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Meet the Irishman Who Walked Across Europe to Raise Awareness on Porn’s Harms

An awesome Fighter from Dublin, Ireland, Dan is a dedicated Fighter who isn't afraid to speak out about his personal experience with porn.

By November 20, 2018No Comments

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Meet Daniel.

An awesome Fighter from Dublin, Ireland, Dan is a dedicated Fighter who isn’t afraid to speak out about his personal experience with porn, and drop facts whenever and wherever needed. He’s an inspiration to his local community, a voice of hope on social media, and a diehard Fighter. And we think he’s awesome! In fact, we think he’s so awesome, he was awarded Fighter of the Year in 2017.

We first met Daniel when we noticed he posted an inspirational video to Facebook about him overcoming a struggle with porn, and we had to share it.

But that was just the beginning of the awareness he would raise on this important issue.

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Daniel’s story

“My journey against porn has been a long one,” Daniel said in an interview with FTND. “I watched porn pretty consistently since my teen years, mostly around exams, stress or out of sheer boredom. Nevertheless, I usually felt pretty out of touch with reality afterward and thought to myself,  ‘Surely if I felt horribly lonely after porn, there must be others out there who felt the same.'”

At that point, he made the decision to change, signed up for the Fortify Platform, and went 200 days without it!

“It felt so freeing! I never thought I’d go without it for so long. It was the greatest confidence boost, I felt like I’d put it behind me,” Daniel said. “Because porn festers and grows in the shadows, I thought, ‘Why not shine a light on it?'” And he did.

Related: What It Actually Means To Rep The Movement

First, it was the video we linked above, posted publicly on his page. Then, it was writing articles and getting them published in his university’s newspaper, calling to light the research on porn’s harms. Then, it had to be something bigger and bolder. He decided to walk 500 miles, across France and the north of Spain, on a famous trail called the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

Daniel wanted to walk these hundreds of miles to encourage those who were fighting against porn alongside him, raise funds for FTND, and also encourage others to detox porn with him for 25 days, the exact number of days of the journey.

Daniel on Camino de Santiago de Compostela 3

500 miles, countless stories

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela is well-known from the movie “The Way,” and is a grueling but beautiful journey, in many ways. Temperatures drop to below freezing in the mountains, and the path stretches into the desert area in the north of Spain.

“The journey was, for me, much like my own recovery from porn,” Daniel said. “The joy and sweat of reaching 200 days, the sadness of breaking such a long streak and relapsing, the encouragement and support from others, and of course the personal nature of it all. You walk your own pace, everyone arrives at different stages.”

Daniel on Camino de Santiago de Compostela 2

Over the journey, his ‘Porn Kills Love’ tee was unsurprisingly one of the greatest conversation starters. “I shared with anyone who spoke Spanish or English and the reactions were so positive. It’s like everyone I talked to, from a retired millionaire to a complete hippy agreed that porn was not a force for good, but a very strong force in our society,” Daniel said.

“It may sound incredibly cheesy but it’s a great metaphor for anyone fighting against their own porn dependency. There’s uphill and downhill, sometimes you’ll stumble, there’s heaps of blisters and adjustment discomfort, you will be frustrated, you will get lost or go off the trail. You can also try to go it alone, do it all yourself,” said Daniel, describing his journey on the Camino and in his personal recovery. “However, the journey is made lighter by relying on strength greater than your own, accepting encouragement, doing it with others, being honest, sharing the load. Let me guarantee you, the feeling of reaching Santiago or going 100 days without porn justifies the long process of reaching that point.”

Daniel encourages anyone out there who might be struggling with porn to give freedom a try.

“I’m still on my way toward freedom from pornography, something that I believe will not enrich or enhance your life in any way—and I’d encourage anyone else to try it. What do you have to lose?”

Be like Daniel

Porn is harmful and science and research are continually showing it.

Our aim as an anti-porn pro-love movement is to raise as much awareness as possible that porn isn’t natural, it isn’t normal, and it definitely isn’t a healthy part of meaningful relationships. So many people in society, especially in our tech-obsessed generation, believe that porn really is just harmless entertainment. In reality, we are constantly learning that the facts are just the opposite. Porn has been proven to be harmful to the consumer, and it can make single people even lonelier and relationships even more difficult.

The more we get the word out, the more people will know the facts about porn and make educated decisions for themselves.

If you’re reading this, you can make a difference and do your part to change the conversation around porn. Take advantage of the opportunities around you to spread the word and shine a light on the massive amount of research that shows porn is harmful. It can be as easy as sharing a video of your story on Facebook, to submitting articles to local newspapers, or even putting on your ‘Porn Kills Love’ tee and walking a few hundred miles.

It all adds to the massive tidal wave of change we’re seeing in society, changing the conversation and raising awareness that porn is anything but harmless entertainment.

And when you feel alone in the fight, remember that there are over 3 million Fighters around the world, including Daniel, taking a stand for real love alongside you.

Daniel on Camino de Santiago de Compostela 1