For those who haven’t seen it yet, we’re excited to let you know that porn addiction has now been covered by CNN’s This is Life with Lisa Ling! We appeared as the main featured segment in the season premiere episode for season 6, Porn Ed! We’re incredibly thankful for Lisa Ling, Part2 Pictures, and CNN for giving us this opportunity to spread awareness about porn addiction and our perspective on porn-related issues!
“What was filmed?”
Our segment centralized around a round-table discussion about porn that NoFap hosted at a rented property in rural Pennsylvania. A small number of website users (only 4) were invited to participate. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of people who reached out to attend were ultimately able to be invited. (and we appreciate the interest and time of everybody who reached out to attend! we wish that all of you could have been there.)
The segment included an interview with a teenage recovering porn addict named Sean. To many parents’ surprise, Sean says that he first got into Internet porn not on a computer or a smartphone like most of us, but on a Nintendo DS handheld gaming console! The segment also featured interview footage with Alexander Rhodes, some of which is available on a CNN article.
“Should I watch the episode?”
That depends. Unfortunately, the episode includes a lot of pornographic imagery and sounds that aren’t great for recovering porn addicts to engage with. NoFap had zero control over post-production. While this isn’t a decision that we would have made, we understand that production needed to tailor the show for all audiences.. and as it aired at 10 pm, it’s understandable that they included some sexualized media to catch the eyes of channel surfers. This show wasn’t created for users of NoFap, but for people watching CNN at night. Despite the sexual material, we really appreciate that they chose to cover this important issue!
Contrarian views are presented in the episode after our segment, such as an “ethical” or “amateur” porn website called “Make Love Not Porn” and a more traditional porn performer named Tasha. We didn’t mind at all because talking about porn, despite some disagreements, is so important. We would love to see more open discussion between recovery-oriented websites such as ours and industry members – there is probably a lot that we can find to agree about! Even Cindy, the creator of the amateur porn site, said that “porn becomes sex education by default.” Hopefully, many of us can agree that children and young teens shouldn’t be using Internet porn.
For our users who are recovering from porn addiction, keep in mind that even regular use of amateur-style porn, despite being more ethically created compared to some seedier porn production companies, can still lead to compulsion or further fuel an existing porn addiction. While we do not consider ourselves to be anti-porn (and don’t support legislation to ban porn) and believe that consenting adults should be able to legally create or consume it, we certainly would never recommend that a porn addict trying to recover from porn engage with porn of any kind, including amateur porn.
So if you want to check out the episode and feel that you can handle the sexual imagery, go for it! It certainly is a good idea to encourage that more shows cover this important issue – and one of the best ways to do that is through our viewership, clicks, and financial support (purchasing the episode online).
Any insider information?
First off, the house in the episode isn’t owned by us – it was a rental. It also was located over an hour away from where NoFap is headquartered, away from the city of Pittsburgh, tucked away on 400 acres in the middle of the Pennsylvania woods. All of the site users who appeared told great stories and were wonderful to spend time with. We appreciate their bravery in speaking about such a highly-personal issue on national television. Our biggest gripe about the episode is that so much great material was cut. We filmed for days and got many hours of great conversation recorded. CNN could have released a full 2-hour documentary with the footage that was captured. Some of the attendees spoke a lot in-person but only had one line included in the episode. But that’s television for you! Production only has a small amount of time to cram in a lot of information. Most importantly, we’re very disappointed that Alexander’s cat companions didn’t make it into the episode (they were hoping for their big break into cat food commercials), despite providing grade-A dank kitty cat videos (of playtime and mealtime) to the production company.
Here is some of the promotional material leading up the episode:
Watch the episode online:
For those who didn’t catch the episode live on CNN, thankfully the episode is readily available online, such as on CNN’s Go platform.
Again, viewer discretion is advised.
Lisa Ling seems to really understand the issue and we appreciate her bravery in covering this topic. In response to some predictable lash-back from porn industry members and pro-porn activists on Twitter, Lisa Ling didn’t budge and continued to state that children should be warned about the differences between porn and real sex before potential exposure, while being sure not to demonize porn use completely for adults who chose to use it. In an article that she wrote about the episode, Lisa Ling wrote that “we can get pornography, in all of its extremes, for free at any time of day with a few taps of a finger. And as kids are given phones and other devices with web browsers at earlier ages, they, too, are encountering explicit content — possibly before they’ve even learned about sex or are aware of what porn is.”
We need to continue talking about porn and hope to see more coverage of this important issue moving forward. Parental silence isn’t working for the children and young teens going through puberty with unlimited access to Internet porn, many of whom are getting addicted or at the very least gaining unrealistic to unhealthy views about sexuality and relationships.