Marriage Lie: A plethora of porn lies

August 24, 2012

in Seeing Clearly, Series, Sexuality

Internet porn | freedigitalphotos.net

A quick list of porn related lies:

Porn is no big deal. Porn changes how a man thinks and feels about sex, which is a big deal. Because porn tends to be unrealistic and often shows things no woman could enjoy, this reprogramming is bad for your wife. A new post from “Pearl” shows a part of this – see Illuminated Sex (and check the link at the start of the post). A much scarier side of this is “porn induced impotence” which has rapidly gone from ridiculous claim to something anyone dealing with men’s sexuality is hearing from a growing number of men. This “condition” is the inability to have or keep an erection without the use of porn. Other men can get and keep an erection, but cannot climax without porn. This issue, a result of the abundance of Internet porn, leaves men unable to have sex with a real woman. This is happening to men even in their 20’s, and it has scared some of them away from porn. Many (secular) groups have sprung up on the Internet where men discuss this and encourage each other to avoid porn. While this is an extreme situation, it shows how real the danger is.

Wives drive men to use porn by… This is “The devil made me do it” except the wife is blamed. A man who blames his wife for his porn use is not ready to stop. A man who is ready to stop will accept responsibility for his actions, and will choose to change no matter what his wife does or does not do.

A wife’s actions (or inactions) have no effect on a man’s porn use. This is the other side of the above, and also a lie. How can both of these be lies? Because the truth is we do influence our spouse. She cannot cause him to use porn, but she can put him into a place where he is more easily tempted, or take him to a place where he is less easily tempted. The second seems loving, the first wrong and harmful to the marriage in general. (I realise it’s not easy, and I get the harm porn use does to a woman.)

His porn use only hurts her because she lets it. It hurts her because it communicates something unloving and painful to her. It causes her to question her body, her sexuality, her relationship with her husband, his love for her, and their marriage as a whole. 

Men and woman see porn use differently because their minds work differently. Her reaction is not “logical” to him because he does not see it as she does. Most women find it difficult to impossible to separate sex and relationship/love, so porn use is not just about sex, it is an assault on the marriage relationship. Porn use says “I don’t really love you” and it says it LOUDLY!

His porn use means… It does not mean most of what a woman thinks it means. She is making valid connections for how her mind works, but not for how his does. Most men find it possible, easy, or even natural to separate sex and relationship/love. So, when he says porn is “just about sex” he means it. That does not make it right, or excuse it, but it does mean his porn use is not sending messages about his love, or how he feels about his sex life. Because of how men’s brains are wired, porn grabs our eyes, and gives us pleasure. This is automatic and instantaneous. Porn gives a quick boost, almost like a drug. It can push aside sadness, fear, worry, anger, loneliness, and more. Sometimes porn use is more about what is pushes aside than sex.

Porn use is adultery. While you can make a case for this, the problem is when a woman uses this as a reason to refuse sex. If porn is to be treated just like adultery, then it needs to be treated JUST LIKE adultery. Would she put up with frequent adultery for years, or would she leave (as is her biblical right)? Using porn as a reason to refuse sex, but not really treating it as you would adultery with a flesh and blood woman is dishonest and manipulative. (And no, I don’t know how a woman can stand to have, much less enjoy, sex with a man who is looking at porn – especially if he is making no effort to stop.)

Once a man has been into porn, he is never really free. I have a theological problem with that – I thought Christ is able to set us free. What’s more, I have seen this attitude do bad things to men. If he buys this, then clicking a link he knows might lead to porn is not his fault, it is the fault of whoever put the link in his path. I have also seen men who buy into this become rabid legalists about women being “modest” and taking it to bazaar extremes. As with the link mentioned above, if a woman does not meet his level of modesty and he lusts, it is really her fault (and he feels less wrong).

I am pretty sure Jesus could not have been made to sin by placing a naked woman in His path. I realise He is not your average guy, but if He could avoid sin in such a situation, then so can we, in Him. It is a goal and a process, but we can stop being dragged into sin by every less than fully covered woman we pass. Don’t you think God wants us to be able to walk down the street in the summer without falling into sin over and over? That said…

A man can look at porn and not be affected. Affected and sinning are two different things. We are wired to be aroused by nudity, and even if we learn to limit/control our physical and mental reactions to nudity, we are still affected. Even if we do not sin, it puts us in a place of greater temptation, and it is never wise to stay in such a place. The man who “tests” himself to see how much he can see without sinning is playing with fire and he will get burned. The man who thinks he can go where ever and look at whatever is neither strong nor wise.

Bottom line: Porn is not what we have been told, and it is a big deal. Porn has no place in a couple’s sex life, which includes being in front of his eyes or in his mind.

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9 comments
Bert
Bert

I admit that i am more relational than most men.....But there a powerful visual draw from men to breasts, curves, and other wonderful creations. It is part of the programming that God gave us. There is magnetic resonance imaging evidence that shows different developmental aspects between the man in a woman especially delay of the prefrontal cortex in males. when we talk about strong visual draw, that is not to say that a complete separation in all men occurs. More that it can occur in many instances when the wrong visual stimulation is present. That's essentially what pornography allows.... Disassociation from relationship in marriage based sex. In the longer it occurs more disassociation there can be. This can be to the point where a man can feel there is no need for the relationship. as stated in an earlier comment, a friend who literally does not get excited looking at his fairly physically attractive wife. he is working through this but it has not been an easy road for him. Perfect example of the poisoning of pornography.

Diane
Diane

I really have trouble with the " a man's mind is wired differently and can separate sex from relationship" issue. That it can mean nothing to a man to have sex with someone. Two questions: 1. Does a man have to find a woman attractive to be aroused by her nudity? Or is just the fact that there is a naked woman in front of him enough? (assuming we are not talking in extremes; elderly, disfigured, gross) 2. Isn't the man is different when it comes to sex just a cop-out to rationalize bad behavior? Make that three questions- 3. A man notices a woman is attractive, he may get an erection in response but he quickly diverts his eyes and mind elsewhere. Has he sinned? At what point does his response become sinning? It is my understanding that men can get an erection easily, sometimes without conscious thought. I'm asking these questions here because my husband is not comfortable talking about this subject.

bert
bert

One of the best blogs I have ever seen you do. It hits all the points. Porn is a BIG lie to men both physically and emotionally....Having a friend who can no longer maintain an erection with his beautiful wife is a wake up call to us all to its true destructive effect.

Joe
Joe

Rosemary, The blog mentioned how men's and women's brains are just wired differently - neither one right or wrong, just different by design. Mark Gungor (Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage) does a great job of describing men's boxes versus women's 'everything is connected to everything' brains. Paul was right on with his comments and noting how porn affects both and things we can do to help each other.

Rosemary
Rosemary

I was struck by your statement that porn can "push aside sadness, fear, worry, anger, loneliness, and more." As a woman, that seems counterintuitive to me, because in my mind using porn would actually cause all those things! It's important for women to understand this if they are dealing with a husband who is using porn. To solve any marriage problem (not just this one) we need to be aware of the differences in the way our brains and emotions work, so we can really understand what is at the root of the other person's behavior.

Mark John
Mark John

Paul, You are right on with the post you wrote above. Love is a choice and self control (no lusting nor porn use) are actions I choose to take because I love my wife. I know that my wife wants to be cherished. My marriage vow is to place her above all others and forsake all others. God commands me to be one only with her in the sex both in body and in my mind. She is my standard of beauty and not to be compared to any other woman.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Bert - I've heard it said that men are easily attracted by body parts, as opposed to entire bodies. This certainly fits with what porn tends to show. Commercial porn is very well researched, they know what works, what catches the eye, what reals a man in.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Diane - First a confession: I have never been able to separate sex the way most men do. I am convinced it is true because I have heard it since my teenage years from many, many boys and men. I think the vast majority of men are able to do this separating. I think some can't help it, probably due to having done it so much they lose the ability to see a woman as a "lover" and a person at the same time. By the way, there are a few women out there who are like the men on this. They are rare, but they exist, they can separate sex and relationship with ease. 1) It's not so much her nudity as the fact that she has the parts needed for him to have sex. Some men go so far as to pay to have sex with women who are about as far from attractive as possible. It's not about the woman, it's about having sex. I think this is the logical fallen end point of how men's sexual minds work. I don't think it's unavoidable; I think it takes some injury to get there. But in a sex obsessed world where porn is harder to avoid than to find, most men are sexually injured even before puberty. 2) Not really. If they couldn't make the separation, they could not engage in the bad behaviour. A woman can choose have sex with someone she does not like because she does not have to get an erection. If a men were more like women in this, the lack of a good relationship would mean no erection and no sex. 3) I would say he has not, if he diverts his eyes and mind as fast as he can. If he does this, he is unlikely to get an erection, or at least a full one, unless he is young or has not had release in a good while. If he happened to see a woman naked, walked in on her somehow, then an erection is likely, even if he does all he can to not see or think about it. Your husband's discomfort may be because his mind and body don't always do what he would like. Wanting to save yourself for your wife, in every way, is one thing - doing that in the world we live in is another, especially if a man blames himself for things he should not. Once, when I was delivering pizzas, I walked into a college classroom with an order. First thing I saw was a completely naked woman, sitting on a stool, facing my direction. I had walked into an art class. I looked away immediately, walked to the teacher, made the transaction, and left without ever looking in the direction of the model again. I saw her for a second or less, and did all I could to put her out of my mind. I still walked out in a light sweat and with my heart and breathing elevated. Frankly I was offended, I felt assaulted - I didn't want that, and yet I'd had it forced on me. I had no interest in that woman, I only wanted my bride, but my brain is wired to respond in that way. I wish I could turn that part of my brain off, but I realise it does not work that way, it's part of the package deal.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Rosemary - It may result in more of whatever it pushes aside in the long run, but it still pushes it aside. Not unlike a drug. This is actually the failure point for many men - they can say no till they are really down, then they do it more for the "fix" than for the "sex". You are right that understanding improves the chance of beating it.

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