2015-04_LT-PornKillLove

My Relationships/Pornography/Sex and Chastity

Porn: The Worst Way to Learn About Sex

Depending on the household you grew up in, sex may or may not have been talked about a lot. For some, it’s commonplace. It might come up at the dinner table, your uncle who hits the eggnog pretty hard at the family Christmas parties might make jokes about it, or you might have grown up seeing sexually suggestive scenes on popular shows on the television in the living room.

For others, it’s taboo.

“Sex” is considered a bad word. It wasn’t discussed, and any show that even mentioned it has been officially blocked on your TV.

While I’m not the authority on proper parenting, I can confidently say that in my opinion neither of these approaches actually teach us the fullness of truth about sex. While the first approach might teach us that sex isn’t inherently “bad,” it doesn’t train us to know sex is sacred. And while the second approach might teach us that sex is something to take seriously, it might lead us to believe this thing which God created is evil.

Then there’s the ever-awkward sex education in school. Just what we wanted, right? You’re sitting really close to the person you have a crush on. And then there’s your friend behind you trying to make you laugh so you look immature. “Is that the librarian? She’s going to teach us about sex? Is that a powerpoint presentation she brought with her? I’m going to be sick.”

While statistics say a lot about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of sex-ed in schools, you don’t need those statistics to know that most people don’t learn what they need to learn from those classes.

So, where do we learn about sex? The sad truth is that a lot of young people go to the most easily accessible yet dishonest source: porn. Porn is the wrong place to learn about sex. Porn is the wrong place to learn about anything.

As Pope Saint John Paul II said, “The problem with pornography is not that it shows too much; but rather that it shows too little.”

We only see the “sexy parts” in porn; the rest is hidden. No sacrifice. No relationship. No gift of self. No union with God. No marriage. No commitment. Just pleasure and use. And those are really not the good parts. It leaves us constantly craving something new and exciting, and it teaches us that sex is about use rather than love and self-gift. It’s unrealistic and gives us false expectations. Porn doesn’t speak at all of the heartbreak and attachment that so often follow casual sex with multiple partners. That’s not “sexy” enough. It also isolates us, which is precisely the opposite of what sex has the potential to do when held in the proper regard. Sex is about an intimate communion and most people who watch porn do it alone.

While you don’t need to know all the nitty-gritty details about sex while you’re in highschool, the desire to know these things isn’t necessarily bad. You definitely don’t need to be embarrassed about not knowing details about sex. After all, not learning about sex at all in high school is way better than learning the wrong way and having a distorted view. Here are 4 things you can do to learn about the beauty of sex without looking at porn.

Read about it.

I’m not talking about Cosmo, either. Many holy people have written many holy things about sex. There are several great articles on LifeTeen.com about sex, sexuality, and chastity. These aren’t boring, awkward reads either. Look into the “Theology of the Body for Teens” which explains Pope John Paul II’s teachings in language applicable to your life. Check out Jason and Crystalina Evert’s books on dating and chastity. My friend Arleen Spenceley recently released a popular new book called “Chastity is for Lovers.” Shall I go on? Those were just some of the first to pop into my head. My point is that good stuff is out there. Find it and read it.

Talk to a trusted adult.

I would recommend finding someone who shares your faith and morals and who knows you personally so they can mentor you and help you navigate the particular struggles of hormones, relationships, and purity.

Pray.

Ask for the grace to see sex and sexuality as a gift from God that has a proper place. Pray for the wisdom to be able to recognize when sex and sexuality are being abused, causing disorder, and not being treated how God intended them to be.

Listen.

If you attend youth group, conferences, or retreats, don’t just zone out during the guys and girls sessions. There is probably really great information being shared in those sessions that some of us let go in one ear and out the other.

Above all, be aware that our culture today doesn’t value sex very highly, unless you’re talking dollar signs. The sacredness of sex is not something that most movies and music released today want you to care about. I’m not bashing pop culture as much as I’m just trying to encourage you to be careful of where you get your information about sex. Guard yourself, and root yourself in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. The Church desires your freedom, not your enslavement. You were made for greatness; don’t settle for anything less.

Be God’s.

(If you struggle with an addiction to porn and are ready to be free, check out Matt Fradd’s 5 Step Battleplan for Overcoming Porn!)

About the Author

Dom Quaglia

I hang out with my wife, speak to people about Jesus, and am surrounded by people holier and more talented than me. If you're reading this, I'm sitting in Atlanta traffic, either on the way to the airport or a Thai restaurant. I serve as Director of XLT Atlanta. I'd love to hear from you! Twitter @DomQuags - FB: Dom Quaglia - web: domquaglia.com