Actions speak louder than words. This is something my mother always told me as a child, and it is something I firmly believe in. I haven’t posted on this blog in awhile, but wanted to post some of my feelings that I’ve had that resulted from my anti-pornography research and some discouraging comments I’ve received over the last few weeks.
I’ve inserted a video clip from Dr. Phil that really hit home with me and gave me a powerful reaction. It really resonated with me because this is how I felt when I found my partner was watching porn. People always assume that if you don’t like porn that you’re prude, ugly, fat, insecure. I believe that the woman in this clip is beautiful (many people even commented: “With a wife like that why is he watching porn?”) What is more baffling to me is that people ganged up on the wife saying her husband watched porn because she didn’t put out, but people didn’t realize that maybe she isn’t putting out because her husband makes her feel lousy about herself because of his anger and porn use. This really resonates with the idea that actions speak louder than words. Many times, the porn watcher in the relationship believes that watching porn is okay because they remind their partner that they are attractive and that they are loved. But for someone who is firmly against porn, this doesn’t make them feel better. They feel that if they’re so sexy, beautiful, gorgeous and a great lover, why is their partner looking at other naked women having sex? That is how I felt when my partner looked at porn regularly. It greatly affected my self -esteem and fueled my depression. If you saw me, you wouldn’t understand why I’d feel insecure. I’m curvy, have a lovely smile and I please my man thouroughly. There would be lots of times where I went to bed crying and telling myself that there’s no way I am truly beautiful and capable of solely capturing his attention. Porn addictions spiral from the classic porn videos/pictures to social media pages, everyday television choices, and into more extreme choices of porn (e.g., barely legal, bestiality, snuff, rape, etc.,) Many times men don’t notice that their choices of porn are becoming more extreme and that it is hurtful to their partner.
Jessica is a preacher’s daughter and was raped at a young age, and this led her to assume a porn career. She used porn and drugs to cope with the trauma that her rape caused her, and she wanted to feel like she could have control over her sexuality. She deeply regretted her porn career, and is dismayed that when she goes out that men recognize her. She revealed she tried committing suicide several times by taking pills and drinking almost every day. Once she quit the industry, she got her family and friends back, and made a healthy life for herself. Jessica reminds us that many of the women who join the porn industry do so in cases of sexual abuse, drug abuse, and/or being coerced by someone. Young women are especially vulnerable: 18-21 year old women are the most vulnerable category because they’re so young and do not have much life experience. Jessica’s rape at 21 caused her to want to focus on recapturing her own sexuality, and she didn’t think of her future. She will likely have trouble finding a professional job, a husband (she wants to have a husband and children), and she has lots of therapy ahead of her to learn to cope with the traumas of her rape and her time in the porn industry.
Randy Spears, also known as Greg Ory, moved to California in the 1980s to find work as an actor. When the infamous writers’ strike occurred, Greg couldn’t find work until a woman offered him money to do some nude work. Greg would go on to become the greatest, decorated male porn star of all-time. Following his retirement in 2015, Greg had an interview that revealed that he stayed in porn for a long time because of the vicious cycle that is involved with the adult film industry. “I had to go to work, to do the porn, so that I could buy the drugs, to bury the pain of doing the porn. So I’d go to work, and do the porn, so I could buy the drugs, to bury the pain. And around and around it went.” He also felt that he lost the ability to have a loving and caring relationship with a woman because porn caused him to see women as sex objects. Many times men don’t realize that they are sexualizing women unnecessarily. It is interesting to read about Mr. Spears’s experience in the porn industry, because many times the male porn actors have a more positive view of the industry. But Randy shows us that many times the actors become so immersed in their work and appear happy because of agents and the fact that they can’t find normal, civilian work. Porn is all acting: even Sasha Grey has stated she wouldn’t want to date a man who treated her like how she was treated when she did porn.
The final video I want to share with you is more of a happy ending for a young man who watched porn since he was 10. Until he met his future wife, his computer broke around Valentine’s Day every year. When he got married he thought his addiction was behind him, he clicked on a porn site and his addiction started up again. For the first year of his marriage, he’d go about 2 months porn free then he’d relapse, and this happened many times throughout this first year. His wife told him that his porn habit would eventually end their marriage. He would achieve his goal of going without porn and then he’d stop fighting. As he said in the video, the fight doesn’t stop when you get married. The fight against porn must continue everyday. He said his wife noticed a difference in him, and this resonates with me because I noticed a difference in my partner when he watched porn. I could sense he felt guilty about something, sometimes he would take his phone with him (I used to look through his phone trying to catch him and he knew this), and it affected our sex life. There would be times when we would be having sex when he couldn’t get hard consecutively (a few days in a row) or he couldn’t come a few days in a row. This used to hurt me so badly, because I knew that it was because of porn. Since G has been almost 6 months porn free (May 5 will be 6 months, his longest period of being porn free yet!), we haven’t had those problems.
I don’t think that porn will ever be 100% eradicated due to the pornified culture we are living in, with celebrities like Kim Kardashian profiting off of it, and the fact that young girls that are freshly 18 are being recruited by men (such as in Hot Girls Wanted) because they grew up with porn! Millennials are the children of the porn generation, and many people feel porn looks fun, is an easy way to get money quickly, and that there are no consequences (For every Sasha Grey, there are thousands and thousands of women with short lived careers). For those who are successful with porn and rake in millions of dollars, they have no regrets because they made money and did not have to deal with the consequences of their actions directly. For women like Jessica and others who have short-lived careers, the assimilation into civilian society is not easy. If you try to find a job, all a potential employer has to do is Google your name and they can see your private parts. Many times retired porn actresses have trouble finding a partner that is not in porn. Many of them are abused in the industry and coerced into going out of their comfort zone because its “normal”. A lot of porn actors are estranged from their family and friends because of their career. People look at you as an object and not someone worthy of respect, because you didn’t conduct yourself that way. Most porn actors fall into Jessica’s category rather than Sasha Grey’s. Porn damages relationships when one partner is hurt by the other partner’s porn use. If you and your partner both enjoy porn, that is wonderful and more power to you. But there are people out there, like me, who are hurt when their partner looks at porn. We want our partners to love our bodies and just our bodies, to pleasure themselves with our bodies and just our bodies. We know that you cannot unsee what has been seen due to porn, but we want to help people who have been hurt due to porn rebuild relationships.