Porn is Okay, Right?

Updated: Feb 2

Oh boy, here I go


Admittedly... reluctantly, but admittedly... for me pornography was a staple in my life for decades. It started when I was young, back in the day when a lack of internet gave way to the old standard, magazines.


I saw my first publication at around the age of 12 when I was at a family (and friends) outing. Yes, a family outing. When a boy who was close to my age asked if I’d ever seen a popular nudity magazine, my answer was "no". His response was something like “whuhhhhh?”. In his circle of friends and family, hitting puberty and not already being highly familiar with pornography was unusual. So he told me he was going to travel home and come back with a copy.


Shock and awe


The first time I opened it was the first time I’d ever remembered seeing a real-life, unclothed woman. My visible reaction was fairly benign. I didn’t know how to react in front of someone else. But in secrecy I was dumbfounded. And from the get-go, all I wanted to do was look, look again, then look some more. And that desire only grew.


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Convenience didn't help


Back in the 90’s, as the era of the mainstream internet began to unfold, suddenly the magazine grew unnecessary. The downloaded, digital images weren’t that clear and they loaded painfully slow, but the convenience and free price made the chase worth it. And within the next handful of years, in my own life, the habit turned all but uncontrollable.


By the time the 2000’s hit, as dial-up internet got dialed down and broadband became the norm, porn became easier, faster and so abundant a person will never run out. And by the time I quit, back around 2015, it was so rampant that you could do an image or video search, collect a bit and within a few months, so many new items would be out that you’d never see that bit again.


There were days and nights when I would spend hours in one sitting, searching and downloading. My collection reached hundreds of videos and thousands of photos.


How it began to change for me


Except for a few days now and then, I took no considerable breaks from porn until I’d been through so much personal turmoil that my life had snapped. I started recognizing some of my own physical expressions that combined an external claim of happiness with internal fallout. In other words, I put on a happy display in public, but inside my entire life was a complete wreck. I started paying attention to how that looked on my own face. I started seeing it in the faces of others. That included the people in the explicit images and videos I was collecting.


I began to pick out the tiny, subtle little cues in people that showed the truth of hardship and damage under a shiny, smily exterior. I began to feel connected, almost a kinship to others that looked happy, but I can tell they really are not. As the skill in identifying hidden pain grew, I started seeing it in the eyes of the women and men involved in the porn industry. I started getting the feeling that those people had severe breakage in their lives. And even more inconvenient for me, a person who couldn’t even dream of letting the porn habit go, I started getting a sense that I was using the pain of those involved in it for my own satisfaction.


That’s when I started to investigate the behind-the-scenes world of pornography. And what I found not only reenforced the growing feeling of using these people and throwing them away, it began to downright disgust me. I watched documentaries, read articles and researched anywhere I could. What I found were constant cycles of abuse, drug addiction, early death and the stunted ability for the people on the supply side to have true friendships, romances and families.


And then it hit me. I’d found the suppliers of porn when I was looking at the screen. Then as I would look in the mirror I began to see the demand side of it… me. And in any supply-and-demand system, one side cannot survive without the other. It meant I was in. It means I held part of the responsibility for what porn makers go through. I was contributing to how and why these people are getting used up and tossed out (to put it nicely).


That’s when a decision came. Once I realized I was gaining pleasure from someone else’s pain, a line was drawn inside me and two sides of a painful battle shored up. On one hand, stopping something that brought me comfort in an uncomfortable world was one of the last things I wanted to do. On the other hand, I couldn’t keep helping to further a system that destroys people.


Also around that time, I had my baby girl on the way. I couldn’t wish to prevent my own daughter from being pulled into such a cold environment, if I was supporting that lure for another young girl.


It affected my relationship


While looking at porn, I didn’t forget that I loved my partner, Grace, but while she and I would be engaged in closeness of any kind, those images of other women were seeping in. It was like committing adultery, not just by this love of pornography, but also with the hundreds of women I was looking at on the side. I thought it was fairly innocent to our relationship, even making excuses about how looking at other women might help us. But the reality was that the porn was driving a wedge between us in many ways. I was filling time with imaginary encounters with these women, time I should have been using on the real romance I had next to me, in real life.


So how did I stop?


It wasn’t like a gentle breaking, in a luxury car with a long view of the upcoming stoplight. It was more like slamming a set of poorly maintained breaks on after passing under the red light, then careening into oncoming traffic.


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There was anger over learning that there were strong reasons to stop, because I really didn't want to stop. There was constant craving. I didn’t just have to break this behavior, I had to do it amongst constant moments that triggered me. Had a bad day? That gave me the need to settle in for a long round of hunting for the right photos. Got into an argument with Grace? I did the only thing I could do when I was so down. It was a constant fight.


At first it started with 2 weeks off here and there. Then it moved into a month or so. Then, later on as I got stronger and more reminded of the reasons I had to stop, I was able to hold off even longer. Eventually the times I wasn’t looking at porn became maximized and the times I was became fewer and further between.


And as this was happening, I would notice how much better my life and relationships became when the porn was gone, then how much worse things would get when it would come back.


It wasn’t just my spirituality that benefited, it was my mood, my physical state and so on. Apparently, there is great benefit in not using others and kicking them to the curb when done (go figure). And the rewards of stopping just got better and better. Not only did I get to know I was cutting myself out of the demand and out of the responsibility... I could look my daughter in the eye and say I would fight for her awareness of what porn does with a clear conscience about it. I could now wish for people to not use and discard me or my family in fairness, as I would not knowingly do it to someone else.


What's more?


Sin, a Realistic View (Part 1/3)

The knowledge that you made the choice to stop before your consequences forced you, that’s hugely liberating.


God's Webs (Crayon web) (91 second video)

The more sacrifice I make to God, the more I improve myself, the deeper and higher I'm placed in the web, the more connections I make to other nodes.


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About Me

The largest human/ broken machine you see to the left, that's me. I justify my breakage by living out a daily goal to follow Christ, and passing on how it can be done. The constant work it takes to create and maintain this presence, "Getting to God", it's my thank you for the Grace and resources given to me by my hero, my spiritual father.    Read More

 

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