217 Comments
founding

Impressive commentary.

But speaking as a lawyer, how on earth could you reconcile "regulating" porn like a controlled substance?

Apart from the basic, constitutional issues raised by the First Amendment, the only way to "control" what we now view as "mainstream porn" would be very harsh laws involving censorship.

There is little question that pervasive pornography is seriously warping the sexuality of many young men (and women) but the answer to that is not in legal regulation.

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I’d like to see TFP do a follow up on what’s going with the Kids Online Safety Act.

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Isabel, you are brave.

As a father who is attempting to raise two young men in this pornographic world, I thank you.

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This essay is a sad commentary on the sexual revolution which promised good things for girls and women. Freedom....to what? Be like boys and men? I grew up in an era when sex was largely absent from the TV screen. Now, the programs that I stream (as an adult) are filled with F-bombs and graphic sex. But what Isabel in viewing from the privacy of her computer, tablet or phone is so damaging that even a child knows its going to cause irreparable damage. That is too much for a child to cope with. But the "grownups" in the room....our teachers, administrators, sports leaders (NCAA) are shoving more and more sex-related dogma down the throats of parents and their children. It seems there is no place a child can go to get away from it.

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The strangulation (erroneously called "choking" here and many other places) is the most alarming to me. It can leave a person brain dead or dead, dead very easily.

It's a huge lethality indicator in domestic violence, and a few studies have found that men who strangle their partners are also likely to get in a shootout with police.

I just can't understand how this became a sexual norm.

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A powerful piece, by someone in a very vulnerable age group. I hope many get to read Isabel's insightful words. As someone who has had a lot of contact with sexual-abuse victims, I would separate the issue of pleasure/dopamine from the darker, control/fear/violence-based porn that is mentioned, as attraction to pleasure is a normal human appetite (whose positive qualities have helped us populate the planet, when guided by reason, like most other appetites), but attraction to/pleasure from violence/humiliation/abuse is an illness requiring serious psychological follow-up. In a society busier with "normalizing" almost anything, even psychopathic behavior, it's hard to get that point across, of course, but "intuition" or "conscience" or a bit of peaceful reconnecting in a lush forest, should make the heart clear enough to know the difference. A person addicted to food-pleasure might get a bit heavy, but it's still too much of a good thing. A person seeking to eat poison, as a source of "pleasure", is clearly unwell, and should be treated as such.

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An age requirement cut access by 80%? What kind of filter, etc., did they use? Most kids just lie and say they are 18.

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Fantastic, maturely written essay and yet another reminder for parents to do what they can, particularly in pressuring there legislators, thank you

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porn is information about sex the way reproductive health is an abortion at 9 months.

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Well done young Isabel! Very gutsy of you to be so honest. You laid your heart bare. Good writing. Keep it up.

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These comments, I believe, are missing the point of this essay. CHILDREN, and very young children at that, are accessing explicit and dangerous porn. These young children have no reference to process what they are seeing. The adult comments posted here are very much trying to make sense of the adult world of sex in which they live. Discussions of meeting women who want bondage, want to swing, or in someway want to degrade themselves sexually. If we, as adults, are still trying to navigate these ADULT issues then what must this access to pornography be doing to our very young children? This young girl’s bravery to bring attention to this should not only be applauded, it should be a battle cry for adults to take immediate action to stop this obvious harm to our children. What I’m reading here is instead a focus on how adult lives are affected. Let’s call our elected officials, let’s talk to our children, and let’s do our best to give the gift of childhood back to children!

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Porn is lust. Lust kills love and intimacy.

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This is a fabulous essay, that I hope. leads to everyone writing their state legislators/governors and demanding that these exploitive porn sites be required to age verify -- at the very least. Thank you Isabel for your courageous and terrific writing.

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What?! I am startlingly surprised by this article and the comments here. How wasn’t Isobel appalled by what she saw in the first place and didn’t look further? How could her mother not know? How come Isobel didn’t have a million questions for her mother? You have to know what you’re seeing isn’t part of the Roblox game. Sexual awareness, education and personal responsibility starts very early at toddler age when children start becoming aware of and exploring their own bodies. I’m flabbergasted at age 10 Isobel became aware of and hooked on such deviance and wouldn’t question it. ?? It’s truly shocking to me. Maybe I’m naive- not! I raised a GenX and Millennial and have 2 GenZ grandchildren, and I can tell you we have “the talk” all the time. We can’t control the information out there nor the things they’ll hide from us, but we can control what our children see, learn and do, especially about sex but more importantly about love and sexual expression. And personal responsibility. We most certainly can.

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