adolescent sexuality

Rites of the Savage Tribe

by Jean Roberta

As an erotic writer, I’m always interested to learn about sexual cultures: what a particular demographic considers sexually acceptable, and what is taboo. As an instructor of first-year university courses, I’m interested in the culture of the age-group of my students (approximately 18-22, with some exceptions), as well as the high-school culture that most of them have just emerged from.

Very soon, I will be facing classrooms full of young adults. I will give them stories, poems, novels and essays to read, and I hope they find the printed words meaningful. I strongly suspect that literature written before the twenty-first century will seem outdated to most of them because they won’t recognize the persistence of certain social patterns.

One social event among today’s young that has been acknowledged in the media is the Teenage Sex Party: a group of high school students get together to drink, and (in many cases) indulge in other mind-bending substances. A gang-bang happens, either spontaneously (it seems like a good idea at the time), or pre-planned. In most cases that I’ve heard of, the event is largely spontaneous, though it often starts with one boy and one girl. The rest of the crowd piles on. (If there are same-sex Teenage Sex Parties, they don’t seem widely known.)

I suspect that this event happens much more often than many adults choose to believe. It’s easy enough to legislate a minimum age for drinking, driving, and consensual sex. It’s not really possible to legislate lust, curiosity, or recklessness, and teenagers of all genders have these qualities in abundance.

Note that I’m not expressing approval of the Teenage Sex Party. I’m just saying that it doesn’t freak me out. Many years ago, I was a teenage girl. Less long ago, I was the mother of a teenage girl.

Now here is the catalyst that propels a local event into the stratosphere of public discussion: someone has a recording device and takes pictures, or makes a little porn-movie of the event. Someone posts this on YouTube or some other social-media platform. The images go viral. The girl or girls in the Sex Party (who are usually outnumbered by boys) become targets of a lynch-mob of their peers.

In some cases, the girl who has become known as the Scarlet Whore of Whoville (or whatever town it is) changes schools to avoid the stigma, and finds that her reputation has preceded her. If she reads her email, she finds fresh insults and threats every day. She can’t concentrate in class, and wants to drop out of school. She can’t sleep. Her only support comes from her parents, who would like her to recover in a well-guarded facility. In a worst-case scenario, the girl commits suicide.

At this point, there is much hand-wringing in the media. The girl’s red-eyed parents ask why the police have not prosecuted the “rapists” who did this to their daughter. Various experts point out that vulnerable young women need to be better-protected from sexual exploitation. Some form of house arrest is often recommended, along with more old-fashioned parental “discipline.”


The frequent aftermath of the Teenage Sex Party, in which a girl is deprived of human status because of her perceived sexual behaviour, is parallel to the disfiguring, flogging, or murder of “fallen women” in cultures that practise fundamentalist religion in its most medieval forms. There is nothing especially modern or high-tech about any of this; it took place in the time of Christ, as recorded in the Bible. (Christ was against it.)

Let’s reconsider the party itself. In a case that was recently discussed on a daytime television talk show, the girl who was the centre of attention explained that she went to the party with the intention of having sex with one boy (presumably her boyfriend at the time). Another boy entered the room, and both boys persuaded her to let them take turns. By this time, everyone involved was highly intoxicated and higher than a kite, so it was hard for the girl to remember everything clearly. At some point, she became aware that the fourth guy had been replaced by a fifth guy. She couldn’t identify him, but she knew he hadn’t asked her permission.

The talk show host asked Scarlet (as I’ll call her) her if she knew the difference between sexual attention and sexual exploitation. He made it very clear that there was only one right answer to this question. She said yes, and agreed that what was done to her had crossed the line. The host then assured the girl’s anxious parents that the local police were wrong when they said the boys couldn’t be charged. The host promised to look into the case himself.

Are you uncomfortable yet?

Scarlet was clearly disturbed by the host’s promise to her parents that oh yes, those five boys could and should be punished. She said she didn’t think they should get criminal records. She seemed admirably loyal to the truth: the event had not been a clear-cut assault, and she had not been simply a victim of unwanted sex. She was still a victim of something that began right after the sex-party.

It’s incredibly hard for a teenage girl to maintain her integrity by telling the truth about her sexuality in the face of social pressure. In my day, there was rarely any objective evidence, but rumours abounded. When numerous classmates asked me whether it was true that I had “done it” with the boy who was bragging about this, I denied it. Admitting it would have opened up an abyss of shame in which I was afraid of being trapped for the rest of my life. Then, when boys asked me why most girls lie so much about what they really want and what they’ve really done, I cringed. I didn’t want to be a liar or a hypocrite, but I didn’t see any viable alternative.

Let’s think about sexual hypocrisy with regard to Scarlet and the boys from the party. Did the boys acquire terrible reputations at school because they were recognizable from the video on YouTube? Did anyone propose that the person who recorded the event without Scarlet’s consent (and who might not have been a participant) should be convicted of a crime?

I would like to see a talk show with a different focus on the Teenage Sex-Party and its aftermath. Who were the ringleaders of the smear campaign against Scarlet, and why was no one talking about appropriate penalties for them? Where were the parents of these underage thugs? How many of them will grow up to become sexual bullies at work? Will any of them become police officers who use their power to abuse or even kill innocent civilians?

Something is definitely rotten in Denmark, so to speak. And it’s not a loss of sexual purity among young women.

Porn: A Public Health Crisis?

By Lisabet Sarai

Just over a month ago, I happened on a syndicated column in my local newspaper, entitled “Porn in the US ‘a public health crisis’”. As soon as I’d digested it, I knew I had the topic of my next blog post for ERWA. I didn’t bother to save the article; I was sure I could find it on the ‘Net when I was ready to sit down and write. Sure enough, this afternoon I googled “porn public health crisis” and got pages of links to the basic story. For example, here’s more or less identical text to what I read, from

I noted some of the other domains where the item appeared:,,, Clearly the religious establishment loved this article.

The content derives from a press conference preceding the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit, held in Maryland suburb outside Washington, DC in May. The primary points of this rather histrionic report are that most US teenagers have viewed Internet porn by the time they’re thirteen or fourteen and that exposure to these “degrading misogynist images” has extreme negative consequences. To quote the article:

Mary Anne Layden of the University of Pennsylvania, who specialises in sexual trauma, said pornography has been a factor in every case of sexual violence that she has treated as a psychotherapist.

“The earlier males are exposed to pornography, the more likely they are to engage in non-consensual sex – and for females, the more pornography they use, the more likely they are to be victims of non-consensual sex,” she said.

Strong claims. I would like very much to see the scientific evidence supporting them. I’d also appreciate information on sample size and sample selection. Was the non-consensual sex self-reported, or independently verified? Was there any control for demographic or historical factors such as economic level, educational level, family conflicts, substance abuse, or other mental health issues unrelated to sex?

There’s also a serious logical flaw hiding in Dr. Layden’s statement. When treating victims of sexual violence, she has noted that porn shows up in most cases. This does not necessarily mean that porn leads to sexual violence. The causality could very well work the other way: individuals prone to commit sexual violence tend to use porn as fantasy material or a substitute for action. Furthermore, her personal observations in the therapeutic environment say nothing about the effects of porn on the population as a whole.

The article then shifts to discussing the effects of porn on the individuals who participate in creating it, a journalistic sleight of hand that leads the reader into thinking that perhaps this is the ultimate fate of the poor teens who’ve become porn addicts.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not generally in favor of young people being exposed to hard core porn. I don’t subscribe to the hysteria evident in those attending this conference. However, I’m concerned by the fact that, to quote Dr. Gail Dines, “”Porn is without doubt the most powerful form of sex education today.” This may well be true, and I find it most unfortunate, because porn is not intended as education.

Whatever you think about visually-oriented commercial pornography – I’m assuming that everyone’s talking about photos and films here, not written material – you have to admit that it does not present a realistic picture of human sexuality. Most porn utilizes stereotyped scenarios and body types, building an ideal world to help the viewers get off. Nothing wrong with that, if you’re an adult, with real world sexual partners. You know that it’s all fantasy, intended as hot fun.

Teens, though, don’t have the basis to make accurate judgments. A young man who sees porn studs with huge cocks pounding away for hours is all too likely to feel inadequate about his own more normal endowment. A young woman who watches big-boobed bimbos eagerly taking facials may believe this is what’s required in order to appeal to the opposite sex. The lack of emotional connection one sees in a lot of porn may mislead teens into thinking that sex is a purely physical activity, a sort of sport, as opposed to one of the most profound and important aspects of human experience.

The article doesn’t explicitly cite a solution for the so-called crisis, other than to get the government involved (often a very bad idea). Dr. Dines suggests we need “programs out there that get kids to understand how porn is manipulating them.” The subtext of the article, though, is that the whole problem would go away if porn just disappeared.

I have an alternative solution. How about some serious sex education? Education that honestly acknowledges the fact that teens have sexual desires, that offers them reliable information about their own bodies and feelings as well as about those of the opposite sex? If we’re worried that porn is sending the wrong messages about sex, let’s expose kids to positive, pleasurable, respectful models of sexual experience. Let’s teach them that sex is natural, not dirty; that it’s an act of connection, not of conquest; that they can always say no, but that they’re also free to say yes. Teach them about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases, so they can protect themselves. Debunk the myths. Encourage them to ask questions and to communicate their uncertainties. Help them get past their embarrassment to real knowledge. And yes, do explain that porn is a business designed to make money, and that they shouldn’t take it too seriously. Don’t condemn it, though. That which is forbidden only becomes more attractive.

While we’re at it, too, how about allowing fiction to be frank about teenage sexual liaisons? Would you rather have your adolescents read an explicit book about kids their own age having sex, or watching

America is notoriously squeamish about sex, though. In fact, I believe that various bans on portraying sexual images and describing sexual relationships in mainstream media are part of the reason the porn business is thriving. (Technological issues also play a major role, of course.) The more puritanical the country becomes, the happier the porn purveyors will be. Every restriction on erotic content makes their products more valuable.

I don’t think porn is a public health crisis. However, it may well be an educational crisis. Public media do shape both opinions and behaviors. I’d hate to think that an entire generation knows nothing about sex except what they’ve learned from watching porn. They’d never realize what they were missing.

Hot Chilli Erotica

Hot Chilli Erotica


Babysitting the Baumgartners - The Movie
From Adam & Eve - Based on the Book by New York Times Bestselling Authors Selena Kitt



Pin It on Pinterest