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To Sam

Porn has changed my views for the worse

Hi sam,

I know I shouldn't have, but I've watched a fair bit of porn in these past couple years. I know that men and women play an equal role in sex. But, now I've seen so many men dominate the women in videos and I feel like that's the reality of sex. And, I feel like I should live up to the bodys and parts of the female porn stars, although I also know that their job is to look good and they've probably had procedures to look that way. Also, I feel like boys will expect me to be amazing (with sex and how I look) because they have seen porn at a young age and now have their own expectations too.

Basically, I know porn is not realistic but I've seen it so much that I have unrealistic expectations and I don't know anymore.

Thanks

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Sam

Hi there,

Watching porn can give you an unrealistic view of relationships and how bodies look. It can be hard to work out what’s healthy and unhealthy in sexual relationships when you’ve seen images which show sex in a certain way.

Changing a porn habit can be hard, but there are ways to get out of the cycle.

Porn isn’t real life and doesn’t show sex and relationships as they really are. It’s made for adults and it’s illegal to watch or share some types of porn. This includes any that features someone under the age of 18.

There are stereotypes in some kinds of porn, such as men dominating women. This can make it seem as if this is what things are supposed to be like and give an unrealistic view about sex and consent.

In a healthy relationship, all decisions should be agreed. When you have sex, both people should fully consent. Forcing someone to have sex is rape. It’s illegal and it’s wrong for anyone to behave in that way.

Videos that show someone being pressured or forced to have sex can be confusing and upsetting. If you’ve seen anything that’s made you feel upset or disgusted, or if someone’s forced you to watch porn, it’s important to tell an adult you trust. If you’re worried about porn you’ve seen online and think it might be illegal, you can make a report to the IWF.

If you feel like the porn you’ve seen is having a negative effect on you, it might be time to change what you’re watching.

It can be difficult to stop if porn has become a habit. Some people find that stopping altogether at once works best. Others find it easier to change gradually – watching less porn each day, or different kinds of porn that have a less harmful or unsettling effect on you. You’ll need to find what works best for you.

You can sometimes have mixed feelings about what you’ve seen when you watch porn. You might feel uncomfortable, excited or aroused. Whatever you’re feeling, there’s help and support if you need it. Remember, you can always talk to a counsellor at Childline about what you’ve seen and how it’s made you feel.

Thank you for your letter.

Take care,

Sam

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