Who Uses Porn, and Why?

January 15, 2014

in Uncategorized

I said on Monday that pornography and sex are not the same thing. Most men fail to understand this, to their detriment.

Sex should be an enjoyable part of a relationship. It involves not just the couple’s bodies, but also their emotions and thoughts. It is not an act or acts, but a melody that flows through their marriage.

Porn is disjointed images of sexual body parts.

Why would you do that? © Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

Why does porn grab men? Because it has been carefully designed to exploit how God made men’s minds. The sight of a sexual body part grabs a man’s mind and shuts out everything else. In a perfect world, where you were the only women he ever saw naked, this would be a good thing; in a world where there are millions of naked women on the internet, this is a huge problem. Porn is not usually a wide view thing, it is very close up. Not bodies, but body parts; not long scenes, but short bits of “action”. Again, this is designed to plug into his mind.

In addition to grabbing a man’s mind, these images make him feel good. They make him aroused (instantly); that feels good to him and makes him feel manly. Two common triggers for porn use are depression and loneliness because looking at porn will (temporarily) make those bad feelings go away. For men, porn is a mood lifter.

It is scary how fast a sexual image grabs a man’s eyes and mind. Even before he is consciously aware what he is seeing, his brain is being affected by it. This is why avoiding porn can be so difficult for a man; he is affected before he can look away. (I am not making an excuse here, just trying to help you understand his reality.)

While many men will argue this, porn use is very much like overeating, drinking too much, or burying yourself in video games or television; it is an attempt to self-medicate bad feelings. The man who turns to porn because of frustration with his sex life is not looking for sex as much as he is looking to numb his pain and frustration. If he is angry with his wife, the fact that she would dislike his porn use can be a bonus.

But most good Christian man don’t look at porn, right?

I wish it were so, but it is not.

Our current survey (feel free to take it) is showing results that line up with other surveys on the issue. Based on other surveys we have done I know our  audience is almost all Christian, and most are very serious about their faith.

Porn use in the last two months:

  • 39% No intentional viewing (this is 24% who saw nothing and 15% who have seen  glimpses unintentionally)
  • 10% Once, Intentionally
  • 33% Several times, intentionally
  • 12% More than once a week
  • 4% At least every other day
  • 4% Almost daily

Of the 61% intentionally looking at porn, 30% say their wife has no idea they are looking at porn. Only 13% say their wife know they look at porn, and knows how much they look at. Among wives, only 24% think their husband is currently looking at porn. Twenty-six percent are sure their husband does not, and 41% say he did in the past but no longer does. (We did not survey husbands and their wives, but again this discrepancy has been seen in other surveys.)

Only 8% of men say their wife is okay with their porn use, or would be okay with it if she knew. Forty-five percent say she is or would be very upset.

Of the 61% choosing to use porn, 16% say they are out of control, 23% say it is hurting their sex life, and 7% say it has reduced their desire for their wife. However, 24% say it is totally separate from their sex life with their wife, and 9% think it is helping their sex life. Twenty-three percent feel porn is hurting their marriage, and 47% say it is hurting their spiritual walk. Sixty-five percent of all men said it is always sin to look at porn. 

Bottom Line: Porn use is big problem for men in general, including those who are following Jesus. 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lori January 15, 2014 at 9:55 am

I like your comment ~

“While many men will argue this, porn use is very much like overeating, drinking too much, or burying yourself in video games or television; it is an attempt to self-medicate bad feelings.”

One of my favorite resources for understanding this is False Intimacy by Schaumburg (aff link http://amzn.to/ZBlFfu). He talks about legitimate needs (and I’m not just talking about sex here) and how we can so easily find hurtful or “illegitimate” ways of filling those needs. The work is to know your needs and find healthy ways of filling them.

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