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Impacts of pornography

Pornography is often just a few clicks away but there are a few things to consider before watching it. It’s important to understand what the impacts can be and what help is available.

Woman and man sitting in bed watching porn on laptop

It's ok to be curious about pornography

Pornography (also known as 'porn') is easy to access and free, so it’s really tempting to check it out

Some people may watch porn regularly, while others might not watch it at all.

You may have lots of different emotions and opinions about porn and that’s ok. 

It’s important to know that porn is not the same as sex in real life and it can affect us and our relationships in many ways.

The ideas and situations portrayed in pornography usually do not represent real life sex.

How pornography can impact on us and our relationships

Here’s what you need to know about pornography:

It can send messages about what sex ‘should’ be like

Violence, humiliation and disrespect are never ok

Sex is not just a physical act, it’s an emotional one too

Pornography can give you unhealthy notions of sex and relationships

Pornography is a performance by paid actors - it can misrepresent pleasure

Regularly watching porn can shape your sexual tastes and expectations

Pornography isn’t reality, so it can set you up for disappointment in your sex life

Some types of sex that happen regularly in porn, happen less often in real life

Porn commonly portrays and reinforces racial and gender stereotypes

The bodies you see in porn don’t reflect how most people’s bodies look

It doesn’t teach you about consent or safe sex and the possible consequences

The size and shape of body parts doesn’t limit or enhance your ability to enjoy sex

Porn can lead to mismatched expectations and conflict in your relationships

Comparing yourself to people in porn can sometimes make you worry about your body

You may find it hard to stop watching porn even when it’s causing problems in your life

Some types of porn are illegal (e.g. anything involving someone under the age of 18 is considered 'image based abuse')

There’s help out there if you feel pornography is becoming a problem for you

If you’re having issues with the use of pornography and it’s affecting your sex life or relationships:

Learn more about the potentially harmful effects of pornography and what you can do
Seek support from a trusted friend or adult
Reduce time spent watching porn or how often you watch it
Talk to a counsellor for support

If pornography is having an impact on your life, we’re here to help.

If pornography is impacting on you in ways you don’t like, that make you feel upset or worried - you don’t need to deal with it alone.

Kids Helpline is a supportive space free of any judgment, so give us a call, start a WebChat or join My Circle today!

Visit the eSafety website to learn more.

This content was last reviewed 25/09/2019
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