Donny Pauling writes for the XXXChurch:
I recently received the following letter:
I’ve got a question that is always going around in my head whenever I read stories like the one that you posted: “Porn is harmless, right”. I’ve had a porn addiction and I think it will never quite go away (similar to alcoholism). I think for the rest of my life I will have to deal with it in my mind and resist the temptation time and time again.
My question now though, that I’m pretty sure that many other people excuse their addiction (and so did I), what happens to the people that enjoy the business? I’ve never seen your side of the story, but I always thought that there actually are people that are not hurt by the industry and enjoy it. Just pictures on a regular basis, nothing more. I’ve have a friend and she has no problem telling me that she used to do “webcam” striptease. She’s totally fine with that, confident of her body, I believe her family knows about it. What about those people?
I understand it’s still hurtful for another person (guys like me) to look at her, that commit adultery with it. But I can think it probably is a very common excuse to still keep on looking at pictures?
I feel a little guilty writing this much and taking so much of your time. I hope you understand. One more thing. You had to deal with your mess with your wife and it’s probably very obvious to her that your history has stirred up great hurt, and you can therefor work on it actively. My relationship with my wife Carolyn has had ups and downs and I think a lot of the downs have been caused by my past addiction to porn. I’ve outed myself to Carolyn in the past, but I don’t think she understands that some of the trouble and fights that we have, might have been caused by my corrupted past. What kind of advice can you give?
Instead of being “religiously correct”, I’m going to answer this question with the real truth of the matter. This man makes a good point, doesn’t he? For a group of people who are working to raise awareness of the dangers of pornography, this is a tough question, isn’t it? Or at least APPEARS to be a tough question.
Is it possible there are people out there who (gasp) LIKE working in the porn industry? Of course it is. For a very long time, I was one of them. I could give you some cliché line about how lots of people enjoy things that are bad for them, but that wouldn’t be “being true to myself”, as I promised my dad when I became a Christian.
Instead, I’m just going to tell you, “Yes, there are people who like to do porn”.
I can also tell you that over time it wears on most of them. It becomes unfulfilling. I say this based strictly on the lives of people with whom I associated over the years. This is not a scientific survey.
I can confidently say that the sex business wears on a person over time. What you once looked forward to, over time becomes a drudgery. Sure, the same can be said for any job. But who wants sex to become a “job”? And that, my friends, is what it eventually becomes when you’re making your living having sex on screen.
On this journey I’ve been experiencing since becoming a Christian almost a year ago, I’ve been digging deeper into the reasons WHY God asks us to follow certain “rules”. See, I’m not one who enjoys being told what to do. If, however, I understand the reasons behind the things I’m asked to do I accept it a bit better.
One area of contemplation is premarital sex. This seems like a great column in which to delve into that topic, don’t you think?
To illustrate my point I’ll once again refer to my relationship with my 7 year old son. Caden, like most children his age, loves candy. If it was up to him he’d eat it all day long, every day. As his parents, his mother and I must severely limit his intake. The reasons are self-explanatory. Caden, however, may not yet fully comprehend why he can’t eat as much candy as he’d like. Perhaps when we tell him “no” he thinks we’re being a bit mean to him. He may not understand what the big deal is about eating all that sugary goodness. “It tastes SO good, mom and dad. Why can’t I have it?” Someday, however, he’ll fully comprehend the reasons behind our “no’s”. He’ll understand how much damage a diet of candy would have wreaked on his overall health.
And so I return to the topic of premarital sex. This is a concept that many readers have likely grasped years ago. I’m a bit slow to understand some of life’s basics. One of the reasons, I’ve found, that God asks us to refrain is NOT because he’ll “send us to hell” if we don’t. He’s simply looking at us with the same love and concern that we all have for our own children, looking down the road to our futures.
Wouldn’t it be much more romantic if we can tell our spouse, on the night of our wedding, that he or she is the only person we’ve ever been with? Don’t you think there would be a lot less friction in our relationships if our significant others didn’t have to wonder whether they match up to our previous encounters? Wouldn’t it be nicer if they didn’t have to “compete” with the memories from our past? And wouldn’t we have a lot less pain in our lives if we didn’t have to carry around the emotional baggage of our past intimate relationships? If we could tell our significant other that we fight our desires to view pornography because we want to remain pure for the long-term health of our relationship, what would that do for our private sex lives?
I can only answer those questions for myself, but I’m sure anyone who answers them honestly would come to similar conclusions: Had I followed God’s “plan” for sex my life sure would be easier.
And that, my friends, is really what it’s all about: God wanting the very best for all of us. He’s not trying to be mean by not letting us eat that delicious candy, he just doesn’t want our teeth to rot and fall out. Know what I mean?
I had a lot of fun in porn.
For a season.