Can I Be Honest Real Quick?
I have a secret that I want to share with you. Well, it isn't much of a secret anymore, but I want to share it with you regardless…I struggle with watching Pornography. To be honest, this is something that I am both ashamed and embarrassed to write about. I didn't want this to be a part of my story, but it is, and here I am being completely vulnerable with friends, family, and absolute strangers. I know I will be viewed differently, or maybe I won't, but just know that this is really hard.
I think society has normalized and profited off of sex so much that for someone to admit, “Yeah, I watch porn.” is no longer taboo. There are tons of statistics out there that can tell you the damages of pornography. You can read about how it causes impotence in men. I can also tell you that probably good percentage of women who are seen in a pornographic films are victims of human trafficking. I can tell you that the feelings that you are having when watching porn are not real, just your body reacting to the images that you are seeing, and that you are actually creating unhealthy psychological patterns and unreal expectations for the people around you. But, I won’t tell you any of that. I will stick to my story about how it damages relationship.
A Very Very VERY Hard Question.
I am super fortunate to have an amazingly supportive, loving, kind, genuine, and BEAUTIFUL girlfriend that cares deeply for me (I’m fortunate trust me). We've been dating for a little under a year and we are extremely happy. Although things are great and we care for one another deeply, I remember when she asked that one question that I never wanted anyone to ask, “Do you watch porn?” I remember sitting in my car with her on the other end of the phone, my heart beating out of control, a little sweat coming down my brow, everything in me wanted to say no. I answered honestly, “Yes.” Without her saying a word, I could feel the pain, hurt, and anger (lots and lots of anger) radiating through the phone. The conversation (more like argument), as you can imagine, didn’t last much longer than that. After I hung up, I just sat in my car for what seemed like hours processing what the hell just happened. I was angry, embarrassed, ashamed, angry again, and sad.
Deep and Meaningful
I felt misunderstood, not heard, and exposed. I felt like the only person that was being affected was me, and she had no right to be pissed at me. What I didn’t realize in the moment, was the amount of damage I had caused and the giant space that I had put in between me and the person I claimed to be in love with. I didn't realize that any chance of a truly intimate relationship was hanging on by a little strand of hope. It would take extremely hard conversations, a ton of honesty, but mainly humility to regain the trust that was lost.
What is important to understand, is that pornography isn't something that just affects the individual person, but every relationship that the person tries to maintain, but specifically the deep and meaningful ones. It is nearly impossible to have a deep, meaningful, and truly intimate relationship if pornography is a major part as well. You can spend your time chasing the fake and expecting the real, but that doesn’t work, and it equals a very unfulfilling life. Trust me, spending your life chasing fake feelings rather than true relationship is a path to sure destruction and misery.
I never felt whole after watching porn. I still feel alone, like I'm missing everything that I was searching for after watching porn. But, I do feel whole in my relationships with friends and family. I feel whole when I invest my time in things that build me up. I feel whole in true life-giving things. Listen, if this is something that you struggle with as well. I challenge you to be bold, courageous, humble, and honest. Find someone you can trust and talk about it. Shame keeps us alone and defeated, but the enemy of shame is community and honesty, these two things guide us to wholeness. Pornography is a very lonely thing and community restores us in more ways than one. Place yourself among people that love unconditionally, care selflessly, and know you well.
Take it easy, Fam