Hey Parents, this is not your father's Playboy that your kids are viewing. Kids between 13 to 18 spend more than 72 hours a week using electronic media. You've been warned.
I waited to have sex until I got married. I grew up in Christian home, went to Christian church, and remember this Christian speaker named Josh McDowell speaking at some youth conference we went to as teenagers. They sold a t-shirt there: “66 Reasons I Am Not Doing It.”
I waited, and I’m glad I did. Thanks, Josh, as well as everyone else in the church and Christian world who sponsored purity events, handed out purity rings, and sold plenty of other bad Christian t-shirts.
Then the day came. I was 22, it was about 3pm on August 29th, my wedding had just ended, and as soon as we got to our hotel, I was finally able to have sex and enjoy this gift. I had no idea what it really was until that day.
I had heard a lot about sex when I was a kid, but mostly what I heard was how I shouldn’t do it. My parents never talked to me about how great sex was and how it is a very, very good thing; instead I just knew the reasons (66 of them!) that I had to wait.
In my latest book for parents, Touchy Subjects, I urge parents to consider, when talking to your kids about sex, letting them know it is good. Sex is not a bad thing, and our kids deserve to know that! (Tweet This!)
I also didn’t grow up around porn. I hardly saw it, mainly because it wasn’t nearly as available then as it is today. But porn is everywhere now, and has become sex ed for today’s youth, because parents tend to be absent in conversations about sex, while search engines and porn sites tell kids all they want to know (and more). And then there are kids, desiring to have the kind of virgin adolescence I did, who turn to porn as a means of maintaining technical virginity while still engaging in sexual behavior.
So let’s think about a couple of hypothetical high school kids. They’re both seniors. One of them loses their virginity on prom night; the other stays a virgin but has been using porn every now and then since they were a sophomore.
Now, this is going to be a lot for some of you to take in, but here is my question:
Which of these two kids is in better shape?
(Yes, the perfect situation is to stay away from both, but come on. Let’s just realize that is going to be extremely rare for most students today.)
For the kid who loses their virginity on prom night: this experience involves two real people. To get this far requires some sort of dialogue and some sort of relationship. It may not be anything more than a casual fling, but the experience they had, while far from God’s design, was still something real.
For the kid who looks at porn: this experience is statistically likely to lead to struggles. They’ll investigate harder and harder material online and indulge in masturbation over and over again. They’ll have a hard drive of images and movie files in their brain and will need more and more to get off each time. By the time this person gets alone with a real person for real sex – maybe even on their wedding night (or afternoon, in my case) – they’ll have no clue or understudying that sex is about two people who have real needs and feelings and emotions.
Yes, this kid survived and is technically a virgin, but I believe they’re going to have a tough time turning off the porn when in marriage.
Yes, the other kid who lost their virginity might have an easier time giving it up again and again prior to marriage, and there are a host of problems and issues that stem from there, so I am not recommending that.
What I am saying is: do you think you are pure? Do you think you survived and made it with your technical virginity in place? (Tweet This!) Did you follow all 66 reasons why not to do it, but still made porn part of your plan?
I’m saying you’re in trouble. You have set up a pattern that is going to be tough to break and tough to forget.
What do you think?
For additional information on talking to your kids about sex and porn check out Craig's new book Touch Subjects: Talking to Kids about Sex, Tech, and Social Media in the Touchscreen World.
Also, we are launching something real soon called Best Sex Life Now a video series I am doing with my wife Jeanette and our friends Dave and Ashlee Willis. Go to BestSexLifeNow.com to get notified when it becomes available.
Is There Such A Thing As Technical Virginity? by Craig Gross is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://xxxchurch.com.