6 Reasons You Need To Oppose The Porn Industry

porn addict negative affects of porn

Over the internet, where a wide range of content is easily accessible, about 30% of all downloads are pornographic material. Thousands of people and even children unintentionally stumble upon porn through advertisements and other means. About a quarter of all internet searches are also looking for porn. All in all, the industry is said to make billions of dollars in annual revenue while also being a controversial topic in society.

Given its prevalence, ample research has been done into the subject’s various facets and there is popular opinion that porn sets several unrealistic standards, and creates many problems in society, and for individuals as well. What are these main reasons? Continue reading to find out how porn not only damages you at a personal level but also society in the bigger picture and what you can do to curb your addiction or what information you can use to convince addicts to begin the withdrawal process.

Porn is unproductive and better alternatives exist 

You pay a price for every action you take. That price is the cost of what you do and the benefit you could have gained from other possible alternatives. So every time your eyes are fixated on pixels absorbing this vulgarity, what else could you have been doing that was more advantageous?

If you wish to pass time and “relax”, think of other things you could do that would relax and positively stimulate your mind or develop a skill and keep you happy in a more sustainable way. But, wait, porn doesn’t keep you happy in a sustainable way? That’s right, it’s an addiction and messes with your brain and many other parts medically, and that’s the second reason you should stop soon!

Some other activities you can consider swapping porn with:

  • Memes and social media
  • Youtube, Netflix, Movies, TV Shows, etc. 
  • Going out, travel, talk to friends and family, etc.
  • Exercise, walks, cycling, swimming, yoga, meditation, jogging, learning a martial art, etc.
  • Writing (prose, poetry, anything at all regardless of quality), photography, drawing (even stick figures can be fun sometimes!), painting, etc. 
  • Gaming (even if it’s on your mobile phone). 
  • Journaling and talking to a professional or engaging in other healthy community practices. 

Consumption of porn messes with your brain and life 

The longer you remain addicted, the harder it will become to find better alternatives. The consumption of porn and accompanying acts stimulates significant releases of dopamine (satisfactory/happy hormone). Every session, this release reinforces the brain into wanting this action repeated and other habits that you don’t perform as discouraged. Since you aren’t developing other hobbies, your brain makes it even harder to switch. Essentially, the use of porn works the same way as a conventionally addictive drug. 

Therefore, your brain is less interested in doing anything that won’t release similar amounts quickly. This causes lower productivity, focus, and interest levels in many spheres of life, as your brain has now “spoiled” itself with excessive dosages of happiness hormones. In addition, research has shown that porn has similar effects on the brain in the same parts of the brain that many conventional drugs have. This also means that quitting becomes hard, and people likely face withdrawal symptoms like depression, anxiety, lower concentration, isolation, etc. 

People often defend their use of drugs by saying that they don’t use it often, have it under control and are not addicted, and merely for recreational use. However, these arguments don’t work well, especially with porn. Research has shown that even those who claimed to use it for recreational use experienced several benefits such as more focus, concentration, commitment, happiness levels, and others after they had quit.

Exposure to pornographic material escalates its intensity

But, the harms of porn don’t just end at reduced general interest levels in life. Have you ever felt annoyed after finding the exact same food in your house for a week straight? That’s how your brain is going to feel now. It’s going to get bored of even this excessive release of hormones, further degrading your interest levels in anything.

You’ll start to become numb to the content you consume and then start looking for more extreme forms of porn. This is a spiral staircase, you’ll keep getting numbed, and you’ll keep looking for “fresher” and “newer” stuff while completely shutting out the possibility of more productive recreational habits.

Porn is ultimately cinematic work and aims to set unrealistic standards about what is going on. Just like the actual McDonald’s burger tends to be disappointing compared to the giant posters you may find on the street, porn does the same for sexual intimacy. At one point, an avid porn consumer may end up preferring watching porn instead of actually being with a partner; real life ends up being disappointing in contrast to pixel-set standards. 

Porn internalizes toxic expectations and views of women and other people

Among different things, porn is certainly not known for its scriptwriting and vocalization for social causes. Porn sets several problematic expectations with one’s life experiences and interactions with women or people in general.

  • The bad scripting in porn gives people hope in their sexual advances, which may cause aggression or annoyance when it most likely doesn’t work out the way the person approaching expected.
  • In some cases, porn scripts show that women deny an advance, but they are enjoying it when the man continues anyway. Unfortunately, this paves the way for further disregard for consent as porn consumers may believe that women say ‘no’ to tease and don’t actually mean it. 
  • In many ways, porn blurs the idea of consent for its consumers and adds to the problem of victim-blaming.
  • The numbing and desensitization caused by porn and its extreme forms leads to lesser regard for consent, empathy, and the comfort of a partner.
  • The consumption of pornography can lead to more aggression and even harassment. Many sexual assault perpetrators have a strong history of porn use.
  • Participants in pornographic material report a sense of shame whenever they are in public because of the kind of stares they get from people and lack of privacy.
  • Porn sets unrealistic beauty and sexual performance standards for both sexes. 

Porn objectifies and over sexualizes women

Porn almost always contains aggressive actions that degrade, normalizes using derogatory terms, and using violence against women. Even in “normal and mild” porn, aggressive practices still find place. In most cases, an aggressor is a man, and the receiver is a woman. 

Porn often goes a step further and even fetishizes certain ethnicities or cultural items. For example, South and East Asian women are often exotified because of a supposed “submissive” nature, or Africans for quite the opposite. Sometimes, participants are even made to sexualize cultural or religious elements. 

As discussed in the previous section, porn makes it incredibly difficult to understand what implies consent and what doesn’t because of the array of horrible scripts they use. It exposes viewers to 500 different “indirect” ways a woman supposedly says “yes” (one of which somehow includes saying “no”). This leads to any small thing a woman may do to be interpreted sexually, such as even being nice or posting a picture in a school uniform. 

The porn industry hurts human rights and humans

Several people have been vocal in the past few years about how their involvement in the porn industry resulted from force or some form of coercion. Subsequently, they were further blackmailed into staying in business, and their promised earnings were also withheld from them.

But that is just a tiny part of the porn industry’s problematic tenets. The industry is also widely known to promote and profit from human and sex trafficking involving even minors.

As time has passed, platforms housing pornographic content have responded with levels of verification in an attempt to house “clean” content. Yet, their libraries continue to accommodate child pornography, rape, and themes around degradation. Even more so, many users who have been “verified” have also gotten away with posting problematic content. 

With that being said, there is no easy way of ensuring that the industry can be clean even when it says so. So perhaps our sense of shared humanity should nudge us to boycott porn and urge others to do the same. 

Some strategies you can use to curb the urge

  1. Treat it the same as any other addiction. 
  2. Be more comfortable with accepting the issue and look for solutions. 
  3. Feel free to seek help from a friend or someone to curb the addiction. 
  4. Seek help from a community, even if anonymously (https://www.reddit.com/r/nofap). Communities really help and make you feel like you’re not alone!
  5. Exercise discipline and switch it out for other activities. 
  6. Take a cold bath when the urge comes.
  7. Do something or go somewhere where you don’t have access to porn. 
  8. Daily affirmations (or no affirmations at all to try and fill your day with things where you don’t have the time or need for porn).
  9. If someone talks to you about their addiction, divert them to help instead of turning them away or making them regret opening up to you.  

2 Comments

  1. I read the porn article and here’s my viewpoint on your 6 points:

    1 – You didn’t give a single alternative to porn. People use porn as an aid for masturbation, which is a morally neutral activity. Practically, masturbation is uniquely good for health in a lot of ways.

    I wouldn’t tell you to replace your exercise sessions with reading, because reading does not physically improve your health. In the same way, none of your alternatives help improve sexual health in the way masturbation does, and thus aren’t alternatives at all.

    Also, since when did hobbies have to be productive?

    2 – This argument especially frustrates me. *Eating food* releases dopamine, *exercise* releases dopamine, all the alternatives you gave release dopamine.

    Porn is not automatically equivalent to addictive drugs because it releases dopamine, that’s frankly a biologically absurd statement.

    Yes porn *can* be addicting through dopamine, but so can exercise. We don’t stop exercising because of that.

    At best, you’re proving that pornography shouldn’t be consumed to the point you’re feeling like you need it to survive. If that’s your argument, I highly doubt anyone would disagree, including literally anyone who watches porn.

    3 – 3 – By this analysis, I should stop buying clothes because I’ll get bored of the same clothes and keep going for more extreme options until I’m wearing a stormtrooper uniform at a funeral. This logic is just infinitely elastic.

    And let’s say you’re right and people explore more extreme fetishes or preferences; so what?

    If someone is into extreme bdsm and practices it safely and consensually, all that’s happening is that the person is experiencing sexual satisfaction in their own way.

    “Extreme” preferences are much more common than most people assume anyway. For example, more than 50% of both men and women are aroused by some form of”consensual non-consent”, which is role-playing non-consent with your partner. If more than half of the population (a majority) is into something, who’s to say it’s abnormal anymore?

    4 & 5 – This is totally up to what you watch and how you interpret it. “Toxic” plotlines and “objectification” are not prerequisites to porn.

    This argument makes no sense if applies to any other medium. Some books are toxic and objectify people, so we shouldn’t read books? The solution is just to read good books. If you are watching the type of porn that is supposedly “toxic” and then taking it literally or applying it to your everyday life, that’s on you.

    There’s entire communities based around creating affectionate porn that’s realistic, as well as porn specifically for women. Further, “objectification” can be a turn-on for a lot of people, and is absolutely applied to both genders. This article *vastly* underestimates the amount of porn that objectifies men in the field. You can look up the psychology behind why it can be genuinely liberating or arousing for people to think of themselves or others as objects if you’re interested, but a blanket disapproval of the act is simply an uninformed opinion, because you’re not acknowledging why people enjoy the porn in the first place.

    6 – This kind of extreme addiction is a strawman. Once again, not a reason to oppose porn and the porn industry as a blanket statement. People addicted to novels or anime will sometimes prefer escaping into these virtual worlds than living in the real one. Like Hikikomori blocking themselves off from real life in Japan, so we should stop reading or watching any media at all?

    Porn addiction is not the norm. The majority of people who consume porn are not addicted.

    Like

    1. Hi, thank you for your read and in-depth analysis and comment about the post. Allow me to respond.

      1. I did give alternatives. Granted, they weren’t alternatives that answered the aid to masturbation. Also yes, hobbies don’t necessarily have to be productive (which is why I even suggested ‘memes’ as one) but this one isn’t even neutral.

      2. Dopamine release is a problem with porn because the release is substantially larger and affects the brain the way conventional drugs do, as research suggests, which is what separates it from other dopamine-releasing activities like eating good food.

      3. The logic is infinitely elastic if you apply it the same way everywhere but that’s not how it works with pornography consumption. I think we established that ‘extreme’ was a reference made to gray area stuff where it moves outside comfort, safety, and consent.

      4 & 5. Research suggests that the toxic plotlines and other mentioned consequences were found in random samples of widely viewed and trending movies and videos, which doesn’t stand true for top ranking or best selling books. Also, again, the kind of objectification you mentioned here hints towards consensual kinks and on part of people who know exactly what they’re doing and don’t let that set common precedent in daily lives but what was mentioned here was not that.

      I also covered content about people who consume porn but aren’t addicted showing the disadvantages.

      Overall, if I were to compare this industry with other industries, also keeping in mind the fiasco around human trafficking, and failed ‘verifications’, I would still oppose it and stakeholders can use these criticisms to refine the industry, but I’m not sure how far that will go.

      Like

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