Myths and Facts About Pornography
Myth: Only lower class people view pornography.
Fact: Pornography addicts come from all walks of life. They’re blue-collar and white-collar executives; they’re homely and they’re handsome; they’re atheist, agnostic, and religious; they’re all races and creeds. They’re single, they’re married, and they’re fathers.
Myth: Porn is just entertainment… no one is hurt.
Fact: Pornography profits from the ruined lives of young women and entraps men who will spend lots of time AND money succumbing to their product. Studies show that many of the women shown in pornographic material are runaway girls trapped in a destructive life. Many have been sexually abused. Some of them are infected with incurable sexually transmitted diseases that are highly contagious. They often die young.
Myth: Porn does not affect the way you think and relate to women.
Fact: It is clear that media and advertising affect what we think, desire and purchase. If it didn’t, manufacturers would not continue to spend billions on advertising. If a 45 second commercial can affect people’s thoughts and behavior, imagine the effect of a movie that keeps your attention glued to the screen for an hour with sexually explicit images… It is clear that watching pornography does not leave the viewer unaffected…
Myth: The porn doesn’t have to affect your relationships.
Fact: Relationships are not built on sex, but on expressions of commitment, sharing, caring, joy, mutual trust, and love. People who view porn lose this sensitivity and eventually don’t relate to these values at all. Pornography denigrates sex into an act no more meaningful than two baboons mating in the forest. Pornography pollutes a couple’s sexual relationship.
Degrading Attitudes & Practices
That The Porn Industry Promotes
1. Women are a “sport” or property Porn often refers to women as animals, playthings, or body parts. The idea that women are real human beings with thoughts and emotions is played down.. Porn views sex as a game in which you have to “win,” “score”, or “conquer.” Porn users start judging their manhood by how many “conquests” they can make. Porn displays women like merchandise in a catalog, exposing them as openly as possible for the customer to examine.
2. A woman’s value depends on the attractiveness of her body. Less attractive women are called dogs, whales, pigs or worse, simply because they don’t fit into porn’s criteria of the “perfect” woman. Porn is often full of hate speech against women.
3. Women like rape. “When she says no, she means, “yes” is a typical porn scenario. Women are shown being raped, fighting and kicking at first, and then starting to like it.
5. Little kids should have sex. One of the biggest sellers in pornography is imitation “child” porn. This encourages the porn user to see children in a sexual way.
6. Illegal sex is fun. Porn often has illegal or dangerous elements thrown in to make sex more “interesting.” Porn paints an exciting picture of prostitution and sex without meaning.
Why Do People Become
Addicted To Pornography?
Pornography addiction begins in the mind. People tell themselves pornography is just harmless, escapist pleasure. But the enjoyment is short-lived and often, as with drug addiction, the viewer finds himself needing more and more in order to get the same excitement or “high”.
Worse, pornography has an insidious tendency to cross over and infiltrate a person’s life, affecting thoughts, sexual conduct and the
possibility of truly connecting with another person in a healthy, respectful relationship.
Feelings of loneliness, insecurity, and boredom are not usually associated with pornography, but for many users, they are underlying problems. What begins as a source of pleasure and distraction often becomes an unwanted addiction.
People view sex as the solution to the problems of loneliness and insecurity. Some people, when feeling lonely, turn to pornography. Such simulated sex makes them feel less lonely – at least for a little while. A cure for this aspect of the addiction begins when the person realizes that loneliness is a normal part of everyone’s life. The challenge is to find ways of dealing with loneliness – as well as being receptive to what it can teach us about our present and future emotional and intellectual needs.
Others, who view life’s reality and relationships as just too difficult and frightening and so create for themselves an emotionally safe (pornography assisted) fantasy world. It is the only place where they have control over their sexual/emotional lives. They have the illusion of power and excitement. These people would find meaning in learning to develop healthy self esteem and emotionally satisfying relationships.
Not everyone who views pornography will become addicted, but addiction usually occurs in several stages:
EARLY EXPOSURE (Level 1): Many people who get addicted to porn start early. They see porn when they are very young and it gets its foot in the door.
PORN ADDICTION (Level 2): In this stage it becomes a regular part of a person’s life that they need and cannot stop.
ESCALATION (Level 3): Many people who begin viewing pornography tell themselves that they would never view certain types of pornography because it is violent, immoral etc. But what excited the viewer early on has become familiar
and boring and so they find themselves viewing porn that earlier would have been repulsive.
DESENSITIZATION (Level 4): The user begins to become numb to the images he sees. Even the most graphic porn doesn’t excite him any more. He becomes desperate to feel the thrill he felt at the beginning of his experience with pornography. This often leads the addict to act out sexually.
ACTING OUT SEXUALLY (Level 5): This is the point where the addict makes a crucial and dangerous jump and starts acting out the images he has seen. He moves from images of porn into the real world with real people, in dangerous places doing things that pose a real threat to his life and health (and those around him).
“Is There Help?”
If you identify with any of the patterns listed above, now is the time to deal with the issue. The first thing to do is admit that you struggle with pornography. Millions of men (and women) are at various stages in this struggle. For some there may also be past issues, such as abuse or sexual exposure that makes porn addiction even harder to shake. The second thing to do is to move beyond your “secret” and get help. You need someone to help break this addiction. Overcoming the secrecy is absolutely vital; you might not be able to escape addiction without it. That doesn’t mean everyone has to know about your addiction. I have helped many people cure themselves and lead more meaningful, happy and fulfilled lives. Please don’t wait because as a general rule, pornography addiction does not go away by itself and left untreated can destroy one’s self-esteem, relationships and employment. Sexaholics Anonymous is also one very helpful program. The problem is so destructive and there is nothing to be gained from waiting, so become proactive and take back your life now.