I must have been 5 or younger, I don’t know for sure. I know my parents divorced when I was 5 and we moved out of the trailer park only a year or so after that. It was a new park, to give credit, and I lived there with my mom, dad and older brother from the time I was 2 until not long after my parents separated. It was a huge neighborhood, to me. Our dad owned his own landscaping business which happened to have a contract with a local bicycle shop. One of my clear memories from when my parents were still married is our father pulling up with his trailer behind his work truck and two brand new bikes for my brother and I. Mine was pink with a white-flowered plastic weaved basket. We would ride our bikes all over that park. It was a labyrinth of paved road with trailers lining each side, a few parks and a clubhouse with a laundry mat and an outdoor pool. There was plenty of room for us to ride our bikes and roam free. It shocks me to think no one watched us. We just roamed about. Of course there where many children in this neighborhood besides us. My brother and I stuck mostly together. We met other kids at the bus stop and some we met just ridding around and exploring.
One day my brother and I were out with a kid we had hung around quite a bit. I remember he acted really tough when he talked, but he was never unkind to us. He was a leader type, the kids just naturally looked up to him. It must have been a weekend morning before too many people were up and about. It was summertime. I remember the weather was sunny and pleasant. He took us around the corner and down a street not too far from our home. He had made a discovery and wanted to show us. We rode up to a trailer that had recently been burned in a fire; It was like a scorched shell. Most of the trailer was still intact but the doors had been knocked out. We parked our bikes in the yard next store and climbed in through the back side door. The boys went in first and pulled me in by my hands. The smell was strong of burnt paper and smoke. Stacks of magazines lined the narrow hallway we entered which led to the bedrooms. The piles seemed to fill the entire trailer. As I looked around me, our friend pointed out his find. All the stacks and stacks of magazines were pornography. Piles and piles. We picked them up, some partially burnt but still intact. I glanced at the images. Naked ladies and naked breast. Countless images of nude women differing in size. Sizes I had never seen before. Posing and in many positions, the women/girls were smiling. All were smiling but I couldn’t focus on their faces. So many images I had never seen before.
The atmosphere of this trailer, the vibe, there was something evil about it all. Something felt scary. Something felt like we shouldn’t be there, like I was in some kind of danger. A breeze blew through the open doors and the smell of fresh air mixed with fire filled my nose. The stillness of the day was present. People where sleeping in, but I was aware of them all around us. The boys were uneasy. No one wanted to get caught. We were sneaking around somewhere we weren’t supposed to be. The boys chatted nervously as we looked at the endless stacks of dated pornography. I didn’t understand what I was looking at, but I knew It made me feel different. The three of us could stand the atmosphere for only so long. We made our way out the way we came in, through the back door. We jumped out onto the grass and grabbed our bikes. We never told our parents about what we found. That trailer sat there like that for days. Now when I look back I cannot help but wonder, how many other kids explored there?
When I looked at the pornographic images that day as a child, it changed me. I couldn’t forget what I saw. It was burned in my mind. I still can remember that experience in great detail. You see when I saw those images, in my mind, I thought “this makes men happy”. All the women looked happy on their faces, but from the neck down what I saw made me feel uncomfortable. I was being exposed to something that is a normal part of life, nudity. I had questions I really didn’t know how to ask. I thought in my young mind that it must be something good. Why would my brother and our friend think it was a cool find if it was all bad? Why were there so many of these magazines in this home? Why is there a horde of them and why was it interesting?
It must be what makes men happy. It must be good because men and boys like porn so much.
So many impressions hit me that day and my mind was too innocent to understand the evil of it all. I knew it was bad, but I also thought it was desirable to men to be like the ladies in the pictures I saw. I confess as an adult I still struggle with these thoughts and ideas that surround sex and men and women. As an adult, I understand sex and intimacy better. I understand all the pieces of the puzzle that must be in place for us as human beings to have our deep physical and sexual needs met. It takes trust and safety, marriage and purpose, time and energy. Sex is beautifully complex. Sex creates life! Get that deep into your soul. Sex makes babies. When I look at my children, I am still in awe of it. From a strong attraction I felt towards my husband since the moment we met, and through all the battles and joy, our coming together produces a child. Our child! A beautiful and so very complex life of its own, with purpose and good works to be completed, all steaming from sex. This is why we need the structure of marriage for sex, because of the outcome it naturally produces. It is the challenge and joy of our lives to experience intimacy. It makes us feel so amazing. Endless songs have been written about intimacy. Books, poems, movies – all express the happiness and consummation, pain and sorrow, which originate from our need to fill this desire. It is a big deal. Once you dive into sexuality and you experience it for yourself, you realize intimacy is a never-ending need. You will continue to need other people to meet your needs in relationships. It requires so much to be a healthy adult, it takes work and dedication. Pornography is a cheap and quick fix. It will quickly get a result that will leave the user still unfulfilled. The porn user will get accustomed to easy outcomes that require little effort or work. Pornography addicts may altogether forget or lose the ability to develop and obtain true intimacy and satisfaction.
Pornography exposes us to an unrealistic dose of sexuality. If we accept it and rely on it, porn will weaken our ability to meet our natural needs. It (Porn) will change us.
So much of what I want to convey to young women and men can all be summed up in this: A good life requires hard work. Don’t settle for the cheap & quick! You are amazing and worth the effort. You can be fulfilled and find satisfaction in sex, but only within the guidelines of marriage. Prepare for it, plan for it, dream about it, and work hard for your relationships and worth. You will not be sorry that you set a high price on yourself. Men want sex, but the same rules apply for us all – fast and free will never satisfy. They will find themselves lacking. I guess that is why there were so many endless piles of porn in that trailer we found as kids. Sad but true. Scary but real. Don’t believe the hype! Porn changes us for evil. Noting good will come from exposing yourself to images. #pleasingabba