It is available everywhere. It is legal. It takes seconds to become addicted. There are no outward symptoms after someone uses. It destroys relationships between men and women. It kills your relationship with God.
“Turn that off. It’s pornography,” Kathy says as I am watching a TV show.
“No it’s not,” I say to her. But I know, even as I am saying it, she is right. I know what is pornography. We all know.
I ask men if they watch porn. Almost all of them deny it. Yet here are a few stats about the porn industry.
It’s the biggest industry on the internet.
Bigger than all sports franchises in the US combined: The sex industry is $57 billion worldwide and $12+ billion in the United States. Adult entertainment model Jasmine Mai told the BBC: “The adult industry is bigger than every professional sport combined.”
Bigger than all top technology companies combined: The pornography industry is larger than the revenues of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix, and EarthLink.
Bigger than top television broadcasting channels combined: US porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC.
Pornography Time Statistics
- Every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography
- Every second 28,258 internet users are viewing pornography
- Every second 372 internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines
- Every 39 minutes a new pornographic video is being created in the United States
I have noticed something that I can’t seem to reconcile. If the topic of pornography comes up among men, they all say they never view it. But if they admit it, they say, “What’s the harm?” It is treated as simply another form of entertainment. Yet the viewing of pornography seems to be the big secret among men.
We don’t shy away from talking about the Falcons game we watched on Monday night. Or the newest Star Wars movie we saw. Or the video game we enjoy on a regular basis. Or the Netflix series we binge watched. But we never talk about the pornography we watched last night.
Years ago, I was advising a successful and driven entrepreneur in his mid-thirties. He brought up his struggle with pornography.
He said, “I almost lost my marriage over my porn watching. It upsets my wife when I do it. She feels like I’m cheating on her.”
“Do you think she is right?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I love my wife and don’t want to upset her, but it is so hard for me. It’s like I am drawn to it and have so much trouble staying away. So I keep this secret from her because I don’t want to upset her,” he said.
“So you still watch porn?” I asked.
“Yes. I try hard to cut back, but it’s like I’m addicted to it,” he confessed. “I even caught my son watching it. He’s ten!”
I told him my views on porn. “Being a recovering alcoholic, I understand addiction, and I understand the mind of an addict. That’s why I treat porn like alcohol. In AA they said, ‘One drink is too many, and a thousand isn’t enough.’ So I stay clear of a drink. I believe porn is also that dangerous for me. So I draw a hard line and say to myself, ‘You can’t go there.’ I know I’ll get sucked in and have another addiction to deal with. And, obviously, Kathy knows me well enough to jump in and shut the TV off.”
I told this entrepreneur about a friend of mine who lost his marriage to his porn addiction. I met Michael Leahy fifteen years ago. He was in his early forties and just starting a new ministry called Porn Nation and even wrote a book with that title. He helps men with their porn addiction. As a recovering porn addict, he has put together a program which has proven highly effective in helping men break their addiction, save their marriages, and restore healthy relationships with their children.
I asked him, “Do you want me to connect you with Michael?”
“No thanks,” he said. “I think I can handle this.”
I can’t tell you how many times I said that to myself about my alcohol addiction. I get it. I get him.
Five truths about porn…
1. Porn kills your relationship with God.
If porn is your dirty little secret, then it is the sin which keeps you from a healthy relationship with God. Our sin separates us from God. We don’t want to be in God’s presence if we know we are doing something which does not please him. We are doing something he has decreed as sin. It is a behavior which is not healthy for us. And pornography is adultery, which is sin.
2. Porn kills your relationship with your wife.
“She doesn’t like me watching porn because she feels like I’m cheating on her,” he said. Porn destroys marriages because it is adultery. Porn portrays women as objects whose only desire is for sex with no real relationship. Watch enough porn and this is how you start viewing your wife. Start viewing your wife through this lens and she will disappoint your new found expectation. This leads to more porn, which will lead to multiple partners.
3. Porn kills your relationship with all other women in your family, business, and community.
If every woman is a sex object, there are no healthy relationships. Women make up 50% of the workforce. We must respect each other to work together and build healthy relationships. We are seeing this breakdown in Hollywood, politics, and business. Is it possible all of this disrespectful behavior from men to women finds its root in pornography?
4. The temptation is everywhere.
Sex scenes in commercial film and TV are on-ramps for the porn industry. Kathy knows it. I know it and you know it. Pornography is like nothing else we watch. It is like these images are burned into our memories with 3D, photo-realistic clarity. They keep replaying. These images come with a message, a philosophy, a way to treat women. How to behave around them. How to satisfy them.
It is a lie. It is sin. It is adultery. It kills all relationships…starting with your relationship with God. The only way to break this behavior is through a program of spiritual renewal. Jesus is, once again, the only answer.
5. There are resources that can help. Use them!
Here is Michael Leahy’s website. Michael has been there. He can help you restore healthy relationships.