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Addiction & Heart

PORN IS POISON. 4 WAYS THAT PORN IS SLOWLY DESTROYING YOU. PART I.

Posted by: Michael

Reading time: 6 minutes

In the early 1990s, internet pornography became easily accessible, unlimited, and completely free. The generation of men that were adolescents and teenagers when this happened are now in their 30s and 40s. Some you are now husbands, fathers, and employers, and some of you have no idea how severely disconnected you are from relationships and from reality.

The lessons that men have been learning from porn, about women and about sex, have been delivered consistently and effectively for many years. There are now millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of men whose hearts and minds have been distorted by porn, yet they are not aware of how deeply they are disconnected from their wives, from themselves, from women in general, and from reality. Today, I ask you, men — all men — do you honor and respect all people as people, or is it possible that your mind and heart has been twisted, tainted, and poisoned by porn?

Today, anyone with a smartphone and wifi has the unlimited supply of pornography at their fingertips. Today, our senses are blasted with sexualized material in TV, movies, and social media, that even 20 or 30 years ago would have seemed shocking. Today I am asking if anyone has noticed the effects of people being awash in porn for decades.

Porn may have become normalized and accepted in our world, but at one point, so was tobacco. Smoking was no big deal. There were ashtrays in hospitals and on airplanes. People smoked cigarettes for nearly a hundred years before the big companies finally admitted, “Well, yes actually, our product gives you cancer and kills you, and we made it addictive on purpose so that you would buy often until you died. And of course we knew the whole time, and did it anyways because that sweet shareholder value is more important than you”.

We could wait another few years or decades before we finally look at the trail of destruction that we leave in our addiction to porn. Or we could wake up right now and admit that porn is destroying us in these insidious ways.

1. We are Conditioned to Love Porn. The visual stimulation, by itself, is addictive. Add some intense feelings to the experience, then spike with a neurochemical reward of dopamine, and this behavior is conditioned deep within you. Maybe you feel bad about yourself or your life in some way, and you use porn and fantasy and masturbation to spike your mood. Maybe you have sexualized a type of person or situation after countless hours of conditioning, and the mere thought of it becomes an automatic reflex for more. Either way, you have rewarded and reinforced the experience of using porn, and you’ve trained your brain to seek it.

2. Porn Pulls us into Empty Space. As young men, some of you were insecure about yourselves, or had questions about sex, especially after the floodgates of internet porn were opened. You found that you could watch a video, or fantasize something in your heads, and you could manufacture your own feelings of having fun, of being desired, of being powerful. You did not yet understand that without a partner to share the experience, these feelings could not be sustained. The feelings disappeared, faster than you could make them. You filled your imaginations with stories and scenarios, again and again, day after day, without ever having to reach out for another. When the imaginary haze cleared, and you saw that you were completely alone, you knew that porn could fill it up again. And again.  

3. Porn Reduces people into Things. When we look at male and female performers on display in porn, we see body parts, we see mechanical sex acts, we see fictional scenarios.  We see a person reduced into an object of sex, into just a thing, and this erases from our minds what they mean as a person. We are not just body parts. We are more than things. We have families and children, hopes and dreams, aspirations and longings. Porn erases the depth of human beings.

4. The Porn Distortion just Sprawls Bigger and Bigger. Some men received most of their sex education from porn. You were taught about sex by the users and producers of porn, and learned how to exploit others, how to degrade others, how to rage against and shame others. You learned an utter distortion of what a mutually exciting and pleasurable sexual experience can be between consenting adults. You did not learn how to function in a real relationship of honor and respect. It may have started with some basic distortions of belief that all men were competition and all women were nymphomaniacs. But these distortions spider-webbed into larger and deeper delusions that have put some men into severe detachment from reality.

You may be asking yourself, is porn really that big of a problem? The answer is yes, because there are potentially millions of men that are addicted to porn or sex or masturbation, yet have no idea how disconnected from reality they are. I have personally worked with many addicts that protect and guard their use of porn with the same few statements, and I must show you the delusion, because you may not see it.

“Everyone does it.” FALSE. Not everyone uses porn, because some people understand that using porn can deteriorate our self-image and our perceptions of others. Some people recognize that porn is toxic to our families, communities, and society, and consider it to be dangerous and harmful.

“Porn is no big deal.” FALSE. Porn is a big deal, because it is infiltrating our world in ways we cannot immediately see. We cannot see the damage to our minds, our hearts, and our spirits unless we look at the evidence around us. Our beliefs are distorted. Our relationships are disintegrating. Our sense of meaning as humans is being worn into dust. Cigarette packs have warning labels, but there is no porn warning.

“I’m not hurting anyone.” FALSE. Time spent using porn or in fantasy-land is time denied to people that love you, or developing yourself in a constructive way. This hurts your kids, and this hurts you. And if you are in a marriage or relationship, every time you choose a different person in a video or in your mind, you are dishonoring and disrespecting your partner. You are hurting them.

“Women want to be in porn, otherwise they wouldn’t do it.” FALSE. Not all women want to be in porn. Some performers are forced or manipulated. Some have problems with emotional or mental health. Some have low self image. Some have drug problems. Some have financial problems.  Think of the woman you see as being once a girl that wanted to become somebody, or do something in life. Her first choice was not porn.  

“Women like to be noticed for their outer appearance.” FALSE. We all like to feel noticed, or beautiful, or desired for our outer beauty. But this is not all we are. Women are people and want to be valued for who they are, for their inner beauty.

I ask again, men of the world,

Are you a man that honors women as our wives, our daughters, our sisters, and our mothers?

Do you respect women as colleagues, bosses, friends, and neighbours?

Or do you use people like they were things?

Michael is the Lead Sobriety Coach and Head Blogger of Addiction Reality. 

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