How to talk with your girls about pornography and masturbation

Disclaimer:  I have no idea how to do this.  In fact, I am barely comfortable talking about this with my boys and have just recently felt like I have come up with a good plan and language around this topic with boys.  But with girls?  This topic and girls makes me feel like a youth ministry dinosaur.  Thankfully I am always trying to learn and grow and I am even more thankful for the people in my life who push back on me and force me to re-evaluate.

Chistel Guins, a connection I have made through this brand new world of social media has pushed back on me, and so I offered to give er some space on my blog to share her thoughts.  Thank you Chistel for your honesty and for keeping us old guys honest.  

I’m writing this in response to the blog post “Let’s be honest about every guy’s struggle”. 

While I feel this post was spot on in how we should treat these struggles, if we’re going to be honest, then let’s be really honest.   This is not a struggle exclusive to guys! Let me express that again, this is not just a ‘guy thing’! That’s right! Women and teenage girls struggle with sexual purity, masturbation and watching porn too.   I’ll pause a moment for you to grasp that.  

Masturbation and watching porn has become politically correct topics to discuss, as long as it’s in regard to men or teenage boys.  It’s seen as almost a right of passage.  We come to the table with the basic premise that “all guys do it”.  I think the idea of admitting it so that we can move past it and start to understand where the problem really lies, is brilliant! We can’t change what we don’t admit, right?  

The classic double standard, again.

When boys admit to “whacking off”, their male leaders empathize with them, pray for them and encourage their repentance.  But, If a girl admits to “rubbing one out” they are viewed somewhere between dirty slut and sexual deviant.  Where teenage boys get understanding, help and prayers- teenage girls find judgment and prejudices. They are left feeling even more ashamed, extremely hurt and desperately confused.  Allowing the same support for these girls starts with throwing away the archaic idea that their behavior is somehow dirtier or more sinful than that of their male counterparts.  Most of us know that on average girls mature emotionally, physically and hormonally sooner than boys. Yet it seems to shock people to find out that teenage girls have sexual desires and curiosities.  Well here’s a news flash for ya, some girls are just as horny as guys!!

But why are we in the church so slow to recognize this? Why must we wait until it is discussed openly outside of the church before we acknowledge its existence?  Worldly views tell teenage girls that anything and everything they feel sexually is healthy and should be explored and experienced.  By not addressing this openly in our girl’s ministries, we leave them to fend for themselves.  We, as the church, must open our eyes and start open conversations about girl’s struggles with sexual purity, masturbation and porn.  The end goal in mind here is not to lessen the seriousness of their sin, or to justify it, but rather to help them first, navigate the emotions that go along with the judgment on them and second, to get them the help and support they need to move away from this sin.  

My suggestion, re-read “Let’s be honest about every guy’s struggle”.  Replace all the male pronouns with female ones, change all the “guys” to “girls”, insert “rub one out” for “whacking off” and see if all the sudden, it becomes something dirty.  See if it makes you more uncomfortable.  See if it just sounds plain wrong.  If it does, rethink your opinion and your views! Please, for the sake of our girls.  

How do talk about this topic with your students?  What is the language you use? Your plan of attack?