’s point about the importance of focusing your anger on media and porn portrayals of men and male sexuality is really the answer. That is all I am hoping to do for my son – to help him understand that what he sees in media and what is perpetuated in boy culture in SOME dimensions, is simply not reflective of healthy or even satisfying sexual reality. It can provide a short term high, but it not a good model of intimacy. I simply want him to see he has options. My letter is written in response to the cultural messages I feel most affect my family. I realize that you may not feel the same way, that is fine, but I am in no way saying to my son that I know him to have a rapist trapped inside that he needs to quell. That is simply not it. I hope this helps.

          • Hi Janis

            I agree 100% when you write this:
            ✺” I think Rationale’s point about the importance of focusing your anger on media and porn portrayals of men and male sexuality is really the answer”.✺

          • Hi Janis,

            I was hoping to engage more with some of your ideas that don’t fit with my understanding. I like to understand other people’s perspectives. I have found that this sometimes take a great deal of dialog. I understand if you are too busy in life to undertake a conversation on the subject, but I hope you can understand that when you write an open letter on the subject your bound to get people who want to engage in a dialog.

            If I were to pass on only one perspective to you it would be that boys know that society doesn’t trust them or their sexuality. They need, more than anything, the most influential female figure in their life to trust them. Maybe your son does, I don’t know your relationship well enough to say. But, my and a few other people’s impression was that your letter implied a lack of trust. Maybe that’s just how the words were interpreted by us and not what you meant. But maybe it’s worth considering that if we took it that way, that perhaps your son might as well.

            Thanks for your consideration

            • Rational Thinker says:

              “If I were to pass on only one perspective to you it would be that boys know that society doesn’t trust them or their sexuality. They need, more than anything, the most influential female figure in their life to trust them. ”

              There are entire cultures that do not trust Testosterone. That is why they seek to limit it, not “raise your T levels with xyz drug for only $19.99”. These are cultures that understand sex to be something to be engaged in moderation, within the context of a commited relationship. This is referred to as “right sexual conduct” or “ethical sexual conduct”.

              For persons that are not in a relationship, it is advised to avoid activities or even foods that could raise T levels or incite passions.

              Similarly for people in a relationship who do not want to be having regular sex for various reasons, those same activities and foods are advised to be avoided.

              I know its hard to believe but there are people out there who’s entire lives do not revolve around sex or the viewing of other people having sex on the internet.

              • Who are these cultures you speak of that do not trust testosterone. Are you speaking for anyone other than yourself. It appears you do not trust anyone with testosterone running though their body in male levels.

                Your sarcasm and vitriol do not help your cause.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  Hi Scott!

                  The cultures that do not trust Testosterone are the spiritual cultures. Yogic culture, Buddhist cultures, all the global monk cultures. They have diets and other guidelines for men to follow to lower T levels in these traditions. The reason is, like I said, moderate T levels are needed for those with a wife or otherwise committed partner to whom they are joined for the purposes of reproduction or romantic/sexual involvement. When one does not have that, because they have chosen voluntary celibacy, it is advised to keep T levels and one’s passions at low levels, in order to successfully carry out their celibacy and other spiritual practices.

                  It is also advised that those who are involuntarily celibate do not go out of their way to raise their T levels very high because the result will only be frustration, being that they do not have sexual partners with whom they can express this High-T, highly sexed stated of body and mind.

                  But unfortunately this common sense moderation is not taught here in this culture and every male, regardless of age and relationship status is advised to “raise T levels”.

                  • It seems the holy men in these cultures abstain from sex. I don’t think the males in the general populace abstain from sex. As such, it is more the religious order than the culture that abstains from sex. They also isolate themselves, for the most part, from females. Perhaps it is more the presence of females that causes the negative behaviour you fear.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      “It seems the holy men in these cultures abstain from sex. I don’t think the males in the general populace abstain from sex. As such, it is more the religious order than the culture that abstains from sex. They also isolate themselves, for the most part, from females. Perhaps it is more the presence of females that causes the negative behaviour you fear.”

                      – Not entirely.

                      In South Asian traditional cultures, men who are married are not supposed to be having sex either. Technically the ones who are given familial, cultural and societal “sanction” for having sex are married people. Even within marriage it is looked upon as something to be indulged in semi-regularly, and by no means not every night.

                      I could get into a whole elaborate cultural analysis here but I won’t. Suffice to say the traditional South Asian approach to sexuality is a very disciplined and moderate one, even for married couples. Even the Kama Sutra reflects this. That is because traditionally South Asian cultures revolved around the concept of “liberation” from samsara, the cycle of birth and death.

                      There are still many South Asians – both married and unmarried.

                      And of course there are South Asians who are completely sexually debauched as well.

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              Scott,
              you wrote:
              “If I were to pass on only one perspective to you it would be that boys know that society doesn’t trust them or their sexuality. They need, more than anything, the most influential female figure in their life to trust them. Maybe your son does, I don’t know your relationship well enough to say. But, my and a few other people’s impression was that your letter implied a lack of trust. Maybe that’s just how the words were interpreted by us and not what you meant. But maybe it’s worth considering that if we took it that way, that perhaps your son might as well.”

              Yes, I can hear this and am honestly thankful to get this. It must be hard to feel like one’s inherent sexual impulses are not trusted. And, you are right that I do not want to pass this along to my son. I will admit, though, to some confusion here since I do think that men have sexual impulses and tendencies (e.g. seeing body parts rather than people) that stem from biochemical processes that really do need to be understood and channeled. Sexual feelings are energy in motion and this can be actively used for other very creative purposes. Men have to more actively work with this than women, in general, and I bemoan the lack of men helping boys and other men do this. Instead, it feels like we have just ceded to total laziness and this results in badly used energy. I asked my son not to be lazy in this way, but I in no way want to tell him that his sexuality is intrinsically bad – just powerful!

              • Up until the latter half of your second paragraph, I think this was the most genuine exchange of ideas we have had. I’m going consider this a win for both of us and let the rest fall to the side.

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          Scott I agree, I find disappointing when somebody refuses the opposing view. Why is that? is this a sign of cultural decadence? intellectual limitations? poor schooling? shrinking brains? what is the cause of this? Im not speaking about somebody in particular but in general. You have ONLY to gain from a debate, and you can ONLY have a debate with someone who is in disagreements with you. If I had a blog (lack of time…otherwise) It would be like Christmas for me, because then I had a unique opportunity to expand my knowledge, thanks to someone who has a different life experience than me. But all I see, and this is general, people getting offended and snob because of some disagreements. Agreements is useless, disagreements is pure gold. Be thankful that other users are rushing in with their experience, you can only get richer.

  27. Is it just me or is the author more concerned with other women than her own son? Maybe I am being oversensitive, but if this was my mom, I would feel a little hurt.

    • That’s what it looked like to me too. But after calling her out on it we were starting to have a discussion about it and now, she seems to have left the building.

    • That’s why I think fathers have a big job to teach their sons about sexuality. A mother, no matter how much she love their sons, no offense, most likely would be more concerned with other women ( if they are heterosexual ) than the son himself if we talk about sex. This article make me want to became a good father, and take a part more for my ( future ) sons.

    • Janis Whitlock says:

      Chris, being concerned with my son’s relationship to women IS being concerned about my son. I love my son and want him to have both really satisfying sex as well as the ability to feel really good about himself. As a mom, I am not just concerned with whether he has hot, fun, sex – I am also thinking about the before and after. I want my son to know what it feels like to be loved and trusted by a partner and I want him to know how to feel and give respect – these experiences are really the highpoint of a great sex life. Sex itself is short-lived. If he goes in, conquers, and leaves he cheats not just his partner but himself. Learning how to move in and out of sexual states in conjunction with another person is a skill and it takes some degree of grace and authenticity. Ultimately, I want my son to feel really great about who he is as a person in the world and with others – not simply find and achieve the hottest orgasm he can have.

  28. PursuitAce says:

    I didn’t know sexual feelings could be overwhelming for women. That’s the first time I’ve heard that. Interesting.

    • Rational Thinker says:

      Yes, extremely overwhelming. That is the nature of sexual feelings, particularly if one has a moderate to high libido.

    • Rational Thinker says:

      Why would you know that? Human sexuality has been subsumed by the male narrative for thousands of years. Male doctors even tried to tell women until recently that there was a right way and wrong way to have an orgasm. An inferior and superior type. The superior of type of course required male penetration. But of course! God (not Goddess) forbid that a woman decide for herself what the heck to do with her own vagina.

      • So women are allowed to use vibrators, that stimulate them in artificial ways to orgasm because they are in control of their own vaginas. But men are not allowed, in your opinion, to artificially stimulate themselves by use of technology?

        No male penis can match the expectations that can be generated by a vibrator just as no female can match the expectations that can be generated by porn. However, people seem to be able to differentiate the difference between artificially generated orgasm and a relationship.

  29. Janis Whitlock says:

    Wow, thanks for the varied and honest responses. I wish to clarify a couple of things and ask a question. First, my letter comes from my experience as a woman, not from a particular orientation (e.g “feminist”). I do consider myself to be a feminist but I actually consider myself to be a humanist first. I love men – their energy, their tenderness, their strength, the simple way it feels to be with and held by them. And, I have a lot of compassion for men since I think it is more difficult to grow up as a man today than ever for all sorts of reasons. I have no desire to lambaste or malign men. Indeed, my letter came from my love for son, not my fear or disdain of my son.

    And, it is also true that in my lived experience sexual energy and expression is a particularly powerful force in the world. Coupled with contemporary fascination with sex without emotional connection or intimacy, I want to honor what will likely be powerful erotic desires in my son and also encourage him to stay mindful of his connection to others.

    This comes from a lot of places in me, but mostly a desire to help my son discern intimacy from tool sex. Both have a place, but few young people, men and women, are helped to understand the difference and to make conscious decisions. Indeed, a colleague of mine currently doing a study of male sexual developed shared recently that 100% of the men he has interviewed indicated that they learned about sex and sexual pleasure from on-line porn. My experience with girls suggests that this is likely true for many of them as well. AND, there has been a swelling number of young men in their 20’s showing up in therapy and in medical offices with erectile dysfunction. There are a significant number of young men taking viagra for this. One big reason for this is that easy access to porn and the proliferation of visually depicted 2 dimensional sex (e.g. video games, tv shows etc..) are leading in some people to arousal templates that respond to images but not to real people. Prior to this era, it was exceptionally rare to find a young man who needed drugs to have an erection. I’d like to help my son make is way into a healthy relationship with sex, women, and intimacy.

    So, in addition to wanting my son to have really good connective sex, I want my son (and my daughter!) to understand that porn and the myriad of images they see everywhere are tools, not educational resource and not typically what authentic intimacy looks like (there are some exceptions, of course, but you have to really look for these). If he (or she) later decides to engage in BDSM or whatever he and a partner want as a part of consensual and respectful experience, then he has done as I have asked – been conscious and stayed present to his own and partner’s desires.

    Clearly, some of what I feel and see has struck a chord and feels less than supportive to some of the men here. I can only share from my perspective as a woman in this culture and time so let me invite you to tell me and us what specific messages you did or would give your sons?

    Thanks for engaging in dialogue – that’s what we need more than anything.

    Janis

    • scott Heathcote says:

      Janis,

      Do you have any response to your apparent prioritization of your son’s potential to hurt others over his potential to be a victim of others or your view that not being a victim sexual abuse makes you unusual?

      • Janis Whitlock says:

        Scott, I do not see the primary point (or even secondary point) in my letter to tell my son to keep from victimizing others. It honestly does not occur to me much that my son would end up raping someone – though I am sure that is possible. I was actually hoping to convey to him (and will say the same to my daughter) that I think it is really important to simply respect and stay present to the person he is with. It can be easy for all of us to drift into fantasy land, particularly when erotic feelings are at full tilt, and tune out a partner. This can happen for both men and women, but I do think men are actively schooled into this behavior by many social messages. I felt the need to counter this in some way.

        When I said that I am one of the rare women I know know who has not been hurt by sex, I was not thinking merely rape (although coercive sex is WAY too common; over 20% of young women aged 22 and under have been in a coercive situation. The stats increase as women age. As someone pointed out above, many boys experience this as well. Unfortunately, perpetrators in both cases are far more likely to be male than female. That is simply a fact). “Hurt by sex” includes a lot of territory and is often subjective. But, right or wrong, it is simply a fact of my life that many women I know carry wounds in this area. I could be unique in having wounded friends, but I think I am not. I am sure men do too, but since men are more likely to inflict these sorts of wounds, sometimes in a haze of unconscious acting, then I need to help my son recognize that this is a possibility and to stay mindful.

        You are right to point out that he could be a victim, though I think he is aging out of the likelihood of this – most boys victimized are children not teens. However, I will mention this to him in future discussions.

        • ” I can only share from my perspective as a woman in this culture and time so let me invite you to tell me and us what specific messages you did or would give your sons? ”

          I still young now, 23 years old, but hopefully I will get married. If I have a son in the future, my message to him would be :

          1. Your whole body is beautiful and sexy. Don’t believe it when anyone said women bodies are work of art while men bodies are just a tool and no one would like to see it. Even if you are not conventionally attractive like men in the movies, because all women and men have different taste in what they find attractive and sexy about bodies. And yes, you can acknowledge other men attractiveness without being sexually attracted to them. And If you are sexually attracted to men, its okay, nothing wrong with that. And remember, there are no person on this earth that have rights to touch your body without your consent. Whether its a man or a woman (Yes, women can rape men. Its not a myth. Don’t believe it when you hear men cant be raped because men must want it all the time) We are not sexual hungry pigs who want to sex all the time with any women. Don’t believe anyone who said it.

          2. Just because other guys are ladies men and you are not, doesn’t mean you are a failure and loser. A man worth is not equal to how good he is at attracting women. Just because other guys are very confident around women and can make them laugh and you are shy around them, doesn’t mean you are a loser . Its not your fault, and its not the women fault either, and its not the fault of the attractive, funny, confident men either. Everyone is just different and have different attraction.

          3. When you have sex, just listen to what you want and what your partners want. Make a moment for both of you, which aren’t define but what media told you, what your friends told you, what porn told you, but what you and your partner really want. Just like relationship, sex is an consensual interaction between two people. In interaction, you need to talk and listen to each other. Respect your sex partner like you want your sex partner to respect you. Again, communication is the most important thing when you want to have sex, with a woman or a man.

          4. Kindness is everything. Be kind to everyone. Be kind to yourself, to your family, your friends, your lover, your sex partner. Treat them like you want them to treat yourself.

          That’s all my message to ( I hope ) my future son. Hopefully I will learn more in the future about things I would like to teach my son.

        • Hi Janis,

          I went back and re-read your article. I think the point that can be interpreted in two ways is when you refer to your son potentially using someone as a sexual tool.

          “It is absolutely critical and is the mark of true manhood, that you both understand this and learn how to enjoy and cultivate your sexual self without using another person solely as a tool; even if she seems to be saying that this is okay. It really is not. Similarly, no person has the right to make you a tool for their sexual pleasure…”
          I understand what you are saying about the potential danger of getting lost in one’s own pleasure and forgetting that their partner’s consent could change at any moment and that change in consent must be respected. Beyond consent, you are trying to teach him to be a generous lover, one who gives as well as receives pleasure. However, I think you and I have different opinions as to what culture purports to be the “ideal sexual male”. While porn does focus less on character development an more on the physical act, there is almost always, the over acted female moans of pleasure. The demonstration of female sexual satisfaction is just as contrived as everything else in porn. I think porn tells boys that a successful “stud” is one who is able to bring his partner to orgasm effortlessly. I agree they really don’t do a good job of describing how to do this aside from having a ridiculously large penis.
          There is an area of danger in sexuality that you did not really cover and one that I think really needs more attention. The other side of the consent issue is not only to be a good lover, but to protect yourself. When my son is old enough I will tell him all of the things you have spoken about (although form a different ideological perspective) but I will also teach him how dangerous sex can be because he is male. Every time two people have sex there is a risk involved by both parties. The risk to the female is that he might hurt her, might imprignateg her, may pass on a disease to her, or may make public the details of their encounter – by description or photos ect – there are many more but I am summarizing for brevity.
          Boys also face the same risks that girls face, aside from those limited by physiology. But there are risks unique to being a boy: the risk that she may lie about being on birth control and thereby force him into parenthood and a lifetime of responsibility. “She said she was on the pill” does not work in court.
          There is also the risk that while a boy makes sure the sex was consensual at the time was consensual, the girl may tell a different story after the fact for many reasons. Maybe someone found out and she is being “slut shamed” or her parents found out, or she has mental health issues and is seeking attention. While you may be innocent, when it comes to sex, males are guilty until they can prove themselves innocent. Even if found not guilty, the cloud of suspicion will always hang over your head. While we can debate the frequency of the girls doing these things but, the fact remains, they have happened in the past and they will likely happen in the future.
          My message to my son will be to be cautious and careful. The first time you have sex with a girl, neither of you should have had anything to drink. A drunken hook up is dangerous for all of the reasons listed above and more. Make sure you can trust the girl. Trust takes time, and you need to understand her and she needs to understand you. Make sure you both enjoy what is happening. Remember, you are making your reputation with your peer group with every interaction. If you like to have sex, build a good reputation and you’ll get more sex overall, even if it means aborting a sexual encounter today. And most of all, just because you are a boy, it doesn’t mean you are required to have sex. It is not a failure as a man to decline sex. You, my son, are smarter than your penis. If your brain is saying no, your probably on to something.
          While we share some common ground about teaching our sons about relationships, I think we are far apart when we talk about male victims of sexual harm. Sadly, there are still many people who believe men cannot be raped because an erection equals consent. In fact, many men believe that too. So when a woman forces herself on a man, he doesn’t see it as rape either. The CDC only changed their definition of rape to non-male perpetrators and non-female victims last year. However, forced envelopment is still not seen as rape. Rape must be penetrative. Since the mechanics of penial / vaginal intercourse do not include the female penetrating the male, it keeps the statistics rather low.
          Males are taught that not having sex when the could have is a failure. And boys can feel coerced into sex by both societal expectations and the effect it may have on their reputation. I have even been in a situation where I had sex because I didn’t want the girl to feel rejected. If a boy declines sex with a girl, it is a realistic fear that the rumor may start that he “couldn’t get it up” or that he must be “gay”.
          The discussion around gender relations has long been dominated by females, and in particular, the feminist perspective. Since most women and men do not self identify as feminists there are a lot of people being excluded from the conversation. There needs to be space made to recognize the and understand the experiences and viewpoint of people who are not feminists and not female. Feminism is not the only ideology that espouses equality and respectful relationships.

          • Hi Janis,

            It’s a shame you’ve decided not to write back. I was hoping we could continue the conversation. I hope you have not taken offence at my passion on the subject.

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              BTW – I am heading out of the country today for work and am not likely to be chiming in much from this point on. Thanks for the good discussion!

          • Rationale says:

            “I went back and re-read your article. I think the point that can be interpreted in two ways is when you refer to your son potentially using someone as a sexual tool.”

            Again, this is how a very large percentage of the mainstream media and definitely the porn industry portrays men. Janis is aware that her son is exposed to media and porn constantly and she wants him to understand that these portrayals are not accurate, not reflective of reality and not something to be emulated.

            Yet way is nobody here who is taking issue with Janis’s letter taking issue with the way porn and our increasingly pornified mainstream media portrays male sexuality?

          • Rational Thinker says:

            “The discussion around gender relations has long been dominated by females”

            Since when? The 1960s? That’s only 50 years at most. Not even a glitch in time since the dawn of civilization. We’re just getting started in having our say.

            • So, what are you after, equality or female domination?

              • Rational Thinker says:

                Have you ever seen a pendulum? What does it do before it reaches equilibrium? Mmmm? Swings back and forth, right?

                • Mr Supertypo says:

                  Oh please rational, the pendulum is a idiocy. Either you aim for equality or you do not. So dont hide behind the pendulum. If you are for equality then all voices are needed, male females and otherwise if not keep looking for all crazy excuses. And plz get rid of that stupid pend…

                  • Janis Whitlock says:

                    Goodness Mr Supertypo and Scott. What does it take for you to hear that a at least two women here find porn demeaning? All I hear you say is that you find my problem with such widespread female objectification (as delineated in my letter) demeaning – that you want us to be quiet and let the guys who want to use women that way do it when and how they want. It is utterly bizarre to me. What would be so great is if one you all could say, “wow, I had no idea it felt so demeaning to you. I really do not want women to feel used and demeaned. I do see how you would want kids to have their earliest sexual encounters – with themselves or others – shaped by their own imaginations and consensual interactions with peers. I do acknowledge that a lot of porn, even soft porn, depicts really adult material (even if most of the girls are barely 18 and many are not 18!) and I understand why you and other parents would object to this. I understand and would love to do what I can do to be sure that porn is not so prevalent and objectifying.” I know that is too hard to do something like that in this forum, but I can tell you from experience that really trying to get this kind of hearing and compassion may well save you a really important relationship some day – one not so easily replaced by a computer and your right hand.

                    • Mr Supertypo says:

                      Janis, if somebody likes or dislikes porn is their own business. But if you put your opinion, and your friend rationale on display on a debate site, off course it gets debated. I mean why would you place it? if not for discussion?

                      This is not a class nor a church, and we are all adults here (at least last time I checked) so naturally we have our own view to share. And who is unwilling to talk or prone to force a certan POV becomes naturally unpopular.

                      You and rationale something, cant force us to change our minds and vice versa, we are not convinced (at least im talking for my self) by all this anti-porn talk. I suggest, we put this topik aside, and we go back to the letter. There are tons of good points, and I dont see why waste time and energy on one single point.

                  • Rational Thinker says:

                    Mr Super Not My Type – its not *my* pendulum. Scott perceives an extreme swing. I do not. Women finally having a say in the civilizational narrative is not extreme. Scott perceives it to be so.

                    Notice how he frames women merely starting to have a say in the narrative within the last 50 years as “domination”….

                    Scott: “The discussion around gender relations has long been dominated by females”

                    Me: “Since when? The 1960s? That’s only 50 years at most. Not even a glitch in time since the dawn of civilization. We’re just getting started in having our say.”

                    Scott: “So, what are you after, equality or female domination?”

                    • Mr Supertypo says:

                      Rational *un* Thinker, scott do actually have a point, the gender debate is to much focused on women, we need the balance. Fortunately there is the manosphere, but naturally its not enough.

                      ” Me: “Since when? The 1960s? That’s only 50 years at most. Not even a glitch in time since the dawn of civilization. We’re just getting started in having our say.”

                      And so do we, but somebody apparently feel bad about it.

                • So if the pendulum was wrong when it swung towards male domination, is it just as wrong when it swings toward female domination?

                  • Janis Whitlock says:

                    NO domination – just mutual respect please!

                    • That is what I’ve been arguing for. None of this retaliatory feminism – “men were in charge for so long so now it’s women’s turn”

                      Equality should be equal for all!

          • Rational Thinker says:

            Scott,
            “Boys also face the same risks that girls face, aside from those limited by physiology. But there are risks unique to being a boy: the risk that she may lie about being on birth control and thereby force him into parenthood and a lifetime of responsibility. “She said she was on the pill” does not work in court…..

            My message to my son will be to be cautious and careful. The first time you have sex with a girl, neither of you should have had anything to drink. A drunken hook up is dangerous for all of the reasons listed above and more. Make sure you can trust the girl. Trust takes time, and you need to understand her and she needs to understand you. Make sure you both enjoy what is happening. Remember, you are making your reputation with your peer group with every interaction. If you like to have sex, build a good reputation and you’ll get more sex overall, even if it means aborting a sexual encounter today. And most of all, just because you are a boy, it doesn’t mean you are required to have sex. It is not a failure as a man to decline sex. You, my son, are smarter than your penis. If your brain is saying no, your probably on to something.”

            You’re missing something. Despite making mention of being concerned about an “oops!” preganancy, deviously planned by the girl or not, I did not read anywhere in your comment that you are going to tell your son to wear condoms during ALL sexual encounters.

            • Irrational:

              I’m sure, that as a parent, you understand that not every communication you have with your child contains everything you want to talk about on the subject. Janis’ letter also did not mention condom use. Can I assume you will be jumping down her throat with equal vigour?

            • Out of everything I wrote in that post you were unable to find anything you agreed with, there was nothing you could empathize with? All you could do was pick apart and find one oversight?

        • One more thing Janis,

          While you state “Unfortunately, perpetrators in both cases are far more likely to be male than female. That is simply a fact)”. I think you would agree that it was not too many years ago that male victims of male sexual abuser were ignored and swept under the rug. At the time, the “facts” were that males were not victims of sexual assault at all because boys were not wiling to come forward and those that did were laughed at. Now we know better, we know that boys are abused.

          With the rash of female teachers accused of having inappropriate “affairs” with their male students, I think we may be on the tip of recognizing the true scope of female pedofelia. And judging from the case reports, a boy of 12 years old is just entering the “prime target” age of this newly discovered type of abuser.

          Evil is not confined to one gender. However, recognition of evil is gendered in our society.

          • Janis Whitlock says:

            Hi Scott,
            I have not left – just do not spend much time on my computer over the weekend. I like to be outside and not on-line when I am not working since I spend so much time on a computer for work. I fully appreciate your and the other perspectives that differ from mine. I am not a man and simply can never understand my son’s world from that angle. He has really great men in his life, though, and I know that they can really give him that vantage point. This is one of the reasons I am thankful for the dialogue – I am so clearly seeing the aspects of being a man here that I cannot appreciate from my perspective. These are elements I can honor in my son and provide all the more reason for me to be thankful that he has men in his life. I hope that all of the men here, including you, find young men to assist through this passage – clearly there is much to be said.

        • Janis: “Unfortunately, perpetrators in both cases are far more likely to be male than female. That is simply a fact). “Hurt by sex” includes a lot of territory and is often subjective. But, right or wrong, it is simply a fact of my life that many women I know carry wounds in this area. I could be unique in having wounded friends, but I think I am not. I am sure men do too, but since men are more likely to inflict these sorts of wounds, sometimes in a haze of unconscious acting, then I need to help my son recognize that this is a possibility and to stay mindful.”

          Up until very recently, it was the law that rape could only occur using a penis. It’s still the law in many places. Even in America you’re only a rape victim if you’ve been forcefully penetrat*ed* by an object. Therefore, the most likely way for a woman to sexually victimize a man, by forcefully enveloping him, isn’t considered “rape”

          Adding to the fact that even when men *are* “raped” by a woman using the above definition, they are far less likely to report it or see themselves as rape victims, how can you definitively claim it’s “just a fact” that more men are the victimizers? When you (general you) just assume more men do it more and never bother to actually check if that’s the case, how can you be sure? Society tells us that women are more often the victims, so victim services are more tailored to female victims, making it more likely for women to seek help/report victimization, more women then are counted as victims then men so the data shows that “more women are victims.” lather rinse repeat.

  30. Wow. Just…wow. This is among the best writing on the topic of human sexuality that I’ve ever come across. I wish someone would have explained all of this to me when I was a young boy/man. It would
    have saved me from a lot of mistakes, for sure. I love how you are able to be blunt, open, insightful, and honest without being icky. Too many people teach their kids the what and not the how and why of sex. My son is 12, and is starting to awaken sexually, and I will be saving this to share with him. Thank you for a wonderfully written aide! You wrote this for your sons, but believe me, it will help many other sons out there. Perhaps you should write one like this for young ladies as a well!

    • Janis Whitlock says:

      Thanks Chance! I do intend to write one for my daughters – I’ve already been thinking about it. I do not think it will be a lot different, actually but we’ll see when it comes out! I am so glad that you found it of value and really appreciate that you are already thinking about how to help your kids through this passage; it is so full of opportunity for authentic life and conversation 🙂

  31. I really sad to see this another kind of article. I have followed GMP for a long time and see many articles about letter from their parents to sons and daughters. The letter for a daughter is always about how to respect their own body first, that their body is beautiful and precious, and no men have rights to touch athem without their consent. Not that I disagree with that. I agree that women body is beautiful and precious, and no matter how they present it ( with sexy clothes, or even conservative religious clothes like Hijab ), no person on this planet have rights to touch it, ogle it, stare it, harassed it, and assaulted it. I agree with all of that. Really.

    But my question is, why dont we give the same message to our sons? That they have to respect their won body first. That their body is beautiful ( to be honest, I have never ever read any article , even ONE on the internet, about mom telling their sons that their body is beautiful, and women find men bodies beautiful, even sexy ). That no person on this planet ( either its gay men, straight men, or straight women ) have rights to sexually harrased it and touch it without their consent. Why? Do this patriarchial society doesnt think men need to respect their own body?

    Thats the problem I get with this kind of letter. I have to insist, I dont think the writer of this article dont teach his son to respect their own body and sexuality, in fact I found this sentence that clearly said how she state no one have rights to make his son a tool for sexual pleasure:

    ” Similarly, no person has the right to make you a tool for their sexual pleasure; no one wins anything this way, it simply ends up feeling cheap ”

    But, judging how this sentence only one from this article, it seems to me this message for boys ( to respect themselves ) is not a priority and not a primary message. But if we judge from other articles about letters to daughters, the message to respect their own body first is a primary message.

    I wonder, why we have so many troubled men in our society? Men who doesnt understand how to respect women and their sexuality?

    I really wonder, is the reason why so many men have trouble with respect on sexual activities, because they never really understood “the sense of respect itself” ? Because they never feel they need to be respected sexually? Because they doesnt understand the feel to want their body and sexuality respected by their opposite sex? Because we never teach them?

    I have to insist again, that I’m not in any way dislike any feminism. In fact I consider myself a feminist man. And I do acknowledge that majority of rapes ( most of it ) are done by men to women. I do acknowledge porn have many bad efects on men sexuality. I’m not disagree with all of it, and what the writer wrote in this letter are very much true. I only have a problem with how we teach our sons about their sexuality in our society, that very much I get the sense of it from this article. We never teach them that their body is beautiful. We never teach them they need to respect their own body first. Even if we teach them, its a small message, not primary message like in this letter.

    I really wonder, is the reason that many men have trouble with their sexuality and the way to express it, because we teach them wrong?

    • Hi John
      I think you are right.

    • I feel like I read a different article to some commenters. The way I read it, the author is educating her son on the value of meaningful sex and that sex with anyone for the sake of sex will not be as fulfilling as making a genuine human connection. If that’s not teaching a young man to respect himself and his body then I don’t know what is! I would say the same thing to a daughter. Using people as a tool for pleasure is not gratifying, and being used as a tool is awful too. For either gender. It’s not about shaming sex, it’s about understanding urges and not being afraid of them and learning how to experience it in a healthy way.

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        Rachel Q.

        Yes I agree, some react to the same stereotypes written over and over again, others react on something else. I find her letter pretty good, this is actually one of the best letters I have seen around, written by mothers. So kudos to her.

        My reaction is not specifically at her, but more aimed to the general public who insist to see male sexuality as dangerous, something akin to animalesque. Then we disagree to some minor points, like porn or else. But otherwise, the letter is good and I agree with her for the 92-94%.

        • Rational Thinker says:

          “My reaction is not specifically at her, but more aimed to the general public who insist to see male sexuality as dangerous, something akin to animalesque. ”

          Its because of the sex hormone Testosterone. In some cultures T-levels are considered optimal when low. But here I find advertisements for “increasing T levels”. Whatever for?

          The average man has no need to increase his T levels. That could end him up very frustrated and miserable.

          On this point a yogic perspective should be taken. Moderate T levels for a moderate life.

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            T-levels are fine. Why mess with nature? its like somebody theorizing gene modifications for women to make them submissive. Men are fine, women are fine. What both need instead is not lowering or increasing their hormones, but some good manners.

    • “But my question is, why dont we give the same message to our sons? That they have to respect their won body first. ”

      John, I agree. But notice how in all of the comments disagreeing with how Janis approached this topic with her son, saying she paints her son and all men as potential perpetrators, etc, that not one has faulted pornography for the way it paints men. And that was really Janis’s point – that her son should not think that porn represents normal, natural male sexual expression, nor should he attempt to mold his own sexual life after porn (and other media portrayals which have more or less become pornified in today’s world).

      But rather than take issue with porn and how it portrays men in a very negative and unnatural light, these commenters are faulting Janis for doing just that!

      • I don’t think porn is responsible for portraying men as perpetrators. The vast majority of porn shows sex between two consenting adults. I agree that porn is not a good example of how to have a relationship, but I don’t think most porn fans look to it for relationship advice. While porn may be responsible for an unrealistic understanding of the mechanics of sex and what fulfilling, meaningful sex looks like, I don’t think it demonizes men.

        What does demonize men and boys are the constant barrage of questionable statistics from the fear mongers. The people who bend statistics to the braking point, and sometimes straight up fabricate them, to achieve their ends.

        • Rational Thinker says:

          Little to zero foreplay, so-called “facials” and what is the other one, simulated murder, oh yeah “choking” they call it…. of course porn demonizes men.

          And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

          Interestingly enough I haven’t yet heard any male porn consumers protesting these portrayals.

          • Hi Rational Thinker

            I stay away from porn in an effort to be able to love and respect men and have positive inner pictures of men inside my head.
            A few glances at some porn pictures and I am turned off by men for a long long time.

            The strange thing is that lot of men ( that use porn)don’t get it. And many men on GMP complain about how women reject them sexually today. The reasons why some women reject men are many, but I am convinced the impact from porn is one the reasons.

            • So, you stay away from porn but feel you are well versed enough in it to be able to understand it’s effect on greater society and male and female behaviour?

            • Rational Thinker says:

              Iben, that’s why I am completely bemused by the lack of men who speak out against the way men and male sexuality are portrayed in porn.

              It makes them look like complete and utter dogs.

              Yet a letter from a mother to her son telling him to beware of these negative portrayals of his sex/gender/sexuality and doing what she can to calm the tide of its influence in his life, is met with such opposition.

              Smack my head.

              • Hi Rational,

                I just don’t agree with your premise that porn is the cause of the negative impression of male sexuality. Can you elaborate on why you think this is the case? Let’s discuss your idea, help me understand your perspective.

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              Thanks, Iben, for recognizing this. I think you are totally right. readily accessible porn is creating porn attentive brains that do not go off-line when the computer is off. it is subtle and slow but it degrades civility and basic humanity. I so wish that we would collectively wake up. I worry for us all.

          • Your selected examples of porn are not representative of the whole. If you want to find romantic porn, it is there for the consuming as well.

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              Where Scott? What tag on PornHub or any of the other top hits is “romantic” porn? Maybe they added a category recently? Maybe this is folded into the “female friendly” section as though only women would be interested in something that involves a gentle touch, a little eye gazing, caressing before or after sex or whatever you see as unique to “romantic porn”? Why are there ONLY categories for female body parts or male preferred ways of seeing a man cum (bog tits, big ass, little tits, little ass, cumshot, blow job, creampie, rape, coeds, teens, cougers, and on and on an on etc..). Do not get me wrong, I am not asking for equal opportunity sliced and diced body part play for girls – I know it can be found – but you cannot seriously think that ingesting that stuff has no effect on the way you see yourself, women, relationships, sex, what is hot and what is not. It absolutely does. All you are saying in my mind is that you like it, you don’t want anyone to question its value to you, and that you can live whatever effects it may be having – even if you really have little awareness of what those are. Just own it straight up. I am simply asking my son to exercise more awareness in this regard and to not mistake the prevalence of the porn images and categories and language and ideas he consumes every day as a part of daily life here these days as adult endorsed ways of living a good and satisfying life; we have come far away from that.

              • I’m not familiar with porn hub, but try looking up “soft core” or “artistic” that’s where you’re more likely to find an emotion expressed by eye contact or the subtle tilt of a hand having more than aggressive pounding. That said though, I know quite a few women who don’t find that enjoyable. Some women like rough sex, is that wrong? Is their relationship less healthy because they don’t find gentle, delicate sex as enjoyable?

                Porn is a movie about sex. I don’t understand why you think people are so much more likely to believe that it is a representation of reality than any other type of movie. As one other commenter noted, he’s seen transformers and he’s doesn’t believe that there are trucks that can turn into robots. Porn influences culture the way any other mass marketed movie or picture does. After the transformer movie lots of people were running around with transformer shirts on. I even know one girl who got a transformer tattoo on her calf.

                I’m not trying to be adversarial here, I’d really like to discuss and understand and gain a new perspective.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  “I’d be interested to hear about what you think the difference between today’s experience with porn is and what influence it had in the past.”

                  The 24/7 easy access to increasingly violent portrayals.

                  The invasive nature of internet porn. Images were forced upon me on several occasions when I was not searching for it, unfortunately a few times when children were sitting next to me.

                  The easy access that CHILDREN have to porn, even when not searching for porn.

                  The fact that they are seeing these images during a time when their brains are forming and thus their sexuality is being formed.

                  • Yup, I’d agree with you that porn is much more easily accessible than in the past, well the recent past at least. I’m not sure how much relationships have changed though – there’s nothing new under the sun, look at the marquis de sade or Catharine the great. We must keep in mind that only a 150 years ago people were having babies at 14 because they didn’t live much beyond 30.

                    But, given our current situation, what would you think of making a softer type of porn more easily accessible. Porn that reflects more of what you would like to see people understand sex to be? We will never make porn go away, there is too much demand for it. So the only way to change it is to fight porn with porn.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      “We must keep in mind that only a 150 years ago people were having babies at 14 because they didn’t live much beyond 30.”

                      – And they were married! Novel concept, eh? Even now I know people who were married at 14 and were parents at 16. They are now in their 20s and 30s and I support their beautiful marriages and happy families.

                      “But, given our current situation, what would you think of making a softer type of porn more easily accessible.”

                      – What would I think of that? Nothing. I will not make porn, I will not watch porn, I will not promote porn, of any type.

                      “Porn that reflects more of what you would like to see people understand sex to be?”

                      – I really don’t care what people “understand sex to be”. Sex is a personal and private thing and should be kept just that – private.

                      “We will never make porn go away, there is too much demand for it. So the only way to change it is to fight porn with porn.”

                      – I’m not going to “fight” porn. I have neither the time, nor the resources, nor the influence. My sphere of influence is my family, my friends and my students. I model right conduct to them through my own example. I teach them yogic philosophy and meditation. My children do not consume mainstream American media. Their internet usage is very limited.

                      I did not need porn to learn about or “explore” my sexuality while young, I had my own body and mind for that. I did not need porn to learn how to make love to my husband, I had him to teach me that, as he had me to teach him how to make love to me.

                      Porn is utterly unnecessary.

                • Janis Whitlock says:

                  Porn is not a movie about anything but amping up the dopamine and adrenaline in users. It is a drug not a story. Hell, most porn clips are minutes long. All of the movies mentioned at least had some semblance of a plot. However, even that brings up an interesting point since all longitudinal studies on effects of witness violence in media show increased endorsement of and violence in real life in population level studies (not every one who chronically views will become violent but high numbers of those with some vulnerabilities will). These effects are even larger on children and youth b/c brains and bodies of young people really are NOT the same as adults.

                  • I’d like to have a look at those studies.

                    It seems to me that cultures with access to movies are less violent than those who do not have such access. Compare the levels of violence in impoverished developing countries with the developed world. Certainly there are many other factors at play, but a study showing a correlation between violent movies and general societal violence would have a difficult time accounting for the other confounding variables. I think the best you might get would be a correlative relation. And as we know, correlation does not equal causation.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      “Compare the levels of violence in impoverished developing countries with the developed world. ”

                      Those countries have movies. Come on now, Scott.

                    • Mr Supertypo says:

                      “Compare the levels of violence in impoverished developing countries with the developed world. ”

                      Those countries have movies. Come on now, Scott.”

                      Come on Rational, violence is a problem much more older and complex than movies and porn.

                  • Rational Thinker says:

                    “However, even that brings up an interesting point since all longitudinal studies on effects of witness violence in media show increased endorsement of and violence in real life in population level studies (not every one who chronically views will become violent but high numbers of those with some vulnerabilities will). These effects are even larger on children and youth b/c brains and bodies of young people really are NOT the same as adults.”

                    – Maybe that’s why they have that commercial on TV now telling kids not to be a “bystander” to bullying. Perhaps exposure over the long term to violent images causes desensitization to violence witnessed against other kids and now TV infomericals have to be maid to work against that.

                    Create the problem and then create the solution type thing.

                    Wow! If ever there was a time to teach meditation in public schools – its now!

                    Of course the effects of mental samskaras are obvious to you and me Janis, with our backgrounds in yoga philosophy, its probably odd for us that others don’t “get it” but because cognitive practices and mind sciences are not part of the cultures in the West, people here have a hard time making connections between thought patterns and emotions. And then, emotions and conduct.

                    • Janis Whitlock says:

                      Agreed. Good opportunity for compassion and remembering that this is Kaliyuga – we have a long ways to go… Sigh..

              • I also wonder if you think some of the books and movies aimed at young women are just as harmful as you feel porn is. When male characters are shown as all consumed with pleasing the female character, have no interests of their own and dramatically change themselves and the world around them for her – is that not an unrealistic portrayal of masculinity? Male character is sliced apart and only the most appealing part is presented to the viewer. Is it not similar to the unrealistic expectation of femininity that porn paints for women.

                In the USA, the removal of non-appealing aspects of masculinity is put into flesh and blood practice when baby boys are circumcised, in part, because American women find an intact male penis, displeasing.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  “I also wonder if you think some of the books and movies aimed at young women are just as harmful as you feel porn is”

                  No. Nobody else does either. That’s why even Manospherians who make this ridiculous “argument” as if it were saying something of substance have watched The Notebook with their multi-generational family members but have not watched “Barely Legal Sl*ts Bukake Gang Bang Cuckhold Fest” with them.

                  Capish?

                  • For someone who claims to be a yogi, you spew a great deal of vitriol. None of the yogis I know would speak so condescendingly to someone else, nor end a communication with “Capish”

                    Also, for someone who claims to never watch porn, you sure seem to claim a lot of knowledge about it.

                    • Rational Thinker says:

                      “For someone who claims to be a yogi, you spew a great deal of vitriol. None of the yogis I know would speak so condescendingly to someone else, nor end a communication with “Capish”

                      Would they end it with “accha?”

                      The “yogis” you know are probably soft, new age, post-modern, neo-hippie, corporate Whole Foods types that think asana, protesting GMO’s and hugging everyone you meet is “yoga”.

                    • I have never encountered angry yoga before. You are a trailblazer.

            • Rational Thinker says:

              “Romantic porn” LOL!

              Is that the first category that shows up when someone googles “porn”?

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            ” Interestingly enough I haven’t yet heard any male porn consumers protesting these portrayals. ”

            Maybe its because the majority of porn consumers can distinguish between fiction and reality?

            • I’ve said that countless times, but they don’t seem to be able to hear it.

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              Actually, your brain really does not discern at all between fiction and reality. That is one of the reasons porn works for people – all of the chemicals your body dumps into the system in response to porn images are the same used in real sexual encounters (only amplified a lot b/c of the novelty effect of seeing so many women; this makes porn preferable to real life for many people). Our ancestors did not have a stable of women and images and countless positions and options a mere click away. If your brain really knew that you were watching a two dimensional screen with pixels to make it aroused, it would never blow its seed on that – it would be an evolutionary waste. Many of the experiences modern humans have are due to the inability of our brains to really know the difference between what is happening outside and inside – that lump of flesh inside your head really has no idea at all – there are countless really fascinating studies to document this – many of which have nothing to do with porn at all. That is whey PTSD is so prevalent and potent and, in the porn case, why the image – drug residuals left in the brain after steady use of porn basically trains the brain to look for porn images outside (ever notice how you look at women’s bodies on the street after steady consumption? Try staying off of it for a month and notice whether it changes how you look at women’s bodies). Porn does train your brain and you let it. Your choice, but it does complicate “real” life.

              • This seems to run contrary to the trend noticed between the rate of violent crime and the proliferation of violent movies. The number of violent movies is way way up since 1972, and yet the crime rate is way way down.

                http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/07/24/crime-stats-canada.html

                • Janis Whitlock says:

                  Scott – careful about assuming spurious correlations. Just because you notice two trends and then connect them in your head does not mean they are at all connected. If establishing connection or cause and effect were so simple, elementary school kids could do it. Sure, sometimes it is that simple, but in the case of social maodilling through media, there have now been dozens and dozens of well designed studies, many of which are longitudinal (which is the only way to really look at causality) and all show the same thing – what we see affects what we do, think and feel in our non-media life. It is not the only factor, of course, but it is a consistent and clear factor. Enough for all of us to be cautious about what we let into our minds (since it tends to make its way to our hearts – for better or worse).

                  • Right, but you seem more than willing to make a correlation = causation argument with porn?

                    • Janis Whitlock says:

                      Not – it is not so simple, but there is growing body of evidence that the widespread availability of porn is doing a lot damage. For example, in a 2004 testimony before the United States Senate, Dr. Jill Manning shared some interesting data regarding pornography and relationships. In her research she found that 56 percent of divorce cases involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites (up from 0% prior to availability of on-line porn). Another source, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, polled 350 divorce attorneys in 2003 where two thirds of them reported that the Internet played a significant role in the divorces, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half such cases.

                      If these numbers are accurate, here’s a very sobering statistic. Every year for the past decade there have been roughly 1 million divorces in the United States. If half of the people divorcing claim pornography as the culprit, that means there are 500,000 marriages annually that are failing due to pornography.

                      See this site for very sobering porn web stats: http://www.divorcewizards.com/Divorce-Statistics-Pornography.html

                      This is just one effect – there are many more studies starting to come out. The porn so readily available is simply the sexual McDonalds of our time and it will have the same deleterious effects on our health (already is).

                    • From the source you provided: http://www.divorcewizards.com/Divorce-Statistics-Pornography.html “In reality, statistics are hard to ascertain and may be estimated by local and regional worldwide sources.”

                      These seem more like pop psychology statistics than researched based evidence. There are zealots for any cause you might care to name on the internet. Many crank out statistics to support any such perspective. Since this website is selling a product, I find them a dubious source at best.

                      There is a circular relationship of people who’s sexual needs are not met by their partner and their subsequent search for other forms of release. Sex and money are the two main reasons for divorce. So, if a sexually dysfunctional relationship exists the question is which came first, the porn or the sexual disfunction?

    • Rational Thinker says:

      John, “I wonder, why we have so many troubled men in our society? Men who doesnt understand how to respect women and their sexuality?

      I really wonder, is the reason why so many men have trouble with respect on sexual activities, because they never really understood “the sense of respect itself” ? Because they never feel they need to be respected sexually? Because they doesnt understand the feel to want their body and sexuality respected by their opposite sex? Because we never teach them? ”

      – You know that’s interesting and you may be onto something. I’ve heard SOOOO many men say they would love to be “sexually objectified”. They feel “invisible” to women and quite jealous that good looking women get the attention that they do. They say that women are lucky because they “can get sex at the drop of a hot” because “most men would have sex with most average women” but most “even average women would not have sex with most average men”.

      The Manosphere also consistently describes sex in terms of male dominance and female submission.

      So you may be right that men do not respect their own sexuality and therefore can’t understand why many women are not exactly thrilled over the prospect of being sexually objectified. In their minds sexual objectification is a coveted state that they wish for.

      Its all so bizarre.

  32. “Women do not actually enjoy most of the things you see in porn.”

    Women do not enjoy recieving oral, giving it, women do not enjoy being touched sensually, rubbed, massaged, penetrated by fingers, objects, or a penis. Nope, women just lie back n think of England right? Most of the things I see in porn are things that nearly all humans do regularly when in a sexual relationship. Porn is bigger than fake pro stuff.

    This letter treats women as victims, and men as perpetrators, you might as well just openly shame your son n say Don’t RAPE WOMEN, men’s sexuality is dirty n perverted because that is the tone of this message. It’s one of the worst letters I’ve seen written to a son. Do you write this for your daughters too? Because I’ve NEVER seen a single parent ever write a letter to a daughter and shown online the letter about telling HER to not rape, etc. It’s always the big bad men and the poor innocent women.

    He has a higher chance of being sexually abused than being a rapist, 1 in 6 boys under 18 have been sexually abused and 1 in 21 or higher men over 18 have been forced to penetrate someone else, mostly by women (yes, women are raping men). Only 3-6% at most of males are rapists, far lower than the amount of abused males out there.

    Now there is good advice in not staring, etc but it’s not gendered. This is stuff ALL genders and people need to learn. I need women to stop groping me, I need women to stop hitting n abusing me, just as all men n women need to be left alone with safety n security. Problem is that the way you talk about it DEMONIZES male sexuality when it should be CELEBRATED. He should not feel shame for getting an erection yet way too much focus is on the bad stuff men do and not enough realization that both genders can be good n bad.

    • Hi Archy

      You write :
      ✺”Most of the things I see in porn are things that nearly all humans do regularly when in a sexual relationship. Porn is bigger than fake pro stuff.”✺

      Let me ask you one question Archy. Imagine you meet the great love of your life ,and in your love relationship what happens between you two is so strong,pure and fantastic that experiencing it makes you realize that God exists.

      Do you really want that intimate wonderful moments with your woman, with webcams on, and to publish on the Internet for the whole world to see? I would not.

      That is why I question your statement that the sex you see online is what most people do in their sexual relationships. It is impossible for you to know what most people do in their bedroom and in their intimate love l ife.

      What you see is those that want others to look at them for some reason. Why do you think they want that Archy? What are their motivation and what do they get out of it?
      And what happens to love?

      • scott Heathcote says:

        Some people are exhibitions. I don’t think a loving relationship and exhibitionist tendencies are mutually exclusive. Some people like to express their exhibitionist tenancies in front of windows of tall buildings with little chance of being scene, some like to do it in front of a web cam. As long as everyone is a willing participant and enjoying themselves, I don’t see the harm.

        • Hi Scott

          Yes Scott,some are exhibitionists.
          Maybe most of those that show their sex life for the whole world with web cams are exhibitionists. I am not qualified to tell.

          But do not tell us that what they do is what nearly all humans do regularly when in sexual relationships,because it is not.

          And I ask those of you that are familiar with that kind of porn:” what do the couples say to each other during sex ? ”

          I am sure you can hear moaning but what do they say to each other?

          • hi Iben,

            I think it is hard to really know what couples do behind closed doors. Porn may or may not represent the behaviour of any given couple. I’m not sure how you came to be in a position to know what “nearly all humans do regularly when in sexual relationships”. Neither you nor I can really claim to know what people do beyond our own individual experiences.

            While you chastise Archy for claiming to speak on behalf of most people, you seem to have fallen into the same trap.

          • scott Heathcote says:

            Hi Iben,

            How do you know what people do or do not do or say in their private sexual encounters? I certainly don’t know, I know only my own experience and what I have seen.

            • Hi Scott

              I think there is a difference between having sex and making love, and producing porn.
              Lets not turn this into a fight about pornography. I know too well how that will end. It is a waste of time.

              I do not like porn, I don’t have to like it ,nor do I have to keep my mouth shut when somebody say what we see in porn is just sex the we all have it.

              Glorify porn all you want but do not expect that we all agree about that. And this thread is about raising children to a healthy attitudes and values about sexuality.

              .

        • Rational Thinker says:

          “Some people are exhibitionists. ”

          Poor babies. Whatever did they do before the webcam was invented?

          • They had sex in front of windows, in secluded parks were there was a reasonable chance of not bing found. In the 70’s swingers clubs were popular. There is nothing new about sexuality, only how people can access it.

            • Rational Thinker says:

              “They had sex in front of windows, in secluded parks were there was a reasonable chance of not bing found. ”

              If they were exhibitionists then why would they not want to be found? And if they didn’t want to be “found” then, why do they want me to find them now – on the internet?

              You know what? Sex is a personal and private thing. The problem with porn is that it seeks to “normalize” fetishes and outliers. Even you are arguing that maybe all this extreme stuff Janis mentioned as been normal all along. It hasn’t. And I don’t see why it “should”. If someone wants to do whacky stuff in the privacy of their own home that is their business. But I should not be expected to not to judge it if they want to expose me to it. Nor does “society” have an obligation to normalize it.

              One’s own personal kinks are just that – personal, and meant to be private.

              This push to publicize every fetish and bizarre sexual twist, well, WHY?

              Why is social acceptance about their sex life so important to these people? Why aren’t they content with just doing it privately and not trying to get others to think its “normal”?

              • You seem to be very much confident and righteous in your belief that you should and do dictate what is moral to everyone else.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  “You seem to be very much confident and righteous in your belief that you should and do dictate what is moral to everyone else.”

                  You are very wrong about that. Rather it is others, such as porn sites, who dictate to me that I should be watching porn when I have not searched for it.

                  • You are having an IT problem, not a societal problem.

                    • Janis Whitlock says:

                      Scott- that isnot fair. FB has waht would have been consdiered soft porn theses days and 1/3 of the catalogues my daugher receives at aour house b/s she bought a bra at Victorias Secret in the MALL have pictures of women in almost nothing. These are the images boys would have killed for when I was a kid and they are all over the place. Hell, I cannot even find a decent TV show to watch – all three of the 3 shows I was recommended recently (Tudors, Orange is the new Black, and Game of Thrones) had so much pornigraphic and, frankly disturbing (GoT in particular) sex that I never made it past season 1. It seems impossible to avoid the crap! I ordered a piece of lingere recently and started receiving all sort so f cray e-messages about websites for cheaters and chat rooms. If I cannot avoid it, how can I keep my kids away from it? it seems to exude from our pores these days (billboard for “happy ending massage parlors, strip clubs, adult book stores etc.. are a whole other area. Good luck raising a kid here and keeping a relationship healthy!

      • Sorry I didn’t see this until now. My concerns over others looking at the sex I have are :
        My partners comfort and my own.
        My insecurity as I am overweight.
        Harm done to future employment prospects due to narrow-minded idiots.

        I don’t really care that much if people see me have sex if they like what they see and don’t harass me or my partner, give us both full respect.

        You can find out what many couples do in the bedroom via statistics. This site lists some.
        http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/10/06/11-surprising-facts-about-americas-sexual-behaviors/

  33. Thank you for writing this— my 13 yo son just told me yesterday that his best friend just broke up with his GF ( he got his older cousin to call her to break it off!)…. That opened up a discussion about dating and how to treat other people with respect and sensitivity—- his friend’s father is not a nice guy, so we can see where the lack of E.I. comes from….

    Please write more articles— my son is so sweet and kind and it would break my heart if he said or did any of those things his friend just said to his girl friends….

    • scott Heathcote says:

      I’ve noticed that both in the original article and in this comment, both mothers expressed more concern about what their sons may do to girls than what girls may do to their sons. It is surely damaging to boys when their mothers appear to view them as potential perpetrators and yet do not seem concerned about the harm they may come to.

      “my son is so sweet and kind and it would break my heart if he said or did any of those things his friend just said to his girl friends….”

      “It is absolutely critical and is the mark of true manhood, that you both understand this and learn how to enjoy and cultivate your sexual self without using another person solely as a tool; even if she seems to be saying that this is okay. It really is not. Similarly, no person has the right to make you a tool for their sexual pleasure…”

      • And this is exactly why we end up with “nice guys”, because this sort of dialogue, that paints the male as a perpetrator, confuses the living shit out of people that are still growing and learning how the world works.

        • Rational Thinker says:

          “And this is exactly why we end up with “nice guys”,”

          Well then we need to do more of this, innit? Because the world needs more nice guys, not more mean guys.

      • agreed………..!!!!!!!

      • I am 100% convinced now that the majority of mothers seem to be more worried about their boys harming women than worried about the harm they will face. Whilst women do face more sexual assault, the level of sexual abuse against men by women is still damn high and the overall level of sexual abuse in % of males abused IS HIGHER THAN THE NUMBER OF RAPISTS. You’re boy is far more likely to be raped or sexually abused than be a rapist. Yet still there are plenty of articles shaming male sexuality, raising their boys to this myopic view of men = the rapist, women = the victim. It does more harm than good probably….

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          I agree, but the problem IMO is cultural, the mother are from another generation,and they are raised to be aware of male sexuality, meanwhile suppressing their own. If a mother who writes letters, doesn’t take time to find a more realistic picture of the sexual universe, it means only that she failed to free herself from all the myth superstitions and misconception surrounding sexuality.

          Here is a important facts (mothers), first male sexuality is not predatory. Yes there are predators outhere, but they can be both male and female. Our culture cover up female on male abuse and highlight only (or for the most part) male on female abuse. But its just a illusion, women can do just as much harm to both men and women. And they can be even more dangerous, because culturally we fail to identify them, and if we do we try to condone them (even if people got hurt).

          So take every opportunity to educate yourself, nobody is born as a professor, but everybody regardless age or gender, can be one. So question always your uprising, and question everything you see and dont waste a opportunity to learn more. 🙂

          • Yes!

          • Rational Thinker says:

            “I agree, but the problem IMO is cultural, the mother are from another generation,and they are raised to be aware of male sexuality, meanwhile suppressing their own. ”

            Yes. And Scott and a few other commenters here also seem to be from another generation that was not raised on internet porn depicting completely hairless vaginas, anal sex, “facials”, simulated murder “choking”, etc…. so they are unaware that many young men expect some or all of the above from their sexual partners….. as if its normal and as if not doing any of that is somehow “abnormal”.

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              Rational, you dont like porn, we get it. But others do, and fortunately there is nothing you can do about it. Deal with it.

              ” so they are unaware that many young men expect some or all of the above from their sexual partners….. as if its normal and as if not doing any of that is somehow “abnormal”. ”

              Whats normal whats abnormal? is two guys being together abnormal? is facial abnormal? women who want to be bound and gagged abnormal? why?

              Let people decide what they want to do, and actually this is another good side of porn, it gives us more choices 😀

              • Janis Whitlock says:

                Choices are good, Mr Supertypo, but I really wish that kinky and women degrading choices were not available 24/7 for free on every computer on the planet. It should be much more difficult to access – you should have to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you want it and not be able to stumble on it as a kid in the initial stages of sexual development. When a daughter’s 11 year old typed in “kids and sex” on her computer after a sex ed class, just to see what she could find to advance her knowledge of what kids should know about sex (this was her idea – sex education for kids), she instead stumbled into a teen porn site. She was mortified but also fascinated – pulled by her own bodily reactions to seeing sex. It was weeks before her parents figured out that she had gone there and seen images of girls just a bit older than her engaged in sex with adult men. her earliest sexual experiences? This images in her retina forever along with the shame she experienced at having a reaction and going back. healthy? I do not think so.. Are you okay with that being your daughter’s entrée into sexuality? it is much too casual and much too available. It is causing damage, I promise.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  “Are you okay with that being your daughter’s entrée into sexuality?”

                  He doesn’t have a daughter. All he can do is imagine, if that.

                • Mr Supertypo says:

                  And that is the failure of the parents to keep a eye on their children. Instead of porn what if she started to download gore movies?

                  Getting free from the indoctrination of patriarchy is not a easy thing, patriarchy teached women to be good girls and to repress their own sexuality. Naturally when somebody fight hard against P but get small result feel a kinda of resentment against the younger generations who dont have this kind of limitations.

                  Why is that so bad that people are in charge of their own sexuality? why is it so bad that boys and girls use porn? because you FEEL its degrading? its all porn degrating? and before somebody pull out of the top hate the usual rape porn and snuff stuff. I like you to know, that kind of porn is not representative of the sex show universe, no more than the neo-nazi skinheads are representative for modern Germany. 99% of porn is about consenting adult having sex. And there is nothing degrating about that.

              • Rational Thinker says:

                Mr. Supertypo, “Let people decide what they want to do, and actually this is another good side of porn, it gives us more choices”

                Please watch the Paradox of Choice here;

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO6XEQIsCoM

            • And completely hairless faces on men – is that a perversion too? Men naturally have hairy faces, not having hair on a face is a pre-pubecent look.

  34. Paul Zakrzewski says:

    Great job, really nicely done.

  35. Ingrid Gonzalez says:

    Great article, Dr. Whitlock! Such a pleasant surprise to stumble upon your featured article! 🙂

  36. scott Heathcote says:

    Eli, you have a unique experience that gives you a perspective that many people will not have. But it does bring up two interesting questions:

    Does your experience represent the male or female gender as a whole? Male fetuses’s testicals produce huge amounts of testosterone that influences the way their brains develop, even before birth. Could it be that introducing high level of testosterone to a “female” brain (that has not developed under the influence of testosterone) might create an experience different than that of someone born male? In short, is your experience as a transexual man representative of someone born male?

    Secondly, if one agrees with the theory that males experience a different level of urgency in their sexual inclinations, should there not be more understanding of their predicament in our culture?

  37. I’m incredibly encouraged to see more and more of these open letters from parents to sons/daughters about sex, and agree with a good portion of what you say. That said, I find some of the language that you use above to be irresponsible, presumptuous, and offensive.

    Case in point:

    “Women do not actually enjoy most of the things you see in porn.”

    and

    “Many of the activities they do are not actually pleasurable (e.g. women do not like men to cum on their face, many do not particularly enjoy anal sex, and most women do not actually want several men inside of them at once..). These are ploys to get viewers aroused and wanting more; nothing else.”

    You may not enjoy the activities that are seen in most porn, but to state categorically that ‘women’ don’t, as if they are a collective that all have the same desires, fetishes, and preferences is unfair. It does not matter how many years you have lived on this earth, you simply cannot speak to the desires of ANY woman other than yourself.

    I have known women who like men to cum on them. I have known women who ONLY enjoy anal sex. I have known women whose number one fantasy is to have sex with a room full of men. Do you know how I know? I created a safe space for them to feel comfortable expressing their desires, and then I ASKED THEM.

    We should be encouraging our next generation to value a healthy, non-judgemental dialogue with each and every one of their partners to find out what their sexuality encompasses. Much like we cannot assume that what’s being portrayed in porn IS what a woman wants, we cannot assume that what’s being portrayed in porn is NOT what a woman wants.

    To state categorically that “Here, this is what women want” is putting someone down the path of thinking that they know what a woman wants, and that’s a dangerous thing to do. We must not perpetuate a generation of sexual assumption, regardless of what is being assumed.

    I also take offence to ANY sentence that start off with “A real girl and woman will…” It’s like stating “Real women have curves.” The sentiment behind that statement is one that I agree with (IE, you don’t have to be supermodel skinny to be beautiful), however, using the word ‘real’ actually has the side effect of shaming those who are the opposite of what’s being described.

    Are those who are naturally skinny not ‘real’ women? Similarly, in the case of your letter, are those women who prefer sex to start off by being spanked not ‘real’ women? What about those who like to tie their men up and drip wax on them? Are they not real? We must be careful not to use language which shames those who don’t fall into the category being described, as well as those whose desires are outside of gender norms.

    My advice to my children will be to NEVER assume what someone wants, but instead, create a safe and accepting space for all of their partners so that they may feel comfortable communicating their desires openly and honestly.

    • scott Heathcote says:

      I agree with what you have said.

      I find it ironic that feminism’s stated goal was to eliminate sexism. And yet, the feminist perspective seems to lump male and females into homogenized groups. We are all individuals before we are one gender or another. Communication with one’s sexual partner is the best way to have a healthy mutually respectful relationship. Sadly, many people are afraid to share their preferences even with their sexual partners. In part, this is due to overly general statements such as the kind the above article uses.

    • Hi TallGG
      You write:
      ✺”. It does not matter how many years you have lived on this earth, you simply
      cannot speak to the desires of ANY woman other than yourself.”✺

      Maybe you are a man with sexual experience with thousands of women, a statistically representative sample of the population in your country?

      And now you find the letter offensive because you are a specialist of women’s sexuality?

      • scott Heathcote says:

        I don’t read his comment to be him claiming to be a specialist in women’s sexuality. I think he is just showing that his experience conflicts with the article’s author presumption to speak for all females. I think you are both arguing the same point. No one can claim to speak for their entire gender.

      • Hi Iben,

        No, I’m not a man with experience with thousands of women, and I’m not a specialist of women’s sexuality. My point was that nobody can be a specialist of a single individual’s sexuality other than that individual, and therefore, we cannot and should not use language that suggests otherwise or puts all types of person (in this case, by gender) as a collective in the same boat in regards to what they want sexually.

        Even if there are statistical commonalities within the sexual preferences of a certain gender, I believe that it is vital to encourage an open dialogue with each and every partner to discover what their individual preferences are, and to never assume one way or the other.

        And it was the suggestion that only certain activities can be considered to be traits of ‘real women,’ is what I found offensive.

        • Indeed. My friend likes being slapped, I saw a picture of her with red bruised buttocks and if someone attempted that on me they’d be in for a fight but for her it turns her on. She must not exist in the authors world…

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        Hmm Iben, women are different from each other, and they all have their own sexual desire, some like traditional men, some are into girls, other enjoy being dominated and tied up and much more.

        The idea that women are like produced in a factory all equal with no variation in the sexual sphere is a crock. Frankly.

        I cant speak for all men, and she cant speak for all women. Period.

        He may encounter women who enjoy blowjobs and cum in both face mouth and breasts, but he may also encounter women who are just into the missionary. And why is that? because we are all different with different background, culture, uprising, genetics and so on.

        And honestly, there is no wonder in this, its a basic way to look at humans.

        • Hi MrSupertypo

          I do realise that not all women are alike. Because if they were like me porn with women would be non existent 🙂

          The thing is, that today it must be a challenge to bring up boys and girls with health sex positive values, well educated and, free from guilt,because there are borders. At least feel we all need some borders sexually, and many disagree with me here.

          I am not against sexuality and I am glad I live where I live, quite close to where you also live. I think we are fortunate.

          We will see more letters on GMP written by parents to their children about sexualty. And the letters will step by step be better and better if comments made here are good and helpful. This is an interesting proses .

        • Janis Whitlock says:

          Mr Supertypo,

          You are right to point our variation and I am sure that my son will come to know this in time. Trying to make space for all human variation is not possible when also trying to set the stage for my son questioning assumptions that are communicated by what he sees. So, for example, if my son were to use porn as his sex education (which studies show pretty much all youth, particularly guys do since they see very little to counter this), then he may well assume that most women like what porn uses to really pump up the dopamine and adrenalin. Most of what is depicted is edgy in some way – that is what makes it “hot” right? Jeez, I am not sure one could find missionary sex in porn depictions at all these days! I simply want my son to question what he sees. As a young man and boy, I hope he does start pretty simple and then he can decide with a partner what they want.

          One of the games teens today play is “copy the porn scene” – there are 14 year olds pulling trains, engaging in circle jerks on a girl’s face and body, plugging all holes at once and all sorts of crazy ass things that, in my humble opinion, are not a good “starting place” for people new to sexual experience. You may think these are great places to get going, but as a mom I really need to let my son know that learning the tags for categories of women (MILF, big tits, big ass, babe, blonde, ebony, blow job, bondage, brunette, teen, cumshot, double penetration, cream pie, cougar and on and on) is NOT a requirement for being a guy. Mind you – NONE of the tags that seem to be so well known and used these days refer to men or their body parts (unless it is refers to some awesome thing you will see men receiving). Is there even a category for “giving a woman an awesome orgasm”??? (or is this all contained in the lonely “female friendly” tag sometimes present?) ALL of this conveys to my son and to all men volumes about what it means to be a man and what men’s sexual relationship to women is and should be. And, these ideas are now in video games, wildly popular TV shows, movies etc.. If you want to be angry at messages men get about sexuality, please start there – it hurts us all.

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            Hello Janis, yes I agree with you, your son, but not only, everybody of us should always question what we see. I also stated that in another commentaries of mine in your thread. But the problem is, not all porn are the same. Yes there porn varieties that are misogynistic where women are trashed. but thats not the only porn outhere and it is only a fraction of it. Pornographic universe mirrors the reality to some extent, you have feet lovers, who enjoy looking at feet the entire day, or gay or swinger couples or femdom porn. There are even porn made by women for women and much more. Actually some porn can even be used as sex education. But for some reason we only hear from one kind of porn. And this is suspect IMO. You can make the analogy porn with feminism. There are a great varety feminism outhere, but for some reasons we only hear through the media the usual angry manhating feminists. And thus giving the illusion that feminism is only that. Or analogy with PUA’s, there are misogynistic PUAs? yes, but most PUA are outstanding. They help shy and introverse guys to fit into this crazy dating world, thus giving them a chance to find somebody who loves them. But who do we usually hear from? the same teenage or post teenage group of bad boys. *yawn* Mass media, dump us all down.

            ” One of the games teens today play is “copy the porn scene” – there are 14 year olds pulling trains, engaging in circle jerks on a girl’s face and body, plugging all holes at once and all sorts of crazy ass things that, in my humble opinion, are not a good “starting place” for people new to sexual experience. ”

            They are minors so it is illegal, but beside that, surprise surprise they need girls to do this, and unless rape are in the picture, the girls are also a part of this. Yes there are also women and girls who are into gang bang and bukkake. Dont ask me why. Im not into group sex, not for me. But If you are a guy, you get surprised to see how much girls are into this (not necessarely group sex) , they even come with advices And they even post them on fb. But naturally they dont tell mom or daddy 😉

            ” You may think these are great places to get going, but as a mom I really need to let my son know that learning the tags for categories of women (MILF, big tits, big ass, babe, blonde, ebony, blow job, bondage, brunette, teen, cumshot, double penetration, cream pie, cougar and on and on) is NOT a requirement for being a guy. ”

            I agree and I dont object that, but I do react when I see wast generalizations who always inaccurate. And yes, its true you dont need to love anal or whatever else to be a man. Beside that, the categories about male bodies exist like big cocks, small dicks, gay porn, strap on anal on guy, overweight etc. You just need to know where to look. And yes im just so angry at them as to the people who generalize porn.

            Another thing that maybe will surprise you, is some women also use porn. I know a girl who is a Polish student. She usually shows up with her friend at the nightclub where I work. And she brags to me about her porn usage, I have been at her home (no sex, just coffey I had to help her with some Italian readings from her It. class) and she showed me tons of girl on girl porn, and she is het. You get surprised how many women are into lesbian porn. I even have a hypothesis, some curious heterosexual females can watch sexual activities (lesbian) without getting aroused and feeling bad about it. But what do I know. My point is simply just because it doesent interest you or shocks you, it doesent mean there arent other people interested in it (male and female). About some porn that fit more into the stereotypical female sexuality, you have to look for soft core. What you have seen uintil now I guess its hard core ( screaming and moaning big busted women, big dicks etc) who sometimes is also used as comedy. But porn is a secondary point. The most important thing, and here we agree, is to help our kids into developing the right intellectual tools to distinguish whats real and whats fake. We should encourage them into by thinking themselves, and we can only do that, by starting with ourselves. 😉

            Sorry for the typos and such, but as usual im in a hurry and English is not my first language. Sometimes I really wish we had days with 48h…

            • Janis Whitlock says:

              Mr Supertypo,

              I agree with much of what you have said here – it is not a male versus female issue. We are all a part of it. I came of age before quick and easy porn and I find myself immensely gratified for that. I cannot imagine having to grapple with this stuff when I was still trying to figure out myself, sexuality, and relationships with others. I feel bad for my kids, honestly – they see way too much way too early. I am sorry, but being able to find 14 year old girls to go along with the porn games they all might decide to play is simply not a mark of maturity or readiness. it is mark of a really negligent society.

              I am also really aware of this b/c I know a shockingly large number of men who are finding that porn and all it engenders is having a huge and negative impact on their lives and relationships. The stats are really shocking and largely hidden. As a parent, I feel pretty helpless to help my sons and daughters navigate through these waters. It just feels like we are doing to sexuality what we have done to the planet – excess, pollution, and really horrible stewardship. I guess time will tell.

              • Rational Thinker says:

                Oh Blimey! What have we here? The pc police out to nit pick every single syllable of Janis’s comments?

                By “Women do not actually enjoy most of the things you see in porn.” what is meant is that porn is FAKE.

                Get that people? The orgasms? FAKED. All that moaning and hootin’ and hollerin’ and looking like there’s enjoyment? FAKE. FAKE. FAKE.

                Fake boobs. Fake penises. Fake vaginas now even. Fake orgasms. Constant cutting and editing.

                These are PAID actors.

                People tossing each other around, not enjoying diddly squat. All for a buck.

                Youtube has plenty of interviews with both current and ex porn actors explaining all of this if you’d rather not take the time to read some of their written works about it.

                Another bothersome aspect of the industry is that it preys upon the darkest depths of human suffering.
                Maxx Hardcore says by the time “his girls” reach him, they have already been “broken” and hence he doesn’t have to break them. The work’s already been done by whoever molested or raped them prior to meeting him. By the time they meet him, they are ready to be financially compensated for their pain.

                What a healthy industry!

                • Mr Supertypo says:

                  “By “Women do not actually enjoy most of the things you see in porn.” what is meant is that porn is FAKE.”

                  OMG are you suggesting that what we see on tv is fake? there is no Indiana Jones? no star trek? no mickey mouse? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

              • Rational Thinker says:

                ” It just feels like we are doing to sexuality what we have done to the planet – excess, pollution, and really horrible stewardship. I guess time will tell.”

                Hardcore capitalism, my dear. Haven’t you figured it out by now? Everything has a price. The market! The market!

                • Janis Whitlock says:

                  Do I detect some a wee bit of cynicism, Rational? 🙂

                  Mr Supertypo – it bothers me that you keep equating movies with characters and at least some attempt, even if feeble, at a plot with porn. They are not the same at all. My objection to pornography as a woman (bit of a different issue than my objection to it as a mom) is its damaging use of a whole category of person – namely women. No other such blatantly exposing and degrading depiction of a whole people is so widespread and I doubt any would be so tolerated. So, for example, if we had worldwide one click away billion dollar industries depicting in humiliating and degrading ways Black people or Hispanic people or Arab people or any other people except women (who have been systematically used for sex by men since the dawn of the modern urea w/o repercussion) there would be a massive outcry and fury. I just do not see how the movies you bring up have any semblance at all to pornography other than the fact that they appear on screens.

                  • This view only works if you feel that women do not enjoy the activities portrayed. It seems clear that you cannot fathom that any woman could enjoy such activities. I think your scholarship is limited by your own ability to comprehend other women’s desires.

                    • Janis Whitlock says:

                      Scott,

                      This is not about enjoying activities. I actually enjoy really awesome sex with my partner (we do not need porn to teach us what really good sex looks and feels like or to turn us on – we are really good at that ourselves and I am really glad for this). It is about being LAZY and about subtle and not so subtle distorted and largely misogynistic communications about what is “hot” and the way that this affects not only adults but youth in the early stages of figuring it all out. Porn is like crap drive through donut places – cheap, excessive, not real, and horrible for the imbiber and the environment. This should not be confused with an exquisite pastry. We have way too many donuts and no one is learning to make the really excellent pastry. I want my son to want more than shitty donuts and my daughter to know that she is more than a donut.

                    • Yes, I understand you don’t like porn. You don’t look at it. Great!

                      Much of what I am hearing from you is reminiscent of what prohibitionist said about alcohol. “It’s harmful, it causes social problems, and I don’t like it”. However, it is not anyone’s job to dictate how others should live their lives. You are certainly entitled to raise your son under what ever values you’d like, but many people will not hold those values.

            • Rational Thinker says:

              Janis: ”One of the games teens today play is “copy the porn scene” – there are 14 year olds pulling trains, engaging in circle jerks on a girl’s face and body, plugging all holes at once and all sorts of crazy ass things that, in my humble opinion, are not a good “starting place” for people new to sexual experience. ”

              – This is all so disgusting and so very sad. I hope its not a lot of kids that are subjecting themselves and others to this horridness, and at such young ages. No wonder HPV is so widespread. What is happening in our culture?

              I noticed in your “about” Janis that you are a “yogini”. As a long time yogi and mediator myself, it is my opinion that yoga, meditation, and other cognitive practices can lay a firm foundation of right conduct in young people, particularly if they are trained in these from a very young age. How I wish our public school system offered meditation and a general course in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. I think so much suffering can be averted by exploring the mental discipline.

              Mr Supertypo:

              “They are minors so it is illegal, but beside that, surprise surprise they need girls to do this, and unless rape are in the picture, the girls are also a part of this. Yes there are also women and girls who are into gang bang and bukkake. Dont ask me why. Im not into group sex, not for me. But If you are a guy, you get surprised to see how much girls are into this (not necessarely group sex)”

              – Into what? You are talking about group sex and then you say “not necessarily group sex”, so then what is it that they are “into” that you “get surprised to see…”?

              • Janis Whitlock says:

                Rational, I do not know what is happening on our culture, but it saddens me greatly. I am writing this from a hotel room in a midsized town in Belgium and am really amazed that the difference here. I am sure people use porn here, but life outside the on-line porn world is so much more, well, normal. It is just not pornified – people dress normally (no way over the top sexy clothing), it is nearly impossible to find an image of a woman’s body anywhere in public being used to sell something. Men check out women noticeably less invasively. It is really quite striking. Actually, everything seems to exist in moderation – food portions and content, size of cars, commodes, beds, plate ware etc.. – it is so sensible. The idea that just because we can have a lot of something we like does not mean that we should have it seems built in to the built environment. It is a fascinating place from which to be writing this. Very different than the US.

                Yeah, you would not believe what kids do and are doing. They are in such a rush to be doing the edgy “fun” stuff – they get way in over their heads. I have heard at least 2 boys say that they assumed daily use for porn to masturbation was alright b/c why else would adults let it be so accessible? How do we tell them that we may look like we know what we are collectively doing, but destroying our planets, bodies and hearts is really not something they should emulate.

                I totally agree with you about the value of the practices. I use the dharma and practices in the interventions I develop. I am also convinced that mindful living, in whatever form one cultivates it, is the only path left open to health and wellbeing. I am just struggling with how to help my kids understand that the cookie jar is not always hanging low and open because it is good for them to stuff themselves. Mindful living is a bit hard to grasp as a teen in this culture. I do know schools who are beginning to integrate practices – so that is cool. As you have noted, however, samskaras take time to purge. Seems like a big collective one is up for all right now..

                • Mr Supertypo says:

                  “Mr Supertypo – it bothers me that you keep equating movies with characters and at least some attempt, even if feeble, at a plot with porn. They are not the same at all. My objection to pornography as a woman (bit of a different issue than my objection to it as a mom) is its damaging use of a whole category of person – namely women. ”

                  No its not. Porn its just a fantasy movie about consensual adults having sex. Everything else its just bull. I know ‘Rational Thinker’ have fantasies about snuff porn and lot more. But they are the minority of it and are not representative. Yes a porn movie, are exactly the same as a normal movie, or a youtube clip. No more no less.

                  ” No other such blatantly exposing and degrading depiction of a whole people is so widespread and I doubt any would be so tolerated. ”

                  why degrading?

                  ” So, for example, if we had worldwide one click away billion dollar industries depicting in humiliating and degrading ways Black people or Hispanic people or Arab people or any other people except women (who have been systematically used for sex by men since the dawn of the modern urea w/o repercussion) there would be a massive outcry and fury. ”

                  Women have also used men for sex for centuries otherwise, none of us would be here. Beside, can you point me out what kind of porn, show women in a degrading manner please?

                  ” I just do not see how the movies you bring up have any semblance at all to pornography other than the fact that they appear on screens. ”

                  But they do have. All movies I mentioned, are fiction, so is porn. All focus on a particolar event/situation, so do porn. All the mentioned can be artistic, so can porn. There is a ocean of similarity between porn and the rest.

                  I think what the elephant of the room is, its the cultural back ground. You have been raised to believe that porn is bad, and the people surrounding you do agree with you. Therefore it becomes in the end a emotive reaction not a rational one. Because if it was rational you could also see the positive aspects of porn.
                  But I like to do a small analogy. Some women go all angry on online fora when porn is on the table, because the feel it degrades their gender (there are also other reasons). Some men on the other hand go all angry when feminism is on the table, because they feel it degrades our gender (there are also other reasons). But no matter what the men says, feminism has done a lot of good around the planet (but it has also done alot of poo) and no matter what women says porn has also give us a lot of good stuff but also a lot of feces.

                  What can we do from here? well since we talk about women and porn the first thing is imo to educate women to be more open and confident about their sexuality, and not consider it something sacred. Its just biology, no divine intervention here. Second, educate women in understanding better porn, so they dont go all offended like after watching a facial clip. I mean, whats up with the facials? why it is so upsetting? a lot of women practice it in the real life, and alot enjoy it, I mean its not like they are inciting people to steal your car or something. So if you dont like it dont watch it. Simple. I for one avoid feminist spaces, because frankly, they can ruin my entire day. But I dont advocate in shutting them down.

                  What its wrong with porn is: to easily accessible for everyone (as we speak surely millions of small boys and girls are watching) so I agree they have to find a better way to keep the minors out. Maybe with voice recognition or something else, but with modern tech it should not be impossible.
                  Second add more options for women, and not only lesbian/gay sex. There is the need for something more.

                  Finally lets stop with the stereotype, that women dont like porn, a lot actually do and their number is growing, slowly but steady. The truth is some women are better to free themselves from all the social conditioning they have received. So they dont spent time sobbing and dreaming to be married. They go after what interest them. But others (not speaking about you, just in general) are still confused and balancing between traditional and progressive And this makes them feel confused and depressed in the presence of porn, because it contrast with their upraising. At least so do I think, but I can be wrong.

                  And my final words, porn dont cause rape, porn dont cause violence, porn dont cause war, and porn is NOT the reason for all or some of male problems (as male sexuality is predatory) because male negativity, predates the invention of porn. And so did rape, general violence and war.

              • Just for the record, sex between people under 18 is not illegal. The rules vary between jurisdictions, but for the most part, so long as participants are over 14 and under 18, there is nothing inherently illegal.

    • Rational Thinker says:

      Hi TallGGG!

      “I have known women who like men to cum on them. I have known women who ONLY enjoy anal sex. I have known women whose number one fantasy is to have sex with a room full of men. Do you know how I know? I created a safe space for them to feel comfortable expressing their desires, and then I ASKED THEM.”

      – May I ask why? I can understand if these women were your sexual partners, but other than that, I don’t understand the need for people who are not in an intimate sexual relationship with each other to inquire and discuss their personal sex lives and I don’t see what’s so important about doing so.

      “We should be encouraging our next generation to value a healthy, non-judgemental dialogue with each and every one of their partners to find out what their sexuality encompasses.”

      – “Should”? I don’t know that there needs to be a clear should or should not approach. Of course sexual partners dialogue with each other. Non-judgemental? Meh. People judge, that’s what we do. Every time we eat paneer instead of tofu for breakfast, we’ve made a judgement call. What I find interesting about the post-modern West is that people are not content just getting on with whatever turns them on but they seek the approval of others, even society at large, hence this consistent call for “non-judgement”.

      Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass if someone judges me or not. And yep, you better believe I don’t give a rat’s ass about becoming “non-judgemental” either.

      If some dude said he wanted to simulate murder with me in sex (appearantly this is a fetish called “choking” and its become so mainstreamed in porn that the Manosphere blogs are saying this is “what women want and if women say they don’t, they’re lying” despite the vast majority of women all around the world having never heard nor seen of this, nor imagined. First world problems, anyone? And oh yeah, what’s the other one – “rape fantasies are the number one female fantasy”? Mmm hmm, sure. Tell that to my cousin-sisters in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka). Anyway, if some guy would ever “dialogue” with me that’s what he wanted me to do? Hell yeah I’d judge him.

      And if some dude ever tried choking me mid-sex, I’d pull out the gun from my bed-side drawer, aim to kill, call the cops and claim self defense because that’s exactly what it would be!

      “Much like we cannot assume that what’s being portrayed in porn IS what a woman wants, we cannot assume that what’s being portrayed in porn is NOT what a woman wants. ”

      – Your right. This stuff cannot be universalized . Which takes me back to that rape fantasy as universal female fantasy thing. They asked what, a few hundred women from white-Anglo backgrounds in what country? US, UK, Canada or Australia? Yet that gets universalized to “all women” because of course those few hundred women from the same generic cultural background represent Myanmarians, Madagascarians, Namibians, Nicobarians, Tibetans, Afghanistanis, Uzbekistanis, Surinamese, Mauritians, etc, etc, etc, etc.

  38. Kathryn DeHoyos says:

    Janis, this is absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!

  39. scott Heathcote says:

    This is definitely a perspective informed by feminism.

    From the beginning of your letter you frame females as victims. “But, I am rare in many ways. I am one of the few women I know who has never been really hurt by sex.” It is a sad statement on our society that women are taught from birth to be afraid of men and male sexuality. It is sad that industries have been developed to both build and profit from the fear culture. The truth of the matter is that actual sexual attacks that constitute rape are reported to the police at a rate of about 0.4%. Even if you believe that only 10% are reported to police that still gives a rate of 4%. Sexual assaults occur more frequently, a reported rate of about 2% so again, 20% if you believe the 10% reporting figure. It’s important to consider that the term “sexual assault” includes kissing, and sexual touching. So if someone miscalculated and kissed you when you did not want to be kissed, that counts as a sexual assault.

    You also seem to assume that males are more influenced by their sexuality, and somehow less able to control themselves. “No person on the planet (well, none that I know of or have ever met) can avoid the strong sexual feelings that come up when they see sexual pictures or movies or, in many cases, when they see naked or otherwise sexy bodies. These feelings can be especially strong for boys and men.”

    It seems you feel your view of sexuality and your preferences hold true for the rest of female kind. “Women do not actually enjoy most of the things you see in porn.”

    I give you credit for at least recognizing that males can be victims a breach of sexual trust. However, this was secondary to your warning him not to take advantage of a girl. “It is absolutely critical and is the mark of true manhood, that you both understand this and learn how to enjoy and cultivate your sexual self without using another person solely as a tool; even if she seems to be saying that this is okay. It really is not. Similarly, no person has the right to make you a tool for their sexual pleasure…” Interesting you advise him to disregard the voice of the girl when you say “… even if she seems to be saying that this is okay.”

    But, you still seem to believe, if somewhat subconsciously, that women have a higher level of virtue than men. “…there is no more beautiful place than a woman’s heart, honest.”

    I know you were trying to give good, genuine advice to your son – to help him in his journey to being a man. I wish that male sexuality were not viewed with such suspicion by our society and that victimhood was not such an enticing perch for feminism.

    • Eli Stark says:

      As a transgendered person, I want to address one piece of your comment, and that’s the idea that men are “less able to to control themselves” or what the original author described as feelings that “can be especially strong for boys and men.”

      Most people only get to experience sexual desire in their natal sex. As an FtM trans person, I can attest that being on testosterone has greatly changed my sex drive and therefore my beliefs about how much of the “male sex drive” is socially inculcated vs. biological. I used to believe that it was purely the former – that if you raised boys and girls on a beautiful gender-neutral isolated island (think Schwarzenegger’s character in “Twins”), they would all come out free of gendered roles or behaviors. And perhaps for some things they would. But I can no longer deny that one simple chemical can have a profound effect on libido. Am I _able_ to control myself? Yes. But it takes much more effort – one I would describe as nearly Herculean at times, perhaps because I am still new to these feelings. Making “the smart decision” is definitively tougher, and that’s with the frontal lobe development of an adult. I cannot fathom how tough this is for adolescent boys going through “natural” puberty and have a newfound respect for them! So yes, testosterone does create a stronger sex drive, and that presents challenges. Scott, I’m assuming you’re male given the name, and therefore you have only the male sex drive for reference. The female one is not only lower but different – it’s less randomly urgent, for lack of a better descriptor. So I think the author is right to acknowledge that she understands horniness, but that she also probably has a more muted experience of it than her adolescent son does/will.

      • scott Heathcote says:

        Eli, I would be interested in chatting with you off line about your experiences on both sides of the gender divide if you are so inclined.

      • Hi Eli

        May I ask you one qustion.
        Do you get the same amount of testosterone as men at you age have,or a lot more since you are in a transition period or going through a tough transformation in your body?
        I did not express myself well,but I hope you understand what I mean.

      • Umm, sorry to say it but a transgendered person comparing being a female to a male is not representative of cis-males sexuality. So stop trying to say it unless you can prove factually that you’re ENTIRE brain, body, hormone system all work 100% as a males does. There are psychological variables such as after transition you are the gender you identify with which could impact your sexual desire more since you now feel you have the male sex drive. Testosterone can increase a sex drive but being born with a male body is far different to being FtM which I suspect did not happen for the first 10, maybe 20 years of your life? You would not have had the time and development to understand fully the testosterone based sex drive as a cis-male does who went through puberty “naturally” in the male way, who was ALWAYS a male, identifies as a male, raised as a male, was seen as a male and grew up as a male.

        I have a high sex drive, yeah it’s annoying but I can control myself. Most humans can.

    • Scott, just as the writer makes generalizations about what women want, so do you about how feminists think. There’s no single feminism but ‘feminisms’ – not all feminists are man haters & not all buy the victimhood argument. I’m a feminist and I don’t agree with everything the writer says. One can’t blanket feminists in one definition because we come from different standpoints. Doing so is as bad as man hating or saying women are always victims. However I have to agree most of the porn available are aimed at cis men and is not at all arousing for me and I do believe men are capable of control.

      • scott Heathcote says:

        Hi Kumud,

        You are correct that there is no single feminism. Feminism encompasses a vast continuum of beliefs and each individual’s beliefs do not represent the whole. However, there are similarities between the majority of feminist who are making their voices heard. One of the main refrains I hear over and over is the believe in the patriarchy – the idea that men have collectively conspired to keep women down. I think this sense of victimhood is reflected in the author’s opening statement about how her experience as not being a victim of sexual abuse is an abnormality. While you may not believe that women are inherently victims (and I applaud you for that) it seems a great number of feminist do. This belief bears itself out by the frequent use of the term “safe” when discussion services for women.
        The university of Calgary’s women’s centre: http://www.ucalgary.ca/women/about_us
        The girl guides of Canada: https://www.girlguides.ca/GGC/Parents/Who_We_Are/Who_We_Are.aspx?&WebsiteKey=eaa3528e-7748-497f-96cd-a4c39f08750d&hkey=1fd72410-3e4a-4074-a960-1cdb912393b0

        It is my opinion, that when we, as a society, view boys as more likely to be perpetrators, there is a greater likelihood that they will behave as expected. It is particularly damaging, when a boy’s first and greatest female influence also views him as a potential perpetrator. When in a heartfelt, emotional communication to him, she first expresses her concern about his potential to harm women and as a side note mentions that he should not allow himself to become a victim either. How is a boy to feel when the most powerful female figure in his live seems to have a greater allegiance to females she has never met than to him? If we expect to raise better sons, to be better men to tomorrow’s women, perhaps we need to look at this deeply engrained belief.

        As a non-feminist (but not an anti-feminist) I believe we spend far too much time viewing things through the lens of gender. Can we not just teach all of our kids to be kind and respectful to others and to be genuine it their relationships? Why do we persist in defining everyone by sexist ideas of behaviour? It seems to me that SOME feminists are more interested in fighting the gender battle than in reaching any resolution.

        As a side note, If the patriarchy does exist, I’m rather insulted, I haven’t received my enrollment package or been invited to any of the meetings.

        • Scott, I appreciate your concern for painting boys and men as perpetrators, however that really needs to be taken up with the media and porn industries (practically the same thing in today’s world), who indeed paint boys and men as such.

          Throughout Janis’s piece she refers to media, images and porn and asks her son not to mold his behavior on how those poor demonstrations portray male sexuality.

          Unfortunately media such as TV, films, internet and pornography do influence children and teens.

          • Hi Rational,

            I certainly agree that porn does not give a good example of healthy relationships. Porn, in many ways is similar to the books and movies aimed at young women. In this genera of entertainment, the male character figuratively moves heaven and earth, and remakes himself to please the female character. An elemental example is Cinderella. The main male character, colloquially known as “Prince Charming” as he actually has no name, and makes only one or two statements in the movie. In “girl porn” the male characters are not meant to be examples of complete men, but rather they portray only the generous and self sacrificing aspects of masculinity. In the same way, porn does not represent a full woman, only the aspects of sensuality and primal lust.

            Yes, these forms of entertainment do influence children and without other influences they can be harmful. But with good parenting, kids and young adults can recognize them for what they are – junk food for the mind.

            • Rational Thinker says:

              “I certainly agree that porn does not give a good example of healthy relationships. Porn, in many ways is similar to the books and movies aimed at young women.”

              Of course!

              I’ll be sure to download some Maxx Hardcore classics for my 14 year old instead of The Notebook.

        • Hi Scott

          You need to read up on theories of feminism, and history when you think this is a correct interpretation of those theories :
          “✺One of the main refrains I hear over and over is the believe in the patriarchy – the idea that men have collectively conspired to keep women down”✺

          Is theories about patriarchal societies, a theory that say “men collective conspire to keep women down”? Collectively conspire ?
          What a vulgar,simplistic view of how some societies develops over time.

    • “I know you were trying to give good, genuine advice to your son – to help him in his journey to being a man. I wish that male sexuality were not viewed with such suspicion by our society and that victimhood was not such an enticing perch for feminism.”

      Then I think it’s important for men to call out types of media that show men as having insatiable, uncontrollable, all consuming sex drives that are *strictly* driven by satisfying lust and yes, fantasies. And this largely includes porn. I’m not saying fantasies are “bad” in their own right. But when you largely protray sex as something women do to pleasure men (such as a lot of hetersexual porn does since most heterosexual porn is made for men), it seems totally understandable that men’s sexualty is sometimes met with suspicion. It largely caters to men. It’s largely about showing women performing more invasive, hardcore or vulnerable sexual acts than what is required of the men. It largely holds certain stereotypes about women specifically and their bodies. If men do not want women to feel suspicious of their sexuality, then men need to start demanding more positive protrayls of men’s sexuality. And more positive portrayls of men’s sexuality will be ones that do not show it being all about satisying the man, ones that sho that women of all sizes and shapes and ages are welcome in equal manner, and ones that want to see true, real, female enjoyment instead of women simply loving everything a man is doing to her even though most men know that real women aren’t like that.

      I totally understand men not wanting their sexuality to be seen with suspicion. But if we find that a large chunk of women feel victims of a certain type of sexuality from men, it might behoove men to listen to why they feel that way instead of assuming that the victimization they feel is insincere or is just expressed to some how degrade men.

      And I can only say from my perspective that I sometimes feel that male sexuality is so often described and protrayed as being so over the top and uncontrolable, and defined by how beautiful a woman needs to be to be considered worthy of sex and love, that it’s a natural reaction for women to feel extra suspicious of it.

      • I think there is similar case to be made about “girl porn”. Many of the novels girls and women read create unrealistic expectations of males in relationships. The male characters change themselves and the world to win her heart. Look at cinderella, prince charming doesn’t even have a name! He has two or three lines in the entire movie. Then, girls raised on the “princess culture” don’t understand why their husband has his own interests and doesn’t focus on her every moment of every day.

        Luckily, most men and women are able to differentiate porn or “girl porn” from reality. There are some who can’t but most can.

        • Hi Scott

          You write:
          ✺”Luckily, most men and women are able to differentiate porn or “girl porn” from reality”✺

          Let me ask you one thing Scott.
          Imagine a person that uses porn for what it is intended for, to arouse you and use while you masturbate . What makes you so sure the body ( including the brain) see this as different from reality?
          How is the sex a person have in front of the computer not real? Is his sexual response and his release not real? Is the orgasm not real? Will not the experience be remembered just like we remember our sexual happenings with a lover?

          • I really can’t figure out what your point is here. Care to clarify?

            • Hi Scott

              Maybe you need to get up from the trenches and make a new start.
              A mother writes a letter to young son about sexualty. It is written with love.

              All you see is feminism.

              All you see is men as victims. ( she is not stupid ,she knows about men’s problems today). When you have to wait for her immediate resons to your commets you get grumpy. When she tells her why you had to wait,you talk about her getting down from her cross. Her cross! Later then you tell me I insult you. Maybe your tone is a tone that make other do not want to have a dialogue with you Scott.

              A mother reaches out a hand ,she writes a letter and post in a website called Good Men Project. She wants a dialogue and respons on her effort to rais a young man today.
              All you see is femism. And you are so happy to attack her.

              From me,this is the end of any kind of dialogue with you Scott.

              • Okay, take care. I’m still not sure what your point was exactly. But I feel you are more interested in venting anger than participating in a discussion.

          • Rotfrosch says:

            Because the person is an actor or actress?
            After watching “Transformers” I still know there are no cars which turn into giant robots and movies which includes violence do not convince me that it is okay to hurt or murder people.
            People are able to differentiate between what happens on screens an what happens in real life.

            • Rational Thinker says:

              “People are able to differentiate between what happens on screens an what happens in real life.”

              But somehow porn is different. I can’t tell you how many young women have told me that their partners expected them to do something disgusting because they saw it in porn and were under the false impression that this is what sex is like. I’ve even had a few young women tell me that their partners thought they were “unusual” for having pubic hair!

              There are now young men out there who were raised on porn since the age of oh I dunno, about 8.

              They think that ordinary non-porn acting women will somehow derive orgasmic pleasure by doing the things portrayed in porn.

              Or maybe I’m even wrong about that. Maybe these men don’t give a flying fig at all if their partners orgasm or not.

              Maybe their sexual encounters with other human beings are really just like their solo mastubatory sessions with porn — all about them.

              • It seems that some women expect a man to change his behaviour to suit a women’s preferences. However, it is unacceptable to expect a woman to change her behaviour to suit a man’s preferences.

                My advice, take people for who they are. If you don’t like what your partner is into find a new one. If you find that all males are incompatible with your needs, try women. If women are not to your liking and you can’t find a male that suits you, perhaps the issue is not men, but you.

                • Rational Thinker says:

                  Now this is odd.

                  Scott writes,
                  ” It seems that some women expect a man to change his behaviour to suit a women’s preferences. However, it is unacceptable to expect a woman to change her behaviour to suit a man’s preferences.”

                  Seemingly in response to my comment thus:

                  “But somehow porn is different. I can’t tell you how many young women have told me that their partners expected them to do something disgusting because they saw it in porn and were under the false impression that this is what sex is like. I’ve even had a few young women tell me that their partners thought they were “unusual” for having pubic hair!

                  There are now young men out there who were raised on porn since the age of oh I dunno, about 8.

                  They think that ordinary non-porn acting women will somehow derive orgasmic pleasure by doing the things portrayed in porn.

                  Or maybe I’m even wrong about that. Maybe these men don’t give a flying fig at all if their partners orgasm or not.”

                  Maybe their sexual encounters with other human beings are really just like their solo mastubatory sessions with porn — all about them.”

                  – Scott, care to explain to me how your reply relates to or corresponds with anything I wrote in my comment? I’m unable to connect the dots.

                  • Infant males have part of their genitals cut off, in part, because females in American society find a natural male penis distasteful. So males are expected to endure a violation of their basic human rights because of female sexual preference.

                    However, you find it distasteful that a woman is asked to participate in an activity she might find unusual.

                    It also seems odd that you are not addressing me directly, but rather the rest of the readers.

                    • Janis Whitlock says:

                      Scott,

                      I am not an expert in circumcision but I do know that it started LONG before American females entered the picture. In fact, what little I know suggests that women’s sexual preferences had absolutely nothing to do with the proliferation of circumcision – it evolved from ancient Egypt and was widely practiced among early practitioners of Judaism. Women were not allowed to have blades near male genitals at that time, methinks. If anything, decline in rates of circumcision (30% over the past couple of decades) parallels the rise of women’s participation in medical and civic arenas. I know that I was the person in my family who advocated (successfully) for my son not to be circumcised; my husband was a little dubious that our son not look like him. This is slowly changing but I assure that women are not the driving force behind ANY genital-related surgery – women were not even allowed to be surgeons until less than 50 years ago and no man has ever faced the horrendous and unnecessary surgeries routinely performed in the US and elsewhere on women’s genitals including but not limited to cliterctomy (needed, we were told, to soothe women’s “hysterical” tendencies).

                    • Janis,

                      There is quite a bit of distain from females about male foreskins. It is reflected in pop culture and TV frequently – see the sex in the city episode. Up until Dr Kellog and his hysteria over masterbation in the early 19th century, circumcision was restricted to people of the Jewish and Muslim faiths – and a few others scatted over the globe. The fear of masterbation has abated but I can tell you for certain that female preference for a mutilated male penis is behind many parent’s decision to cut their child.

                      I don’t understand your comment “no man has ever faced the horrendous and unnecessary surgeries routinely performed in the US and elsewhere on women’s genitals including but not limited to cliterctomy” I would think that since circumcision is unnecessary, and very routine in the USA – upwards of 65% of boys face the knife – that many men do face “horrendous and unnecessary surgeries”. Also, women are legally protected from having their genitals cut without medical indication regardless of religious rational – boys have yet to enjoy such protection.

                      The point I was making was that men are expected and do alter their bodies, and behaviours for the sake of women. Women also do the same for men. Men do not naturally have bald faces after puberty. Many women dislike men with beards. Some women remove their pubic hair, some for their own preferences, some because that is what their partner wants.

                      Inside the confines of relationships, we all make compromises to our partners. Yes, sometimes a woman might participate in a sex act she would otherwise not choose to, but men often do the same for a woman. A man might not want to go down on a woman, but he does because he values her pleasure. In the same way a woman might not want to provide oral, but she does because she also values his pleasure.

            • Rational Thinker says:

              Rotfrosch, “Because the person is an actor or actress?
              After watching “Transformers” I still know there are no cars which turn into giant robots and movies which includes violence do not convince me that it is okay to hurt or murder people.
              People are able to differentiate between what happens on screens an what happens in real life.”

              – Part of the problem with porn is yes, those actors and actresses are real people. People who are suffering from HPV, Herpes, Chlimydia, HIV, etc. And that’s on top of the bruised, infected and stretched out orifices. People who,according to porn producers, directors and actors themselves, they are people who mostly come from broken, abused backgrounds of tremendous suffering, sometimes from the time they are very young children.

              That fact that the porn industry is fueled by the darkest depths of human suffering is something that all consumer-supporters of porn should ponder.

              Ethics anyone?

        • Scott, I understand that men and women are fully able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality. But clearly, despite the truth in that, these things are still apparently influencing how we look at sex and relationships and how we relate to one another through sex and relationships. And frankly, despite the fact we are all intelligent enough to understand that porn is fantasy, it doesn’t stop people from asking their partners to act out that fantasy in real life. If porn wasn’t affecting us, it wouldn’t be a big topic of conversation for either those totally infavor of it or those totally against it or those that fall somewhere in the middle.

          For me, simply saying “hey, we can tell the difference between fantasy and reality” is a gross over simplification of the complexities of the inner workings of both our emotional, mental and physical make-up. The truth is, I see a lot of change happen around relationships and sex with the onset of porn. I don’t think I’m the only one that sees this. I don’t disagree that we can intellectually tell the difference between fantasy and reality. That doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting us though or what we perceive sex should be like.

          I also hear a lot of men discuss the draw backs of what they perceive to be negative Feministic influences. Which is fair in it’s own right when it applies. Rarely do I see men confront themselves and the influences they support that are male centric but also offer negative stereotypes of men and male sexuality.

          If women feel victimized by parts of male sexuality, it would be really great if instead of attacking those that may feel victimized, men engage in a real conversation and ask women why they feel that way. Too often I see women’s concerns about male sexuality put down, ignored or pushed aside because men sometimes don’t like what their concerns reflect. I suspect that while men might not agree with all women’s concerns, and that’s fair too, that the truth lies somewhere in the middle of both our sides.

          But getting to that point requires men to both listen to women with more open ears instead of simply assuming women want to play being “victims” and it requires men to look with open eyes at the media that is formated to men specifically and how it twists the idea of masculinity in it’s own right as well.

          • Hi Erin,

            Thank you for your thoughtful post.

            Porn is nothing new in our world. I will agree that it is much more pervasive than in the past but it has always been around. Some of the oldest human made “art” is of phallic images in caves in France. People have always brought their fantasies to their mate and sought to act them out.

            I’d be interested to hear about what you think the difference between today’s experience with porn is and what influence it had in the past.

            With regard to men not confronting themselves about male centric behaviour. I think you would be hard pressed to find many feminist who confront their own behaviour. I have yet to see a feminist organization take on an equality issue that, while making things more equal for people, disadvantaged women. For instance, feminists in the UK protested when the government sought to equalize the age at which people were entitled to a government pension. Currently it is still 60 for women and 65 for men.

            However, I have seen many groups of men who have sought to take a stand against domestic violence and violence against women and girls. Again, women remain silent about abuse against men and boys, despite the fact that there is a significant rate of female perpetrated violence against men and boys – anywhere from 40-50% depending which study you choose to read.

            I think in order for men to be willing to listen to women with more open ears women need to also be willing to listen to how their behaviour is hurting men. The gender debate has long been dominated by women and feminists. “Check your privilege” is the new catch phrase to invalidate any comment by men. But I agree, we need to be willing to listen to each other as much as we talk to each other.

            Please give me some more insight into how you see porn effecting relationships in ways that it did not in the past and how you think it is more influential than other forms of entertainment.

    • Rachel Quilligan says:

      @Scott Heathcote – the author said she’s the only person that SHE knows (so not everyone, just the author’s circle of experience) that hasn’t been really hurt by sex. This doesn’t necessarily refer explicitly to sexual assault, although she does go on to mention it, but for instance I have several friends who experience a great amount of pain during sex that leads to awkwardness and tension for both them and their partners and can be very upsetting. That is merely one other aspect of how one can be hurt by sex – another might be feeling used or manipulated and the emotional hurt that comes from that.
      Additionally, using your own statistics, you suggest 30% of women have been sexually abused. That’s one in three. That’s a huge amount. And even though technically an unexpected kiss is defined as sexual abuse, you’d be hard pressed to find a woman that would think an innocent wrong-signal/misunderstanding constitutes sexual abuse. Feminism isn’t about seeing women as victims, it’s about respecting people equally regardless of gender; and yes, breaking through social paradigms that challenge that equality is a part of that. I feel that you have misconstrued many of the author’s positive messages as a tool to push your agenda and I think you should reconsider your views on feminism and maybe you would read this letter through new eyes.

      • Hello Rachel,

        I think you might have misread my post. I did not say 30% of female had been sexually assaulted, I said 2% report sexual assault to the police.
        http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2010002/article/11340-eng.htm#a3

        If you believe that we have not made any progress in the last 40 years of feminism and that the reporting rate is still only 10%, the extrapolated rate of sexual assault would be 20% -1 in 5 not 1 in 3. Also, the studies which suggest that the reporting rates were 10% arrived at their data by surveys. In these surveys they determined if a woman had been sexually assaulted or not based on the answers to their survey questions. The questions themselves were quite open to interpretation. Of the respondents that the survey classified as having been sexually assaulted, only 20% self classified as being sexually assaulted. http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_1_campus_rape.html

        So when a survey is over riding the respondents own interpretation of what happened, I find it suspect.

        Finally, very few consider that men are sexually assaulted frequently by women. Many women feel that men are always in the mood for sex and therefore they have the right to grope or make sexual advances without and risk. The author gives little thought to her son as a potential victim.

        I have spent much time considering feminism. By in large, it seems that feminism attempts to achieve equality by focusing only on the needs of women. I feel that this approach is destine to fail. Since the lives of men and women are so intertwined, one cannot hope to achieve equality unless we put the stereotypes aside and deal with people as people. The very name “feminism” makes it clear that their focus is on one gender, not equality. I feel that there are many in the feminist community who are more focused on blame and accusations than resolution. A solution to the differences between the genders cannot come from a place of anger, it can only come from a position of compassion and understanding.

      • “I feel that you have misconstrued many of the author’s positive messages as a tool to push your agenda and I think you should reconsider your views on feminism and maybe you would read this letter through new eyes.”

        I am curious as to what you think my “agenda” is exactly.

        • Hi Scott
          You ask:
          ✺”I am curious as to what you think my “agenda” is exactly.”✺
          How can you even ask that question.

  40. Thank you, Janis. My sons are still little, but I’m saving this article to my hard drive to revisit in a few short years, so I’ll have some useful and intelligent things to say (or yes, better yet, write) to them when the time comes!

  41. The Wet One says:

    One of the better things I’ve read on the topic. Smart mom. Lucky kid.

  42. Hi Janis

    Thank you. I look forward to reading all the comments to your article .

Trackbacks

  1. […] An Open Letter to My Son About Sex via the Good Men Project, 8/24/13 by Janis Whitlock, I was inspired to share my thoughts. […]

  2. […] comment of the day is from Eli, on the post An Open Letter to My Son About Sex. It was in response to commenter Scott Heathcote, who wrote: “You seem to assume that males […]

Speak Your Mind

*