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Auntie SparkNotes: I Almost Watched Porn, and I Feel So Guilty

Auntie SparkNotes: I Almost Watched Porn, and I Feel So Guilty

By kat_rosenfield

Dear Auntie Sparknotes,
Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to Vice magazine. When I was on their website, most of their articles seem pretty harmless, albeit a bit of an eye opener for me. However, I didn’t really mind it until there was one article in particular that directed me to a porn site. I’m 17 and extremely curious, so I followed through into the site. Yet for some reason, right before I started watching, I got all red-faced and uncomfortable, even though I was alone and hadn't even seen anything, to the point where I exited out before actually watching the video. Later on, I felt kind of guilty and I honestly don’t know why. I feel really awkward in intimate situations (which is probably why I’m NBK), and now even the thought of watching porn makes me feel bad, like it's some sort of terrible secret I can’t let anyone know. Is this normal? Should I feel guilty? What if my parents found out? Is watching porn ever okay? This is seriously weighing on my conscience but I don’t know how to get over it.

For starters, it'll be easier (and faster) to just run down the list of circumstances under which watching porn isn't okay:

- When you're so hardwired to associate sexual pleasure with porn that you can't enjoy yourself during in-the-flesh sexytimes with actual human beings.
- When you neglect your work, health, or real-life relationships in order to feed your porn habit.
- When porn is the determining factor in your concept of what other people's bodies should look like and/or how people should behave during sex.
- When you're on a shared computer, particularly one used by grandparents and/or small children.
- When you're sitting next to me on an airplane, because despite what you seem to think I am not actually asleep and WAIT WHAT HOW CAN YOU EVEN FIT THAT MANY NAKED PEOPLE INTO ONE PRIUS.

But otherwise? Truthfully, Sparkler, pornography is like any other matter of personal taste: some people like it, and some people loathe it, but there's nothing objectively wrong with watching it if that's what you're into.

That said, there's also nothing surprising about your current feelings of freaked-out-ness over your almost-glimpse of the internet's racy underbelly. You seem so very uncomfortable with the idea of even being interested in sex, let alone having it with someone else, that it's normal and natural that your near brush with something a bit transgressive threw you for a loop—not because porn is bad and wrong, but because that was a big, dramatic step in the direction of full-on sexy stuff, and one that pushed miles beyond the bounds of your previous experience. I mean, the naughtiest thing you'd done prior to this was… what? Reading Vice magazine online? So even though you clicked away before you could see anything, it makes sense that you'd still feel pretty weird about the fact that you'd gone there in the first place.

And once you're a little older, a little more secure, and a little more comfy with your sexuality, maybe the idea of watching x-rated content won't be so alarming to you—or maybe you'll have satisfied your curiosity in other ways, so that you neither need nor want pornography to fill in the blanks. But in the meantime, please realize that peeking at sexy stuff on the internet isn't some dark, gross thing that only perverts do. Every sexually mature person with a working internet connection has clicked on a porny link at least once in their lives, if only to see what the fuss was about. Your curiosity isn't a guilty secret; it's something you share with the world at large. So relax, breathe deeply, and remind yourself as needed that you haven't done anything wrong…and if you still feel the need to purge yourself of your near-porn experience, this video of a porcupine ecstatically eating a pumpkin should do the trick nicely.

Got something to say? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at advice@sparknotes.com.
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Topics: Uncategorized, Advice
Tags: auntie sparknotes, sex, guilt, pornography, porn

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About the Author
kat_rosenfield

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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