Hey there – thanks for checking this out…
Porn’s everywhere – and there’s crazy new tags, categories, genres and themes popping up weekly 😲 It’s often harder to avoid the intense stuff than it is to find it – so if you’ve seen stuff you’re uncomfortable with – that’s okay, it’s 100% normal 👍🏽. Talking about it can feel awkward at first, so here’s some tips and tricks to help you get started. Kia kaha!
TIPS & TOOLS
Feeling uncomfortable with something you’ve seen in porn is super normal. Here’s ten top tips to help out.
First up, pretty much any reaction to porn is normal. You might feel great, grossed out, de-stressed, confused or just have a laugh.
Any reaction is totally okay – and it’s normal to have opposite reactions at the same time too, like feeling uncomfortable and aroused – this is legit and okay.
Listen to your feelings
Feelings can give us a ‘heads up’ on what’s important to us. If you tune into them, they can help you work out what porn you are or aren’t okay with.
So, if you’re feeling uncomfortable with something – it can be your body’s way of telling you what’s up.
He Pātai? (Got questions?)
If that’s you, it can be super helpful talking an older trusted friend or adult, or you can talk to the pros HERE
Push play on processing
‘Ignoring’ our feelings won’t make them go away so there’s some cool mindfulness tools that can help us out. Try this one called A.L.L. It might feel weird at first, but it does work:
Acknowledge: Notice feelings and acknowledge them “I feel uncomfortable ..”
Link: Your ‘feelings’ are your body’s response to something and it helps calm your mind if you link the feeling and the trigger. For e.g. “It makes sense I feel uncomfortable, because I saw something in porn I didn’t like.”
Let go: Next up put your hands on your chest and on your stomach, take a massive breath, then imagine breathing out the feeling. It might sound odd but it can activate your ‘social engagement system’ and calm you down.
Korerotia (Reach out)
Having a korero with a friend or whānau member can be super helpful. If you want someone a bit removed, try another adult you trust like a school counsellor or coach, or if you’re keen to keep it anonymous, text the counsellors at 4334 Safe to Talk and say “I’m struggling with something I’ve seen in porn and I don’t know who to talk to…”.
If talking to an adult feels stressful, but you want to try, check out some tips here.
Bad dreams or can’t sleep?
It sucks when you can’t switch off your mind at night. When we’ve been weirded out by something, we can process it in our sleep – so if you’re having dreams about stuff you’ve seen in porn, try not to freak out.
If your dreams wake you up, try the mindfulness tip (a few clicks back) “Push Play on Processing”. Or distract your mind and focus on something else – get up, grab something to eat or read a book.
Sometimes images we see in porn can cause unexpected “flashbacks” afterwards. If this has happened to you, chat to a mate you trust, or go HERE for some advice from the pros.
A quick tool to help in the moment is ‘the body scan’ aka relaxing your body while doing some deep breathing. Easy as. Start at your feet and one by one relax your legs, hands, arms until you get to your head while taking deep breaths.
If you’ve experienced unwanted sexual touch or abuse, some forms of porn can be triggering. You may have flashbacks, panic attacks or feel overwhelmed by porn.
Having a korero with trusted adult/friend is super helpful or if you want to keep it anonymous text the counsellors on 4334 Safe to Talk and say “I’ve been hurt sexually before, I’ve seen some porn and now I’m feeling……. and want to talk to someone.” Kia kaha.
If you’ve had a sexual experience you didn’t want or were forced into a sexual act – that’s called sexual harm.
It’s important you don’t feel alone with this, so if you need medical support, want to report it, or just need anonymous support – the counsellors at 4334 Safe to Talk are there for you.
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Porn that makes us feel ‘uncomfortable’
There’s lots of weird and rougher porn themes out now like “real bro and sis”, “young teen” or “forced’. Porn producers talk about needing to create more shady or extreme stuff to keep scenes interesting and people watching 🤔.
A recent NZ study: Breaking Down Porn showed that of the porn that Kiwis watch, 35% included some kind of pressure or something non-consensual – like convincing someone to have sex who didn’t want to at first – and 46% had step or family (real sis, real bro) porn.
So, if you’ve across some stuff you’re uncomfortable with – that’s not unusual!
Porn and the body
Watching some stuff in porn, particularly the more extreme themes can be confusing. Most people’s bodies naturally respond by feeling turned on when they see sexual stuff or naked people.
So even if we are wigged out by more extreme porn, our body can still be responding positively – this is super normal, and nothing to feel bad about it.
“It makes me a bit sad cos I wish I hadn’t had to see that at that age. I would have
understood it better and had a different reaction if I was older.”FEMALE, 15, OFLC research
Porn and the brain
Research shows when we see naked people, our brains are in hyper-drive and they actually move faster than seeing clothed people.
Our brains can anticipate a ‘high’ – and we don’t often control that initial feeling!(3) So, even when we feel uncomfortable with things we see in porn, our brain can be giving our body a different (positive) message.
In some countries porn could be made by forcing people into it, particularly illegal and underage porn. If you’ve seen something that looked forced or the person seemed too young to be in porn – remember it’s not your fault that this stuff is online. It might help to talk to someone and you can report it by clicking here.
Porn and trauma
Watching certain porn can sometimes cause trauma. If someone’s felt really uncomfortable about what they’ve seen, they can get flashbacks or feel anxious afterwards. If they’ve had unwanted sexual touch or been abused before, they can feel triggered.
If that’s you, or someone you know, it’s important to get help or talk to the Pros on 4334 Safe to Talk.
How to Deal With Intrusive Thoughts
Your brain is a FRENEMY. It can give you awesome thoughts – and some not so awesome ones! This video shows how our brain can work to manage the tricky thoughts.
Kobe Bryant & Phil Jackson | Meditation
Phil Jackson, coach of the Chicago Bulls gives some great tips on building mental strength and Kobe Bryant talks about how this helps him prepare for whatever comes his way.
Check out these great short clips on how we can build mental resiliency and deal with tricky thoughts!
Safe to Talk
If you’ve been affected by sexual harm or are worried about your own behaviour, Safe to Talk provide great 24/7 confidential non-judgmental support and advice with trained counsellors.