Is Instagram the New Porn? Mother & Son Interview about Social Media Stars

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Trisha is a 43 year old mother of 5 boys. I sat with her and her oldest son, 16 year old Jett, to talk about social media, porn, sex, and how it all ties together. Although Trisha and Jett have an extremely close relationship, I did interview them separately. However, Jett did allow me to discuss his answers with his mother. After Trisha learned more about Jett’s views on sex and social media she offered very powerful advice to all parents of teenagers.

 

When was the first time you saw porn?

Jett: I was in first grade at a sleepover. My friends Dad had a large DVD collection and we watched a movie in his room with the door locked and the volume down.

How did you feel while watching the film?

Jett: At first I didn’t know what has happening or why my friend was so excited. There was no volume so it just seemed like a normal movie until the main man laid down on a table and two women began giving him a blowjob. I had heard the word sex before but wasn’t entirely sure what it was. I knew I enjoyed the movie but because I hadn’t masturbated yet, I didn’t fully understand what was happening.

Did that movie make you want to masturbate?

Jett: No. I didn’t know what masturbating was, how to do it or even why I would do it. Watching that movie just made me want to see more images like the ones I saw. I did begin to notice breast after seeing the movie and I did begin to have sexual dreams. I think it sparked a curiosity.

When was the first time you caught him looking at porn?

Trisha: I would sometimes find my catalogs in his room- Victoria Secret, swimsuit catalogs, material of that nature. I knew right away that he was masturbating to them but I didn’t see any harm. When he was 11 years old I walked in on him and a few friends watching a pornographic video online. I felt like watching an actual video crossed a way more severe line than any Victoria Secret catalog ever could.

Did you then have the sex talk with him?

Trisha: No. In my mind he already knew about sex. I assumed he had been masturbating for a few years and now that he was looking at porn, I figured he at least knew the basics.

Did you know all that you needed to know about sex?

Jett: I thought I did.

The first time you had sex did you realize that you didn’t know enough?

Jett: I didn’t know how to put on a condom. I had seen the condom package being opened and knew what it looked like but wasn’t really sure how it unrolled. My first time was with a more experienced girl and she was very vocal about the fact that I wasn’t good. I came and had the best time of my life but after it was over she told me that she didn’t even feel anything.

What did hearing that you weren’t as knowledgeable about sex as you thought you were make you think and how did it make you feel?

Jett: At first I was really embarrassed. All of my friends knew that I was losing my virginity that night and I didn’t want it to get out that I was lame in bed. I was scared that she would tell all the other girls too. I told a friend what she said and he told me that it was because, “She was a whore and her pussy was stretched out.” I felt like I did the same things as the guys in movies and pornos do, so that explanation made sense to me. My second time was with a girl who was a virgin and she told me I was great.

Did you expect girls to behave like the women in the Porns that you had watched?

Jett: No. Because I had seen a lot of sex scenes in movies and the women were way different then the girls in most porns. I did expect girls to act like the women in movies do though.

What does that mean?

Jett: You know, just be more into it. Make more noise, get on top and sweaty. But I think that just comes with experience. High school girls just aren’t very good at sex yet. I think they probably get better when they are in college.

You think that College girls will be more experienced and thereby better sexually?

Jett: Yeah.

What gives you that impression?

Jett: Well, they’ll be older which means that they would’ve had more sex and more time to get better at it. But also you can just look at a girl and know if she’s good in bed and I feel like more college girls have that look. It might just be because there are more girls to compete with, so they have to try harder.

What does a girl who is good in bed look like?

Well, obviously you can’t always tell. Some girls look all innocent but then are probably screamers in bed. But if you go on like Instagram and Youtube you can see the difference between a girl who is sexy and confident and girls who are just faking it.

Can you show me a few accounts you follow of women who you think fall into the “good in bed” category?

Jett: Sure.

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Tammy Hembrow @Tammyhembrow

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Kylie Jenner @kyliejenner

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Carli Bybel @carlibel

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Sophia Miacova @sophiamiacova

When you go to College, are you planning to only date girls who look like these women?

Jett: I don’t know if date is the right word, but yeah I’m definitely hoping to find these types of girls.

Do you feel like Instagram is the new porn?

Trisha: In a way I think it is. These women and young girls post provocative pictures and then make their accounts public so literally anyone can see them. I understand that it is very different from pornographic videos, (although there is porn on Instagram) but I think it arises the same feelings in young men. I don’t blame these women. I understand that it is their job and how they make a living, but that doesn’t mean that I agree with it.

You were okay with your son looking at Victoria Secret magazines, so why is having him follow a models account any different?

Trisha: Looking back on it now, maybe I shouldn’t have been so okay with him looking at magazines. But when you see a woman in a magazine she doesn’t seem real. Now with all these social media apps these young boys have a front row seat to these women’s “lives”. They don’t understand that it’s photo-shopped to erase all flaws and videos are edited to only showcase the best parts. They truly believe that these women are effortlessly perfect and they expect to find girlfriends and wives who are effortlessly perfect as well. They think that girls should look like Instagram models and be as funny, carefree, and charismatic as Youtubers. And the level of intimacy that these boys feel that they have with these women is far greater than previous generations felt with the women in movies and magazines.

What advice would you tell parents of teen boys? Do you think they should monitor their children’s social media more and limit the accounts they are allowed to follow?

Trisha: No, because there is no way to do that. I installed a porn blocker and he still found porn. I asked him not to follow certain accounts but because the accounts were public he could still visit their pages if he wanted. At the end of the day, we live in a sexualized society. Teen boys are always going to be exposed to sexy women. Whether it be a sex scene in a movie, a poster hanging in the window at a store, a woman in a small bikini at the beach, or a sexy Instagram photo. And when it comes to social media, I don’t blame the women. Most of the “sexy” accounts are targeted to women. A lot of times these women are fitness experts, daily vloggers, or clothing models. It’s our hormonal teens and perverted men who are making it weird.

I have no advice for the creepy older men but to parents of teen boys I would definitely say talk to them. I thought my son understood photo-shop and that the average woman doesn’t look like the ones on his screen, but clearly he doesn’t. I think we need to start talking to our children about photo editing and how Youtubers only present the best part of themselves. We need to make sure that they understand that the internet is very similar to magazines and movies, in that it is mostly staged.

Besides talking to them about expectation vs. reality, we should be teaching them to appreciate “the real thing”. We need to teach our boys to value kindness, generosity, a sense of humor, and a loving heart over a great pair of boobs. I don’t think the problem is boys looking at these women so much as it’s them pushing these women’s false internet personas onto everyday girls and expecting these girls to look and act like women they see on the internet.  The best advice I can give is to make sure that your teenage boys know what is real and attainable for the average woman and what is not.

Aslo, I hate this trend of saying that the problem is that men and boys are sexualizing women. I read an article where the writer was basically saying that a woman should be allowed to walk around naked without men staring at her and sexualizing her! I think that is complete bull shit. A woman should be able to walk around naked without being raped or a man touching her or yelling vulgar things that at her. But to have the opinion that a woman can be naked and a man won’t have sexual or inappropriate thoughts about her is ridiculous. Hell, I might even have a few inappropriate thoughts about her.

There is nothing wrong with appreciating the female or male body. People are beautiful and sometimes sexy, that’s life and we shouldn’t be shaming our boys for having natural thoughts. I don’t care if I sound like an anti-feminist, you will never convince me that this woman:

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@kylieeerae (This is not the picture Trisha was referring to. You can go to Kylie Rae’s instagram to see more photos if you feel you need a better understanding)

doesn’t want to be sexualized. She didn’t post that picture so that people would think she was a Mensa member with a delightful personality. She wanted men and women to view her as an attractive sexual being. And THAT’S OKAY!

She’s hot. She has worked way harder on her body than I have at anything in my life and if she wants appreciation for it, then that’s perfectly understandable. If my son wants to look at that picture and appreciate her features, then I’m okay with that too. What isn’t okay is for him to assume that because that girl is posting a sexual picture that she wants to have sex with him or owes anything to him. It isn’t okay for him to ask other girls to send him similar pictures or to assume that all girls want to be objectified the same way this girl likes to be.

It’s so important that we teach our boys that every girl is an individual. While some girls like to be valued by their looks and told how hot or sexy they are, others girls don’t. They need to understand that some girls like to dress and appear provocative but they are not very sexual creatures and have no desire to be treated as such. Our boys need to fully understand that although society has become really comfortable with lumping women altogether and saying things like, “Every woman wants a man who does this” or “the one thing no girl can resist is this”, the only thing that is true for every girl and woman is that we are all different. Just because a girl looks a certain way, doesn’t mean that you can put her in a group with other girls who look similar and decide that you know what they’re all like.  We really just need to teach our girls to express what they want and to teach our boys to listen and respect their wishes. If we can do that then all the rest of this crap won’t even matter.

 

 

 

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