0

Before we start, let’s get one thing straight: we’re not anti-porn here. We’re not judging you if you do or you don’t watch it/make your own/whatever. As long as it’s safe and legal, it’s all good.

As a whole lot of people do enjoy it, we’re going to keep pointing you at the newest and best ways where tech crosses over with the adult industry.

However, with the non-judgemental disclaimer out of the way, there is one huge dichotomy about the echo chamber of the ‘dangers of online porn’.

No one is really listening where it counts.

A study commissioned by the NSPCC, and reported by the BBC, says that more than half of 11-16 year olds have watched some sort of explicit material online. That figure rises to 94 percent for the age of 14 and up.

The concern set out is that access to porn (whether deliberate or accidental – 28 percent of the 1,001 surveyed children said they’d discovered explicit material by accident through things like pop-ups) is “desensitising young people” and goes on to list some of the responses given about how porn is, essentially, taking the place of sex-ed and informing kids about what they think is a normal sex life.

If you have no frame of reference, it might well seem like the power dynamic that exists in most porn is a normal part of life. Hopefully, anyone a little older already knows that it’s not.

According to the Beeb, the UK government said that keeping children safe online was a ‘key priority’ – exactly how it plans to up its game wasn’t specified.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said that:

“Age-appropriate sex and relationship education in schools, dealing with issues such as online pornography and children sending indecent images, are crucial.”

Hot air

I don’t doubt that the government would want to keep children better protected online, but simply saying it isn’t enough. The tendency towards new regulation and tools to lock of content more efficiently are a knee-jerk, short-term response that won’t ever work.

Walls have never worked. People always get around or over them. If you’re investing in a blocker, you’re never planning on really fixing the problem.

Surely there are technological and social measures that can be taken to educate (and re-educate where necessary) anyone about the realities of sexual relationships without it simply being ‘This is bad. Don’t look at this’?

The problem is one that’s compounded by the way in which the tech industry as a whole acts about sex – urgh, icky, embarrassing.

The result is a lack of funding, and the unavoidable resulting lack of innovation around sextech. That’s not to say there aren’t companies out there working on making sex-positive devices, apps and other bedroom experiences, but they aren’t the ones landing the huge money in general.

Think about how many taxi, or music streaming or photo editing/storage apps there are. Now think about how many genuinely good sextech apps there are.

If we want children to learn about sex in a healthy way, it needs to be an attitude reflected by society as a whole, and by industry, rather than being lumped in alongside other ‘vice tech’ categories, like gambling and weed startups.

If we want sex to be normal and open for discussion for future generations, we need to start investing in that beyond words.

That’s a future that we should be building regardless of whether or not there’s rock-solid conclusive proof that watching online porn is damaging for children.

Read next: AI expert says that ‘sex robots’ will be mainstream in 10 years

Ben
I started this site and keep it running. Tech. Sex. The future. SEXTECHGUIDE is a place to look a bit closer at that the place where those things meet.My regular work is currently found on WIRED, TrustedReviews, The Inquirer, V3, The Next Web and many more sites. I'm available to hire, or for media consultation/training for startups.If you want to get in contact, shoot an email to contact@sextechguide.com.

Interview with a porn star: Anna Bell Peaks on YouTube, VR and weird cam requests

Previous article

Pornhub now has narrated videos for people that are visually impaired

Next article

More in News

You may also like

Comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *