Cover photo by Antoine Da cunha. 5 minute read.

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.

We recently received this true story from a 24-year-old guy whose experience shows the powerful effect that porn can have on the viewer's mindset. Porn changes how the viewer sees their partner and the women/men around them. Some stories, like this one, shed light on the deep damage and unhealthiness that porn brings individuals and their relationships.


Hi there,

First of all, I want to thank you guys for what you are doing. I came across your site while looking for an anti-porn movement where I live in the Netherlands, but there aren’t any here.

I am a 24-year-old guy, and my porn struggle started to develop quite late compared to other stories I’ve heard. When I was 11 or 12, I had some friends who showed me pictures of nude women, but I just thought they were silly and never really got into it at that time.

I was 17 years old when I fell in love with a girl, and it looked like our feelings were mutual. After a couple of months, however, it turned out she had never been seriously interested in me. For me, this was a really traumatic experience, and soon after, I started to search for love on the internet. This quickly escalated into a full-fledged addiction. I would try to be alone as much as possible in order to watch porn, whether I was at home or at my university.

Related: Why Watching Porn Leaves You Feeling Lonelier Than Before

When I was 19, I got into a relationship with a girl several years younger than me. At that point, I didn’t realize how distorted my view of girls was. I really saw her as an object. I didn’t really care about our emotional relationship. I just wanted to see and feel her body. While I never forced her to do anything she did not want, I imposed my own distorted views upon her. She accepted them because she thought it was normal.

It was not until two years later that I came to realize I couldn’t look at any girl in a healthy way anymore. Every girl I met was an object. Every time I met a girl, I would think about performing the acts I had seen on my laptop screen on her.

That’s when I realized I should stop watching porn.

I had a hard time trying to stop watching porn. I tried it on my own, but I never fully succeeded. Then I decided to tell my girlfriend. She was shocked. She felt abused. She felt like she was not good enough for me. She spent hours crying and wishing she could be a better girlfriend so I would not need other girls. I left it up to her if she would stay with me or not. She decided to stay and help me fight.

Related: Why I’m Staying With My Porn Addicted Boyfriend

I am still fighting. I don’t watch porn anymore, but I still need to work hard to think about women and girls in a healthy way.

Now we are engaged and we’re going to get married soon. Porn has left its marks on our relationship. When we are together, I’m still struggling not to objectify her, and she is struggling to cope with my odd behavior. But whatever it takes, she is always there to support me. She encouraged me to search for a way to speak out on the dangers of porn, so here I am.

My girlfriend and I are lucky to be together now. But when I see the next generation growing up like my girlfriend’s younger sisters who have reached the age when they become easy prey for boys whose brains are crammed with images of naked women, I sometimes feel like crying. I really want to warn them and tell them they should watch out and not let themselves be objectified and not approve of any sexual acts they do not want to do. I’m using your resources to try to do this.

Again, thanks so much for doing this and I would really like to spread the word in the Netherlands.

– T.

Why This Matters

As this guy has witnessed firsthand, porn can deeply influence the way viewers see and interact with their partners.

Studies have shown that even casual use of porn can cause the user to feel less attracted to their partner. [1] And when a person frequently uses pornography, they’re far more likely to feel less satisfied with their partner’s looks, sexual performance, and willingness to try new sexual acts. [2]

Why all the sudden disappointment with one’s partner? It’s likely due to the fact that porn promotes a completely fictional version of how people look and behave, and makes it look like an exciting reality—one that their partners often feel they can never live up to. [3]

Related: Why Bad Sex And Low Self-Esteem Result From Watching Porn

Given that porn performers are surgically enhanced, air-brushed, and photoshopped, [4] it’s not hard to see why, according to a national poll, that only one in seven women doesn’t think that porn has raised men’s expectations of how women should look. [5]

Nobody, guy or girl, likes being unfairly compared to someone (or something) else. And when that something else is porn, it becomes even more damaging. In fact, research shows that the increase of pornography in society is a cause for an increasing number of women seeking plastic surgery to change their bodies.

Research has also shown that women exposed to porn or who are partners of frequent porn consumers are more likely to engage in sexual acts that make them feel uncomfortable. They are also more likely to worry about how they look instead of enjoying being intimate with their significant other. To top things off, porn adds pressure on women to comply with and be okay with pretty much anything their partner wants, which includes sexual violence and degrading behavior that is so prevalently found in porn.

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What YOU Can Do

Porn warps viewers’ perspective about sex and leads them to believe that others are just body parts. SHARE this article and take a stand against the objectification that porn promotes.

Citations

[1] 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; Bergner, R. and Bridges, A. J. (2002). The Significance of Heavy Pornography Involvement for Romantic Partners: Research and Clinical Implications. Sex and Marital Therapy 28, 3: 193–206.
[2] Zillmann, D. and Bryant, J. (1988). Pornography’s Impact on Sexual Satisfaction. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 18, 5: 438–53.
[3] Bergner, R. and Bridges, A. J. (2002). The Significance of Heavy Pornography Involvement for Romantic Partners: Research and Clinical Implications. Sex and Marital Therapy 28, 3: 193–206; Senn, C. Y. (1993). Women’s Multiple Perspectives and Experiences with Pornography. Psychology of Women Quarterly 17, 3: 319041.
[4] Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography addiction—a supranormal stimulus considered in the context of neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3, 20767; Paul, Pamela. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 145.
[5] Paul, P. (2010). From Pornography to Porno to Porn: How Porn Became the Norm. In J. Stoner and D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 3–20). Princeton, N.J.: Witherspoon Institute.

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