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Female porn addicts–it’s not an oxymoron. In fact, more and more women are becoming addicted to porn. It’s not just a man’s problem anymore.

I’ve written before about how porn affects the male brain, but today, for Top 10 Tuesday, I want to look at it from a different perspective.

So here are 10 truths about women and porn:


Women and Porn Addiction: 10 truths about how porn affects us and our marriages (or future marriages), and what to do about it!

1. Women Use Porn, Too

We often think that porn is just a “man’s problem”. But it’s not. In my book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, about 70% of men reported having a problem with porn and deliberately seeking out porn. But so did 28% of women. I’ve read other studies that say that 30% of porn addicts are now female. We need to stop thinking of porn as a guy’s problem and realize that women are caught up in it, too.

30% of porn addicts are now female. Let's stop thinking of porn as a male problem. Click To Tweet

Recently a woman named Stephanie wrote to me about the things that she’s learned coming out of her 10-year porn addiction. I invited her to come and share them with you today.

Here’s Stephanie:

2. You’d Never Know It to Look at Me That I Was a Porn Addict

A 10-year pornography addiction wasn’t easy to hide, but I had managed to do it. My parents didn’t know. My sibling didn’t know. None of my other relatives or friends knew. Once I got married, I had even kept it a secret from my husband until finally making the decision to tell him about it.

I figured I’d take my secret to the grave. But here’s the twist: I was hoping the Lord would be able to use those 10 years I wasted for something good. That’s a little strange, right? How could He do that if I just wanted to bury the situation?

I’ve realized that in this bitter day and age where pornography has become prevalent, glorified, and even celebrated as empowering, I can’t afford to cling on to those 10 years. More precious than my pride is the call to protect others from enduring the same detrimental, mind-warping experience I went through. I need to let the Lord use my failures for His glory.

So here are some of the reasons pornography is just bad news:

3. Pornography is Addictive–for Women, Too

It’s true that there are plenty of people who enjoy watching pornography and never get addicted to it. In the same way, many people enjoy drinking alcohol on a regular basis and never suffer from addiction. But that doesn’t mean that no one ever gets addicted.

  • An addict uses their substance to comfort themselves and obtain an emotional and sometimes physical high.
  • An addict thinks about their substance all the time. They look forward to when they can use it again and will plan their day – and even their relationships – around it.
  • An addict either hides their addiction or expects people to accept their use of it, sometimes making excuses for it or blowing off the concerns of those who care about them.
  • An addict will take nearly any opportunity alone to use their substance. An addict will ruin a relationship because they don’t want to lose access to their substance.
  • An addict is convinced that their substance is one of the only things in life that will make them feel good. An addict believes that their substance accepts them.
  • An addict lets their substance use become such a deeply ingrained habit that they will use the substance just because it’s what they always do, even if they know it won’t make them feel better.
  • An addict might want to give up their substance abuse, or they may not think their substance abuse is a problem at all, or they may not even realize they have an addiction.

Addicts are emotionally tormented, both by their unmet emotional needs and by the guilt their addiction brings. Addicts often feel quite lonely. Some are suicidal. When it comes to their substance abuse, addicts are habitual liars, both to themselves and others.

That was me in the midst of my addiction, although, thank the Lord, I wasn’t suicidal (miserable, yes, but I never would have harmed myself). I was 13 when I started. Addictions can happen at almost any age.

4. Addictions Are Really Hard to Shake

It’s very, very difficult to shake an addiction.  Many addicts see no way out and think there’s no hope for them. What ultimately got me out of addiction was my growing disgust for pornography and my hatred of the devil for perverting the beauty of sex and making pornography okay. I call myself clean, but I can’t deny the rare desire I have to watch it.

Rare, faint, fleeting.

But it appears sometimes, and that scares the life out of me. This is why accountability is always important, no matter how many years you’ve been “clean”. The devil wants you to stay addicted, so don’t think he’ll stop just because you think you’re safe.

5. Watching pornography Allows You to Ignore Your Needs Rather than Acknowledging and Dealing with Them

Everyone watches pornography for a reason. Sometimes it’s the basic physical need that you don’t feel like denying anymore. Or there’s an irresistible need for emotional connection that, in reality, can never actually be met by watching porn.

But just as complicated as the roots of our needs is the ability to seek out those needs and determine what the driving force is behind your desire to watch porn. Instead of blowing off your issues, you have to seek out your underlying needs. Indulging in a sexual fantasy will only make you feel good temporarily. If you’re watching porn, you’d better ask yourself why, and be honest, because “I’m just having fun” is never an excuse for indulging in something damaging.

If you're watching porn, you'd better ask yourself why. What's the root reason? Click To Tweet

While there’s not always a singular problem, usually the biggest issue is the one that is most propulsive. My motivation was my belief that marriage and sex would complete me as a person and fill my emotional void. Of course, I let my desire for the relationship and for sex take over my life, and I used pornography as a shortcut to getting the fulfillment I thought those things would bring. I realize now that marriage was not created by God to fill our emotional needs and that only He can fill our voids and complete us emotionally. But when I was younger, I didn’t seek God to fill my cravings – only pornography.

6. Pornographic Images Hang On for a Very Long Time, Addiction or no.

While it’s true that the longer you’re in the harder it is to get out, no matter how long you watch pornography the images stay in your brain. Studies have even shown that men in particular are better at remembering painful times or arousing times. If you have a pornography addiction, sometimes those two experiences are combined. I’ve been “clean” for five years, and I still have images popping into my head (this is where it becomes very important to practice 2 Corinthians 10:5). I still have a hard time connecting emotionally. And I still have to resist checking out. When you’ve created that habit, your mind and body are trained to respond only to the habit. And once you’ve seen something, you can’t unsee it, especially if your body responded to it.

Don't flirt with porn--the images stay in your brain, and they're so hard to get out! Click To Tweet

7. Pornography Makes Normal Relationships Difficult or Impossible

Pornography is our mind-warping way of trying to find emotional and physical fulfillment in a past incident between strangers we see on a screen. People become like objects. Relationships become a cesspit of using, abuse, self-gratification, temporariness, and substitutions. Monogamy seems less than fulfilling. While a healthy love relationship should be others-focused and self-sacrificial, pornography creates a relational mindset that is completely me-centric.

8. Porn Makes Us Dissociate to Get Aroused

Once you’re married, porn addicts find that you can’t interact properly with your spouse during sex. You need a situation – a fantasy or story – to play out in your head to get you aroused (this is called dissociating during sex). You need to check out, and you get frustrated if you’re interrupted. You may be having sex with a person physically, but in your mind you’re with someone else – or several other people. Not only does this make it difficult to connect with your spouse during sex, but it’s completely unfair to your spouse, who may believe you’re enjoying them and only them.

Whether or not you believe pornography is cheating, viewing pornography shows that you’d rather get your sexual pleasure from somewhere or someone else but your spouse. But you should never depend on another person to get you aroused. That is solely your spouse’s job. God created sex to be between a man and his wife. Watching pornography, even together, is inviting other people to bed with you.

9. Porn Puts up Walls of Dishonesty

Pornography damaged my marriage in ways even beyond making sex difficult. Hiding my addiction got me stuck in a habit of hiding my problems and lying to cover them. In the beginnings of our marriage, I had a difficult time being honest with my husband all the time. Sometimes I didn’t want to spend time with him because I would rather spend it watching pornography. And I wondered – unfairly – why my husband wasn’t meeting my emotional needs.

I thought marrying him would make my addiction go away and make me feel complete. But my expectations were warped by my inability to see past myself and my own needs and realize that marriage – and life – is about putting others first.

Sex is not about self-gratification or a brief high. Sex is making love. Even people in a good relationship and with no porn involved have a difficult time making the emotional connection and the self-sacrifice that is required of true love making. Pornography makes that impossible.

10. Pornography is Wrong.

Christians in particular, I’m talking to you. It cannot be justified. The Bible tells us to “flee sexual immorality”, “that you should abstain from sexual immorality”, and that we should “turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things”. God makes it clear that sex is between a man and his wife, that we should keep our marriage bed pure, and that we shouldn’t lust after anyone else. In addition, the Bible also addresses idolization, which is what addiction is in general, and pornography is the idolization of sex in particular.

God also tells us not to choose the ways of violence, and pornography is riddled with and celebrates violent acts. And pornography is, quite plainly, a perversion from satan, the destroyer, of the beautiful gift of sex that God gave to us.

Pornography tries to offer us sex in a lesser state than God intended. God is the ultimate giver, but pornography only ever takes away. We can never justify pornography. Not a little. Not for a short time. Not as a test. Not with our spouse. Not now. Not ever. Pornography is always wrong.

God is the ultimate giver, but pornography only ever takes away. #puresex Click To Tweet

Pornography needs to be talked about. Countless people need help escaping this poison. The topic isn’t hush-hush anymore. Let’s stand together against this and tell Satan we’ve had enough, because sex belongs to God.

Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing your story, and for being so open and blunt about the warning you’re giving to women!

And my friends, if  you’re struggling with porn, Covenant Eyes can really help. They offer internet accountability and filtering, but they also have a bunch of resources and webinars just for women dealing with porn addictions. Find out more right here

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