Online porn

This page is for ages 12+. Some of the language and types of things explained aren't appropriate for younger children.

It’s normal to be curious about porn or wonder what it is. You might feel lots of ways about it, from aroused to disgusted. However you’re feeling, we’ve got information to help.

What is porn?

Pornography is a video, story or picture that’s been designed to make someone feel aroused. All porn is a fantasy, which means that it can be very different from real life.

Lots of people watch porn, which is okay. But it’s also okay if you don’t want to watch it, or if you’re not sure. It’s important to remember that porn is made for adults.

However you feel, we’re here to help.

5 things to remember about porn:

  1. it's okay to be curious or aroused by porn, nudity and sex
  2. porn is not the same as reality
  3. some types of porn are illegal
  4. nobody is allowed to pressure you to watch porn
  5. if you're worried about anything, we're here to help.

facts about porn

Sharing porn

There are a lot of reasons you might want to share porn. You might want to watch porn with a boyfriend or girlfriend, trade porn or share porn with a friend as a joke.

Before you share anything, it’s important to think about:

  • What the other person wants

Don’t send any sexual images or messages unless the other person has said it’s okay. And don’t pressure people to do anything sexual they’re not comfortable with. Find out more about consent

  • What you’re sending

When you send a nude or link you lose control of it. That means someone else can tell anyone what you’ve sent or share it with other people

  • How old you and other people are

Sharing porn with anyone under 18 is illegal, even if you’re under 18 as well or you’re sending a nude of yourself. If you’ve already shared something and you’re worried, try talking to a Childline counsellor for support

  • What might happen in the future

Relationships can change over time. Even when you feel safe sharing porn or images now, that can change in the future.

Staying safe if you watch porn

There are lots of sites with pornography that can be dangerous to visit. But there are ways that you can keep yourself safe online:

  • Be aware of scams and pop-ups 
    Some pop-ups and adverts may try to convince you to share personal details or threaten you. You should never respond to these, give money or share any personal information.
  • Don’t download files from pornography websites
    Downloading a file or video may allow the website to download a virus or malware. Some websites may also download malware in the background so it’s important to keep your device and anti-virus up to date.
  • Ignore links that you don’t trust
    If someone sends you a link that you don’t trust, don’t click it. Clicking links you don’t know means you might download a virus, or see something upsetting or illegal.

You can talk to us

Our counsellors are here to support you. Call free on 0800 1111 or try a 
1-2-1 chat online.

Is it okay to masturbate?

No matter what your gender is, there’s nothing wrong with masturbating. And people can start masturbating at any age.

Masturbation is when you touch your genitals or other parts of your body to become sexually aroused. There’s no right or wrong way to masturbate and everyone is different.

People might masturbate when they’re on their own, or with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Not everyone is comfortable with masturbation, and nobody has the right to pressure you to do something you don’t want to do.

Find out more about masturbation and sex.

Revenge porn

Revenge porn is when someone shares a sexual video or photo of you without your consent. It’s illegal for someone to do this, and there are ways to get support. If someone’s threatening you or has shared an image or photo of you online, there are things you can do:

  • Report it

You can report what's happened to the website it was posted on. If you’re over 18 you can get support from the Revenge Porn Helpline. Take screenshots of anything you’re sent as evidence.

  • Don’t respond to messages or comments

It can be natural to panic when you see something posted about you or someone threatens you. But don’t respond to threatening messages or comments.

  • Talk about it

It might be scary talking about what’s happening, but you’ve not done anything wrong. If you can’t talk to an adult you trust, try talking to a Childline counsellor.

  • Take a break

Let your feelings out with the Art Box, do something you enjoy or take a walk.