pornography & your heart – a frank discussion, man to man

Please see the attached slides as a part of this discussion > ManSchool pornography 2

The most devastating effect of pornography is on your heart.  You are turning to pornography because of a need in your heart to be validated as a man, to be comforted, affirmed.  You feel less than a man – perhaps because of a childhood wound or a failed relationship/marriage or a lack of intimacy in your marriage – and porn tempts you as a suitable fix to this heart wound.  Please don’t get me wrong, the set-up for this is legitimate.  Those are totally legit wounds but what you do with that wound, that pain, that aching loneliness is crucial.  If you take this wound to pornography instead of to the LORD, you are offering up your heart to an idol and as we saw in the last post, this false god has some deep, unseen, destructive hooks that trap you if you take the bait.

Porn promises a virtual world filled with sex – more sex, better sex.  What it fails to mention, conveniently, is that the further a user goes into that fantasy world, the more likely their reality is to become just the opposite.  Porn often leads to less sex and less satisfying sex and for many users, porn eventually means no sex at all.  Porn will rewire your brain.  Not it “might” rewire your brain … no … it “will” rewire your brain.  It has chemical properties and addictive powers equal to or exceeding that of heroin or crack cocaine.  Researchers have discovered that after being exposed to soft core sexual material, both men and women were significantly less happy with their partner’s looks, willingness to try new sexual acts, and their sexual performance.  Even being exposed to porn – just once – can make people feel less in love with their significant other.

When you look at porn, the sexual roadmaps in your brain are being redrawn.  If you have a sexual experience that feels good, your brain is flooded with dopamine and it creates a map to get back there.  You know, it is the “I eat the cookie, cookie tastes good, I want another cookie” syndrome.  The more you use porn, the wider this pathway becomes.  But your brain isn’t designed for this much stimulation and so eventually, your brain’s self-defense mechanism (isn’t God just brilliant?) kicks in and starts to shut down the dopamine receptors and as a result, the porn doesn’t seem as stimulating or arousing.  If you will STOP right here, you can quickly reverse this.  But if you want “another hit” and go looking for the thrill, you’re going to have to delve deeper into more porn, more graphic porn and disturbing patterns of behavior to get the same rush.

Erectile dysfunction is common in men with a pornography addiction for the reasons stated above.  The deeper you go into porn and the more you choose to allow your brain to be re-wired, the less that normal human sexual relations will stimulate you.  There are men who cannot have sex with their wives unless they are looking at porn – while in the act.  They cannot get or keep an erection without a constant, IV-like drip of porn to stimulate themselves.  Imagine the psychological impact to the wife of a man this far in?  It is no wonder that the wives of porn addicts or sex addicts can clinically be diagnosed as having suffered with PTSD.

This problem is showing up in colleges all across America.  Young men at their peaks sexually, when testosterone levels are the highest they’ll ever be in their life, cannot perform sexually.  Go back to the last post and read the stats on porn use among college men and you’ll find out why erectile dysfunction is now rampant among 18-22 year olds.  They have completely rewired their brains and cannot function.  And then, think about how this addiction and overload of porn has altered their perception of women.  Many college age men are now reporting they are completely “unable to have day to day relationships” with women.  They have trained their brain that women are simply objects to have all their needs met – that this is all they are good for – and so when they try to form a relationship with a young women, it is impossible.  I remind you, these are the boys coming to date your daughters.

The good news is that the world is waking up to this.  Psychology Today and other trade/medical journals as well as the national media are rightly giving this crisis much needed attention.  There are multiple websites and forums for college aged boys (and girls) to address their addiction and meet support groups to help them abstain.  One helpful site with tons of material and facts is http://www.fightthenewdrug.org which includes stats, videos and a blog to address this head on.

The other good news is that you can re-re-wire your brain.  College age men are discovering if they starve their brain of porn for 6-8 weeks, they can see a return of normal sexual responsiveness.  The morning erections return and they can relate to women and start to have relationships.  It isn’t easy.  As Psychology Today says, “It is 100% fixable.  It will likely be one of the most difficult things you’ve ever done.  If you ever want a normal sex life again, you kinda don’t have a choice.” 

Remember, “What you feed grows, what you starve dies”.  If you keep feeding this addiction you have, if you keep rationalizing “I don’t do it all that much” and if you keep worshipping at the feet of this false god, it is only going to grow and eventually it will destroy everything in your life you hold so dear.  There is the SMACK between the eyes.  WAKE UP!!!  This false god, this idol promises you all these good things at the intro and then sucks you in deeper with the intent of destroying you.  Read that again – this idol sucks you in promising you all these good things and then sucks you in with the intent of destroying you.  This kills your heart.  It tells your heart that you are no good, you are worthless and unlovable.  It’s a lie!

Men, you can reclaim your good heart.  You can defeat the enemy through the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus and the power of the Cross.  If you will starve this addiction and take the needed steps to never go back again, your attraction to this idol will diminish.  Take your heart to Jesus.  Let Jesus speak into those childhood wounds.  Let Jesus Father you.  Let Jesus take the lack of sexual intimacy in your marriage and your desire for “more, more, more” and let Jesus guide you through that towards restoration of what a healthy married sex life can and should look like.  You are not going to be defined by how little you and your wife have sex.  If she has no desire and makes no effort to try to restore her desire, there isn’t much you can do about that except take that to Jesus.  That desire you have to be known and affirmed and validated is never meant to be taken to Eve.  It has always meant to be taken to the LORD.  Take it to Jesus and let Him Father and guide you.  Hear what He has to say to you in all this.

If you have a problem, confess it.  Today.  Right now.  In the name and the blood of Jesus and then, pick up the phone and call someone who can help you.  The first step is admitting you have a problem.  Bring it into the Light.  In the darkness, it is eating you up.  Bring it to the Light, tell a trusted friend, find a strong Christian counselor, go online and sign up for one of the many online accountability/restoration groups http://www.xxxchurch.com is one such source.  Do your part to find your help but the first step is saying “I have a problem”.  Take it to Jesus and let Him father you and get some help.  You’ll feel an enormous sense of relief as you step towards the Father for restoration.

With you in this battle…

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