Is pornography really harmless as so many people think? I mean, come on, it’s just having a good time spicing things up. Perhaps you’re even a Christian and you think, “What’s the big deal. I don’t look at the hardcore stuff, so nobody’s gonna say anything.”
Pornography is a serious poison that has crept into the homes of so many across the world. With the ever-increasing availability of high-speed internet, the porn world has gone from the back of the video store, to the front lines of the world wide web. While the effects of pornography might not be apparent to those who are enjoying it, for those who have to suffer through the wake of its belligerent destruction, it’s no laughing matter.
Men and Porn
Men and women are very different in their pornography habits. This very much so has to do with the way men and women are wired. Yes, I dared to say that men and women are different biologically and psychologically, because we are. It’s proven by the statistics that men largely view pornography based on visual stimulation. Images are very important to men and make up a huge chunk of pornographic content.
Women and Porn
Women, you don’t get a free pass. While men are watching pornographic videos, women are consuming pornographic novels like never before.
“[Romance Novels] far outperform other genres of literature, including religious/inspirational books, mystery novels, science fiction and classic literary fiction.”
The harlequin romance has moved from the trashy corner of the book store to the mainstream New York Times bestseller list. Look no further than Fifty Shades of Grey to see that women today are just as guilty as men of seeking sexual thrill from outside sources. Twilight, anyone?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that it is not possible to have a family or job and keep yourself sexually available 100% of the time. Well, I guess unless you’re job is sex, but I digress. We can’t measure up to the impossible standards of porn. We can’t compete with it. To all you women out there, having the perfect haircut and the perfect boobs will not make him love you more. Porn is not about love. It’s about lust. And lust–like the grave–is never satisfied. Ladies, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the fantasy and expect your man to be something he’s not. In today’s economy, it’s not likely that your husband is a filthy-rich Christian Grey. Let’s not put ridiculous expectations on each other.
Throwing People Away Like Trash
Much of porn imitates the convenience culture of today. Why pay for a home-cooked meal, when you can just microwave it and then throw out the plastic when you’re done. No work involved. If you don’t like the video, just go to the next one. Once you’re done with that girl, just go to the next one. People become trash–not treasures. Since we are constantly buying new clothes, jewelry, phones, and whatever–you name it–it just makes sense to toss it once your done, right? Not many people still wear the same clothes from 20 years ago. They’d be mocked. Well, the same goes for porn. Why keep watching the same girl from 20 years ago, when you can have the latest, hottest girl. Why settle for one, when you can have all of them?
Sexualization of All
That brings me into my point. No one is off limits. Mother-in-laws, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends, strangers: they are all for the taking. Porn will take its toll on the whole family and more. In the old days, you would just get some tape from the local video store about whatever topic and you’d really have to go out of your way to find the hardcore stuff, but in today’s world, you are bombarded with images of young girls, homosexuality, bestiality, and worse… all from the comfort of your own home.
Unable to Perform in Real Life
This one really shocked me. Did you know that some teenagers now are unable to perform in bed? Erectile Dysfunction among teenagers is at an all time high. Could it be that the decline in teenagers having sex has to do with the fact that they can’t have sex even if they wanted to? It’s not just the men. Women, feeling the pressures of pornography, are also pressured to “act” a certain way during sexual encounters, even if they’re not really into it.
Unable to Emotionally Connect
If you can’t perform in the bedroom without pornography, how do you think that is going to affect your real-life relationship with your significant other? How is that going to make the other person feel? Emotionally, couples become unfulfilled. Is it any wonder then that open marriage is on the rise? Why would you stay faithful to one person when there’s an emotional block? So people search and search for that connection, waiting for it to stick, but it doesn’t. If anything, once you open up your marriage, you’re forced to have more and more partners to fill the emotional black hole you’ve created inside.
Many articles concerning porn focus on the devastating effects of porn on the self-image of women, but porn is no respecter of persons–men’s sense of self-worth is just as damaged by porn as women. Men start to feel frustrated when they are unable to maintain their sexual vigor or if, ahem, other people have bigger body parts. Porn gives the illusion of a fantasy world where everything goes right; no matter how morally disgusting. You don’t want to do that in bed? Well, everybody else is doing it, so you can’t say no, right? “You know, I can’t figure out if I like the men or the women better, because I’m aroused by everything; maybe I’m just pansexual like Miley?” At some point, you start to lose respect for yourself and the beautiful body you were given. Everything becomes fluid. Boundaries disappear. Fantasy spills over into reality, but we can never measure up.
This creates a huge vacuum of loneliness. How can you be involved with so many people and yet be so alone. Porn isolates you from those you love. Even if you have an active sex life with your partner, that fulfillment is not there. There’s a void that cannot be filled. Once you wake up from your fantasy, life is boring. This keeps you coming back for more.
Not all, but many, many people involved in porn become addicted. Unfortunately, in today’s world, addicts can be very difficult to pin-down. Especially those from “good,” self-righteous families. It doesn’t count as porn when they have clothes on, right? That Facebook feed just shows bare legs, so I certainly don’t have any kind of porn addiction. The problem is that porn doesn’t have to involve nudity to be porn. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in Japan, where it is still legal for young children to be portrayed in sexually suggestive poses as long as they are clothed. This is why Jesus’ statement defining adultery is so critical to understand:
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)
This is the standard. If you’re doing it just to make your heart race, if you’re just going to church to look at your neighbor’s wife, if you’re picking up that movie because you know what scenes are in it, that’s addiction–that’s adultery. You’re already there. Porn has already got you, because porn is all about the sexualization of that which you are not supposed to have.
Men, embrace your innate desire to protect and provide. Understand that you can have victory over lust! I absolutely love the articles by Jim Vander Spek at Overcoming Lust. I also have a link to Covenant Eyes in my links section for those who are looking for support and encouragement. It’s not an easy road, but it’s worth the fight to overcome!
Women, let go of the fantasy. Don’t expect your husband to be something he’s not. Don’t be disappointed when the furthest you’re husband gets to fulfilling Wesley’s role from Princess Bride is mowing the lawn. Don’t let your heart wander thinking about how someone else might be better. Embrace faithfulness, loyalty, and long-suffering like the fate of Western Civilization depends on it. Because it does.