Couch Chronicles: Did you know women can be addicted to pornography?
Do you feel alone in your addiction?
Everyone knows about alcohol, drugs, and tobacco addictions. You probably even know someone who has or used to have one of these addictions. These are the poster children of addictions; the ones everyone talks about. You probably even have a picture in your mind of what the typical “addict” looks like. Today, I’m more interested in talking about the silent addictions, the ones you might sweep under the rug and ignore. Sadly, these silent addictions can destroy your relationships, mental, emotional, and physical health, and self-confidence before you even blink. It’s easy to generalize addictions because of the demographic that the media and culture has ascribed to them. More often than not, these generalizations don’t focus on women. Have you recently read a story about a recovering pornography addict who was a woman? Probably not, and the very real women who struggle with this very real addiction don’t feel seen, heard, or recognized. They feel alone. If you feel alone in your struggle with a pornography addiction or know someone who does, don’t worry, overcoming addictions is possible. You don’t need to be ashamed, you need to get help. Read on to find out more.
Porn Isn’t Just a “Guy” Thing
Technology is both a blessing and a curse. It has given us the ability to access anything we want in ten seconds flat, from life-saving, wholesome, advice to pornography. In 2016, a popular porn website got 64 million visitors a day. Put that into perspective with this statistic from the same year; YouTube only got 30 million visitors a day. That’s only one pornography website, there are thousands others drawing visitors as well. All this to say, although pornography is still taboo in many circles, it’s definitely not rare. You might not be surprised that 90% of men consume pornography, but did you know that over 60% of women do too? You’ve probably heard that pornography is a “guy thing”. Porn addiction is a main topic at every men’s conference and Bible study, but why don’t women talk about it? Maybe it’s because of the shame, guilt, or lack of support. Often, women become addicted to porn because of the emotional high it gives them instead of the physical high. A woman who is unhappy with her relationship or marriage is much more likely to stumble across pornography and become addicted to it.
What’s so bad about pornography?
Today, pornography is largely brushed off, and even supported for individual and couple consumption. Some people are even okay with their spouses watching porn on their own time. Your brain reacts the same to pornography as it does to a drug. When your brain continuously receives the overload of dopamine from the physical or emotional high, the neurotransmitters are dulled and your brain develops a tolerance. In pornography, tolerance usually refers to the severity of the material. The more pornography someone watches, the less it affects them, which leads to consumption of more intense and graphic material. The moral implications of pornography alone are enough reason for it to be harmful. Not only is pornography a form of sexual immorality but also usually a form of idolatry. Becoming addicted and obsessed with pornography often replaces and ruins your relationship with God.
Pornography: A Home Wrecker
To put it simply, there is no place for pornography in a biblical relationship. Obviously, we hear about husbands who struggle with pornography use, but what about the wives? Sadly, many women are silently entangled in a pornography addiction, which is sabotaging their relationship with their boyfriend or spouse and keeping them from experiencing intimacy in the way God intended. Obsessive use of pornography is cited as a cause for divorce in over 56% of divorce cases. Porn ruins relationships. If you are currently struggling with porn, you might not realize it is hurting more than just you.
Pornography often comes with the complaint of “Constructive Desertion” which is where the spouse obsessed with porn becomes emotionally vacant and “abandons” their partner due to the false expectations for physical intimacy that porn causes. If you are resorting to pornography due to “emotional abandonment”, know that there is a deeper issue that the temporary high from pornography cannot solve. Your identity is not in your spouse or their attention, but from God’s love for you. Your identity is permanent, and nothing can take that away from you. If you want to read my newsletter on how to find your true identity and be confident in it, follow the link at the end of the page.
The push in our society today in support of pornography is often done in the name of “women empowerment”. Pornography is praised for allowing women to be confident and embrace their sexuality. Actually, many studies have shown that pornography doesn’t empower women. An analysis of the top selling pornographic material shows that 88% of it is violent in nature, and mostly towards women. Not only does pornography encourage violent and degrading sexual behaviors but exposure to it, especially from a young age, can give you a corrupted view of what sex is supposed to be like. People who watch violent pornography, both men and women, are 6 times more likely to engage in sexually aggressive behavior. Like I explained earlier, when the brain has an addiction, it needs more and more extreme content to get the same high, which can lead to aggressive or even illegal pornography consumption or behavior.
Your Identity Isn’t in Your Sexuality.
If you’re a woman, I guarantee that sometime in your life you have struggled with your self-image. You looked at yourself and didn’t like what you saw. A lot of self-image issues come from the media telling women how they should look and dress. Here’s the kicker: pornography doesn’t only tell a woman how she should look, but also how she should act sexually. When you watch pornography, it’s very easy to develop a warped sense of self-image and low self-esteem. Not only is it all staged, it’s all photoshopped! Pornography doesn’t empower women, but instead gives them another fake standard for how they should look and act.
If you’re using pornography, or have in the past, and you struggle with low self-esteem and body image issues, please contact me! Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help, you don’t have to suffer alone. I know that I can help you be free of the shame so you can live free and confidently in the beautiful body that God made for you.
If you’re struggling with an addiction, don’t wait. If you are in Florida, you can call the hotline 211 for help with all types of addictions.