Porn Week

So apparently this week is Pornography Awareness Week. I know this because I stumbled across an article last night by Dr. Marty Klein a sex therapist who believes we should use this week not to warn of the dangers of pornography but to actually celebrate it.

He offered 14 different ways you can observe the week. Here’s a few of his outlandish suggestions. My comments are in parenthesis.

1)  If you use porn, talk about it with your partner. (I actually agree. However, something tells me this conversation is not going to end with the two of you cuddling on the couch.)

2) Thank the clerk in your local convenience store for carrying porn magazines or DVDs. (Might as well buy them some flowers and chocolate while you’re at it.)

3)  Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining that most people who use porn have no problem with it. (Please, please, please do this. I can’t wait to see how you back this one up. Oh, and make sure you send a head shot and email address with the letter.)

4)  Invite your partner to share her/his concerns about porn with you. (Ummmmm, I’m pretty sure they won’t need your invitation. If you follow suggestion 1 I got a feeling you can skip this step)

5) Use some. Guilt-free. (Good luck. While the last thing we need is more people walking around under a cloud of guilt the reality is sexual intimacy was not designed to be exercised in this way and it will almost always lead to guilt, a lack of intimacy and a host of other issues in your life.)

Dr. Klein may want to pretend as if this isn’t a major issue but I have to disagree.  I’ve met with countless individuals and couples over the years whose lives and relationships have been severely impacted by pornography.

* 42 percent of surveyed adults indicated that their partner’s use of pornography made them feel insecure.
Marriage Related Research, Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D. Christian Counseling Today, 2004 Vol. 12 No. 1.

* 41 percent of surveyed adults admitted they felt less attractive due to their partner’s pornography use.
Marriage Related Research, Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D. Christian Counseling Today, 2004 Vol. 12 No. 1.

* 47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home.
Focus on the Family Poll, October 1, 2003.

I’m not here to try to pile on the guilt. Lord knows if you’re addicted to pornography you don’t need anymore guilt.

I just want to remind you of the truth which is porn is a powerful cycle of addiction that can and will destroy your ability to enjoy intimacy with your partner in the way God intended.

I want to remind you that you don’t have to continue to allow your mind and soul to be poisoned by this stuff. You can find freedom from the cycle of guilt and shame you’re caught in!

One of the wisest things I’ve ever done is installed Covenant Eyes on my computer and established a system for accountability in this area of my life and I want to encourage you to do the same. If you have computers in your home and or work which don’t have some kind of filter on them I think you’re just asking for trouble.

Your Thoughts?

51 Responses to “Porn Week”

  1. Shane S. says:

    I pulled-up Without Wax and see PORN WEEK! A little caught off guard. It is true that porn will hurt intimacy with your spouse or intimate relationship. This guy is crazy if he thinks anybody wants to be transparent on the subject. It has been my experience that guilt comes with any addiction. People know its wrong, but justify it because there not hurting anyone. However, it can be arrested. Covenant eyes sounds like a great solution, but the honesty has to come out first. The other side has to know about this, and that you are willing to change the behavior. Accountability starts when someone else knows your problem and is equip to handle it. The first step is the hardest. Admitting you have a problem.

  2. Pam says:

    This one issue has been the source of so much stress and unhappiness in my marriage. I get angry over the years and closeness that my husband and I have been robbed of. We have had endless conversations with me trying to help him understand why I feel the way I do. After lots of arguments he finally agreed to stop but he still doesn’t understand why. I believe this epidemic is destroying more people than we can begin to comprehend.

  3. Your thoughts were much better, and much more on target than his were. well done Pete. As one who struggles, Covenant Eyes has been a lifesaver.

  4. Bob Willits says:

    When my son went off to college a few years ago he asked me what was the best porn blocker he could use on his dorm PC. My answer was simple:

    A right relationship with God is the only real porn blocker.

    Any other means (covenant eyes, xxxchurch, accountablilty) can and will be defeated. I know because I circumvented them myself for a while. I’m good with a PC & will get around anything you put on there.

    A close walk with God will reduce this urge until it disappears.

    • Pete Wilson says:

      I agree Bob. One of the things I like about Covenant Eyes is it doesn’t block but simply reports for accountability purposes. Even those while a close walk with God can be tempted and that extra layer of accountability can often help.

  5. dan says:

    You nailed it man.

    People think that looking at porn isn’t that big of a deal. And, if they do end up feeling guilty, they pass it off as a victimless crime; which it very clearly is not. Let alone the ramifications it has on a person’s relationship with God, it takes a major toll on their relationships with others.

    To be completely honest, I used Dr. Kelin’s first suggestion while my wife & I were still engaged, & you’re right…there was no need for number 4.

    All kidding aside, it was the hardest split second decision I’ve ever made to share that with her, & it took a long time for healing to really take place. But, opening up that wound & really dealing with it, helped us to have a much healthier marriage now than we ever could have had if I’d not fessed up to everything.

    That was over four years ago & I’m still thankful everyday for the grace that my (now)wife extended to me.

  6. woody says:

    Pumpkins. Politics. and Porn. In one week. You are the renaissance blogger.

    Can’t say I haven’t seen it. Won’t say it wasn’t interesting. But married to one hot lady for 27 years is the best porn blocker I can think of. Right, honey? Sweetie? You out there?

  7. Jason says:

    Pornography contributed heavily to the destruction of my first marriage. I now see my sons four days a month because of it. Porn’s just not worth it.

  8. Jon says:

    It is such a feeling of relief to know that my wife can pick up any device i owe that connects to the internet and i have no reason to be worried of what she will find.

    I recommend Net Nanny for homes with kids as well as OpenDNS for everyone connected to the internet.

    So when is the week for Anti-Porn, the week we celebrate the men who do not pollute their minds with this junk? When do we celebrate the men who honour the women in their lives, who do not support an industry that abuses women, who do not view women as objects of gratification? I step off my soap box….

    • Andy says:

      Jon

      Love your post. Let’s have anti-porn week! I appreciate that you said “Celebrate the people who don’t pollute their minds”. So often people just want to bash the people who do fall to the struggle and not encourage people who are fighting through it.

    • April says:

      WOW! Powerful! The only spice a marriage needs is Jesus Christ!

  9. andrea says:

    I’ve personally struggled with this. I know how it can affect everything in your life and you don’t even realize it, until it’s too late. Praise the Lord for what He did in my life when I was trying to escape it!

  10. Christina says:

    Loved the wisecracks, Pete! So true! I’m blessed to be married to a man who honestly and truly does not struggle with porn, which I’m thankful for everyday. I can only imagine the pain I would feel if he did.

    Kinda random, but I know you got a chance to meet with my former pastor, Ryan Meeks, from Eastlake Church in the Seattle area. Eastlake is huge into discussing this issue, providing support for members of the congregation who struggle, and supporting Craig Gross and XXXChurch to help folks in the sex trade get out. So pleased to see you, too, are not afraid to share your, albeit comical, thoughts.

  11. jb says:

    Wonder if there is any type of porn blocker for smart phones.

    • Buddy Knight says:

      JB:

      There are a lot of problems filtering smart phones.

      For iOS phones (iPhones), the problem is that Apple designed out the ability for programs to pass each other data. This is a security feature, but it also means any filters have to be integrated into browsers. So, for iPhones you have to disable Safari and install a filtered browser. To get around this you only have to download another, unfiltered browser.

      ANDROID phones are in similar straits, although there are some technical differences.

      I would strongly recommend checking with your phone provider. My services, T-MOBILE, will filter phones for a monthly fee. This is done “off-phone”, which makes it harder to defeat.

      Wish the news on this was better.

      Buddy

    • PG says:

      If you’re really serious about protecting yourself from your smartphone, here’s what you probably need to do (for iPhones at least):
      -Turn on restrictions. Block safari. Block YouTube. Block any App that has access to the open internet (Facebook app, Twitter app, etc.) that you could use to circumvent not having Safari.
      -Turn off the app store so you are not able to add or purchase apps
      -Have your wife/best friend/dad/whoever put in a code

      This will indeed limit your smartphone capabilities. It’s annoying to ask your accountability partner to unlock your phone when you want to add an app. But let’s be honest, the thing is still a million times better than any cell phone that existed 5 years ago. And if you really want to remove the temptation, you gotta do it.

  12. Buddy Knight says:

    Pete,

    Great post!

    One problem for parents is that there are avenues for porn that PC-based software doesn’t fit. Porn is now available for devices such as the Wii, Playstation 3, iPod Touch, and more. All of these access the Internet (and the porn) without going through the PC. COVENANT EYES (and other programs) do a great job of filtering computers, but more is needed in our new world of distributed connectivity.

    In my SEX, KIDS, & THE INTERNET seminars I strongly recommend that every family use OPENDNS to filter their entire home NETWORK. It is free (for home use). It filters web surfing on ANY device that is accessing the web through your router. It can also block Peer-To-Peer and proxy use.

    Folks that are interested in learning more about OPENDNS can read my review of it: “OpenDNS Filtering: A Review For Home and Church” which can be found on my blog at:

    http://blog.knightsquest.org/?p=1233

    I would caution men to not rely on the “smoking hot wife” defense. Porn does not care about your wife’s attractiveness, and it will still attack and wound you. Super-model Christi Brinkley’s ex-husband, Peter Cook, was reported to have a $3,000 PER MONTH online porn habit. (In spite of all the FREE stuff that is out there!!!)

    Bob Willits was quite near the mark: A close personal relationship with Christ is ESSENTIAL in the battle against porn. For those already caught, you MUST return to the foot of the Cross.

    Parents also need to talk early and often about GOD’S SAFE ZONE for sex, so that children (as they get older) view any sexual activity outside of marriage to be UNSAFE and against God’s will.

    You might also find Garrick Conner’s post on WHITE RIBBON WEEK helpful.

    http://garrickdconner.com/2011/10/30/white-ribbon-week-oct-30-nov-6/

    Peace,
    Buddy

  13. Lindsey says:

    Porn is also a huge issue for singles- male and female alike…and certainly for those who are trying to remain sexually pure and celibate while marriage is coming at a later and later age.

    Engaging one’s sexuality in this way will surely have implications for a future relationship with one’s spouse but even more pressing in the present for those of us who aren’t even in a relationship and not seemingly close to marriage is the way it will affect your intimacy with God. Nothing is more isolating than the separation sin causes.

    I think these topics are SO important to talk about for both men and women, single and married. The only thing that can defeat the curse of sin and shame is exposure to the Light!

    • Buddy Knight says:

      Lindsey:

      You are so right. Some reports show that as much as 1/3 of the visits to “adult sites” are female. I have worked with multiple counselors and parents who were dealing with girls who were as young as 11-12 and heavily involved with online porn, including highly deviant and violent material.

      This is not a “boys will be boys” issue any more!

      THANK YOU!

  14. Salomon says:

    Ese es un buen mensaje conozco a personas que tienen esa ideología, soy de México Saludos!!!
    That´s a good message I know some people whit that ideology I´m from Mexico greetings!!!

  15. jason says:

    Your asking for it this week. :)

    That 47% figure is staggering and that was in 03.. Sad thing. Cant say that I haven’t seen a few my self. Never really developed a taste for them, thank God. Hopefully I never will.

  16. Alison says:

    I love the title of your posts – captures my interest every time. “White people and elephants” is still my favorite. And the “Do you agree with Pat Robertson?” title got me fired up until I read the post and realized just how clever you are. And “Porn Week” – I wasn’t sure where that one was going.

    Not only good titles but great reads and thought provoking about my life and relationship with God. Thank you!

  17. cshell says:

    So now that are computers are safe, what should we do about our TV’s…

  18. Felicity says:

    My husband found Covenant Eyes for his Android phone, too. Our home internet has intense filters but he realized his phone was wide open. He’s a good man.

  19. jatheist says:

    The idea that porn – all porn – is evil is simply wrong. This isn’t a black-and-white issue.

    Like alcohol, porn has the ability to ruin lives… but also like alcohol, porn can be enjoyed responsibly. Porn doesn’t ruin the lives of everyone who uses it (just like alcohol).

    I am not a big porn guy myself… but when my wife and I enjoy porn together (yes, “together”) it brings us closer and enhances our sex life (instead of ruining it).

    • David says:

      jatheist: If there is no God, then all things are permissible and actually no porn whatsoever is evil. But if there is a God, and if the Bible is his message to you about himself and his relationship to you, then it is a black & white issue.

      • Rodrigo says:

        David, there is no god. why even both debating it. you have no evidence so you’ve already lost.

      • jatheist says:

        David wrote: “If there is no God, then all things are permissible and actually no porn whatsoever is evil.”

        That’s a really sad way of looking at things… that without a “God” all things would be permissible. As an atheist I certainly don’t believe that – and I don’t know any atheists that do believe that.
        We have rules (laws) in place to keep society functioning normally and fairly. The lack of God doesn’t change the fact that as a society we understand the problems that allowing murder would inflict – murder isn’t wrong because God say so (even though He hypocritically does a whole lot of murdering in the bible), murder is wrong because it does great harm (both to individuals and society at large). Atheists understand this along with theists.

        Incidentally – where does the bible make any claims about porn? Is it really a “black-and-white” issue in the bible (as you claim)?

    • J says:

      Agreed. Nice to see a sex-positive comment on here.

  20. Rodrigo says:

    My thoughts? My thoughts are… the author is an idiot. Just saying.

  21. “I just want to remind you of the truth which is porn is a powerful cycle of addiction that can and will destroy your ability to enjoy intimacy with your partner in the way God intended.”

    I sure hope so.:) LOL. I

  22. Jenea says:

    I would like to add my voice to this discussion, and proclaim without shame my support for safe, sane, and consensual pornography.

    If anyone suffers from crippling guilt and shame about the use of pornography, it is because of people like you who tell them they should. Responsible, sex-positive adults know how to use pornography in moderation. For single adults, it provides an outlet for natural sexual urges. For couples, it provides spice and variety to a healthy intimate relationship.

    Yes, if you’re addicted to porn, you’re doing it wrong. But we could say the same about plenty of other behaviors: alcohol, sugar, exercise.

    People, don’t let the church create guilt in you and then sell you the cure. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

    • Pete Wilson says:

      Obviously I disagree with you but I appreciate you leaving your opinion.

      I’ve never had to induce guilt on someone using porn. I’ve never once sought that out or wished that on anyone. However I’ve talked to an endless number of people who seek me out on this issue.

      Hope you have a great weekend.

      • Jenea says:

        If it is your sincere desire not to induce guilt in adults consensually consuming porn, you should reconsider your Speech. Consider:

        “While the last thing we need is more people walking around under a cloud of guilt the reality is sexual intimacy was not designed to be exercised in this way and it will almost always lead to guilt, a lack of intimacy and a host of other issues in your life.”

        Someone looking to you for moral and spiritual guidance can only take away from this that porn is immoral and detrimental.

        Of *course* many people come to you with their concerns about porn. First the church tells them porn is terrible, and then when they find that they rather enjoy it, they feel shame. So they come to the church (that’s you) to get relief from the shame. But that does not mean that there is a sweeping problem in the population.

        For the record, I do not claim that porn is never a problem for anyone, ever. Similarly, alcohol addiction is a terrible thing. But just as it is wrong to claim that alcohol is immoral because some people can’t use it in moderation, same goes for porn.

  23. Lance says:

    I am momentarily speechless. I get up every Tuesday morning at 5:15 am to be at a men’s group to seek accountability and transparency. It takes a long time to be truthful to yourself about the damage porn has done. It takes many conversations just to find trust to say, hey I need help on this. Can you listen?

    • jatheist says:

      @Lance:

      That some people have trouble with porn (which is undoubtedly true) doesn’t mean all will. It doesn’t mean the problem is the porn – the problem is with the person having the trouble.

      The plural of anecdote is NOT data… anecdotes about the problems some people have had with porn is not data that porn itself is the problem.

      I’m sorry that you have had problems with porn – but just don’t go assuming that all of us will because it isn’t true.

  24. With Bright Knives He Releaseth My Soul says:

    All this talk about porn ruining relationships and accountability software is absurd. How about having some personal accountability instead of blaming all your ills on unseen demonic forces given free reign on the earth by your allegedly all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving deity?

    Does porn lie, cheat, or steal? Does porn kill? Does porn inflict vicious beatings on sixteen year-old girls? Of course it doesn’t — those are all things that people (supposedly made in the image of God) do.

    If your use of porn has come between you and the people you love then you owe it to yourself and them to reach out, get help, take responsibility, and fix it. Let go of the shame and guilt, and let go of the unrealistic expectations of the invisible man in the sky.

    • jatheist says:

      WithBright wrote: “If your use of porn has come between you and the people you love then you owe it to yourself and them to reach out, get help, take responsibility, and fix it.”

      Exactly… and they need to stop blaming the porn itself as many people are able to enjoy porn responsibly even if they can’t.

  25. Wow. Interesting dialog, and an indicator as to where our culture is headed. To my fellow humans who commented and don’t believe in God… first of all-welcome. God’s mercy and love extends to all. As someone who spent half of my life where you are I know that to be true. Here’s the thing though… someone commenting about God who does not believe in God, is like me commenting on how to fly an airplane without ever having been in a cockpit. One of the miracles about ‘knowing God personally’ is that He actually ‘adopts’ us into His family (in a very similar way a family might adopt a child). When that happens not only do we take on His name (Christian), but we also are ‘required’ (as we would be if adopted into a new human family) to live life according to that family’s rules. Psalm 38 paints a beautiful picture of a man who was adopted into God’s family, but then did some things that God’s tells those in His family not to do (the parallel here would be a Christian using porn). In Psalm 38 we see David is pained by his sin, just as Christians who are adopted into God’s family are pained when they use porn. If someone is not part of God’s adopted family, that does not apply and therefore you cannot relate. -Thanks for reading, that’s the end of my shower thoughts!

  26. Jason says:

    Hard to believe that guy was actually serious! Same kind of people think we should legalize drugs. Insane.

Leave a Reply