Pornography and the Problem of Silence

Was I a porn addict?

Yes. I couldn’t stop even though I wanted to. When I first started looking at porn I was at least 13. Of course I was told it was wrong, but no one had the knowledge to explain how porn could truly affect my life. The addiction crept in slowly before I knew what was actually happening.

I became addicted to the viewing of porn due to the easy access. Porn addiction is categorized as a process addiction, which means a person is dependent on some form of behavior. I couldn’t go a day without it. I’ve learned how viewing porn affects the mind; I began to distrust others because I couldn’t trust myself. My view of the world became distorted because I didn’t know how to view myself. Porn was all I could think about. I can see where it ruined relationships with girls because I didn’t know what a healthy relationship looked like. I liked watching porn, however, the consequences were undesirable. Not everything we like is good for us. I learned that the hard way. I’ve had hundreds of hours of my time stolen from me. And only within in the last few months have I truly taken my time and life back. I went through therapy and other forms of rehabilitation. The recovery process took years, so I’ve had a long time to process why and how I came to the place I was in and how I came out of it. After all that time, I’ve come to this conclusion: When we struggle alone and in silence, we will ultimately fail. Had I spoken up earlier, I truly believe I could have saved my self-many sleepless nights and tearful mornings. Silence held me back for too long. The silence of shame. The silence of guilt. The silence of fear. The silence of rejection. The silence of embarrassment. No more. This is for the men and women who have gone through life in silence. This is for a society that has enabled a dark culture to exist and grow. And more importantly, this is for the boys and girls who still can make the choice not to become part of that culture. What was dark must be brought to light.

This issue has been on my heart and mind for a very long time. A culmination of recent events has made it clear that this needs far more educated discussion than it has been given. The first event would undoubtedly have to be the charges of sexual harassment that have become rampant in Hollywood. The “Me too” hashtag was used by over 4.7 million people on Facebook, within the first 24 hours of its conception. This prompted an even greater push for women’s equality, globally and in every industry. If you watched the 2018 Golden Globes, then you know what I’m talking about. I agree the “Time is Up” for keeping silent about these issues. Yet you can’t address sexual harassment and the equality of women without looking deeper into our collective thinking. Things will only get better for a time if we only address part of the issue.

Should we be surprised with the numerous claims of sexual harassment in the media? No. This became clear to me as I researched this hidden culture. The culture that allowed men to harass women freely is the same culture that has allowed porn addiction to go unnoticed. The statistics are staggering when it comes to people who watch porn and feel they watch too much of it or actually have an addiction.

The porn industry is a multibillion-dollar industry! Countless numbers of people view this medium. If you web search porn or pornography, you’ll find that one of the top frequent searches is pornography/porn addiction. We have been far too lenient with an industry that can have devastating effects on people’s lives. We’ve all heard the saying: “Sex sells”. It really does. The cost is too high.

I wonder how many historically bad decisions could have been avoided if people had spoken up instead of remaining silent? If more individuals like Churchill had spoken against the Third Reich sooner, perhaps there would have been far less devastation left in their wake. No one listened when Churchill spoke initially. In the same way we haven’t been listening to the cries for help. Instead we have become content with deafening silence. This silence affects everyone. We’ve already seen the affect it is having on women. If society truly wants women to be viewed as equal you must address the issue of pornography. Pornography portrays women as objects and nothing more. It offers only fantasy, an unrealistic view of how the relationship between men and women should be. The irony – pornography is one of the industries where women make more than the men! They make more than men yet portray one-dimensional characters motivated by sex alone. And anybody can watch them play these characters. Any 12 year old with a phone can access a pornographic website. They may or may not continue to watch porn as time goes on, but I’ve heard it said more than once, “An image you look at for 15 seconds can stay with you 15 years.” And that’s only the image. What misguided understanding of society will he/she take with him/her? What behaviors have been ingrained on his/her mind? That’s a blog within itself. Regardless of your belief, the studies are out there with results showing the negative effects of porn on the mind and body. There is so much information on this topic at our fingertips, yet it is never
discussed! Please look for yourself. Observed behaviors often times manifest themselves in the real world. What happened in Hollywood will only continue if we don’t take this threat seriously. A culture was created in Hollywood where the unacceptable became acceptable for too long. Let’s say women received equality in every workplace in every industry tomorrow. My hope would be that it lasts. I’m skeptical however because the root of the problem remains. The situation in Hollywood may be a weed that grew so high that we can see it, but the roots are still there. The battle has just begun.

Porn addiction, sexual harassment, sex trafficking, and sex addiction all stem from the same place – the mind. Please note: I am not comparing sexual harassment or assault to porn addiction by any means. Acceptance starts in the mind. For too long too many have thought, “It’s ok.” We all must start shouting “No it isn’t!”

You and I will ultimately bring an end to the dark culture. The fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters, who choose to say “no”, will change the course of the future. Some will need to change their thought process in order to see positive change in their lives and those they care about.

No one should have to fight alone. I am incredibly grateful that I have a mother who supported me through all my struggles. She never looked at me any differently and constantly exemplified love and grace. Breaking the silence and telling someone I loved was probably the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but it was worth it.

If I can encourage you to do anything it is this, be an ear for those who need help and be a voice for those who can’t or are too afraid to speak for themselves. Ask questions and be educated on what is really happening. Changing a culture takes time and education. This culture didn’t show up overnight and it won’t go away overnight either. It will take a constant effort of breaking the silence.

How much longer will we allow innocence to be capitalized on? We have been given a magnificent gift called choice. You have the right to choose who you become. Choose to be educated and choose to say no to being part of a dark culture. We can determine what the future looks like. I hope we choose wisely.


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