What I Wish I’d Known Before Watching Porn

The following story comes from our friend Lauren Dubinsky, founder of Good Women Project.

If you’re a woman who has even just dabbled in pornography, please take a moment and read her story.

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Pornography is a charged subject, and it’s a word that rarely crosses the lips of most women. Yes, there are now breeds of the modern woman who watch, talk and joke about it regularly, but most of us still stay further away from speaking the word than we actually stay away from it.

When I was in high school, pornography was on the long list of “bad things” that I didn’t know much about – and unfortunately also on the list of things I had participated in. Nevermind why I was watching it, the how is the same for all of us: we stumbled upon it because of someone else. And none of us knew what to expect, or how to handle it.

Later in life, I caught myself remembering how I used to watch it for a few minutes here or there, and wondered strictly out of boredom if it would fill the big, empty space of loneliness in my late nights. There were no parents around to hide from anymore, and no one checking my Internet history. Pornography was easy, and I never exactly knew why it was bad, particularly since I wasn’t actually having sex. To me, it was just something dirty that you probably shouldn’t have anything to do with. But “probably shouldn’t” never stands up against loneliness and boredom.

I am not one with an addictive personality. Meaning, I binge, and then drop things quickly. I knew this about myself, and so I used this as an excuse for watching pornography. I’d watch it every night for a couple weeks, then not at all for a few weeks. Always off and on. Clearly I wasn’t addicted. Just like I smoked, and never became addicted to nicotine, and drank, but never became an alcoholic. I was just watching it, and could stop anytime I wanted. No damage done, because I was still in control.

Wrong. Nicotine still seared my lungs, and alcohol still did some decent damage to my liver and personal life. Just because we aren’t addicted, doesn’t mean it does no harm. Even while I wasn’t “addicted” to watching pornography, I always wanted more. It existed as a guaranteed time-filler and pleasure-bringer, and when you get an hour to yourself – that’s an easy default. An easy default activity that establishes a heavy precedence in what you do with your next bad night.

I wish that 10 years ago someone had educated me on pornography. What it is, what it does, and what it reaches in and destroys in the hearts, minds and bodies of men and women.

I wish that someone would have told me that researchers have proven it sabotages your sex life.

I wish someone would have explained how dopamine, the chemical that is released every time you experience pleasure, drives you to return to what provided that feeling before.

I wish someone would have told me that the kind of pornography you’re most turned on by is usually linked to a corresponding hurtful event in your life, further injuring your brokenness.

I wish someone would have told me pornography would normalize things I wasn’t emotionally or physically ready to handle in my relationships with men, making me feel like I had no options or control over my sex life, filling me with much regret.

I wish someone would have told me I would begin to objectify men, build up images in my mind, and think of sex day in and day out, to the point where I couldn’t remain focused on anything else.

I wish someone would have told me it would make me feel less valuable to men, and bring up insecurities for years in the bedroom.

I wish someone would have pointed out pornography establishes your sexuality completely apart from real-life relationships, causing huge problems in your intimacy with real significant others.

I wish someone would have explained what “sexual anorexia” was and that countless young men are unable to get erections because they’ve been watching porn since they were around 14 years old.

I wish someone would have told all the men I’ve dated that the porn they are watching is keeping them from being turned on by me, ultimately destroying our relationship.

I wish someone would have told me that the dopamine and oxytocin being released from my watching certain types of pornography would cause me to question my sexual orientation, which in turn cost me relationships with friends.

My list of “I wish’s” is nowhere near complete, either. In the end, I simply wish someone would have told me why it was so harmful, instead of simply putting it on a list of things we don’t talk about. Had I known how much it would have harmed me, I would have left it alone.

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DGM loves to share stories and victories from women who have been affected by pornography. If you would like to submit your story, you may do so from our contact page, here. We will always ask permission before posting them.

Comments

  1. Linda very well written, yes I wish I had known all these things as well because now years down the road it so hard for me to stay sober. And why are not more people talking about it, especially the church. What you wrote needs to be written about more, I hope you can share this with others teens etc.
    Blessings Sarah

  2. Mark

    Yes, well written. I can’t help but to point out this recurring notion though that everybody has a “family” or “dates”. Point blank, I can’t get a date to save my life. I don’t think I’m that bad looking but whatever, it is what it is. I don’t have a sex life. I had sex 1 time this whole year, and the opponent tapped out before she was pinned. Now I’ve been doing a lot of surfing on “anti-porn” lately, and there are a few things that are repetitive. Loss of libido, on and on about the families, and abusiveness in the industry. Well, what the hell good is libido if you’re not going to be dating. It’s actually a very bad thing then, it’s a crutch. I don’t plan on having a family, so why the hell would I give a damn about satisfying a spouse. Now as far as the abuse goes, why not expose the scumbags and boycott them or get them shut down. Shelley Lubben is working on that. ALL I am saying is that I notice a lot of these sites are inspired by women, so it’s from their perspective. Now a gentleman such as myself would only have the options, because you might not know this, but women don’t stop their cars and ask men to hop in because they were standing outside looking fly. One of my options would be going to a “Gentlemen’s Club”, which costs a fortune, is not a private event by any means, and frankly some of the ladies may not want to be bothered with me. It’s a lot more personal. The other option is going gay, so women won’t have to be bothered by “pigs” like me at all. Which really isn’t an option for me, at all. So I turn to porn. I have tried for YEARS to just shutdown my attraction to the opposite sex altogether, with no avail. Now I go out of my way every fucking day to show women respect, not gawk at their bodies, open up the doors for them, give up seats, be polite, and do all the other faggotry that has gotten me absolutely nowhere over the years because I’ve been brainwashed to do so. All with NOTHING in return by the way. So I watch porn to view women who have a sexual appetite, and seem to enjoy sex with somebody, damn sure isn’t that way in the real world for me.

  3. Dianna

    I want to thank everyone who has put their stories on line here, and to the people who make this site possibe, I want to let you know that through God, the support friends and DGM. I am now just over a year clean from a four year addiction. I am so thankful to be where I am today, I am working on writing my story to post here to be an encouragement to others, just as your stories have been to me. I am getting my life back together now and cant wait to see what God has instore for me!

    1. Dianna,
      Thank you so much for your comment. We are eternally grateful that our ministry through God’s healing and help, have been of benefit to you. We look forward to hearing your story and posting it here to be of encouragement to others. Blessings to you!
      Crystal Renaud

  4. C2SEA

    I just found this ministry after experiencing a frustrating “relapse” (though I’ve yet to formally participate in a program like SCARS, I have been trying to rely on God to heal my pornography habits, however infrequent they may be). Anyway, this article stunned me by it’s clarity, honesty, and logic. I have hurt myself over the years by pretending that a single confession or a single prayer to God would wipe away all my temptation and sexual sin. It’s a constant battle to invite God into all corners of my mind, and I still must accept that I will “fall short of the Glory of God”. But I am so grateful for the encouragement I’ve found through this blog and the women contributing to it. Thank you.

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