Cover photo by Daniel Garcia. 4 minute read.

Science and research have continue to show something that might surprise the average consumer: porn changes the brain and harms relationships.

But as important as it is to raise awareness on the false, exploitive, and degrading nature of pornography, it is also important to recognize what porn doesn’t show or teach consumers about sex and relationships.

10991328_10153236936651756_6570862399582539007_n

Porn doesn’t show how much humans need healthy relationships in order to have a happy life.

Relationships are really important for us as human beings. As teens and adults, we need a variety of strong, healthy relationships in order to thrive. These include relationships with friends, parents, siblings, teammates, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.

Healthy relationships build self-esteem, boost mental and emotional health, and help us to live overall healthier lives. [1] Studies have shown that people in committed relationships are generally happier. [2]

Related: 4 Ways Porn Seriously Fails At Fulfilling Someone’s Need For Real Connection

Now, on the flip side of the coin, counterfeits like porn can do the exact opposite. Porn is very damaging to relationships which decreases mental, physical, and emotional health, and is a legitimate cause of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. [3] Porn can’t even compare to the happiness and fulfillment that real love provides. In fact, it’s a straight-up unhealthy “substitute.”

Porn doesn’t show or require the effort that it takes to be in a relationship.

If you’re watching porn thinking it will teach you something about sex or how to get in a great relationship, you’re training for the wrong game. Looking to porn for sex tips is like looking to action-packed car chase movie scenes for driver’s ed. Not only does it portray sex completely unrealistically, it also doesn’t promote healthy sex practices like using protection and making sure everything is consensual.

And that’s not all. Porn doesn’t portray the realistic give-and-take nature of a partnership. News flash: relationships are hard. They take sacrifice. Just ask anybody in a long-term relationship; relationships require putting the needs of another before your own. Dr. John Gottman, a world-renowned relationship therapist found kindness and generosity to be the top two factors for what makes relationships last in the long run. [4] Couples who were kind and generous with one another were more likely to stay together and to be happy. Once again, porn is in complete contrast to that ideal. Porn is selfish and often frequently portrays selfish and even violent acts.

Related: Expectations Vs. Reality: How Porn Messes With What Consumers Find Attractive

In fact, when a team of researchers analyzed the most popular porn videos a few years ago, 88% showed physical violence and 49% contained verbal aggression. [5] Viewing physical and verbal aggression for sexual pleasure certainly doesn’t encourage kindness and generosity in a relationship.

While healthy relationships involve trust and communication, porn decreases trust and communication in a relationship and isolates the consumer. [6] Porn is easy—it will never reject you, it will never not be “in the mood,” it won’t bug you or annoy you with its unique personality traits. Spending time, consuming porn while someone wishes they could be in a relationship is setting them up to have unrealistic expectations for love—and that’s not healthy for anyone.

Porn doesn’t show how incredibly amazing it is to truly love someone, and be loved by them.

Yes, relationships are hard work, but porn also misses out on how awesome it is to love someone and be loved by them.

Porn will never become anyone’s best friend; it can’t replace someone who loves you and fights for you. In real relationships, you can share your life with the other person. You can be with them and hear them laugh. You can fall in love with their smile, the way they talk, their sense of humor, and more importantly, their heart. Love is an adventure—a chance to take on life with all its challenges and joys with a partner by your side. All porn does is take the physical pleasure of sex and detach it from anything real. Instead of sex being an awesome and beautiful part of connecting a relationship and bringing partners closer together, it becomes an exaggerated fantasy that’s marketed by an estimated $97 billion dollar industry that has zero accountability or responsibility for the destruction it brings to people with its product. How’s that for “sexy?”

Bottom line: porn misses out on the fact that while being with a real person is difficult at times, it’s worth it. Don’t fall for the counterfeit. Porn kills love. And love is something always worth fighting for.

Get Involved

Spread the word on the harms of porn. SHARE this article and get the facts out about why it’s important to fight for real love.

Spark Conversations

This movement is all about changing the conversation about pornography and stopping the demand for sexual exploitation. When you rep a tee, you can spark meaningful conversation on porn’s harms and inspire lasting change in individuals’ lives, and our world. Are you in? Check out all our styles in our online store, or click below to shop:

Citations

[1] Johnson, Teddi Dineley. “Healthy Relationships Lead to Better Lives.” The Nation’s Health. Mar 2011. http://thenationshealth.aphapublications.org/content/41/2/20.full
[2] Chang, Louise. “People in Committed Relationships Are Happier Overall.” Web MD. 7 Dec 2005. http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20051207/commitment-may-be-good-for-you
[3] Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography and Violence: A New Look at the Research. In J. Stoner and D.Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute.
[4] Smith, Emily Esfahani. “Masters of Love.” The Atlantic. 12 Jun 2014. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/happily-ever-after/372573/
[5] Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Chyng, S., and Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression and Sexual Behavior in Best Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update. Violence Against Women 16, 10: 1065–1085.
[6] Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography and Violence: A New look at the Research. In J. Stoner and D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute.

Send this to a friend

Like all websites, we use cookies. By continuing on this site, you agree to our use of cookies. More

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close