A Girlfriend & Boyfriend Story
We get thousands of emails from people sharing their stories with us. Most the time they do so anonymously and ask us to take out their names, which is totally cool and we understand.
However, sometimes there are Fighters that are so passionate about this cause and sharing their experience that they want the whole world to hear their story.
This story was sent to us by Victoria, a real life girl with a real life story about the harmful effects of pornography. She and her boyfriend Nick gave us permission to share their story openly. They wrote us not only to share their experience with the harms of pornography, but to tell how much better their lives and relationships are without it.
The attached picture is of me and someone I care about very much. Nick is quite dear to me. He makes me laugh, he makes me feel like a princess, and he makes me want to be a better person. What more could I ask for?
A lot of real, raw conversations over the past year have been pulling me toward telling my story. Now, I guess, here we go.
I first faced up to my ickiest secret when I was seventeen – a festering habit that I just couldn’t shake: porn. It had been around for years, off and on. I’d done a LOT of lying to myself, thinking, “It’s okay, it isn’t really porn,” or “It’s not that big of a deal, no one needs to know. Or sometimes even straight up pretending it wasn’t happening.
Only now can I look back and see all the ways that it was hurting me. I used it as an escape and a coping mechanism. The list of excuses to use it was always growing. I’d use it to escape in the moments when I felt lowest, but when my brain turned back on afterward, I’d only feel worse. After a while, porn changes the way you see yourself. It drove my wavering self-esteem downward. It started giving me corrupted expectations of sex and corrupted ideas of sexuality. The justifications of “it’s not really porn” grew weaker and weaker as I was dragged further in. I was horrified when I realized that it was also changing the way I looked at people around me. It was easier than ever for me to physically objectify anyone and everyone. It was only when I was coming out of it that I started to truly realize how harmful it had been.
On the night I admitted my problem out loud for the first time, I was at a camp. We had some speakers at the camp and I remember one saying, “You can keep telling yourself that you can deal with your problems on your own. But know that if that were true, you would have done it already.” I decided that night that I’d had enough.
I know now that my problem pales in comparison to many other people’s. But I was so tired of being ashamed, and I was so tired of it sucking up my life and compromising my relationships, that I finally forced myself to admit it to another person.
A few months later, one of my close guy friends admitted to struggling with porn and asked if I would hold him accountable. Of course I said yes, but I faced a dilemma. Do I admit to him that I’ve struggled with it as well? Or do I do what everyone expects of girls and not let him know that I knew exactly what he was dealing with?
As women, talking about porn is so taboo. The wide assumption is that it’s nothing but a man’s issue. So when a woman speaks up about it, there’s shock and awe and usually more shame heaped up on top. It’s like when a man admits to having an eating disorder or being in an abusive relationship — they’re big problems, but we just assume they’re assigned exclusively to one gender or another.
Anyway, I made the choice to be honest with my friend. That choice led to some very much-needed conversation. It also led to this moment. That choice meant that when a scared boy who now means so much to me looked me in the face and laid out his secret struggles, I knew just how to respond.
We’ve both come so far since then. In so many ways. Since then your organization has become very close to my heart. We appreciate that you inform people on pornography’s harmful effects, and to inspire and encourage recovery from it. I strongly believe that porn’s second biggest strength– the first being how easily accessible it is today – is in its secrecy. People believe that they can’t and shouldn’t talk about it, so they never educate themselves and never get help. Porn thrives in the shadows. Fight the New Drug stands to stop that and we are so grateful for that. Thank you for getting the conversations happening. For turning on the lights. It’s inspired me to start conversations and stand for what I know about how harmful porn is and now, here I am, telling my story. It’s amazing how many conversations will be sparked in a day wearing a t-shirt with only the words “Porn Kills Love” on the front. It’s something I was incredibly uncomfortable with at first, but now I love it.
Where am I now? Now I am committed to fighting. Nick, who is now my boyfriend AND my best friend, is there when I need a shoulder to lean on just as I’m there for him. We fight together. I believe that a porn-free relationship, a porn-free marriage, and a porn-free rest of my life are all possible. And those are my goals.
Something I really want to see is pornography’s true form brought out into the light. I want it known that porn is never harmless. I want to see conversations happening. I want women to stop believing that they are unusual if they struggle as well. And that, I guess, is the reason I chose to share all of this. I get so upset that no women come forward with their problems, so why not me? So here you go. Message me. Comment on this. Tell your story. Educate yourself. Start conversations of your own. I’m hoping for a ripple here. Don’t let me down.
Fighting is not always easy; I guess that’s why we call it a fight. Saying no to porn is hard. It sucks most of the time, to be honest. But the rest of my life is worth it.
We are so proud to have strong people like Victoria and Nick on our side. They are the true representation of the #PornKillsLove movement. We love hearing from young people who know that porn is harmful and are Fighting to live and love with freedom in their relationships.
Show Victoria and Nick some love and share this article. Stand up for the cause and spread the word. Don’t be scared. You’ve got an entire movement of Fighters behind you.