Now, we know what you might be thinking… FTND is changing their position on porn. Not quite. Not even close. As you know by now, research shows many ways that porn can be harmful to individuals, relationships, and society.

But here’s the issue: so many who watch porn feel an enormous amount of shame brought on by others or themselves, which pretty much always makes the issue worse. Many already feel like they’re a bad person, worthless, or permanently broken. (Of course, this is a different reaction than those who unapologetically watch porn on the regular, who have no idea of its negative effects.)

Dr. Brene Brown, a leading researcher on shame, growth, and change, has said, I don’t believe shame is helpful or productive. In fact, I think shame is much more likely to be the source of destructive, hurtful behavior than the solution or cure.”

Related: Is The Problem Porn Or Shame (Or Both)?

These feelings of shame can also cripple people’s self-esteem and stunt their progress. And we realize this is a complex issue since guilt and remorse can be a healthy part of finding freedom and healing wounds. But too often shame is used as a beating stick that weakens and demoralizes. (Note that there are huge differences between guilt and shame.)

Truth is, a lot of people watch porn. That shouldn’t surprise you.

RelatedThe Problem With Saying “I Would Never Date Someone With A Past Porn Struggle”

Do you realize though, how many thousands upon thousands of Fighters are still struggling with porn and yet stand with us to declare to others that porn kills love and to fight for love? This doesn’t make them hypocrites at all. They speak boldly and openly because they know the true cost of pornography. They want others to have the opportunity to avoid those challenges in their lives. These Fighters are among the most passionate and we love them for it.

Everyone Can Be A Fighter

Just because you haven’t been able to completely distance yourself from porn yet doesn’t mean you can’t be an activist for real love and want to help people (including yourself) avoid love’s most harmful counterfeits. Remember that, because it’s the truth.

RelatedHow The Porn Industry Gains Teen Viewers And Turns Them Into Lifelong Clients

Now don’t misunderstand what we’re saying. We’re not telling anyone to stop trying to avoid pornography. We’re simply telling you to quit beating up yourself or others for watching it.

Compared to healthy levels of remorse or guilt, self-inflicted shame only leads people to slip into a depressed funk which is the perfect breeding ground for isolation and more issues. Compulsive behaviors and addictions revel in this emotionally toxic environment. By removing shame, and turning on the lights, people facing this problem can take confidence in knowing that they are fighting this alongside millions of others who also would prefer a life without it. While recognizing that quitting porn can be a long process they can also take comfort in knowing that they’ve started down that path toward long-term freedom.

Related: The Links Between Anxiety, Depression, and Porn Use

And one more thing: we believe (and research supports) that shaming others only increases the chasm between understanding and rebellion. If we’re serious about decreasing demand and the overall harms of this industry on our society then we had better stop thinking that shaming will work. It hasn’t in the past and it won’t in the future.

Fight For Love, No Matter Your Story

Bottom line, we want you to know that if you watch porn, we don’t think you’re bad, disgusting, horrible, or evil. Not at all. It’s true that there are real concerns about porn itself, but not about the porn consumer. The fact of the matter is, having a desire to watch porn doesn’t automatically turn you into a “gross” and “perverted” human being. It means that you’re human.

Related: Why We Can’t Judge Someone Struggling With Porn By Their Habit Alone 

In a society that surrounds us with sexual stimulation, watching porn has become seen as a normal—albeit unhealthy—way to satisfy an age-old, natural desire. As human beings, we are naturally wired to want sex. It is part of our biology to be attracted to things that arouse us. Because sexuality is ingrained in us all, as well as surrounds our everyday lives through the media we consume, it can be so easy for thoughtful, good-hearted people to get caught up in watching porn.

Why This Matters

For those caught up in porn, realize that the effects are not always so immediate or obvious as people sometimes make them out to be either. For instance, while science and research are now showing negative effects that can result from consuming pornography, that doesn’t mean that everyone who watches it is going to become a porn addict or that someone struggling will automatically and inevitably begin to ignore and neglect the relationships in their life.

So choose love and understanding, not shame. Continue to spread the word that pornography is harmful to individuals, relationships, and society in a way that will promote true positive change.

FTND_Shame-clayolsen_v5

Get Involved

Spread the message that shame will never work in helping people understand the harms of pornography. SHARE this article and be a voice for positivity and love.

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with an obsession or addiction to pornography, you are not alone. Check out our friends at Fortify, a recovery-focused platform that will allow you take a step toward freedom. Anyone 17 years and younger can apply for a free scholarship to the site, and it's an inexpensive fee for anyone 18 and older. There is hope—sign up today to get the help you need and join with an encouraging community.

Spark Conversations

This movement is all about changing the conversation about pornography and stopping the demand for sexual exploitation. When you rep a tee, you can spark meaningful conversation on porn’s harms and inspire lasting change in individuals’ lives, and our world. Are you in? Check out all our styles in our online store, or click below to shop:

Send this to a friend

Like all websites, we use cookies. By continuing on this site, you agree to our use of cookies. More

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close