How porn strips more than clothes

How porn strips more than clothes

I don’t know of anything that has ever been more blatantly immoral yet continues to increase exponentially in usage, than the epidemic of our porn industry. (Even the CDC reports that abortions are lessening in frequency.)

So what’s the big deal? It doesn’t hurt anyone.

Is this just a “religious” argument for morality?

What if porn is used to enhance my partner’s and my sex life?

Great questions. But they’re horribly skewed and illogical at their core. For there is not a single, selfless, good reason that porn exists. Porn does not even suffice one’s “sexual frustrations,” as some may argue. In fact, the viewing of porn does the opposite; it sets one up for future failures.

I do not have a single reference that summarizes all the ethical and mental health reasons to abstain from porn, but there are ample sources that provide such data. From a professional view, I can tell you that I clearly see a link between porn use and the negative effects on an individual’s mood, self-control, self-image, discipline, productivity, view of others, and sexual identity issues.

Pornography is designed to be visually (implicitly or explicitly) tantalizing by revealing more than the acceptable norms and mores in place (i.e. naked bodies are arousing because we are used to the norm of clothed bodies in public life). But does porn strip away more than the object’s clothes?

Yes. In fact, porn changes our neurological pathways in the brain’s functioning to see the person as an object for gratification purposes only. So we no longer see that (human) image as a person, but we then start to objectify real life people as a means to satisfy perverted desires.

The beginning of this detrimental direction is the thought, “What happens in privacy, does not hurt anyone else.” Not at all true. This is not a sin or maladaptive behavior that is simply a vice on a personal level. Porn transcends the visual screen into the mind as a false sense of comfort and you’re trapped thinking that it’s a personal, manageable issue. Here are some ways that porn hurts more than just you:

  • Sweet little lies. Porn gives you what you want (sexual arousal) without asking anything from you (such as responsibility, commitment, morality, etc.).
  • It’s addictive. Like any chemical dependency, porn kick-starts a rush of endorphins in the brain which gives you a boost of pleasure. However, it will soon leave you wanting more, and you will seek it again once you come out of your chemical slump. Addiction takes place as you need it more frequently – or potently (i.e. “hard” porn, BDSM, child porn, etc.) – to suffice your cravings. Porn ultimately dictates your mood, whether you recognize it or not.
  • Porn is your new pet. It will soon take your thoughts and energy away from other important responsibilities and relationships (friends, spouse, family) as you will try to get as much consumption whenever possible, justifying your neglect of other duties. Your productivity in daily activities will wither away.
  • Other as objects. With porn, you get used to seeing others as “objects of pleasure,” rather than human beings. You readily “auto-jump” to the sexualized scenario that porn has previously placed there in your brain with visual cues. Only this time, your neurological pathways are trained enough to conjure explicit images of others (for your sexual arousal) without the prompting of pornographic material.
  • Devalues your sexual being. It does not matter how you identify sexually, but porn does diminish what God created you for sexually (either celibate or sex within marriage). You think that you have the potential to express yourself to the fullest, but porn reduces you to a cheap (virtual) trick.

God did not create us as sexual beings to torment us with what we cannot have. Instead, we are fulfilled in obedience to his outlined plan in how we conduct our entire being – for his glory. Your or my sexual frustrations do not merit the right to find sexual release in deviant ways (via porn). But the discipline of reigning in sexual urges – whether married or single – is a discipline that puts others first and God’s glory ahead of your own pleasure. Our culture tells us that happiness is the indicator to our health. That is false, as it conveys infallibility of feelings.

On a personal level, I can also attest to how my past porn addiction was detrimental; to my mood, self-control, faith, productivity, and family-life. I have hurt my wife in the past with my porn use, but I am extremely grateful to how she has graciously shown me selfless love. Porn caused me to be selfish in the marriage bed and mental playground. Now I find greater joy in how I experience life without that addiction, and the ability to love my wife better when I think of her, not my perverted desires.

If you struggle with pornography, be educated, and seek accountability and counseling. If you know someone who is struggling with porn, be an empathic listener who can encourage the appropriate steps for change.

What are successful ways you have dealt with past pornography?

jesse massonJesse is one of our Biblical Counselors at Emmaus Counseling.  He received his Masters of Arts in Counseling from MBTS in 2014 and is a LPC in the state of Kansas.  Jesse and his wife Julie have 3 children and have lived in Kansas City, Spain and Iowa. 

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