Any time a celebrity speaks up about porn’s harmful effects, countless more people have the opportunity to see what the research is saying.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of athletes and actors who have directly and publicly addressed the issue of pornography and why they think it’s harmful.
Click here for sources of the following quotes.
“I think it really destroyed my brain, and I feel incredibly devastated that I was exposed to so much porn… It got to a point where I couldn’t watch anything else—unless it was violent, I didn’t think it was attractive.”
“Porn is super-disruptive to your sex life, to your libido… When you watch multiple people at multiple times in one evening, how is your actual real-life partner going to match up? It’s just so destructive.”
“If you’re watching horrible stuff, you should just think about it. Like there’s a guy and he’s watching ‘normal porn’… and then that doesn’t do it for him. So he clicks here and he clicks here and he starts going darker and darker and darker and darker. Where does that lead?… And so if we can… educate people before they even get into that trap, that would be huge.”
“My issue was, and is, with pornography, that it changes the way you think about people. People become objects, people become body parts; they become things to be used rather than people to be loved.”
“I think that there’s not a substantial difference between a lot of mainstream media and pornography. They’re equally simplistic, reductionist. Whether it’s rated X or approved by the FCC for general viewing audiences, the message is the same. We have a tendency in our culture to take people and treat them like things.”
“Pornography is not something I like, it’s something that I haven’t been able to make a long-term commitment to not looking at, and it’s affecting my ability to relate to women, to relate to myself, my own sexuality…. There’s a cloud of pornographic information… that’s making it impossible for us to relate to our own sexuality, our own psychology.”
“I had come out of something in my own life—dealing with porn addiction… I’m definitely in a healthier place to enjoy that because I’m outside of the [porn] addiction, if you will. So, yeah, it’s been really fun, because it’s been very new for me.”
“Porn peddles selfishness, domination, and oppression—all terrible qualities to bring to a relationship. It strips women of personality, agency, and dimensionality, reducing them to objects who exist simply for men’s sexual pleasure.”
“When you watch too much porn, you know what happens?… You get desensitized. When you start watching porn, any porn will do. Then, later on, you’re all f—ed up and you need a perfect porn cocktail to get [aroused]. I was so f—ed up … I’m a lot better now.”
“A lot of men take porn as not that important, not that serious…. I think the first time I was aware that [a partner was using porn], I was really shocked because I didn’t understand it. Lovemaking for me is related to feelings, and sensations with feelings, and so when you don’t have the feelings it becomes animal-like because you’re not in touch with your heart.”
Why this matters
It isn’t common that you’ll hear a public statement, though, given the taboo and sometimes controversial topic of porn. These high-profile public figures are usually pretty careful with what they say to the media, especially when talking about subjects that a lot of people aren’t eager to chat about.
However, due to the science and research that is coming out regularly on the harmful effects of porn, more and more celebrities are starting to voice their experiences and opinions about the prevalence of porn in our society and share how it has affected them personally.
Given that an estimated 91.5% of men and 60.2% of women consume porn,Solano, I., Eaton, N. R., & O'Leary, K. D. (2020). Pornography Consumption, Modality and Function in a Large Internet Sample. Journal of sex research, 57(1), 92–103. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2018.1532488Copy and the average age of first exposure is before age 13 with some exposed as young as seven,British Board of Film Classification. (2020). Young people, pornography & age-verification. BBFCCopy it’s worth examining how porn may be affecting its consumers.
We raise awareness on the harms of porn precisely because we are pro-love and pro-sex, and people deserve better than what they see in porn.
Given what research is showing and the countless personal accounts like the ones above, it’s worth considering the facts before consuming.
This isn’t a moral argument, nor is it some kind of strategy for censorship or banning porn, it’s simply something we’re inviting you to consider.
To learn more about porn’s negative impacts on consumers, relationships, and society, click here.
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