If you decided to read this, good for you! Most people either shy away or shrug off the topic of pornography as something evil “out there” or “out of our control.” But, that is how the devil is in the details–and wins this very personal battle with our heart and our mind. We surely have control over if we consume it and how we talk about it in our relationships.
What images you take into your consciousness (whether you like them or not) affect your attitude, your expectations, and your beliefs (whether you like them or not.) So if you see a lot of negative news articles in the morning–this most certainly can affect your outlook on the state of the world and your mood for the day. It seems simple, right?
Well, it’s insidious and so is pornography. Not because it’s offensive in its often abusive portrayal of sex and sexuality, misuse of power and often violent images, but pornography reinforces lies that we are all susceptible to believing. We are all vulnerable to the belief that we don’t deserve to be treated with respect. We all fear not being loved and being used.
The truth is that pornography is mentally and physically stimulating and an unhealthy outlet for a couple’s intimacy. While watching pornography, sex is distanced and experienced outside of one’s intimate relationships. It’s out of the context of trust, love, and intimacy. The act goes beyond physical pleasure–it gets into the minds of the user and plants seeds of dependency and even addiction. The visual stimulation is intoxicating and people easily lose themselves and their beliefs.
Pornography is not reality–it’s based on a fantasy that is far-fetched and unrealistic. It involves an industry that objectifies women and children and idolizes men as dominant, demanding and unfeeling. It reinforces very limiting beliefs about sexuality and inequality.
When a spouse turns to online pornography in secret, this is sexual infidelity and can further isolate him from his spouse. It can exacerbate feelings of loneliness, depression and reinforce sexual satisfaction in the wrong ways. It’s okay to feel disillusioned with one’s sex life, but that needs to be discussed inside the relationship before going outside the relationship to fulfill it.
We know that pornography can carry a stigma or many will feel its “no big deal” but it’s real and its use is affecting marriages. Talk to your spouse about it and recognized your past or present relationship with pornography. Through these conversations, we get closer to one another and find comfort in sharing ourselves and not avoiding our emotional and sexual needs.