Is Porn the New Smoking?

Is Porn the New Smoking? A look at how harmful porn addiction really is.Is porn the new smoking? Our culture seems to be very nonchalant about porn addiction. Here’s an honest look at it. Every Friday my syndicated column appears in a bunch of newspapers in southeastern Ontario and Saskatchewan. This week let’s talk about the slippery slope of our culture.

Plane rides as a young child were always filled with trepidation for me. It wasn’t crashing that I was afraid of. It was being assigned the first row in the “no smoking” section–meaning that the row right in front of you was lighting up. In the 1970s half the population smoked.

A few decades earlier King George VI was even told to smoke for his health. It would keep him less stressed, and would help his stuttering problem. Unfortunately, he died in his fifties of complications from smoking.

It wasn’t too long ago, then, that smoking was considered harmless, and even kings did it. It was cool, it was fun, and it helped you relax! Today if you smoke you’re a pariah. Don’t you care about your health?

Smoking was once cool and widespread, but now it’s in disfavour. I wonder if porn will follow the same trajectory, because it has all the same ingredients. People think it’s cool. It’s a way to relax! It’s harmless.

And yet, drip by drip, little by little, researchers are starting to realize how destructive it can actually be, both to relationships and to the person using porn him or herself. Porn rewires the brain so that what becomes arousing isn’t a person; it’s an image. And pretty soon arousal requires that stimulus. Being with a live human being isn’t enough anymore.

In fact, sex and relationship counselor Ian Kerner reports on a new term for this–Sexual Attention Deficit Disorder, or SADD. Consume enough porn, and not only do you find making love with a person boring; often men aren’t even able to function without the external stimulus.

Pornography actually works in the brain very similarly to the way cocaine does–except that it’s more addictive. Using porn releases the naturally occurring “pleasure” hormones dopamine, norepinephrine, oxytocin and serotonin in high levels. The dopamine spike in the brain from porn lasts even longer than regular sex–even longer than cocaine. So you go from craving a real relationship to having a porn addiction, at an even greater intensity than drug users crave drugs.

And unlike other drugs, which do leave the system, those images are imprinted there. Once you see something, it’s hard to get it out. Even if you want to just be romantic and concentrate on your spouse, these pictures flood back.

Those pictures give a dangerous message, too: sex is only about the physical, and never about an emotional connection. I worry that people are losing the ability to make love, and all they’re doing is having sex, with porn videos running through their heads the entire time. That’s not loving someone; that’s using someone.

Porn addiction is like any other addiction: eventually your body becomes accustomed to the stimulus, and you need more and more of it to achieve the same high.

What started off as just watching women in bikinis can progress to watching violence, rape, and even child porn. Last month Ontario’s former deputy education minister, Benjamin Levin, who also worked on Premier Wynn’s transition team, was arrested on seven charges related to child pornography. This isn’t something that affects only the “seedy underside” of our society; it’s the well-connected and wealthy, too.

People who use porn are more likely to be unfaithful in marriage; more likely to start up an online “cyber affair”; more likely to lose their jobs; more likely to go bankrupt; and more likely to become severely depressed. And so perhaps it’s no surprise that, as Dr. Jill Manning testified before the U.S. Senate, porn use is now implicated in 56% of divorces.

Maybe you really think porn isn’t that bad. It’s fun, and only uptight people criticize it! Well, that’s what they used to think about smoking. And there’s a reason people stopped.

Comments

  1. The biggest problem is that you can’t hide being a smoker very well. Even if no one sees you do it, you smell of it. If people “smelled” like porn use, then it would probably die off a lot quicker, at least in the churches….either that or a lot fewer people would be coming to church.
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  2. What a terrific analogy, Sheila! Sadly, there are still a lot of self-proclaimed relationship experts and marriage therapists who actually recommend porn. I just wonder what studies and stats they are looking at, not to mention the marriages they must see tanking. I hope you are right and that people wake up to the damage that prevalent pornography is doing.
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  3. I hope it does die out eventually. Until then, those of us who know that porn is evil, and why, need to keep fighting to keep it out of our marriages and lives, and speaking out against it. If it’s kept hush-hush, it will just become more rampant. I think that’s one of Satan’s favorite tactics: to keep his best weapons quiet and hidden so we won’t attack them. Well, this needs to be attacked! Thanks for speaking out.
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  4. It is very sad to me when we mentor young couples and the men, in their twenties, tell us they find sex boring. We have come to find out that this almost always means they are addicted to porn and have no desire to have sex with their wives. Helping them to stop porn is not an easy task.
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  5. Oh,so well said! Keep preaching this truth from the housetops-for people are reading and pondering. I am praying for you!
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  6. Sheila,I would love for that to be the case, however,I am becoming more disillusioned each day.
    You said more people are having sex but not making love. This seems to be the trend that is being pushed in our culture.
    There are movies that make lots of money, but are really just vulgar and disgusting.
    When once upon a time the focus was on teen boys losing their virginity, there is one out now where a teen girl has a “to do list” that includes a list of sexual acts she wants to do before college.
    The thing is, people, young people, are going to see this and want to do it too.
    I wish there were more people willing to stand up and say no to this kind of message.
    I have heard kids talking about these types of movies and how funny they are.

    My oldest son said kids don’t know what garbage is anymore.

    If I am considered uptight, then I will wear that label proudly.

    • So true. Almost every movie is disgusting. Yet the spiritually hungry teens in my youth group just sop it up with all the other kids. It’s virtually impossible to avoid. And if you want to be the least bit popular, well, everything goes, including your soul.

  7. ButterflyWings says:

    It does not surprise me at all porn is implicated in 56% of divorces. I’d hazard a guess and say the actual rate is much higher, except in many cases the woman either doesn’t know or doesn’t see it for the problem that it really is (or perhaps uses it herself as well). Or particularly when the reverse is true, women with porn addictions tend to be even more focussed on hiding it and I’m guessing a lot of the time their husbands don’t know.

    • I will agree with you, ButterflyWings…
      or perhaps the women do know, but prefer to keep their head in the sand, enabling the behavior. Not knowing what to do, or willing to change things.

  8. @Pastor Ed Martin

    I think the addictive nature of pornography has been well documented.

    I checked your web site and couldn’t find a definition of pornography. Can you tell us what you mean by pornography?

  9. Very thought-provoking article! I have read a little bit of the research on porn but not much. I’d love to educate myself further, especially because I’m one who tends to think porn isn’t necessarily bad. I’m open to changing my mind though. Do you, by chance, have any scientific journal article references on hand that you could share? Particularly the ones from which the stats in the second-to-last paragraph come? Or any others, really. I’m a nerd and like to read the primary literature on things :)
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  10. happywife says:

    hmmm, I don’t know. It seems to me that smoking lost favor as our society became more fitness, health, and beauty obsessed. It’s all about image. I have nothing against health an fitness, and I’m not supporting smoking, but do you hear what I’m saying?
    Sexual promiscuity, on the other hand, seems to be gaining popularity and I don’t see us going back as a society. The rampant porn use is a natural progression of the sexual revolution/sexual freedom mindset. Not even the increase of sexually transmitted diseases has made anyone stop and think that perhaps we’re doing something wrong… no, we just preach “safe sex” and throw more money into AIDS research. Nobody is going to be told what they can and can’t do sexually, and we just keep spiraling deeper and deeper into the filth of immorality. No, I don’t think porn is going anywhere… it’s just going to become so mainstream that it isn’t even blinked at. And really there is already so much soft porn in mainstream tv and movies that our kids are already desensitized to much of it.

    • I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a spiritual war at base. And only spiritual weapons can fight it. Like AA’s “higher power” and the stories we hear of people overcoming additions only with “the help of the Lord.” But we live in a secular society, with separation of church and state, the privatization of religion, the glorification of public sin, and spineless political leaders.

  11. Love your example of comparing porn towards smoking and I pray that we start seeing some change. The percentage does not surprise me at all and completely breaks my heart! What is worse is that the percentage of women becoming addicted to porn is growing higher by the day as well and needs to be addressed along men’s addiction. It is so completely destructive to people, families and marriages today.

    Great take on the issue!

  12. Scarlett says:

    I’ve been married almost 30 years and there is a gaping black hole in our family where a marriage should be. My husband introduced porn into our marriage when we were newlyweds…for years I was the doormat wife who went along, and despite my telling my husband that I didn’t like it, that it made me feel horrible, he ignored that. To the world we looked like the perfect homeschooling Christian family, and we still do. I am with him because I don’t know what else to do, having been a stay at home mom (still homeschooling) and because I want to protect my children. There are so many issues in my marriage I can’t even begin to say, however, I believe at the very root of it is the way porn destroyed the intimacy and any hope of normal sex within marriage in our relationship.

    • This is for Rhonda and Scarlet; I will reply the same to both of you.

      I feel a sense of the deep pain you feel because of the lack of connection and emotion in your relationships. My wife has shared her feelings and anger with me, which included a period of 6 months of separation, but I’m still incapable of feeling the pain and emptiness that you must feel; it is hard to be ins a situation where you feel stuck. We also are Christian.

      As a man who is in active recovery from porn and lust addiction – I can testify that recovery is possible, but it takes effort and time. Initial active recovery takes 3-5 years, but it is a lifelong commitment. 12 step groups like SA are good, but in my opinion, don’t focus enough on the root of addiction, which is shame. Denial is something that keeps addiction alive and well – things like blaming, feelings of uniqueness, justifying, acting out of compliance, manipulating, compartmentalizing etc. Countering denial means taking full responsibility and honesty in life.

      The other sad truth is that you are in need of nearly as much help as him to feel emotionally well. The counselling, group therapy (mostly around co-dependency) and letting go of your shame and traumas are a long, hard journey to commit to. But it is worth it.

      Your husband might be advanced in years, but recovery is nevertheless possible for both of you. Problem is, the porn addict typically doesn’t initiate recovery without hitting rock-bottom – like getting a serious legal threat/problem/conviction, divorce/separation, illness, etc.

      Look up the connection of shame and addiction, study Bren Brown, LifeStar, SA/SAnon, get an addiction counselor, etc. I’ve seen people in their 50s and 60s go through recovery – it is possible.

  13. Rhonda Coleman says:

    I don’t even know where to begin with my comments. This article really opened my eyes to the reasons our marriage is like it is!!!! Like Scarlet, there is a black hole where my marriage should be. Like her, my husband introduced porn early on in our now 18 year marriage. Porn was a part of his previous marriage – which ended when his wife had an affair with his cousin. Like Scarlet, I was a doormat, participated in spite of the fact that I KNEW it was wrong & didn’t really enjoy it. When I finally refused to participate any more, our sex life pretty much died, but it was all my fault. Somewhere in that time frame I had a necessary hysterectomy, and THAT was blamed for my lack of sexual interest as well. I don’t know how far back my husband’s use of porn goes, but after reading this article, I can see how horribly it has affected him, his ex wife, and now me. We don’t “make love,” we never really have, we “have sex.” He rarely initiates this any more, I have to be the one to somehow “entice” him. He complains that we aren’t “intimate” anymore. This state of detente has gone on now for 8 years or more. Being the one at fault, not being attractive enough to entice my husband caused me to eat to “feel better” (THAT really worked!) which of course led to 50 extra pounds, which of course led to him saying he wasn’t attracted to me anymore because I was fat, so a vicious cycle continues. I WANT to be the Christian wife that God wants me to be, and that my husband wants and needs. I KNOW that God wants us to have an intimate relationship, and i WANT to be intimate with my husband. I’m not sure if my husband even knows what intimacy really is. I AM losing weight (but at 61, it IS a slow process) I DO try to initiate sex, but it is so hard to always be the one to do the pursuing! Do you think showing this article to him would help?? Hurt?? At 67, could he ever really get over 30-40 years of porn usage and learn what true sexual intimacy is???

  14. {Editor’s Note: This comment has been erased for being offensive and for blaming women for men’s porn use and affairs. We each are responsible for our own sins. I’m sorry for the offense this man caused while I was on vacation and not able to moderate comments; from now on he won’t be able to comment.}

    • John,

      Given that most men come into marriage with an active and long running porn habit, blaming wives is just over the top.

      I agree that a lack of sex puts a man in a place of greater temptation, but that does not free him of personal responsibility.

      As for starvation diet of sex, I’ve point out before that your stats are assuming some things that are not true. To start with, a quarter of wives are being refused.

      And while I am all about 1 Cor 7, “Any time he wants it” is hardly what Paul meant. Some men ask at times when anyone with a few working brain cells would know it was just wrong to expect sex.

      • ButterflyWings says:

        Have to say a few things further about the 25% of women that are refused.

        The reality is (as many people have said), the porn use starts BEFORE marriage for the overwhelming majority of men. It has nothing to do with being refused.

        If you do a survey on the 25% of women that are refused, you’ll see a few things.

        1. If refusal leads to porn use, why do so few refused wives turn to porn? They love their sex, they are very physically attracted to their husbands, they want sex regularly (on average daily, some women even more often), yet you don’t see most of them turning to porn. It is sex they desire, it is their husbands they desire. The desire for porn is very different from the desire for sex.

        2. The majority of women who are refused by their husbands is because their husband would rather porn. Their husbands aren’t turning to porn because they don’t have the option of sex. The husbands are turning down horny wives who want sex every day to use porn instead.

        John you obviously have problems with your wife not wanting to have sex with you but have you ever considered it’s probably because of the atrocious unbiblical attitude you have towards your wife? You wrote “frankly I don’t feel like giving you your desires.” That is the total opposite of what the bible says to do. You like your bible commands? The bible commands you to love your wife as Christ loves the church. The church runs amok. The church constantly turns it back on Jesus, betrays Jesus, puts a knife through his heart, constantly every single day, every single christian out there has refused Jesus in some way. Yet not once does He stop loving us. He is hurt by what His children do, but not once does He stop loving us totally and completely, even for a second.

        1 Cor 7 does not command women to provide sex for their husbands every single time they want it no matter what the situation is 24/7. The bible talks about exceptions to sex – read about when a woman is considered unclean, ie not bound to have sex. This includes during her period, after childbirth and so on. As well as practical times such as when she is too ill or injured to be able to participate.

        You also need to look up the defintion of “refusal”. Refusal refers to refusing to have sex. It has nothing to do with giving into every single demeaning fantasy you desire. Doing all the things you suggest doesn’t stop a man looking at porn nor does it stop him from cheating. My exhusband and I had sex nearly every single day, sometimes more than once a day. In our entire marriage the only time I said no was the day after having major surgery when I was still supposed to be in hospital, was in agony, hadn’t slept for 36 hours (since the surgery itself), when sex could (and did) do serious permanent damage to the area I had operated on. All saying no did was lead him to not take no for an answer. But other than that, I never said no. Had all the frilly lingerie, did every perverted sex act he wanted to, and you know what? It still wasn’t enough. He wanted other women (with me, without me, it didn’t matter to him), and he wanted sex with other men too, particularly had a thing for transgender M2F.

        You can try to blame women for men’s porn use and cheating all you like, but men look at porn and cheat because they’d do so anyway.

        And just to make it clear. God only commands us to have sex. It doesn’t specify what type. there is nothing in the bible that says you have to wear frilly lingerie, there is nothing int he bible that says you have to perform oral or anal sex. Sex is about a shared good experience for a couple. Your list shows you only care about sex for your enjoyment and your wife’s enjoyment of sex means nothing to you. Your twisting of the bible shows you believe that sex is only for a man’s enjoyment and something a woman should do out of duty. That is simply not true.

        Next time your wife refuses you, how about you think long and hard about why. Maybe if you showed some concern for her sexual and emotional needs, maybe she wouldn’t refuse. Like the bible commmands, she should be putting her love for you into action even if you aren’t meeting her needs (which it is quite clear from your own words you aren’t), but she is only human, she isn’t God, and I’m guessing her patience for your demands isn’t endless.

        You and your wife need a good counsellor as your marriage needs serious help. Please start loving your wife as God loves the church and I bet you’ll see softening of your wife’s heart.

    • Sandy in Los Angeles says:

      So, you can justify telling your wife that she can never say “no” to sex for any circumstance, and she is not allowed to feel uncomfortable with any form of sex, with Ephesians 5:25?

      25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.

      Yes a wife should have sex with her husband often. But, I believe, you go too far.

    • This comment is so full of inaccuracies and lack of logic that I won’t grace it with a lengthy reply. However, this link provides an excellent picture of the reasons many women are losing their interest in “sex” with their husbands. In most cases it’s a result – not a cause – of his use of porn. http://www.antipornmen.org/2012/07/22/porn-hurts-women-so-say-the-partners-of-users/#.UgfYEaFrapp. This website, The AntiPornMenProject, has much useful and important information and is worth exploring.

      • I agree. I found myself unattracted to my husband after I found out that he slipped back into porn after we had been married for 6 months. I never refused him. I wanted to make love more than him actually(and still do). Porn is not the result of women refusing, it is normally something men struggle with starting in teen years. Men are more visual, women more sensual; that’s why porn is slightly more common with men. It’s something that everyone needs to guard their hearts from.
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        • This “men are visual” stuff is old myths being perpetuated. Women are just as visual as men. Women are turned on by visuals of attractive people just as much as men are. Porn use is more popular among men because porn caters to men. Most porn is women hatred embodied. Women being forced, demeaned, hurt, treated like animals or objects. This is why more women don’t like porn. Porn is misogyny. Porn is how men see women, and how they want us to be, subservient, disgusting, sexual objects for them to use and abuse and throw away. Porn dehumanizes women.

  15. Mr Wilder did you miss the part where younger men are entering marriage with a porn addiction? Because porn is so available easy to get, you don’t have to leave your house, you don’t have to go to sorted places and look someone in the eye to purchase it. Younger and younger developing boys are watching it. It is socially acceptable for them and they are entering marriage with unhealthy and unrealistic ideas about sex. It is not the same as it was 20 years ago. I agree women harm their marriages by denying sex to their husbands sex. Sheila says as much all the time. But that was not the subject of this post. The subject was the wide popularity and acceptance of something that is harmful to the person.

    • Monica, very true! For anyone reading this, I erased the comment Monica was replying to because it was over the top, ridiculous, and misogynistic.

  16. Very SADD. Pornography is a Greek word indicating a sexual perversion. Mr. Wilber’s inclusion of any Kinsey statistics shows his hand. Kinsey was a bisexual, polyamorous zoologist that studied wasps! He was intimately involved in the sexual abuse of children and dubious reporting practises.
    Mr. Wilder loves to wield his Bible like a club to batter wives, but disregards the Biblical definition of allowable sex. Search your Bible for what happened to Onan because of his selfish, natural desires.
    The Bible promotes regular, allowable, mutually enjoyable sex between a married husband and wife. Sin is a perversion of that blessing. God will judge each person guilty on their own sinful actions and will not accept excuses or blame-making. God’s standard hasn’t changed since the very first introduction of sin into the world.

  17. Joe, I hope this helps.

    por·nog·ra·phy [pawr-nog-ruh-fee] Show IPA
    noun
    obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, especially those having little or no artistic merit.
    Origin:
    1840–50; < Greek pornográph ( os ) writing about harlots ( porno-, combining form of pórnē harlot + -graphos -graph) + -y3

    Related forms
    por·no·graph·ic [pawr-nuh-graf-ik] Show IPA , adjective
    por·no·graph·i·cal·ly, adverb

    • Thanks. Your definition is highly subjective and requires someone to make a determination. Two reasonable people can honestly differ in opinion as to what has or lacks artistic merit. Absent a clear understanding and/or definition, it’s possible that almost anything can be considered porn.

  18. Thank you for this informative post…I knew pornography was harmful, but I didn’t realize how many ways it affected someone and especially didn’t realize that it becomes more important than actual physical sex to those who are addicted.
    I fear that it will never receive the same negative press as smoking because it would force the secular community to admit there are rights and wrongs in sexual conduct.
    May I quote a line or two (with attribution) for one of my posts?
    thanks, Gail (@ Bible Love Notes)
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  19. I don’t know if I should post on a Christian site, even though I’m a Christian. I will probably get judgmental comments. I’ve been with my boyfriend a long time, and he has consistently chosen porn over me, although I didn’t know it for many years. I thought maybe he just had a low sex drive, which perplexed me. After I found out, I tried to have a “cool” attitude because my girlfriends and guy friends and gay friends said it wasn’t a big deal. But I can’t have sex with him anymore because it has damaged my self-esteem so much, and I don’t find him attractive anymore, I find him repulsive because of the porn. I don’t feel like I can trust any straight man anymore. I started looking at pictures of naked men because it makes me feel better in my interactions with straight men, especially my “boyfriend” (or something). As though I have evened the playing field. They see me as an object, and compare me to the perfect women they wank off to; well I have seen perfect men too that they don’t measure up to, so we are even. I have started watching videos of gay porn. I don’t want to see pictures or videos of naked women, because it makes me think of what HE is turned on by. I don’t want any judgement. I know that the relationship my boyfriend and I have is over, although he claims that is isn’t. He just wants the title, and I don’t have the strength to end the title. I guess what I want to know is, are all men like this? I never want to love anyone ever again, because I don’t think I can trust any straight man again. I love having my gay “boyfriends”, and couldn’t live without them. They help me through everything. But straight men seem to only hurt, and only damage the ones they claim to love. I think that probably Christian men are the worst and the least likely to be trusted, because at least non-Christian men will tell you straight up. “Christian” is a warning sign with men – they have sexual addictions and perversions but they will hide them until your heart is involved and you will be torn apart by the revelations! I don’t know how to heal my damaged heart, or how to want to have sex ever again. I used to love sex, so much, but now I can’t stomach the thought. I know that even if I follow the Christian ideal and don’t have sex until I’m married, it will be a relief to not have sex, and then I won’t want to even when I’m married because I’ll know the man I’m married to has viewed many, many women who are superior to me. Help!

    • Lorin, see my reply a few posts above yours when it’s moderated/visible. You both have shame, and are using some form of addiction to numb out. He’s using porn, you’ve started too, you’re also suffering from co-dependency. You’re both starved for emotional oxygen. Look up shame by Brene Brown, LifeStar, SA, and the like. It is possible to get help – he might not want the help, but you do. You need to look out for yourself here. I’m not saying ‘get out’, but do get help. You might find that out is the answer if he’s stubborn and full of pride.

  20. Thank you Sheila, for deleting that message.
    it was so over the top…are there REALLY men who think that way? Do women REALLY put up with that?

    • ButterflyWings says:

      Yes and yes sadly. Even more sadly a lot of churches preach that poisonous message. Women put up with it for one of two reasons (often both at the same time). The first being that they have been raised in churches who teach that message. They think it’s their biblical duty, that they must do it and don’t see any other option. And quite simply, it’s like any kind of domestic abuse, for many couples it begins slowly. A woman’s self esteem becomes so broken, so scared of how her husband will act, that she does whatever he says, whenever he says, even when her heart says it is wrong, even when her mind also realises it is wrong.

      I’ve been there with my first (and now ex) husband. I was brought up to believe that submission is doing whatever your husband orders, obeying his every whim, even the unspoken ones and that you’re a pathetic excuse of a human being if you don’t. (Ironic that my parents were not like this, my mother well and truly wore the pants and my dad was emasculated, although quite by choice). And that is how I went into my first marriage. By the time I realised my theology was all wrong, I was so badly broken by the abuse that I just did whatever he wanted anyway to avoid another beating.

      So anyway, yes there are men who really think that way, and women who really put up with it. But it causes so much damage.

  21. Butterfly,
    It still seems so incredulous to me, having never experienced a Church like that.
    The writer who wrote the deleted message has a following, and that is equally alarming.
    I am sorry for all the difficulties you have gone through.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • ButterflyWings says:

      I think the worst thing I ever came across was a book I was given by a friend from a different church (my own church didn’t push the “stay no matter, do whatever you are told”, but it was kind of an implied thing – that anything other than cheating you put up with, and if he cheats leave instantly), by a famous FEMALE christian writer whose book just said stay and put up with all kinds of abuse as long as it wasn’t physical. And what’s worse is it basically said not only stay, but say nothing and that you’ll somehow win your husband over (or back over) to Jesus by being happy and saying nothing through even the worst verbal, emotional, financial and other types of abuse.

      For me, reading that book was a defining point in my life. Because I realised that is exactly what I had tried to do, and it all it did was lead my exhusband to believe that christians 1. excuse abuse and 2. are spineless cowards. It didn’t lead him to Jesus – it led him to turn his back on Jesus. But it wasn’t til I saw it, in black and white, after I’d been hit with divorce papers, did I realise that is exactly how I lived my marriage and how very wrong it was.

      God doesn’t call us to be brainless and spineless.

  22. Christian wives are NOT to submit to their husband’s evil desires. Pornography addiction is a cancer to the soul, it is not just about sex, it is about idolatry, and no Christian wife should follow her husband into such grievous sin.

    http://www.frominfidelitytointimacy.com/warning-dont-even-think-about-submitting-to-your-husband-until-you-read-this/

    As the wife of a former porn-addict, I can attest that God cares more about this issue than you may think. THERE IS HOPE for anyone and everyone hooked on porn, or in bondage to any type of sin. Christ is the cure, the ONLY ONE who can transform a heart and life. He came to set captives free and heal the sick. He wants your marriage to be pure! Will he save every marriage? No, but He will comfort and strengthen the one whose heart is committed to Him.

    Sexual sin must not be tolerated or enabled, but should be exposed, where we can then shine the light of the gospel onto it. I teach Christian wives how to deal with a husband involved in pornography here: http://www.beyondbetrayalblueprint.com/workshop
    Jenny Wilson recently posted…Holocaust Survivor’s Advice On Forgiveness In MarriageMy Profile

  23. Great article. The more we can publicize the devastating consequences of pornography suffered by individuals and families, the better. There are many porn addicts who have lost hope, having tried to overcome their viewing habits without success. In the last few years, several new approaches have been developed that can help. 12-step programs help many people but suffer from a high relapse rate. Combining 12-step programs with cognitive behavior programs, such as Power Over Pornography, seems to help best. Keep up the great work.

  24. Honestly, I am a porn addict. As much as I hate admitting it, people have to know what goes through one’s mind and life as an addict. When I was young, around middle school, kids would tease me. They would tease me saying, “Hey, have you heard of porn?” or “Have you seen it?” Then I tried looking for myself. It seemed mysterious and alluring. But I ignored my conscience from the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, it went from pictures to videos. Over time, the feeling became stronger and my conscience weaker. Today, I am still struggling through it. However, there is always hope. Turn to God. I hope and pray every day that God will help me through it. It’s like a rehabilitation process, but with God and supportive people around me, nothing is impossible with Him. I am trying to make myself occupied and take my mind off of it. However the enemy will try to locate and crush my efforts. But through Jesus Christ, all things are possible. I request that you pray for me as I continually seek the Lord and make things right between Him and I. My prayer is that my testimony will bring those suffering out of this habit and to warn others not to take part in it. God bless!

  25. Sheila, Thanks for speaking out on this topic. Your article was a great summary of the real dangers of porn use. I believe that a big part of the solution is to teach kids early what pornography is and teach them why they need to avoid it. I also believe that teaching kids healthy attitudes about sex (like you said, it’s about making love to someone you trust and are committed to) and making it safe to talk about their feelings as they grow into adulthood that will make a huge difference. Kids need to be porn-proofed with good information and good relationships with their parents.
    Kristen recently posted…Porn Aftermath: 3 Simple Steps to Help Your Child Process Their FeelingsMy Profile

  26. “30% of porn addicts are female. It is not just a male problem.” – Would love to know the data behind the statistic.

    Pornography is indeed insidious and a bane on our society assisting the destruction of families. Recall that pornography includes writings and not just images (still or moving). Given that most of the comments here are from females affirming their repulsion to pornography, rightfully so, but in context seemingly limited to that genre of visual pornography most often consumed by males, this comment will probably be met with uniform derision, castigation, and vitriol.

    Women do and have been consuming pornography for nearly a century in the form of romance novels. Consider this 2011 article “Romance novels can become addictive” (http://www.ksl.com/?nid=1010&sid=15609384) by Kimberly Giles with notable references to names recognizable in the Christian community – Shaunti Feldhahn and psychologist Dr. Julia Slattery. Troubling excerpts include:

    “…Men are very visual, and viewing pornography produces a euphoric drug in the body. This drug is the reason pornography becomes addictive. When the natural high wears off, a man will crash and feel depressed (as happens with any drug) and crave another hit.

    “Women are more stimulated by romance than sex, so they read romantic stories (and they don’t have to be explicit to work) they can experience the same addicting chemical release as men do….

    “Many women do not see their love for reading romantic books as a problem, while others are admitting dissatisfaction in their marriages that may stem from reading these types of books. For many women, these novels really do promote dissatisfaction with their real relationships….”

    While the pornography consumed by men is real and damaging, it is also easier to identify. The pornography consumed by female has been mainstream consumption for some time (perhaps since 1921 according to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_novel#History). Men have teased women over their fawning over Fabio (in the eighties) and more recently Fifty Shades of Gray. Even the world seems to understand and poke fun at pornography for women in this Saturday Night Live spoof of an Amazon.com commercial focusing on women and pornography. (http://youtu.be/MK8Lr_HL3eY Do not view if you are easily offended by satirical comedy.) Do women read Cosmopolitan for the cosmetic and fashion tips only just as men read Playboy in the seventies for the good articles and interview, e.g. Kissinger?

    Consider one other item, please. Eastern cultures consider much of the Greek and Roman statues pornographic while Western cultures teach that they are art. Originally, the word “gymnasium” came from the Greek “gumnazein” meaning “to exercise naked.” [Note this excerpt regarding the ancient Olympics: “The athletes usually competed nude, not only as the weather was appropriate, but also as the festival was meant to celebrate, in part, the achievements of the human body. Olive oil was used by the competitors, not only as a substitute for soap for washing, bathing, and cleaning, but also as a natural cosmetic, to keep skin smooth, and provide an appealing look for the participants. Because the men competed nude, married women were forbidden to watch the Olympics under penalty of death. Contrastingly, in Sparta—which, compared to Athens, was less restrictive to its female citizens in general—both men and women did exercise unclothed.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Olympic_Games Putting aside the extremes of radical Islam, what is consider “modest” in Eastern cultures is dramatically different than those of Western. It makes sense then that some in Eastern cultures consider Western women pornographic with clothing and cosmetic choices.

    In summary, pornography is a problem for men and women. It is debatable whether it is more so for one gender versus another. Also debatable is how to practically apply the definition of pornography to the consumer demands of men and women. Lastly, it is debatable as to which gender is more aware of their own behavioral habits. As one commenter mentioned, non-Christian men (paraphrasing her experience) were forthright regarding their pornography consumption habits. Are women aware of their consumption of pornography and equally repulsed?

    Food for thought.

    Be blessed,
    Theophilus

    • This article http://bit.ly/17vDW1Z gives some stats from various studies. It says 1 woman in 6 is “addicted” to porn.

      Our survey from November of last year found that 34% of the women had actively sought porn at least once in the last two months. Our survey population is Christian, married, and the women are mostly 25-40. They are also more sex positive than Christians as a whole, which may or may not skew the numbers.

  27. Wives, to your husband. Ephesians 5.22. Please note that in the original Greek there was NO word ‘submit’ in verse 22. It is taken from verse 21. Verse 21 is ‘submit to ONE ANOTHER’. Husbands are COMMANDED to submit to their wives also. It is a command for MUTUAL submission. As wives are also asked to submit “AS TO CHRIST”. I believe Jesus Christ would NEVER ask a wife to do 99% of the things found in porn. Wives DO NOT SUBMIT TO PORN USERS!!!!!!!! Flee from this evil!!!!

    • { Editor’s Note:

      I’ve deleted this comment because it’s a long theological look at the translation and interpretation of some words in the Bible.

      It’s not that I object to this line of talk; it’s just that I don’t think it’s appropriate for this post. This post is about pornography and its effects on people. And it’s being heavily shared on social media and elsewhere and getting quite a bit of traffic.

      I think a deep theological debate isn’t really helpful here, and could be detrimental to the point I’m trying to make in the comment.

      I certainly welcome debate on that subject, but this post isn’t the place.

      Hope all understand. }

      • Understood, agreed, and makes sense. Would that you would similarly remove the previous comment that is an incomplete and misleading exposition of scripture.

        Be blessed,
        Theophilus

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. Any comment that espouses an anti-marriage philosophy (eg. porn, adultery, abuse and the like) will be deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are replying to another commenter, please be polite and don't assume you know everything about his or her situation. If you are constantly negative or a general troll, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Sheila Wray Gregoire owns the copyright to all comments and may publish them in whatever form she sees fit. She agrees to keep any publication of comments anonymous, even if you are not anonymous on this board.

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