Kristen Jan Heimuli
Picture this: your significant other comes to pick you up for a romantic date. It’s obvious they took forever to look good just for you. You can see enthusiasm all over their face when they get to your front door. Meanwhile, all you can think about is how they don’t compare with the digitally touched up, airbrushed, enhanced, images you were checking out on your computer earlier. Not to mention, you already know your partner isn’t about to do any of the stuff you watched couples do in those sexually explicit videos.
Why? Because that stuff is not REAL.
And now that you’ve found yourself comparing a real person to a whole lot of fake ones, that person you really do care about, who you are really attracted to, isn’t going to give you much of a rush. But once upon a time, that special someone gave you a different kind of feeling that you can’t get from your smartphone.
So let’s stop sugarcoating what is perhaps the most prevalent problem in our society. It’s time to stop acting like it’s healthy, cool, natural, ordinary, satisfying. Let’s face it-this issue is not just “boys being boys”. It’s time we get REAL about pornography.
It’s nothing new that sex has a tendency to sell all sorts of things-clothes, hamburgers, alcohol, shoes. You name it- sex can probably find a way to sell it.
But sex has a whole other dimension of business: sex sells people.
So in an effort to maximize profits, the media often fail to portray the facts about pornography. And using this powerful and dangerous drug as bait, they go right to their target audience: young people. Porn is an addiction more powerful than drugs, and it’s cheaper and more accessible too. If porn can hook you before you fully understand its fatal effects, the porn industry might have a client for life.
In fact, the largest consumer of Internet pornography is between the ages of 12-17. Ninety percent of children ages 8-16 have been exposed to pornography, often by accident, typically while doing homework on the computer. And don’t think it’s a total accident because that’s strategically how they hope to get you.
Eighty percent of 15-17 year olds are repeatedly exposed to hardcore pornography, and at this point the exposure is typically by their own choice. The tragedy of pornography targeting youth is that it often continues into adulthood as an obsessive addiction.
Pornography is not an issue we can afford to take lightly. It is essential for individuals of all ages to understand the negative impact pornography has on our brains and relationships.
Many porn users are unable to actually engage in real sex with a real partner because real people do not live up to the user’s unachievable sexual fantasies. Porn promotes infidelity, rape, sexual violence, prostitution, and the objectification of women and children.
It distorts users’ reality about love, sex, and relationships. It leaves viewers literally desensitized until they become bored enough to seek new and more perverse forms of pornography. This addictive cycle often encourages users to “act out” the fake sexual violence they see on real people.
It is also worth noting that child-sex offenders are more likely to view pornography regularly or to be involved in its distribution. Yikes!
Bottom line: The consequences of pornography are anything but fantasy, for both the user and the used.
So what is being done to combat this immense social problem?
A non-profit organization based in Salt Lake City, Utah called “Fight the New Drug” is actually doing a lot on this issue. Their mission is “to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects through science, facts, and personal accounts.” Currently on their Facebook page and their official website they display a motto that states: “We will not rest until the world knows pornography is harmful.”
Similar to how the well-known D.A.R.E. program taught kids throughout the U.S. about the harmful effects of illicit drugs, Fight the New Drug is committed to educating individuals everywhere about the dangers pornography inevitably brings to its users. Anyone, anywhere can join the Fight against pornography by becoming involved with Fight the New Drug’s social media, sporting their slick merchandise, or participating in events to raise awareness about pornography. Along with Fight the New Drug and other individuals devoted to overcoming this trend, let’s share the facts on pornography and expose it for what it truly is: a huge deception.
Why spend all your time and energy with an airbrushed, cropped, digitally altered, unrealistic façade when you could be having a satisfying, romantic, and loyal relationship with a real person… that real person who you really want to love?
Let’s keep love REAL, y’all. Say “no” to porn. And then spread the word so others will be empowered to say it too.