What I Wish I Knew Before Watching Porn

I just reread Lauren’s great post (see below), and all I can say is Amen.

I am still afflicted by the “spoils” that never made it to the recycle truck, from the Boy Scout paper drives I took part in from 4th-7th grade.   Believe me, I got a lot more than an Eagle badge and letter from then President Gerald Ford as a result of the magazines we stashed away and passed around as elementary/jr. high students.

I am not grateful for the Porn I was exposed to in those early years of life…and I wish someone would have told me what was going on before I started looking at porn.  Increasingly hard core images and movies followed as friends discovered their Dad’s or older brother’s stash of trash hidden among closets and under beds.  I can only imagine how deep my life wounds would be had porn been as accessible back then as it is now.  The poison of porn is just now being fully understood as we see marriages continually fail, kids increasingly exposed to graphic sexual content at younger and younger ages and larger and larger numbers of men AND women becoming cavalier toward and increasingly addicted to its content.  Dubinsky does us all a great service by assembling this well written piece (with embedded links) that provide clarity for all of us.  Make no mistake, the ambrosia of self-indulgence in sexual fantasy has a wicked after taste, and my prayer is that this post will keep you from having to say, “I wish someone would have told me about the poison of porn”.

The lie that porn doesn’t hurt anyone (even if you want to buy the lie that people in the porn industry are happy and love what they do) is exposed in this article.  You are now officially on notice that YOU WILL pay a high price for lowering yourself to feed on the sadness that is pornography.

So read on…listen up…and if you have a stash of porn you keep returning to, may this post open your eyes to the real price of free porn.

What I Wish I’d Known Before Watching Porn Lauren Dubinsky  Founder of Good Women Project. Posted: 07/23/2012

Pornography is a charged subject, and it’s a word that rarely crosses the lips of most women. Yes, there are now breeds of the modern woman who watch, talk and joke about it regularly, but most of us still stay farther away from speaking the word than we actually stay away from it.

Over the last couple of years, men have begun to enter the discussion, but women have remained primarily silent. For most of us, it’s still the men’s world, but statistics show that, at least in Australia, more than one-third of pornography viewers are women. Just last week, I received an email from a girl who leads a small women’s group; they’d just discovered that every single one of them were watching porn.

When I was in high school, pornography was on the long list of “bad things” that I didn’t know much about — and unfortunately also on the list of things I had participated in. Nevermind why I was watching it, the how is the same for nearly all of us: We stumbled upon it because of someone else. And none of us knew what to expect, or how to handle it.

Later in life, I caught myself remembering how I used to watch it for a few minutes here or there, and wondered strictly out of boredom if it would fill the big, empty space of loneliness in my late nights. There were no parents around to hide from anymore, and no one checking my Internet history. Pornography was easy, and I never exactly knew why it was bad, particularly since I wasn’t actually having sex. To me, it was just something dirty that you probably shouldn’t have anything to do with. But “probably shouldn’t” never stands up against loneliness and boredom.

I am not one with an addictive personality. Meaning, I binge and then drop things quickly. I knew this about myself, and so I used this as an excuse for watching pornography. (I also used it as an excuse for getting wasted at other times in my life, but that’s besides the point.) I’d watch porn every night for a couple weeks, then not at all for a few weeks. Always off and on. Clearly I wasn’t addicted. Just like I smoked and never became addicted to nicotine and drank, but never became an alcoholic. I was just watching it, and could stop anytime I wanted. No damage done, because I was still in control. Right?

Not really. Nicotine still seared my lungs, and alcohol still did some decent damage to my liver and personal life. Just because we aren’t addicted doesn’t mean it does no harm. Even while I wasn’t “addicted” to watching pornography, I always wanted more. It existed as a guaranteed time-filler and pleasure-bringer, and when you get an hour to yourself, that’s an easy default. An easy default activity that establishes a heavy precedence in what you do with your next bad night.

I wish that 10 years ago someone had educated me on pornography. What it is, what it does and what it reaches in and destroys in the hearts, minds and bodies of men and women.

I wish that someone would have told me that researchers have suggested it sabotages your sex life.

I wish someone would have explained how dopamine, the chemical that is released every time you experience pleasure, drives you to return to what provided that feeling before.

I wish someone would have told me that the kind of pornography you’re most turned on by is usually linked to a corresponding hurtful event in your life, further injuring your brokenness.

I wish someone would have told me pornography would normalize things I wasn’t emotionally or physically ready to handle in my relationships with men, making me feel like I had no options or control over my sex life, filling me with much regret and physical pain.

I wish someone would have told me I would begin to objectify men, build up images in my mind and think of sex day in and day out, to the point where I couldn’t remain focused on anything else.

I wish someone would have told me it would make me feel less valuable to men and bring up insecurities for years in the bedroom.

I wish someone would have pointed out pornography can establish your sexuality completely apart from real-life relationships, causing huge problems in your intimacy with real significant others.

I wish someone would have explained what “sexual anorexia” was and that countless young men are unable to get erections because they’ve been watching porn since they were around 14 years old.

I wish someone would have told all the men I’ve dated that the porn they are watching is keeping them from being turned on by me, ultimately destroying our relationship.

I wish someone would have told me that the dopamine and oxytocin being released from my watching certain types of pornography would cause me to question my sexual orientation, which in turn cost me relationships with friends.

I wish someone would have told me it would subtly create a “victim” mentality in my mind, causing me to be even more sensitive than I already was to catcalls, whistles, and even sincere compliments.

I wish someone had talked about how women watch it too, so I wouldn’t have had to spend years living under the shame that comes with being “the only one” and thinking there was something wrong with me.

My “I wish” list is nowhere near complete, either. In the end, I simply wish someone would have told me why it was so harmful, instead of simply putting it on a list of things we don’t talk about. We all know our rights and wrongs, but seldom do we know what makes them so. Had I known how much it would have harmed me, I would have left it alone.

If you’re a woman who has watched pornography, or is watching pornography, studies are now showing that we make up more than one-third of pornography viewers. It’s no longer a taboo topic, and I would personally like to give you permission to speak openly about it. I guarantee you that you have friends who watch it, and are desperate to talk. Even in your church. Especially in your church.

 

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “What I Wish I Knew Before Watching Porn

  1. I love this post. I hate this post. I am addicted to porn. And like Dubinsky’s post says… I never realized the addiction. I’d binge, and purge.. and think nothing was wrong with it. I found pleasure in filling lonely hours with watching “un-lonely” acts on the TV screen. I chalked it up to just having a “healthy appetite for sex”, but since coming to Christ realize that it’s a lot more than that. It’s everything wrong with what should be right between a man a wife. It’s degrading to everyone involved… those in the scene, and those watching the scene.

    What’s just as bad? It seems to get worse and worse as time goes on. I don’t even think that I really knew what porn was until I walked in on my father masturbating to porn when I was 13. My father was so embarrassed that he began talking about suicide. He and my mother do not have a loving relationship – they sleep in separate bedrooms, argue a lot, and are very “lonely” “together”. I remember looking for Christmas presents one year under my dad’s bed, and came across his stash of video’s and books. I remember taking one or two and popping them into my VCR in my bedroom to see what they were all about – and I was hooked. I learned rather young that porn was the way to handle those lonely times – from watching my father spend his lonely times locked in his bedroom doing the same thing that I was. My brother followed suit.

    Just last year, my daughter confessed to me that she had been watching porn on the internet. She was 14 when she confessed this to me. It tears me up because that “innocence” has been lost.She will never understand that the smut she is/was watching on the internet is not how God intended sex to be between a man and a woman. No matter how much I try to explain that to her, she will always have the porn picture in the back of her head. I pray that she falls in love with a man that can wipe the smut out of her memory. I pray that the good Lord hears my prayer.

  2. Powerful stuff. Thanks for sharing. When I had a problem with porn I got to the root of the issue real quick. I quickly found it was simply unbelief. Every time I fell to temptation I was believing a lie. Believing that this lie could provide the answer for the void I was looking to fill. I was choosing to believe that Jesus wasn’t enough. That’s what I love about Jesus. Through Him, he proceeded to replace these lies with His truth. Reverse engineering of the heart. Thankful that He has delivered me. I still get tempted at times but I def know how to fight it.

    Michelle, I’m with Todd. Praying for you and your family.

    Todd, appreciate all you do for the Kingdom.

    • It pains me so much to read this. May Allah give you strength and sabr dunrig this immensely tough struggle. Allah is the turner of hearts may Allah turn your husband’s heart towards you and fill it with love and mercy. May He keep all satan’s work away from your husband and your marriage. Whether your husband at this time can open his eyes to see what a beautifully amazing person you are, don’t ever forget YOU are a creation of Allah so YOU are immensely beautiful both inside and out. You are full of nur (light) and don’t ever let anyone take that away from you. YOU are an amazingly beautiful person. Unfortunately, your husband seems to be weak at the moment and has allowed satan to empower him right now. That has nothing to do with you and your beauty! May Allah strengthen you to see His beauty within you and find strength in Him.I’m sure you’ve heard this time and again, but after what seems like a lifetime of struggles for myself, I have finally started to realize that Allah does truly test those He loves. My struggles seem to continue to become even more difficult, but I have finally started to see how Allah has really made these pains and heartaches and struggles a means for me to grow so much nearer to Him (even though I always felt I was already close to Him) and helped me really understand that our lives on earth really are just a matter of 2-3 days in the infinite reality of time so if this is what Allah has to have me go through to keep breaking me to get even closer to Him than I always was, then iA my closeness to Him will be more worthwhile in the infinite continuum of time. That said, as I keep going through one curve ball after the other, one heartache after another, as what seems to be Allah laughing at me every time I think things will get better, I have finally started to find strength in Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Rajiun, like Allah says in the Holy Quran 2:155-156 ( and give good news to the patient, who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah’s and to Him we shall surely return ).Allah will indeed grant with difficulty, ease.Dua is extremely powerful and Allah answers all our duas (albeit maybe this lifetime or maybe the Hereafter I have been making dua for something ever since I was a kid and 20 years later, still haven’t seen it materialize, but turning to Allah and constantly crying and praying to Him for it has given me strength to get through life). I really like this dua in Quran 25:74 O our Lord! grant us in our spouses and offspring the joy, coolness and comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the Allah conscious people .Also it may be beneficial to pray the Quls (Surah Ikhlas, Falaq and Nas) on him 3 times each at least once a day to break away satan’s hold on him (they say it’s better to pray it on yourself first and then on the other person to protect yourself first).May Allah make this struggle (test) easy for you and give you utmost strength and sabr as you go through it. May He fill you with His light. May He quickly turn your husband’s heart towards Him and fill it with love and mercy for you. With lots of love and prayers!

  3. This is true in SO many ways, especially the effects on men. My husband was a porn addict and could not sustain an erection. He would then ignore me for it because it “satisfied him”,leaving me alone and flustered, when the mainstream porn wasn’t enough he turned to more deviant and abusive porn. As a result he became more abusive at home.

    My marriage is now ruined. I struggle with allowing visits for my children with a man who hurt me deeper than any person should hurt another and I am an activist against pornography, for both the harm it does to relationships, and the abuse and objectification it cultivates in it’s viewers and workers.

    • You know I think that he is just horny and likes to watch naked women having sex. Remember men are vuslaliy stimulated. My advice is too spice things up in the bedroom. Try some new positions, props or sexy underwear from Victoria Secret’s. Also, you might want to try phone sex the next time you are on the road for work. Last, you might want to watch a few scenes from the pornos with him, then re-enact them but with better acting. Watching porn is really only a problem if he is more interested in it than having sex with you and he’s cheating on the side. Then, you have more serious problems.Pauly

  4. First off, Michelle thank you for sharing your story. You are a daughter of our Heavenly Father and He knows you personally and has felt the pain you feel for your daughter.
    I too have been affected by the sting of pornography. I was exposed to porn when I was 10. I have lived with this addiction for over 24 years. I now have a daughter and a new child on the way and I pray to God that they never suffer the same as I have and continue to. Heavenly Father will protect us as we have faith in him. The powers of satan will increase in these latter-days. If we can band together as followers of Christ we will be able to take away the power satan has over the destruction of the family due to pornography. Let us all stand true for what we believe in and band together against pornography.

    • I also feel for the pain you are going through. I can’t imnagie what it must be like to not be wanted by the one who’s supposed to want you the most. BUT, know a few things:1. His addiction is not your problem- meaning, it is not YOUR fault. You can’t help him if he doesn’t want to help himself. 2. Understand that watching porn and masturbating can become an addition just like any other addiction (alcohol, drugs). So, it takes more than dua or talking to quit. If he really wants help, he should consider seeking professional help (maybe you can help him do that). 3. Evaluate where you are in the relationship. I’m sure there are other issues going on between you guys (perhaps because of the addiction, or causing the addiction). Reflect and see what’s going on. Then, if things are ok enough where he’s willing to get help (and you are willing to fight for this relationship), then I would seek professional help. You can email NYF at for more info. If he’s not ready to seek professional help, but does want to remedy the situation, there are other things he can do (but it has to come from him you will waste energy trying these things with him, if he doesn’t want to sincerely make change). Look for the triggers that make him watch porn and/or masturbate. Is it after you guys argue? Is it after he sees something on tv? is it after he thinks about something that stresses him out? (like his job), etc just throwing some options out there Once the two of you can identify some triggers, it might help you figure out distractions or alternative coping methods once a trigger comes up. Be patient, and if this relationship is meant for you, then inshAllah, Allah has even better things in store for you once this gets better.

    • I been with my bf for 9yrs. He watches porn. All guys watch porn. It is not beucsae he lost interest in you. It is guys like variety. It is like eating your favorite food everyday 3 times a day. At first it is great and you may feel like you will never get bore with it, but after a while it does not become a joy to eat. You made need to add something to make it special again. And to him porn is like add thing special to his meal.If it really bothers you why don’t you watch it with him. Or you can bring some toys in to the bedroom. But you need to add something new to the bedroom once and a while. He still loves you.

  5. I had the same problem, stseir. Alhamduliah, my husband has stopped, and InshaAllah, yours will, too. I don’t know how extreme your case is, but for my husband, it had been going on for many years before he met me. He told me about the problem before we got married, and I accepted it about him and was willing to help. The first thing I did was make an effort to understand him. I tried to sympathize with him, and not make him feel ashamed or embarrassed. As with any problem, the best way I believe to tackle it is to build a strong support group. I made sure I let my husband know we were a team together, and that I was going to help him. He failed the goal many times, but each time I forgave him as long as I knew he was sincerely sorry. At first, he didn’t see porn as too much of an issue. But I explained to him calmly why it’s wrong and I reminded him of how men of Islam are suppose to be modest with their eyes and lower their gaze. I helped him build a better relationship with Allah swt, so he felt willing in his own heart to overcome the addiction. It began to die down a bit, but was still continuing. He failed many times and gave in to the temptations, but things were still nonetheless slowly progressing. Therefore, I applauded him for his efforts and let him know how proud I was of him for trying his best to overcome something so hard. Keep in mind, stseir, that a sex addiction can be worse than drug or alcohol addiction. It’s one of the hardest to fight, so I was sure to let him know that all his efforts (even the smallest ones) were noticed. This gave him encouragement and it motivated him to quit the addiction once and for all. The final thing I did was let him know how much it hurt me. My husband truly loves me, and when he saw me broke down crying, it stabbed him in the heart. I expressed my feelings about how him watching porn made me feel like a bad wife or it lowered my self-esteem because it made me think I wasn’t beautiful enough for him. He was filled with sorrow. He saw the pain in my eyes, and realized that it was causing nothing but unhappiness to us. Therefore, he made a true promise to not do it again, and hasn’t done it since that day.To this day, I always tell my husband that if he does ever watch it again, to let me know. I told him I will never get angry at him as long as we are in constant communication and that he does not hide anything from me. I’d rather him watch porn and tell me, than watch porn and I find out on my own or he keeps it a secret. I told him all I want is complete honesty, and he agrees. Sister, sorry for writing so long, but please do not lose hope in your husband. The key to any relationship is communication. Talk to him and support him, and most importantly, just let him know you love him. Once you rebuild that love again, he will want to change willingly to make you happy. Remember that Allah swt placed him in your life for a reason, and that anything can get better with trust. Never lose hope in Allah swt. I make du’a that you and your husband are on the path to a happier marriage and successful recovery away from such a sad addiction.