First blog post

Hello everybody! This is Sarah from Feminists Opposed to Pornography. I wanted to make a blog for my personal life, as it is pretty busy and can get overwhelming. I wanted to tell you all a little bit more about myself. I am 22 years old and live in New England. I am a senior in college and will get my Bachelor’s in Psychology in May. In June I start my online degree program for my Master’s in Psychology, I’m not sure of the concentration yet. I’ve been with my loving partner, G, for almost two years and even though it’s hard sometimes I’m overall extremely happy. I work as a DSP for people with disabilities and it is a stressful job but is personally very rewarding. 

Growing up, I was bullied a lot and did not have great personable skills so I was withdrawn. I’m slowly learning to express myself but it isn’t always easy. Much of my stressors in life come from my education, work, family, relationship, and my desire to branch out and achieve my future.


Love & Forgiveness

Hi guys! Sorry I haven’t been posting much, I’ve been busy with school and my new job! 

We all know how difficult it is to forgive people when they’ve caused us pain, and how easy it is to relieve the past. My advice is forgive, but don’t forget. I’m finally starting to learn that myself. You don’t have to forget when someone hurt you, but you don’t have to punish them repeatedly for what they did wrong. For a long time I would relive the pain I felt when I found out Shawn was looking at pornography, and I would continue to remind him. It made him feel horrible and guilty, and contributed sometimes to him slipping up. It is okay to discuss if something is bothering you but you can’t let it become everything to you.

I was going through my phone clearing out some stuff to make more room, and I read over the text messages that we sent to one another back in October when he had another porn binge. What hurt me more was the fact that he lied; not that he slipped up. Obviously I was upset that he slipped up, but it rocked my trust for him because he told me he had been doing well and he didn’t. Overtime I realized this was causing my anxiety because it caused me to not know whether I could believe him when he said he was trying. In turn this made Shawn feel that him trying was not good enough and he would get frustrated. It led to slip ups because he felt if I was going to be angry towards him why bother trying?

Many of you can relate to this experience: whether it’s porn, an argument over another person or just usual stress, we let our anger prohibit us from forgiving someone that hurt us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, but rather letting the person know we aren’t angry anymore and on some level can understand. That also means that when you forgive someone that you allow them the chance to earn your trust.  Shawn has been porn free for 8 months now and I believe in him. He has worked hard to regain my trust, but I’m also trying hard to show him I trust him. 

A lot of times when we get angry we want to police the person who harmed us and prevent them from hurting us again, but all that does is prevent the person from gaining the tools they need to break free from their addictions. Shawn is 8 months porn free and 3 years drug free. When you set your mind to something and have support you can do anything! 

I would say I think about Shawn’s experience with porn somewhat frequently, but I don’t let it define us or our relationship.  You can’t focus on the bad, especially when the person is good. 

Love is all about kindness and forgiveness, and acknowledging some things are better left to God. I pray for myself and Shawn when we go to church on Sundays. I pray he continues to progress and be honest with me. In turn, he respects me and my boundaries. In the beginning I think because of how I reacted it made him respect my views less. Some notes on how he’s improved:

  • He tries not to click on news stories that can be triggering.
  • If he is interested in a story about a celebrity and there’s a chance of nudity he does not go searching for it all over.
  • He encourages me to express myself and validates my feelings.
  • He tries to respect my request for nothing too hardcore in movies.
  • He doesn’t make me feel inadequate to other women and doesn’t comment if anyone asks his opinion on women.
  • He hasn’t viewed a porn site in 8 months.

As you can see, Shawn has improved a lot and made efforts to respect our relationship together and with God. I want to marry someone completely devoted to me, not slutty Internet/stripper women. God says that lusting with the mind is adultery of the heart. He used to brush me off when I explained my feelings. We’ve learned it’s an issue we’ll agree to disagree on: he will do his best with porn, and I will try not to bring it up a lot.

An Open Letter to Shawn

I wanted to write an open letter to Shawn as part of my own self-healing and therapy. I wanted to share it with you all in order to help those of you who are healing in one way or another. Open letters are a great way of healing and I recommend it if you want to get something of your chest and help others.

Dear Shawn,

Hello baby, how are you? I’m writing you another letter because I want to express my  feelings to you in the best way I know how. These past two years have been the best in my life and I’m so beyond happy with you. I knew from the moment I met you that I would love you forever. 

I know my moods aren’t always stable, but I’m trying hard. I’ve had a lot of shit thrown at me and I’m trying my best to not totally shut down. I’m trying my best to be strong. I know someday I will be where I want to be. You’re the best thing that’s happened to me and I don’t want to push you away. 

I am recovering over time, but I still have some trauma due to pornography. I know you do your best to understand me and why it hurts me, but I know you still don’t think it’s as big of a deal as I do, and deep down it bothers me. There’s been many nights where I’ve cried myself to sleep when I saw that you looked at porn. My heart was broken many times when I’d ask how you were doing and you said you were doing great; I’d think it was a lie but I wanted to trust you. When I’d find out you lied about how you were doing it hurt so badly. Not even so much about the porn, but because you felt you couldn’t be honest with me. I’m sorry that I made you feel you couldn’t be honest with me, I shouldn’t have freaked out at you. 

I remember that one time I saw that you had looked up “world’s most beautiful women,” and that crushed me because I thought I was the most beautiful woman in the world to you. It made me feel so self conscious. I still can recall all the searches I’ve seen and images of women with better bodies and faces than me in my mind. It made me cry so many times and it’s why I wouldn’t face you because I didn’t want you to see me crying. 

It hurt me because I’d never do that to you. I wouldn’t look up the sexiest/hottest guys because I know that would hurt you, and I wouldn’t look at porn because I don’t wanna see anybody naked but you. And maybe it’s because I lost my virginity to you, but I don’t wanna see naked women/men besides you, because it makes me feel less faithful to you. 

It makes me happy when your dad/brothers/friends ask you if you think someone is hot and you say you only think I am. The other day when we watched “The Trailer Park Boys Movie,” seeing women naked bothered me but I didn’t want to upset you. I remember that dumb movie your dad showed us with the princess who allowed the secret agent to do anal sex with her for rescuing her. Men think it’s funny but it just makes women feel insecure. Men will always look at a naked woman even if she’s ugly. It’s what I tell myself to feel better. I’ll admit it even bothered me when our friend showed you that picture of his girlfriend’s bum after he slapped it. I know I look better than her and have a better body, but it made me feel uncomfortable for me and for her because I know I wouldn’t want you showing pictures of me to other people. When people have shown me pictures of naked men I looked away because it felt wrong to me. 

I’ll admit even now that I still worry sometimes if you kept your promise. I’m not as anxious about it, I’d say once a week or so I think about it. I just recall all the times I’ve cried and wanted to just kill myself with alcohol/pills because of how painful it felt. People may think it’s crazy but that’s how painful it feels. When you love somebody so much that you don’t feel the need to look at anyone else naked or check out strangers walking, it hurts when your partner does. 

I worry if you get bored sometimes and check out websites you used to check out. I recall our conversations when you’d ask me if I knew porn wasn’t cheating and that it wasn’t a big deal because there’s worse things that could be done, but it is something that personally makes me feel uncomfortable and I’m sorry. I’m sorry I only realized this when I got together with you, I didn’t know that I would have this sort of reaction or be this clingy. I just love you and want to be everything you want and need, and I’ll admit I’m just insecure because I worry that someone else will grab your attention and be special. 

I’m proud of you and continue to pray for you. I pray when we’re at church that we’ll become stronger as a couple and that we will continue moving forward on a pure path. I am sorry that I still talk about this, I just am trying my best to recover and I think pouring all my feelings out to you will help me. I pray I will continue to feel better about myself and to know that you won’t leave me or get bored of me. I’m just scared because we live in a world where it’s so easy to meet people and I know that realistically there are many people out there good for us, and I worry about mistakes I make that would cause you to want to leave me. 

I just stress out because I’m not used to being in a relationship and all these feelings are new to me. I’m not used to feeling jealous or insecure or caring about my appearance. I just want you to know through everything that I love you and I’m sorry for anything I do wrong that upsets you, I just do my best to keep you happy and I just enjoy your company. I love you baby. ❤️

Small Circle

There once was a little girl who more than anything else to have real friends, be popular and be successful at everything she tried. But she didn’t have real friends, wasn’t popular and wasn’t good at many things. To make matters worse, in an attempt to make things better, her family made things worse. They made her invite people she barely knew to birthday parties so she could make friends, but it backfired. People began calling her a freak and a loser, and no one wanted to be her friend now.

She would write journals articulating her feelings about certain people who bullied her at school, and they found the journal and bullied her more. There were times where for most of the school year she would sit alone, hoping to not have to deal with anymore mean people. Her family would inquire as to why she didn’t have many friends but she didn’t know what to say.

Soon she met a boy and fell in love. The boy was her polar opposite. They were like fire and water. But they completed one another. Sometimes the boy would say hurtful things when he was angry and he would apologize. The girl didn’t want to do anything to upset the boy, and tried her best to not do anything she knew would upset the boy. She just wanted to please the boy and wanted him to love her. She didn’t mean any harm and didn’t mean to upset him. 

Slowly but surely the girl slipped into the darkness, unsure of where she was going and if she would find her way out. She wanted someone to save her and to understand her. She wanted someone to make her feel like her life mattered. Because of the boy’s love, she felt like she mattered. But when she upset the boy, it made her feel like she didn’t matter. 

The girl always felt like an ugly duckling among beautiful swans. She was always insecure and whenever she would make progress on being more secure it would shatter into millions of pieces. Whether it was porn, more beautiful women or bullies, many things caused her self esteem to decay. Porn ruined how she saw herself sexually and made her want to have sex all the time in order to feel that she serves a purpose and is better than a porn star. More beautiful women caused her to not feel so beautiful, especially when she knew that people found them attractive over her. And bullies caused her to become soft and quiet, and made her avoid confrontation.

It’s not the boy’s fault the girl is how she is. But her insecurities along with the boy not initially understanding the insecurities caused the girl to be hypersensitive and scared. The girl is scared that if she’s not intimate with the boy then he won’t be happy and it could trigger him to feed into his porn addiction. The girl is scared that if the boy sees a provocative woman or a naked woman on television that it will trigger him. The girl is most of all scared that deep down, she’s undeserving of the boy. That there are more beautiful women who are laid back and would allow the boy to spread his wings and fly away. The girl is uptight and wants the boy to always stay at her, so her wings can open and she can fly away.

The girl lives at home and sometimes cries herself to sleep. She hates being controlled by her family. She hates struggling to find a job. She hates not feeling good enough for anybody. She feels like she is being fed on by the darkness. She knows it’s ultimately her job to save herself but she wants the boy to help her. 

She panics so much about minute things because of how much she’s been hurt and how she’s always had to do what everyone else wanted. She wants people to do what she wants. She’s scared that the boy will start getting bored and will be triggered to look at naked women. Even if it’s a childhood habit that has nothing to do with her, she hates it. She hates seeing breasts because she knows it will catch the boy’s attention. She wishes that the world was more wholesome so that way the boy and the rest of the world wouldn’t struggle with pornography. She is hypersensitive about intimacy because it’s been ingrained in her for so long that men should have sex daily and that porn means you aren’t taking care of his needs. Because if a guy is getting plenty of sex he shouldn’t even have to think about sex/porn, right?

The girl is afraid that she will let the boy down and that he will realize that she’s weak and that he will slowly pull away from her. Small circles give us hope, but most of the world is dark and gloomy. Most of the world doesn’t care about your feelings and is quick to throw people out who are different. People don’t try to understand insecurities and throw shade at them when a person has the right to feel upset by something. The girl is submerged in darkness and isn’t sure if she can keep going. She wishes that she could stop being a disappointment and that people would be nice to her. People don’t realize that their actions constantly nudge her in the battle of to be or not to be. 

The night caused her to fall asleep in a restless slumber. But she should be happy because she has a job, family, a boyfriend, school and a future. But she’s plagued by fears, triggers and feelings of inferiority. She wants to give up and throw in the towel. But is that the right move?

Shawn and I’s Progress at 7 Months

June 5 was 7 months since Shawn decided to work harder at avoiding pornography, and I wanted to share some of the progress with my readers to inspire them and show them it gets better. I hope sharing my whole story can help any female out there going through the same thing, or any male who wants to change.

About a year and a half ago, I realized that Shawn was still looking at pornography in our relationship, and it hurt me even though I told him it wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t think it was a big deal until I actually saw it in front of my face. I used to get upset because I would wonder what I did wrong to cause him to look at porn. Was it because I wasn’t sexually attractive to him? Was I not having sex with him enough? Did he need pictures of me? What baffled me more was the fact that he wasn’t even masturbating to them, it was just a mental drive he had to seek the imagery out. I begun trying to talk to him about how it made me feel, and he would get angry/defensive and would tell me it was a natural male thing to do, and that it had nothing to do with me. It caused a vicious cycle within myself. I would cry myself to sleep a lot and I became obsessive with sex-I thought if I always had sex with him that it would make him not wanna look at other naked women. It caused us to fight sometimes because I would get upset if he didn’t want to have sex at a given moment.

About 6 months into our relationship Shawn promised me he wouldn’t look at porn anymore after I got on my knees and cried, saying how it hurt me but if it made him happy he could look at it. I thought things were better, but something in my mind told me it wasn’t. I’d snoop through his phone and would catch him looking at it sometimes, and it led to us arguing and him saying he slipped up. The cycle continued on and off for about a year. I would get nervous if he was home alone and bored, because I was afraid he would look at porn. I would get upset in public if there was an attractive woman because I was scared it would trigger him. One day I had a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I snooped through his phone for the first time in months and saw PornHub in his history. We had discussed a female celebrity and it was a trigger to him to look at porn. It upset me because he had promised me before that if he felt triggered he’d tell me. It caused problems and I felt insecure and stupid. I trusted him and he lied to me.

You may be assuming I’m some fat, ugly and insecure female, but I’m not. Well, maybe a little insecure, but not fat or ugly. I’m beautiful, curvy and Shawn reminds me everyday that he finds me sexy. Why I was so angry about porn was because it affects our sex life. I can always tell when something is wrong with our sex life. When he couldn’t get/stay hard for 2-3 days in a row or couldn’t finish, I would snoop through his phone and either found the history clear or a bunch of porn! So whenever there was this 2-3 day pattern I would snoop, and I was right every time!

This is when he informed me that he couldn’t stay clean from porn for more than 3 months, even though he was trying. He cried, hugged me and told me he was sorry for hurting me again. I told him it would be okay, to just be honest next time and that we would get through it together. I believed in him and could tell he was genuinely sorry. He said from the time he was 10 until he got with me at 20 that he had a routine with porn and that it was hard to break free completely.

That is when I started writing this blog, back in November. Shawn encouraged me to blog about my feelings. He reads every blog post I write so I poured my feelings out. He begun telling me about how his art class at school had some nude artwork and it didn’t trigger him, I felt so proud of him. One day we were browsing a website with funny pictures when I saw that there were porn ads in the bottom, but I didn’t say anything because I felt he was doing great, why bother ruining it? But then that old 2-3 days pattern occurred so I felt I had no choice. I tried discussing my feelings beforehand but he deleted his history and said “I wish I could show you my history but I cleared it earlier today,” when I just saw him do it. I managed to catch him though when I saw inappropriate Google searches in his Google activity. He broke down more so than I had ever seen him. He held me and cried again, and told me he was sorry. He saw how happy I was and that he didn’t want to upset me by saying that he had failed again. I didn’t get upset this time and we talked about it. I realized that a lot of his triggers were not what I thought they were. His triggers are stress and boredom, and knowing I hated porn stressed him out. It caused a cycle where he would try hard and fail, get nervous to tell me, would feel guilty, and our sex life got affected.

After that last breakdown was when things started getting better. Since that day, Shawn hasn’t gone on that website with the porn ads. Neither of us have had social media in a year and a half. He limits his internet activity, and mainly reads the news on his news app. He’s even been honest with me if he’s seen a story that would cause him to be triggered and he actually hasn’t felt triggered in awhile because he genuinely cares and wants to get better. A few months ago when there was a story about a nude celebrity, although he had a slip he was honest when I asked him, and it didn’t cause him to have a porn binge. I was very proud of him. In the 7 months since that breakdown and decision to change, we haven’t had any issues with our sex life and he has become more comfortable opening up to me about things that are triggering to him. I understand now his triggers are mostly boredom, and he is shifting his boredom to more appropriate things. If there is a story that he knows there may be a chance nudity may be featured, he avoids it. I know that there may be slips in the future but I am happy he is doing well and is trying his best for me. That is all I want. I don’t expect perfection, I do expect honest and putting his best foot forward. I want him to feel he can discuss things with me.

I hope our story can help other people going through this and if you want to hear more, comment below.