Fighting Over Porn

I’m in the midst of a struggle.

The idea of watching porn has been more appealing lately, as happens sometimes. At present, I’m managing to say ‘no,’ though I think the primary cause of saying ‘no’ right now is pride – knowing that I have the power to say ‘no,’ and excercising that power. I’m pretty sure pride is a dumb reason though, and might not get me that far. I have other reasons to say ‘no,’ and I can cycle through them as needed whenever I feel drawn back to porn. I wish I could say there was one particular reason that was always enough, but I don’t think that would be honest.

There are times that porn seems to have no hold on me at all, and other times that I feel drawn to it very strongly. This is one of the latter times. There are a number of possible reasons why, as there are a number of things I’ve observed over the years that tend to give me a stronger attraction to it.

Exhaustion

It requires little brainpower. Comedies, action movies or informational shows will require me to think. And sometimes I can’t be bothered thinking. Sometimes I also have trouble sleeping, inspite of exhaustion. Porn seems particularly attractive at those times since I feel like there’s little else I can do to pass the time.

Boredom

I seem to go through my entertainment options quickly, partially because I buy new video games sparingly, and partially because there’s little in the way of television or movies that I find to be worth watching these days. Not that I can say with a straight face that most of the writing out there is juvenile, while at the same time I’m resorting to porn. Doesn’t quite jive.

I feel like I’m missing out

Like not watching this particular porn film is going to ruin my life and I’ll never be the awesome person I could have been if I had just went ahead and watched it. Yes, my mind has gone there.

Depression

Feeling stuck can make me feel like this is the best I can look forward to. It’s more difficult to say ‘no’ when resorting to it in the end feels inevitable. Sometimes “putting up a good fight” just doesn’t feel worth it.

It seems like an interesting story

This is usually a side-effect of boredom. I’ve probably seen enough porn to be able to predict how most of them will go. It’s generally not really that interesting. I have noticed though how easily an extreme amount of boredom can cause one to look in desperate places.

I’ve also heard that porn can be particularly tempting after a great high or a great low. Lows, because they can lead to depression and desperation, and highs because we tend to let our guard down. I’ve had some heavy lows in the past couple of years, and I recognize that I’m currently on a high. There’s a number of things I can try to keep in mind at times like this, that make it easier to say ‘no.’

It’s not what I want.

It really isn’t. And I know that. When I’m feeling particularly desperate it just feels like a reasonable, temporary suppliment for what I really want. I don’t even like most of what I see. The percentage of porn I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed, compared to the amount I’ve consumed over the years because I “had nothing better to do,” is really quite low. And I never walk away feeling better than I did before.

It damages the capacity for intimacy

I don’t know all the research – I just know it makes logical sense. At my more optimistic times I can say to myself, “don’t hurt your future relationships just for temporary relief.” But in my more depressed seasons of life, I tend to think, “What future relationships?” And it doesn’t seem like I’m really damaging anything. Presently, I’m more hopeful about the future, but I know in my darker times that argument alone is not enough.

I have the power to say ‘no’

That alone, I find rather incredible. I am certain I would have more of an addiction to porn if not for the strength I have in Christ. I am not immune to temptation, but just the fact that I can say ‘no’ feels quite empowering. Pride alone is probably a reason I turn to more often than most, and it’s not a good reason to settle on, because I know how easily it can be broken.

I don’t like the way I look at women differently the next day

This is where the issue of conscience kicks in. The fact is, if not for Jesus specifically saying something about not looking at women lustfully – meaning, if the Bible never said anything relating to porn – I would likely have more of an addiction to it, because I would easily reason that there’s nothing wrong with it. But I would be deceiving myself, because I know how I view women differently afterward, and I don’t like it. Even if other people would have no problem with it, I know it’s not right for me.

I don’t want to hurt my friend

This has become my default reason, because I know that even if all my other reasons aren’t enough, this one has gotten me out of more no-fly zones than any other reason, even with temptations not related to porn. I don’t know exactly how, but through some spiritual, time-spanning means, sin hurts Jesus. And Jesus is my friend. As badly as I might want to do something, is it worth hurting my friend? The answer is generally ‘no.’

I wish the above reasons were always enough to deter me from watching porn, but there are times, I know, when I get to a point that I simply don’t care. Saying ‘no’ does not always feel as easy as I’d like it to be. It’s certainly a lot easier to redirect my attention than to simply keep saying ‘no’ to the same thing over and over again.

As far as looking for suppliments, there’s little that people suggest that I actually find practical. Like, for example, reading my Bible. Which is generally a good idea anyway, but if I’m in the mood for porn then it hardly suffices, nor can I figure out how to rework the circuits in my brain so that the things that trigger those desires will trigger a desire to read instead. My brain doesn’t seem to work that way. I have found one alternative though that seems to work, and which came as a complete surprise.

Kung Fu movies

When I think about it, I realize the two types of films have a lot in common. The acting is terrible, the dialogue is not much better, and the story is arbitrary. I see two people meet, and I’m just waiting for them to go at it. Occasionally some more people show up, and the one guy’s like, “Alright, I’ll take on all of you at once.” And the best films don’t waste time setting up context, because they know only minimal context is required.

Oddly, it stimulates a lot of the same parts of my brain as porn would (apart from the obvious). I usually don’t have to think about it, so it’s easy watching. Hence my new problem is that there aren’t enough Kung Fu movies on TV. I’ve just about gone through all of the DVDs I own. I may have to invest in some more.

About benjaminfrog

Yo. I'm a 30-something Christian guy and published author with a love for gaming, fantasy and sci-fi. I blog about pop culture, living as a young Christian guy, and living with A.S.
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One Response to Fighting Over Porn

  1. annasklar says:

    Hey Bro – thanks so much for your raw honesty. This article should be shared and posted in lots more places, I think it would help a TON of people. The topic is one of those that rarely get talked about, especially in christian circles, yet it is a very important issue. Check out Covenant Eyes, they have some great articles about all the issues of porn. Love ya Baby Brother.

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