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The Human Costs of Pornography

November 21st, 2023 | 6 min read

By James Diddams

Some years ago while viewing pornography I unexpectedly noticed something I did not want to recognize: subtle signs of self-harm on part of the woman’s body known only in intimate contexts. There are different kinds of self-harm that imply different things about the sufferer’s mental state; vertical slashes up the wrist indicate active suicidal ideation while horizontal cuts, unlikely to be fatal, imply a cry for help. But, scars that are neither conspicuous nor lethal imply a desire for solitary suffering. Secret suffering, presumably hidden from those closest to her, but not her online voyeurs.

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James Diddams

James Diddams is the Managing Editor of Providence Magazine.