9 THINGS YOUNG AND SINGLE WOMEN NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PORN

1. She doesn’t really look like that

I know it is hard to believe, and I know you’ve probably heard it before, but she doesn’t really look like that. She has makeup on, probably has a team of stylists, and has been airbrushed. Even the most naturally beautiful women get touch-ups before their photos go up. And the cameras have filters.

2.She probably doesn’t enjoy it, either

Many, many former porn stars have come out in recent years talking about how horrible the industry is. They were often made to do things they didn’t want to do, forced into painful situations (physically, sexually and emotionally), and we are often actually watching rape take place. Sometimes, we are seeing underage girls, many of who have been bought into the sex slave industry. And yep, that’s a real thing, even in well developed nations like the U.S and Australia. Her smile is an attempt to avoid something worse than ‘faking it’.

Even when we see women (and men) undergoing painful acts with seeming pleasure, there is often coercion and force involved.  If nothing else, they are making the scene look good, so they get paid. It’s her job to give the producers what they want, and they often take full advantage of their actors—on and off set.

Sceptical? Check out this article by Fight The New Drug [TW: descriptions of violence against women]

3.That’s not love

A lover who cherishes you will never hurt you, even if you ‘ask for it.’ I mean this in the abusive, coercive sense of the phrase, and in the pain equals pleasure response. This is true even when you don’t feel up to or want sex. That’s not the message porn culture teaches. The truth is, women (and men) are sometimes not in the mood, and manipulation into sex or sex acts is not loving or kind. It’s abusive and selfish. Sadly, many young adults and teens don’t realise that. Thankfully, when they do, many stop being manipulative and coercive, or at least start to beak the habits.

Deep, true, life-long love never comes in the form of intentional harm- physically, sexually or emotionally. It never forces or manipulates us into anything we don’t want to, or don’t feel up to doing. When you see pain being inflicted, and the individual enjoying it, chances are, she’s faking it, getting paid for it or doesn’t have a choice.

4.You deserve better (than first date sex)

Speaking of real, lasting love, it doesn’t move from meeting to sex in a matter of hours. It is forged over time and comes with knowledge of the other person. Hormones, attraction, chemical and neuronal brain responses happen fast, but that’s not love. It’s chemical. One-night stands and first-date sex are a big part of pornography and porn culture. The thing is, lasting relationships rarely, if ever, start with sex. Porn wants you to believe otherwise, but porn has never been good at relationship advice or sex-ed. You are worth more, and so are others. Finding your value outside of sex (which the porn industry does not want you doing) will free you up to recognise positive relationship traits and give you the courage to run from harmful dynamics. Treat yourself well and expect others to do the same—in and out of the bedroom.

5.You don’t have to do that or wear that

If it’s cold outside, you feel like wearing jeans and a t-shirt, or you just don’t want to dress like a porn star, don’t! Someone else’s love, care, or concern for you should never be based on what you wear. The same is true for sex or other acts. Just because others are doing it, he wants it, or your best friend did it does not mean you need to. Porn teaches that girls like a whole lot of things they don’t. Peer pressure convinces us there’s only one way to keep friends and boyfriends. Contrary to both perspectives, you get to decide for you. It is always up to you, and when that is not honored, you have a right to fight back. This goes for physical and legal fighting back. If you have to say no more than once, or are being talked into something, you get to fight back. Even former porn stars talk about how they hated the acts they had to do. Remember, she’s probably making it look good, so she gets paid, or because she must. You don’t have to. People who truly love and care for you will never force you to do something you don’t want to do. Your sexuality is yours. Take charge of it and say no when you want to. You don’t owe anything to anyone sexually. And while you’re at it, wear what you love and what feels comfortable to you. You don’t need to sell yourself. You have value that can’t be changed by what you do or don’t wear or do.

6.Love yourself first

What a cliché. You’ve heard it, I’m sure. But what does it mean? I know I used to wonder, thinking, ‘What a stupid thing to say!’ Instead of clichés, let’s talk about how to start the road to loving yourself enough. First, say ‘no’ when you mean it. Then follow through. If a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, uneasy, or violated, you don’t have to stay in it. Next, stop believing you have to impress anyone or make them like you by watching porn, giving sex acts, or wearing specific clothing. Also, get the junk out of your life that is telling you how to live your sex life. Porn is not good educational or instructional material. It wasn’t meant to teach you to take care of yourself or your partner. Porn is there to make money, it’s that simple. Don’t believe what it tells you! You matter, have a deep, unchangeable worth as a human being, and you get to decide for you. Finally, stop believing the lies porn and porn-culture tell you. Strong, independent, courageous women who take care of themselves for themselves are needed and valued—you just may need to change who you spend your time with. Find good friends who build you up and encourage you to become your best self. It’s a life-long process to build these relationships, and you’ll always have new goals for yourself. Find the glimmer of self-love hiding deep inside you. You’re worth it.

7.Just because it’s a cartoon does not mean it isn’t causing damage

Let’s chat about Anime for a minute. In High School, I was so into it. So. Much. Anime. It started out light and flirty with teen drama and self-discovery. But it quickly took a turn into a dark abyss of Hentai and sex-based films. Now, I even look at harmless, ‘kid friendly’ series differently. Why are the young women (and little girls…) in tight, scanty, sexy clothing? Why are they all flirty or being lusted after by teen boys or older men? Why is it sexy to have a guy who just met her drooling with his eyes popped out of his head?

Anime teaches sex is power, sexuality is all that is needed for a relationship, and that intense drama makes the world more excited. These are lies, and contributing to the rape and porn culture we all live in. Anime is its own International sub-culture, full of tutorials, attire that can be seen in any public High School, and hairstyles all its own. On one hand, it is kind of cool how it has brought common interest and ground around the world. On the other hand, its messages are so sexually destructive. What a powerful force to combat when it comes to reclaiming sexuality and female empowerment. Having a guy drool over you openly the moment you meet him should be a little scary. Anime makes it sexy. Anime tells us to want, even crave that attention, without a foundation of trust, respect, or knowing more than first names. These beliefs will not lead you into healthy, lasting loving relationships of respect.

8.Sex does not mean love

This one kills me. So many believe sex means love. We stay in sexual relationships we don’t want to be sexual in, so we don’t lose the person. We give sex when we don’t want to because we don’t know how to really connect on a personal, emotional level. And many believe, if they are having sex, things must be good. Nothing could be further from the truth. If a real attraction and relationship built on respect, healthy boundaries, and built overtime exists, sex can be an amazing addition. This is especially true in a committed, monogamous relationship. Sex does not mean love, though. In fact, sex is just sex, like driving is just driving, and eating is just eating. Without the attachment we have, and the stories we tell ourselves, it can’t ever be more. You are worth so much more than meaningless, empty sex acts. So are those you engage them with. Porn won’t tell you that, but those who truly love you, will.

9.Curiosity does not equal addiction

A final thought based on questions I often receive about pornography, even Anime usage. ‘Does liking it, being curious about it, even using it regularly mean I’m addicted?’ No. Addiction runs so  much deeper than regular usage and curiosity. We’re sexual beings, and when we hear from friends about this great new series or cool show, we want to check it out. Addiction is different.

Addiction is compulsive, destructive, and comes with its own bag of worms. Being drawn to something does not make one addicted, it makes one normal. When the usage is negatively impacting relationships, taking priority over people and events you once enjoyed, or occupies more than the passing thought, that’s when it may have grown into an addiction. The very definition of addictions is continued usage or engagement despite negative consequences. These consequences can be relationship, job, health, and safety related. So, no, being curious, even occasional usage is not addiction. However, pornographic materials have been found to be highly addictive by their very nature, and I’ve yet to meet a woman whom has used pornography long-term and regularly who has not had negative impact in some area of her life. Not yet being addicted does not mean it isn’t harmful, especially if the messages are of your worth not existing beyond drooling men and sexy clothing.

 

 

Lacy is an Amazon International best-selling author, advocate for healthy sexuality in women and girls, and an educator on healthy sexual development. To contact her for more information on her ministry, an interview, or guest blog post, email Lacy@HerRecoveryRoadmap.com or visit her website at www.HerRecoveryRoadmap.com

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