A 20-year-old granddaughter of a friend told me over coffee recently that she has sent nude “selfies” to some friends.
“No big deal,” she said. “I’m not ashamed of my body. Do you want one? I’ll send it?”
She is a very attractive young woman, but I declined the offer of a selfie.
She talked openly about her attitudes on sex.
“Also not a biggie. I’m no virgin and have not been for a while. We don’t have the hang ups that your generation had about hooking up.”
She switched the conversation to Trump.
“He’s a f—in’ perv, bragging about walking into the dressing rooms of teens in beauty contests and leering at them when they were naked. If I’d been one of those contestants and he’d walked in like God almighty, I would have kicked him in his balls and walked out.”
“I’ve seen good and bad on the ‘Net. Some of my friends had a party with some XXX DVDs and we found most of them boring. There was one guy, however, When I saw his package I said ‘hey, I need to get to know him! He looked like he would be a lot of fun.”
According to The Book of Odds, which lists surveys, research and other statistics, 76 percent of women ages 18-30 watch porn videos at least one a month on the internet.
That only slightly less than the 78 percent of men in the same age group who scan the net for something dirty.
At least 20 percent of women, the Book of Odds reports, watch porn “several times a week.”
Interest in porn does not necessarily drop when one gets older. A girl from my high school days in Floyd County is close to my age now and says she still visits porno web sites from time to time “to see what is current.”
“I sometimes watch a porno film online. Sometimes, I see or read something that turns me on,” she says. “It tells me that I’m still alive.”
America’s president had sex with a porno film star when his third, and latest, wife was pregnant when he was in his 50s. At least that’s what the actress told an interviewer some years ago.
Which raises the question: How did we first learn about sex?
Jennifer Weiner, op writer for The New York Times, admits she learned a lot about sex as a young woman from reading “bodice-ripper” romance paperbacks and other sources.
She got 80 percent “filled in by my friends and pop culture: what I heard on the school bus and at sleepover parties, what I saw in movies and heard on the radio, the glimpses I got of dirty magazines, kept behind brown paper wrappers on the high shelves.”
I was a reader, and most of what I knew came from books, starting with the copy of Judy Blume’s “Forever …” that made the rounds of the cafeteria in seventh grade to the dozens of Harlequin romances I devoured to the best sellers by Judith Krantz, Shirley Conran, Jean Auel, Susan Isaacs and Erica Jong that I snagged from my mom’s shelves.
The times, they are a-changin’.
Writes Sandra LeMorgest, Pd.D. in the Huffington Post:
There is an enormous divide between perspectives on porn in our society. Some say it is perfectly healthy and natural — that it can be a learning experience, helping you to learn your own likes and dislikes and those of your partner. Some couples use it to facilitate intercourse in an exciting way. It can even help to relieve stress when no available lovers are on our radar.
On the negative side, some say men who over-view porn while masturbating tend to experience porn-related erectile dysfunction. The idea is that they are pleasuring themselves too often, and therefore, when it comes time to be with their partner, they are unable to perform. Others say porn plays negatively into our body image issues and give us unrealistic expectations about sex. Elevated divorce rates, shorter attention spans, sexual deviancies, and even sex addiction have been blamed on such films.
Where did I get my sex education?
Mostly in the back seat of a ’57 Ford…my best available classroom back in the 1960s.