Lets get real. Many, many teenagers are using porn to learn about sex. This is problematic for a number of reasons, most of which revolve around the fact that porn gives a very unrealistic picture about what love, relationships and sex are actually like.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of young people learn almost everything about sex from porn,” New York City–based sex educator and writer Gigi Engle told Teen Vogue. “It’s extremely accessible, and without proper sex ed in school and inaccurate information being doled out, it’s the only resource they have. There are a variety of problematic and dangerous effects of this form of education.”

Here’s what you need to know:

It is unrealistic

Porn is heavily choreographed, edited and well lit. Most videos are also 5-10 minutes long, so they don’t often have time to share a pizza or watch an episode of ‘Stranger Things’ first. Real life involves more bumbling, conversation, awkwardness,  and should always feature a conversation about consent (more on that here). Also, most bodies don’t look like that.

Its usually Not Safe

Porn actors do not use protection, which does little to promote safe sex and to share the message that it is no less enjoyable when Johnny’s got you covered.

You can read more about contraception here, and find out where to get free condoms here.

It’s Addictive

The dopamine hit that you get from watching porn is similar to that of other addictions, and the fact that porn is so freely accessible is doing no favours in that regard. If you think you might be dependent on porn, you can do a quick test here.

There are so many good resources out there with honest, shame-free and realistic information on sex, like this, this, this or this.  Some people watch porn, and some don’t. The main thing is that in real life you should be guided by what makes you comfortable, and what you enjoy, in your own time, and at your own pace. You should never feel under pressure to perform like porn stars. Most of them are not having as much fun as they appear to. Porn is just like any other movie, its entertainment and fantasy.
In other news, check out this Catholic video that was shown in Irish schools in the 80’s, in which Angela says a prayer before talking about “a long kiss and a warm hug”. God bless, everyone.