Many former porn users are deeply concerned with wanting to protect children from getting involved with porn. They know how easy it is to be exposed to porn at an early age and develop a serious problem in the absence of appropriate information and guidance. It can be very healing to come out of the porn trap and then direct your energies to protecting children from having to experience the negative consequences of porn.

Laura is passionately concerned with keeping kids safe from porn. She told us, “It’s very upsetting to think that at this very moment some innocent little boy or girl is being exposed to porn. I wish our culture would wake up to the fact that it’s a contaminating influence that robs children of the opportunity to learn about sex in healthy ways and cul­tivate their own sexual imaginings. Unless we change something fast, today’s kids won’t stand a chance against it. We need to be protecting our children from porn. We need to teach them that the human body is beautiful and divine, that everybody deserves respect, and that wonder­ful sex is a product of deep intimacy. Kids need to know that like drugs, porn may seem exciting, but it’s a dead end and doesn’t lead to real sexual satisfaction.”

Many former porn users are aware of how pervasive pornography is in our culture and, as a result, how vulnerable children are to get­ting involved with it. Jack believes it would be irresponsible for parents to ignore educating their children about the dangers of pornography. “It’s tough for children today,” Jack said. “They live in a society that both encourages and condemns porn use. When I have kids I plan to initiate a dialogue with them about pornography. It would be unreal­istic to assume they won’t be exposed to it. If my parents had at least gone over some of the problems with pornography—the way women are made to look, the misogyny, the misinformation—it would have been comforting to know that it was not real life, was not how sex works, and was not how to have an appropriate relationship with a significant other.”

If you are a parent, one of the most important and empowering things you can do in conjunction with your own recovery is to protect your children from exposure to, and developing an involvement with, porn. In addition to doing what you can to limit their contact with porn, it’s also wise to maintain an emotionally close and healthy relationship with your children, discuss the serious problems porn use can cause, and pro­vide resources about healthy sexual behavior and intimate relationships. With a comprehensive approach, you can help make sure a problem with pornography doesn’t get passed down from one generation to the next (see box on the following page).