Sexy baby and the not unusual sex

2013/01/sexy-baby-poster1.jpg

Choosing which news to feature on Ayzad.com is usually pretty straightforward. This is a site about unusual sex after all, so whenever I stumble on a story about an uncommon kink, product, event or simply an original angle on the most common and fun pastime in the world, I often publish it. As a journalist, I only try to stay away from dubious news: to make an example, I am not convinced that the recent virginity auction scandal isn’t anything but a publicity stunt, so this is all the coverage I’m giving it until further developments.
Morality is never an issue, though, just as my readers’ judgment: I can be many things, but not a hypocrite. And this is why this specific news piece baffled me for quite some time before I decided to feature it. The point, you see, is that the media and the Web are all over it but I just can’t understand what’s so unusual or newsworthy about it – except the reactions it is arousing.

The story is about a documentary called Sexy baby, which was very well received at a number of movie festivals and is currently getting limited screenings around the United States. One of its main character is Winnifred, a girl who the two female directors followed from her 12 through her 15 documenting her exposure and reaction to porn. While the film’s attitude is remarkably objective and encouraging a mature discussion, it looks like most reactions to it are of the «OMG, we live in a mad world and everyone should be outraged and panicking about it» variety. And this is where they are losing me.

I mean, I do understand that for some political types out there getting all flustered about teenagers’ sexuality (or sex in general) is the fashionable thing to do; I can also appreciate that many parents are overwhelmed by sexual education… But can anybody convince me that minors knowing about porn is really such unexpected news? Let me throw a few figures at you. In industrialized countries:

  • 80% of adults are pornography users;
  • The average age of first exposure to graphical sex is currently 9;
  • 7 out of 10 kids over 10 access online porn through computers or mobiles;
  • For 89% of teenagers porn is the only form of “sex education”.

You are forgiven if you didn’t knew the actual numbers, but I’d be very surprised if you weren’t familiar with the simple reality that children are curious – just like you were at their age – and doubly so when it comes to “forbidden” knowledge. Information technology just made their access to adult content easier.

But it would be obscenely coward to put the blame on the kids. In fact, a very good point of Sexy baby is about the widespread cultural sexualization of children. Where were you when child beauty pageants became an acceptable form of exploitainment? Or blatantly sexual toys became normal? Should we talk about lingerie for four-years old girls? Push-up bras and thongs for seven-years old? As Winnifred says in the documentary, what else could you think all of this would lead to?

This is why the incredible hypocrisy surrounding the film astounds me. I just can’t conceive that any parent could behave so irresponsibly towards their children and fake indignation whenever anybody simply acknowledges reality. In fact, I am expecting quite a bit of flak myself just for having mentioned the topic.

While I have no kids myself and I can offer but a very modest opinion about all of this, I feel obliged to remind the parents who read me that giving their children a proper and sensible sex education is a duty and a necessity. They probably won’t grow up traumatized if you don’t, but they will sure lead happier lives if they are given the tools to understand and deal with the complexity, the risks and the joys of such an important part of life itself.
If more of you did, we wouldn’t need things like Make love, not porn, which is an online resource to teach young (and not so young) people what real sex is about. Sexy baby wouldn’t cause such a ruckus. And I could happily go back to write about really unusual sex.

Line
Line