Porn Addiction: Not Just for the Boys

Filed under Relationships Your Heart on Feb 28 13 by

Turn on the computer modem.

Log into the internet and wait for the dial-up connection…

Go to yahoo.com

Search: penis

This is me in grade seven with my friend Miranda, looking up porn together after school. Now, back in 1999 houses typically had ONE computer, a huge desktop that resided in the family living room. The dial-up internet was extremely slow, a page would take 45 seconds or more to load, and shutting everything down was equally slow. This was back in floppy-disk era—ever heard of those?

Needless to say, you had to be pretty stinking brave to go seeking out pornography on your family’s home computer in the middle of the living room. But we did. We were curious. I can still remember an image I saw that day, now over 14 years ago.

This is my first really vivid memory of seeking out pornography myself at a young age, but after that, porn became something I sought out frequently throughout middle and high school, even into university.

But no one knew. Porn was my biggest secret. I was leading worship, involved with missions trips, on youth group leadership teams, and I was terrified of confessing that I watched porn whenever I had the chance—in hotel rooms on holidays with my family, on the channels that made it into our house with the cable packages, online on my own computer…

See, the thing is, I had been taught (inadvertently) through well-meaning church culture, that only BOYS struggle with porn. Girls were supposed to struggle with watching rom-coms, or reading romantic novels (“girl porn”). Well, I was watching real porn, and I felt like I was the only girl in the world battling this habit (now Rihanna’s in my head).

No one talked to me about pornography as a young woman—not my parents, or my teachers, or my youth leaders. So I didn’t talk about it to anyone else.

This is the first in a series of blogs about porn and women, but if you can relate to my story at all, the first step you have to take is GET HONEST. Confess. Tell someone.

If you have a secret, any secret, freedom is on the other side of honesty. So call your best friend, sit your Mom down for a coffee, tell your school guidance counselor, and get ready for relief.

I finally told another woman in my second year of university that I struggled with watching porn—it was terrifying at the time, until I heard these words come from her mouth, “Yeah, me too.”

ME TOO. What powerful words, and what powerful moments when we realize we are not alone.

I hope this blog is a “me too” for you, or for someone you know who is struggling. Seeking out porn once or twice because you’re curious is one thing. Not being able to stay away from it, no matter how hard you try, is another. You can’t beat it alone. It’s too big for you to handle by yourself. It’s time to start talking.

Denise Hearn has worked with young women for over eight years in various professional capacities, and is passionate about them recognizing their own personal value in a culture that increasingly objectifies and sexualizes women. Denise currently directs the Take Charge Community Education Program, a division of the Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre. She gets to talk to thousands of teens about sex and relationships, and thinks she has the best job around (because she does).With a growing concern for how media and pornography are shaping identity and sexual practices, Denise has become especially interested in helping people navigate pressing sexual realities and questions by engaging them purposefully in discussions around these topics.

Denise is on the Advisory Board of XXXChurch.com. She also loves dancing to hip-hop alone in her apartment, eating popcorn and cheese Doritos, scuba diving, hiking, and asking people what makes them feel alive at parties.

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  • http://www.diningfordignity.org Kelly Master

    Tell someone…… love it! So liberating to shine light on the darkness, stripping the power away.

  • Pingback: I’m Addicted to Porn, but I CAN’T Tell Anyone | Beggars Daughter

  • brianna

    wow, how very brave of you to share this!

  • Kay Embron

    OMG I read this and I am willing to confess that I have the same problem. I can’t stop watching it. I read erotica sometimes but it doesn’t get me going as well as porn does. Everyone is like, “That’s a boy thing” but my boyfriend approves of it. He even thinks it’s kind of hot. To me, it shouldn’t matter whether we are male or female. If we find a way to pleasure ourselves and make ourselves happy, relaxed, ect., then let it be.

    • Denise

      Hey lady,

      Thanks for writing and responding! Exactly, it doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a girl – both men and women watch porn. The thing that people don’t often realize though, is that it can actually lead to less satisfaction in your sex life with your partner in the future.

      Too much porn actually rewires the brain and sets certain expectations about what sex is supposed to be like. A great video explaining this is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ya67aLaaCc&noredirect=1

      I always say, my problem with porn is NOT that it’s TOO sexual; my problem with porn is that it is NOT SEXUAL ENOUGH. This is because porn divorces sexuality from the holistic experience of a real relationship. In other words…it’s all physical, and no emotional, relational, spiritual, friendship stuff.

      If you can’t stop watching porn, that’s not just a habit – that’s a habit that is controlling you, instead of you having the ability to control it…aka, an addiction.

      If you’d like some resources to help you stop watching porn as much, you can check out: http://www.x3watch.com

      Hope that helps!

      - Denise

  • Liz

    I struggle with the same addiction, and have been going to counseling for almost a year in order to overcome it. I do well for a period of time only to find myself caught in the trap of viewing the material online. The high I get from watching the videos is so alluring yet so detrimental to my marriage. I have placed bible verses on my bedpost and created a quick saying to tell myself when I am tempted. This seems to be somewhat effective. I would also recommend a biblical approach by using the website: settingcaptivesfree.