They Do Exist.

Pornography: A Confession Of My Addiction To Instant Satisfaction

Editor’s Note: One of the greatest untruths that I believed when I would watch pornography was that “this isn’t hurting anyone”. But pornography separates. It condemns us. It fills us with not just guilt for doing something wrong, but with shame for who we are. It isolates us, and raises questions in our minds that we cannot answer. It alters our feelings and emotions towards sex, the most intimate part of our relationship with another human being. It does hurt us. And it does hurt people in our lives. Today’s submission is by Gianna. Thank you for listening to her story. – Lauren

I guess I would have loved to read about pornography here and think “Oh wow. So it does happen to women as well as men. Poor girls…” – but unfortunately I already knew that. Because I’m one of the “poor girls”.

Sex has always been a taboo in my family. In a Christian home like ours, sex is not a word used lightly, and certainly not with children. I would love to say that this is what drove me to pornography in the first place, but I don’t really know what would have happened if my parents had been more open about it. Would I still have been curious? Looked at the images? Read the books?

I have always loved to read. Anything I could get my hands on, I would read. Which made it hard for my parents to monitor everything I was exposed to. And it all started with a sex scene from a book a friend lent me. It wasn’t an adult book – in fact, a lot of girls at my school were reading it. Since no one told me about sex before, it was weird for me to experience new feelings and sensations from words written on a page. But the “instant satisfaction” that I felt rapidly became addictive. I would go back to the descriptions over and over again just to feel the tingling and warm sensation that went with it.

I was only 11 and thus not very good at deception or hiding things. My parents actually became aware of what I was doing. The day they addressed what was going on, in such a horrified tone and manner, more shocked than angry, was the worst of all. I felt so ashamed. I tried to make up a reason why I would be doing such a thing, but I couldn’t come up with anything. They never talked about it again. My dad passed away just a few months later, and the shame and guilt of being a disappointment crept in – but I still couldn’t stop.

In fact, it became harder over the years as things became easier to access: the Internet, my own computer, books… everything was there to “help” me when I felt sad, lonely, rejected. And yet since this was so wrong and I knew it, what I watched and read became more violent. As if I was punishing myself for doing it. Sex couldn’t be loving or gentle.

On the outside, I was a very “pure and perfect Christian” who wasn’t dating, wasn’t kissing or sleeping with anyone. I avoided the worst sin of all: Sex. But on the inside? I felt dirty and guilty. No one talked about sex or pornography in my church or among my friends. And all I kept thinking was, “What if someone knew? What if ANY of my friends knew? What would they think of me?”

I kept a safe distance from boys and men in general, building up a wall that enabled me to “rationalize” my behavior. I told myself, “At least I’m not really sleeping with someone.” Or, “I’m not hurting anyone or doing something I can’t take back.”

But the truth is that these images – the “instant satisfaction” associated with these moments in my brain – is not going away. Even if I don’t watch or read anything for months, years, they’re always there. Pornography was hurting me. It was hurting people. And it was something I couldn’t take back.

And my opinion of myself has been lowered so much because of this that I can’t believe anyone could love me for what I am.

I can’t change myself. All I can do is ask God to change me. I can’t erase what I did, but He tells me He can.

He can make me pure when I’m not.
He can replace unhealthy sex experience with a real relationship.
He can help me help someone else dealing with the same addiction.

My happy ending hasn’t come yet, but He called me by name and told me that He had great plans for my life.

Freedom. Hope. Love.

He can turn this around..


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6 Responses

  1. Amen!!! God can do the impossible! I've learned first hand that He can pull me out of nasty addictions into His marvelous light and life. Praying for my sisters out there who struggle with this same thing. :)

    November 10, 2011 at 10:35 am

  2. Sally

    Thank you for writing this. You are telling my story. God is still working on me and we will come through! Thank you again!

    November 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm

  3. Bethany

    You're definitely not alone. No one ever told me how sex actually, well, works. So, in this wonderful Internet age, I looked it up. I got a lot more than I was bargaining for, but I found there were lots of people who were willing to explain every kind of sex in very graphic detail. And then there was the book in the library's young adult department, that definitely should not have been there. Suddenly, I realized I could find *stories* about this stuff. And there it was. It's not exactly the same as pictures, but it still affects me.

    I've never had sex, but I still regret the innocence I won't share with whoever I marry. I regret how hard I made it on myself to wait on sex because of the desire I filled with details. We talk about men struggling with porn so much that it's almost become commonplace in our minds. They have all kinds of help to overcome the addiction. But as a woman, all I get are lectures about "emotional pornography."

    November 11, 2011 at 9:27 am

  4. Max

    It's so sad that you feel so shamed about such a natural impulse. Humans are sexual beings, and fighting it will only bring you pain. I am not advocating having tons of promiscuous sex – but feeling guilty simply for enjoying a sex scene in a book? That's absolutely ridiculous. In moderation, there's nothing wrong with a little tasteful erotica. If you think a loving God would condemn you for having sexual desires, you are sorely mistaken. I hope one day you realize that YOU and you alone are putting these chains upon yourself. God does not condemn premarital sex or pornography – PEOPLE do.

    November 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm

  5. Rook

    I'm living this story every day. Thank you for speaking out, and helping me deal more concretely with the lie I tell myself – that this isn't "hurting anybody."

    November 19, 2011 at 7:08 pm

  6. Julia

    I also have been there thank you for sharing your story. But I want to point out something: sex is not a sin (" I avoided the worst sin of all: Sex"). God created sex therefore it can't be a sin. He created it to be enjoyed between a husband and a wife, so that they can become one (a connection between their bodies, spirits and souls), it's a beautiful thing and it's certainly not shamefull. However luxury is a sin. I've read 'Sex God' by Rob Bell and this book really helped me to overcome a lot of distortions I had in my mind about sex due to watching pornography. So I really recommend everyone to read this book!

    September 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm

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