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Why Choosing Not to Watch Porn is Sex-Positive

When you think "anti-porn," you might think "anti-sex." But did you know choosing to not watch porn is one of the most sex-positive things you can do?

As a pro-love organization that educates on the harmful effects of porn, Fight the New Drug is all about infusing more sexiness into the world, not less.

When you think “anti-porn,” you might think “anti-sex,” but that is absolutely not what we’re about. Humans are wired to desire sex, and for good reason. Sex is an awesome and healthy part of committed, loving relationships. As humans, we are programmed to need love, to feel loved, and to feel the desire to be sexual with another person.

Did you know that choosing to not watch porn is one of the most sex-positive things you can do?

Allow us to explain.

Porn isn’t produced with the intent of helping relationships

Think of it this way—porn isn’t sex, and the porn industry is not concerned with the sexual health of its consumers.

The problem is, porn sells itself as a specific version of “sexiness” and has the appearance of being about sex. But porn is a product of the commodification of sex—but it’s not actually about sex itself. Consider that it is an industry that largely profits from fake orgasms in videos, and one study of popular porn videos found that only 18% of women compared to 78% of men are shown reaching orgasm.

Ultimately, watching porn is not the same thing as building a relationship with someone and enjoying having sex with them. And, in many cases, porn has been shown to actually inhibit consumers from successfully having satisfying sexual relationships with partners.

Related: Being Anti-Porn And Pro-Sex Is Not Only Possible, It’s Necessary

Consider the facts. Ironically, despite porn’s promise of improving consumers’ sex lives, there is growing evidence that porn consumption is linked to sexual dysfunction.

Research indicates that compulsive pornography consumption is directly related to erectile dysfunction,Park, B. Y., Wilson, G., Berger, J., Christman, M., Reina, B., Bishop, F., Klam, W. P., & Doan, A. P. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 6(3), 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6030017Copy  sexual dysfunction for both men and women,Bőthe, B., Tóth-Király, I., Griffiths, M. D., Potenza, M. N., Orosz, G., & Demetrovics, Z. (2021). Are sexual functioning problems associated with frequent pornography use and/or problematic pornography use? Results from a large community survey including males and females. Addictive Behaviors, 112, 106603. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106603Copy  problems with arousal and sexual performance,Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnson, J. A., & Ezzell, M. B. (2016). Pornography and the Male Sexual Script: An Analysis of Consumption and Sexual Relations. Archives of sexual behavior, 45(4), 983–994. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0391-2Copy  difficulty reaching orgasm,Bőthe, B., Tóth-Király, I., Griffiths, M. D., Potenza, M. N., Orosz, G., & Demetrovics, Z. (2021). Are sexual functioning problems associated with frequent pornography use and/or problematic pornography use? Results from a large community survey including males and females. Addictive Behaviors, 112, 106603. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106603Copy  and decreased sexual satisfaction.Szymanski, D. M., & Stewart-Richardson, D. N. (2014). Psychological, Relational, and Sexual Correlates of Pornography Use on Young Adult Heterosexual Men in Romantic Relationships. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 22(1), 64–82. https://doi.org/10.3149/jms.2201.64Copy 

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In one neuroscientific study on compulsive pornography consumers, researchers found that in 11 out of 19 subjects, porn consumption had lowered the consumers’ sex drive and/or ability to maintain arousal in real-life sexual encounters, yet were still able to sexually respond to porn.Voon, V., et al. (2014). Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), e102419. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102419Copy 

RelatedHow The Porn Industry Hijacks Natural Sexual Curiosity And Hooks Teens

When someone regularly consumes porn, they can become accustomed to being aroused by the imagery and endless novelty found in porn.Bőthe, B., Tóth-Király, I., Griffiths, M. D., Potenza, M. N., Orosz, G., & Demetrovics, Z. (2021). Are sexual functioning problems associated with frequent pornography use and/or problematic pornography use? Results from a large community survey including males and females. Addictive Behaviors, 112, 106603. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106603Copy Hilton D. L., Jr (2013). Pornography addiction - a supranormal stimulus considered in the context of neuroplasticity. Socioaffective neuroscience & psychology, 3, 20767. https://doi.org/10.3402/snp.v3i0.20767Copy  Pretty soon, natural turn-ons and real relationships aren’t enough, and many porn consumers find they can’t get aroused by anything but porn.Park, B. Y., Wilson, G., Berger, J., Christman, M., Reina, B., Bishop, F., Klam, W. P., & Doan, A. P. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 6(3), 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6030017Copy Voon, V., et al. (2014). Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), e102419. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102419Copy 

Look at it this way: if porn were totally about sex, there might be more effort on the part of the producers to prevent this sexual dysfunction among their consumers, rather than promote it. Even more, if it were truly about sex, even aside from all the sex problems porn can fuel, there might just be less incentive to fuel potential isolating compulsion and addiction in consumers.

Get The Facts

Clearly, the world of porn and the promotion of physical intimacy in consumers’ lives are universes apart. How? We’ll show you…

Pornography is…

Fake. Nothing about porn is real. Not only is it not real, it also creates unrealistic sexual expectations. In a society where body positivity dominates conversations, porn influences consumers to believe that their bodies need to look a certain way and be groomed a certain way to be sexually appealing. It’s all a manufactured product, designed to draw consumers in, not enrich their lives. Nothing is more attractive than what’s real and authentic.

Selfish. Porn only cares about itself. It will leave you just as it found you—alone. Pornography minimizes committed relationships, glorifies violence and abuse, and perpetuates sexual objectification without any consideration to other characteristics that make someone a human being—personality, hopes, dreams, and emotions.

Ugly. There is nothing glamorous about porn. It treats people as disposable sex objects. As human beings, we are wired with the need to love, to feel love, and to share those feelings of connection with another person. Pornography can momentarily ease feelings of loneliness and make consumers believe they are getting their sexual desires met, but it will only leave consumers lonelier and warp their sexual understandings. Pornography will not and cannot love you back.

Love and sex are…

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 regardless of the sacrifice. 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.

Beautiful. Some people might think, “Pornographic images are beautiful to me,” but there is nothing beautiful about sexual exploitation. Two real individuals in a committed relationship—now that’s beautiful. Someone who has confidence in their natural, beautifully flawed self, now that’s beautiful. Porn cannot compare to the value of real passion and intimacy in relationships. It’s empty and hollow, in comparison.

Giving. Love gives all it has without the thought of receiving anything in return. It is important to remember that even in a society that is saturated with normalization and celebration of porn, you can choose to rebel—you can fight for love. As long as you are fighting back, and rejecting lies that porn sells, love wins.

Become A Fighter

Fight for love

Fight the New Drug is all about fighting for real love, healthy sex, and rejecting the negative influence of porn in its consumers’ lives. Talk to those around you about this issue. Don’t let society tell you that it’s too taboo to address or it’s perfectly harmless—it isn’t. 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 your fight against it. Start by reading our research-packed Get the Facts articles, watching our three-part documentary for free, and listening to our podcast.

Related: 10 Differences Between Healthy Sex And The Sex Porn Portrays

We are not here to battle with the porn industry and erase porn from the face of the planet. Our purpose is just as much to equip individuals with the information they need to make an educated decision on porn and promote real love and healthy relationships, which is why we call ourselves a movement for love. Will you join us?

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