There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows how porn can separate consumers from the things and people they love most. We fight against porn because we're fighting #ForTheLoveOf everything worthwhile in life.

Think about some of your favorite memories. Do most of them involve being alone and isolated, or with those you love?

The fact is, humans are biologically wired to thrive in community with other people. We are wired to connect to others in real life, building relationships and friendships. So what can get in the way of that need? A lot of things, but more specifically, porn can.

Research is continually showing that porn can harm relationships, and drive a wedge between partners and other relationships. As an organization, we aren’t presenting this as a moral argument, and we aren’t trying to ban porn. We simply want to help people understand the harms and make and consider before consuming something that’s so normalized.

Here are just 6 ways that ditching porn can be like giving a gift to yourself, your partner, and the world.

1. Become more attracted to your partner.

It’s simple math—when you spend less time watching fake and airbrushed actors having fake and airbrushed sex, you are going to be more attracted to your real-life partner.

In one study, consumers men rated their partners as less attractive after viewing sexually-explicit images. [1] The same study also found that men attracted to centerfold images rated themselves less in love with their partners.

One of the more damaging effects of porn is that is warps how consumers see the world around them; it can lead to an impossibly high standard of beauty that not even the Photoshopped and edited actors involved can meet.

2. Be happier with relationships.

There’s a term in psychology called “relationship adjustment” that’s used to measure trust, the direction and health of the relationship, and overall happiness. Essentially, it evaluates how happy you are with your relationship.

In a scientific study involving almost 1,300 individuals, participants that did not consume porn reported significantly higher relationship adjustment, indicating that they were quite a bit happier in their relationships. [2]. So, if you want a relationship that will last for a long time, keep porn out of the equation. The reality is, it won’t do you any favors in the long run.

3. Don’t fear commitment as much.

One of the best parts of love is that you have each other’s back, no matter what. Unfortunately, when porn gets involved in the relationship, that loyalty and commitment can be eroded away by the secrecy and comparison porn introduces in a relationship.

A research team from Florida State University, Southern Utah University, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville hypothesized that consuming pornography would lead to decreased commitment. They performed an experiment with almost 400 people, and their hypothesis was supported: as porn is consumed more frequently, one’s commitment to their relationship decreased substantially. [3]

Long story short, porn can remove the glue that keeps love strong—commitment.

4. Have more passion in your life.

Research is showing that porn can take the spice right out of a relationship, contrary to popular opinion. Think about it this way—porn satisfies sex like soda satisfies hydration in the body. In theory, it seems like liquid would help a thirsty person, but the unhealthy ingredients in soda actually do the exact opposite.

Similarly, people who watch porn to try and fulfill sexual desire often end up worse off than before. Watching strangers have sex on screen may seem sexy in the moment, but it can really mess with the real intimacy in a relationship and cause partners to be less sexually satisfied with one another in the long run. [4]

Turns out, ditching porn can work wonders for feeling attracted and connected to your partner.

By not watching porn, couples are actually being sex-positive and opting for real over synthetic. [6] Focusing on each other and only having eyes for your partner means that sex and intimacy is as awesome and exclusive as it should be.

5. Have better self-esteem and self-worth.

When people consume porn, it can not only warp their view of others, but it can also twist their view of themselves.

In one study done with both straight and gay men, consuming pornography was correlated with higher levels of body dissatisfaction. Pornography exposure was correlated with social physique anxiety for gay men and a higher tendency of developing an eating disorder. In a similar, more recent study, a group of college men who consumed porn rated how they viewed themselves in terms of body satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and overall emotional well-being.

After analyzing the data, it turns out that guys who view porn are much more likely to have anxiety in relationships and withdraw from them more than guys who aren’t viewing porn. Their sense of emotional security was lower overall than guys who do not view pornography.

Just as a porn-free relationship can be more satisfying, a porn-free lifestyle can also lead to a more confident view of yourself.

6. Make the world a better place by refusing to contribute to sexual exploitation.

Unfortunately, in this digital age, there is no way for a consumer to tell if what they are watching was made illegally or if all parties are there 100% consensually. Traffickers can make their victims appear as though they want to be on camera, and the consumer would never know the difference.

And even if performers say they performed consensually, they can often be lying to protect themselves from further abuse and avoid being blackballed in the porn industry.

For example, just in the last couple of years, over 60 Japanese models and actresses stepped forward and said they were forced into shooting porn when they showed up to what they thought would be a photoshoot. And this only scratches the surface from what has proven to be the inseparable link between sex trafficking and porn.

Choosing to be a part of something and spreading the facts about the harmful effects of porn is just another way that those who don’t watch porn can be happier, healthier, and confident that they’re not contributing to sexual exploitation.

Give yourself the best gift and ditch porn today

In a world where sexual exploitation can be dressed up as sexual entertainment, and porn can detract from love for yourself as well as your relationships, ditching porn can be one of the best gifts you give to yourself. Choose not to watch porn, and you’re choosing the healthier option for everyone.

Citations

 [1] Kenrick DT, Gutierres SE, Goldberg LL. Influence of popular erotica and judgments of strangers and mates. In: Plous S, editor.Understanding prejudice and discrimination. McGraw-Hill; New York: 2003. pp. 243–248.
[2] Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2009). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone or Together: Associations with Relationship Quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. doi:10.1007/s10508-009-9585-4
[3] Lambert, N. M., Negash, S., Stillman, T. F., Olmstead, S. B., & Fincham, F. D. (2012). A Love That Doesn’t Last: Pornography Consumption and Weakened Commitment to One’s Romantic Partner. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31(4), 410-438. doi:10.1521/jscp.2012.31.4.410
[4] Bridges, A. J. (2010). Pornography’s Effect on Interpersonal Relationships. In J. Stoner and D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 89-110). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families. New York: Henry Hold and Co., 153; Zillmann, D. (2004). Pornografie. In R. Mangold, P. Vorderer, and G. Bente (Eds.) Lehrbuch der Medienpsychologie (pp.565–85). Gottingen, Germany: Hogrefe Verlag;
[5] Zillmann, D. and Bryant, J. (1988). Pornography’s Impact on Sexual Satisfaction. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 18, 5: 438–53.

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