And Another Thing About Porn!

Last week I gave you a bit of a rant about how people increasingly see porn use as moral -- as opposed to say, overeating or not recycling pop bottles. Today I'm going to continue that rant with another couple thoughts that go beyond the brain science.

Porn Exploits Women

While my focus at Beyond Betrayal Community is predominantly on the wives who suffer when their husbands use porn, I am always cognisant that that there is another group of women suffering due to porn.

In Beyond Betrayal (the book) I include a very moving quote from ex-porn star turned activist, Shelley Lubben. Lubben states:

"Most of the people who join the porn industry come from broken homes. Many of the girls are sexually abused. So the porn industry actually lures in these kinds of people to exploit them. So basically, when someone is watching pornography, what you’re really doing is contributing to the demise and destruction of adult survivors of sexual child abuse who are on drugs and have physical disease. That’s really what you are watching because I promise you, nobody in that industry is healthy. Women are lured in, coerced and forced to do sex acts they never agreed to do... [and given] drugs and alcohol to help get through hardcore scenes... The porn industry is modern-day slavery."

Today I read an excerpt from a new book coming out from ex-prostitute Tanja Rahm. The letter, written to her former clients, is graphic, gritty and tremendously confronting. It challenges men to stop deluding themselves that women enjoy being sexually exploited. It challenges them to take an honest and hard look at themselves.

"When you buy sex, it says a lot about you, your humanity, and your sexuality. To me, it is a sign of your weakness, even though you confuse it with a sick sort of power and status... Prostitutes exist because you are a misogynist, and because you are more concerned with your own sexual needs than the relationships in which your sexuality could actually flourish."

She also talks a lot about the degradation and humiliation she faced in her three years working as a prostitute. Let's not kid ourselves that women, working in any of the sex trades, are doing so because they want to.

Porn is Idolatry

This is a hard one for me to talk about. Let's face it, I can't back this up with studies. I've got no scriptures for this and had no direct revelations from the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, I cannot shake the certainty that there is a spiritual element to using porn that makes it akin to ancient people's worshipping of idols.

I felt empowered to talk about this aspect of porn use today as I was reading the excellent book Craving for Love: Relationship Addiction, Homosexuality and the God Who Heals, by my friend and fellow-Kiwi, Briar Whitehead. Whitehead writes:

"Our addictions become our idols... These are what we worship, what we attend to, where we give our time and energy. Addictions get in the way of God's love for us, and our love for God."

Satan has long known that if you can combine sex with idol worship... you've got an extremely powerful trap. This is the only explanation I can find for why so many ancient religions involved prostitution, public orgies, sex and mutilation festivals and so on.

I can't tell you exactly how the spiritual trap operates, but I do know my husband has been fighting his way out of it for years. For him it's involved nightmares, anxiety and a habit of falling asleep (no matter the time of day) during emotional or spiritual discussions. Many of these have resolved or are resolving, but it's taken a lot of prayer ministry and pursuit of God to make headway.

Cravings

On a more obvious level, porn's spiritual trap involves the craving for something destructive. This is a key trap of all addictions. This craving diverts the addict's energy and disrupts their relationships. Whitehead writes:

"We were made to love and desire God. But 'psychologically addiction uses up desire. It is like a psychic malignancy, sucking our life energy into specific obsessions and compulsions, leaving less and less energy available for other people and other pursuits."

She ends, however, with this note of hope:

"God wants to heal us of our addictions because addictions are our false saviours that keep the real Saviour out. They are our pacifiers, but Jesus came as the Great Physician. They are our idols that become tyrants that rule our lives and those of our families."

Letting the Great Physician into our painful reality — is the answer to all addictions, including porn addiction. From there, the healing can spread into our families and communities.


One of my favorite indie bands: Rivers and Robots.