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 story shows how porn can teach consumers that their partner's pleasure, enjoyment, and consent is not more imporant than their own. We raise awareness on the harms of porn because, in the long run, it does not help relationships to be healthier or more intimate.

FTND,

I’d like to share my personal story with you about how porn ruined my life. My parents are both from Thailand. I grew up in a strict household where criticism was always given on everything. I never felt good enough. I always had to be perfect, which was impossible of course. I was always pressured to succeed, to do what my parents wanted me to do. This was a factor in my story.

When I was seven, a neighbor invited me to her house to play. It was then that I first saw porn. Out of nowhere, she turned on straight and lesbian porn. I was so confused and felt so scared. When she finally turned it off, I felt so sick that I went home and told my mother, who only brushed it off and said that because I stayed it was my fault. I then told the girl’s mother, but she didn’t believe me and even made me apologize to her.

As I got older, my mind kept those images of lesbian porn. The video was about a stepmother and her daughter and those vivid images with a sickening plot wouldn’t leave my brain no matter how hard I tried. Whenever I tried to fantasize it would invade my mind and soon it became the only way I could feel pleasure. I became scared of kissing and any other sexual activity. It made me uncomfortable. No matter what I did, those images from my childhood stuck with me.

Related: 10 Partners Use Anonymous App To Open Up About Their Boyfriend’s Porn Habit

My first boyfriend watched porn. He was very sexual and tried to get me to act out what he had watched in porn. I was scared, but I didn’t want to disappoint him. I wanted to be perfect. I let him do some things to me, but I wouldn’t let him go all the way. He criticized my imperfections constantly because he was constantly comparing me to the women in porn. He only wanted me sexually.

After I refused to go further with him than I was comfortable, he dumped me. My self-worth went plummeting downward immediately after.

My next boyfriend watched porn heavily, more than my first boyfriend. The first night we were together I told him I just wanted to kiss a bit since I was still a virgin but he was convinced that I wanted more, so he raped me. I begged him to stop, telling him I was scared but he didn’t care. I was scared of him, so I continued to see him.

Every time we were together after that I just laid there like a sex doll, scared but still wanting to please. All his moves were from porn. He would be forceful and domineering. I faked my pleasure, hoping it would end sooner if I did. Afterward, he told all of his friends that he was my first and boasted about how great he was. Then he dumped me.

My parents started putting pressure on me to find someone else, but the next few were all the same. Druggies who loved porn. I was just their plaything.

Related Video: Hallah’s Story – How Porn Pushed Me To Accept Sexual Abuse

Thanks to porn, my self-esteem was so low and my confusion was so high that my first time having sex was with a porn consumer who just used my body. My anxiety got worse with time and now at 23, I struggle every day with it. I am very pessimistic now. I don’t sleep well because I’m scared someone else will come and rape me.

I’m scared I will fail, at everything. I went from an outgoing girl who wanted to wait until marriage to a desperate fearful girl who suffers daily. And I blame it all on myself, because after all, everyone has told me it was my fault.

Related: It’s Okay To Not Be Okay: What Partners Of Porn Consumers Want You To Know

I hear conversations every day about how awesome porn is and sometimes I even find myself believing it. But then I remember the feeling of being a helpless rag doll, scared, alone on a dark night, a doll who was only there to use.

– S.

Porn warps healthy perceptions of sex

The story above is just one of thousands of personal stories we receive from people all over the world who have had their life negatively affected by pornography. Facts are facts: porn is harmful. Many people report being exposed to porn at a young age and having it completely twist their views of sex.

While porn is often called “adult material,” many of its viewers are well under the legal age. [1] In fact, the majority of teens are getting at least some of their sex ed from porn, whether they mean to or not. [2] And just like cigarette commercials show healthy people puffing away instead of the cancer-causing reality, porn is offering a completely warped idea of what partners, sex, and relationships are really like. [3]

But just as harmful as the things porn shows is what it doesn’t show. Pornography doesn’t give an accurate picture of what healthy sex is like; they cut out things like talking, cuddling, bonding touch, and other ways partners are responsive to each other’s needs and preferences. [4] They also cut out the consequences of the kinds of sex portrayed in porn. [5] No one ever contracts sexually transmitted infections in porn. There are no unplanned pregnancies, no cervical cancer, no intestinal parasites, and no skin tearing or bruises.

In the end, porn is the opposite of a healthy introduction to sex, love, and relationships. This is why we raise awareness on the real impact of porn on its consumers, because everyone deserves better than what porn shows.

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Show support for this Fighter who shared her story with us. SHARE this article to take a stand and help spread the facts about the scientific harms of pornography.

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Citations

[1] Peter, J. & Valkenburg, P. M. (2016). Adolescents And Pornography: A Review Of 20 Years Of Research. Journal Of Sex Research, 53(4-5), 509-531. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2016.1143441; Rothman, E. F., Kaczmarsky, C., Burke, N., Jansen, E., & Baughman, A. (2015). “Without Porn…I Wouldn’t Know Half The Things I Know Now”: A Qualitative Study Of Pornography Use Among A Sample Of Urban, Low-Income, Black And Hispanic Youth. Journal Of Sex Research, 52(7), 736-746. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2014.960908; Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnason, J., Ezzell, M., (2014). Pornography And The Male Sexual Script: An Analysis Of Consumption And Sexual Relations. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 45, 1-12. Doi:10.1007/S10508-014-0391-2 (Finding That Nearly Half Of College-Age Men Report Having Been First Exposed To Internet Porn Prior To Age 13)
[2] Rothman, E. F., Kaczmarsky, C., Burke, N., Jansen, E., & Baughman, A. (2015). “Without Porn…I Wouldn’t Know Half The Things I Know Now”: A Qualitative Study Of Pornography Use Among A Sample Of Urban, Low-Income, Black And Hispanic Youth. Journal Of Sex Research, 52(7), 736-746. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2014.960908; Paul, P. (2010). From Pornography To Porno To Porn: How Porn Became The Norm. In J. Stoner & D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 3–20). Princeton, N.J.: Witherspoon Institute; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families. New York: Henry Hold And Co., 16-17; Prigg, M., & Sims, P. (2004). Truth About Dangers Of Net As Half Of Children Are Exposed To Porn. The Evening Standard (London), September 3; U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2003). File-Sharing Programs: Peer-To-Peer Networks Provide Ready Access To Child Pornography. Washington, D.C.: GAO, February.
[3] Paul, P. (2010). From Pornography To Porno To Porn: How Porn Became The Norm. In J. Stoner & D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 3–20). Princeton, N.J.: Witherspoon Institute; Carroll, J. S., Padilla-Walker, L. M., And Nelson, L. J. (2008). Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance And Use Among Emerging Adults. Journal Of Adolescent Research, 23(1), 6–30. Doi:10.1177/0743558407306348; Layden, M. A. (2004). Committee On Commerce, Science, And Transportation, Subcommittee On Science And Space, U.S. Senate, Hearing On The Brain Science Behind Pornography Addiction, November 18; Marshall, W. L. (2000). Revisiting The Use Of Pornography By Sexual Offenders: Implications For Theory And Practice. Journal Of Sexual Aggression, 6(1-2), 67. Doi:10.1080/13552600008413310; Mosher, D. L. & MacIan, P. (1994). College Men And Women Respond To X-Rated Videos Intended For Male Or Female Audiences: Gender And Sexual Scripts. Journal Of Sex Research 31(2), 99–112. Doi:10.1080/00224499409551736; Brosius, H. B., Et Al. (1993). Exploring The Social And Sexual “Reality” Of Contemporary Pornography. Journal Of Sex Research, 30(2), 161–70. Doi:10.1080/00224499309551697
[4] Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C. & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression And Sexual Behavior In Best Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update. Violence Against Women, 16(10), 1065–1085. Doi:10.1177/1077801210382866
[5] Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C. & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression And Sexual Behavior In Best Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update. Violence Against Women, 16(10), 1065–1085. Doi:10.1177/1077801210382866; Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography And Violence: A New Look At The Research. In J. Stoner & D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute.

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