Naked Truth exists to ‘open eyes’ and ‘free lives’ from the damaging impact of porn. For us, living with ‘Open Eyes’ means to be fully informed about the impacts of porn in order to make conscious decisions instead of passively consuming. This is really important for young people, which is why we spend a lot of time in schools helping students better understand what porn is, how it’s made, and how it can impact our health & relationships. Alongside schools education, we love raising awareness through creative campaigns, conversations and partnerships. We’re reminded daily of the need for this awareness & education in our ‘Free Lives’ work, where we journey with hundreds of clients through various addiction & trauma recovery programmes. While all of their stories are unique, they’re all here with one thing in common- the damaging impact of porn in their lives.  So, what’s the big deal? Porn is so normalised in society (and the world’s leading pornsites are PR experts), so it would be easy to buy the ‘harmless fun’ narrative so often attached to adult entertainment. Let’s break it down…

Porn is the Junk Food of Sex 

Remember Jamie Oliver’s ‘School Dinners’ documentaries? Appalled by the junk food being served up in schools, and alarming child obesity rates, Jamie embarked on a mission to see kids being served healthy food in schools. Why? Jamie doesn’t campaign because he hates food- in fact, he LOVES it. But he knew that by settling for a diet of cheap junk food, kids were missing out on meals that would not only taste great, but nourish their bodies, support their physical and mental health, and help them to thrive in school. 

In the same way, we see porn as the junk food of sex. Sure, it might feel enjoyable and harmless to consume, but on both sides of the screen, there’s much more to the story. We’ll break that down a bit more but before we do, let’s zoom out a bit to understand the scale of the porn industry and it’s influence on consumers. 

Porn is a global phenomenon today.

Since the advent of the smartphone, porn is more accessible than ever before. In 2019, one of the world’s biggest porn sites recorded 42 billion hits in one year. That’s 220,000 videos viewed a minute, or 3,500 every. Second. A recent study revealed that 84% of boys and 57% of girls aged 14-18 have been exposed to pornography, and that children under the age of 10 now account for 22% of online porn consumption under 18 -years old

Concerning? We think so. But what exactly is it about porn that’s led us to believe it’s the ‘junk food of sex?” Here’s the framework we use to help young people think critically about what they are consuming;

Porn: Is it good for me?

There are a few questions that we don’t like to ask ourselves when we’re eating junk food or watching porn, but it’s vital to discover the answers to these questions if we’re serious about changing our habits and taking care of ourselves. So, porn, is it good for us? 

#1 – Science is increasingly linking pornography to addiction (see here). In a recent survey that we commissioned in October 2021, we found that 13% of the 2,000 people who responded felt that they were addicted to porn.We also work with clients on a weekly basis whose inability to stop watching porn has become detrimental to their lives..  Read Bethany’s story here.

#2 – Erectile Dysfunction is traditionally something that is associated with men aged over 60 as biology takes its course. In recent years, however, researchers have identified an increasing number of cases amongst sexually active under 40’s. A growing number of studies are linking these cases to porn use, identifying them as “PIED – Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction”.Gabe, someone who suffered from PIED, shares his story here.

Links have also been found between porn consumption and mental health issues like depression,10 anxiety,11 and low self esteem, as well as negatively impacting relationships. 

Porn: What’s in this?

Have you ever heard of ‘Social learning theory?’ More commonly known as ‘observational learning, this theory recognises the role of observational learning in shaping our behaviour. We learn from what we watch, and then we put that learning into practice. It seems reasonable then, to ask some questions about the way porn can shape a viewer’s understanding of sex- particularly a still-developing teenage brain. Aside from unrealistic depictions of sex that can create a myriad of insecurities and warped expectations about sexual encounters, one major concern is the connections and potential correlations between porn consumption and sexual violence. Studies have consistently shown that regular porn consumers are not only more likely to sexually objectify women themselves, but are less likely to intervene if they witness sexual assault. In 2021, parents and teachers in the UK were warned to “assume sexual harassment is happening in schools” following thousands of reports on the website “Everyone’s invited”, set up to expose the alarming levels of sexual harassment and rape culture amongst young people, with top child protection officers blaming the consumption of violent porn as a major influence

Porn: How’s it made?

When it comes to ethical issues, consumer attitudes are changing rapidly in the worlds of fashion, food and travel, and a lack of transparency around issues of social & environmental impact has become a deal breaker for many who are seeking to become more conscious consumers.. We would love to see the same critical thinking applied to the billion dollar porn industry, which is predominantly unregulated, leaving thousands vulnerable to coercion and abuse. In the same way that demand for fast fashion contributes to slave labour, the link between pornography and sexual exploitation is undeniable- A report from the US national trafficking hotline places pornography amongst the top 3 most common forms of trafficking, and our friends at Exodus Cry tell us that often, if not most of the time, victims of sex trafficking that they have worked with tell them that they have had pornography made of them. Even within official porn production companies, the lines between consent and abuse can be very blurred and the rise in popularity of BDSM & other violent sexual acts makes it virtually impossible to tell whether performers are safe and consenting.  

This is why porn is such a big deal, and this is why we care. Studies and stories consistently reveal wide-ranging harms that hinder rather than help us and society, and we believe people deserve better. You can find out more about the education NT provides to young people here

Scroll to Top