Modern porn education is totally unprepared for modern porn

And the same person might be surprised by the answer. On a July weekend, I sat down with four teenagers—three girls and one boy, ranging in age from 16 to 18—to talk about their reflections on pornography and the way it has influenced their lives so far. None of them were especially enthusiastic about the genre, largely because they were enthusiastic about sex. (I agreed not to use their real names so that they could speak candidly about this sensitive topic.)

“The boys that I have had sex with,” Thalia, 17, told me, “I can tell while having sex with them which one’s watched too much porn, based on how they behave during sex.” It comes across as a certain impersonal performance, she said, “or they’ll do certain things that … I know they probably wouldn’t have thought of organically.”

I asked about the nature of those learned behaviors. Were they violent, disconcerting, uncomfortable?

“When I first started having sex, I thought that I was just—because of watching porn and also listening to other people my age talk about sex, the weird ubiquity of BDSM culture—I thought that I was just supposed to like being, like, choked and stuff,” Thalia said…

“Personally I have only had sex with one person,” Callie, 18, added. “And he is not even as exposed to porn as I would think that most boys are, and he thought that [choking] was a normal thing.”