MindGeek, the secretive owner of Pornhub, RedTube YouPorn, and Brazzers, employs around sixteen hundred people, and received approximately 4.5 trillion visits each month in 2020, according to a company spokesperson—almost double Google and Facebook combined.

Research by the British Board of Film Classification in 2019 suggested 51% of children aged 11 to 13 had seen pornography, rising to 66% of 14- to 15-year-olds. This has since risen.

So is there a cost to our happiness, health and wellbeing? We examine the topic from a spiritual perspective.

Some of the quotes I used:

Lust and love have different characteristics, just as iron and gold have different natures. – Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta – Ādi-līlā  4.164

Thus, a person’s pure consciousness is covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire. – Bhagavad-gītā 3.39

Arjuna said: O descendant of Vṛṣṇi, by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force? – Bhagavad-gītā 3.36

Śri-Bhagavān said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world. – Bhagavad-gītā 3.37

As fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror is covered by dust, or as the embryo is covered by the womb, the living entity is similarly covered by different degrees of this lust. – Bhagavad-gītā 3.38

Thus, a person’s pure consciousness is covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire.- – Bhagavad-gītā 3.39

The senses, the mind and the intelligence are the sitting places of this lust, which veils the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him. – Bhagavad-gītā 3.40

Therefore, O Arjuna, best of the Bhāratas, in the very beginning curb this great symbol of sin [lust] by regulating the senses, and slay this destroyer of knowledge and self-realization. – Bhagavad-gītā 3.41

While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises. – Bhagavad-gītā 2.62

There are three gates leading to this hell — lust, anger and greed. Every sane person should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul. – Bhagavad-gītā 16.21

One who accepts material sense objects as desirable certainly becomes attached to them. From such attachment lust arises, and this lust creates quarrel among men. -Bhāgavata Purāṇa 11.21.19

Nonviolence, truthfulness, honesty, desire for the happiness and welfare of all others and freedom from lust, anger and greed constitute duties for all members of society. – Bhāgavata Purāṇa 11.17.21