So, I was browsing around Yahoo Answers today and found a 17 year old Christian kid who was struggling to find answers to his struggle with pornography and masturbation. You can see his situation and my answer to him over there, but as I started to read the other answers that he was getting I was sad to see all the falsehoods and lies he was getting thrown at him. I started to understand why so many are being led away from powerful, positive solutions. The responses nearly all echoed the same sediment, “there’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing.” And giving some reason why it was completely justifiable. I am finding that those answers mimic what’s being pushed in the popular media and fear that they are completely reckless. I didn’t have enough space to address them on Answers, so I wanted to address them here.
“is better for you to masturbate then to have sex with random women”
- True, but don’t let that be a permission to masturbate. They are not mutually exclusive. You don’t need to do one in order to keep from doing the other.
“…real women want to be respected. as long as you remember that, then porn is not damaging for you.”
- Pornography molds and shapes our perceptions of women with the help of one of the most powerful conditioning systems we have built into our bodies. When we see women in pornography being treated as objects, as things to get sexual pleasure from and then we masturbate and ejaculate to that image, it become part of us, we begin to crave those things because we’ve told our brains, this image, what they’re doing on the screen is what arouses me…so, in pure obedience, your brain starts to get you excited when you see similar scenes to those you pleased yourself with. Scientists have actually conditioned people with pornography to get aroused when they see common objects. THAT’S the problem with porn, it breeds unhealthy connections in our brain. And that’s one reason why sex within marriage serves to cement the relationship, we become “bonded” to our spouse and we’re more likely to do things to protect them, share love with them and to grow with them. Beautiful setup actually.
“It’s normal to view porn when ur online but it’s just like watching something you enjoy”
- It is in the sense that you’re releasing pleasure chemicals in the brain, but releasing them through sports and a fun date is MUCH different than releasing them in conjunction with images & masturbation as I explained above.
“I highly doubt that God minds it if you watch porn. I’m sure he has better things to be worrying about.”
- God has NOTHING more important to worry about than YOU and your happiness. In fact, that’s ALL he does. Everything he’s done if the that very purpose. He’s provided a Savior. He created this world. He gave you a body so you can learn how to work with it and eventually become like him.
“But seriously, watching porn isn’t any worse than fantasizing.”
- He’s right, and neither lead to a clear conscience nor meaningful uplifting thoughts about and actions towards your sisters in Christ. If you have a sister, think, “what would I think if some dude were thinking of her the way I’m thinking of this girl.” Fantasy has been shown to be a big part of addiction and can even conjure up the same chemicals in the brain that occur during porn use. He who masters his thoughts triumphs in the greatest of all battles.
“You aren’t hurting anyone,”
- Ha! The biggest lie. You’re hurting yourself first and foremost because you’re sapping yourself slowly of future and present ability to relate on a level beyond sex. One reason “guys always think of sex” is that they feed those thoughts and think this very thought, I’m not hurting anyone. Just because people don’t see the sin, doesn’t mean that they don’t react to the subtle changes in who you’re becoming. Because porn tends to draw people inward you also are stealing from each person that could have been lifted up by your special and unique talents. Now this doesn’t mean that if you looked at porn once you can never bless another’s life. It’s not that cut & dry, but in little ways over time you can come to turn away from people.
“You aren’t even having sex.”
- Righteousness by comparison never was a logical way to live. I didn’t kill the man…so beating him senseless is alright?! Poor reasoning!
“It’s normal and healthy to get to know yourself sexually by masturbating.”
A wise man once said something the effect of we come to know ourselves only as we come to know God. Because he is the source of all truth we can access all the information we need to really know ourselves. “Knowing” yourself in the above way is a false idea. By masturbating we falsely come to see ourselves as sexual being 1st, rather than spiritual beings. The consequence is so often the very ideas expressed throughout these answers and porn itself, that my pleasure matters above all other things. Putting God first we can see the proper place for sexuality in our lives and it can be much more beautiful than any mere physical sensation of orgasm.
“You should be damn great full young man that that’s’ all you have to worry about in this life?”
- Again, God individually attends to our needs. He’s God, he can do that. Truly there are great problems in the world, but the suffering of another or even a group doesn’t negate the severity of your suffering. Now it may be that thinking of this may help you to say, man, I don’t have time to look at porn, I gotta help save the world. In which case, cool. But don’t ever think that God has better things to attend to. He can walk and chew gum, I PROMISE!
“christians are not even suppose to talk about it”
- Not true! Talk about sexuality with people who respect and revere it. Gain your own respect for it. When you feel awkward about something, pushing it down only leads to it problems. Don’t “locker-room” talk it, but spend some time learning how important and sacred it is, that’ll help a lot.
“there is no solution [it] is part of life.”
There IS a solution! You CAN life with greater peace! Confession does help, but it’s through the atonement of Jesus Christ that you can learn to become stronger so that when temptations come you do as Christ did, give them no heed.
If you have ever thought any of the above thoughts, learn the truth about addition and how to win the fight with pornography addiction. Sign up for our Destination Freedom Map and check out the Candeo Recovery Program. You can listen to their free podcasts (very helpful) and also get a trial period for their powerful brain reprograming training & coaching. Some Christian guys started it, so you get the best of both worlds!
I ended my answer to him the same way I will leave you: You can do it! You’re an amazing person. I know that because God created no junk…you’re his son. Ask him to help you remember that always.