Pornography: It’s not just a guy thing.

I unexpectedly had a fifteen year old girl come up to me yesterday and ask for prayer for freedom from a pornography addiction she’d had for years. She probably wondered why I was grinning as she told me. I smiled because I knew what she didn’t—that she wasn’t the only girl to ever watch pornography. I smiled because I loved her bravery for telling me. I smiled because she reminded me of myself as a 15 year old, hooked on pornography too, and I especially smiled because I know there’s a way out for her.

The stigma that pornography is just a guy thing is something which really gets on my nerves. You know how it goes… at all the camps, the boys go off for their “don’t watch porn” talk, and the girls are sat down to discuss modesty.

Pornography negatively touches the lives of women in many different ways.

Pornography hurts relationships.

70% of men aged 18-24 watch pornography, and it is addictive.

As a young woman living in today’s culture, finding a guy who doesn’t have a pornography addiction is difficult, let alone a guy who hasn’t watched any at all. It’s too accessible and too acceptable. My relationships have pretty much ALL been touched by pornography in some way or another. If not from the current effect of porn watching, it’s the long term effects hacking away at the foundations of the relationship. Pornography is an addiction. It brings paranoia, stress, and guilt…  and it destroys love. It has no place in a relationship.

Porn hurts children.

Nine out of 10 children between eight and 16 have viewed pornography on the internet, and the average age a child first sees pornography online is 11.

I think the generation before mine underestimates the pandemic of pornography, since the technology for accessing it so easily and privately didn’t exist while they were growing up. I know for certain I will never give my child a computer, tablet or smartphone. Not because I worry my children will turn into sex addicts, but because our culture is so infused with a distorted notion of sex that it is unavoidable. When I first came across pornography, I had no idea it even existed. I simply got hooked on the rush that came from watching it. An addiction is never intentional.

We are created sexual beings by our God, so it is only natural that at some stage all of us, male and female, will want to explore this avenue of our human lives. I will educate my children about pornography at the appropriate time, give them the facts, and let them know why it is bad, so that they have the information to make an informed decision when they come across it. Because in our sex-soaked culture, they will. Following first exposure, the largest consumer group of internet pornography is boys between the ages of 12-17.  Keeping it a taboo subject because you think your children are too young to know about it or be watching it themselves is dangerous. Protect them, by educating them.

Porn destroys marriages.

56 percent of divorces involve one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.” (Matrimonial Lawyers Association, 2003 Study)

Pornography destroys love, relationships, and marriage. I have seen it happen and felt the aftermath of it so many times. I am determined for that not to happen again—to leave it all behind and start afresh in my marriage. But that doesn’t stop me worrying, because the stats show that the chances of pornography wreaking havoc in my marriage is all too possible.

Throughout our lives, pornography affects women’s personal lives, our relationships, our marriages, our families. Our entire society.

Pornography affects me.

It’s not just a guy thing.

Let’s get educated and get talking about it—let’s fight.

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For more information on how a woman can break free from porn, click HERE.

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Jess photo-2Jessica Claire studied Music Performance at the University of Canterbury and works as a freelance model and photographer. She is passionate about youth ministry, and feels strongest with either a pen or piano keys beneath her fingers. Jess delights in the insane plans of God. She writes at www.restlesspress.net, an Australasian Catholic online magazine.

 

28 Comments

  1. Hi, Jess!
    Thank you for your brave witness! I don’t think you should allow too much worry to consume you about your future marriage or husband. I think if we all pray daily about all our concerns and especially pray a daily rosary for the intentions of keeping that addiction out of our future marriage it will help.

    By Michelle | 2 years ago Reply
    • Hi Michelle! Thank you for your encouraging words and advice, I really appreciate it.
      Blessings, Jess

      By Jessica Claire | 2 years ago Reply
      • Of course! Crystalina prayed for Jason before they even knew eachother. So did Katie Hartfiel. And Jackie Francois – Angel. Their stories really inspire me to pray for my future spouse. There are some books written by Christian authors out there like Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer. Katie and Mark Hartfiel have a book out also about praying for ones future spouse. Trust me, keep praying about your concerns and after a while you will be filled with trust. 🙂 God bless you!

        By Michelle | 2 years ago Reply
  2. Great article. What with 50 Shades of Grey, the book, and now the movie, there seems to be a lot more pornography aimed squarely at women. How they can release that movie on Valentines Day and called it a romantic movie is beyond me.

    By Fletch | 2 years ago Reply
    • Absolutely agree.

      By Clare | 2 years ago Reply
    • Hey Fletch, I totally agree with you… As a 15 year old, I will try my best to encourage my family and friends not to watch that movie…

      By Sofia | 2 years ago Reply
  3. I love that you wrote this and it had some great points, but again it seemed to talk about men more than women, especially the statistics

    By Thanks | 2 years ago Reply
  4. Thanks for mentioning this. I am a woman who has struggled with this for half of my life and felt like the only one, especially because when going to confession I had a priest exclaim, “Really? I didn’t know women struggled with that!” For me, and perhaps for many others, it is appealing because of the idea of being wanted, of being that woman that a man can’t get enough of. This of course filters into my relationships or flings and when a man doesn’t crave me sexually, I feel like something is wrong. The last man who vowed to wait for marriage with me fell victim to my sexual advances after a month. It’s hard to stay on the straight and narrow, but we will keep fighting!

    By anonymous | 2 years ago Reply
    • Men struggle with this particular feeling too. The feeling of being wanted and craved sexually is a very powerful and exhilarating experience for men and women both. My addiction to pornography started after a long term girlfriend broke our purity vows and began engaging in a sexual relationship with a friend (atheist) outside our relationship whilst stringing me along to protect her name and appearance within the religious community.

      I feel so ugly and worthless, and it has been deeply damaging and horrifically corrosive to my confidence and masculinity (I am a hermit and have gained a lot of weight).

      The ordeal has left me feeling unworthy of the pure love I deserve, desire and have sworn myself to stay virtuous for.

      By Dani | 2 years ago Reply
  5. So should it be banned for good then ?

    By Cell | 2 years ago Reply
  6. “I know for certain I will never give my child a computer, tablet or smartphone… Keeping it a taboo subject because you think your children are too young to know about it or be watching it themselves is dangerous. Protect them, by educating them.” Amen to that. My son and daughter are very young, and we are super careful. No cable tv in the house, passwords on our phones etc. My husband was hooked by nine because of a smutty junk mailer that he took before his parents saw it. Then he was allowed a tv and computer in his room and his parents knew and didn’t care what he was doing. It almost destroyed our marriage.

    By MT | 2 years ago Reply
  7. Jess,
    Thanks for your article! I’m glad more women (especially Catholics) are being open and honest about this.
    I have a question, though. Whenever I read the honest account of a female porn addict, she always mentions that she watches porn because it makes her feel wanted or she wants to be like those women.
    I never watched/watch porn for those reasons. I watched/watch it because it makes me feel good; I want to get an orgasm.
    And NO ONE EVER SAYS THAT!!!!! So even though women are bringing up their porn addictions now, I STILL feel gross and like there’s something wrong with me, because I don’t have this “dainty” and “feminine” approach to porn.
    I don’t know what to do and I can’t bring this up to anyone because I am so mortified. 🙁
    If you don’t mind, I will remain anonymous.

    By Strange girl | 2 years ago Reply
    • Thank you so much for being honest. I appreciate these articles so much, but I’ve also wondered the same thing. I didn’t desire to be like the women on the screen. It was pleasurable just to watch. You’re not alone, and maybe it can be scary at times for some to share the deeper motivations for viewing porn. Nothing is wrong with you. Your body is actually just responding naturally to these images. You can be free from this. Please know I thought something was wrong with me too. You are normal. You are loved, and God will help you.

      By Anonymous | 2 years ago Reply
    • Dear anonymous, you’re being honest. Women can be just like guys in their appetites. When women fall into watching porn…. It’s for the same reasons. You’re just being really honest, which i find refreshing. Yeah… There’s much deeper stuff happening at the same time (emotional complications), but the bottom line is we’re being just as selfish. It’s harder to overcome if we don’t admit that. Bravo for taking the “dainty” off a completely non-dainty situation!!! I used to have an addiction to porn and i couldn’t overcome it till i was flat out dead honest and took full responsibility for my actions and WHY i gave in…. It can be quite freeing to admit “hey, i really like this and i’m sorry for liking it, but i have an attachment because i really like sex and fantasizing about it.” I’ve had priests laugh out loud over the bluntness and it’s because they know we can finally get down to business and eradicate the attachment to sin. Be blunt. Be honest and trust there’s nothing God can’t help us overcome and take responsibility for…. Great job!! 😉

      By Monique | 2 years ago Reply
    • Hi there,
      I think that the sexual experience is something which just naturally goes with the territory – perhaps it’s not mentioned because it seems like something everyone just presumes..? If sex was horrible we probably wouldn’t find it such a temptation!
      I could be wrong, I have no idea 🙂 You’re right, we aren’t always blunt about our reasons for watching pornography. Perhaps that’s almost necessary though? Sexual intimacy is…intimate and precious and secret. Maybe we should treat it as that something special a little more? 🙂
      Bless! I’ll pray for you.

      By Jessica Claire | 2 years ago Reply
  8. IMHO romance novels are just as pornographic for women as pictures are for men. Men are stimulated by visual so this gets most of the attention on pornography. However, women get just as tied up with fantasies in their books and create just as unhealthy expectations of how a man should act or look.

    By Phil | 2 years ago Reply
    • You are right Phil. I can attest to this as a woman who used to read many romance novels. About four or five years ago I put all contemporary romance novels down for good and focused solely on spiritual reading. The fruits in my prayer life have been nothing short of amazing. I do still struggle but much, much less than I used to and I am better able to discern between what is truly love versus fantasy and objectification. As a result my desires have changed too so that I no longer want counterfeit lust but real love.

      By Jaimee | 2 years ago Reply
  9. well written and kudos on an article really well done.
    An ex addict i know how important it is to deal wit it. It jus took me a single night of prayer n an experience of Jesus’ love to break every addiction. I pray its tat simple for everyone. God bless.

    By Vivien | 2 years ago Reply
  10. Thanks for sharing Jess! It takes courage to come out and say what you have said, particularly with the way our culture is heading. Be strong and have faith for God is with you every step of the way. You will be in my prayers, God bless you abundantly.
    John from Australia!

    By John | 2 years ago Reply
    • Thank you so much John! Bless you!

      By Jessica Claire | 2 years ago Reply
  11. Wow that was very wise! Thank you thank you!

    By Grace | 2 years ago Reply
  12. YOU’RE totally right. Lets fight!!!!

    By janique | 2 years ago Reply
  13. Dear Jess, i used to have the same fears over how porn might affect my future marriage. I am now married and glad i took the steps i did to overcome it. If it helps you to have more faith that God can and will heal you, here’s my story.

    I had been addicted to pornography since i was 7 years old. I was molested at that same age. Both my parents cheated on each other shamelessly. Relationships in my family were abusive at best. I lost my virginity when i was 12 and was treated as a slut. I had a conversion when i was 15, but naturally struggled intensely in this one area- i’d fall into pornography, masturbated a few times a day daily, would sometimes fall into having sex with some guy… Then fly to confession, beg for forgiveness and help… Then run to therapy to shore up my mind. It was a cycle… But where i am going with this is i never gave up on surrendering my will to God and God never gave up on encouraging me that it could be done. I learned tons about myself, my body, my soul and my psyche. I be came entrenched in learning who God is… And overtime I found God got into the formation of my character, mind and body. When i got married, i felt something i hadn’t felt since i was 6 years old…. INNOCENCE. A wide eyed healthy fear of vulnerability that only exists when your hearts been purified and is ready to love on a real and true level. God and I … As a team brought that about. Me by saying yes to whatever He wanted to do with me… “Let it be done to me according to your word”

    My marriage is pure blessing. I’m shocked and thankful daily for the grace, sweetness, tenderness, laughs and hope we have. It and you can be made that way… But you have to let God be the physician and the scalpel. It’ll hurt at times, but no more than surgery hurts. You’re gonna be okay 🙂 just abandon yourself to His plan and trust that God has a beautiful marriage for you if you trust. God wants you to love and be loved so we can be prepared for the ultimate love… Himself!! 🙂 god bless!!!!

    By Monique | 2 years ago Reply
    • Hi Monique
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is wonderful to hear from other people, about their experiences and most of all, draw encouragement from the fact they have overcome struggles and that I can too!
      Bless you!

      By Jessica Claire | 2 years ago Reply
  14. But… but what if both partners in a relationship enjoy porn, watch it together, and then it leads to amazing sex? What if porn is something they both have in common and is something that binds them and make them both happy?

    By Dreamscape | 2 years ago Reply
    • Hi Dreamscape
      It’s a good question!
      I believe that if we understand the beauty of intimacy between two married people, the true purpose and sacredness of sexual intimacy, that we can no longer justify watching two strangers have sex on a screen.
      It’s about what’s right or wrong, not about whether you are both okay with it.
      Jess 🙂

      By Jessica Claire | 2 years ago Reply
  15. Just a powerful article, wow. Really lost for words! 🙂

    By Matthew | 2 years ago Reply
  16. Complimants for this website, wonderful……I need your help.

    Next week I with some other adults have a retreat for youth…can you plz send me some teaching material for these teenage kids of course on sexuality, chastity etc..thank you. Fr. Eamon

    By Fr. Eamon Murray | 2 years ago Reply

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