Cover photo featuring @mendinginharmony from Texas. 6 minute read.

Fight the New Drug is a growing community of people who are rejecting the cultural narrative that porn is healthy, cool, and totally normal. We are way more than a tee shirt company—we’re a global movement and a lifestyle.

But we do have awesome Fighters who represent in their super bold Porn Kills Love tees, and we are stoked to see the movement ripple across the whole world!

One thing can’t be denied about these shirts and our other Fighter gear—they are quite the conversation starters. Some people’s reactions are positive, some negative, and some just genuinely want to know more. If you have gear from the FTND store, you know the feeling: you’re walking in a public place and everyone’s eyes seem to be darting at your shirt and you know it is only a matter of time before someone asks you what the bold statement on your shirt means.

Basically, the point of these shirts is more than just looking awesome, it’s being able to start conversations about porn and getting this message out into the open. We created these bold tees with THAT purpose in mind. We wanted these tees to grab attention and encourage people to talk about something that isn’t always a popular topic of conversation and is usually shrouded in shame and secrecy. And while we like to think we do a good job at getting the facts about the harms of porn out into the world, we realize some Fighters might be having trouble putting into words exactly what the shirt means and how to address the issue themselves.

Don’t worry, Fighters. We got your back.

Here are some easy-to-remember answers that you can whip out whenever asked about your attention-grabbing ‘Porn Kills Love’ tee or more subtle yet stylish ‘Papa Kilo Lima’ tee. Because let’s be honest, the last thing you want is to kill curiosity by mumbling, “Uh, ya know, it’s bad, like, um, drugs…”

*Crickets*

When in doubt, you can always tell them to check out FTND.org (this website), or Learn.FTND.org to check out the facts behind porn’s harms.

But if you have time for a chat, go for it. Face-to-face conversations are the lifeblood of this movement, and what do you have to lose?!

Here’s a reference sheet to help you spread the word and rep the movement with some factual ammo to keep in mind (and click here to see even more Q&A topics):

1. Question: “How does porn kill love?”

Answer A: When someone consumes porn, it can warp their perception of what healthy love and sex really are.

Studies on regular porn consumption show that the more frequently the person consumes porn, the less satisfied they become with a real-life partner. The basic needs of a human being become too much to deal with in comparison to an easy access computer that says, “I need nothing but to please you.” It undermines the give-and-take system of a real relationship because porn is a take-as-much-as-you-want “relationship.” Over time, the porn consumer can use porn to replace real relationships because it gives selfish pleasure and takes much less effort.

Answer B: Porn can change the way the consumer sees their partner. 

In a recent survey of 16 to 18-year-old Americans, nearly every participant reported learning how to have sex by watching porn, and many of the young women said they were pressured to play out the “scripts” their male partners had learned from porn. They felt pressured into having sex in uncomfortable positions, faking sexual responses, and consenting to unpleasant or painful acts. That doesn’t sound sexy, does it?

At the same time, porn reshapes expectations about sex and attraction by presenting an unrealistic picture. In porn, performers always look their best. They are forever young, surgically enhanced, airbrushed, and Photoshopped to perfection. So it’s not hard to see why, according to a national poll, six out of seven women believe that porn has changed men’s expectations of how women should look.

Answer C: Porn can curb the consumer’s desire for a committed, healthy relationship founded on respect and love.

Often times you’ll hear claims that the reason people consume porn is because they don’t have a romantic partner who can take care of their physical needs. But research shows that the opposite is true. Regular consumption of porn negatively impacts interest in being in a committed relationship and creates a negative attitude towards love and monogamous, committed relationships.

Click here to see more sources for these answers.

2. Question: “How is porn like a drug?”

Answer: It can change and rewire the consumer’s brain, even with casual consumption.

Porn consumption causes the brain to be flooded with dopamine, a pleasure chemical that activates the reward pathway in the brain and reinforces your brain to want to return to that activity. Each time the consumer looks at porn, trails of these chemicals create new patterns in the reward pathways of the brain. The brain is actually being rewired. Over time the consumer adjusts to the intense amounts of dopamine being released, so he/she needs to seek out more extreme content to get the same feeling. Suddenly, the porn consumer is watching and seeking out more hardcore versions of porn than they ever thought they would, and they might find it difficult to stop.

Click here to see more sources for this answer.

3. Question: “If you don’t like porn, don’t watch it. It doesn’t hurt anyone—it’s a personal choice. Why are you telling people what to do?”

Answer A: There’s no way to know if what you’re watching was produced consensually.

Think about it. When you consume porn, there’s no way to know what kind of “consent” the performers have given—if they’ve given any at all. You can’t assume, just because someone appears in a porn video, that they knew beforehand exactly what would happen or that they had a real choice or the ability to stop what was being done.

We’re not claiming that all porn is non-consensual. We’re just pointing out that some of it is and some of it isn’t, and when you watch it there’s no way to know which is which.

So, would you buy from a company if you knew that some, but not all, of their products were made with child labor? Would you support a store that abused some, but not all, of their employees?

Answer B: Porn and sex trafficking are sometimes the very same thing.

In the year 2000, one of the broadest bipartisan coalitions in history came together to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, or TVPA. The TVPA defines sex trafficking as a situation in which “a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.”

Often in the porn world, a porn performer is coerced into performing more extreme sex acts, or someone who shows up for a simple photoshoot can be tricked into performing sex on tape. Both of these instances are examples of how sex trafficking happens, even if the performer isn’t aware of it. So whether someone believes porn affects them personally or not, it absolutely affects someone who is being forced to perform on the other side of the screen.

Answer C: Porn encourages violence while showing that it is pleasurable for those who receive it.

A study analyzing the 50 most popular porn videos showed that over 88% of them contained scenes of violence, and almost every time, the violence was met with expressions of pleasure rather than pain.

Porn teaches consumers that violence is normal, and even pleasurable. Porn numbs people to the seriousness of violence, including domestic abuse and rape. And, the number of child on child sexual abuse cases that are being directly tied to porn is rising at a pretty alarming rate. In the UK last year, the number of reported rape and sexual assault cases that were carried out by young children doubled, and those cases were directly linked to porn’s influence on the assailant.

Click here to see more sources for these answers.

Why This Matters

We aren’t raising awareness on the harmful effects of porn for no reason, we exist because research and peer-reviewed studies are showing how harmful this widely accepted thing is.

Our aim is to raise as much awareness as possible that porn isn’t natural, it isn’t normal, and it definitely isn’t a healthy part of any meaningful relationship. So many people in society, especially in our tech-obsessed generation, believe that porn really is just harmless and pleasurable entertainment, and that it can even be a satisfying substitute for love. In reality, we are learning that it is just the opposite. It is harmful to the consumer, can make relationships even more difficult, and it can make single people even lonelier.

RelatedThe Science Behind The Slogan: How Exactly Does Porn Kill Love?

We’re here to tell you that love in real life is so much better and healthier than what porn has to offer, and we’re taking a stand and not settling for anything less than real. This is a movement for love fueled by science and research, and an understanding that love is the most important thing in the world. If we don’t have it, we want it someday, and if we do have it, we want to always hold on to it.

Research is telling us something important about the effects of porn. It’s is not just a simple personal choice with no negative side effects. It harms the brain, hurts relationships, and harms society as a whole. Bottom line:

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Get Involved

Spread the word on the scientific harmful effects of pornography. SHARE this article to raise awareness on the facts.

Spark Conversations

This movement is all about changing the conversation about pornography. When you rep a tee, you can spark meaningful conversation on porn’s harms and inspire lasting change in individuals’ lives, and our world. Are you in? Check out all our styles in our online store, or click below to shop:

Citations

 Bridges, A. J. (2010). Pornography’s Effect on Interpersonal Relationships. In J. Stoner and D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 89-110). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute.
Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography and Violence: A New look at the Research. In J. Stoner and D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Paul, Pamela. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 80.
Estellon, V., and Mouras, H. (2012). Sexual Addiction: Insights from Psychoanalysis and Functional Neuroimaging. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 2: 11814.
Ward, L. M. and Friedman, K. (2006). Using TV as a Guide: Associations Between Television Viewing and Adolescents’ Sexual Attitudes and Behavior. Journal of Research on Adolescents 16, 1: 133-56.

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