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I Watch Rape-Themed Porn to Cope with Being Abused—But it Made Things Worse

“Watching these videos eroded away the meaning of consent for me.”

Trigger warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

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 woman's personal true story shows that porn normalizes harmful, abusive behavior.

My fight with porn started before I really even knew there was a battle.

I was about 13 years old when I discovered porn for the first time. Sex is a taboo subject in my culture, and porn is a word that I’d only heard adults use. I’d heard my friends talk about it and I wanted to find out what all the hype was about.

I turned to porn to learn about sex, which was the worst mistake I’ve ever made. I started out watching what I deemed as “normal” videos at the time, just men and women having sex. But it wasn’t long before I eventually moved on to hardcore stuff.

Getting hooked on abuse porn

One day I discovered a site that featured rape porn and immediately I was hooked.

It was so shocking and it felt like a risky thing to be into, but my curiosity kept drawing me back. Up to that point, I could still get some pleasure from watching porn, but this is when I started thinking that maybe porn wasn’t as harmless as I thought.

Related: How Porn Can Distort Consumers’ Understanding of Healthy Sex

How could I, a victim of sexual abuse myself when I was seven years old, be interested in watching those types of things? Be interested in watching forced sex porn, and rape porn?

Watching these videos eroded away the meaning of consent for me. The women in the videos always start out saying no, but the guys always seem to convince them into agreeing at the end and then the women act like they enjoy it eventually.

After watching this happen enough times, I thought it was normal.

Porn normalized the abuse I faced

Around that same time, an older man that I trusted with my whole being started touching me in ways I knew wasn’t safe. Of course I tried to fight him off at first, but he got really aggressive.

It was at that point that I thought to myself, What’s the point of spending all this energy fighting him off? What’s the big deal? I’ve been molested before. I also told myself that it’d be different this time, since I wasn’t a child anymore, I’d at least be able to control the situation. If I just let him have what he wants, it wouldn’t be abuse if I was letting it happen.

As I continued to be taken advantage of, I turned to porn to normalize what was happening to me. Every time I would go on the internet I’d search for porn rape scenes to try and convince myself that what was happening was okay. It reinforced in my mind that women were there to be used for sex, and at the end they always seemed to like it anyway.

Related: Easily Accessible Rape Porn is Causing Huge Problems for Junior Highers Everywhere

Every time I’d be so afraid when he was near, I just told myself it was normal, that I was just being a little anxious. I convinced myself that because I was not fighting back, I was still in control of the situation, like I had some sort of boundary that he wouldn’t cross.

But how could a confused 13-year-old girl control a 30-year-old man?

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The loneliest I’ve ever been

I was lost in the dark world of porn for years with no one to turn to. I was being abused but refused to call it what it was at the time. I was ashamed of myself.

How could I explain this to anyone without having them judge me? They would look at me differently.

Sometimes I would be walking to school or the library and I’d feel like everybody could see how disgusting I was, like they knew my deepest secrets. I had the hardest time socializing and making friends because of this weight I carried.

One day not long ago, I stumbled onto the Fight the New Drug page on Facebook and I just sat there reading every post, every comment, every shared story. I broke down in tears, I cried for what felt like hours, and decided I would try to fight this addiction I had fallen into.

I had failed so many times—I’d stop watching, then start again, then stop again, then discover a different kind of porn, and then get hooked on that instead. It was a long, exhausting fight.

Realizing I’m more than an object

I think when I really made up my mind and decided to quit porn for real was when one night that man started touching me and I told him no.

I tried to push him off and he just grinned at me and told me, “You’ve always been a tease, always playing hard to get.” He proceeded to hold my hands together in a tight grip, preventing me from moving, and no matter how much I yelled at him to stop, that he was hurting me, he didn’t listen.

I was absolutely terrified, and it was then that I finally realized I was never in control.

The justifications I had used to normalize what was happening to me all came crumbling down when I lost all control. It sunk in that what he was doing to me was never normal. That feeling of disgust didn’t leave me for years. I was disgusted with myself for letting it get that far, I hated myself, I hated the skin I was in.

I hated being a girl and I hated any sort of attention from men after that, telling myself they were only interested in using my body.

Related: Does Porn Fuel Rape Culture and Sexual Assault on College Campuses?

Back then I thought that sex was all I had to offer. I’m now 19 years old and I’ve learned to move on from what happened to me. I’m not an object that can used for someone’s pleasure. I’m a woman and I have worth.

I deserve to love and deserve to be loved. Fight the New Drug has helped me through my whole journey with this addiction to porn and it gave me the strength to finally tell my story.

I still struggle sometimes and that’s okay, because I know I’m getting to where I want to be. I’ve been porn-free for a couple of years now, and although the thoughts of being intimate with a guy sometimes send me into a panic attack, I’ve decided to take it one day at a time.

Porn kills love, but now I’m strong enough to fight for it.

– M.

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Why this matters

Like this girl, most young people are getting at least some of their education about sex from porn, whether they mean to or not.

In fact, one study shows that approximately 45% of teens who consumed porn did so in part to learn about sex.British Board of Film Classification. (2020). Young people, pornography & age-verification. BBFC. Retrieved from https://www.bbfc.co.uk/about-classification/researchCOPY  Similarly, survey results also show one in four 18 to 24-year-olds (24.5%) listed pornography as the most helpful source to learn how to have sex.Rothman, E. F., Beckmeyer, J. J., Herbenick, D., Fu, T. C., Dodge, B., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2021). The Prevalence of Using Pornography for Information About How to Have Sex: Findings from a Nationally Representative Survey of U.S. Adolescents and Young Adults. Archives of sexual behavior, 50(2), 629–646. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01877-7COPY 

Pornography is actively spreading harmful misinformation about sex. In fact, one study suggests that the more someone consumes porn, the more sexually illiterate they tend to become.Wright, P. J., Tokunaga, R. S., Herbenick, D., & Paul, B. (2021). Pornography vs. sexual science: The role of pornography use and dependency in U.S. teenagers’ sexual illiteracy., 1-22. doi:10.1080/03637751.2021.1987486COPY 

Related: Four French Porn Performers Charged with Rape, a First for France’s Adult Industry

It’s no secret that porn is wildly unrealistic and often incredibly toxic, yet survey results also showed that over half of 11 to 16-year-old boys (53%) and over a third of 11 to 16-year-old girls (39%) reported believing that pornography was a realistic depiction of sex, and 44% of boys who watched porn reported that online pornography gave them ideas about the type of sex they wanted to try.Martellozzo, E., Monaghan, A., Adler, J. R., Davidson, J., Leyva, R., & Horvath, M. A. H. (2016). 'I wasn’t sure it was normal to watch it'. London: NSPCC. Retrieved from https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/research-resources/2016/i-wasn-t-sure-it-was-normal-to-watch-itCOPY 

Porn isn’t just entertainment. It isn’t just intended for arousal. Whether intentionally or not, it teaches toxic messages that can have real-world consequences.

The research is clear—porn can warp consumers’ ideas about sex and relationships. But the good news is that we can limit those negative effects by raising awareness on this issue, especially to young people. So let’s refocus on healthy relationships and reject the toxic narratives porn perpetuates. Let’s consider the facts before consuming.

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