About the Porn Literacy Project

Let’s be honest — you’ve probably seen pornography on the Internet. In fact, studies have shown that anywhere from 39% to 66%* (and maybe even as high as 90%**) of teens have been exposed to pornography — either accidentally, or on purpose, while online. Maybe you were just curious. Maybe you and your friend wanted a laugh. Maybe you clicked on a link accidentally. Or maybe you were looking to get off.  Whatever experience you’ve had with online pornography, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. And although you are legally supposed to be 18 years old to look at porn, many teens start thinking about sex much, much earlier and it’s no surprise that the Internet is the first place they go for information of all kinds.

That’s why this site exists. The Porn Literacy Project is not here to judge you for watching or wanting to watch porn. It is not going to tell you that you are bad or weird or perverted for being curious or wanting to get off by engaging with sexually explicit content. This site does not want to scare you away from ever watching porn again — we’re realistic after all. Instead, the aim of this site is to teach you the literacy skills that will help you understand and engage with porn in a healthy and meaningful way. This site is sex positive, which means that — unlike most teen sex health sites — it doesn’t begin with the assumption that sex is bad. In fact, sex positivity means that any sexual expression that is legal and consensual is just fine and dandy by us. And this site is also teen positive, which means that it assumes that teens are intelligent, thoughtful, and capable beings who — when provided with good information — will make smart decisions that make sense for them.

To be sex positive and teen positive in the digital era means addressing the reality of porn as a cultural artifact worth investigating. Because while on the surface it might seem like porn is just about sex, it is actually a complicated object, entangled in a web of desire, entertainment, economics, power, politics, gender, technology and a whole host of anxieties that can be difficult to understand from the outside. And figuring out how you fit (or don’t fit) into the world of porn is an important part of your sexual health education that our high schools don’t address. We know you know how to put a condom on a banana. (And if you don’t, check this video out). But now let’s get to the real question: What’s up with porn?

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