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Hugh Hefner: The End of the Beginning Is Just the Start

I woke up this morning to hear the news that Hugh Hefner had passed away. In the book titled, “Chicago and the American Century: The 100 Most Significant Chicagoans of the Twentieth Century.” F. Richard Ciccone wrote, “If Hefner did not single-handedly start the sexual revolution, he was its Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington combined.”

But in that great war there was a price to pay. Thousands died from battles and many more died from disease and over 25,000 were estimated to have been injured or maimed. However, a powerful, free nation was born from the sacrifices of those who served.

Conversely, in the 1960’s and 70’s Hefner certainly took on the mantle of a great general with the sexual revolution. However, what price did we pay? We’re just discovering that availability of pornography for the then teen baby Boomers has created the tacit approval for their grandchildren for the denigration of women, and young men who all too often objectify the bodies of their female and sometimes male classmates.

Technology in turn, makes the distribution of home-made pornography so easy that today every juvenile court in in America struggles with the issue. How can they handle the hundreds of naked teen photos that have been passed from phone-to-phone; cloud account to cloud account; and the thousands of web servers peppered across the globe? It’s not an easy task.

About 20-30% of teens have sent naked photos of themselves to satisfy a boyfriend or girlfriend. In fact, for some it has become an early dating ritual.

Pornography is freely available on many websites and some apps. Search the term, FREE LIVE SEX CAMS and you’ll get over 3,220,000 links to such services.

Search the term ORAL SEX on YouTube and you’ll get just short of 1 million links to videos.

With the advent of streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix there is an entire portfolio of shows such as THE HANDMAID’s TALE, CASUAL, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, AMERICAN GODS, BIG LITTLE LIES, JANE THE VIRGIN, HARLOTS and many, many more. Given that 50% of parents have no controls on their children’s smartphones and tablets – how many children have been exposed to such contents at a young, innocent and impressionable age.

This Christmas, more teens will be asking for Virtual Reality headsets and games. There will be gaming content with VR sports and beautiful tours of far-off lands. However, the real growth area will be in VR porn — which operate on these same headsets.

There has been significant growth in the adoption rate of porn following a VR porn marketing video released on YouTube illustrating the reaction of viewers to both the VR porn content and technology.

The company behind the video is BaDoink – who distributed 1,000 free Google Cardboards to the public. They exhausted their supply in less than one day. To say there was interest is an understatement. NOTE: Don’t access the BaDoink link if your are easily offended. The landing page alone might embarrass ole High Hefner.

By 2017, BaDoink had recorded almost 100 scenes in VR – and is producing approximately two a week. All are available on the most common VR platforms such as Gear VR, Google Cardboard and OCULUS.

BaDoink is only one of the many VR porn producers getting into this billion-dollar market. Others include VRSmash, Kink.com and Naughty America and a host of smaller groups. As with BaDoink, the free landing pages for these sites go beyond mere teen fantasy and exceed the darkest acts imaginable.

The question is not whether this content should exist. Rather it is what happens when VY porn is introduced to children? Will their view of sex and intimacy be changed forever? Much like 2D porn, will their brains be rewired to eliminate their ability to be satisfied sexually in the real-world?

There is a lot we don’t yet know. However, we didn’t know ten years ago that the depression and suicide rate of teens would increase to unheard of levels following the adoption rate of smartphone technology and the rise of social media use. Is the technology bad? Of course not. It’s the misuse and content that is the issue.

Solving these matters all starts with understanding what is happening with technology, society and our children.

I’m sure to a young family in the 1960’s, Hugh Hefner’s magazine all seemed like much ado about nothing. But with some perspective, was it the slippery slope we’ve all heard mentioned in the past?

As I say in almost every adult presentation, none of us would give the keys of our car to an underage child and say have a great evening. None of us would allow our driving age children to get behind the wheel without a seat belt. None of us would allow our children to roam Time-Square without supervision. Yet so many of us give free reign of technology to our children.

The shrink-wrapped publication in the magazine rack at Walgreens from the 60’s seems so innocent today. What could go wrong?

I think we know now.

Hugh Hefner died today. But The End of The Beginning Is Just The Start

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