Fight the New Drug

Fifty Heartbreaking Ways that Porn Kills Love

Man with VR goggles watching 360 video, digital glitch effects added in post production.

Trigger Warning. Many Readers May Find The Accounts In This Article To Be Graphic And/Or Disturbing.

Porn is all exaggerated and entertaining “fantasy,” right? We often hear advocates of porn say something like, “So what? What’s wrong with a little harmless fantasy?”

The problem is, it’s not harmless. Porn can kill love. Heard that phrase before?

And we’re not only talking about porn impacting romantic relationships (which it does), we’re talking about all types of relationships. Family, friends, acquaintances, loved ones, etc. Regardless of how a consumer’s romantic relationship is being impacted by porn, as human beings, we interact with different people daily, in a number of ways. One of the dangers of porn is that it can distort the way a consumer sees people, causing him or her to see friends, family members, coworkers, or strangers on the street only as a sum of body parts, discarding their humanity.

Essentially, porn tells consumers that people are objects with the sole purpose of providing sexual satisfaction, and that’s unhealthy for relationships, romantic or otherwise. There are a lot of different ways that porn can hijack or corrupt the average person’s understanding of what’s healthy or acceptable in their average relationship, but here are just fifty of them.

Porn Normalizes Abuse

1. Porn kills love by facilitating and promoting abuse

A few years ago, a team of researchers looked at 50 of the most popular porn films—the ones purchased and rented most often. Of the 304 scenes the movies contained, 88% contained physical violence and 49% contained verbal aggression. On average, only one scene in 10 didn’t contain any aggression, and the typical scene averaged 12 physical or verbal attacks. One particularly disturbing scene managed to fit in 128.

The amount of violence shown in porn is astonishing but equally disturbing is the reaction of the victims. In the study, 95% of the victims (almost all of them women) either were neutral to the abuse or appeared to respond with pleasure.

The porn industry completely revolves around the production and promotion of violence and degradation. Abuse is the center of it, and it sets an incredibly unfortunate standard: that abuse is acceptable, abuse is common, and abuse is justifiable. And it never is.

2. Porn glamorizes violence and abuse, and markets them as a “fantasy”

3. Porn is often used to groom victims of sexual abuse

Pornography is used again and again to prime, promote, and perpetuate the perpetration of boys and girls for the purpose of sex trafficking and sex abuse. How is this at all acceptable?

4. Popular porn categories include incest and abuse

Research that shows a staggering 178% increase in what they refer to as “family roleplay porn.” (i.e. stepmom porn, incest porn) portray sexual encounters between children/minors and caretakers. And what may be even more surprising is that 1 in 10 purchases by young adults are now for fauxcest titles.

These scenarios, by definition, are considered punishable-by-law child abuse. Not cool.

Porn Normalizes Rape

5. Porn commercializes rape

“Pornography makes women ‘rape-ready’ in the mind of its users by portraying the conquering and using of female bodies as the ideal display of masculinity.” [1]

A 2012 review of research on “The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents” found that adolescent consumption of internet porn was linked to attitudinal changes, including acceptance of male dominance and female submission as the primary sexual paradigm, with women viewed as “sexual playthings eager to fulfill male sexual desires.” The authors found that “adolescents who are intentionally exposed to violent sexually explicit material were six times more likely to be sexually aggressive than those who were not exposed.”

6. Porn performers are sacrificed to the brutalities of the scene

7. Porn clearly distinguishes the conqueror from the conquered

Even non-violent porn has been shown to have effects on consumers. The vast majority of porn—violent or not—portrays men as powerful and in charge; while women are submissive and obedient. Watching scene after scene of dehumanizing submission makes it start to seem normal.  It sets the stage for lopsided power dynamics in couple relationships and the gradual acceptance of verbal and physical aggression against women. Research has confirmed that those who consume porn (even if it’s nonviolent) are more likely to support statements that promote abuse and sexual aggression toward women and girls.

8. Pornography, like second-hand smoke, has the ability to harm those who are not actually engaged in consuming the content.

This is a real message we received not long ago from a Fighter. Stories like this show how porn isn’t just a personal issue, it affects the relationships surrounding the consumer.

9. Pornography consumption is often linked to sexual offenses including children [3][4][5]

10. Entry-level introductions to pornography include ‘gagging’ and strangling, among other painful acts.

It is no secret that hardcore porn is not usually kind to the performers (just read these porn producers’ disturbing quotes). With descriptions like “gangbang,” “painal” (which is “painful anal”), and “rough sex,” it is easy to gather that the women in these pornographic settings are often enduring abuse, all while being filmed and uploaded to porn sites for the world to watch for free.

Porn Encourages Objectification

11. Porn kills love by objectifying…everything.

To objectify something is to reduce it down to the status of an object, right? A status of total and complete insignificance and indifference. The porn industry shamelessly objectifies every unique, thrilling, beautiful, scary, private, personal, vulnerable aspect of real sex, and writes it all off as “easily disregarded without consequence.” Porn viewers are then left with the impression that respect is negotiable, consent is negotiable, that intimacy and people and reality are just insignificant things to be exploited for pleasure.

12. Porn objectifies women

study by Princeton psychologists showed a group of men pictures of male and females, some barely clothed and some not. During the study, the psychologists monitored their medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which is involved in recognizing human faces and distinguishing one person from another. For the most part, the mPFC was activated with each picture. However, when the men viewed the pictures of sexually dressed women, it was not activated. Basically, the automatic reaction in the men’s brains suggests that they didn’t perceive the women as fully human. Just as a body, or an object.

13. Porn objectifies men

According to porn, a man’s value is based on the size and stamina of his genitalia, and that’s pretty much it. The focus is below the belt, not on him as a whole person.

14. Porn objectifies children

The pornification of society has caused so many to accept the sexualization of tweens and teens as casual, “harmless” entertainment. Not cool. And on the other hand, the normalization and fetishization of teens has influenced young girls to fall into blatant sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.

The fact is, since 2012, a wildly popular search term on a porn site that got 23 billion visits in 2016 is TEEN.

15. In general, porn objectifies human beings and turns them into products.

A recent study shows that pornography dehumanizes both women and men—in varying ways and scenarios. [11]

In the study from the University of Amsterdam, the conclusion was that women were more often seen as instruments of men’s sexual pleasure, evidence of this is the amount of close-up body shots of women, but that “men were more frequently dehumanized” because their faces were rarely shown.

16. Porn objectifies relationships

17. Porn objectifies sex and makes it about performance rather than connection

Porn is a product, it’s not natural. Professional porn performers have a whole team of people to make every detail look perfect, from directing and filming to lighting and makeup, maybe even a plastic surgeon or two to thank. With some careful editing, a typical 45-minute porn flick that took three days to shoot can appear to have happened all at once, without a break. Film the right couple from the right angles at the right moments, edit out all the mistakes, Photoshop away any imperfections, add a catchy soundtrack, and you have something most definitely NOT like “natural” sex with “normal” people.

18. Porn objectifies consent

Often times, it even ignores it completely.

Porn often portrays scenarios where one can justifiably disregard consent. In fact, #consent is actually used to tag pornographic content on Twitter to further devalue and confuse the concept of consent.

19. Porn objectifies intimacy

Porn takes what could be a meaningful moment or interaction between two people and process it into an over-produced, airbrushed fantasy that’s scripted, exaggerated, and toxic to consume. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like something we want to mentally ingest, either.

20. Porn objectifies orgasms

21. Porn encourages risky forms of sexual behavior

“A competitive market means that pornographers are trying to outdo each other to come up with the most extreme images,” explains Dr. John Wood, a therapist who works with youth addicted to pornography. “This contest to push the boundaries means that straight intercourse is considered too boring. Images of brutal anal sex and women being humiliated and degraded by two or more men at any one time are the new norms.” [12]

Researchers are finding that porn’s influence can and does find its way into teenager’s sexual behaviors. [13] For example, people who have consumed a significant amount of porn are more likely to start having sex sooner and with more partners, to engage in riskier kinds of sex that put them at greater risk of getting sexually transmitted infections, and to have actually contracted an STI. [14]

22. Porn objectifies reality

We repeat: nothing is safe. Nothing is too special or intimate or innocent or vulnerable not to devalue and exploit. There are no rules, there is no respect. If something can be cheapened, and mass-produced for profit, it will be.

Porn Sells Relational Dysfunction

23. Porn kills love by enabling dysfunction

By definition, dysfunction is a deviation from normal and/or healthy. Pornography can manifest physical, social, mental, and emotional dysfunction in its audiences, all the while normalizing the behaviors.

24. Porn pushes performers to health issues and self-medication (erectile dysfunction medication, alcohol, drugs etc.)

In a recent interview published by Forbes, popular former porn performer Chris Zeischegg opened up about his prescription drug abuse on set and his experience with the overall downfall of the adult industry.

After eight years of performing in hardcore porn videos, Zeischegg ended his adult film career overnight because of the damage that porn had done to his body. Speaking to Forbes, he detailed his dependence on erectile dysfunction drugs to keep his performance consistent. Like so many male performers, Zeischegg had become reliant on performance-enhancing erectile dysfunction medication to continue his career.

25. Excessive pornography consumption can lead to sexual dysfunction—a condition preventing sexual satisfaction and/or desire

This isn’t a healthy way to live. Reality is so much better than fantasy, and we encourage anyone who feels this way to seek professional help or start with an awesome recovery program like our friends over at Fortify.

26. Porn commercializes crime

Porn normalizes crime (and makes a profit) with the promotion of incest, rape, sexual exploitation of minors, sex trafficking, etc.

For example, a recent CNN report claims that the man made $100,000 dollars for selling videotapes of his raping of unconscious and drugged women to porn sites that then circulated the videos. This leaves us wondering how our society is still failing to see the connection of sexual violence, fueled by the demands of porn consumption and production.

27. Porn promotes incest

Incest is something that would make anyone shudder in pretty much any regular context, but is somehow sought out by millions every day online. For the past two years running, in Pornhub’s 2015 and 2016 annual reports that show the mega porn site’s most popular searches, videos, and performers, ‘stepmom’ was the number one most searched porn term in America. ‘Stepsister’  and ‘mom’ were also ranked in the top 10 most popular searches. With these stats, it’s inarguable that this disturbing fantasy is officially mainstream.

Porn is cultivating a generation of people who find the concept of having sex with family members to be arousing. Unreal, right?

28. Porn promotes rape

29. Porn fuels the sexual exploitation of minors

Child pornography has become more prevalent than we ever could have imagined; the people who actually get caught for possessing it are only the tip of the iceberg. The exploitation of minors for commercial purposes is a business that has been virally expanding on the web for years, and the material is getting worse and more hardcore every year. But this isn’t just imagery that appears on the Dark Web, content that features scenarios of young girls and boys being taken advantage of can be found on mainstream sites like Pornhub.

And sure, the performers may be over 18 (although there’s no real way to know), but you can be certain that the scenarios they portray don’t focus on that detail.

30. Porn fuels sex trafficking

Knowledge is power, and being aware of the facts is an important step in decreasing the demand for porn and helping to eliminate sex trafficking. This powerful video created by Rescue:Freedom details the giant role that porn plays in this global issue.

Check out the video below to learn about the true nature of the porn industry:

31. Porn hijacks expectations of body image

Research shows that pornography often leads to body-related insecurities for both women and men. By comparing their own bodies to on-screen, photoshopped, hypersexualized performers, porn consumers report two major insecurities: 1) personal insecurities (i.e. “I don’t look like that guy…I hate myself”), and 2) insecurities as a sexual partner (i.e. “I don’t look like that woman, and no one will ever want to be with me.”). [8][9] In addition, pornography can alter the way consumers perceive sexual partners—corrupting the expectations for normal bodies in real partners. Yikes.

32. Porn hijacks the mechanics of sex

Take it from one of our Fighters, who submitted his story to us.

At the time I didn’t understand sex and what it was really like, so all my fantasies were based on false premises. I found it difficult to talk to girls because I saw them as objects. But eventually, I met my first girlfriend.

With that relationship and most relationships after, my primary focus was on having sex. Yet, I didn’t understand how to have real sex because of what I had seen in porn over all the years. A girl that I had fallen in love with broke up with me because of the way I had acted. Porn gives a false view of what a man is supposed to be to his lover, like some sort of macho GI Joe figure in action.”

33. Porn hijacks expectations of pleasure 

There have been recent groundbreaking studies done that have found just how much porn decreases sexual satisfaction for both men and women. Don’t take our word for it, read about it by clicking here.

34. Porn twists the concept of consent

Porn Promotes Inequality and Degradation

35. Porn kills love by celebrating degradation

Robert Jensen, an associate professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote a book called Getting Off: Pornography and the End of MasculinityIn it, he interviews Paul Hesky, the CEO of a porn production company, who says:

“Essentially it comes from every man who is unhappily married, and he looks at his wife who just nagged at him about this or that or what not and he says, ‘I’d like to f*** you in the a**.’  He’s angry at her, right? And he can’t, so he would rather watch some girl taking it **** and fantasize at that point he’s doing whatever girl happened to be mean to him that particular day, and that is the attraction, because when people watch anal, nobody wants to watch a girl enjoying anal.”

This is the kind of guy who is probably producing the porn the majority of consumers watch.

36. Inequality is the rule, not the exception

Pornography, more often than not, portrays women as submissive and disposable—perhaps one of the more obvious components and harms of pornography.

In addressing the issue of sexual exploitation, harassment, and abuse in our society, it is necessary that we address the ways that porn promotes inequality and feeds into the damaging narrative that women are objects to be used or sexual means to an end.

37. Porn is a vehicle for racism

Socially unacceptable behaviors thrive in the porn industry – among them, racism, are not only tolerated but commercialized.

“People of color in this industry have few opportunities that are not tied to their race,” said one male performer about his own experience as a person of color in an interview with Mic.

This is content that’s easily accessible. On any mainstream porn site, it wouldn’t take long to stumble upon any number of racist titles that promote offensive and unwarranted ethnic and racial stereotypes. In a report titled Racism in Pornography, (trigger warning: link leads to explicit descriptions of porn) Alice Mayall and Diana E. H. Russell provide examples of blatantly racist titles including, “Animal Sex Among Black Women,” “Geisha’s Girls,” “Gang Banged by Blacks,” and the list goes on.

How is this acceptable?

38. The porn industry offers their performers fame and fortune and glamour, and then degrades the life out of them.

This is the reality of the industry.

“Think what it takes. You get up, you’re covered in five men’s semen, every single orifice is sore and red raw, and the next day you have to get up and do the same thing again, and you have to pretend you like it, and you know that men are [aroused by] that image. It’s an unbearable emotional experience.” [15]

“It was the most degrading, embarrassing, horrible thing ever. I had to shoot an interactive DVD, which takes hours and hours of shooting time, with a 104 degree fever! I was crying and wanted to leave but my agent wouldn’t let me, he said he couldn’t let me flake on it. I also did a scene where I was put with male talent that was on my ‘no list’. I wanted to please them so I did it. He stepped on my head […] I freaked out and started bawling; they stopped filming and sent me home with reduced pay since they got some shot but not the whole scene.” – Jessi, former porn performer 

39. The porn industry has absolutely no respect for their consumers

Consumers are only worth as much as they will pay or click. More ethical industries generally hold themselves accountable for the effects their products have on their customers. But not porn. The porn industry instead puts an emphasis on making money and completely ignores responsibility for the damage caused to society and consumers. Their “care” for their consumers is based on how long a person watches and what they click on, not their wellbeing. If the large tube sites were concerned, perhaps they would make it more difficult for underage viewers to access their content. But we all know how simple it is for anyone—no matter their age—to find hardcore porn online, whether on purpose or by accident.

40. Pornography habitually degrades survivors of sexual assault and rape

It’s simple, but terrible: the porn industry replicates criminal offenses for profit.

For example: “Teen gymnast f***** by coach,” 2.7 million views. “Sexy teen gymnast f***** by her trainer,” 152k views. “Teen gymnast get a rough workout,” 604K views. “Teen gymnast gets stretched by her trainer,” 21.1K views. A simple search on one of the world’s most popular porn sites, Pornhub, reveals these titles as some of the top gymnast-related hardcore videos on the free porn site.

Reality has mimicked porn, but with devastating consequences. Remember disgraced team USA coach, Larry Nassar, who was recently sentenced to more than 175 years in prison for assaulting over 150 gymnasts, many of them underage? Yeah, there are literally videos with that exact plot easily accessible to anyone with an internet signal.

41. The porn industry targets young audiences by infiltrating other industries/markets (i.e. apps, toys and games, etc.)

Fidget spinner porn (because that’s a real thingwas among the top porn searches in 2017—can you imagine how many children were possibly directed to porn sites while online shopping for fidget spinners?

Last August, a father of a young child was shocked to discover the messaging component of a popular app among his children (Musical.ly) was being used to request naked photos of his seven-year-old daughter. [15] Yeah, we’re disturbed, too.

42. The typical relationship demonstrated in porn revolves around power

Partners are divided between the dominant and the dominated. This promotes an unhealthy view of functional relationships, and is really degrading to everyone, regardless of relationship status. And to think that this is the primary go-to for learning about sex with our generation, that’s one of the scariest thoughts of all.

43. Porn often portrays at least one performer as nothing but a body

Porn producers intentionally exclude faces to further dehumanize sexual partners and devalue intimacy. Men and women are not and should not be viewed or treated as objects or just a collection of body parts. Objectification breeds a type of extreme pressure on both sexes to live up to unrealistic standards. It can lead to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, depression and drug abuse—not only to performers, but also to viewers.

44. Bullying and body shaming is strong and profound among and between porn performers online [16]

From August 2017 to January 2018, there have been more reported porn performer deaths in a single span of time than in recent history. Five porn performers passed in just a few months’ time, one of which from suicide because of online bullying and harassment.

45. Porn kills love by commercializing sexual exploitation

46. Porn fuels child sex rings [2]

Children are often initiated into syndicated sex rings by the adults in their familial/social networks—parents, teachers, coaches, babysitters, etc. Just read and watch Jessa’s story for a real-life example of this. However, with the advancement of the internet, predators can easily recruit children/teenagers, and request/receive sexually explicit content without a physical meeting (email/chat rooms/etc.) As with single-predator-single-victim cases, porn may be used to groom children for participation in sex rings.

47. Porn fuels sex trafficking

According to anti-trafficking nonprofit, Rescue:Freedom, in 9 countries, 49% of trafficking survivors said that pornography was made of them while they were in prostitution. And there are more stats where those came from because porn and sex trafficking are heavily interlinked.

48. Porn fuels sextortion and online crime

49. Porn fuels revenge porn

Take a look at this all-too-real example, in which a 16-year-old talks about how she was coerced into making sex tape, how that tape became public, and the effect that it’s had on her life. Even though the teen shown in this video is an actor, don’t let that lessen the value of this heartbreaking story.

50. Porn kills love by killing love

Whether its by design or not, and we’re of the opinion it is, porn kills love by doing just that: by streamlining artificial sexual experience, and discouraging a need for real love and intimacy.

Porn demeans everything exciting and vulnerable and special about sex and relationships in real life by commodifying abuse and violence, and marketing it as intimate and sexy. Porn continues to fuel the demand for sex slavery and sacrifices lives and human dignity for the sake of clicks and views. Porn kills love by completely disregarding the natural instinct for love and connection and replacing with a screen and exaggerated sex.

Porn just destroys, kills, and harms, and if you’re reading this, you deserve better than that. No matter who you are, you deserve better than porn killing the love in your life. Do you believe it?

What YOU Can Do

Porn kills love. Spread the facts by sharing this post, and raise awareness in society that porn is anything but harmless entertainment.

Spark Conversations

Just like the “Fifty Shades” franchise, pornography normalizes and romanticizes abuse. Porn ignores consent, promotes violence, encourages coercion, advertises objectification, and sells exploitation. Grab this conversation-starting tee and join us in fighting for real love and healthy relationships:

Citations

[1] Hawkins, D. (2016, June 21). Pornography: The Missing Piece in the Movement Against Sexual Violence. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pornography-the-missing-piece-in-the-movement-against_us_57696ccfe4b06cb7dd543b4c
[2] Flowers, R. B. (2001). The sex trade industry’s worldwide exploitation of children. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 575(1), 147-157.
[3] Seto, M. C., Cantor, J. M., & Blanchard, R. (2006). Child pornography offenses are a valid diagnostic indicator of pedophilia. Journal of abnormal psychology, 115(3), 610.
[4] Langevin, R., & Curnoe, S. (2004). The use of pornography during the commission of sexual offenses. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 48(5), 572-586.
[5] Seto, M. C., & Eke, A. W. (2005). The criminal histories and later offending of child pornography offenders. Sexual abuse: a journal of research and treatment, 17(2), 201-210.
[7] Carr, S. (2018, January 25). How pornography removes empathy – and fosters harassment and abuse. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/how-pornography-removes-empathy-and-fosters-harassment-and-abuse-86643
[8] Woods, J. (2012). Jamie Is 13 And Hasn’t Even Kissed A Girl. But He’s Now On The Sex Offender Register After Online Porn Warped His Mind. Daily Mail (U.K.), April 25.
[9] Peter, J. & Valkenburg, P. M., (2016) Adolescents And Pornography: A Review Of 20 Years Of Research. Journal Of Sex Research, 53(4-5), 509-531. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2016.1143441; Rothman, E. F., Kaczmarsky, C., Burke, N., Jansen, E., & Baughman, A. (2015). “Without Porn…I Wouldn’t Know Half The Things I Know Now”: A Qualitative Study Of Pornography Use Among A Sample Of Urban, Low-Income, Black And Hispanic Youth. Journal Of Sex Research, 52(7), 736-746. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2014.960908
[10] Morgan, E. M. (2011). Associations Between Young Adults’ Use Of Sexually Explicit Materials And Their Sexual Preferences, Behaviors, And Satisfaction. Journal Of Sex Research, 48(6), 520-530. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2010.543960; Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography And Violence: A New Look At The Research. In J. Stoner & D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Carroll, J. S., Padilla-Walker, L. M., & Nelson, L. J. (2008). Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance And Use Among Emerging Adults. Journal Of Adolescent Research 23(1), 6–30. Doi:10.1177/0743558407306348; Haggstrom-Nordin, E., Tyden, T., & Hanson, U. (2005). Associations Between Pornography Consumption And Sexual Practices Among Adolescents In Sweden. International Journal Of STD & AIDS, 16(2), 102–7. Doi:10.1258/0956462053057512; Wingood, G. M., Et Al. (2001). Exposure To X-Rated Movies And Adolescents’ Sexual And Contraceptive-Related Attitudes And Behaviors. Pediatrics, 107(5), 1116–19. Retrieved From Https://Www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/Pubmed/11331695
[11] Tylka, T. L. (2015). No harm in looking, right? Men’s pornography consumption, body image, and well-being. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 16(1), 97.
[12] Owens, E. W., Behun, R. J., Manning, J. C., & Reid, R. C. (2012). The impact of Internet pornography on adolescents: A review of the research. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 19(1-2), 99-122.
[13] N., Tailor. (2018, January 13). The Dark Reason Porn Stars Keep Dying. Retrieved from https://www.unilad.co.uk/featured/the-dark-reason-porn-stars-keep-dying/
[14] Adams, R. (2015, March 13). Porn Objectifies Both Men And Women — Just Differently. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/13/porn-women-study_n_6831402.html
[15] Dad warns parents about predators in popular music app Musical.ly. (2017, August 23). Retrieved from Dad warns parents about predators in popular music app Musical.ly
[16] Williams, J. (2017, December 07). What was August Ames cause of death? Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/august-ames-death-porn-star-740979