Help and Hope For Porn Addiction: 2 Questions


Recently, I made a presentation to a group of men about the problem of porn use/addiction. It proved to be a lively conversation and I didn’t get an opportunity to get through all of the content. Below are 2 questions I was asked. Consider these answers:

  • What is wrong with watching porn with my wife? We both enjoy it and it spices up our sex life?

Besides the clear command to avoid all sexual immorality and to not lust after another? Supposing you want more than that here are some additional thoughts. God has given us imagination as a tool to be used for our good and our pleasure. Therefore, it stands to reason that imagination is highly important in the bedroom. However, it should be used as a tool to honor each other and to promote oneness. As soon as our eyes our off our spouse (whether in a literal sense or a figurative sense), we are seeking to use another for our sexual pleasure. Porn necessarily brings images of others into your bedroom thus moving away from reality and oneness. The images porn uses are not accurate or real and only encourages disappointment in the real thing.

And may I note that I have only heard this question from men. Given my experience of hearing so many wives who have been hurt by their husband’s interest in bringing porn into their own lovemaking, I am suspicious that the wife enjoys it as much as might be thought. At the end of your lovemaking and/or porn use, does she feel special? Does she feel honored? Does she feel she cannot measure up to what is not the screen?

Despite the injunction against porn use by Christians, do not take this to mean that the sex life of Christians must be boring. Seeking to satisfy the pleasures of your spouse gives ample room for creative fun in the bedroom.

  •  How long can I enjoy looking at [name of well-known female star]  and not begin to lust? Is it always wrong to enjoy female beauty?

Of course there is no specific answer that can be given as to how many nano-seconds are pure and at what point the look ogle turns lustful.  Is it possible to enjoy beauty in a person not your spouse? Yes. I would suggest that it is impossible not to notice beauty when you see it. However, I would quickly add that some forms of beauty are more likely to turn lustful in a split second. Noticing Beyoncé’s lovely singing voice probably won’t turn to lust. Noticing her Super Bowl attire…that is another matter.

Here’s what I would like you to consider. The question you are asking, “how long can I look before sinning” may reveal a dangerous motive. It seems that you might be asking, how close can I get to the cliff without falling over? Is it okay to have one foot on solid ground but lean over the edge? Can you see the danger in this thinking? Instead, we ought to humbly recognize that it is easy for us to move from momentary admiration to fantasy. It is good to accept that we will notice beauty and that we must guard our very next thought.

One more thought for you. While noticing beauty is part of who God has made you, is it possible that you have well-trained yourself to search for beauty? Is your head on a swivel? Have you long practiced taking the second and third look? If so, then you are likely not merely noticing beauty but actively looking for images you can use for your own fantasy.  

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9 Comments

Filed under addiction, pornography, self-deception, Sex, sexuality, Uncategorized

9 responses to “Help and Hope For Porn Addiction: 2 Questions

  1. Discipline is good. Even the mind can be disciplined.

  2. Henk Van Dooren

    Excellent response, Phil. Seems like the questioners are caught in some “thinking errors”.

  3. jboyle

    From a woman’s point of view-
    Something I usually do not see mentioned in discussions about porn is that the subjects in the porn are actually being exploited. Women and children are often under the influence of something external — drugged or threatened —- if they do not perform the way the filmographer wants. Linda Lovelace says that indeed was her motivation for appearing to enjoy her roles during her stint in porn in the 70′s.
    Another thing never mentioned: using others to gratify self without the consent of the individual. Porn, like peeping through a hole in a dressing room, listening through the wall in a hotel room or masturbating in public, is invasive and demonstrates a sense of entitlement in the person who feels it is their right to gratify themselves however they like, no matter anyone else.
    Knowing that someone’s sister or mother or daughter is being used as an object raises the level of disgust when looking at porn. I recommend people consider how God sees the people on the screen….that He loves them and died for them and values them just as much as the people looking in. That should rattle people into reality.

    >>> Musings of a Christian Psychologist 2/12/2013 8:17 PM >>>
    Phil posted: “Recently, I made a presentation to a group of men about the problem of porn use/addiction. It proved to be a lively conversation and I didn’t get an opportunity to get through all of the content. Below are 2 questions I was asked. Consider these answers: “

    • Agreed. I didn’t include all that I said, but that was one of the first points I made about the illusion of porn–that many if not most are introduced through coercion and trafficking. I asked them how they might feel knowing that the person they would view did not want to be in the picture and that they were supporting the trafficking industry.

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I’d like blog on this topic addressing the perspective of the observing (i.e. the one who “enjoys” it or is “fine with it”) woman.

    Based on the 2 questions, it appears that some men can downplay the seriousness of porn use/abuse. Sadly, many women do as well. We often tend to distance ourselves from the reality of the damage that occurs. We also (probably due to society’s influence, etc.) sort of normalize this objectification of others. What’s more, the subsequent distance generated (or maintained) in marital relationships, is accepted.

    You’ve provided some good, insightful answers here. Always a pleasure visiting your blog. :-)

  5. Thanks, Dr. Monroe. Your comments here really helped me in my own thinking about this.

  6. Terrific post! Thanks for sharing… I agree completely with the wonderful simple explanations you have given here. Blessings to you!

  7. A good post Phil. I’ve found “Closing the Window” by Tim Chester to be a great resource in addressing porn from a Christian perspective. His “ingredients” in the battle against porn are: 1) abhorence of porn; 2) adoration of God; 3) assurance of grace; 4) avoidance of temptation; 5) accountability to others. He commented that parts four and five are where many people begin, but they are only reinforcements of parts one to three.

    In response to your second question above, “How long can I enjoy looking at [name of well-known female star] and not begin to lust?”, I’d answer until what rules your heart is [name of well-known female star] and not God. “But how long is that?” “You’d have to tell me.” We’d then look at the implications of Mathew 6:21-24 for this question.

  8. Good points Chuck. I too like Tim Chester’s material. May be the best I’ve read thus far.

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