A discussion on Internet porn and how it affects our healthy Relationship Vol. 8, No. 5

Date: Tuesday, 21st July, 2020


Venue: Bed Briefing House (Telegram)


Moderator and Anchor: Collins Chinonso


Administrator : Rev Fr TECLUS Ugwueze


Porn King of Internet
Ways in which pornography erodes our humanity and hurts our bodies and minds.

The internet is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, it has revolutionized our world, allowing people to communicate, gain knowledge, save time, and entertain in ways our grandparents could only imagine in their wildest fantasies.
On the other hand, it has become a conduit for some of the most primal desires and emotions we have as humans. Technology has also led many—especially the millennial generation—to become absolutely dependent on it to fulfil these emotions.

Of all the desires that the internet fuels, the desire for synthetic sex is, seemingly, by far the most lucrative, sought after, and abused desire of all.

Let’s face it: right now pornography, unfortunately, is the king of the internet.

One of the most unfortunate by-products of internet pornography is its crippling effects on men and women. I spent 13 years of my young adult life addicted to pornography. While I didn’t watch it every day, I estimate that I spent over 20 hours a week on it. These days, as an addiction recovery professional, I spend triple that amount of time each week working with men who are hooked on porn.

Some are as young as 16, while others are in their sixties and still unable to ditch pornography for good.

Make no assumptions, this is not a small sub-section of men and women. There are literally thousands of people who struggle with quitting watching porn, once it takes over their lives.

More alarmingly, porn is actually changing consumers’ brains and bodies for the worse.

Our mothers and fathers never had to deal with high-speed internet and easy access to porn. Porn has never even been as hardcore as it is today. And today, most children are exposed to pornography by the age of 11, and many of them are hooked on it by the time they are 12 years old. And the long-term effects aren’t worth the short-term thrill.

Ways in which pornography erodes our humanity and hurts our bodies and minds.

  1. Porn encourages self-gratification
    Problem: Delayed gratification is a crucial skill to learn if one is to maintain control and direction in their life. Basically, the healthiest of individuals have mastered the art of discipline and delayed gratification.

Repeatedly giving into the urge to watch pornography leads to a lack of ability to delay gratification. Your brain becomes more and more focused on the things you find pleasurable and the discipline of delayed gratification falls to the wayside.

It is no coincidence that people who are hooked on porn might be radically underachieving in other areas of their lives.

Solution: Developing delayed gratification is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. There is a certain sense of superiority and confidence that comes with the realization that you have more control over your primal desires than the average person. Mastery of any worthwhile skill or habit leads to increased confidence. The ability to delay gratification is no different.

  1. Porn destroys our values
    Problem: Video is powerful. We live in a world where we need to see something to believe it and in our fast-paced, information-driven world, video is the preferred means of communication and information dissemination.

The thing is, video has the power to influence and even replace behaviors in your mind without you being consciously aware of what you are seeing. Scary, right?

As you watch videos, your subconscious mind is rapidly dissecting, translating and making sense of what it is being fed. The research has found that the subconscious mind translates and subsequently changes our behavior in one disturbing way:

Pornography programs us to lower our standards sexually. It encourages us to seek sex and, in some cases, build intimate and unhealthy relationships with people who are willing to have sex without any boundaries. As exciting as that sounds, having sex with anyone who is available can be a sign of someone without much discipline.

A truly mature person at some point in their life must have control over their sexuality. You should not be a slave to your sexual desire—instead, you should master and control it.

In addition to that, hundreds of hours of porn create certain expectations of what sex looks like. The average 16-year-old consuming pornography is literally getting his or her sex education from the videos he/she watches. And that’s not good, especially because porn sells a warped fantasy and exaggerated reality of what real sex is like.

Solution: You are what you eat. Eat processed, sugary, or junk food and you’ll feel bad physically and eventually look unhealthy. You can make a decision today to feed your mind only with material which makes you a more respectful, healthy person.

  1. Porn can cause erectile dysfunction
    Problem: This one is specifically for guys. Virility is important for almost every guy I know. The rise in porn-induced erectile dysfunction is something to be alarmed about. Frequently watching porn can lead to erections which can increasingly only be induced by hardcore pornography. That’s not healthy.

Porn consumption then becomes a sort of psychological conditioning which creates performance anxiety.

Solution: Need I say more? No man wants to kill their sexual health. Consuming porn, it turns out, can be one of the most sex-negative things a guy can do, while not watching porn can be really sex-positive.

  1. Porn encourages social isolation
    Problem: Watching porn, in most cases, demands isolation. Anything that consumers do in secrecy usually leads to shame. One of the first effects of frequently watching porn for men and women, especially those who are young, is social awkwardness in public, which ironically, leads to more shame and hiding.

Isolation and shame make it difficult for us as people to share true intimacy with others. And it makes it difficult to truly grow and mature as a person, and reach our full potential as people.

Solution: Many people are already afflicted by shame and the depression that porn can bring. If consumers find that their pornography habit has dulled their desire to be social, it can be difficult to jump-start a social life. Thankfully, the internet can help. Some social sites are a great way for the former “porn-hermit” to begin meeting people again. The long-term goal would be transitioning to building healthy romantic relationships and friendships.

  1. Porn doesn’t inspire goal setting
    Problem: In my practice, I have never met someone hooked on porn who excelled at goal setting. As I stated earlier, most people who abuse pornography usually also struggle in their finances, relationships, and careers. It’s no coincidence.

The aforementioned “self-gratification” is a habit that cannot coexist with achieving worthy, difficult goals.

People don’t “schedule” pornography consumption the way they schedule time to work on their business or complete projects. It’s usually, “I’m going to watch porn from now till… my body shuts down sexually or I get bored.” Part of this is biological.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (a chemical released by nerve cells to transmit signals to other nerve cells.) It’s a key player in the part of our brain responsible for reward-motivated behavior.

Sex, eating tasty food, getting approval (“likes” on social media) all trigger the release of dopamine.

The more often porn is watched, the more often our brains are flooded with dopamine. Consumers slowly become desensitized to its effects and need more stimulation to “feel the rush” or “get a fix.”

This means that their reward circuitry can fundamentally change.

This reward circuitry is crucial in achievements that are truly valuable in a person’s life, such as, contributing in a meaningful way to society, developing a highly sought-after skill, building a family, maintaining friendships, building a business, competing in sports or excelling in a career.

Porn can destroy the ability to set, achieve, and enjoy big goals. Any momentary pleasure isn’t worth that.

Solution: The simplest solution to this is to become a master of the “to-do” list and rewarding yourself. For those struggling with porn, every night, before bed, write out a list of everything you need to accomplish the next day in order of importance. The next day, proceed to knock everything out on the list. Whatever is left over goes on the list for the next day. The key is rewarding yourself for accomplishing tasks on your lists. Of course, the reward can’t be porn, but it should be something you enjoy doing leisurely. Use the activities that usually get in the way of your goals as rewards.

Effects of Porn on Mental and Emotional Health

How many times have you asked yourself: is pornography really harmful? Well, guess what? It is. Pornography is addictive, which in the long run rewires the brain, kills relationships, and can lead to abusive relationships against women and men.

With the advent of the internet, pornography became easier for anyone and everyone to access. Today, 68% of young men and 18% of young women view porn at least once a week, and those numbers are growing. A pornography epidemic is on the rise, not only because it is easier to access, but because of the lack of information people have had on the negative and harmful effects associated with porn obsession.

We do know that pornography and other addictions are used as self-medicating tools, which can lead to depression. More research is being conducted and more evidence is arising to show the damaging effects pornography and other sexual problematic behaviors have on our brain, body, relationships, and life.

As people delve further into pornography compulsion, here are three factors that come into play:

1 Pornography and Depression

It is hard to say what comes first, the pornography problem or depression. However, pornography and other addictions are used to make the consumer (temporarily) forget about feelings of sadness, fear, anger, or boredom. This habit can quickly lead to depression and is also something depression can lead to. It’s like a chicken and egg scenario: you’re not really sure which one comes first, but in this case, you sure don’t want to find out because it can very quickly affect your mental health.

Pornography, along with other addictions, floods the brain with dopamine and makes us feel good. Over time, as more dopamine is released, you will feel the effects of the dopamine less and less, which leads people to search for hardcore porn and other stronger substances to feel good.

For many, pornography is a substitute for the feeling of happiness. As you numb yourself with graphic sexual images and videos, you are missing out on building some real, amazing relationships with your spouse, friends, and community. In the end, no amount of pornography will take away your problems. In fact, it will just become one of them.

2.Mental Anxiety

Pornography addiction damages relationships and takes a toll on your overall mental, physical, and emotional health. Through pornography, many try to cover up how they are truly feeling about themselves, relationships, and other aspects in their life they aren’t happy with. In the end, not only have they missed out on finding/experiencing genuine love, but are left feeling even worse about themselves and their circumstances.

The guilt and shame associated with sexual addiction can be detrimental to your sense of self-worth, accomplishment, and the way you interact with others. If you have a low self-worth, a pornography struggle only fuels the fire and pulls you farther down the spiral of despising yourself more and continuing to participate in the destructive behaviors.

  1. Disconnection

Pornography compulsion or obsession has a huge negative impact on relationships. As humans, we are wired to have relationships and build connections with others. We need the social interaction and sense of community, not the fake intimacy that pornography provides. The more people become hooked to pornography, the more they start missing out on building those connections.

As consumers turn more towards pornography and sexual addiction, they may lose their desire for real sex altogether. Sex becomes not as exciting as the pornography and soon the viewer is dealing with serious sexual problems. Emotionally, porn consumers become more withdrawn from those they love. Their obsession pulls them away from their friends and family, making them miss out, and disconnect with those they love.

Overcoming the Addiction

If you are struggling with pornography and sexual addictions, there is hope. Find a close friend, support group, or therapist that you can talk to. By first admitting you have a problem, you can move forward with your healing. No one should have to miss out on life because of their compulsions.

In the end, we all need to keep spreading the word that pornography is harmful. No longer can we afford to turn a blind eye as more people, men and women, are pulled into the seductive charms of pornography. There is nothing romantic about pornography. Instead, it promotes an unrealistic view of true intimacy and healthy relationships.

Mental Effects of Porn

Learning about porn’s effect on the brain has been the single most important factor helping people overcome the wide range of negative mental and physical effects from overuse of porn. These effects range from brain fog and social anxiety through to depression and flashbacks. Even three hours of porn use a week can cause a noticeable reduction in grey matter in key areas of the brain. When brain connections are involved, that means it impacts behaviour and mood. Continual bingeing on hardcore internet porn can cause some users to develop compulsive use, even addiction, that interferes significantly with everyday life and life goals. Users often talk about feeling ‘numb’ towards everyday pleasures. See this 5 minute video where a neurosurgeon explains the brain changes. Here is a link to the main research and studies on poorer mental and emotional health, and poorer cognitive (thinking) outcomes. These outcomes affect a user’s ability to achieve well at school, college or work.

The list below sets out the main effects observed by healthcare professionals and by recovering users on the recovery websites like NoFap and RebootNation. Many symptoms are not noticed until a user quits for a few weeks.

Overview of Porn Risks
A pornography habit has the potential to cause the following problems:

  • Social Isolation
  • withdrawing from social activity
  • developing a secret life
  • lying to and deceiving others
  • becoming self-centred
  • choosing porn over people
  • Mood Disorders
  • feeling irritable
  • feeling angry and depressed
  • experiencing mood swings
  • pervasive anxiety and fearfulness
  • feeling powerless in relation to porn
  • Sexually objectifying other people
  • treating people as sex objects
  • judging people primarily in terms of their body parts
  • experiencing mood swings
  • disrespecting other people’s needs for privacy and safety
  • being insensitive about sexually harmful behaviour
  • Engaging in risky and dangerous behaviour
  • accessing porn at work or school
  • accessing child abuse imagery
  • participating in degrading, abusive, violent, or criminal sexual activity
  • producing, distributing or selling porn
  • engaging in physically unsafe and harmful sex
  • Unhappy intimate partner
  • relationship is marred by dishonesty and deception about porn use
  • partner views porn as infidelity i.e. “cheating”
  • partner is increasingly upset and angry
  • relationship deteriorates due to lack of trust and respect
  • partner is concerned about the welfare of the children
  • partner feels sexually inadequate and threatened by the porn
  • loss of emotional closeness and mutual sexual enjoyment
  • Sexual Problems
  • loss of interest in sex with a real partner
  • difficulty becoming aroused and/or achieving orgasm without porn
  • intrusive thoughts, fantasies, and images of porn during sex
  • becoming sexually demanding and or rough in sex
  • having difficulty connecting love and caring with sex
  • feeling sexually out of control and compulsive
  • increased interest in risky, degrading, abusive, and/or illegal sex
  • growing dissatisfaction with sex
  • sexual dysfunctions – inability to orgasm, delated ejaculation, erectile dysfunction
  • Self-loathing
  • feeling disconnected from person values, beliefs and goals
  • loss of personal integrity
  • damaged self-esteem
  • persistent feelings of guilt and shame
  • feeling controlled by porn
  • Neglecting important areas of  life
  • personal health (sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and poor self-care)
  • family life (neglecting partner, children, pets and household responsibilities)
  • work and school pursuits (reduced focus, productivity, and advancement)
  • finances (spending on porn depletes resources)
  • spirituality (alienation from faith and spiritual practice)
  • Addiction to Porn
  • craving porn intensely and persistently
  • difficulty controlling thoughts, or exposure to, and use of porn
  • inability to discontinue porn use despite negative consequences
  • repeated failures to stop using porn
  • requiring more extreme content or intense exposures to porn to get same effect (habituation symptoms)
  • experiencing discomfort and irritability when deprived of porn (withdrawal symptoms)

The above list is adapted from the book “The Porn Trap” by Wendy Malz. See below for supporting research.

Addiction
The most basic effect of watching too much internet porn or even gaming is how it affects sleep. People end up ‘wired and tired’ and unable to concentrate on work next day. Constant bingeing and seeking that dopamine reward hit, can lead to a deep habit that is hard to kick. It can also cause ‘pathological’ learning in the form of addiction. That is when a user continues to seek a substance or activity despite negative consequences -such as problems at work, home, in relationships etc. A compulsive user experiences negative feelings such as depression or feeling flat when he or she miss the hit or excitement. This drives them back to it again and again to try and restore feelings of arousal. Addiction can start when trying to cope with stress but also causes a user to feel stressed too. It is a vicious cycle.

When our internal biology is out of balance, our rational brain tries to interpret what is going on based on past experience. Low dopamine and depletion of other related neurochemicals can produce unpleasant feelings. They include boredom, hunger, stress, tiredness, low energy, anger, craving, depression, loneliness and anxiety. How we ‘interpret’ our feelings and the possible cause of the distress, affects our behaviour. Not until people quit porn do they realise that their habit has been the cause of so much negativity in their lives.

Self medication
We often seek to self-medicate negative feelings with more of our favourite substance or behaviour. We do this without realising that it was perhaps overindulgence in that behaviour or substance that triggered the low feelings in the first place. The hangover effect is a neurochemical rebound. In Scotland, alcohol drinkers suffering from a hangover next day often use a famous expression. They talk of taking “the hair of the dog that bit you”. That means they have another drink. Unfortunately for some people, this can lead to a vicious cycle of bingeing, depression, bingeing, depression and so on.

Too much porn…
The effect of watching too much, highly stimulating porn can lead to a hangover and depressive symptoms too. It may be hard to see how consuming porn and consuming drugs can have the same general effect on the brain, but it does. The brain responds to stimulation, chemical or otherwise. The effects don’t stop at a hangover however. Constant overexposure to this material can produce brain changes with effects that may include the following:

Romantic Partners
Research shows that consuming pornography correlates with a lack of commitment to one’s romantic partner. Getting used to the constant novelty and increasing levels of arousal provided by porn and the thought that there may be someone ever ‘hotter’  in the next video, means that their brain is no longer aroused by real life partners. It can stop people wanting to invest in developing a real life relationship. This spells misery for almost everyone: men because they are not benefitting from the warmth and interaction a real life relationship brings; and women, because no amount of cosmetic enhancement can keep a man interested whose brain has been conditioned to need constant novelty and unnatural levels of stimulation. It is a no-win situation.

Therapists too are seeing a big increase in people seeking help for an addiction to dating apps. The fake promise of always something better with the next click or swipe, stops people focusing on getting to know just one person.

Social Functioning
In a study of university-age males, difficulties with social functioning increased as pornography consumption rose. This applied to psychosocial problems such as depression, anxiety, stress and reduced social functioning.

• A study of educated Korean men in their 20s found a preference for using pornography to achieve and maintain sexual excitement. They found it more interesting than having sex with a partner.

Academic Achievement
Consumption of pornography was experimentally shown to decrease an individual’s ability to delay gratification for more valuable future rewards. In other words, watching porn makes you less logical and less able to take decisions that are clearly in your own interest such as doing homework and studying first instead of just entertaining yourself. Putting the reward before the effort.

• In a study of 14 year old boys, higher levels of internet pornography consumption led to a risk of decreased academic performance, with the effects visible six-months later.

The more porn a man watches…
The more pornography a man watches, the more likely he was to use it during sex. It can give him the desire to act out porn scripts with his partner, deliberately conjure images of pornography during sex to maintain arousal. This also leads to concerns over his own sexual performance and body image. Further, higher pornography use was negatively associated with enjoying sexually intimate behaviours with a partner.

Low Sexual Desire
In one study, students at the end of high school reported a strong link between high levels of pornography consumption and low sexual desire. A quarter of regular consumers in this group reported an abnormal sexual response.

• The 2008 Study of Sexuality in France found that 20% of men 18-24 “no interest in sex or sexual activity”. This is very much at odds with the French national stereotype.

• In Japan in 2010: an official government survey found that 36% males aged 16-19 “have no interest in sex or have an aversion to it”. They prefer virtual dolls or anime.

Morphing sexual tastes…
In some people, there can be unexpected morphing sexual tastes which reverse when they stop using porn. Here the issue is straight people watching gay porn, gays watching straight porn and lots of variations. Some people also develop fetishes and interests in sexual things away from their natural sexual orientation. It doesn’t matter what our orientation or sexual identity is, chronic overuse of internet pornography can cause serious changes to the brain. It changes both brain structure and functioning. As everyone is unique, it is not easy to say how much porn is enough for just pleasure before starting to cause changes. Changing sexual tastes is an indication, however, of brain changes. Everyone’s brain will react differently.

How porn Lowers our Standards Sexually

Sex is healthy, comparing it to porn is not.
Sex can be an awesome part of a loving relationship. Physically connecting with someone you love can be one of the most freeing experiences, especially when there’s no self-consciousness and you can be together with just you and your partner, exactly as you both are.

But when it comes to porn, it can turn this intimate connection into a rehearsed performance that’s less about the emotional bonding that happens when people have sex. Less emotional connection, little to no commitment, less kissing and cuddling, just mainly performing and self-focusing. Porn fails to emphasize the most real parts in relationships. It doesn’t depict real people with real bodies with real (and beautiful) flaws. In fact, it tries to sell the complete opposite—a photoshop fantasy that reality should never have to compete with. So it only makes sense that those who are exposed to porn have their perceptions of sex twisted and warped. Soon, real people don’t measure up, and partners are considered less exciting when compared to an exaggerated production on a computer screen.

You can imagine how hurtful it would be if you were the person who is suddenly viewed as less desirable when compared to the porn that your significant other has been watching. Ouch.

Not only can porn affect how viewers see others, but it can also affect how they view themselves. Porn users may find that not only do they see their partners in a less than “satisfying” way, but they start to think that they themselves are less attractive as well. They may be more critical of their sexual organs, or of their personal appearance.

Double ouch.
Nobody, guy or girl, likes being unfairly compared to someone (or something) else. And when that something else is porn, it becomes even more damaging. In fact, research shows that the increase of pornography in society is a cause for an increasing number of women seeking plastic surgery to change their bodies.

Research has also shown that women exposed to porn or who are partners of those who struggle with compulsive porn use are more likely to engage in sexual acts that make them feel uncomfortable. They are also more likely to worry about how they look instead of enjoying being intimate with their significant other. To top things off, porn adds pressure on women to comply with and be okay with pretty much anything their partner wants, which includes sexual violence and degrading behavior that is so prevalently found in porn.

Guys can get insecure, too.

This is not just a single gender issue, it’s an everyone issue. Let’s talk about how porn affects men’s self-image as well. For men who think that viewing porn could somehow make them feel more manly, sexy, or cool, think again.

In a similar more recent study, a group of college men who viewed porn rated how they viewed themselves in terms of body satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and overall emotional well-being. After analyzing the data, it turns out that guys who view porn are much more likely to have anxiety in relationships and withdraw from them more than guys who aren’t viewing porn. Their sense of emotional security was lower overall than guys who do not view pornography. Not very sexy, is it?

It only makes sense that, like women, guys are also more insecure about themselves after viewing porn due to the inaccurate portrayal of bodies and sexuality. Research also shows that guys who view porn report feeling more inadequate about their sexual performance.

Also, negative body image among boys/men isn’t the only thing fueled by the idealized male bodies they see in the media, but also by the idealized images of women. This study found that men were more self-conscious about their own bodies after viewing magazines featuring photos of sexualized, scantily clad women.

Choose love, not porn.
Is it really anybody’s goal to make themselves or their partner feel inadequate, insecure, and unattractive? Of course not. Porn promotes all of these ideas and perceptions. Instead, choose real love that builds you up and truly appreciates you for exactly who you are.

Ways you can help your Porn-Obsessed Brain Recover

3 Ways You Can Help Your Porn-Obsessed Brain Recover

“I’ve been down for so many years and I can’t seem to pick myself up.”

“It always feels like there’s something wrong with me.”

This is a sad statement that most everyone can identify with at different times in their life, but most especially relevant for those who are struggling with addiction to anything—whether it be food, gambling, drugs, or porn. When dealing with pornography, it may seem like there is no going back after the countless hours of putting explicit images into their brain, over and over.

We know pornography affects mental and emotional health. But while porn addiction, compulsion, or obsession does harm the brain, there is good news: it is not permanent.

Think of the porn-obsessed brain just like any other part of the human body—with time, it heals. Sometimes it just needs a little help. Imagine if you had a broken arm or leg. While it is a nasty injury, it can heal completely back to normal—all you’d need is time, patience, and of course a good doctor to give you a cast.

Our understanding of how the brain works and the treatment of mental health is expanding by the day. In the past, things like addiction or depression or anxiety have always been seen as personal weakness. The misinformed idea of, “if you just try harder, you can grit your teeth and get over it.” Yeah, right.

In today’s society, we know that’s not how it works. Does that “white-knuckle” philosophy work with someone who just broke their leg and are told to keep on running? Of course not. We are learning that mental obstacles, like compulsion, are just the same.

To take some pressure off yourself, take comfort in the fact that your brain can heal from the damage done by porn, it just needs a little help to get there. Think of it like giving your body the time for bones to mend and scars to fade. Here are three tips to help this healing take place as smoothly as possible.

  1. Grab Some Crutches
    You can’t carry all of your weight on a sprained ankle, so you need something to keep you standing.

Think of the old song, we all need somebody to lean on. Find some people that you can rely on and accept their support. Friends, family, or trusted adults will be instrumental in your recovery. Just the simple act of telling someone about your struggle and shining light on your isolating habit will give you instant strength. It may be difficult, but it works. Don’t be scared of what they’ll say, odds are they’ll surprise you with their instant support.

Accountability partners play the exact same role as a sturdy set of crutches—they are there for you when you fall and will always help you get back up. Use these support systems when you’re feeling hurt and you’ll be back up and running in no time.

  1. Take Your Medicine
    Porn may have spent a long time going to work on your mind, and it’s going to take some work to reverse the process. An addict’s lifestyle is often built around supporting their habit, everything seems to revolve around getting their next fix, even if they don’t consciously realize it. You need to drastically reformulate how you live your life so it supports your recovery, not your addiction. This is called self-care. It is basically having a concrete plan and a daily routine that keeps you on track. Keep to the schedule and you’ll be on the path to full health. Deviate from it and you’ll be back in a mental wheelchair in no time.

Try some of these helpful meds:

– Get good sleep and wake up at a respectable time.
– Read a motivational quote to start your day.
– Try to eat healthier.
– Be active—run, bike, swim, walk, anything to replace negative behaviors with good ones.
– Stay social. The more friendships, the more support.
– Identify and avoid triggers.
– Lower social media usage and other unnecessary screen time. Porn struggles thrive on idle use of electronics.

All these forms of healthy self-medicating promote positive growth in your life. We’ve met people so dedicated to their recovery from porn that they often sit down and schedule every minute of their day until they begin to build truly positive habits.

  1. Strengthen Your Immune System
    In this digital age, we will never fully be able to get out of pornography’s reach, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to put up the biggest barrier possible. Work with the people closest to you to establish internet protection and lower access on all your devices. Remain accountable to them and stay honest. Admitting you have a problem is a big first step. Know your weaknesses and work on strengthening them. Know where your trouble areas are and avoid/eliminate them all together.

Put yourself in an environment where you have the space to heal and people who want to see you back on your feet. The steps toward recovery aren’t always easy, but they are totally worth it. Sooner or later, you’ll get back to feeling 100%. Guaranteed.

How Internet Porn affects our relationships
One of the biggest problems with porn is that it does not actually fulfill the true (and ultimate) desire to love and be loved. In leaving these desires unfilled, the search continues for satisfaction outside of the true and good that is promised through real love and intimate connections. As porn consumption increases, so does the need for material that is continuously more arousing and stimulating. This ever-increasing need can lead to a variety of long term issues involving sexual impotence, inability to be aroused, and general discontent with one’s own sexual encounters.

This ever-increasing need can lead to a variety of long term issues involving sexual impotence, inability to be aroused, and general discontent with one’s own sexual encounters.
Most importantly, this increasing need is concerned only with pleasure, rather than the dignity of another person. While pushing boundaries in the bedroom can often be fun and playful ways for spouses to connect more deeply with one another, an inherent need to do so at all times is a sign of much more profound psychological struggle.

Degradation of Another

The main issue with increasingly extreme desires points back to a person’s larger understanding of sex and intimate relationships. When the desires become mostly or entirely oriented towards extreme means of pleasure, the value and dignity of both people in a relationship are compromised. Sex devoid of real intimacy, as is often portrayed through pornographic images and videos, is concerned only with pleasure, and generally only with the pleasure of a single person.

If we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that our true desires are for far more than just fleeting pleasure, but lasting security and intimacy with one who truly understands us and is willing to put our needs above their own. The focus of porn is to satisfy desires for shallow pleasure, and as such leaves feelings of emptiness, shame, and isolation. This is the antithesis of the love and acceptance that healthy relationships offer.

Embrace the Discomfort To Avoid the Pain

So how do you proceed in a relationship in which one, or both of you, struggle with the downward spiral that is pornography? Specific steps will depend on your level of interaction with pornographic material, but a simple conversation is a necessary starting point. While it is undoubtedly an uncomfortable conversation for both of you, the pain you can prevent will far outweigh the immediate discomfort you may experience. It is essential to be honest with one another about your porn use and how you view it in light of your relationship.

Conflicting ideas about pornography will only become more extreme with time, creating emotional and psychological chasms between you and your partner.
If your partner is honest about their porn use but doesn’t see an issue with it, this is going to be a difficult hurdle for you to overcome. While it is certainly possible to kick the habit of porn, doing so requires a great deal of conscious effort and willingness to change. If your ideas regarding the use and validity of porn are different than that of your partner, it may be time to seriously consider the future of your relationship. Conflicting ideas about pornography use are not going to fix themselves, and these differences of opinion will only become more extreme with time, creating emotional and psychological chasms between you and your partner.

The Bigger Pornographic Picture

This only touches briefly on the issues and studies surrounding porn, and the statistics and evidence regarding the long-term effects are truly staggering. The ever-widening black hole of data regarding porn use is genuinely shocking and eye-opening as to the amount of porn currently consumed by so many men and women. We must confront the nature of porn and how it literally trains us to use others in an attempt to satisfy ourselves, while still leaving deep feelings of loneliness and discontent. Tackling this issue head-on in your relationship will deepen your understanding of yourself, the needs of your partner, and most importantly the true and good desires for real love, intimacy, and understanding.

Pornography creates unrealistic expectations about your spouse and sexual behavior.
Pornography has been shown to weaken commitment in marriages because it creates an utterly false impression of what a normal body looks like and what sexual behavior is really about. The sexual relationship is meant to be mutually satisfying expression of each partner’s love for the other. In contrast, porn is about self-gratification and often involves dominating or mistreating the other person.

Conclusions
Let me speak to your heart for a moment..

I’m not here to condemn you, or to judge where you have been. I understand just how easy it is to get caught in the web of pornography.
Temptation is everywhere. It’s an issue that we are all faced with. Daily we are enticed by what we see on television, in the movies, or on the internet.

It may seem like a little thing to look at that which is pleasing to the eye. The trouble is, looking turns into lusting, and lusting is a desire that is never satisfied.

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”  ~ James 1:14-15

Often this is what draws a soul into the web of pornography.

The Scriptures deal with this common issue…
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” ~ Matthew 5:28-29

Satan knows our temptations. He uses beautiful images and seductive thoughts to entice us into his web. We become intrigued. Our interest leads us into a seemingly harmless path, until it becomes a stronghold in our life.

Satan sees our struggle. He laughs at us deliriously! “Art thou also become as weak as we?  God can’t reach you now, your soul is beyond His reach.”

Many die in its entanglement, others question their faith in God. “Have I wandered too far from His grace? Will His hand reach down to me now?”

Our weakest moments are when we’re lonely, we’re enticed by our own lustful thoughts. We flirt with temptation when we should flee. “What harm will it do?” we say to ourselves convincingly.

Its moments of pleasure are dimly lit, as loneliness sets in having been deceived. No matter how far into the pit you have fallen, God’s grace is greater still. The fallen sinner He longs to save, He’ll reach down His hand to hold yours.

The Scripture says,  “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  ~ Romans 3:23
Soul, that includes you and me.

Only when we realize the awfulness of our sin against God  and feel its deep sorrow in our hearts  can we turn from the sin we once loved and accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” ~ Romans 10:9

Don’t fall asleep without Jesus until you are assured of a place in heaven.

Tonight, if you would like to receive the gift of eternal life, first you must believe in the Lord. You have to ask for your sins to be forgiven and put your trust in the Lord. To be a believer in the Lord, ask for eternal life. There’s only one way to heaven, and that’s through the Lord Jesus. That’s God’s wonderful plan of salvation.

You can begin a personal relationship with Him by praying from your heart a prayer such as the following:

Oh God, I’m a sinner. I’ve been a sinner all of my life. Forgive me, Lord. I receive Jesus as my Savior. I trust Him as my Lord. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you have never received the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior, but have received Him today after reading this invitation, please let us know. We would love to hear from you. Your first name is sufficient, or place an “x” in the space to remain anonymous.

Today, I made peace with God…
Thank you all for being part of it

Yours sincerely, Collins Ezea

My Regards to our Administrator, Rev. Fr. Teclus Ikechukwu UGWUEZE, Nsukka Diocese @ St. Peter’s Chaplaincy UNN

2 thoughts on “A discussion on Internet porn and how it affects our healthy Relationship Vol. 8, No. 5

  1. The problem of addiction to porn is a serious one, both socially and spiritually. It is very intense among people of all ages, but young people are particularly victms.
    The analysis of the problem and the suggested solutions given in this exposure are quite apt. The suggested solutions deserve to be tried out by victims who are desirous of escaping porn addiction. I would like to add the following as additional ways out of the porn problem:
    -Avoid idleness by keeping busy with various activities such as playing different types of games.
    – Put a lot more time into your school work, and aim at making a distinction.
    – Avoid loneliness by keeping human friends, staying with people and chatting and joking most of the time.
    – Form good reading habits by reading novels, newspapers, magazines, science and technology fictions, local history books etc.
    – Participate in youth activities such as camping, excursions, short training programs etc.
    – Engage in book writing project to occupy your mind and time in afruitful way.
    – Avoid watching films bcos they would predispose you to going back to porns.
    – Be close to your God. Go to confession, give yourself a few hours daily with the Blessed Sacrament, asking Jesus for spiritual healing. You will get results.

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