pornography, restoration

Productive Things

If I had to say there’s a beginning to this story, it stemmed from the TV.  I’ve been exposed to plenty of sex, promiscuity and adult content on TV since I was a little kid, probably mid-late elementary school age.  Not all of it was that bad, but just about all of it drew up the same excitement and curiosity that would follow me through adolescence.

When our parents were asleep or out of the house, my brother and I had control of the TV.  We ended up on the E! channel a lot, where we could watch anything they happened to feature about celebrities, swimsuit models, fashion shows, whatever.  Women are the reason that channel existed and we were definitely too young to watch stuff like that.  We often saw Howard Stern at night, where his radio show was rehearsed.  They either invited really weird people or slutty porn stars or nude models to guest on the show.  They got nude most of the time and censored only a little.

To a fifth grader that stuff was awesome.  You got this feeling of attraction and arousal that you didn’t really understand, and you had the ability to access stuff that your parents would have had a fit about.  Score!    I would tune in whenever I was up late enough.  I always craved a little bit more – you never get to see women naked in real life.

That was before we had internet.  It took maybe only a couple months of having internet in our house before I started looking at pornography.  Damn, It was easy.  Still is.  But I was well aware of what pornography was.  The first nude magazine I saw was hidden away in an old-school military ambulance at Selfridge Air Base.  A bunch of my friends and I were on a Cub Scout campout and found a 1940’s era gentleman’s magazine in the back of the vehicle, and it was awesome.  Fold-out centerfold and everything.  I knew how pornography made me feel, and I liked it.  So when I found out how easy it was to find it, I started looking for more.

I was 13, it was summer and I was looking up pornography on the internet whenever I had the chance.  I was ashamed of it until I learned that most of my friends were doing the exact same thing, and they often talked about it in a very proud way.  I don’t think most people – older generations and females – understand how big of a problem this is.  I know many people aren’t even aware of it.

Pornography is the ultimate distraction.  I am ashamed of my addiction because of my Christian ideals, but I am also ashamed of it because it takes my mind off what is important – LIFE.  I don’t think it makes me disrespect women, even though people claim that as pornography’s effect.  Pornography actors and actresses are already disrespecting themselves.  To say that pornography has had that great of an effect on my view of the opposite sex is to say I believe everything I see on TV.  Guys don’t watch pornography to seek relationship advice, they do it to watch girls, have sex, get aroused and jack off.  Sex feels good.  It gets those brain chemicals pumping, and is pretty comparable to a high.  Like a drug addict, a pornography addict can relapse at any time.  I’ve done it a few times after being clean.  Christianity and good mentors and friends blocked it out for a few weeks.  After that, I fell right back in.

Most guys – Christian or not – struggle with this to some degree.  Sure, some guys are proud of it, but they’re idiots.  It’s so false, so wrong, and such a waste of time.  I’ve lived with it and sadly still do.

The way out?  Keep yourself busy with productive things.  Find supportive friends and keep them close.  Don’t use the internet – separate yourself from the root.  Evaluate what’s important to you.  Being a Christian and a Bible reader alone won’t solve it (you can get aroused to stuff in the Bible).  You need support – whenever I’ve had others care for me, I’ve been able to feel BE clean.

Women need to help guys, too.  They’re the source – the “object” – of male lust after all.  Most girls – and many “Christian” girls at that – have no idea what they are doing when they make themselves look cute/hot/insert word here _______.  I heard a lot about this when I was an adolescent at [Bible camp].  My counselor had talked with his older sister about his struggles with lust, and she had no idea how greatly her appearance could affect a Christian guy.  It’s stunning how much time some Christian girls spend on their outer appearance after the Bible states that looks/clothes/makeup and all that shit is clearly unimportant in the whole scheme of things.  If the Bible holds the Word, why do so few listen?  Who is really a Christian? That’s another story – but describes quite well where I stand.

I’m searching, and maybe one day I will figure it out.  I know right from wrong, and I attribute that to a Christian upbringing.  These paragraphs alone describe only an episode in my life that will hopefully come to an end…but life goes on.

The story you just read was handed to me by a young friend on the last day of a four day retreat, as I was loading my car to leave.  The way it was folded let me know that he didn’t want me to read it until I got home.  And when I did get home and read it, I wept.  Because I love that kid and I had no idea he was struggling.  I hadn’t seen him in a few years – since he went off to college – and when he walked into the retreat center on that first day, I gasped.  The bright, sparkling eyes that I remembered and loved were dead.  Dead.  No life in them whatsoever.  I knew something was wrong.

If my friend had been in front of me when I read his story, I would have told him two things:

First, friend, I have to disagree with you when you said. “I don’t think it makes me disrespect women, even though people claim that as porn’s effect.  Porn actors and actresses are already disrespecting themselves.”

What if it were your mother?  Would you want people looking at her if she was disrespecting herself?

Not all porn actors and actresses are participating willingly.  The federal government estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked in the United States each year. The Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children both recognize that pornography is an element that adds to the serious problem of sex trafficking. Many traffickers are found with filming equipment and cameras to create and sell pornography. (E. McGinnis, The Horrifying Reality of Sex Trafficking)

By viewing pornography you are supporting sex trafficking.

Then there’s this:  http://donnypauling.net/2014/07/02/the-story-of-a-girl-whose-life-i-ruined/  I almost hate to share this link with you because the article itself reads as exploitation to me. You can read why in Spare Me the Details.

One more thing, friend, with regard to “an episode in my life that will hopefully come to an end…”, I just want to say that passive hope isn’t going to cut it.  Only God has scissors that are strong enough.

And to you, dear Readers, I’ll say it again:

Mamas, protect your babies.

I know this young man’s parents.  They are a fine Christian couple and they have no clue as to the clutches their son has fallen into.  In fact, they’d probably say that church kids don’t need to be talked to.  But, Oh, I’m sure they suspect something is wrong….

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13 thoughts on “Productive Things

  1. It is all in how you look at things, and what things you choose to look at. I know how it affected one cousin’s life. I have seen the impact on boys and girls, men and women, The problem is not new, sadly. It has, though gotten epidemic in our culture, as well as sadly accepted by it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right, Alan, it is not new. But I think it is worse. A person used to have to go and buy it in a brown paper wrapper – for some that alone was a deterrent. Now anyone can google it at any time in the dark confines of their homes. Or they can innocently happen upon it while they are doing a report on the White House for school or researching something at work.
      And it has gotten raunchier.
      Once, when I was researching STD statistics, a vile website popped up on my computer screen. A “voice/thought” popped up right along with it enticing me to take a look. I closed the pop-up immediately. What the voice/thought didn’t know is that 1) I have no interest and 2) I’m not stupid.
      Nowadays there are good filters, but back then we used Earthlink at the pregnancy center and the filters were lame.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If I had this young man’s address, I would send him a book that has the potential of a catalytic effect to change the course of his life entitled: “healing the shame that binds you”-by John Bradshaw
    It addresses these issues very effectively as well as many others!
    a.g.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for saying only God has the scissors. I suspect women suffer from the same malady, only in the form of soap operas and romance novels, etc. Also addictive and unrealistic. This can even happen with Christian romance stories–must be balanced.

    Like

    • I agree, though I think it is a bigger problem among men because of the way they are socialized and because of the way their brains are wired. Women seem to be more vulnerable to words – hence the novels – and men seem to be more vulnerable to images.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Julie. Just read this post – a little late in the day, I know! Just wanted to say I write a lot of posts on the affects of porn and ways to be clean – over on my googleplus page. Please direct your friend if you think it might help. It’s written for single Christians, who, like me, struggle with sexual temptation. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Another Brick in the Wallet | Light & life

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