As more and more research comes out about how porn negatively affects viewers and their relationships, a lot of porn’s problems are no big secret anymore.

Problems like, the porn industry has been shown to endanger and hurt performers, and is closely tied to sex trafficking, violence and abuse. And we often encounter real life stories of children who are coerced into sexual slavery and the videos of their abuse are distributed online. Also, watching porn can start people down a path towards physical and emotional violence. Not to mention the of physical and mental issues for viewers like depression, anxiety, and erectile dysfunction that all go hand-in-hand with watching porn. Porn can also lead to relationship problems, lack of intimacy, and the inability to emotionally connect with others.

All these issues have been pretty well established, but it’s not as easy to see how porn can negatively affect someone in ways that aren’t necessarily so dramatic or visible. Problems caused by porn don’t have to be sensational to be serious—they can affect health and daily life in much sneakier ways, and it can be hard to even notice it’s happening until much later when habits are formed.

While they’re not as attention-grabbing, these porn-related issues can have serious consequences that are every bit as real, and damaging, as some of the issues that get more attention.

Porn Can Contribute To Less Productivity

Last year, over 4,599,000,000 hours of porn were watched on one popular porn site in just one year. That’s equal to 5,246 centuries. Think of everything that could have been done with all that time, if it weren’t dedicated to porn.

First of all, let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. It’s not likely that a viewer is multitasking when they’re watching porn—if you’re watching porn, you’re not doing anything else. Watching porn at work is a way bigger problem than you might expect, and needless to say, it costs tons of money when employees aren’t doing their jobs because they’re tucked away watching porn. Recently, nearly 100 federal employees were found to have watched porn at work. It’s pretty safe to say that they didn’t get any work (or anything else) done while they were doing it.

Related: WATCH: Russell Brand Talks About Why Watching Porn Isn’t Productive

Just as informative: a survey of the Reddit community NoFap, whose members have committed to give up porn, reported that 67% of community members got to enjoy a significant increase in energy and productivity once they’d given up porn. That’s time and energy that they can use to do things they care about, which will make them much happier in the long run.

There are limited hours in a day, and taking time to watch porn whether at work or at home means taking time away from more healthy, productive things that can add greatly to quality of life.

Porn Can Contribute To An Inactive Lifestyle

Watching porn releases dopamine and serotonin, two of the four so-called “happy chemicals” in our brains. Another thing that releases these same chemicals? Exercise.

Related: British Girl: I Watched 8 Hours Of Porn A Day Before Going To Rehab

So, there are two sides to this story. Porn releases the same chemicals as exercise, which makes working out less desirable after you watch porn, because your system is already packed with serotonin and dopamine. On the other side of the coin, exercising regularly could make you less likely to watch porn for the same reasons.  By committing to staying active and focusing on physical exercise, it can make the decision to ditch porn all the easier.

Porn Can Keep You From Opportunities

Being active doesn’t just mean going for a run, or playing basketball, or trying rock climbing for the first time.

It can mean reading a book, or hanging out with your friends, or volunteering in your community, or cooking dinner with your family. It can mean going on a date, or taking a new job, or playing with your dog. Needless to say, because it takes up time and energy, watching porn makes it tough to do any of these things.

Related: 5 Signs You Might Be Addicted To Watching Porn

For any porn viewers reading this, think back to the ways porn can cause you to be less productive. If watching porn is a big loss for productivity, imagine how much more difficult watching porn makes getting into your dream school, or getting hired. They say that luck is when preparation meets opportunity, and it’s tough to be prepared or find opportunities when porn takes away the time and energy that could be invested in those things.

Porn Can Make It More Difficult To Do What You Care About

We all have things we want to achieve in life. We have educational goals, job goals, life goals, and relationship goals, and making our dreams come true requires lots of work, time, and dedication. The energy and time that porn requires could be put towards achieving things that will provide real and lasting happiness, not a short shot of feeling good followed by depression, anxiety, and other problems.  

If we commit to the things and people that make us really and truly happy, we’ll all live better lives and be better people for it. This is all part of why choosing reality over fantasy can make for a healthier, happier life overall.

What YOU Can Do

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