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The Problem With Saying “I Watch Porn Because I’m Single/Can’t Get A Relationship”

“I’ll only look at porn while I’m single. As soon as I’m in a committed relationship, I’ll stop. It’s not a big deal.” Heard this before?

By January 29, 2021No Comments
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Porn may feel like it temporarily eases the struggle of being single, but it can create serious problems in the long run. The reality is, your chances of finding a relationship and falling in love for real are lowered significantly when porn is a constant habit, because porn can add to already existing feelings of loneliness and anxiety. It’s not worth it.

“I’m not in a relationship. I’ll only look at porn while I’m single. As soon as I’m in a committed relationship, I’ll stop. It’s not a big deal.”

“No one wants to be with me anyway. What am I supposed to do since I’ll probably be single forever? Porn gives me a way to feel like I’m actually someone to desire.”

“Porn is so much easier than the effort a real relationship takes. I prefer it this way.”

“Since I’m not in a relationship, my porn habit doesn’t affect anyone. So there’s not really a problem with it.”

Any of these sound familiar?

There are many porn consumers out there who justify or disregard the harmfulness of their habit with one, or maybe several, of the justifications above. It’s not difficult to see why, since the porn industry sells a manufactured product and neglects to include a “warning label” informing consumers of the associated risks—even if one of those risks is trouble getting or retaining a relationship. So without being clearly told from the start about the risks with porn, how could anyone know that what they’re watching is actually harmful to them?

That’s where we come in. We believe consumers deserve to understand the risks that come with the products they’re consuming. Here are a few ways porn hurts consumers regardless of relationship status, and why you should think twice before turning to porn to fill an emotional or sexual void, even (and especially) if you’re single.

Related: The Single Person’s Guide To Standing Against Porn & Fighting For Love

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The porn industry keeping consumers hooked on their product

No matter how much the porn industry tries to sell the lie that consuming porn will only help you if you’re single, we’re here to tell you that research shows how consuming pornography can be harmful to consumers now and to their intimate relationships in the future.

Think about it: if the porn industry makes a profit off of clicks, views, and downloads, would they really only intend for consumers to be temporary customers?

Deep down, are they hoping consumers will only consume porn to fill a void while they’re single, and simultaneously be rooting for them to find a healthy, committed relationship that fulfills them emotionally, mentally and physically, leaving no room for a porn habit in their lives? Yeah, we don’t think so either.

Related: The Surprising Secrets The Porn Industry Is Hiding From Consumers

The porn industry has mastered the art of keeping secrets from consumers, all with the motivation of increasing their own bottom line.

Attaching to porn instead of a person

So, if the goal of the porn industry is to get you hooked on their product for the long haul, and for you to bond so strongly to their product that it’s your go-to for arousal and temporary sexual satisfaction, can you see how unhealthy this is for attitudes about sex as well as future relationships?

When it comes to the addictive nature of pornography, the research is telling. There’s much to be said about how consuming porn is an escalating behavior and the brain can be trained to crave more and more extreme versions of porn. After all, porn is often extremely attractive to watch because it’s a majorly enhanced version of what people are naturally wired to desire—sex.

But don’t take it from us, consider what author and neurosurgeon Dr. Don Hilton has to say:

“Today’s porn consumer can also maintain or heighten sexual arousal by clicking to a novel scene, new video or fresh genre. Novel sexual visuals trigger greater arousal…than familiar material. Thus today’s digital porn, with its limitless novelty, potent delivery (hi-def video or virtual), and the ease with which the consumer can escalate to more extreme material, appears to constitute a ‘supranormal stimulus.’ This phrase, coined by Nobel laureate Nikolaas Tinbergen, refers to an exaggerated imitation of a stimulus that a species has evolved to pursue due to its evolutionary salience, but which can evoke more of a neurochemical response (dopamine) than the stimulus it imitates.”

Porn is not sex, it’s a product, and it’s a product that is designed to reel in consumers and keep them going back again and again. It can be easy to get hooked, and these 29 scientific studies on porn and the brain show how porn can become addictive.

The fact is, someone can’t exactly be pro-porn and pro-sex, because the two are completely different and opposing things. Consuming porn rewires the brain to associate arousal and sexuality with something that really isn’t sex at all—watching porn. Reversing this conditioning of the brain is absolutely possible, but it takes time, and it doesn’t automatically change once you’re in a relationship.

Consuming porn is harmful even if you’re single

But wait, what if a consumer isn’t interested in being in a committed relationship, or doesn’t see it happening for them in the near future? This unhealthy bond in the brain can be really harmful to individuals, too, regardless of their present or future relationship status. And honestly, there are immediate benefits to refusing to watch porn, too.

Related: The Single Person’s Guide To Standing Against Porn And Fighting For Love

The fact is, porn can’t substitute human connection, romantic or otherwise. Compare watching someone’s Snapchat story or commenting on their Instagram post to actually sitting across a table enjoying some In-N-Out Burger together. What is missing from the digital version? Eye contact, touch, real interaction, inside jokes. This applies to far more than just romantic relationships, but relationships with your friends, family members, and even the way you see yourself.

See, porn changes the way we view people. Not just people we’re romantically interested in, either. Over time, it can train consumers to view people as a collection of body parts and de-prioritize what makes them real, like their personalities, hobbies, sense of humor, or aspirations in life. It can also decrease your own self-confidence, which in turn can be a roadblock in real relationships.

Related6 Ways Ditching Porn Can Improve Your Dating Game

Research also shows that porn consumption can be an energy and motivation killer, making consumers feel increasingly lazy and holding them back from pursuing the things they really want in life.

Consuming porn keeps you isolated and alone, and these feelings of depression and loneliness fuel the need to consume more porn to numb these feelings. Being isolated with a porn habit also prevents consumers from going out and meeting real people in a vicious cycle.

See how this cycle can keep consumers stuck, and can prevent someone from living their best life?

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You deserve better than porn

The key is, what is actually healthiest for you in the long-term? Research shows that while porn can provide short-term gratification, the results won’t last, and the long-term harmful effects aren’t worth it.

If you want to be in a relationship and you’re not, the loneliness can be tough. If you don’t see yourself being in a relationship any time soon and you’re ok with that, consuming porn can seem easier to justify. But no matter your present or future relationship status, by consuming porn, you’re selling yourself short in a big way, you deserve better, and it won’t make the search for a relationship any easier.

Related: Porn Is Insanely Explicit, But It Will Never Show These 3 Things

Sure, porn may provide a temporary escape or instant gratification by distracting consumers from their loneliness, boredom, pent-up sexual tension, or a yearning for intimacy. But all porn does is provide a short-term distraction and create an unhealthy habit that must be continually fed more frequently and intensely in order to continue to distracting consumers from that void. It doesn’t, and can’t, make the pain of those feelings go away.

Porn asks for everything and provides very little or nothing in return, leaving consumers less equipped to deal with those unfulfilled wants and needs, preventing them from being able to have the very things they want in the future, and leaving them more lonely than before.

Related: When I Realize Porn Is Tied To Sex Trafficking, I Had To Stop Watching

The good news is, as Fighters, we know better and we’re here to support each other. If this is something you struggle with and you’re ready to make a change, remember that there’s always hope for recovery. Try opening up to a loved one or friend and start building your own personal support system. Tap into helpful resources like our friends at Fortify and recognize that setbacks don’t mean failures.

Long story short, remember that you deserve so much more than porn, whether you’re in or looking for a relationship now or not.

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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