Carmel & Lynae: Activists & 2018’s Fighters Of The Year
Carmel and Lynae are two twin sisters and Fighters from the U.S. state of Wisconsin. Their journey of getting involved with Fight the New Drug began almost 4 years ago, when they saw a Facebook post from a friend in a red “Porn Kills Love” tee. What started as a mutual interest in our posts on the social network grew into an active following of our blog and other social platforms for both Lynae and Carmel. They made huge waves in their Wisconsin community of La Crosse after a local university paid thousands of dollars to a porn performer to give a talk to students about sex education and porn, intended to help the campus celebrate their Free Speech Week. In response, Lynae and Carmel posted on Facebook wearing their “Porn Kills Love” tees with fellow Fighter friends and talked about how porn harms the consumer, relationships, and society in general. The attention the post received and the wider conversations it sparked were unexpected, but amazing. Hear Carmel and Lynae describe their experiences in spreading awareness of the harms of pornography with podcast host Garrett Jonsson. We are grateful for these two incredible Fighters and their efforts to start a conversation on porn’s harms in their community. It is because of these efforts that Carmel and Lynae were awarded with the 2018 Fighter of the Year award! Think you’ve got what it takes to win it next year? Nominate yourself or a friend for our 2019 Fighter of the Year award for changing the conversation on porn’s harms by visiting fightthenewdrug.org/fighter-of-the-year.
FROM THIS EPISODE
- Fight the New Drug’s Fighter of the Year
- Check out the Fighter Pledge
- Video: Why These Twins Sparked Conversations On Campus About Porn’s Harms
- Article: After A Porn Performer Spoke At This University, These Twins Sparked Conversations On Campus About Porn’s Harms
- Video: Brene Brown, The Vvulnerability Hangover
- The Mayo Clinic on Compulsive Sexual Behavior (CSB)
Garrett: We want to welcome to the podcast, Lynae and Carmel. And this episode is going to be, it’s a very cool episode because they are the Fighters of the year. [laughter]
Garrett: They’re excited as you can tell. But first, we should probably tell him where we’re recording this episode because it’s not just like your common podcast studio. So maybe one of you to tell him where are we at or at this? Or at the same time? [laughter]
Carmel: Well, we’re in the middle of the jungle. We are in Guatemala, specifically in, um, Tikal.
Garrett: Chaz was mispronouncing it and he said, uh, he’s all “Welcome to tickle.” [laughter]
Lynae: Yeah, that’s, Oh, we’re not there.
Garrett: We are in Tikal, and Tikal is a national park in Guatemala. And um, so if you hear like monkeys in the background, that’s why, um, first of all, I don’t, I don’t know how you heard of Fight the New Drug.
Carmel: Oh, I love this story. Can I tell this story?
Lynae: Yeah, go for it.
Carmel: Okay. So, um, in like summer of 2015 we were just scrolling through, I remember this like very clearly, we are a scrolling through Facebook. Um, not together. [laughter]
Lynae: [laughter] We do everything together.
Garrett: On a shared account.
Carmel: Yeah, no, [laughter]. We have a mutual friend and he, he posted a shirt or no, he posted a picture in his red shirt, um, that says porn kills love and it really caught our attention. Um, we actually came to each other later. We’re like, “what can you even can even do that?” Like, like any, he just talked openly. We still vulnerable just on Facebook about his struggle. And uh, we, we ended up like kind of looking into Fight the New Drug and reading in their articles and for both of us we, we kind of just stayed away from pornography because of our morals, and I still like hold onto that, but like Fight the New Drug has taught me that it goes like beyond morals with the science and the facts. So, um, that’s what like got us interested.
Garrett: So, it all started with the red PKL shirt?
Carmel: Yeah. And then I guess like along the way, just meeting people and being in tough relationships that had a third party, pornography, like…
Garrett: Present in the relationship?
Carmel: Yeah, it really pushed us like towards Fight the New Drug. Not, not, sometimes it was selfish like, “Oh, I want to prove this person wrong.” But a lot of times, like a lot of times it was like, “I want to help this person and I want to know like how I can help.” So Fight the New Drug is like a really awesome resource.
Lynae: It was also of interesting because when we saw the porn kills love shirts for the first time, that’s when I started asking my peers about it and I didn’t know it was such a huge problem and I was shocked by so many people that struggled with it and my heart just went out to them because I just saw such a devastation in their eyes when they talked about it. And I wanted them to believe that there was an opportunity to heal from it and that they weren’t part of the problem. Like porn is a problem. Like you are not a mistake because of this. So, um,…
Garrett: That’s cool. When we created that shirt, the porn kills love shirt. Um, we took all the science and research that we were finding and about how it affects individuals in relationships than we summed it up into three words because it really, it affects, pornography can affect four areas when it comes to relationships that can affect what we love, how much we love, how we think about those we love and how even express love and there’s science and research to back that up. And so when we created that shirt, we just took the three simple words, porn kills love and it’s just for us, it’s a, it’s a statement that is bold, but it’s just kind of like a matter of fact like the science and research has shown the all forms of pornography disrupt true connection. And, but some people think that that shirt can be shaming some, some people who see it.
Um, but that’s not the intent at all. Kind of like, like what you said, you said that, uh, “There’s opportunity to heal.” and basically I, that shirt isn’t meant to shame. It’s kind of meant to say, Hey, like, do you want love in your life? Do you want human connection?
Garrett: Then there’s a way to get that a better, more healthy way.
Garrett: That’s cool. So from seeing that shirt, one thing you mentioned Carmel, was that uh, you said that you were in tough relationships where there’s like the third party, pornography, was present. Can you talk to that a little bit more? Like, was in a dating situation or?
Carmel: Yeah. Kind of, but not like a very serious relationship is kinda more like the dating process. Getting to know that person and I, I realize like I didn’t think it was like such a big deal at first but I kind of started to realize how it started. Like people I really cared about it kind of affected them and like ways they, they view the world, how they view people. Like I’m not shaming them at all. Like it was sometimes I felt like more of an object than an actual person. But I, it was really hard. I made a decision like not to date that person, not because like I didn’t like they were a problem or anything, but I viewed it as like, I, this is like my personal opinion when it comes to this. If someone’s really struggling or having an addiction with pornography and they want a dating relationship, I think they need to get well first, because I believe like my personal belief is that like a relationship, a new relationship might be up like gasoline to a fire. Um, I’m not, I’m not mad at those people at all. Like I’ve actually grown a lot and I’d be like really respect them because, um, those people have like opened up to me. Like they didn’t have to, they didn’t really, they really didn’t have to, but they did. And I know that like they’re doing much better, but it like, it also sucked. It really did. Like, because porn kills love.
Garrett: I think, I think, I think that a lot of people out there trying to date today that you said, you said they were fortunate cause they opened up to you.
Garrett: Um, well I think a lot of people aren’t talking about this, maybe like they should be. Carmel, I’ll direct this to you since kind of the one talking about this, are you the type of person that does have a relation or does have a discussion about pornography when you’re dating?
Carmel: Um, in the past, no, recently, yes. Because of how, like pornography made me feel, like…
Lynae: I have, I have something to say about that.
Carmel: Go for it.
Lynae: I was also seeing a guy, it wasn’t like a serious relationship, but I knew right, right off the bat there was a serious problem with pornography. And um, there were just some moments we had together where I just didn’t feel treated well. I felt kind of like an object or whatever. And I remember thinking after I ended that relationship, the next relationship I ever go into, this is going to be one of the first things we talk about because I refuse to be treated like this and no one else guy, gal should be treated like this either. So the next relationship I went into and I was pretty serious about, um, I was fortunate enough who not my now fiance, I didn’t even have to, I don’t even have to say anything. He just opened his heart and that just showed like, you know, guys and girls that struggle with it is just like, it’s pretty serious. Like you need to talk about it. If it’s impacted your life a little bit or a lot, you just need to say, Hey, this is, this is what, uh, this is what junk I’ve had and you, you should be able to know what I’ve had in my past because in a relationship, whatever you’ve had in your past is going to bleed into your future, whatever it was.
Garrett: 100%. You’re right. I think a lot of people go into relationship, they’re going to show a little bit of baggage to show a little bit of vulnerability, but it’s not true vulnerability. I mean it’s a portion, but there’s some of that hiding on the back end, because they don’t want to discuss fully these challenges. So I think like I look up to you too. How old are you too, by the way?
Carmel: We’re 22.
Garrett: Yeah. So you’re 20th two years old and you’re kind of set in this standards standard of like “This what I want out of a relationship.” and this is, this is um, “This is what I need out of a relationship.” And I think that’s so important for, for dating nowadays because of the world we live in.
Lynae: Absolutely. And it’s, the biggest challenge for me too is like, because it’s been such a problem for the majority of the, of guys today. Like how if this is like genuinely an amazing guy and like I’m feeling led to be in a relationship with him and he has had these issues, like how am I going to choose to treat him? Am I just going to look at him and be like, “Oh, you’ve dealt with it. Like I’m just going to kick you to the curb.” or am I going to see his vulnerability in his ability to, you know, not let this like beat him to the ground and he actually wants to deal with this and I’m, am I going to choose to forgive him if he’s choosing to heal, if he’s choosing to get out of it, like that’s huge too.
Garrett: One thing I always think about because of my challenge with pornography is like I’m at such an advantage because I did have to go through that challenge because now like with my kids I can talk to them openly and so I think that’s the hopeful side of having this challenge because, and like for those who are dating, I’m married and but like those who are still looking.
Garrett: It can actually be an advantage to date someone who’s had a challenge. If they’re working on themselves and they’re healing and they’re being honest and vulnerable and putting forth the effort because then they can have open discussions later on with your kid if you guys plan to have kids or whatever.
Lynae: Yeah, absolutely.
Carmel: I was just going to say like vulnerability is like so, so terrifying, like right up there with public right up there with public speaking.
Garrett: It really is.
Carmel: Like you don’t want people to know your deepest, darkest secrets. But one, one thing for me, like even with friends and family, when I was vulnerable, um, I grew a lot more like I grew so close, like close to that person and I felt like I grew, uh, as an individual and I’m not, like, I’m not, I don’t even feel like I’m the same Carmel that I was six months ago because like I just learned that vulnerability is a good thing. And then sometimes it’s not all like sometimes like you meet people and it’s not always like rainbows and butterflies, but I think you just gotta like you have to be vulnerable to the people you’re closest with and love and…
Garrett: One hundred percent, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.
Carmel: One hundred and ten percent. [laughter]
Garrett: Seriously. You, I mean, that’s so true. And um, yeah, that has to come, that vulnerability has to continue through the relationship.
Lynae: And if there’s someone who chooses to be vulnerable with you, that should only make you be more respectful towards them. That’s something I learned a huge, I’ve learned not only his forgiveness but his respect. Like, are you going to be kind to this person? Are you going to choose it? Think the best of them when they’re going through the worst, like because of who they really are and not this image you’ve made them to be because they’ve struggled with this. Like they’re, they’re human, they’re loved and they, you know, we all are given love. So it’s like we have to show love to each other too.
Garrett: One hundred percent.
Lynae: And like I said, like those people I’ve like dated like, like I don’t, I’m not mad at them because they struggled with pornography. I have actually like more respect for them today than the day I met them because they are open about that.
Garrett: Yeah. That’s so true. And I’ve noticed that when, when I open up, when I’m vulnerable, it strengthens both parties usually, you know?
Garrett: So that’s so important. That’s cool. Um, one thing that I do want to be clear about is that when we’re talking about addiction, I think sometimes we overuse the word addiction because not everyone who has a challenge or pornography, no matter what the gender is, not everyone who has a challenge of pornography is addicted. But often times we, it’s almost like I know you’ve used it and I’ve used it, but were not, neither of us are like, we’re not a credible source to diagnose addiction, you know?
Garrett: And so I think it’s important to realize that. And um, so once you saw, it’s kind of back stepping a little bit, once you saw the PKL shirt, what was kind of like the first thing that you guys did or one of the first things you remember that was like your thing. So you saw the message through, through the PKL shirt and now how did you guys start spreading the message? Was it through conversation or w did you guys go buy some merchandise or would, what’d you do?
Lynae: Oh my gosh, the first thing we did was buy the merchandise right away. Um, we were actually away when we ordered it and we were like so anxious to come back and get it. So when we came back right away, we threw on those shirts and we made, we both made Instagram posts, just about our passion to share it and we just didn’t like throw our thoughts about it right away. We really tried to educate ourselves. Like we saw the post read a bunch of blogs and resources and um, just everything you just articles just looking at this and after collecting all the information, it just kinda hit me like “Holy cow. Like the people that know me need to know this cause I like, I care about this too much to be silent about it.” So we both threw on those shirts and we made Instagram posts.
Garrett: That’s cool.
Lynae: I remember, um, just clearly stating like what I was talking about earlier is that there is a chance for healing and if you, and kind of like we were talking about before, just vulnerability. Like if you just open up about this, just the hardest step, the first step, opening up, being vulnerable. Like there’s just healing in that too.
Garrett: For sure. Yeah, that we talked a little bit about that vulnerability and once you start talking to someone, it strengthens you and it strengthens the person you’re talking to. Um, so did you, well first of all, Carmel, do you remember what your posts said? I
Carmel: I think I waited a until Valentine’s day because my favorite color is red, so I was really excited about the shirt and I wait until Valentine’s day and I’m sure I said some other stuff, but, um, I remember saying, “Make sure you’re loving the right person today. Like whether it’s your mom, your dad, your boyfriend or your girlfriend.”
Garrett: Cool, it’s just about human connection.
Carmel: Um, it’s, it’s like more than just like the physical, like people say, like sometimes we say love and our mind can go to like cheese curds or, or sex or like, I like it go with so many places, or puppies, but like, I think…
Garrett: Or chocolate, or coffee.
Carmel: Oh my goodness. Both of those. Um,… I would say like intimacy is just so much more than,
Garrett: Well I think this term is misunderstood because just as an example with like with my wife, so like my wife, I can like reach over and like rub her elbow or like tickle her back. I can’t do that to a stranger.
Garrett: Can you imagine?
Lynae: You could try. [laughter]
Garrett: Exactly. [laughter] And so it’s like that is one level of an intimate relationship. With my buddy, I can give him a hug, you know, and I can, I can, uh, yeah, I can do that with a dude. And coming from a heterosexual male, it’s like, that’s intimate. Right? Um, so once you guys posted, stepping back and we keep getting sidetracked, once you guys posted, I want to hear a little bit about like some haters and also some people that reached out and be like, “Dude, I love what you’re doing.”
Lynae: I think I just kind of expected that I would still be received really well. And when I saw the, um, just the amount of, I don’t even think it’s that big of amount, honestly. I got so much love and support, but just probably reading the comments section on those posts in those articles and everything was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done. It was so stupid.
Garrett: Can you explain what it was the, that set up that skepticism?
Lynae: Um, absolutely. So I think Carmelo is better at telling the story. So I’m gonna let her go at this.
Carmel: There’s, there’s like so many details to this story, but I’ll give you the shortened version. But, um, so a school in our college, in our community, um,…
Garrett: Where are you guys from, by the way?
Carmel: Wisconsin. We’re from Wisconsin.
Lynae: GOOOOOO PACKERS! [laughter]
Garrett: [laughter] They’re wearing cheesehead hats right now.
Carmel: That’s so… hey, that was between us. But yeah, so a school in our community, uh, I guess I don’t remember the official, his official spot or job. I think the president of that school, um, brought in a porn star to talk about like sex education and, um, I, I wasn’t present in that, in that talk, but I won’t, I won’t act like I know everything, but I know enough that it, I don’t think the way it happened and what she was talking about was very smart. It was very secret. I, in my opinion, they paid her too much and um, like I’m open about like having freedom of speech, but it was just, it just seemed wrong. Like it didn’t seem like the porn star had, uh, saw the connection between, um, sex trafficking and pornography.
Garrett: You said they did see the connection or didn’t?,
Carmel: Oh, sorry. They didn’t.
Carmel: But, um, so our community, like the, uh, the newspaper put out, um, something in our community got really mad and Lynae and I, we stepped out and we’re like, we got our friends together and I said, we’re going to wear a tee shirts. I’m going to make this Facebook post and we’re going to share it and we’re going to try to get, Fight the New Drug.
Garrett: So this was after she had come to campus?
Carmel: Yeah, after. Um, and then do you want to, do you want to share the rest of?
Lynae: Yeah. I think another frustrating aspect of the story is that we had an organization, um, on campus that asked for money for the school, just a super small amount, like way, way, way, way less than they paid for this porn star to come to have Fight the New Drug. And the school rejected our, our um,…
Garrett: Donation or request?
Lynae: Yeah, and it was so small and we guaranteed way more people, at least 300 plus people and only 70 people showed up to this event.
Garrett: So it’s almost like you felt like, yeah, you’re for freedom of speech and they’re bringing in this porn star. But then they wouldn’t provide funds to talk about the unhealthy side of…
Lynae: Yeah, and I’m open for both sides of the story in the subject to be exposed. But I just felt like in this case, because people maybe might look at it and think that, you know, this is just old news and it’s wrong without looking at the facts or whatever, would just say, “No, let’s, let’s throw it to the side.” So our community was really frustrated and, um, the, the club on campus was just really hurt. They were like, what? Like we tried to get Fight here and there were no funds given and it was…
Garrett: So what happened a week later you posted in your shirts kind of talking about the harmful effects of pornography?
Lynae: Um, what ended up happening is at like I went through, like when people ask about my merchandise, I always talk about, um, how porn affects our brain, our heart and the society as a whole. Um, so that’s what I talked about with my post. And at the end I asked people to share it and I mean, we didn’t go viral or anything, but it got pretty big in our like community and a lot of people liked and shared it. Um, because we wanted to get social, like the um, attention on social media for the school to bring in Fight.
Garrett: It was a way for you to help change the conversation.
Lynae: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And what ended up happening was like do people talking to the President of the school and through lots of social media, um, attention, like they ended up bringing Fight the New Drug. And dude, that was like such an exciting day.
Carmel: Oh my word. We were driving to school and…
Lynae: We were driving to a coffee shop. [laughter]
Carmel: What else would we be doing?
Garrett: You’re either getting educated or getting caffeinated.
Garrett: One of the two.
Lynae: We like, we don’t even go to this school, but it’s just part of our, there’s like a couple of colleges in our community and we’re very, we really care about all of the campuses. So it was an email from the President sent out to that campus and someone took a screenshot of it and sent it to us right away. We lost it. We were screaming and jumping around like Fight the New Drug is coming here. We couldn’t believe it. Like it was, it just kind of went from me.
Garrett: That gave me the chills just barely. That’s so cool.
Carmel: Like, I’m kind of going back to that question like from that, from that Facebook post, um, after like we did receive like we got a little bit of hate on that Facebook post. Yeah, lots of support. Little bit of hate. But when Fight the New Drug, like officially decide to come, that’s when like it was overwhelming where I had to turn off my notifications on Facebook because people I didn’t even know were commenting, not just like, like, “Oh you’re so dumb.” But it was like really inappropriate stuff. Like very explicit like, and like, pardon me, just want to be like “Come out and say it to my face.” [laughter]
Garrett: For sure. [laughter]
Carmel: But I really questioned myself a lot. I was like, really…
Garrett: You were like “Shoot. Should I have done this?”
Carmel: Yeah. Should I have done this? I kind of like, I’m going to be vulnerable. I got depressed. Like I was like, should I like just delete all my social media and hide? But like,…
Garrett: You know what’s interesting is, do you by chance, I’m on the spot here so, well it’s very possible you don’t know, but do, does the name Brené Brown ring a bell?
Garrett: No? So Brené Brown is very well known right now for talking about vulnerability. And one of the things that she talks about is a vulnerability-hangover. That’s what she calls it because it’s not fun. Like you were saying, like you kind of want it, you want it to delete your social media platforms and that’s part of being vulnerable is that that vulnerability-hangover anyway, keep going. [laughter]
Carmel: No. Yeah, but what made it worth it was just remembering the truth and like why we did this, we didn’t do this to shame anyone. We didn’t, we didn’t do this because we were at like angry anyone. We just thought like our community deserves to know like the truth and there is like freedom of speech. Like that point started, got her freedom speech, that porn star got her freedom of speech, and we want ours.
Garrett: Yeah. And it’s interesting to me that,..
Garrett: Oh, you’re good. What were you gonna say?
Carmel: I was just going to say like, like that vulnerability hangover like really sucked. But like I was also happy because I knew Fight was coming, but what really, I don’t want to jump ahead of ourselves but really like was a game changer is when Fight the New Drug contacted us and said, “Hey, you’re the Fighters of the year. And not only that you had a trip to Guatemala.” We were like, “No. Huh?” Like “Is this happening?”
Garrett: Where are you guys at when you guys found out you were Fighters of the year?
Lynae: Okay. So Fight the New Drug kept contacting me and I was at work and I work with kids and when you work with kids, the only moment you get alone is if you really have to pee. [laughter] So I just, I remember talking to my boss and I was like, can I go in your office for like five minutes? I almost didn’t watch it. It was a live video and there’s a kid on the computer. I don’t know why he’s in there. I just remember him being in there. And I go in there and I watched a video and I start crying and he looks over at me. He’s like, “What happened?” I’m like, “I’m going to Guatemala.”, and I was just so happy and
I want people to know why I’m so happy that I got Fighter of the year, wasn’t the attention like, “Oh, I deserve all this good attention because I did this.” It just kinda came to this moment. It’s like Fighters are the year meant that you really fought and it sometimes it’s just, it’s really good to, you have to acknowledge those people that are fighting. And I’m not saying, “Oh, you should come acknowledge Carmel and I.”, all this stuff. But it was just, it just kind of letting my heart know. It’s like “Lynae, you’ve been fighting and you need to keep fighting. It doesn’t stop once you get Fighter the year. It was just like, okay, you’re a Fighter and you need to keep fighting.
Garrett: Yeah. That’s so cool.
Carmel: Well, I was in the Walmart parking. [laughter]
Garrett: Nice, and his episode is brought to you by Walmart. [laughter]
Carmel: Thanks, Walmart. I can’t remember why I was buying it. I think. I don’t even think I went into the store. I think I just left, but I was so excited. But I watched your video. Yeah, I didn’t even go. I watched the video and I was like, yeah, jumping up and down in my car. I was like so happy, like screaming and a little bit of tears in the first thing I did. I called my mom and I said she picked up the phone and she’s like, “Hi!”, and I’m like, “Mom, I’m going to Guatemala!”
Carmel: And she’s like, “You need a backup.”
Garrett: She’s like “I thought you were going to Walmart?” [laughter]
Carmel: Yeah, seriously. She’s like, “You need a backup.” And I told her everything and I’m definitely on the same page as Lynae, like this, like it’s such an opportunity and like being Fighter of the year was really like, like it was really hard. Like I like I love people and I just hate not being on their side. Like I always want to see like the benefit of the doubt in them. I always want to give compassion because like Fight the New Drug is all about compassion.
Carmel: No matter what belief, what political stance, what religion.
Lynae: Like, like another thing was like we aren’t creating ammunition to go at you and make you feel bad about what you believe. We simply want you to make ’em want to make you feel received and that you understand the information that we are giving to you.
Garrett: Yeah, and we don’t, I think one part of about being a Fighter for true human connection in a Fighter to end sexual exploitation is talking about the harmful effects of pornography, but also kind of helping people understand and see and consider a life free of pornography, and it’s influenced because once you’re free of it, in my experience it’s so much better, but it’s challenging to get away from it sometimes.
Lynae: I see, even in the relationships I’ve been with guys who did struggle with pornography and guys that didn’t, I just saw a huge difference in how they treated me. And even in those relationships with guys that struggled with pornography and you know, not any relationship is perfect. I believe that I deserve to be treated a certain way or…
Garrett: One hundred percent. I like want to give you like a standing ovation.
Lynae: It’s so true though. Or even I would say my peers when I saw them, um, just go through this process of healing for it and fighting to be free from it. I saw so much more joy. Like it wasn’t like, “Oh, I’m happier because, you know, I got more money.” or whatever. Like “My job’s doing really well. It’s just like I simply just normal, it’s not simple. Like I just let go of this aspect in life and I’m finding more joy in things instead of trying to fulfill this through pornography in what pornography does it, it’s, you think it’s fulfilling that need for joy, but it’s digging a deeper hole and you know, you’re not putting anything in it.
Garrett: Yeah. I mean it perpetuates false expectations for both genders. And um, so yeah, we want people to consider a life free from pornography. But jumping back, um, I also wanted to say that I think it’s interesting that your college brought in a porn star to talk about sex. And the reason why is because like much of pornography is not what real sex looks like.
Garrett: So that’s kind of bizarre. It’s almost like bringing in and I know because much of pornography and there’s lots of science and research showing that it’s exaggerated. So one of the examples that I like to give is like, it’s like that would be like bringing in some, someone from the WWE, like some wrestler to talk about communication. [laughter]
Lynae: That’s not a good idea, bro. [laughter] It is like, it’s like teaching kids what you know, a good relationship is like through Hollywood movies is just like you can’t have that expectation because life isn’t going to be perfect. You’re not always going to get your way or it’s not always going to feel this. So yeah, like what you said, the WWE talking about communication, people would just look at that and be like, “What?”
Garrett: And it’s interesting that the college gave funds to bring in a porn star to talk about sex.
Lynae: And it was, it was so frustrating for our community, which okay, quick shout out. We couldn’t have done this without our community.
Carmel: Like CRU.
Lynae: Yeah, to CRU. Thanks CRU. We love you CRU. But it was true though. Like we, it was just heartbreaking for us. It was like, we have something and we all just, even if people from our community thing comment, if it was just people from crew, we already had promised 300 people and we asked for such a little amount of money, and it was like you and you had 70 people show up to this event and you paid thousands of dollars for this girl to come. And it just, it just broke our hearts. And we were like, we like, we want these people to…
Garrett: To hear the other side?
Lynae: Yeah, hear the other side. And um, it just, it was hard. It was frustrating and it wasn’t like we wanted to come at these people and, you know, punch them in the throats or whatever and be like, you’re so wrong for doing this. It’s kinda like that kid in the back of the classroom just raising their hands saying, “Can, can I say something?” You know? “Oh, uh, NO!”. Just like, what the heck? Like why?
Garrett: Yeah. That’s cool. One thing that I liked that you said Lynae, just barely is there was a community behind you?
Lynae: Yeah. Just I just like, I, I think people might look at us and I don’t want them to believe that Carmel and I did this by ourselves like we had, even the people, we had people come up to us and like, “Oh we gotta, we gotta sign a petition. Let’s get, let’s get people to sign this.” We got 200 signatures. We had people buying the Porn Kills Love shirt. Like when Fight came to lacrosse, that was the, the craziest amount of people I’ve ever seen wearing the porn kills love. It was, it was everywhere. It blew my mind. I was like, “Whoa, what is this?”
Garrett: This is changing the conversation.
Lynae: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Garrett: Well one of our goals that Fight the New Drug, you know, is changed the conversation and you guys helped do that and I love that you acknowledge the support you had because I think a lot of our, we all play different roles in this movement for love. Your, it’s interesting too how, how much duration of time you guys were fighting before you kind of got recognized for good efforts. It took years of kind of, and you guys were, you guys were very uh, level headed about it. You’d throw a post out every once in awhile and then it progressed to the point where you helped bring in a Fight the New Drug presentation in your college.
Garrett: I mean it’s cool.
Lynae: There were other things too. Like we like in nowhere Iowa we went to a presentation and we’re like, dude, we got to get this to Wisconsin. Or even just simple opportunities like having a speech class in your college. Um, I would say there were just in the course of like two years at that college we’re at now, there’ve been maybe like five people who have talked about this topic and has used speech class.
Carmel: In speech class specifically.
Lynae: Yeah, in speech calss. And one of that…
Garrett: Like they would get up and they have an assignment to discuss something and they choose to talk about the harmful effects of pornography.
Lynae: Yeah. One of them was our younger sister. One of them was a really good friend of ours. Um, and that takes guts even though like it might be a classroom of 10 people. Like for me, public speaking is so freaking scary.
Carmel: Oh, I love it. [laughter]
Lynae: Well, you’re like, you’re getting up there and you’re like, “I don’t know how people are gonna receive this.” And the way they did receive it was shocking because I expected that I would get a lot of, um, disagreement. Um, but the majority of the feedback I got was “I had no idea. I had no idea.” People don’t even know that statistics that are huge. It’s huge. It’s, it’s critical to know these things are, I’m talking too much. [laughter]
Garrett: No, you’re good. That’s so true. That’s so true. Um, fast forward to today and you’re here in Guatemala and today is, I don’t know today’s Monday. So we’ve been here for, I don’t know, five days or so. Right? Five or six days they’re blending together a little bit. Um, have you learned anything on this trip as you’ve been here in Guatemala? Cause one of our goals, by the way, for our listeners, one of our goals is to globalize this movement for love and for human connection. And so we’re in Guatemala and we’re going to be certifying a presenter here locally tomorrow in a presentation so that when we leave this individual can continue to, um, give live presentations here in this country, in his native tongue. So that’s pretty cool. Um, I can honestly say that I love our, like our team members on this trip.
Garrett: It’s very cool.
Carmel: And it’s a different setting because like, like we’re on long bus rides and to sit next to someone you don’t know and be like, “So how did you hear about Fight the New Drug?” And then before you know what you have in like a really deep two hour conversation and you’re in a like a different setting, you’re not used to where you are, but like for some reason this atmosphere, you’re like, “Hi, I’m Carmel and this is everything about me.” [laughter]
Garrett: [laughter] Yeah, for sure. That’s really cool.
Lynae: Something I learned is for me personally, I struggled with this mindset that, you know, I can love everyone, but the people I can connect with, um, the most are people that I kind of create in my head. Like they have to be coffee drinkers, or you… Oh, I get along with these people the most or whatever.
Garrett: Like you’re like setting expectations for,… yeah, I think we all do that.
Lynae: Yeah, absolutely. And just coming here, it’s just showing me how to respect and love and connect with people more despite where they have been in the past.
Garrett: Yeah, we have people. Yeah, we have people on the trip with us from Guatemala. We have people from, um, Chile, we have pupil from Canada, and all over the United States and we’ve come together to, to learn and grow and hang out.
Lynae: Just coming here, just you and the people of this culture. It’s just showing like, “Dude, you’re loved.” Like I can show you that compassion too. And even with my teammates, like I can easily say like, I’ve never connected with people this fast. And even you told me the other day, Garrett, you just simply said, you gave me like this watermelon drink. You’re like, “Remember we’re family.” and then like burned in my head all day. Like, Holy cow, “We’re family.”, and we’re, we’re family. Not because obviously like biological.
Garrett: Yeah. Not blood.
Lynae: Yeah, not by blood or anything, but it’s just like,…
Carmel: That’d be weird to find out. [laughter]
Lynae: [laughter] We know some really crappy stuff about each other and some really awesome stuff about each other, but we’re still going to choose to love and respect each other.
Garrett: For sure.
Lynae: And I want to, I want like that um, mindset has been expanded for me to show to people. Maybe, I don’t even know. Maybe I’m going to run into someone who’s just ha, “Oh my gosh, you’ve done all this bad stuff. Oh, you struggle with pornography.” I want to get rid of that crap.
Garrett: Yeah, I like that “Get rid of that crap.”, [laughter] one reason, one of the reasons why I like that phrase is because I actually don’t really like the word. I kinda like to remove the word “bad” because I I like, I like to replace that word with unhealthy because oftentimes bad is like kind of shaming. Some people might take it as shaming, but it’s like unhealthy. You’re making unhealthy decisions that are affecting you, your relationships, your future relationships and society.
Garrett: Um, and then going back to the watermelon drink, I, you said that I brought to the warmer drink. I think an important aspect to realize is that you asked for that watermelon drink.
Carmel: Good job, Lynae.
Garrett: The reason why I say that’s important is because like that’s kind of this relates back to this topic, it’s like if you need help, if you need, we don’t want to ask for help nowadays. Right? Was it challenging? This is kind of a weird stupid question, but like was it weird to ask for that watermelon dream? Did it feel weird?
Lynae: Yeah, because in my mind is like if I ask someone for anything, if it’s a watermelon drink or like, you know, “
Can I sit down?” or whatever. It’s just, you know, you’re still afraid of that.
Garrett: And you don’t want to step on someone’s toes. And I think it relates to this topic though because it’s weird because it’s like you’ve got to ask for help.
Lynae: It’s so true.
Garrett: And then once you, people are going to help you once you ask for help. And that’s what we encourage our listeners to do is like reach out and ask someone for a watermelon drink. [laughter] I’m just joking. No, reach out and ask for help. Reach out and ask for help because it helps that once again going back like full circle here, that vulnerability strengthens both parties, you know?
Lynae: Yeah. And I just kind of pops into my mind, like challenge your community to ask for help too. Or be that person in your community that asks for help. That’s what Carmel and I had to do. We, if like, if we didn’t have support from our community just to be like, help share this post or just sign this petition,…
Garrett: Yeah, it takes a village.
Lynae: Yeah. Seriously. Like we wouldn’t be here.
Garrett: What were you going to say, Carmel?
Carmel: Oh, I was going to just say like right away, like a quote that my dad always says popped in my mind and he said, um, “I looked for a friend and I found none. I became a friend and I found many.”
Garrett: Whoa, I like that.
Carmel: I like it too. And my dad’s been telling me that for a very long time.
Garrett: That’s such a good quote. I’m going to steal that.
Carmel: No, take it. Everyone who’s listening, take it. Because like, sometimes we can just sit here and expect the world to like just hand us stuff or like expect people to do stuff for us. But I think what you want, like give it like, and like if you want help, well asked, ask for it, ask for it, and then also give help.
Garrett: For sure.
Carmel: Um, yeah. Ask for a watermelon drink. Give watermelon drinks. [laughter]
Garrett: I love that metaphor now, it’s awesome. Well, you guys, we are so we have so many Fighters around the world who are doing their part, you know, and we are so grateful for each Fighter that starting conversations for helping each other, for helping themselves and for asking for help and giving help. It’s just, it’s so cool. And, and you two are no exception. Like we are so grateful for your efforts. We freakin’ love you guys.
Carmel: Yeah, we freakin’ love you guys too.
Lynae: Fight the New Drug is awesome.
Garrett: You guys are awesome. Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode.
Carmel: Yeah, thank you.
Thanks for joining us on this episode of Consider Before Consuming. Consider Before Consuming is brought to you by Fight the New Drug. Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.
Fight the New Drug is a registered 501c3, if you want to support this podcast, you can do so by going to fightthenewdrug.org/donate or by texting CONSIDER to 43506.
Until next time.