Day we got boys talking about sex, porn, masturbation and purpose

Kingsley Obom-egbulem
Kingsley Obom-Egbulem

The day we got boys talking about sex, porn, masturbation and Purpose
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By Kingsley Obom-Egbulem
@parentingnowng

How do you get boys talking about sex, porn and masturbation without first breaking the ice with your own struggles and victory over these
vices which most boys go through? That was the hard nut we had to crack from day one of the SEXsense and Purpose Clinic for Boys.

We thought we could keep some of the personal details out of the way and still have drive home the points. It wasn’t going to be easy.

“Has it been an interesting workshop so far? “ I asked one of the boys as I strolled around while we were all waiting for lunch to be served.

“Sure, I’m enjoying everything, especially the exercise on Needles and Balloons “, the boy responded with excitement. And then he moved his
gaze right to my shoes. “I like your shoes, it’s a Tommy Hilfiger”, he said smiling.

“Oh, thank you”, I responded thinking he wanted us to use that compliment as a cue to move the conversation to another topic.

You wouldn’t notice the tiny Tommy Hilfiger crest etched behind my shoes if you weren’t taking extra time to observe me particularly while I was scribbling on the white board during the workshop. “This boy must be one that gives so much attention to details” I thought to myself. That got me wondering what next he was going to say. He didn’t disappoint the next time he opened his mouth, just that what came out was like a bomb.

“Uncle Kingsley, I was really shocked about those things you said about how one gets addicted to pornography, but you didn’t tell us if you were once addicted to pornography and did you also masturbate when you were a boy like us?”

Blood of Jesus!

That question got my knees wobbling.

I actually thought I had nailed the session he was referring to, especially with the sober looks on the faces of all the boys after our exercises and illustrations on porn addiction and masturbation. So I felt adding any other story (especially mine) would dilute the impact of that session. Hence I left it on that note.

But here I was with a participant who wanted a bit of my personal story perhaps to know if this Uncle was actually a boy like us while growing up or perhaps he came down like an angel from heaven; holy and all clean-no spot or wrinkles.

“I saw pornographic materials and I also masturbated just like some of you too “, I stuttered, not sure if that was the response he expected.

“Wow! Really?, his eyes popped, this time his gaze was on his food pack and I felt this relief on his face as if to say ‘I actually thought I was alone in this’.

” So, you mean, you…em, em”, apparently searching for the right words to express himself. While he stuttered, I took advantage of the lack of words to take control of the conversation. “Sure, I’ve quite a bit of porn too,” I continued, “but in my days, we hadn’t the kind of porn available today, and the porn we saw then were also very scarce because there was no Internet and I was almost completing secondary school when I saw porn for the first time and it was pictures of nude women from a magazine”.

My young friend couldn’t connect what I was telling him with today’s reality when most of his peers own Smartphones with unrestricted access to a ‘buffet’ of pornographic videos online. We spent the launch hour talking very personal stuff and that was for me the most rewarding part of the workshop. I shared with him how I eventually shunned pornography and stopped masturbating and the details of that experience was the focus of our next session which was “Demystifying Thoughts, Feelings, Environment, Decision, Action and Body.”

Aside the place of the Holy Spirit in helping you draw a line between good and evil ,we discussed the process of making decisions and the fact that the body-being the weakest in the process only takes instructions and lacks the ability to take decision.

“Your body doesn’t make decisions. It only carries out a decision taken by your mind. When it comes to viewing porn and masturbating, your mind is the commander-in-chief and at some point when your mind becomes eroded and loses the will power to refuse sending the body on errand, you can even masturbate with little or no command-you are now on default mode. No struggles: you just view and masturbate”.

We shared that the mind of a non porn viewer is like a lush, green field and then when porn is introduced it’s like someone took a decision to walk across the lawn. If he does that regularly even if it’s once a day, at some point, a foot path is formed and the grass on that foot path would eventually wither, creating a hard soil.

“So, to ‘regrass’ that foot path and make it turn lush green again, what would you do?”, I asked the boys.

“Plant a new grass”, they all chorused as if waiting for the question. “You are all wrong guys!” I spewed. While they were still wondering how they missed out on that one, I chipped this in: “What if you plant new grass, watered it and still continued to walk on the path?”

“You have to first of all stop walking on the foot path and sometimes, you may not even have to plant new grass and the withered grass would naturally grow again if you keep watering. But to make it faster, you plant new grass, add some manure, water the grass and place barricades around the field to ensure no one walks on the lawn again.”

It was two Saturdays of frank and intensive conversation, role plays and exercises on sex, porn, masturbation, purpose, self esteem, peer pressure and how kids get introduced to drugs. Dr. Dokun Adedeji shared his more than two decades experience of rehabilitating teenagers hooked on drugs. During his session the boys saw how easy it is to become a drug addict.

We also talked about women, domestic abuse. And after watching a short clip on Domestic Violence, we examined the “profile of men who abuse women” as well as lay a foundation based on respect for women.

The high point of the clinic was the session on Purpose. And we all agreed that living without purpose is like going to London in search of man called John and without his contact details or address. You’ll wander forever.

Taking it further, we asked the kids to think deep, to write and respond to the question:” what would the world miss if I fail to realize my dream?”

Knowing that kids are good at fantasising, we wanted to build on such fantasies and connect them with their gifts and passion. “If you don’t have anything to write down, it means you’ve not started dreaming and that’s dangerous because it would be easy for friends to drag you into drugs, sex, porn and masturbation”.

Next we asked the boys to write a speech they would love their kids or wife to read at their funeral (after living for a hundred years). The outcomes were thought provoking, profound graveside oration.

After taking an oath, we aptly termed “The Commitment”, we reminded the boys about their graveside oration. “Tomorrow is the beginning of the next phase of your life towards making real, the great things you want your kids to say about you when you’re no more”, we emphasised.”Please go and succeed at it”.

No doubt, boys would want to stay out of trouble one of which is porn addiction (and related vices) only if we can creatively engage them and prepare them to say No. This we must do. After all, we can only help them decide to say No, not prevent them from seeing pornography. That’s impossible!

The next SEXsense and Purpose Clinic for Boys comes up in January.

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