My Sons Love Porn and I’m Fine With It

My five and three year-old sons are addicted to pornography.

It started out innocently enough. One video, found accidentally, during screen time. The two of them were hooked almost immediately. Now it’s all they watch. They have a lot to catch up on because the internet — you’re not going to believe it when I tell you this — is filled with porn.

Specifically, toy porn.

There are entire channels devoted to toy porn, which is essentially a video where someone takes a toy out of its packaging. There’s no playing. No seeing said toy in action. Just opening the box and putting the toy on a table. Which is weird, because with all the damned plastic tie/lock things, I find opening toys to be the most frustrating part of the entire toy enjoyment process.

Like all porn, there’s a flavor for every taste. One woman opens ‘surprise eggs’ — plastic eggs with stickers or small figures or candy inside. She’s been totally objectified; all you see of her is her hands. A middle-aged guy opens licensed toys — superheroes, Disney Junior toys, Happy Meal toys — and I can’t help but see him as some terrible stereotype, a schlubby guy living in his parents’ basement, even though you never see him, either. EvanTubeHD is like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous for little kids, as this eight-year oldish boy opens and assembles what amounts to the annual output of Santa’s Workshop.

I’m thankful for small miracles. I’ve yet to see either of the boys hit up a furry channel and watch something happen to stuffed animals.

"Dad, how do I turn the browser settings private?"

“Dad, how do I turn the browser settings private?”

As far as I can tell, there’s no harm in it. They don’t freak out when I tell them screen time is over. They haven’t become a pair of trantrumy consumers who are demanding daily trips to Target or Toys ‘R Us. I don’t understand the appeal of watching what amounts to long-form commercials, they’re also not totally commercials. They’re more like reviews and documentary discovery films, made by fans. Maybe the fans are a little older than they should be, but who am I to judge? I still read comic books.

Even so, there’s something about the whole thing that strikes me as fucking bizarre. Not that kids would want to watch these videos. I would spend the entire months of November and December memorizing pages of the Sears Wish Book, strategizing what I wanted for Christmas.

But what would possess an adult to make these videos in the first place? I love kids and I love toys. Gen X is the first generation to prove that you don’t have to stop enjoying your childhood just because you’re an adult. (Go us!) But it’s never crossed my mind to buy a bunch of toys and describe what I’m opening on camera. And I’m someone who once thought it would be funny to make a film where an advertising agency pitches a campaign to a group of super villains to remake their image.

Maybe it’s a failure of my imagination. Maybe I don’t want my own little corner of the internet badly enough. Maybe I don’t want to become a pawn of the industrial toy complex.

But I know one thing for sure. I’ve come across the first thing that I don’t understand how my kids can be into. I was hoping it would be something grander, a real knock-down about politics or some band they like that I think is garbage.

This, I guess, is progress.

  9 comments for “My Sons Love Porn and I’m Fine With It

  1. Megan
    September 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    YES. All of this!

  2. Kelly Loubet
    September 13, 2014 at 8:13 am

    My girls watch these too! They love the collectibles… The bags you can’t see in. Moshi Monsters or something? This dude has like 20 bags and opens them all on camera looking for “rares”. So weird!

  3. September 18, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Sometimes my kids will watch these videos but maybe because they are older it hasn’t really taken hold here. But my 8 year old nephew is into it too, so what do I know about it.
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  5. October 12, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I’ve described this shit to my non-parent friends and they’re like, “WHAT?!?”
    I know, it makes no sense. And the egg-lady’s accent is creepy — it haunts my dreams.
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    • Philip
      December 20, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      You are a sinner and an embarrassment to all the real married couples

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  7. Eilif
    December 22, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Fine with it also, though my 3y.o. son is more into mags. He spends hours reading over toy and train catalogs, many of which are for toy lines we don’t have. He hasn’t gotten noticeably more demanding or materialistic.

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