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Oral Before Kissing: How Porn Culture Has Changed Teens’ First Sexual Encounters

A heartbreaking 31% of surveyed teen girls say they’ve taken part in sex acts without even a kiss first, according to a recent poll.

By October 5, 2021No Comments
TRIGGER WARNING
The following article contains descriptions of sexual violence and abuse.

Many young girls grow up dreaming their first romantic relationship will be special—holding hands or sharing a kiss with a boy who respects and cares for her.

But instead, the heartbreaking reality of most teenage girl’s sex lives features abuse, assault, and manipulation—sexual experiences altered by porn.

Real stories of porn-inspired sexpectations

One high school-aged girl said a boy recently told her, “If you give me [oral sex], I’ll give you a kiss.”

In one survey, a staggering 31% of teenage girls said they’ve taken part in sexual activities without even a kiss, according to The Daily Mail’s recent poll of 2,000 young people ages 16 to 21. They discovered an alarming number of girls pressured into extremely explicit acts as a result of rampant porn culture among youth.

Related: Sex Before Kissing: How 15-Year-Old Girls Are Dealing With Porn-Obsessed Boys

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Zara Matthewson, now a first-year university student, experienced a similar shattering experience with her boyfriend when she was just 16.

“One day, I woke up and found he had moved my clothes aside to take intimate pictures of me on his phone camera. He denied it at first, then said he wasn’t doing anything wrong.”

Over the next few months, his attitude toward sex and treatment of Zara escalated. He began touching her while she slept before forcing her to have sex, and performing extreme acts on her that he’d seen in porn.

“Finally, after months of being spat on, strangled, whipped, forced to provide oral and vaginal intercourse and more, I said I’d had enough,” she said.

Zara shared it took her a long time to leave the relationship because the sexual harassment of girls was so normalized.

“We got the message from teachers that ‘boys will be boys’ and girls shouldn’t make a fuss,” she said. “When I told a member of staff the extreme things my boyfriend was doing to me, her response was, ‘I’m sure he’ll grow out of it.’”

This is just one experience of thousands of others—devastatingly common—among teenage girls.

The devastating effect of a porn education

Through its poll, The Daily Mail sought to see how easy access to online pornography showing brutal dehumanized sex affects teens and their attitudes and behaviors related to romance, intimacy, and consent.

Here are a few concerning statistics they uncovered with the survey:

Additionally, a recent report by the UK government’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills found that 9 out of 10 teen girls experience sexist name-calling and are sent unwanted explicit photos in school, and a study published in the journal BMJ Open that found anal sex has become another “box to tick” for young men, who often compete with each other to see if they can get girls to do it.

Related: How Hardcore Porn Is Dramatically Changing Teens’ Expectations For Sex

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Sexual violence is not uncommon among adolescents

Melinda Tankard Reist, author of Big Porn Inc: Exposing The Harms Of The Global Pornography Industry, describes girls today growing up in a culture where they’re expected to provide sex acts for tokens of affection.

“Many girls seem cut off from their own sense of pleasure or intimacy. The main marker of a ‘good’ sexual encounter is if the boy enjoyed it,” she explained.

When Reist asked 12 and 13-year-old girls how they knew if a boy liked them, the answer was, “If he still wants to talk to you after (you give him oral sex).”

Yasmin, now 18, endured this aggressive approach that has become commonplace among many teens. At the age of 14, she was talking to a male classmate on a park bench while waiting for a ride home from a birthday party.

“He sat on the bench next to me and we chatted for a few minutes. I think he had been drinking because quite suddenly he moved in for a kiss,” she said.

Yasmin pulled away, but the boy forcefully persisted.

“He put his hand around the back of my neck and held it there and put his hand roughly into my pants. I froze and said, ‘But I don’t want to,’ but he said, ‘Now don’t be one of them girls.’ As the pressure got worse, I wriggled free and ran off.”

The next day, she hid in the bathroom to avoid running into the boy at school. A few days later, she stopped attending school completely and reported the incident to her teachers and the police. Both had the same response—they could take no further action as there hadn’t been witnesses. She received a fine for non-attendance.

Related: “Why Was The Rape Victim So Upset?”—Why Teens Need Better Consent Education

Yasmin, who has been deeply affected by the incident, shares, “What really traumatized me was the amount of aggression he used, how fast he went from nought to 60. He was from a popular group at school who knew a lot about sex and asked crude questions that indicated to me they had seen a lot of porn. I firmly believe he expected to get immediately what he’d seen there. It makes me worry that I’ll never find a boy who will treat me right. It made me think: ‘Is this how I deserve to be treated by men? Is this really all I am worth?’”

Sophie* (name changed), an 18-year-old student at a private school in North London, said her boyfriend continually nagged her to have anal sex.

“First, my boyfriend suggested that if I really like him, I’d try [anal]. When I said I didn’t like the idea, he kept saying how did I know I didn’t like it if I hadn’t tried it. He nagged me so much—and said everyone else was doing it—that I thought if I didn’t, he’d find another girl who would,” she said.

After drinking half a bottle of vodka in his room to try to relax, Sophie complied—followed by days of bleeding and pain.

Kitty Wenham, now 24, also says viewing porn changed her expectations of sex and intimacy:

“Boys have wanted to slap and choke me during sex—always without asking. It wasn’t until after I first had sex at 17 that I watched it. It was like an educational thing: ‘So is this what I’m supposed to be doing?’ Oral sex is definitely just expected—and it’s not a mutual thing. I do remember thinking ‘this is disgusting.’”

“Most guys I have slept with have wanted to choke me during sex,” Kitty said. “The amount of times a man has hit me during sex without asking…I’ve been slapped quite hard. They never ask ‘Are you into this?’ It has become normal.”

Victimized by porn

Make no mistake—young girls aren’t the only victims here. Many boys are exposed to porn at a young age, and it can take over their understanding of sex and shape their sexual templates.

But it’s important to clearly acknowledge the impact porn culture and the attitudes and behaviors of boys—either inadvertently or intentionally—are having on young girls.

Some parents might read this in disbelief that their son could ever fall into this type of behavior. Keep in mind that not every person who looks at porn will become violent or even addicted.

Still, consider what research does show about porn’s potential impact on consumers: research shows that any individual who watches porn is more likely to see girls as objects sexually and to have less empathy for them. A 2019 study in the Archives of Sexual Violence that found teenage boys exposed to violent pornography are two to three times more likely to use violence against sexual partners compared with boys who haven’t seen it.

Related: Parents: If You Don’t Teach Your Kids About Sex, Porn Sites Will

Bottom line, there’s an urgent need for better information about sex for boys, girls, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Violent pornography has become their main educational source, and they deserve and need better.

Kitty says women have been taught to “accept brutality…because there’s no one to tell us otherwise. As a younger woman, it took me a long time to work out that I didn’t have to be submissive or submit to violent stuff. I have slept with men who have genuinely not realized they have assaulted me because, thanks to porn, they really believe this is what women enjoy.”

What both boys and girls see in porn and what is then acted out in abusive, nonconsensual, or coercive sexual encounters is shaping the way youth see themselves, each other, and the world.

They’re worth more than having their stories and sexual expectations dictated by porn.

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