If you’ve used porn, and you’ve rewired your brain to become aroused with fantasy rather than a person, is your sex life in marriage doomed?

This week we’ve been talking about how to use your brain well to get you on the road to a great sex life in marriage. After all, Paul told us to fill our minds with things that are pure and lovely (Philippians 4:8), and once you’re married, sex is indeed pure and lovely! God made it to be the ultimate expression of intimacy, something that brings you both together so that you truly “know” each other. And that’s awesome.

But what if our brains have been trained not to focus on arousal which comes from emotional vulnerability with each other, but instead which comes from the bad kind of fantasy, or with porn? Let’s deal with this today.

One young reader recently sent me this:

I am a 19 year old Christian girl, unmarried but in a serious relationship (will most likely be married to my BF in the next year or so) and I have struggled with watching porn, masturbation and reading erotica for much of my teenage life. I have sought out help many times and at one point was porn/masturbation free for 6 months. I have just recently really began to seek counseling and accountability for this issue. I am not sexually active with my boyfriend and am a virgin. However, I’m scared that when I enter married life that because my habits of these things my brain is rewired and won’t be able to enjoy married sex. I always was so careful that when it came to myself and another person I was protecting my purity, but what I didn’t realize was that when I took part in porn I was walking farther and farther away from purity as God intended. Do you have any advice for me as I’m walking through this season? Am I doomed when it comes to my brain being rewired?

Great question! Many women struggle with porn, and it really affects our ability to get aroused by our husbands.

My quick answer:

No, you’re not doomed. You are NEVER doomed. When we are able to surrender ourselves to God, and let go of the things that are holding us back from Him, He starts changing us from the inside out. And the Holy Spirit can do an amazing work when we don’t even realize it.

Now for my longer answer.

Women and Porn Addiction: How to make sure that a porn addiction doesn't lead to reliance on fantasy during sex.

Your biggest problem will likely be relying on fantasy for arousal.

What’s brought you to orgasm up to now has been pornographic images and erotica, and so that will tend to be your “go-to” repertoire for how to get aroused.

And you’re going to have to fight against that! Fantasizing when you’re having sex with your husband is a form of cheating. It’s not okay. But hear me clearly on this: If you start from the very beginning fighting, I really think you’ll be fine.

Look, you’re doing everything as God would have to do it. You’ve confessed. You’ve gotten accountability. You’re seeking out God’s best for your life. So that’s wonderful. And He honestly does want you to enjoy your sex life in your marriage and He does want you to be free from this. Your challenge is simply making sure that from the very beginning, you don’t let your brain “go there”.

It’s frustrating when you want to get aroused and you can’t, and those fantasies are just at the edge, willing you to think about them. To deal with the frustration, many women run there. It’s called “dissociation“–when you fantasize during sex to get aroused, rather than concentrating on your husband. Now, there’s nothing wrong with thinking sexy thoughts about your hubby when you’re having sex! But when your brain has to conjure up pornographic pictures you’ve seen or stories you’ve read, then sex is no longer about “knowing” your husband or sharing an experience with your husband. It’s almost using him as your brain goes somewhere else. That’s wrong.

However, nothing is saying that your brain has to fantasize.

It may be a temptation, but you don’t have to give in to it. When those thoughts come, you can simply kick them out and focus instead on two things:

  • How much you love your husband
  • How good things feel right now

When you focus on what is feeling good physically, then instead of getting aroused by a fantasy, you can begin to get aroused by what he is doing.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we are in a spiritual battle for our minds at all times, and He asks us to actively fight:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

This includes taking our sexual thoughts captive, and replacing them with great thoughts about your husband and what he is doing! If you do that, you’ll likely find that your body responds just fine, and it doesn’t take very long to stop relying on those other things for arousal. In fact, you may not even find it much of a struggle at all if you discipline yourself even now to stop thinking about those images, and stop indulging in porn altogether.

(Covenant Eyes can help with that; the links below explaining are affiliate links).

So don’t worry about it. Really. Keep doing what you’re doing–getting accountability and going deeper with God. Reject those thoughts, and they won’t have power over you anymore. The reason that it is hard to rewire the brain is that many people aren’t willing to fight in the first place, and they’ve spent years training themselves to only get aroused by fantasy. If you commit yourself to the right direction, though, and you start off right, there’s no reason to think that your sex life will be “doomed” whatsoever!

How Women Can Quit Pornography

Women and Porn: One of the biggest problems is relying on fantasy now for arousal. How to break free of both porn and fantasy, and truly enjoy intimate sex with your husband:Click To Tweet

I know this doesn’t sound like a very sexy verse at all, but Psalm 37:4 says:

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

That’s a promise. When you focus on God, He actually gives you your desires. I don’t think this means that He gives us the objects of our desire; I think it means He shapes our desires to be those things that are good. I believe that He’ll give you a great desire for your husband, then, as you grow closer to Him. So don’t give the fantasy life too much power in your mind. You can let it go, because God will fight for you, this is a battle He wants you to win, and He’s given you the ability to fight the battle, too!

What do you think? Have you ever had to battle an unhealthy fantasy life? How did you deal with it? Let’s talk in the comments!


We need to talk more about women and porn, because teenage girls are now becoming ensnared in porn, too. It’s not just a male problem. So this is a great reminder to parents: Just because you don’t have sons doesn’t mean that you don’t need to get controls on your computer or have those conversations with your kids about porn. Girls can get hooked in, too. Let’s do what we can to protect our kids, and let’s protect ourselves as well!

Check out how Covenant Eyes can help you battle porn yourself, and can help protect your children.

CE WomanStruggling Ads 6 23 14 v5 08 - Have I Doomed My Sex Life By Rewiring My Brain with Porn?
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