Pornography: True or False intimacy?

Walking down the back alley one day looking for pop bottles to return to the store for money, I came across a dirty magazine. I was between 7 and 10 yrs old. I sat down on the ground and began looking through the magazine. It may have been the first time I ever saw a woman completely nude. It was very interesting! A few moments later my dad came driving by in his car and saw me. I felt embarrassed even though he probably didn’t know what I was doing. As far as I can recall, this was my first sexual curiosity.

The sex drive of human beings is exceptionally powerful! People murder for it. Lives and families are ruined by it. Countries corrode from the inside and collapse because of it. It is no coincidence that our sexual interests and needs are such a vital component of who we are. God designed us this way. Men are primarily wired to look at women, while women are designed to be looked at by men. Men are extremely visual and this is why almost all pornography is geared toward men. Our eyes and sexual arousal are somehow linked together. Being attracted to someone of the opposite sex is normal and healthy. Yet for many men and women, innocent glances can quickly convert to thoughts of wanting to have that person and do things sexually—lust. Are you and I in control of our lust? Or is our lust in control of us?

Pornography can easily be used as a means to escape reality. Especially vulnerable to the hook of pornography are those who were sexually abused. It should be no surprise that a survey found over 90% of men and women porn movie actors were sexually abused. I personally believe 100% of porn stars were sexually abused to some level, but the 10% that said they weren’t were so traumatized by the abuse that they repressed the horrible memories. Sexual addicts use sex/pornography to control now what they could not control as a child or young person – the sexual abuse‚ physical abuse, or whatever hurt them in their past. It is clear many people become addicted to pornography just as if it were drugs or alcohol. We release hormones and brain chemicals and get a rush from sexual arousal and release. We can use this rush as an escape from past and present pain‚ stress‚ fear of intimacy‚ etc. Some people are so afraid of being emotionally and sexually intimate and vulnerable with another person that they will choose false intimacy through pornography. Pornography is commonly used as a means to have emotionally distant “safe” sex with a pornographic image because there is no risk of intimacy‚ vulnerability, and rejection. So‚ the combination of an emotionally wounded past‚ our natural sex drive and our sinful nature can create a lethal addiction to pornography and sexually addictive compulsive behavior.

Throughout my adult life I have had mild to moderate struggles with pornography. I have never struggled to the point of visiting porn stores or purchasing magazines and videotapes, yet I am vulnerable when it falls into my path through emails and the internet. When I am going through a difficult time emotionally with depression‚ anger‚ or loneliness‚ this is when I can be an open target. The following are some practical things that have helped many men and woman, and myself, in dealing with pornography and lust, and they will help you too if you apply them to your life. Please note: if you have been a frequent user of pornography for many months or years‚ you seriously need to consider getting special help from a professional Christian counselor.