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Your Answer Guide to “What Does Porn Kills Love Mean?” and Other Fighter Gear Questions

Here are some easy-to-remember answers for whenever you’re asked about your ‘Porn Kills Love’ tee, so you can rep the movement confidently.

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. We are way more than a tee shirt company—we’re a global movement.

But we do have awesome Fighters who represent this cause in their 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 want 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.

Related: It’s True That “Porn Kills Love,” And So Does Shame

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’ve got your back. And if you want to grab some Fighter gear, check out our online shop!

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Here are some easy-to-remember answers that you can share whenever asked about your attention-grabbing “Porn Kills Love” tee or more subtle yet stylish “Consider Before Consuming” 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), Learn.FTND.org, or ConsiderBeforeConsuming.com 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?! Just remember that Fight the New Drug is non-religious, non-legislative, pro-love, and pro-sex.

Click here for a comprehensive guide to having a meaningful conversation about porn with anyone.

Conversation Blueprint

In the meantime, 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?”

“Porn Kills Love” is an impactful statement that is meant to spark awareness and motivate a change in perspective in our porn-saturated world. It encompasses, in a simplified statement, what the research is saying about porn’s impact on society as a whole, as well as individuals and their ability and/or desire to healthfully bond with others.

Keep in mind that our declaration is “Porn Kills Love” not that “insert consumer’s name” kills love. Our message is directed at porn itself, not at the person who consumes it. In fact, consider how most porn consumers have no idea that porn is harmful—and why would they? We live in a world where porn is completely normalized, celebrated, and even promoted. Fight the New Drug is an anti-shame organization, and we are not okay with our message being weaponized to spread shame against porn consumers or even porn performers.

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 frequent porn consumption is connected to diminished satisfaction 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.” Porn undermines the give-and-take system of a real relationship because porn is a take-as-much-as-you-want “relationship.” Porn gives selfish pleasure and takes much less effort than real relationships.

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 that 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.

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2. Question: “How is porn like a drug?”
Answer: It can rewire the consumer’s sexual tastes, 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 to crave more and more porn. Over time the consumer adjusts to the intense amounts of dopamine being released, so they need 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 nonconsensual. 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 can be coerced into performing more extreme sex acts than they’re comfortable with, 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 it’s actually trafficking and receives a paycheck at the end of the shoot. 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. Or, consider a 2020 study that entailed a large-scale content analysis and coding of a sample of 7,430 pornographic videos taken from the two most popular free porn sites, Pornhub and XvideosThe study found physical aggression against women present in 44.3% of Pornhub and 33.9% of Xvideos scenes. In fact, the study found that physical aggression was substantially more common in online pornographic videos than verbal aggression. Specifically, women were the target of nearly 97% of all physically aggressive acts in the samples from both sites. Violence in porn isn’t an exception.

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.

Click here to see more sources for these answers.

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Why this matters

Again, check out our online store if you want to grab a conversation-starting tee for yourself! We ship worldwide, too.

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 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 escape from reality. 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 quality science and research, and an understanding that love is the most important thing in the world.

Research is telling us something important about the effects of porn. It’s not just a simple personal habit with no negative side effects. It can harm the consumer, hurt relationships, and negatively effect society as a whole.

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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