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Let’s Talk About Porn

Let’s Talk About Porn

Consider Before you Consume 

By Brooklin Painter 

According to Fight the New Drug, the porn industry is a multi-billion dollar global business because of how many Americans consume these videos daily. [1] Although it is popular, many people are not open to talking about it. Despite this, Michael Herrera-Teran, a sophomore theology major and the Sittner and Meske dorm chaplain, was willing to speak up about his view on the effects of pornography. 

When individuals consume porn, it can create negative effects in their lives and coalesce into others as well. Herrera-Teran said it is his goal to non-shamingly inform others of this and to aid people in their addiction. His desire is to open a conversation to those who want to talk about how to create a healthy relationship with their sexual thoughts and feelings. [2] 

“When I was in high school, the people I knew who were addicted to porn were having trouble connecting and engaging with the opposite gender because they would tend to objectify their bodies; they didn’t have a very good humanistic view of women,” commented Herrera-Teran. [3] 

A passion of Herrera-Teran’s is Fight The New Drug, a non-profit, non-religious legislative organization. Identifying as a non-shame movement, this organization exists to raise awareness of the harmful effects of pornography by utilizing scientific research and personal accounts. 

In a Christian-based community, people are expected to stay away from pornography and sexual acts, though not everyone does so. It is crucial to not place guilt on these individuals but to create a safe space for healthy discussion.  

Herrera-Teran added to this point by saying, “Christianity has love as its principle, yet there is a lot of shame towards those who watch porn. It goes against our teachings because it contradicts loving others.” [4] Christians need to stop shaming people and talk more about sex and sexual identity.  

As stated by Independent magazine, pornography creates negative perspectives on what sex should be. [5] This is why Herrera-Teran spoke out about his experiences with pornography and how it affected those around him. 

When adolescents are curious about their changing bodies and new sexual feelings, the CDC reports that it is key to talk to them about the changes they are experiencing. [6] If this is done, they can turn towards a healthy form of expression instead of divulging pornography sites to get their information on sex. 

The concept of masturbation. Herrera-Teran vocalizes that masturbation can be an issue depending on how you view it. Photo by Steve Harvey. Taken on 8/12/2018. Source:unsplash.com.

Pornography videos are not meant for sexual education. Herrera-Teran conveyed that if people became more open to talking about sex, then they could have the power to explore their sexual feelings safely. [7] Having discussions about consent can help create self-boundaries, self-value, and will give people a better understanding of their bodies.  

As stated by Fight The New Drug, women are depicted as objects in pornography, which can be harmful to the female image. [8] Herrera-Teran said that it demoralizes people and they become objects of pleasure. He stated, “Women are seen as submissive in the videos and are being ordered and demanded around which can make people think that it’s okay to do that to their partners.” It reinforces violence and tries to normalize it. [9] 

Pornography affects intimate relationships as well. Herrera-Teran commented that the unrealistic expectations the men and women in the videos create can put pressure on a relationship since they assume they must perform the same. [10] It increases sexual arousal and can create a tear in the bond with your partner. 

If couples watch porn while in a relationship, it can hypothetically make them feel less stimulated and it could take more to get them turned on. They wouldn’t feel completely fulfilled and so it creates issues with intimacy. Having a connection with your partner stops being as satisfying as porn. It breaks the relationship and makes the other person not appreciate their love. [11] 

Pornography becomes harmful when it grows into the mind. According to Independent magazine, the more porn you consume, the more of a need there is for it. [12] 

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black and white photo of building and courtyard with a woman leaning on a planter

Herrera-Teran believes that others choose to consume porn because they are “just trying to fill a hole in themselves to feel valued and to feel pleasure without feeling it through people.” [13] 

For whatever reason one chooses to consume porn, it is not okay to shame others. The guilt can eat at them. When they feel down, they want something that feels good, which is porn, and then the cycle begins again. The shame will only harm them and do nothing to improve the situation. 

Shame fuels people’s addictions and hinders them more. People need to make their own decision to change in order to get better. Herrera-Teran vocalized that forgiving yourself and not feeling guilty can be the first steps to stopping the addiction and the healing can begin. [14] 

Herrera-Teran’s final message is to consider before you consume. He wants people to know that they are not alone and are loved. “The Chaplain’s office is here to help you. We can connect you with the porn rehab group on campus and get you the mental support you need,” he reassured. Their services are there to provide support to those who are struggling. If people want to have a conversation about porn, Herrera-Teran is more than willing to listen. His contact information is listed below. Herrera-Teran concluded, “I just want people to know they are valuable and they can have control over their lives. I want you to experience love.” [15] 

To contact Michael Herrera-Teran, text or call at (541)-808-8091 or by email at michael.herrera-teran@wallawalla.edu 

References 

  1. How is the porn industry worth billions of dollars? (2019, March 8).  Fight the New Drughttps://bit.ly/3Aav46O  
  1. Interview with Michael Herrera-Teran 1/13/2022. 
  1. Ibid
  1. Ibid
  1. Hosie, R. (2016, December 1). The terrifying impact internet porn is having on young men. The Independent. https://bit.ly/3AfNvXN   
  1. Talking with your teens about sex: Going beyond “the talk.” (2020). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; The CDChttps://bit.ly/3IfdVfd   
  1. Interview with Michael Herrera-Teran 1/13/2022. 
  1. 5 of the Most Degrading Ideas Porn Sells About Women. (2021, February 25).  Fight the New Drughttps://bit.ly/3KoQ4eP   
  1. Interview with Michael Herrera Terran 1/13/2022. 
  1. Ibid
  1. Ibid
  1. Hosie, R. (2016, December 1). The terrifying impact internet porn is having on young men. The Independenthttps://bit.ly/32aNBTZ   
  1. Interview with Michael Herrera-Teran 1/13/2022. 

14-15. Ibid. 

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