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How The Porn Industry Hijacks Natural Sexual Curiosity and Hooks Teens

By January 26, 2018 May 4th, 2018 No Comments
Sex is natural, porn is not. Porn taps into the natural, hardwired desire for sex in youth, exposing them to exaggerated and violent depictions of sex before they can have real experiences with it. This seriously warps our generation’s understanding of what’s healthy. Meanwhile, the porn industry capitalizes on the addictive nature of porn, often turning teens to lifelong clients.

In our media-obsessed world, what we watch and see everywhere sells the idea that the true value of a person lies not in their character or personality, but in sexual prowess, attractiveness, and power. These messages are most prevalent in the porn industry, where men are often portrayed as dominant and powerful while women are ever-willing sex objects, beckoned at their command.

But as harmful as these messages are, especially to young, developing brains, they tap into a hardwired natural interest in sex that starts from an early age. And that’s what makes porn so dangerous because, despite the weak “Are you 18+?” protection screens on some sites, porn is often a product that’s peddled to young teens in an attempt to get them interested in exaggerated and unrealistic depictions of sex before they’ve had any real-life experiences to compare.

Hijacking A Natural Desire

The porn industry has a pretty clever racket going—they wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry if they didn’t know how to get clients and keep them coming back for more.

Once young kids are taught that the value of a person is in their sex appeal, it’s easy for the porn industry to take that natural curiosity for sex and twist it for their own gains and profits. They can strategically search out ways to show adolescents the shocking world of unfiltered sex, much before they can really understand what “sex” actually is.

Related: How Porn Affects Your Sexual Tastes

The scary thing is that not all of these soon-to-be-clients initially seek out the porn industry for themselves. In fact, many of them don’t. Many porn websites use an aggressive “marketing” strategy to bring in these young viewers, often young boys. Take for example, the story of Alexander Rhodes, the founder of NoFap:

“I vividly remember the first time I was inadvertently exposed to the world of Internet pornography. I was a kid innocently searching the Internet when a pop-up advertisement appeared featuring hardcore rape simulation porn. 

It was pornography at its worst; the ad actually showed a girl being savagely raped. Being an adolescent boy with raging hormones, I became instantly curious.

From that point forward I was hooked on looking at pictures of naked women on the Internet. Every day I would perform laughably ignorant Google Image searches… I would print out dozens of tiny grainy images to show to my friends at school. It wasn’t long before I was printing out larger images with ever-increasing resolution. From there it escalated; by the time I was nineteen years old and in my first relationship, my addiction had escalated to the point that I was watching the highest-resolution, most hardcore videos I could find for hours every day.”

Alexander’s experience isn’t an isolated one. We receive countless messages from our Fighters, recounting their first time stumbling upon a pornographic image, website, or magazine, and the years of struggle that followed.

The porn industry understands how powerful the sex drive can be in an adolescent, so why wouldn’t they actively target them if it means they can bring more traffic to their site?

Porn companies know that if they can get adolescents to view porn a handful of times, they can possibly secure a lifelong client. There is even science to show how this process of compulsive viewing begins.  By hijacking the brain’s reward pathway, porn triggers the release of dopamine, and the shock of dopamine release in the partially-developed brain of an adolescent can send that viewer reeling, all too ready for the next explicit thrill of porn.

Creating Lifelong Clients

Is it fair to villainize every porn consumer without knowing their story, and shame them for something they may not mentally grasp the harmful effects of? Shame them for something they may not have intentionally stepped into intentionally in the first place? Look down on them for something they don’t even know how to talk to someone about and get help for? These potential adolescent lifelong clients need education, awareness, and help, not judgment.

Here are two personal accounts from Fighters sharing their battle with pornography, and the effects it had on them. The first is from Terry Crews, the famous Hollywood actor, explaining how porn left him miserable, alone, and addicted:

And this personal account is an excerpt from a true story shared with us by a female Fighter, recounting the shocking discovery of porn at just 4 years old that spiraled into a decades-long obsession:

The first time I discovered pornography I was around four years old… My twin sister and I were in the basement of our family home. We wanted to watch our favorite Disney movie, The Fox and the Hound. I remember sitting on the couch in the dark, with static on the tv screen, and then bodies entangled together and moaning. Someone had recorded over our favorite Disney movie with pornography. I remember not being able to look away, entranced in something I didn’t understand and never had seen before. From that moment on my sister and I became obsessed with pornography.

Both personal experiences reveal how damaging an exposure to pornography can be. No matter if a porn habit begins on accident or otherwise, the giant $97 billion dollar global porn industry has the power to steamroll over individual viewers who have gotten caught up in a porn habit and don’t know how to get out. The only way to break the cycle is to spread the facts on porn’s real harms, raise awareness, and fight for real love.

Why We Fight

This generation deserves to understand exactly how porn kills love, how it damages the mind, and how it corrupts our world. We are all about decreasing the demand for porn through education. We believe that people have a right to know the damages that can result from viewing pornography. When given the facts, we believe that people will choose not to make it a part of their life.

It is easy to characterize those that view pornography as deviant, perverse, or selfish. It can be tempting to assume that only a morally-bankrupt individual would find any pleasure from porn. However, it is important to remember that this movement is not interested in shaming those that struggle with pornography. Rather, we are interested in bringing more love into world. We seek to provide the support and strength that these individuals need. We fight for love, and we fight for those caught in the trap that the porn industry has set.

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Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out our friends at Fortify, a science-based recovery platform dedicated to helping you find lasting freedom from pornography. Fortify now offers a free experience for both teens and adults. Connect with others, learn about your compulsive behavior, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

What YOU Can Do

The porn industry is trying to trick young people into a life of addiction. SHARE this article to get the word out!

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