Educate Boys About Porn… Or The Metaverse Will

Category: Points Of View

Author: Benjamin Davis

The first full-time job summer job I had was digging through VHS copies of ’70s romcoms looking for boobs. Today, a seven-year-old googling how to make a fruit salad will stumble across more nudity than all my hours of pause, rewind, pause, rew— Oh shit! Dad’s home!

And yet – and yet, the rhetoric around pornography has barely budged.

Back in those days (20 odd years ago), porn was a trickling stream. Parents could hide it by stepping in front of you, pointing a stern finger and saying, “Don’t look!”

These days, it’s as though parents are standing in front of a towering avalanche with their arms outstretched crying, “DON’T LOOK! DON’T LOOK, BABY!”

Avoiding pornography today is like avoiding teeth in a zombie apocalypse. So, what the fuck are parents going to do when the Metaverse of porn arrives? Boys will find it – and without guidance, it’s not going to be good. For example, when I was a teenager, the internet was much younger. There was a desktop computer in the basement of my home. A friend had told me about something called torrenting. “There is so. Much. Porn. Dude.” So, he came over and showed me how to download it. And boy, did I. CTR+A, DOWNLOAD. A week later, my father called me downstairs and had the torrenting software opened. He asked, “How could you possibly need this much porn?” And all I thought was, “Oh no, he’s going to delete all of my porn!” He did. He didn’t sit me down and explain about healthy or unhealthy porn habits. He deleted it, upped the restrictions on the computer, and grounded me from using it. And, you know what I did? I figured out better ways to hide my damn porn.

“They’ve got it to the point where it looks freaking real, man,” a friend tells me. “It’s pretty addicting.”

Of course, it is! If you talk to any guy about the metaverse long enough, porn will come up. And to any guy over a certain age, the first thought is, “Fuck, it’s a good thing that didn’t exist when I was a kid!” We all know how we were – teenage boy hormones are like rabies. The urge feels uncontrollable, and you don’t really know how to satisfy it.

Now, this is how the conversation goes with men my age – with younger men, men who grew up with pocket-porn, it’s more serious. I’ve talked to young men who struggle with sex because they spent so many years of development only being educated by an internet of porn without context or education. They are – and have every right to be – concerned.

So, who is responsible? Parents like to demonize the porn industry. That’s a load of garbage. And a lot of the people who are making the content that will find its way into a young boy’s metaverse are not the people in the industry who spend billions each on IT to prevent underage users.

So, what to do, what to do? Well, I suppose parents could have hard conversations with their boys about sex, sexuality, and how porn can be used to navigate our shared sexual consciousness to live out fantasies and explore our desires. Maybe? Particularly boys because boys become men, and I think men have caused enough harm.

If a future boy only learns about sex from an uncontextualized metaverse worth of porn, they’ll not understand how to use it properly – and it will hurt rather than enhance how they think about intimacy. This makes sense. If the only educational content provided at the police academy was the Die-Hard franchise, officers might feel a bit confused. They might ask, “How does he run for so long?”, “How does he keep his arm up without getting tired?”, “I can’t do that on a motorcycle! Is this what it’s like to be a police officer?!”, “Okay, so, I’m just supposed to keep running, shooting, running, shooting, running some more? Okay, got it.”

So, dear parents. You’re going to lose. Parental controls will be to the metaverse what Noah was to the flood –you’ve got a choice: load them on to a smelly boat full of repression and forced gender roles or teach them how to swim.

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