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The following content is from Somazone dot com dot au

I'm only 12 and i have a problem with porn and stuff.

Q.

I'm only 12 and i have a problem with porn and stuff. Lately i have been watching porn and sometimes even fingering myself. When i finger myself i don't feel anything and i don't know why i do it if i don't feel anything. Also sometimes when i'm looking at porn i end up with slimy/sticky clear stuff around my vagina - what is that? I'm not sure what i'm doing and if it is right. As a Christian it makes me feel more guilty.

Also none of my friends at school or anyone that i have ever met does this kind of stuff. That makes me feel really bad inside and also makes me wonder if i will grow up to be a prostitute or some kind of dirty slut or something. Plz help me. Is this right?

A.

Hello, and thanks for your question. It looks as though you're worried about both pornography and masturbation, and how these things make you feel.

Let me first tell you that masturbation, also known as fingering yourself, is a perfectly normal part of life. Most people masturbate at some point in their lives, and it is very common for young people to masturbate so that they can explore their bodies, and find out what they like and don't like. It can sometimes take a few tries to figure out exactly what you do like and what turns you on, and that's okay. Every person starts masturbating at a different age—some might start at the beginning of puberty, some might start as teenagers, some as adults. Masturbation is a very private thing, which might be why you think that nobody you have ever met does this kind of stuff. Masturbating does not mean that you will grow up to be anything that you don't want to be. Masturbation is a healthy and safe way of exploring your sexuality.

When a female is "turned on", or aroused—as might happen when you're watching pornography or something else that you find to be sexy—it is normal for her to become wet in and around her vagina. This is a natural body response which is called lubrication, and it makes the vagina and surrounding area wet so that it's easier to have sex (and to masturbate).

There are lots of myths about masturbation. Some people think that if you masturbate you'll go blind, or you'll grow hair on the palms of your hands, or you won't be able to have babies, or something else. The fact is, though, that none of these things will happen if you masturbate—as I said, it is a healthy and normal thing to do. As long as what you are doing feels right to you, and you are doing it in private, then there is nothing wrong with masturbating.

Pornography (porn) is a pretty controversial thing, too. For some adults, it is a way of adding extra enjoyment to their sex lives but it can give young people the wrong impression of what sex and relationships are all about. Because porn is all made up, and the people in it are all actors and models, they way that people have sex in porn is often very different to the way that regular people have sex. Often the people in porn have had plastic surgery to change the way that their sexual parts look—they might have penis or breast enlargements, or they might have their vaginas altered. Because the sex in porn is fantasy, it works differently to things in normal life—in porn, men's penises are always erect, and people always want to have sex. This can mean that if you watch porn a lot, you get unrealistic ideas about what people look like and what people do when they're in a sexual relationship. Porn isn't necessarily bad, and looking at it isn't necessarily "wrong", as long as you remember that it is not real life.

I know that I've given you a lot of information to think about. If you think that you have a problem with porn, or if you want to talk to somebody about some of these things, it might be helpful for you to talk to someone in person about it. Do you have a youth worker or school counsellor, or another adult who you can speak with privately? There are plenty of confidential ways of talking about things that are worrying you—have a look at the Somazone services directory for somebody near you. Otherwise, if you feel like you just need to talk, call the Kids Help Line on 1800 55 1800, or the SHINE SA Sexual Health Helpline on 1800 188 171. Take care of yourself, and good luck.

Last modified: 22nd September 2009
Information you heard is intended as a general guide only. This audio is copyrighted by the Australian Drug Foundation. Visit www.Somazone.com.au for more.

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