Porn. There probably isn’t a more efficient way to make a romantic partner feel betrayed, used, and violated than picking up a porn habit. Obviously, cheating can also accomplish all of those things, but porn is like cheating. There’s nothing really “harmless” about it.

Allow us to explain.

Firstly, we don’t know your definition of cheating, but when a person is sexually bonding to something other than their own partner, we would call that cheating.

Secondly, if you think about it, it’s prostitution by proxy. As a society, why do we draw a distinction between a prostitute and a porn performer? The former is paid to have sex, the latter is paid to have sex. The only difference is who pays and how much. The same can be said for the Johns. Someone watching porn is paying to be sexually gratified by a probably abused and drug addicted porn performer. Whether they pay through a subscription or pay just by clicking on the website and helping to drive revenue, they pay. The guy with the hooker in the Motel 6 is also paying to be sexually gratified, but in a more direct manner.

The porn star and the porn viewer hide behind screens and in front of cameras, but is it really different from prostitutes and Johns? No, not really.

Porn Is “Fantasy,” But It’s Also Real

There are a lot of reasons to dislike pornography, but one of the reasons certainly has something to do with how delusional it makes viewers and society. Many people in relationships insist there’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s doubtful they’d say there’s nothing wrong with sitting in the same room as someone and watching them have sex. And whether they do it or not, they’d likely admit that they shouldn’t be sexting or flirting with or objectifying other people. Right?

Yet, spending hours viewing graphic sex on their laptop or smartphone is substantively different from all of these things, in their mind…but how? Because it’s a “fantasy?” But let’s take a moment to evaluate this, because it isn’t just a “fantasy.” It’s real, and it’s happening. It’s physically happening. The act is facilitated by modems and internet connections, but it’s happening, and it’s a real action.

RelatedIs Watching Porn Cheating On Your Partner?

This brings up a whole new conversation. The experience of watching something on TV or doing something on the computer is so passive and effortless that it can be easy to think it doesn’t really “count.” Imagine the cyber troll who types the most vicious and hateful things in the YouTube comment section, but would never dream of breathing a word of any of it to anyone in “real life.” He or she thinks, perhaps subconsciously, that the internet is a moral no-man’s land, or they rationalize that what they do and say there won’t impact people, including them self, the same way it would in three dimensions. But that’s not how it works.

Watching Porn Is Definitely Like Cheating

Think about it—there’s no basis for this rationalization. It makes no sense, yet so many people trick themselves into thinking it, for one reason or another. Still, despite the lies society sells or the industry would love for viewers to believe, a partner who discovers porn on their loved one’s computer will feel just like someone who finds out about an affair. It feels like betrayal. And that feeling can be made worse by the fact that their partner might claim it’s “no big deal,” and much of society will unflinchingly echo those sentiments.

Their logic: it wasn’t a “real person,” they didn’t really “do anything,” so what’s the problem?

This says nothing of what porn does to us a a society. It can become a compulsion or addiction, just like many others, and so many people can’t even acknowledge it despite the numerous studies. Porn lessens us as people who see objects instead of humans. It pulls us away from our families, away from our significant others, away from sound ethics. It’s also common for anyone’s porn compulsion to come wrapped in a thick layer of shame, furthering the problem and driving it deeper.

It might be a cliche to say “that’s somebody’s son/daughter” but it should matter that that’s a human being exploited. Porn viewers are not bad people, while they are doing an unhealthy thing — an unhealthy thing that exploits other humans and, to make matters worse, has been dressed up as innocent and playful and totally acceptable in today’s culture.

Related5 Reasons Why Real Love Will Always Be More Satisfying Than Porn

It’s definitely not the easiest time to be a loyal and committed partner. Everywhere we look, there are words and images trying to grab our attention and send us into a spiral of acceptance of exploitation and objectification. You really can’t even scroll down a Facebook or Twitter newsfeed anymore without seeing blatant or borderline pornography. The entire world, it seems, is out to exploit our weaknesses. It’s easy to give in, but we have to fight it. We owe ourselves that much, and more importantly, we owe our friends, family, and loved ones.

Porn is like cheating. And porn has the power to wreck your relationship, guaranteed. But love is a sure fire way to fight back against that.

Why We Fight

Porn doesn’t discriminate on which relationships it poisons. If a viewer is single, porn can wreck friendships and even their own self-esteem and self-appreciation. If a viewer is dating or married, there’s no doubt that porn can wreak havoc on intimacy, trust, and respect in the relationship. And that’s not cool.

We fight for love because our generation deserves relationships built on mutuality and commitment, not exploitation and lies. Porn kills love, and there’s no way around it. We’ve got to do better.

What YOU Can Do

Get the word out that porn poisons relationships of any kind. SHARE this article and raise awareness on the facts!

Parts of this post are an excerpt taken from an article originally posted on The Blaze. It was edited for content and clarity.

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