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Why Fighting for Real Love Means Taking a Stand Against Porn

We are not here to battle with the porn industry and try to “take them down.” Our purpose is to promote real love and healthy relationships.

Too often pornography, sex, and love are all categorized as the same thing.

We think it’s time to take a closer look and see things as they really are: pornography is the antithesis of love and connection. Research has shown how watching porn can warp consumers’ understanding of healthy sexWright, 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  and drive a wedge between partners.Wright, P. J., Tokunaga, R. S., Kraus, A., & Klann, E. (2017). Pornography consumption and satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Human Communication Research, 43(3), 315-343. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/hcre.12108COPY 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 Perry, S. (2017). Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence From Longitudinal Data. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 549-559. Doi: 10.1007/S10508-016-0770-YCOPY 

Related: 10 Public Figures Who Raise Awareness On The Harmful Effects Of Porn

So many people idolize ideas of love and sex that they see in the movies and TV, read in books, and even what they see in porn. The reality is, these are all exaggerated and warped depictions of what’s real, and what’s healthy in relationships. But unlike most movies, TV, and books, the porn industry has an active connection to sex trafficking.Polaris. (2020). 2019 data report: The U.S. national human trafficking hotline. Retrieved from https://polarisproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Polaris-2019-US-National-Human-Trafficking-Hotline-Data-Report.pdfCOPY 

Porn is often considered to be a reliable way to explore sexual fantasies and develop a sense of sexual expression and preferences. It’s also a go-to source for many youth to learn about 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  The issue is, what porn portrays is often violent, dehumanizing, unsafe, or a biologically improbable.Vera-Gray, F., McGlynn, C., Kureshi, I., & Butterby, K. (2021). Sexual violence as a sexual script in mainstream online pornography. The British Journal of Criminology, doi:10.1093/bjc/azab035COPY 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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01773-0COPY 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. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801210382866COPY Euronews. (2018). Tackling the impact of porn on Iceland's youths. Retrieved from https://www.euronews.com/2018/01/31/tackling-the-impact-of-porn-on-iceland-s-youthsCOPY 

That’s why we raise awareness on the realities of porn’s effects on consumers and relationships, because we are completely for love. Our mission to fight for love over porn is best summarized by these famous words by author Dan Millman:

“The secret of change is to focus your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Instead of dedicating all our time to only fighting against pornography, we think a better solution is to promote real love and show that it’s worth fighting for. Pornography is the most twisted and distorted representation of what can be meaningful and amazing experiences for couples—healthy, safe, consensual sex and a relationship based on mutuality, respect, and equality.

Related: 10 Things Everyone Needs To Know About Fight The New Drug

Whoever you are, you deserve better than what porn has to offer.

While everyone needs love to thrive, no one needs porn. Often times, people turn to porn when what they’re seeking is love, validation, and sexual fulfillment.Levin, M. E., Lillis, J., & Hayes, S. C. (2012). When is online pornography viewing problematic among college males? Examining the moderating role of experiential avoidance.19(3), 168-180. doi:10.1080/10720162.2012.657150COPY Brown, C. C., Durtschi, J. A., Carroll, J. S., & Willoughby, B. J. (2017). Understanding and predicting classes of college students who use pornography. Computers in Human Behavior, 66, 114-121.COPY  What they often receive in return is, unfortunately, the exact opposite of all of those things.

So let’s talk about the differences between love and porn, because there’s quite a few of them.

BHW - General

Pornography is…

Fake. Nothing about porn is real. Not only is it not real, it creates unrealistic sexual expectations.British Board of Film Classification. (2020). Young people, pornography & age-verification. BBFC. Retrieved from https://www.bbfc.co.uk/about-classification/researchCOPY 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  Sex is natural, but porn is a product. There’s a difference.

Selfish. Porn only cares about itself. It will leave you just as it found you—alone. Porn minimizes the things you need like committed relationships, and it glorifies things like violence against women,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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01773-0COPY Shor, E., & Seida, K. (2019). 'Harder and Harder'? Is Mainstream Pornography Becoming Increasingly Violent and Do Viewers Prefer Violent Content? Journal of sex research, 56(1), 16–28. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2018.1451476COPY  and reduces the individual to nothing more than a sexual object.Cikara, M., Eberhardt, J. L., & Fiske, S. T. (2011). From agents to objects: sexist attitudes and neural responses to sexualized targets. Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 23(3), 540–551. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn.2010.21497COPY 

Ugly. There is nothing glamorous about porn. It treats people as objects.Cikara, M., Eberhardt, J. L., & Fiske, S. T. (2011). From agents to objects: sexist attitudes and neural responses to sexualized targets. Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 23(3), 540–551. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn.2010.21497COPY  That’s ugly. Human beings are wired with the need to love, to feel love, and to share those feelings of love with another person. Pornography makes you think those needs are being met, but really, they aren’t. Pornography will not and cannot love you back, or teach you how to love yourself or others well.

Love is…

Real. Sharing your time with another actual person, learning and growing together, that’s love. That’s real. If you feel it, you know it. Love puts the needs of others above the needs of self. It wants what is best for the other person. Healthy love leaves you better than you were when it found you. Love allows you to be vulnerable and gives you the ability to be responsible to treat with care the vulnerabilities of another person. Porn can’t give you any of that.

Beautiful. Some people might think, “Pornographic images are beautiful to me,” but there is nothing beautiful or meaningful about exploitation, sex trafficking, sexual assault, or sexual violence—all of these things that are directly and inextricably connected to porn. Two real individuals in a committed relationship—now that’s beautiful, and that’s meaningful.

Generous. Love gives without focusing on receiving anything in return. It is important to remember that even in a society that is inundated with pornography and pornographic images, you can choose to rebel—you can fight for love. As long as you are fighting back, and rejecting the lies that porn sells, love wins.

Fight for love

Fight the New Drug is all about fighting for real love and rejecting its hollow counterfeit, porn. Talk to those around you about this issue. Don’t let society tell you that it’s too awkward to address. It isn’t, trust us.

Related: Why Fight The New Drug’s Goal Is Not To Ban Porn

We can’t afford to continue in silence because we feel awkward or uncomfortable talking about it. Learn all you can about the harmful effects of pornography so you are prepared and equipped in the fight against it.

Remember the words of building the new rather than fighting the old. We are not here just to battle with the porn industry and try to “take them down.” Our purpose is to promote real love and healthy relationships.

Click here to learn more about why you and your relationships are better off without porn.

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