Pornography

What is pornography?

Anything that's designed to get someone sexually aroused (feeling sexy).

It can be pictures, photographs, films, animations or written or spoken stories.

What's the problem with pornography?

First, pornography isn't real - it's fantasy. Fantasies are fine, but not if we confuse them with real life.

For example, most people have sex in private, not in front of a camera. And just like other kinds of films, pornographic films are the result of editing and camerawork - real sex just doesn't happen like that.

Some people think that pornography can warp the way people think about each other, particularly women. It can cause people to view others only as 'sex objects', not as real people with their own feelings and desires.

Meanwhile, there's always the worry that the people who appear in pornography are being forced to do it against their will.

What if I want to make my own pornography with my boyfriend or girlfriend?

Lot's of people take sexy pictures of each other, but you need to think very carefully about the risks.

How would you feel if someone else gets to see them?

Can you be sure what will happen to the pictures if you break up with your partner?

You also need to know that pornography that shows young people under the age of 18 is child pornography.

It's highly illegal to make, view, own or distribute child pornography.

Read more about sex and the law.

What if my boyfriend or girlfriend wants to take sexy films or pictures of me?

You should only do this if you feel comfortable about it.

Can you trust them to keep the images safe and never to show them to anyone else? Life is long and people can change. A close friend/partner you trust may one day use the images against you.

You also need to remember that pornography that shows young people under the age of 18 is considered to be child pornography and is highly illegal.

Read more about sex and the law.

What if my boyfriend or girlfriend wants me to look at pornography with them?

As with any other kind of sexual activity, you should only do it because you want to.

Looking at porn is a kind of sex, and nobody should be under any pressure to have sex.

What if someone older wants me to look at pornography with them?

This is pretty dodgy.

Paedophiles - people who sexually abuse children - often use pornography to 'groom' (prepare) young people to have sex with them.

Speak to someone you trust about what's happening or call Childline free on 0800 1111.

What if I've seen child pornography online?

You can report it through the Internet Watch Foundation website.

What if I've been involved in pornography?

If you've been made to do anything sexually you're not happy with, it's important to talk to someone. It doesn't matter when it happened - years ago or very recently.

The best plan is to talk to someone you know and trust, like a teacher, a friend or a relative.

If an adult has made sexy images or films of you against your will, it's considered to be sexual assault.

Call Childline on 0800 1111 and speak to one of their advisors. They will listen and help you decide what to do next. You won't have to give your name or tell them where you are if you don't want to.

If you feel in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.

Pornography
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