I grew up in the 90’s. Boy and girl bands reigned supreme. Pants were baggy. 'Hey Hey It’s Saturday' was a TV staple. And for me, the 90’s were pretty much internet free.
Those were the days! There were trees to climb and bikes to ride. No social media. Screen time was either playing my Super Nintendo or watching something we had taped on VHS. Disconnection from technology meant connection with real people.
How the world has changed.
In the 90’s, there were two main cliches when it came to a stash of porn.
The first was that your Dad had his own private collection hidden under his mattress. Kids would find their Dad’s magazines and then attempt to hide them surreptitiously in exactly the same way their Dad did.
The other cliche was a stash in the bush. Boys would explore the bush and have their own cubby houses or hiding spots in there. Whatever they got their hands on would go there.
For many, this kind of thing became a rite of passage. A coming of age. Or at the least, a common experience of growing and discovering the adult world of nudity and sex.
But in terms of its impact, it had nothing on what is going on today.
With the rise of the internet and smart devices, the world of porn has changed. Playboy no longer has a nude centrefold. Dad’s no longer have a stash under their bed. Boys no longer steal their Dad’s magazine and stash them in the bush.
They carry their stash with them at all times. It’s in their pocket. It’s on their phone. It’s on their laptop.
Whether it be a stash of photos or videos hidden on a device or simply accessing porn via a browser, porn is anonymously accessible in a way it has never been before. Browsing history is deleted in a flash.
In the 90’s, mums could get overwhelmed if they accidentally found their child’s stash. These days, parents can be prone to conclude that because there is no physical stash, there must be no stash at all.
Parents, it would be wise to talk to your kids about this. Ask them the hard questions in a loving way. Talk with them about technology and its dangers. Keep a careful eye on their use of devices. Encourage openness.
We can’t go back to the 90’s...nor would most of us want to. But we can be aware of what the changes mean for our kids and the porn-filled world in which we live.