Quitting Porn.

Sometimes my job seems counterproductive. The point of our software is to help people live their porn free life, yet my job centers around pornography. Not the absence of it, but the thing itself, in all its dirty devastation. The bleakness can be hard to see around sometimes, and even knowing everything I know about the porn industry, it can make a person start to feel apathetic. Right around the time I feel like giving up, I think about how it must feel to be addicted to pornography, and in the same position. Porn is everywhere in your life, and regardless the negative impacts you may be aware of, the apathy has set in. In these moments, I like to read about the success stories of real people, in their own words, and remember why I got into the industry in the first place.

One of the arguments against pornography is that it correlates to violence against and objectification of women. That’s depressing. It’s depressing as a woman to always be fighting to be viewed as a person, and it’s depressing as a man to be groomed to treat women as sexual objects. Nobody wins in this game. What’s wonderful, however, is when a man stops watching porn and suddenly, he can see not only the ways in which he was previously guilty of sexual objectification but understand what true beauty really is. The ability to see the uniqueness of people is one of the many, many gifts of being human.

Another argument, that porn affects a person’s ability to perform sexually with a partner, is a hot-button issue that is heavily contested. Interestingly, even those who don’t think porn affects sexual performance admit that it does affect sexual appetite (such as changing from conventional sex to more violent acts.) The problem comes from not distinguishing masturbation as an act (which people have been doing much longer than porn has existed) with pornography; people don’t believe pornography is the cause of the rising numbers of sexual dysfunction in young men because they are equating pornography and masturbation, when in fact, masturbation in itself isn’t the issue. The issue is the over availability of virtual sexual partners and other factors that contribute to changing our brain’s chemistry. A subreddit group, PornFree, focuses on separating these two things from each other while encouraging a porn free existence.

Both of the previous arguments can contribute to a third, which is that porn affects your ability to maintain a true, intimate relationship with another person. This refers to any relationship: your romantic relationships suffer for obvious reasons, but it also impacts your other relationships while you spend your free time with porn, and your time with friends and family trying to hide it. People who have struggled with pornography and managed to quit often report the same kind of results, and they’re so inspiring.

I have read so many personal stories, and even in those where the narrator has started watching porn again, it’s never because they wanted to. It’s because they couldn’t resist the compulsion, or some negative experience led them back down the road that was comfortable, no matter how dark it was. Anyone who has quit for a certain amount of time can sing of the benefits they’ve experienced as a result. The great thing about it is that it doesn’t matter why you want to quit porn; when you do, you can experience the same amazing benefits. And if you need a little help along the way, Iris is here, whatever your reason.

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