Teenagers Growing up with Pornography as a Norm

Recently it seems that there are many articles out there about teenagers addicted to pornography.  It always gets me thinking about what these kids believe to be truth and what is normal in regards to porn and sex.

Kids growing up now know the following to be true and normal:

  • Pornography is everywhere
  • Pornography is a normal way to learn about sex
  • Pornography is acceptable to use when anytime you get sexual urges
  • Women know that everyone uses porn and they are OK with it
  • Women can satisfy their man by acting like a porn star
  • Frequent pornography use is normal and there are no side effect

It is sad really.  Many kids today have parents that buy into the progressive thinking of today and don’t monitor what their kids do on the internet.  Pornography is freedom of speech to them and even healthy for them to use.  We can’t censor what our kids consume they say, kids have their rights you know.

How very destructive this is for them!  These kids will grow up to be adults who can’t relate intimately with one another.  They will be selfish seeking their own gratification  and needs instead of trying to serve their mate.  Their libidos will be burned out from countless images and climaxes burned into their memories.  Sexual intimacy will not be enjoyed like it was meant to be.

With this new normalcy, will they even realize the damage it has done?  Will the drug industry come out with new drugs to bring back burned out libidos and sexual dysfunction?  How much worse could they slide morally?

Other articles you may like:

Why pornography is addictive

The side effects of using pornography

 

 

 

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Why there IS such thing as sex addiction, a rebuttal to Dr David Ley

sex addiction

Why I believe Sex Addiction is REAL

I just finished and article published in the Telegraph by Dr David Ley titled “Why there’s no such thing as sex addiction”. I must disagree with his article, since I believe that sex addiction exists.

The main points he makes to back up this statement are.

  • It isn’t an illness, it’s a weakness – there is no evidence sex addiction is a valid psychiatric disorder.  It hasn’t been recognized as a bona fide disease by the mental health profession
  • Sex addiction is wrongly applied the same characteristics of drug and alcohol addiction. He doesn’t believe there are any ill effects on the body, nor withdrawal symptoms.
  • He doesn’t believe that men can get lost to the powers of internet porn.  He says that there is no evidence of harm it does or we would be awash in sex crimes and public sexual displays.  Since addicts can function at a high level there is no evidence of addiction.  Phil Varone of Skid Row never considered himself an addict to sex because he functioned so highly and it didn’t mess up his life.
  • Sex addiction is a product of social and religious institutions that portray sexual desire as something destructive and weakening and men must rein it in.  These institutions have labeled sex as evil.  Sex is healthy and good for you; more sex equals healthier, happier people.
  • People use the label of sex addiction to shirk responsibility for their actions.  The real reason is the bad choices they make.

 

Let’s deal with his statements one by one; you may be surprised at my point of view.

Dr Ley says that sex addiction isn’t an illness, it’s a weakness.  First off, I think it is funny that he keeps labeling this as sex addiction while stating there is no such thing.  He should come up with another term to label this weakness so that we won’t get his point of view confused.  On this point I have to agree with him.  Shocking as it may be I don’t think sex addiction is a disease.  Just like I don’t believe that drug and alcohol abuse are diseases.  In my very un-clinical mind a disease is an illness that you contract by either contact with another person or genetically.  You cannot catch alcoholism, drug abuse or sex addiction.  You are not born into them, nor do you have symptoms of them without bringing it on yourself.  I’m not sure where the disease label originated from, but I disagree with it.  You can have the tendency to like alcohol or pornography and drugs, but diving into these doesn’t happen without you first giving into the temptation after making some poor decisions.  We are not robotic in this sense.

Next he goes on to say that sex addiction is wrongly applied the same characteristics as drug and alcohol abuse, mainly because there are no ill effects on the body or withdrawal symptoms.  On this statement I have to disagree.  Too much sex or pornography does indeed have ill effects on the body.  I won’t give you all the details, but you can read my account on how pornography made me sick.  It wasn’t until I gave up porn that I began to recover from the mysterious illness that plagued me.  I’m not certain, but I believe it had something to do with the adrenal system.  How can he say for certain that too much sex is not bad for the body?  At what level is it considered too much?

 

To say there are no withdrawal symptoms with sex addiction is another unfounded statement.  There were many times that I decided to quit pornography and went through withdrawal.  It consumed me to the point I could not function.  There was no concentration or rest.  The urges would only go away after I would indulge in porn.  Don’t just take my word for it, read the testimonies of other sex/porn addicts.  Read Kastleman’s book on the brain science behind internet pornography use.

Dr Ley does not believe that men can get lost in the power of porn.  The quote by Skid Row’s drummer backs up his statement.  Do all addicts lose their functionality and mess up their lives…of course not.  Some are able to lead (on the outside) normal functioning lives.  They are able to compartmentalize their addiction from the rest of their lives.  Others are not so lucky and lose everything.  Dr Ley fails to realize the internal harm that wreaks havoc on the addict.  The guilt, shame and feelings of worthlessness as a result of the addiction may not always appear on the outside.  The truth is that porn is like the siren calling to you day and night to come in and visit her.  There is a pull that appeals to our sexual natures, our need for escape and the physical feeling of euphoria.  The call is there around every corner for the addict.

He also feels sex has been given a bad rap by social and religious organizations that have deemed sex to be destructive, weakening and evil.  These stigmas on sex then make those who have active sex drives to think something is wrong with them and they are addicts.  Lots of sex is good for you.  In this statement I think he has twisted the view by social and religious organizations.  Free sex and promiscuity are deemed destructive, sex without a boundary is destructive, not sex itself.  Sex within the boundary of a marriage is responsible and healthy.  Lots of sex within a marriage is very healthy.

The last point he makes seems to be the crux of his whole article.  Dr Ley feels that sex addicts use the label to escape responsibility for their actions when it is their choices that have gotten them into trouble.  I say right on!  People like to blame someone or something for their bad behavior.  Blaming sexual addiction and then checking into rehab somehow makes everyone feel OK about it, like it’s not their fault.  I say it is their fault and they are addicted.

I don’t believe being addicted to sex or porn and it being your own fault are exclusive of each other.  You are an addict and it is your fault!  This takes us back to the point where sex addiction is labeled as a disease.  A disease label seems to absolve the afflicted from responsibility.  I think this is the whole hang-up Dr Ley has with using the label Sex Addiction.  He firmly believes (as I do) that the person makes bad decisions and is fully responsible for their own actions.  They are not victims to a disease.  They are just people who succumb to a weakness or temptation that has taken them farther than they imagined they would go.

What do you think?  Please leave your comments below.

Other Posts you may find helpful:

The Signs of Pornography Addiction

Side Effects of Using Porn: Caution

Confessions of a Sex Addict

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Side Effects of Porn

Pornography has serious side effects to the wary user

Before you indulge, Check the side effects of porn

 

Last time we looked at some of the reasons why a porn habit is tough to break.We use porn in secret and think that if no one knows, it can’t hurt anyone.A sin that is kept in the dark will grow just like a fungus.The sex saturated society we live it won’t let us forget about how we need to put sex as our number one need.Everywhere we turn there are reminders of how important sex is and how we value it above many other things.When we feast on sex saturated media, we buy into the value system society offers us in regards to porn and sex.We also have been led to believe that use of pornography has no ill effects on the user and that our usage has no effects on anyone around us.As long as we can justify our usage and point out the lack of side effects, no harm, no foul, or so we think.Porn is a tough habit to break and these are just a few of the reasons why we stay enslaved to it.

 

This time we are going to take a look at what porn does to its users.Contrary to popular culture’s stance on pornography, there are side effects to using porn.Drug companies are legally required to warn you of the possible side effects while taking their product.Many people will never experience all of the side effects listed or they will have one or two of them but won’t attribute them to the drug they are taking.It’s the same thing with porn usage.You will have a side effect, but you may not realize or notice it yourself.Sometimes people around you will notice something that you are blind to.Here are a few of the side effects that may be present in you, some obvious, others not so much.

 

 

  • It amplifies our selfishness.Pornography focuses on our satisfaction, our needs, and turns us towards ourselves.When you watch porn- who gets the most satisfaction in the film?-The guy.Most pornography elevates the importance of the guy’s pleasure and shows the woman as the willing provider of it.This theme runs throughout the pornography world and will find its way into your life.After hundreds of impressions of these situations, you will find yourself acting more selfishly, especially in your interactions with women.Why?Because the standard pornography theme has subconsciously tricked you into believing that your feelings and satisfaction are greater than anyone else’s.You have satisfied yourself with the images of others who willingly gave in to your desires and needs.Now you are more biased towards your own satisfaction that you will act selfishly towards those around you.It will be hard for you to see this yourself, but you will become more selfish than you already are.Don’t be surprised when someone close to you points this out.

 

  • Pornography changes our perception of women.Women become objects instead of human beings.This goes along with the point above.The most common theme in pornography is a woman giving herself to the man to please him.The woman is portrayed as super eager to please her man, that she will do whatever he wants, even to the point of degrading herself.The focus is on the man getting off.Think about what usually happens in the end of a pornography film.The man gets off and then its over!When he is done, it’s all over.It’s all about the guy.The woman’s need is not considered and then she is degraded by how the guy shows her his thanks… by covering her in his semen.. that is real class, huh.This scene, played over and over before our eyes will make us believe that women are available anytime men are ready and they will do whatever we want because they are here to please us.We will look at them not as humans with personalities and feelings, but as sluts here to please us.You will know that your thinking about women has changed to viewing them as objects when you scan their body and immediately think of them in bed servicing you.You won’t even register their facial features, their smile and the color of their hair or eyes.Immediately your eyes will go to their body and you will start lusting for them.Women are created in the image of God deserving of our honor and respect. They are not here just for our pleasure.

 

  • Pornography robs you of your passion for anything else besides itself.Pornography takes control of our passion and uses it to satisfy itself.Your passions will get consumed by it and you have none left to pursue noble causes.Pornography is a mean task-master, it grabs you and will force you to feed it unmercifully!You will find yourself searching for more time to give to it, plotting out ways to get away to feed it.Your spare moments are spent thinking of the next time you can get lost in pornography.Pornography drains you because so much energy and passion go into feeding it, that you have no energy or passion to put forth into other areas of your life.That is why one of the ways out of pornography is to find a new passion.It is very true that idle hands are the devil’s workshop.Just let yourself be idle and not involved in something and watch pornography knock on the door asking you come in.

 

  • Pornography will destroy your ability to be intimate (emotionally) with your spouse and others.It develops a false intimacy, one where you relate with someone who is attractive, satisfies your physical needs and does not require anything from you.This relationship you have with pornography is very different from real life.In real life, you have to speak with people who don’t always affirm you and actually speak to you, sometimes even in anger.Relationships in porn films are superficial and only for one thing: sex.There very little communication.In real life you cannot just walk up to someone and expect sex after a few words.You may find yourself wanting to disengage from conversations with your spouse and retreating to the world of porn where you create your own adventure.Real emotional intimacy with your spouse is much more work and painful at times verses what happens in the porn world.

 

  • Pornography will destroy your ability to be intimate physically with your spouse.Pornography provides physically attractive women who have all the right proportions you love.The vast variety of women available allows you to be picky about who you choose to get off on.You can have a different woman each time.All the while you are setting yourself up for failure in the bedroom with your spouse.Your spouse will seem boring and not as attractive.You lose the appetite for sex with your wife and your encounters become infrequent.When you do come together you may have a difficult time getting the job done and your mind may also be elsewhere (with a porno star).Your wife knows something is up!Don’t think you can hide it.If you aren’t totally there for her she will be suspicious.

 

  • Pornography will grow the time you spend in fantasy land.Once exposed to this exciting world where anything goes and there are no problems, you will find yourself trying to escape to this place anytime you can.While you are waiting in traffic, mowing the lawn, in the bathroom, trying to fall asleep or anywhere else you can go and put your mind in neutral, you will find yourself fantasizing about sex.Pornography will get in your head and it will expand to take up as much space on your hard drive like a virus!You will become more distant to your spouse when you spend lots of time in fantasy land.Maybe she does have a point when she says you ‘are distant lately’.

 

  • Pornography will make you act differently in the bedroom.Your focus will become more on your own satisfaction and not so much giving your wife pleasure and you will want to try things you saw in pornography.You may not spend the time getting her ready and paying attention to her needs as you are to ‘getting it done’.Think about the pornography scenes you have watched… how many of them involve lengthy kissing and foreplay?Not many.They usually get down to business.This is what you will start to emulate.You will also want to try things that you saw in pornography.Many of the things you saw in pornography are not healthy and should not be done.Anal sex, for example is shown in lots of pornography, but it is unhealthy and will hurt the person done to.You obviously should never force anyone to do something that they are not comfortable with.Have you wanted to ‘talk dirty’ to your wife?Whether or not you have said it, I will bet it has come to your mind.

 

 

Take all these points together and don’t you think you wife will get wise to your pornography consumption?Of course she will!She may not be able to finger the problem, but she will be on alert.Maybe you say she will never know because you have had this problem before she knew you.Consider this:When you go through your cycles of pornography usage (going from high usage to no usage) do you think your actions change based on which cycle you’re in?I would say yes.Be honest and remember that whatever you feed will grow!

 

If you feed your pornography addiction it will grow and you will be displaying many of the side effects given above as you progress in the addiction.When you starve your pornography addiction and redirect your passions into other areas, the side effects of pornography will dissipate and not be as noticeable.

 

Even if you were using pornography before you met her, you have been through the normal cycles of usage.Chances are you thought that when you got married, you would not need pornography anymore and so you stopped when you first met and were married.The point is, she has seen you at your best (off of pornography) and at your worst (using pornography) and she will notice the difference.

 

Maybe you aren’t married and are thinking this doesn’t apply to you.You will display some of the side effects of using pornography.These side effects will directly impact how you treat the women you date.They may not want to date you for long, or maybe you get more rejections than you like.Whatever the case, you will be able to identify with some of the side effects and they will be picked up by some people.

 

Consider these side effects before you consider using porn again.Porn is bad for your health!

 

Using porn has some unforseen side effects

Using porn has some unforseen side effects

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Why A Porn habit is so hard to break

Last time we looked at why porn is so addictive.  We learned that a chemical reaction in your brain just like what a drug user experiences is part of why it is so addictive.  This along with the climax we experience from masturbation puts a double whammy on the body to give us a euphoric pleasure.  We also talked about the cycle of porn usage and how we go from craving to acting on the craving and using porn to shame & guilt and swearing to not do it again.  We find ourselves in this cycle over and over again.

 porn habits are hard to break

Lost in the porn addiction cycle we long to get out, but it seems there is no use.  We feel almost helpless.  We tell ourselves that this is just something we have to live with; anyways it is not hurting anyone right?  Deep down inside we secretly loathe ourselves because of it.  We think of ourselves as dirty, weak creatures who would be looked down upon if anyone ever found out about what we do while alone. 

 

The biggest reason that a porn habit is hard to break is because of its secrecy! Porn is a secret sin!  The internet provides anonymity for us to seek out porn within the safety of our homes.  Erase the internet history, dump the cookies and erase the temporary internet files and know one will know.  We don’t have to get in our cars and risk being seen walking into an adult bookstore.  Covering our tracks and hiding all traces has been how we have been living.  If no one knows, I will be able to keep my marriage and respect that everyone has for me. 

 

The secrecy is a double edged sword!  You will be able to hide your secret porn life and keep your status as an outstanding husband, dad and citizen, but you will not like yourself.  The secrecy also will perpetuate the porn usage.  No one knows, and you can keep doing whatever you like.  Porn addiction grows when it is in the dark, secret place.  Porn is like a fungus – it thrives in the dark and dies when exposed to the light!  Part of your battle plan will involve telling someone about your problem.  You will be amazed at how much release you will feel when you expose your porn problem.  We will talk at length about this later.

 

A porn habit is so hard to break because of the sex crazed culture we live in.  Everywhere you turn; TV, billboards, magazines, the office – sexily & seductively dressed people are everywhere.  This culture has a preoccupation with sex.  Sex has been elevated to idol status and we learn to seek after it and revere it like it was a deity.  Listen to the radio or watch TV and talk about sex is everywhere.  Sexual conquests, affairs, and seduction are commonly spoke about and portrayed throughout the day as the be all end all of our existence.  To a porn addict, these bombardments cause us to think more about sex and want to use porn.  We can’t turn our sex filled minds off and onto more noble things while we are assaulted at every corner!  Speaking as a visually stimulated man, it is very hard to keep your eyes & mind on the straight and narrow. 

 

A porn habit is very hard to break because many of us believe that our porn usage is not hurting anyone. – There are no victims from my pornogrpahy use.   We think, ‘I am not physically cheating on my spouse’, or ‘Porn actresses have made a decision to act, they are not coerced’, or ‘Porn does not change the way I act towards my family and co-workers’.  So if it is not hurting anyone and sex is natural, why is it wrong?   I truly believed this for many years and thought that porn usage was normal for many people.  What I didn’t realize was that porn was changing the way I looked at women, was causing me to be more selfish, was robbing me of my passion for anything else, and was destroying my ability to be intimate emotionally and physically with anyone.  Porn will rob you of passion and intimacy and cause you to put yourself and your needs above anyone else.  There is much more to elaborate on these points later. 

 

Using porn is so hard to break away from because of the secrecy involved, the sex crazed society we live in and the lies we believe as to porn not hurting anyone.  If we are doing something in the privacy of our homes that no one knows about, but is talked about and reinforced everywhere we turn and is not hurting anyone why would it be wrong?  For porn to be wrong, we would have to be opposed to it morally and show that it has detrimental effects to those who use it and society in general.   

 

In our next installment we will talk more about the affects of porn on its users.

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Why Pornography is so addictive – your brain on porn

Your Brain on Porn – Why porn is so addictive

First in a series of understanding porn addiction and putting together your battle plan to get free.

Remember your first exposure to pornography? I do. I remember the rush that overcame my body. I knew it was ‘dirty’ and wrong, but I was very excited and felt my heart beat faster and a high like I had never known before. Right in front of me was a magazine that had a nude woman in it. It was the glimpse that every pre-teen boy daydreamed about.

That first impression for you probably made you feel the same way – a rush of adrenaline that sped your heart up. It doesn’t matter how old you were at that first peek. Even now, years latter you still feel that rush when you expose yourself to porn.

your brain on porn

Little did you and I know that at the first exposure we were opening ourselves up to a world that would suck us in and toy with our minds and bodies. That exhilaration we felt and still feel when we take a look at porn is caused by a chemical reaction in the brain. That chemical reaction released endorphins and other potent chemicals that are the same as when a drug addict takes a hit. We have become addicted to that high feeling we get when we take a hit of porn! This chemical reaction not only gets us high, but also is strong enough to imprint the images we are viewing into our minds!

You now know why porn is highly addictive and why we cannot escape the images of sex in our heads! I bet you can recall some scenes from the first porn movie you watched or the pictures out of that magazine you saw years ago.

Pornography is highly addictive because of the addictive chemical properties. We love to feel good don’t we? Alcohol, drugs, porn, or any other addictive substance all alter our state of mind and give us feelings of pleasure and let us escape from our daily grind. Let’s face it, life is tough and many of us use different ways to unplug and get away. Porn makes us feel high and when you combine it with masturbation; you get a double feel good experience!

Those images that get imprinted into your mind also further the addiction. Sex on the brain is the running joke brought against men anyhow. When you imprint sex scenes into your memory banks, they will pop up when you want to recall them and even when you don’t. When you don’t want to recall them they will clamor to get in to your conscience thinking and try to control you. Ever see a pretty girl with a nice body and then BAM, your mind takes you back to the porn scene you watched previously? Now, when you get this scene flashed in front of you, the chemical reaction starts to rev you up and you need an outlet for this energy. You will then turn to porn and masturbation to relieve it. This cycle continues and before you know it, you are spending hours a day feeding your porn habit.

The cycle of porn continues in your life until you decide to do something about it. You know how the cycle goes. A trigger goes off in your head and causes you to get a craving, you try to deny the craving but it won’t go away. Now you figure the only way to get rid of this craving is to give in to it, so you go and use porn. Afterwards you feel so ashamed and guilty. You say to yourself; ‘Why did I go and do that again? I won’t do it again. From here on out, no more porn!’ It isn’t long till one of your triggers knocks at the door. You try to ignore it. It won’t go away. So you give in again.

Next time we will talk about why it is so hard to break free from a porn habit.

If you can identify with any of the above, then you will need stay tuned as we dig deeper into porn addiction and how you can get yourself free from it. Subscribe via RSS, add you your Yahoo page, and bookmark this site.

 

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Understanding the Enemy: Pornography’s Silent but Precise Attack Strategy

Are you familiar with the story of how the Greeks won the Trojan War in Virgil’s The Aenid? It’s a tale of great military strategy.

 

            Needing a way to get inside Troy unnoticed, the Greeks hid inside a giant, wooden, horse-shaped ‘trophy.’ The horse was the Greek’s supposed peace-offering, and as such was welcomed by the unsuspecting Trojans. But come nightfall, soldiers crept out of the wooden horse’s hollow belly and captured the city.

Understanding pornography is a trojan horse

 

            From this epic victory came the term ‘Trojan Horse.’ A Trojan Horse is anything you invite into your circle of safety, on the assumption that it’s a gift, only to find out too late that it’s a trap! It’s a term used to refer to anything that masquerades as beneficial and good, but is actually destructive.

 

            The Greek’s strategy in this tale is one of the most brilliant ever conceived. Lull your enemies into a false sense of security, and then jump them when they least expect it!

 

            Pornography is a big Trojan Horse. You think it’s a good thing, a gift. (How lucky am I to live in a country that grants me this press freedom!). You’re encouraged to welcome it with open arms. In fact, modern society would want you to think that there’s something’s wrong with your sexuality if you find porn repulsive. (What! Sex is a natural act, a normal instinct — human nature!). For many people, it’s banning pornography that’s a crime.

 

            But make no mistake: pornography has cost millions of people their studies, jobs, marriage, quality of life and clarity of decision-making. It has given birth to exploitation and sexual crimes. In fact, as you’re reading this, a whole generation is developing their identity and self-worth from the mixed messages delivered by the multi-billion porn industry.

 

            The mere fact that you are reading this article means that you know how pornography’s appeal can quickly turn south, or at least knows someone struggling with its ill effects. This is not surprising. With the pervasiveness of porn these days, it’s not impossible if 1 of every 10 people deal with this parasite on a daily basis.

 

            And of all enemies, it’s pornography that wins top marks for camouflage.

 

           

What is pornography?                                  

 

            If you want to battle this parasite, you need to first understand it.

 

            Everyone has a general idea of what pornography is — it’s sexually explicit material intentionally created to elicit sexual excitement. The medium of its expression varies; pornography can be in the form of words, still photographs, videos and audios.  With technology developing further each day, the forms and ways pornography can find its way to the public is practically limitless.

 

            But while most have a sense of what pornography is, it seems that no two people can agree on its scope. Depending on who you ask, what constitutes as pornographic is flexible. Some definitions are too inclusive (banning even educative discussions of sexuality, such as pages in a medical textbook), while others severely restrictive (limiting pornography only to material that depicts violence against women).

           

            The debate on what constitutes as pornographic will likely go on for years, as factors like culture, religion, sexual orientation and politics all color the issue. Certainly there are gray areas. But make no mistake: just because pornography is hard to define, doesn’t mean we should forget about establishing boundaries. Struggling with this parasite yourself, you know that it’s real, it’s tangible, and limits must be made. 

           

            How pornography should be defined legally is irrelevant. Our purpose is not to standardize laws but to facilitate quitting pornography use and addiction, compulsions that eat our lives. For this intention, there are two things that you need to weigh when classifying whether something is pornographic or not:

 

            First, you need to discern the creator’s intention. If the producers created material with the explicit intention of arousing the sexual arousal of the consumer, then it’s pornographic. You can wrap it up in euphemistic terms (erotic art, adult film, alternative entertainment, ‘soft’ porn, etc.), but at the end of the day, any obvious and explicit pandering towards a physical sexual response in the consumer makes something pornographic. Pornography applies then to all adult magazines, websites and videos— no exceptions. 

 

            But creator’s intention is just one thing, and is something that we cannot always know for sure. Given that pornography is a ‘progressive’ habit (you will never be satisfied with your present consumption, you’ll always be on the look-out for more), it pays to define pornography conservatively and subjectively. Arrest it at the bud so to speak, and be mindful of your own personal weaknesses. Thus, the second thing then that you need to discern before you can classify something as pornographic, is your own reaction to the material you’re consuming.

 

            Any picture, video or text that sows even minute seeds of inappropriate sexual feelings from you is pornography. Whether it’s ‘artfully’ done, or appears in a respectable mainstream publication, is irrelevant. If it arouses you, even in a negligible/ ‘manageable’ way, then it’s pornographic. In this sense a fully-clothed model in a sexy ad may not be pornographic for the rest of the world, but for the purpose of recovery, it’s something you shouldn’t tolerate.

 

            To be clear, it is NOT sexuality per se that is the enemy in pornography. Just because you rightly view pornography as a parasite doesn’t mean that you are anti-sex.  On the contrary, you are pro-sex. Sexuality is central to personal identity and self-fulfillment. What you are against is the misuse of sexuality; pornography being the most unhealthy use of these normal instincts and desires.

 

 

Welcoming the Gift Horse: How Pornography Sneaks In  

 

            How does pornography sneak into our lives? One word: easily! As far as gift Trojan Horses go, this one will not even raise your suspicions. Here’s why:

 

 

We live in a sex-crazed culture.

 

            Hugh Hefner’s multi-million Playboy Empire confirms a marketing principle long conceded: sex sells.

 

            You want to sell a car, never mind detailing its amazing features. Just put a gorgeous woman beside it in skimpy attire and you’d certainly draw the eyes of your target patrons. You have a movie with a bad plotline and a barely known star? Make sure you insert a racy love scene somewhere in the middle and you’d be good to go. Indeed, there are even entertainment career ‘advisors’ who go on the record saying that the best way to launch a career (any career!) is to play on your physical attractiveness.

 

            Our culture is obsessed with sex. You won’t be able to walk ten paces from anywhere without seeing an explicit sexual reference. ‘Reality’ shows depict ‘real’ people hooking up with strangers left and right. Tabloids sell just by speculating who’s sleeping with whom. The paparazzi are paid absurd amounts of money to catch celebrities (and even the average Joe) in compromising positions.

 

            Unfortunately, social norms define what’s acceptable, desirable and ideal. And if everyone’s doing it, it can’t be wrong, right?

 

            In psychology, there is a phenomenon called ‘cognitive dissonance.’ This means that if you have two conflicting ideas in your mind, your brain will do its best to reconcile these ideas. So even if you do not agree with the way sexuality is being handled in the mainstream, merely observing the ease others deal with it (plus the pleasure inherent in these acts) can change your attitude before you even know it!

 

            However, it must be impressed upon us that values and lifestyles that are common, hip or new are not necessarily the best things. Old doesn’t equate to obsolete and the unpopular opinion isn’t necessarily the ignorant opinion. All it simply means is that critical and non-conformist thinkers who’ve lived before us could have stumbled upon wisdom before we did.

            John Piper said it best when he argued that “truth and beauty and goodness are not determined by when they exist. Nothing is inferior for being old, and nothing is valuable for being modern.”

 

 

Pornography appeals to our visually stimulated manhood.

 

            Studies show consumers of pornography are mostly men. Women, on the other hand, are more inclined towards cybersexual relationships, mostly in the forms of chatting and video conferencing. If women do consume pornography, the sexually explicit material is almost always in the context of a story.

                                                                                                

            There is a reason for this difference.                                       

 

            Any observant person will tell you that men and women approach the world differently. Getting attracted to a potential partner and relating with them is not exception. In these two key areas, it is believed that men are more visually stimulated whereas women are more likely to get turned on verbally.

 

            In an analysis of speed daters, for example, it was found that women put greater weight on the intelligence of the partner, while men respond more to physical attractiveness.

 

            Researchers from theNational Academy of Science in Spain also found that men use the right side of the brain to process beauty while women use their whole brains. When women look at a visual object they link it to language, unlike men who tend to concentrate on the spatial aspects of the object.

 

            What does this mean? As guys, we notice first the physical attributes of the other person. Women, on the other hand, need a more mental/ emotional connection. As such, men are more likely to get turned on by a partner wearing lingerie, whereas a woman might prefer a quiet conversation over dinner to get her into the mood. This principle might also be the driving force behind the conception that to attract the opposite sex, women need to dress-up well, perhaps put on some make-up, while men need to be charming and romantic!

 

            It’s just a predisposition; so don’t feel stereotyped! Certainly it’s not the be-all and end-all of how each gender interacts. But understanding this difference is important. These gender differences explain why pornography can easily hook us men. As visual stimulation, pornography appeals to a guy’s natural instinct.

 

            This tendency is believed to have its roots in the traditional gender roles. Men have always been the ‘hunter’ in relationships, and thus need to be vigilant when it comes to ‘seeing’ what to run after. Women as caretakers need to know how to be attentive and nurturing.

 

            So, what’s wrong with a medium that addresses our basic instincts?

 

            The thing is, visual stimulation is just the first step in any relationship. It’s there to catch a man’s notice— in order for him to get interested enough to go through the next steps of striking a friendship and getting to know another individual. Set the foundation for a quality interaction. Pornography, however, stagnates this natural process of relating into but the first level. To nurture a pornography addiction is no different from merely watching a game from the sidelines, and not bothering to find the satisfaction of playing the game himself.

                                                                                   

            It may be supposed that God, in His wisdom, deliberately created this difference between men and women in order to encourage communication, frustration tolerance and self-adjustment between partners: things that are needed to sustain any long-term relationship. After all, no relationship can survive with mere chemistry, right? Without these ‘interactive’ factors in a relationship, there is no relationship at all.

 

 

It’s a secret sin.

 

            Sin — or any bad habit — thrives in secrecy.

 

            Aside from providing safety from the disapproval of others, secrecy has the added allure of power. You are king because you can get away with anything. It makes you feel invincible, as well as thrilled at being able to do something forbidden.

 

            It’s easy to trick others — and yourself! — that all is well because pornography is easy to hide. You can clear your internet history, set up clever hiding places for your stash, use prepaid debit cards to buy your goods, or even travel out of town to visit an adult store. You can be a respectable citizen by day and a porn addict by night.

 

            This secrecy is heightened by the advent of the World Wide Web. For anyone curious about a whole range of sexual behaviors, the internet offers a private, safe, and anonymous way to explore those fantasies. Anonymity can encourage people to act in ways they wouldn’t normally act.

 

            What most people don’t know is that this secrecy is only a myth. Wives and children of men addicted into porn almost always have an idea of what goes on behind closed doors, but may be too scared to verbalize their suspicions. There are always signs.

 

            As will be shared to you later, the nature of pornography is progressive; it will only get worse and more intense as the time goes by, to the point that it goes beyond your ability to keep it secret anymore. You can deny all you want but changes will show in the way you talk, look and act.

 

            More so, the impact of pornography is what experts call ‘systemic’ in nature. This means that, like any other addiction, it’s as much a family disease as it is of the individual directly using the porn. This makes sense because at the heart of secret compulsions is the need to always lie, cover-up and pretend. And the more you divorce parts of yourselves to indulge in a secret fantasy life, the less available you’d be to the real people around you. The porn problem them becomes a relationship problem.

 

 

It’s a victimless crime.

 

            What’s wrong with pornography anyways?!?

 

            Here’s another of those porn addiction myths: it hurts no one. After all, it’s not like drug dependency wherein you can visibly see yourself injecting poison into your body. Nor is it like road rage or stealing, where the harm to the other person is easily evident.

 

            Given that legislation disallows any minors from making adult materials, and any models or actors in a porn flick presumably has given their consent, isn’t it a win-win situation? No harm, no foul, right? In fact, with the pervasiveness of sexually transmitted diseases these days, isn’t pornography a safer alternative for releasing sexual tension?

 

            It’s all big lie. The fact is, pornography has a casualty toll that almost always includes everyone.

 

            Pornography is instant gratification on demand. It’s such a convenient and quick way of releasing tension, that almost always, pornography becomes a person’s main coping mechanism. How convenient is it? There are millions of (free!) pornographic sites available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s an easy ticket to distraction and satisfaction; and pretty soon becomes the first choice to dealing with dissatisfaction of any kind.

 

            With porn you don’t have to face your problems and feelings. You don’t have to exert effort to manage yourself or your affairs, as is required in the real world. You get the love and adoration you want without having to work for it! Indeed, all you need to do is turn on the DVD or the log on to the internet and you’re immediately on top of the world.

 

            It’s so easy, convenient and effective, it’s inevitably addictive.

 

Pretty soon pornography will consume your life. It’ll eat time and attention that you should be given to other priorities, such as your job, social life, hobbies and the people around you. It’s so bad that many porn addicts report that they go through their work and their relationships mechanically, like they just need to pass the time before they can get their next fix.

 

Worse, pornography will slowly develop your values and attitudes that you’d eventually subscribe to the lies of a highly sexualized fake universe which includes, but is not limited to an increased callousness in the treatment of women.

 

In fact, one of the most serious repercussions that can come about from a pornography addiction is a decreased skill and ability to be genuinely intimate, or satisfied with real intimacy (that is, the one that is fraught with many demands.) When people who have long used pornography develop intimate relationships, often they find themselves with a limited repertoire of action and thought. (We would discuss this in more detail later.)

 

            Pornography is also considered as real an infidelity as an actual affair, and its discovery has proven to be damaging to many marriages. Husbands and wives who find out that their spouses are engaging in pornography often feel betrayed, rejected, humiliated, insecure and angry, as they do in real life extramarital relationships. It can decrease an interest in relational sex, or unrealistically high standards of beauty and sexual performance.

 

            And what about the supposed ‘consent’ actors give to make pornography?

 

            Perhaps there are those who have embraced this profession willingly. Certainly in our liberal culture it is not unusual to find people who find the sexualized lifestyle satisfying, especially given that it is so lucrative. But this doesn’t mean that it’s a consent that we should tolerate.

                                                                                      

            Pornographic films do not see the women in the pictures as being whole or complete individuals, but rather simply as sexual body parts. A profession that reinforces the idea that a woman’s value lies in her being a mere provider of sexual satisfaction for men does not encourage an ethical treatment of women. Indeed, a society should in fact be setting up safeguards in order to prevent this exact thing from happening.

 

            But what is closer to reality is that most women in pornography are either coerced, or have past negative experiences such as having been a drug addict, a victim of sexual abuse or a runaway. An issue of self-esteem makes women more likely to indulge in a degrading profession.

 

            Researcher Cole writes:

 

            “…the public views films as fantasy, and therefore believes that the abuse and violence are unreal. As the abuse and violence are depictions of fantasy, they represent no physical or mental threat to the actors. But voice-overs and music are used to obscure cries of pain, and the selective camera shots edit the facial expressions that result from the painful positions required for various scenes.”

 

            Porn Star Linda Lovelace writes that the public noted only her obvious enjoyment when performing in “Deep Throat”, and was oblivious to the bruises covering her body and the terror in her eyes. To have acknowledged the physical evidence of coercion would undoubtedly have created discomfort in the viewer, and that understandably is neither the intent of the pornographer nor of the viewer.

 

            The truth is: pornography is a personal, relational and societal threat.

 

 

And at the end of the day, it’s no different from a drug rush!

 

            But here is why pornography is the greatest Trojan Horse in existence: it’s easy to get hooked to pornography because our bodies are biologically designed to get a ‘high’ from it!

 

            People are more familiar with the high that comes from illegal and regulated drugs. For example, stimulants are supposed to give us a heady, active drive by increasing our heartbeat and giving us an adrenalin rush. Hallucinogens take us to a fantasy world. This effect is not mere psychological, our body chemistry changes after drug use, so much so that any drug addict desiring recovery must not just have therapy, but body detoxification as well.

 

            Here’s an interesting fact: watching pornography, as well as indulging in porn-related activities, encourage the release of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins in the body, the chemicals that facilitate the feeling of pleasure.

 

            Now, pleasure in itself is not inherently wrong. In fact, the same biochemical reaction happens after many activities that give us pleasure like eating, walking under the sun or enjoying a refreshing drink, although not in the same intensity.

 

            But this natural body reaction would serve as reinforcement; it will cause you to seek for the same high over and over again. And after repeated indulgence, the brain will begin to associate these activities with pleasure, except that at some point it will get so used to it that you won’t get the same high the next time you use it. This will trigger a compulsive need for you to hunt for greater satisfactions, one that will never be satisfied because pornography, by nature, is an incomplete sexual act.

 

 

            It is important to know why pornography seems so appealing; it is so we can make sure that we catch ourselves from being caught vulnerable. The greater awareness we have on how pornography gets inside our circle of safety, the better we can guard against it.

 

 

What are the signs that you’ve become addicted to pornography?

 

Denial is part and parcel of most bad habits. After all, one of the hardest things to do is to look at our life, and say that something is not going right in it. It’s easier to get on other’s cases, criticize everybody else for their behavior and pinpoint what the world needs to do to be “better”. It’s quite another thing to sit down, reflect and challenge your own self to wellness.

 

This is especially true when we’re dealing with an addiction or a compulsive behavior. Addictions are one of the hardest things to own up to. To admit that you’re an addict means conceding that you’ve already surrendered your ability to direct your actions. You’ve become nothing more but a slave to a habit.

 

Maybe you’re saying now, ‘porn is not a problem for me, I am just a recreational watcher.’ Or maybe your excuse is “I’ve always been good at managing myself so am sure it won’t be a problem for me as it is for other people.’ But don’t forget: even we can lie to ourselves.

 

            While self-reflection can be painful and emotionally threatening, it’s the first step in any recovery process. Here are signs that you need to look at when discerning whether porn has taken over your life:

 

 

Obsession and Compulsion

 

            There are two cornerstones of bad habits: obsession and compulsion. Both point a person’s inability to control himself and his situation.

 

Obsession means that even if you don’t will it, pornography is always in your mind. As you go through every day activities, you picture nothing but what you would later do or get. Your mind frequently plays back the scenes you watched. You deliberately create pictures in your mind, and indulge every sex-related stray thought that you get.

 

All of a sudden you see sexual references in everything— wholesome jokes somehow sound dirty, and even women who are not doing anything to seduce you somehow appear seductive. Worse, you end up mentally stripping women that you meet, or wondering what their sexual preferences are.

 

            Compulsion is obsession’s twin brother. This is when you begin, in spite of yourself, to act on your obsession. You just can’t resist. You make it a part of your daily routine, so much so that adjustments would be made in a person’s schedule just to accommodate a habit. It becomes the greatest need in your life.

 

            And you can’t stop. You install anti-porn software in your computer, only to uninstall it later. You lock away your stash, only to dig for the key within the next 5 minutes. Suddenly, it’s more powerful that you are.

           

 

 

Mood-modification

 

            Pornography use often starts out as a simple means to get immediate pleasure. But as your obsession progress, it becomes a main way for you to deal with any unpleasant feelings you have, whether it’s boredom, frustration, depression or attention-deficit. And most of these unpleasant emotions? It comes from tolerance.

 

            As you go through porn use, eventually you become less and less satisfied with the fixed you get. This is what tolerance means; the stuff you typical watch lose the power to give you as much pleasure as before. This makes you frustrated and needing to seek out more: and so you just spend more time watching or you try to discover harder core stuff.

 

The immediate effect of tolerance is withdrawal. Anytime you discontinue the habit, you get a gamut of unpleasant emotions such as moodiness, irritability and even physical symptoms like shakes. Withdrawal symptoms is what continues and expands this habit into great proportions, for after sometime you wouldn’t be able to keep your mind and hands still unless you indulge!

 

 

Loss of Rationality

                      

In its advanced stages, a porn addiction can color your rational decision-making. You’d pursue porn despite obvious negative consequences. You make excuses for it. And you find yourself doing things that you, if you merely take the time to be honest with yourself, don’t want to do.

 

Logic & safety goes out the window in pursuit of it.  You will take risks- drive to the seedy side of town to the adult bookstore, watch porn on the computer with the family in the other room, view it at work and risk your job.      

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