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10 Reasons Why Porn is Trash and You Deserve Better

Whether you’ve never watched porn or you actively struggle with it, it makes no difference—you deserve a happy life, free from porn’s toxic influence.

By September 28, 2022No Comments

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It is no secret that we’re an organization that shines a light on the harmful effects of porn, but we’re not interested in using shame to do that.

The fact is, tons of people have either dealt with an obsession with porn in the past or are currently battling pornography in their life. It is no surprise, considering that one of the world’s most popular porn site received 42 billion visits in 2019 alone, and the current most-popular porn site receives around 3 billion site visits per month.

Related: Not Watching Porn Can Boost Your Self-Esteem and Confidence

These massive numbers should be a reminder that you’re not alone if you have struggled with or are currently struggling with porn.

In fact, studies show that most young people are exposed to porn by age 13,British Board of Film Classification. (2020). Young people, pornography & age-verification. BBFC. Retrieved from https://www.bbfc.co.uk/about-classification/researchCopy  and according to a nationally representative survey of U.S. teens, 84.4% of 14 to 18-year-old males and 57% of 14 to 18-year-old females have viewed pornography.Wright, P. J., Paul, B., & Herbenick, D. (2021). Preliminary insights from a U.S. probability sample on adolescents’ pornography exposure, media psychology, and sexual aggression. J.Health Commun., 1-8. doi:10.1080/10810730.2021.1887980Copy 

And while many people who have seen porn are not and will never develop a compulsion or addiction to it, there are many people who do struggle with an unwanted porn habit.

If you’re one of the many people who has been exposed to porn’s lies, we have a message for you: you deserve better than what porn has to offer.

Allow us to explain why.

1. You deserve to feel relationally connected to real people.

Do you ever feel really disconnected to other people when you spend too much time playing video games or watching shows on Netflix? That’s because people need other people.

Don’t get us wrong, we’d by lying if we said we didn’t binge-watch the newest season of Stranger Things, but your intimate relationships can take a turn for the worse when they’re neglected or replaced with unrealistic fantasy.Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone Or Together: Associations With Relationship Quality. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9585-4Copy Perry S. L. (2020). Pornography and Relationship Quality: Establishing the Dominant Pattern by Examining Pornography Use and 31 Measures of Relationship Quality in 30 National Surveys. Archives of sexual behavior, 49(4), 1199–1213. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-01616-7Copy Rasmussen, K. (2016). A historical and empirical review of pornography and romantic relationships: Implications for family researchers. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 8(2), 173-191. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12141Copy 

Related: Can Watching Porn Negatively Impact Mental Health?

Porn can cause harm to your intimate relationships or even be a roadblock in sustaining healthy real-life connections.Perry, S. L. (2018). Pornography use and marital separation: Evidence from two-wave panel data. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(6), 1869-1880. doi:10.1007/s10508-017-1080-8Copy Perry, S. L., & Davis, J. T. (2017). Are pornography users more likely to experience a romantic breakup? Evidence from longitudinal data. Sexuality & Culture, 21(4), 1157-1176. doi:10.1007/s12119-017-9444-8Copy Perry, S. L., & Schleifer, C. (2018). Till porn do us part? A longitudinal examination of pornography use and divorce. 55(3), 284-296. doi:10.1080/00224499.2017.1317709Copy 

You deserve to feel relationally connected to a real person—whether it’s a friend or partner—and not strangers “performing” on a screen.

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2. You deserve to have healthy relationships.

Porn sneaks its way into loving, committed relationships all the time. Porn is marketed as a relationship enhancer, but more couples are realizing the harm that it can cause.

The more porn the consumer watches, the more difficult it can become to be aroused by a real person.Park, B. Y., Wilson, G., Berger, J., Christman, M., Reina, B., Bishop, F., Klam, W. P., & Doan, A. P. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 6(3), 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6030017Copy Voon, V., et al. (2014). Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), e102419. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102419Copy 

Related: What Porn Never Taught Me About Having Sex for Real

Negative self-image,Tylka, T. L., & Kroon Van Diest, A. M. (2015). You Looking at Her “Hot” Body May Not be “Cool” for Me: Integrating Male Partners’ Pornography Use into Objectification Theory for Women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 39(1), 67–84. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684314521784Copy  less sex with your partner (if you have one),Gottman, J., & Gottman, J. (April 5, 2016). An open letter on porn. Retrieved from https://www.gottman.com/blog/an-open-letter-on-porn/Copy Wright, P. J., & Tokunaga, R. S. (2018). Women's perceptions of their male partners’ pornography consumption and relational, sexual, self, and body satisfaction: Toward a theoretical model.42(1), 55-73. doi:10.1080/23808985.2017.1412802Copy Stewart, D. N., & Szymanski, D. M. (2012). Young adult women’s reports of their male romantic partner’s pornography use as a correlate of their self-esteem, relationship quality, and sexual satisfaction. Sex Roles, 67(5), 257-271. doi:10.1007/s11199-012-0164-0Copy  and breaking relationship trust are just a few ways that inviting porn in your relationship can hurt your healthy relationship.Szymanski, D. M., Feltman, C. E., & Dunn, T. L. (2015). Male partners’ perceived pornography use and Women’s relational and psychological health: The roles of trust, attitudes, and investment. Sex Roles, 73(5), 187-199. doi:10.1007/s11199-015-0518-5Copy Tylka, T. L., & Kroon Van Diest, A. M. (2015). You Looking at Her “Hot” Body May Not be “Cool” for Me: Integrating Male Partners’ Pornography Use into Objectification Theory for Women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 39(1), 67–84. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684314521784Copy 

3. You deserve to have friendships that keep you from feeling lonely.

Think porn keeps you company? Think again. Porn promises immediate satisfaction and easy intimacy, but in the end, it provides just the opposite.Minarcik, J., Wetterneck, C. T., & Short, M. B. (2016). The effects of sexually explicit material use on romantic relationship dynamics. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5(4) 700-707. doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.078Copy Morgan, E. M. (2011). Associations between Young Adults’ Use of Sexually Explicit Materials and Their Sexual Preferences, Behaviors, and Satisfaction. Journal of Sex Research, 48(6), 520-530. doi:10.1080/00224499.2010.543960Copy 

Related: Teens Watch Porn to Learn About Sex—This Is What Porn Teaches Them

The isolation that can result in heavy porn consumption can make it difficult to create deep, meaningful relationships with real people, resulting in more isolation and loneliness, which then fuels the desire for more porn.Volkow, N. D., Koob, G. F., & Mclellan, A. T. (2016). Neurobiological Advances From The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction. New England Journal Of Medicine, 374, 363-371. doi:10.1056/Nejmra1511480Copy Park, B. Y., Wilson, G., Berger, J., Christman, M., Reina, B., Bishop, F., Klam, W. P., & Doan, A. P. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 6(3), 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6030017Copy 

See the vicious cycle?

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4. You deserve to spend your free time doing things that make you truly happy.

If you’re someone who wishes there was more time in the day, you’re not alone. Somehow 24-hours doesn’t seem like enough, especially when you factor in things like sleep, school, and work.

When you actually do have some time for yourself, how would you rather spend it? Hidden by yourself, consuming lies that probably leave you feeling anxious and depressed? Or would you rather spend it doing something that makes you feel happy?

Related: 10 Celebrities Who Have Spoken Out on Porn’s Harms

Some consumers can become so emotionally and physically reliant on porn that they may start to prefer watching porn to participating in real-life sexual experiences, which can understandably seriously harm their relationships.Sun, C., Miezan, E., Lee, N., & Shim, J. W. (2015). Korean Men’s pornography use, their interest in extreme pornography, and dyadic sexual relationships.27(1), 16-35. doi:10.1080/19317611.2014.927048Copy Rasmussen, K. (2016). A historical and empirical review of pornography and romantic relationships: Implications for family researchers. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 8(2), 173-191. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12141Copy 

Try opting for doing something else that boosts your mood, like taking up a new skill, and we think you’ll notice tangible improvements in your life.

5. You deserve honest relationships with your loved ones.

Life is no fun when you’re living a lie. Hiding a secret can hinder even your closest relationships with the most important people in your life.

The sad reality is that shame often causes individuals to keep their porn struggle private and, in turn, lie to the ones they love to keep their secret. (Note: there is a big difference between guilt and shame.)

Related: 6 Things that Motivate People to Stop Watching Porn

Research has shown that shame can worsen an unwanted porn habit instead of motivating change.Gilliland, R., South, M., Carpenter, B. N., & Hardy, S. A. (2011). The roles of shame and guilt in hypersexual behavior. 18(1), 12-29. doi:10.1080/10720162.2011.551182Copy 

Being open and honest about your porn habits might not completely get rid of the shame, but it will definitely help and it might help you face the issue with honesty and a support system.

6. You deserve a healthy and fulfilling sex life.

Emotional connections between you and your partner are not the only things that porn can change. Porn can also harm your sex life when you realize a physical connection with another person is difficult or seemingly impossible.

Porn-induced erectile dysfunction (ED) in men under the age of 40 is more and more common since the introduction of internet porn.Park, B. Y., Wilson, G., Berger, J., Christman, M., Reina, B., Bishop, F., Klam, W. P., & Doan, A. P. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 6(3), 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6030017Copy 

Related: What are the Benefits of Quitting Porn? Hear From 5 Porn-Free Men

There is even research as well as personal stories of women who also have trouble getting aroused with a real person because of porn.Bőthe, B., Tóth-Király, I., Griffiths, M. D., Potenza, M. N., Orosz, G., & Demetrovics, Z. (2021). Are sexual functioning problems associated with frequent pornography use and/or problematic pornography use? Results from a large community survey including males and females. Addictive Behaviors, 112, 106603. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106603Copy 

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7. You deserve to feel good about your body.

Porn shows airbrushed fantasies, people with “perfect” bodies, with no noticeable imperfections.

This not only affects the way you can view your partners and others, but it can also have a negative effect on the way you view yourself.Owens, E. W., Behun, R. J., Manning, J. C., & Reid, R. C. (2012). The impact of internet pornography on adolescents: A review of the research.19(1-2), 99-122. doi:10.1080/10720162.2012.660431Copy 

Related: Why Quitting Porn Can Help Someone Be a Less Angry Partner

For example, a study of young adult college women in heterosexual relationships with men who consume porn found that the frequency of the man’s porn consumption was negatively correlated with the woman’s sense of self-esteem, her level of relationship quality, and her amount of sexual satisfaction—and these negative patterns were found to become worse the longer the relationship lasted.Tylka, T. L., & Kroon Van Diest, A. M. (2015). You Looking at Her “Hot” Body May Not be “Cool” for Me: Integrating Male Partners’ Pornography Use into Objectification Theory for Women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 39(1), 67–84. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684314521784Copy 

But this doesn’t only affect women; men get insecure too. In one study, viewing porn was correlated with higher levels of body dissatisfaction among men.

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8. You deserve to have a productive and healthy life.

Addictions can make those who struggle lose sight of their priorities and ultimately feel unproductive. Grades can slip, passion for projects can dwindle, and relationships can become abandoned.

As some porn consumers find themselves further down the cycle of compulsivity, an isolating porn habit can lead them to skip out on interacting with friends, participating in hobbies, or connecting with the people in their lives.Park, B. Y., Wilson, G., Berger, J., Christman, M., Reina, B., Bishop, F., Klam, W. P., & Doan, A. P. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 6(3), 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6030017Copy 

Related: We Need to Talk About Ethical Porn

9. You deserve healthy expectations in relationships.

Hardcore porn conveys violence as a sexual fantasy, and the consumer can start to believe the lies that abuse is what women (and men) actually want. Not cool.

Considering that an estimated 1 in 3 and as many as 9 in 10 porn videos depict sexual violence or aggression,Fritz, N., Malic, V., Paul, B., & Zhou, Y. (2020). A descriptive analysis of the types, targets, and relative frequency of aggression in mainstream pornography. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(8), 3041-3053. doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01773-0Copy  you’re likely to come across it even if you only visit one site one time. Also, consider this study that evaluated 7,430 porn videos and found women that receive 97% of physically aggressive acts in porn.Fritz, N., Malic, V., Paul, B., & Zhou, Y. (2020). A descriptive analysis of the types, targets, and relative frequency of aggression in mainstream pornography. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(8), 3041-3053. doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01773-0Copy 

Consumers and their partners deserve better than having harmful expectations, they deserve to expect respect in your relationship, not the violent and degrading performances in porn.

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10. You deserve to have good mental health.

Addiction and codependency are never fun, especially when it’s with something that can hurt your relationships and impact your mental health.

Research shows how porn can affect the brain like a drugLove, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 5(3), 388–433. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs5030388Copy Stark R., Klucken T. (2017) Neuroscientific Approaches to (Online) Pornography Addiction. In: Montag C., Reuter M. (eds) Internet Addiction. Studies in Neuroscience, Psychology and Behavioral Economics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46276-9_7Copy De Sousa, A., & Lodha, P. (2017). Neurobiology of Pornography Addiction - A clinical review. Telangana Journal of Psychiatry, 3(2), 66-70. doi:10.18231/2455-8559.2017.0016Copy  and how it can become addictive in serious cases.Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 5(3), 388–433. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs5030388Copy Stark R., Klucken T. (2017) Neuroscientific Approaches to (Online) Pornography Addiction. In: Montag C., Reuter M. (eds) Internet Addiction. Studies in Neuroscience, Psychology and Behavioral Economics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46276-9_7Copy De Sousa, A., & Lodha, P. (2017). Neurobiology of Pornography Addiction - A clinical review. Telangana Journal of Psychiatry, 3(2), 66-70. doi:10.18231/2455-8559.2017.0016Copy 

Porn is even shown to affect the neuron pathways in a consumer’s brain,Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 5(3), 388–433. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs5030388Copy Laier, C., & Brand, M. (2017). Mood changes after watching pornography on the Internet are linked to tendencies towards Internet-pornography-viewing disorder. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 5, 9-13. doi:10.1016/j.abrep.2016.11.003Copy  changing the way consumers are aroused.Voon, V., Mole, T. B., Banca, P., Porter, L., Morris, L., Mitchell, S., Lapa, T. R., Karr, J., Harrison, N. A., Potenza, M. N., & Irvine, M. (2014). Neural correlates of sexual cue reactivity in individuals with and without compulsive sexual behaviours. PloS one, 9(7), e102419. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0102419Copy 

Related: Why You Might Keep Watching Porn Even When You Don’t Want To

You deserve better.

Whether you believe it now or not, you are someone who deserves a healthy life, free from porn.

Whether you’ve never watched porn or you find yourself battling the urge to watch porn all the time, it makes no difference—you deserve a happy, productive, real, and healthy life free from porn’s toxicity.

And if you need help, we’ve got your back.

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Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out 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 unwanted porn habit, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

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