Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to actual lives.

We recently received a true story from a female Fighter that shows how porn doesn’t discriminate based on gender. Some stories, like this one, illustrate just how harmful porn can be, and just how easy it can be to get hooked for years without knowing how to stop or where a porn struggle will lead.


To FTND,

I am a seventeen-year-old girl and my life has been absolutely tangled up in the knots of pornography. As ashamed as I am and as I shudder even typing this, I have struggled for as long as I can remember. My own experience with pornography was an overflow of the greedy sexual appetite that began in the simplest way.

As a child, even the mildest of sexual scenes in movies and TV shows fueled in me an incredible curiosity. A child’s mind is so expansive, so imaginative. When the heated kissing scene lent itself back to the PG-rated plot, my little wandering mind began to imagine what happened when the makeout session faded to black. Everything is a puzzle for a child. And there I was, looking for the missing pieces of romantic boy/girl relationships. The television showed me the corner pieces, but what was the entire picture?

Around the time I was in fourth or fifth grade, my mother—an emotionally abusive alcoholic—revealed to me her stash of pornographic magazines. She encouraged me to look at and learn from them when she wasn’t home. So when I got the chance and the privacy, I crept to her room and slid open that bottom drawer and grazed over those images. They were scary at first. But as I got older and my natural sexual drive began to blossom, my mind went back to those “scary” images. And as boys my age began to take on features and qualities that enticed me in ways they never had before, I was no longer afraid. I became heavily bound to the addiction. I felt like I was living a complete double life, and as a young teen, the mental toll of that was immeasurable.

Related: Do Women Get Addicted To Watching Porn?

When I got older, I got an iPhone. My struggle continued in a lapse of ups and downs. Porn was at first such a tiny, tiny flicker of sexual imagery. It was using YouTube to re-watch intense steamy scenes from movies or television. It was looking at Google images of beautiful couples wrapped in passionate embraces. But this tiny flicker quickly became a flame that engulfed me.

When I first tried porn videos, I hated it. I couldn’t watch any video in its entirety and I couldn’t get turned on by it. I found it so unromantic; too grabby and too gross. Porn absolutely lacked the romantic beauty of TV love scenes. Porn actors lacked the depth and the “love” factor. The movements were so different. The scenes in movies had calculated, enthusiastic physical exchanges between men and women. Porn had something more like machinery. In and out. Up and down. No closeness. No attempt at intimacy. As a woman, and a hopeless romantic, porn left out everything that aroused me. It left out all emotional aspects.

But, for some indescribable reason, I kept returning to the videos. It was curiosity. I tried different searches, different keywords. I tried searching “romantic” and “for women.” I eventually came across a video or two that I could watch and enjoy. I’d fast forward through the impersonal parts and then press play for the segments in which there was actual eye contact, actual closeness. I knew it was fake, but it gave me butterflies, yes, butterflies, to imagine being held and touched in at least some of those ways.

Related: My Struggle With Porn Taught Me To Hate My Body

But as I’ve since learned is inevitable with porn, it quickly spiraled out of control. I started becoming fascinated with specific male actors. The “romantic” videos that first drew me to them opened doors into videos of them doing far more obscene things. And since I had developed an affinity for a specific actor, the content of their videos mattered less than the fact that they were in them. Before I knew it I was watching my favorite porn star slap women around, tie them up, and spit on them because I “fell in love” with him sexually when he had held, caressed, and whispered to women in other videos. Meaningful lovemaking was no longer the object of my arousal. An actor was. And when his role was no longer “meaningful lovemaking,” I changed my preferences.

The effects of my pornographic binges are still noticeable. I’m tearing up writing this. Those images will never exit my mind. I am a virgin, I intend to save myself for my wedding night. But now all I can think is, will that special night feel like porn? Will I compare my precious husband to the porn actors I was infatuated with? Will what is supposed to be a physical promise seem more to me like a physical performance? I have to admit that even today I am more turned on by watching two individuals together on TV than imagining being with a real partner in real life. Porn grooms the mind for fantasy. By constantly watching others partake in some sort of sexual activity, and learning to enjoy it, you are naturally disconnecting yourself from the pleasure of that type of situation in real life. Today, I avoid even the most innocent-seeming sexual content in TV for this reason.

Additionally, I can’t go anywhere without visually critiquing the men I see. I look at them like products and evaluate them like I am assigning their prices. Immediately I picture them in sexual positions, and value them accordingly. It is sick. I am trying to un-train my mind and my eyes to stop doing this but it’s difficult.

Related: True Story: I Can’t Stop Seeing Girls As Sex Objects After I Watch Porn

I want to warn others of the dangers and consequences of viewing porn. Even if it doesn’t come directly from typical porn sites, the practice of viewing sexual images—via your favorite romantic series, via sites such as Tumblr, via pictures of male models—can be a very slippery slope. I didn’t know I was sliding down that slope until I was sliding too quickly to halt myself. I am still crawling, slowly, laboriously, back up that steep slope.

I still struggle and I imagine I will for the rest of my life. It is everything I can do not to hate myself for it. I remember believing I was the only girl in the world dealing with an exclusively “guy problem.” I remember believing that porn was specifically reserved as a problem for men and that I was an outcast. Now I know that this isn’t the case. Fight the New Drug has given me the confidence of community. And you guys have equipped me to get better. It is the knowledge spread by FTND that gave me the final push to help myself.

Thank you, Fight the New Drug. And not just from me. Thank you on behalf of my future lifelong sexual partner. Thank you on behalf of my future children. Thank you on behalf of the modern world, for I don’t think it yet realizes how you are transforming and helping it.

T., a Female Fighter


Porn doesn’t care who you are, what your natural preferences are, or whether you’re a guy or a girl. In fact, this story is just one of thousands of emails we get from guys and girls all across the world, dealing with the same issue.

Science and research are showing us that pornography is harmful and personal accounts like this attest to the facts. Pornography harms the brain, damages relationships, and deeply affects attitudes about sex. And as countless girls across the world already know, society’s stereotype is all wrong when it comes to the perception of porn being only a “guy issue.” A recent German sex study showed what we should all already know: women are just as easily at risk of becoming dependent upon porn as men. The study showed that as many as 17% of women consider themselves addicted to porn, and that half of the women surveyed were internet porn viewers. Another study found that about half of young adult women agree that viewing pornography is acceptable and 1/3 of young women reported using porn. Also, according to another study done of multiple colleges across the U.S., 31% of college-aged women reported viewing pornography and 49% reported that porn is totally acceptable. [1]

Bottom line—porn is an everyone issue, not just a guy issue.

To any guy or girl out there, reading this, here’s a message for you: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We are fighting along side you against the hollow, damaging love counterfeit that is porn.

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What YOU Can Do 

SHARE this article to show support for this brave girl who shared her story. Spread the word on the harms of pornography and take a stand for real love.


Struggling with porn? We can help.

People struggling with porn who have signed up for Fortify—our interactive recovery program—have been witnessing huge success. We’ve spent countless hours developing the best tools to help teens (and adults) break free from the chains of pornography and take a step toward freedom.

One of the most recent ways we’ve accomplished this is by releasing the new Fortify app, that allows you to harness the power of your smartphone for good by taking your recovery with you.

The Fortify app brings the power of the Battle Tracker to your smartphone, tablet or mobile device. Available for iOS and Android operating systems, you no longer have to use your browser to record your progress. Battle Tracker analytics and all other functions of the program are built into the app.

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With the full power of the Fortify Battle Tracker right on your smartphone, your journey to recovery is now accessible 24/7. Instead of your device being something you fear and avoid, you can use technology to track your progress and build even better strategies.

There is no miracle cure for a porn struggle. Every Fortifier is still going to have to be careful, patient and consistently working towards full recovery. But the Fortify app is a powerful tool for those on the journey to recovery.

Oh, and did we mention it is completely free for Fortify users 20 and under? Anyone who already has a Fortify account can use the app for free. If you aren’t a Fortifier yet, head over to fortifyprogram.org and sign up to get started. The entire online program is free for individuals under 21 years old and is an inexpensive one-time fee for adults.

 DOWNLOAD FORTIFY APP FOR iOS

⚑ DOWNLOAD FORTIFY APP FOR ANDROID

Citations

Carroll, J. S., Padilla-Walker, L. M., Nelson, L. J., Olson, C. D., Barry, C. M., & Madsen, S. D. (2008). Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance and Use Among Emerging Adults. Journal of Adolescent Research, 23(1), 6-30. doi:10.1177/0743558407306348

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