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Is Porn Bad For You?

Understand the risks of pornography.

Pornography (or porn, for short) is all over the internet and social media. It’s likely you’ll have seen sexually explicit images or videos at some point, whether you wanted to or not. It’s normal to be curious about pornography but it’s important to understand the risks of watching online porn.

Why Do Teens Watch Porn?

A 2020 report by the British Board of Film Classification* found that most teenagers watch porn to learn “what to do” and “how to behave” during sex. Other reasons can include:

  • Curiosity
  • For sexual arousal
  • For a laugh
  • Peer pressure

Pornographic images or videos are often shared on group chats and through messaging services. Sometimes, you can be sent images that make you feel uncomfortable or upset. This is never OK. If this has happened to you, talk to an adult you trust and report/block the user who sent it to you. 

Someone Has Shared A Nude Photo Of Me

If you’re under 18 and a nude image or video of you has been shared online, you can report it to be removed from the internet. Childline have launched a new tool called Report Remove to help you remove nude images of yourself from the internet. Click here to make a report: https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/remove-nude-image-shared-online/

For more advice around sending nudes, click here.

What Are The Risks Of Watching Porn?

There are many risks of watching porn online. One of the biggest problems is that pornography creates a completely unrealistic attitude towards sex. Violent or aggressive sexual scenes can distort a person’s view on what sex is about. This can lead to problems with sexual violence, sexism and negative attitudes towards future sexual partners.

Another risk is that you might see something you don’t feel comfortable with. There are many disturbing images and videos in circulation that could make you feel upset. It’s very easy to stumble across something you don’t want to see when you’re looking at porn online.

Porn creates unrealistic expectations, especially around sexual performance and body image. Many people feel bad about their own body when they see how people look in porn videos. Many also worry about how they measure up to a porn star’s performance. It’s important to remember that porn is exaggerated and is not a realistic portrayal of sex.

Watching porn can become a habit that can sometimes develop into an addiction. It can be very easy to become hooked on porn, which can affect your social life, relationships and quality of life.

Am I Addicted To Porn?

An addiction in when you feel a strong compulsion to do something and cannot stop. Signs you may be addicted to porn include:

  • You can’t stop watching porn, even though you want to.
  • You lose large periods of time to watching porn.
  • You feel unsatisfied with ‘normal’ sex.
  • Pornography is affecting your relationship.
  • You take risks to watch porn, such as doing it at work or on public transport.

If you’re worried you might have a porn addiction and want to get help to stop, make an appointment with your GP or call Childline on 0800 11 11.

*Report: https://www.revealingreality.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/BBFC-Young-people-and-pornography-Final-report-2401.pdf

Curated by

Sian Dolan
Sian Dolan is a content writer for Hidden Strength with a background in children’s and teenage magazines. She feels it’s more important than ever to write supportive, engaging features for young adults who need a guiding light and a helping hand with their mental health and wellbeing.