Photo Courtesy of Fight the New Drug
Pornography intruded my highly protected mind at the age of 12 when I moved to Los Angeles. Coming from a extremely conservative Christian family, sex was not a topic we really discussed, except to say that you are not supposed to have it until marriage.
One evening, some of my new friends decided to turn on dirty videos. They saw how uncomfortable it made me and laughed at how I blushed, calling me frigid and a prude. I was embarrassed at my inexperience, and even though I wanted to hide from what I was seeing, I watched it anyway to show them I was cool enough to handle it. The next day, I felt different somehow, but I brushed it off.
As time went on, I continued to experiment with porn. Going through my awkward early teens, I wanted to know what would make boys want me at a time when I felt so unwanted by the opposite sex.
But I began to see men differently. I believed porn was the definition of male desire. I started to think that all men would treat me like an object whose only worth was good looks and sexual satiation. I saw how they devalued women, and I began to hate them for it. As a young woman, I saw how men looked at me, and I imagined pornographic scenes playing in their minds. I never felt safe, and I always felt angry.
I didn’t make the connection that porn was the reason I hated men until I turned 16. I realized porn is not experimentation. Porn is not “normal” or a “healthy way of exploring sexuality.” Pornography is an industry that profits from the exploitation of women and men. I saw every man as a predator looking to hurt and take advantage of me because that was what the industry considered “sexy.”
I figured out that learning about sexuality from pornography is like learning about love from romance movies. It’s not real. It’s a fantasy — a cheap substitution for what we’re all really looking for: intimacy. It took me years to rewire the way I thought about men, love and sex, but as time went on and I met incredible men who broke my stereotype of them, I began to heal.
After turning away from pornography, I realized I wanted to do more than stop participating in it. I wanted to fight it. I began to research a nonprofit started by four college students called Fight the New Drug.
These people saw the effects that porn had on their lives and on the lives of their friends, and decided to create a research-based web source that educated people on the true and sinister nature of pornography. Joining the thousands of people around the world standing for the sacredness of love and the value of human beings, I finally feel like I am doing something that could maybe save someone from having to go through what I did in their search for sexuality.
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