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To Sam

Is saving porn illegal?

I am 13 and I have stored porn on my PC (not underage porn).

I want to know if this is against the law or not, as I see nothing talking about such, as my folder has become large and I don't know if I should keep it.

My parents are both okay with it being there, as they know I masturbate. But what about the law?

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Watching when you’re under 18 isn’t against the law, but not all porn is legal. The laws around porn can be complicated. There are different parts of the law that talk about what kind of porn's allowed, who's allowed to make porn and who it can be sold to.

While it’s legal to watch or save porn if you’re under 18, it’s illegal for you to sell it or share it with anyone else. It can help to think about what age other things are legal. For example, it's illegal to sell someone a movie or computer game that has an 18 rated certificate if they're under that age, but it's not illegal for someone to own  or watch it. If the content of the porn isn't illegal then there are no laws around you saving it for yourself.

Porn's made for adults and sometimes it might seem confusing or make you feel upset or uncomfortable. Most porn isn't very realistic and it doesn't mean sex is or has to be like that in real life. It's important to think about whether the porn you are watching is affecting how you think about people you're attracted to and how you treat them.

There's nothing wrong with masturbating and if you feel okay with watching porn as part of that, then that's okay. It's important to make that choice knowing the risks of porn and how it affects you. If you feel you’re watching and saving too much porn then we have advice on how to cope with addiction.

If you’re worried about watching porn or feel like you’re becoming addicted our Childline counsellors are always here for you.

I hope my letter has helped, thanks for writing.

Take care,

Sam

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