Warning: This article contains references to disgusting things you may wish you never knew about. Maturity and a strong stomach advised.
I’m sitting at my desk and I’m angry. I’m furious. I never swear, but a word I wouldn’t want my mother to hear me say shoots out of my mouth. My phone rings, I say “hello,” and when my friend on the other end asks, “How are you doing?” my response is, “Filled with rage”. Not your typical North American greeting.
This is good. I needed this.
Why am I so angry? I had just checked the “search terms” on our website. This shows us what people typed into Google that led them to our website. Now, because we talk about porn, sexual abuse, and rape culture, there are often people whose searches for porn lead them to our website. Sometimes when I see their searches I smirk, wondering what they thought when instead of finding a new porn site, they found an article on how porn harms the brain. Sometimes the searches are so weirdly specific that I can only shake my head. But today when I checked, I immediately felt rage swelling up in me and shouted an expletive.
Here is why.
The thing is, this is my fulltime job: Talking about pornography, and researching the truth about pornography. And I was a porn addict myself for nearly ten years. I know that this is out there. I know the statistics.
But when I see that people were literally typing in searches for abusive incest, it hit me again. There are real people watching this right now. They are searching for the only thing that their brain responds to now. “Daddy Little girl porn.” Everything we know about how the brain learns and responds and is trained means we know that right now that person is imagining themselves in this scenario. The fear and shame that goes with it is sending the overdose of adrenaline that their brain needs now in order to be stimulated.
Here is another horrible fact: If one in four porn searches are conducted by women, then two of these were searched out by a woman. A woman is trying right now to deal with her hurt and pain in life by projecting herself into an abusive situation. The shame from this imagined scene is overwhelming her senses. The dopamine, mixed with fear fueled adrenaline, is training her brain that she needs this. She. Thinks. She. Needs. This.
And I am enraged. I am filled with fury towards the people who are spreading this content on the Internet. Trying to reach MY sons and daughters. Trying to train their still innocent minds to need this. Trying to train my sons that this is what they are craving. Trying to train my daughters that this is what “love” means. And I am enraged because we KNOW that these types of videos are what lead to the fantasies that lead to the Brock Turners who act out scenes of violence in real life. And right now, millions more people are searching and watching these videos.
I am enraged because there are real people who are creating these videos. Studio owners, directors, camera men, whose idea for how to make money and get rich is to literally create a market for abusive incest. (And if you doubt they have succeeded, incest is right at the top of the most commonly searched content on mainstream porn sites)
I am enraged because there are girls right now, real girls, cast because they look younger than 18 and told to immerse themselves in a scene depicting abuse. Abuse that likely mirrors the rape and abuse that lead them into the industry in the first place. And they are told to smile. The viewers will need to think they are enjoying it in order to project themselves into this scene.
I do not hate these people. Not those searching for it. Not those making it. Not those spreading it. They are broken. They are lost. They are hurting beyond imagination. And you better believe that I believe they can be made whole.
If I didn’t think freedom and forgiveness and wholeness were possible, I wouldn’t be writing this. I certainly wouldn’t travel across the country sharing my story. I don’t hate the people who make porn, and I don’t hate the people who watch it. But you better believe I hate porn. With everything in me, I hate it.
And that’s good. Because this fight gets tiring, and this last month I really felt like quitting. But the thing that led me to freedom in the first place was seeing porn for what it really was in the light of the truth. The reason I got into this fight is because I hated the thought of porn doing to my kids what it did to me. In order to keep fighting, to break past my own fears and insecurities in this fight, I need to hate the disgustingness of porn.
Porn deserves to be hated, because people deserve to be loved.
I. Hate. Porn.