Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.
This true story shows how porn can twist and warp a consumer's attitudes and behaviors toward what's healthy and okay. We want to be clear in saying that not everyone with a porn problem will escalate into this behavior, while even one case of this illegal activity is one case too many.
I got married at the young age of 19. I had saved myself for my husband on our wedding night, and I believed I had married a good man. I thought that we had the same beliefs and values, and for a while, it seemed that way.
Our marriage was doing well, we were both busy, both going to college and working. On top of all that, I was playing Division 1 volleyball at our university. Our time commitments took a lot of responsibility but we were making it work because we knew part of being married young was accomplishing things side by side.
I never knew he had a pornography addiction. He was able to hide it so well because we were both constantly going in opposite directions with our busy, everyday lives. Then everything changed.
One day in our volleyball team locker room, my teammates and I found that someone had hidden a camera and had been filming us without our knowledge. Even worse, we learned that the video recording had been added to a porn website. Obviously, we are all deeply disturbed. I hated the fact that I was on the internet like that and so were all my teammates.
Related: How Revenge Porn Has Become Digital Sex Slavery
As soon as this was brought to light, the school and the police opened up an investigation to try and find who had filmed us. Members of the team were filling out police reports, and I was about to fill out to do the same to bring whoever this pervert was to justice.
Of course, I never assumed I would be filling out a police report against my own husband.
When the police showed up to my apartment I figured they were there to ask more questions or give me more information about the videos. But that wasn’t the case. They just took me and my husband down to the police station. That’s when I saw all the evidence. The police had my husband on surveillance cameras going in and out of our locker room. Not only that, but they had also caught him following girls from a distance and filming them as they walked. They brought me in along with him to question me and make sure I had nothing to do with it all.
The day they brought me in was so indescribably heartbreaking. I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening to me. I couldn’t believe the man I married did this. I thought I knew him. I thought I could trust him. My whole world was turned upside down that day and my marriage ruined. Now, I’m 21-years-old and going through a divorce.
Related: The Emotional Betrayal of Having a Porn-Addicted Partner
Pornography isn’t just watching. It isn’t harmless. Pornography changes the way you think. It forms deep roots in the heart and spreads lies in the mind. It can become a very real addiction. For my husband, what started off as just watching porn turned into something so much worse, and so much darker. It grew and deepened to the point where simply watching wasn’t enough. My now ex-husband is now on trial for 20 counts of voyeurism.
Pornography is cancer. It ruined my marriage. Now I am still heartbroken, but I am trusting that I will have the strength I need to endure this.
Why this matters
We want to be clear in saying that not even close to every person who consumes porn will get into illicit, criminal activity like setting up secret cameras. We simply share these true stories as part of our mission to raise awareness on the very real harms of porn and how it can harm people and influence toxic behavior.
For some consistent porn consumers, after a while, watching “regular” porn just doesn’t get that same rush as before. Similar to other drug or behavioral addictions, like gambling, research has shown that porn is a behavior that escalates—it doesn’t stop where it starts. And for some people, in rarer but not uncommon situations, consuming porn can eventually evolve into a curiosity or an appetite for creating their own exploitive content.
In the case above, it was voyeurism. In other cases, it can be sexual assault.
Related: Florida Teen Girl Commits Suicide After Being Snapchatted In Shower
Again, we’re not saying that every porn consumer will turn into a criminal, or that every person who is hooked on porn will act out in disturbing ways such as this. We are saying that porn adds fuel to the fire and can encourage behaviors in consumers that aren’t healthy or safe. The reality is, we cannot ignore the studies that connect frequent porn consumption with changing or influencing consumers’ attitudes and behaviors to be accepting of illegal, or sometimes violent, actions.
The powerful influence of porn
It’s undeniable that porn is influencing countless people to believe that people are sex objects that can be exploited and degraded, even when they’re doing something as innocent as changing in a locker room with teammates before the big game. One of the big problems with porn is that it sexualizes everything, and warps consumers’ ideas about what is and isn’t acceptable. And that’s just not cool, and not healthy.
Related: WATCH: This Heartbreaking Video Shows What Being A Revenge Porn Victim Is Like
This story is just one of countless examples of porn inspiring the exploitation of people who never opted into being a stranger’s online “fantasy.” Porn doesn’t sell a harmless fantasy, it objectifies people and evaluates them for parts regardless of who they are or what they’re doing.
A broken marriage and the humiliation and violation of over a dozen college athletes and more university students is just the latest evidence of porn’s warped influence on its consumers.