Actually, for the most part there aren't age restrictions on who can view erotica and pornography: there are age restrictions per those selling or distributing some of it per what age the person they are selling or distributing it to can be.
In other words, when there is a crime there per age, the crime would be on the part of the seller/distributor, not the viewer. But if you're looking online, and a site or such says you have to be a certain age, that's the age you have to be.
But for the most part, those laws are about explicit internet, visual print and video pornography, not about most of what is classed as erotica.
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 68237 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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I saw porn for the first time when I was 13.
I started reading erotic stories at 14-15.
I started watching porn at 15-16.
I obviously didn't care that technically it was illegal. I was a horny teenage virgin who wanted to masturbate. lol
So when I have kids, I'm really not going to care when they actually discover it, as long as they realize most of it isn't realist. And I'd hope that they start reading before watching. (Of course, I'll have blocks set up so they don't stumble in on porn when they're like 10. lol)
-------------------- Madwomen seldom think they're crazy. Posts: 83 | From: in my own little world | Registered: Jun 2007
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this is a very complicated issue for me, just speaking personally. I don't believe in age restrictions re: exposure to sexual content, but I have to put a big asterisk at the end of that opinion just because sexual media / porn is often really unhealthily twisted up with violence and subjugation. Porn is a rotten place from which to draw conclusions about "normal" sexuality...and, realistically, no matter how many times we tell people that porn is just a fantasy and not reality!, naive viewers are likely to internalize at least some of porn's normalized view of female subjugation (e.g. facial cum shots and general treatment of women as masturbation sleeves).
I eventually stopped looking at porn because it just got too depressing to wade through all the misogyny in order to find something decent. (the search is especially draining when you're looking for lesbian porn that is actually produced for a queer audience.)
All this being said, I don't think anyone needs to restrict themselves from looking at erotica / pornography based on age. My opinion, for what it's worth, is that you should keep an eye out for harmful narratives in your chosen erotica, and make sure you understand that they aren't healthy or equitable. I guess, to put it another way, I think people should have it pretty deeply internalized that women are fully feldged sexual persons who deserve to be treated with respect.
Posts: 21 | From: guelph, ON | Registered: Dec 2008
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