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Why Billie Eilish Thinks Porn Is 'A Disgrace' At This Point In Her Life

Billie Eilish on the SNL stage.
(Image credit: Saturday Night Live)

Having become a household name around the world several years before even being able to legally purchase alcohol in the U.S., the Grammy-winning Billie Eilish is continuing to push her career in different directions, having pulled off the rare double duty of serving as Saturday Night Live's guest host for Kate McKinnon’s return episode, as well as its musical act (for the second time). The outspoken singer has been a target of sexualization for years, which she has dealt with in various ways, and she has now opened up about her problems with the “disgrace” that is pornography.

Billie Eilish certainly picked both the most fitting and also most unexpected place to speak out against porn: The Howard Stern Show. Amidst talking about topics such as throwing up and having “crazy shits” due to nervousness from the SNL gig, Eilish opened up to the shock jock about her personal history with porn and the negative effects it has provoked, both mentally and physically. In her words:

As a woman, I think porn is a disgrace. And I used to watch a lot of porn, to be honest. I started watching porn when I was like 11. I was an advocate and I thought I was one of the guys, and would talk about it and think it was really cool for not having a problem with it and not seeing why it was bad. I think it really destroyed my brain, and I feel incredibly devastated that I was exposed to so much porn.

When it comes to the positive ramifications of watching porn, the science isn’t exactly overflowing, though it’s not exactly an easy thing to test by any stretch. And when testimonials serve as the main source of evidence, there is a lot of literature out there about the negative end of the spectrum, and we’re not even talking about the industry’s more problematic issues behind the scenes. 

Billie Eilish offered up an example of how she believes her life worsened due to watching all manner sex acts from a young age. 

I think that I had, like, sleep paralysis and these like almost like night terrors, slash, just nightmares because of it. I think that's how they started, because I would just watch abusive BDSM, and that's what I thought was attractive. It got to a point where I couldn't watch anything else. Like, unless it was violent, I didn't think it was attractive. And I was a virgin. I'd never done anything. So it led to problems where, you know, the first few times I had sex, I was not saying no to things that were not good, and it's because I thought that that's what I was supposed to be attracted to.

Similar to the many different ways that movies and television morph people's understanding of simple concepts, as well as their beliefs about history and beyond, porn has a way of making viewers think it's a normalized version of sex, while that's not often the case. In particular, porn can inspire misguided expectations when it comes to subjects like consent,  penis size, orgasms, and as Billie Eilish pointed out, women's bodies. In her words:

I'm so angry that porn is so loved, and I'm so angry at myself for thinking that it was okay. The way that vaginas looking porn is fucking crazy; no vaginas look like that. Women's bodies don't look like that. We don't come like that. We don't fucking enjoy things that are what it looks like people are enjoying.

While certain aspects of the sex industry are on the up and up when it comes to equality and diversity, with more effort being put into eliminating the more questionable videos across Pornhub and beyond, porn will always be a polarizing topic that everyone reacts to and handles differently. I think it’s safe to say no one should expect to see Billie Eilish offering vocal support for any porn parodies of her Disney concert special.

Fans can rewatch Eilish's first SNL hosting gig on Hulu, while taking note of all the big shows heading to the small screen next year with our 2022 TV premiere guide.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.