Cindy Gallop: You need to educate children not just about sex, but also about porn

On the Sex & Tech episode the Make Love Not Porn founder tells The Women’s Podcast we need to stop blaming porn and start having healthy conversations about sex

“The issue isn’t porn. It’s the complete lack in our society of an open, healthy, honest conversation about sex in the real world”

“The issue isn’t porn. It’s the complete lack in our society of an open, healthy, honest conversation about sex in the real world”

 

“You need to be educating kids not just about sex, but also about porn”, according to MakeLoveNotPorn founder, Cindy Gallop.

“The average age today which a child is first exposed to hard-core porn online is eight years old and a global study done three years ago by the internet security provider Bitdefender, indicates that age had already dropped to six”, she told Kathy Sheridan, on the latest episode of The Women’s Podcast.

“The issue isn’t porn. It’s the complete lack in our society of an open, healthy, honest conversation about sex in the real world”, said Gallop.

It’s never too early to have that conversation, she said, because children will inevitably stumble across pornography in school, at a friend’s house or online.

“Parents want their children to be happy. What we’re talking about will affect your child’s happiness more than any other area of their lives and even if as they get older they squirm when you talk about sex they will be secretly grateful. It is also therefore very important to talk about porn”, she said.

Gallop was a guest on this week’s Sex and Tech episode to speak about her website MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, where people are encouraged to upload videos of themselves having sex. It aims to show sex as it really is, minus the unrealistic performance of porn.

That topic was explored week’s panel chaired by guest presenter Sorcha Pollak, which included virtual reality consultant Camille Donegan. She shared her personal experience of unrealistic expectations in the bedroom, which she put down to the influence of pornography.

“I want to be making love and not being in a porno film. It’s about authenticity and I don’t think porn is authentic in any way, shape or form and I do think this brings us to another danger level because of the immersive nature of virtual reality and the power of that”, she said.

Donegan was joined on the panel by sexologist Emily Power-Smith and journalist Marie Boran, who discussed the evolution of sex toys, sex robots and how we consume pornography.

Also this week, Irish Times technology journalist Ciara O’Brien – a self-confessed gadget geek – gave a run-down of some of the latest and most sought after high-tech sex toys on the market, including interactive talking sex robot Roxy, who’s “always turned on and ready to play”.

There’s also wearable technology similar to Google Glass, which enables sexual partners to view the experience from each other’s perspective and 3D scanners that can turn real-life body parts into sex toys.

We want to hear your thoughts on sex and tech. Email thewomenspodcast@irishtimes.com or message us on Facebook or Twitter @ITWomensPodcast.

Individual episodes of the podcast are available on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher and on irishtimes.com.

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