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Impacts of pornography

Porn is often just a few clicks away but think twice before you watch it. Porn can warp your ideas about sex and cause problems with your relationships.

Woman and man sitting in bed watching porn on laptop

Pornography is easy to access and free, so it’s really tempting to check it out

Some people watch porn regularly while others might not watch it at all. No matter where you are on the spectrum, porn can affect us and our relationships in a lot ways.

  • Porn sends us messages about what sex ‘should’ be like
  • Watching porn can set you up for disappointment in your sex life
  • Porn can lead to mismatched expectations and conflict in your relationships

“Porn isn’t a good measure of what sex in real life can be like. It can actually cause harm to your sex life and relationships”

Here’s what you need to know about porn

There are some common themes in porn. The ideas and situations portrayed can trick you into thinking this is what sex is like in real life.  

Here’s some common myths about porn:

Myth: Porn is real

Fact: While the sex is real, porn is scripted and performed by paid actors who aren’t having sex for fun but are acting like they’re enjoying themselves.


Myth: No condom, no worries

Fact: Porn actors have to have sex because it’s their job so they ignore the health risks. 


Myth: Always ready for sex

Fact: In reality, people’s readiness for sex depends on many things such as their mood, what happened during the day or their stress levels. Not wanting to have sex is totally okay.


Myth: That’s the type of sex other people have

Fact: Some types of sex that happen regularly in porn, happen less often in real life. In porn, both people enjoy the sex because they’re acting. In real life, sex needs to be consensual and respectful.


Myth: Guys need to be ‘big’

Fact: The bodies you see in porn don’t reflect how most people’s bodies look. The size and shape of people’s body parts doesn’t limit or enhance people’s ability to enjoy a fulfilling sex life.


Myth: Sex goes for hours

Fact: In reality, penetrative sex lasts on average about 5 minutes. Porn actors prepare their bodies and push themselves beyond what’s comfortable because it’s their job.


Myth: It’s all about the men

Fact: Often women are mistreated in porn and their needs and wants are ignored because they’re seen as not important. In real life, sex has to be consensual and respectful for everybody involved. Women are not sex objects.


Myth: It’s ok to persist and push

Fact: No means no. In real life, respect when the other person says they don’t want sex and don’t keep pushing hoping they’ll change their minds.


Myth: That’s what real sex looks like

Fact: Porn is artificial and the actors are putting on a performance for the cameras.


Myth: Sex is just a physical act

Fact: In reality, sex is more than just getting physical with someone. When two people care about each other and are attracted to each other, sex can be a lot more enjoyable.

Porn doesn’t have to define your sex life

If you’ve fallen into the porn trap and it’s affecting your sex life or relationships, then there’s help available.

Learn more about the harmful effects of porn and what you can do
Seek support from a trusted friend or adult
Reduce time spent watching porn or stop watching it altogether
Talk to a counsellor and learn new ways of thinking about sex and relationships

Porn doesn’t have to keep being a problem – there’s help out there

There is always something you can do to get back on track, so don’t give up.

It’s never too late to reach out for help or to talk things over with a Kids Helpline counsellor. Give us a call, start a WebChat or send us an email today!

Visit the eSafety website to learn more.

This content was last reviewed 14/02/2018

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