Dear Mrs. Evangelical, If Your Husband Has a Porn Habit It’s Your Fault

symptoms of porn addiction

Does this describe you? Then you are a porn addict!!

Just when I think Evangelicals have run out of ways to blame women for the weaknesses of men, I stumble across another “blame the woman” article. In an article titled What Women Don’t Understand About Men Who Struggle With Pornography, Jennifer LeClaire, senior editor at Charisma Magazine, interviewed social researcher Shaunti Feldhahn and Craig Gross, the founder of xxxchurch.com:

Charisma News: What do women not understand?

Feldhahn: In general, women are largely unaware of what men are confronted with every day in this culture. Because we are wired differently, we don’t realize that when a man sees a woman who is dressing to overtly draw attention to a good figure, it creates an instant sexual stimulation and temptation in his brain. Even if he doesn’t want that to happen!

And many men make rigorous choices every day to look away, and take those thoughts captive. They fight down the temptation to look, and to let their thoughts go in sexual directions. But other men have gotten pretty weary of the struggle and have made poor choices. And they feel shame that they are trapped, are hiding it and don’t know how to get free.

Charisma News: Why will a woman’s ability to understand help solve the problem of porn?

Feldhahn: In my research over the years I’ve seen that if a husband is struggling with just being visual in this culture, or is actually struggling with porn in some way it is almost impossible for him to get free of it if his wife doesn’t understand or if she doesn’t see why he would even have this temptation, and isn’t supportive of him as her husband. If she’s condemning and furious instead, it certainly may be an understandable reaction—but it definitely won’t incentivize him to open up. And a man needs to open up, to get help.

Gross: We tell women that everything from everyday visual temptation all the way to hard-core porn use will only become more of a problem when it is hidden. Men have to be willing to be vulnerable and open. We have to be willing to bring stuff into the light in order to work on it.

Some men do talk about it with other guys. But in this book, we share with women that the only way a man is going to be willing to talk about it with his wife, is if it’s safe. And it is only going to feel safe if she can talk about it with him, without freaking out. But right now many men assume their wives will freak out, so they stay silent. So they stay trapped. I’m not blaming women for this, mind you. The guy should be willing to open up to other guys. But all too often, his wife is the only person he shares his heart with. So in practice, this becomes the one area that he doesn’t talk about with anyone.

Feldhahn: I’ve heard many a man say he wouldn’t dare to talk about this with his wife … but only because “she wouldn’t understand.” I haven’t found a single man who has said he doesn’t want his wife to understand. Most men said if she could somehow understand, he would actually love to know that she was on his team. That he could talk to her. That this stuff didn’t have to be hidden anymore. Honestly, that is huge.

Gross: Think about the vast difference it would make if men didn’t need to fight this battle on their own, in the dark. If they could talk about it with their wives. Getting women up to speed on this and enlisting them as partners is critical…

Once again, it’s up to a woman, a man’s wife, to help a man find the “victory” over porn. Few within the Evangelical community bother to ask if porn addiction is even a thing. Like with any behavior, someone can become obsessed and it becomes some sort of addiction. However, most men are able to look at porn without any deleterious effect. Evangelical men are told viewing porn is a sin, a habit that can only be broken through the mighty power of Jesus. Perhaps, it’s religion that’s the problem. Instead of lading guilt and fear of judgement on the heads of men, how about telling them that it is healthy and normal to view adult pornography?  At the very least, couples should have a frank, open discussion about pornography and sexual expectations. If the person’s spouse is OK with them viewing porn, and yes women watch porn too, then they no longer have to slink off to the darkness of the closet with their iPad so they can watch the latest video on YouPorn.

Puritanical morality continues to drive the debate over pornography and behaviors traditionally labeled sexual sins. As a result, both men and women often feel guilt and fear when engaging in behaviors the Bible and Pastor Bubaloo call a sin. This leads to an unhealthy view of sex and marriage and often leads to mistrust in a marriage.

Notes

When I use the word porn, I am referring to adult pornography that is recorded by consenting adults. I am a libertarian when it comes to sexuality. What consenting adults do in private is of no concern of mine, nor should it be the concern of the government.

I consider marriage to be a contract between two people. Each party must agree to the sexual parameters of the marriage. For example, a wife might say, I have no problem with you watching porn, but don’t expect me to be a sexual gymnastics performer. A husband might say, if you want to watch Magic Mike down at Chippendale’s, that’s fine. Just don’t expect me to bust a move like Magic Mike.

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7 Comments

  1. Robert

    YouPorn …

    … it’s really a thing! Who knew? … I must be getting old 😀

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Personally, I find porn b-o-r-i-n-g. I much prefer a drama with an erotic twist than I do a porn video that looks like an exercise video without clothes. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Debra Smith

    Its interesting to note that the same people who say same-sex attractions are a choice and can be defeated by the power of God don’t use the same argument about their porn addictions. If its your problem its always different than when its someone else’s.

    Reply
    1. Geoff

      What an excellent point! I really hadn’t thought of that.

      Reply
  3. Brian

    The viewing of sexual imagery and narrative is part of modern life. Most of the quality televison that exists today includes ‘porn-like’ moments but narratively normally far outstrips any porn I have watched. That is because porn focusses on sex and narrative is in the way of getting at it.
    Among religious judge-folk, even the thought of sex is wrong and brings Satan into the room. So, there is no way to speak in any mature way to woo-woo believer judges of flesh. They have already given-over the discerning faculties in much the same way the porn star melts before a hard-on. Oh baby, you can pull my hair and rip my clothes and hit me if you promise to give me your sweet hardness! And one might even have some fun looking at the parallels in choosing to discard the human faculties in order to reach orgasmic release. Jesus take me! (In fact in porn, there is much narrative tomfoolery regarding the pairing of sex and religion, the nuns who can’t get enough priest, the guilty person seeking punishment specific to their genital crimes and so forth.
    I am afraid that the porn I have watched suffers from the very same excesses and religion does… some of it is blatantly woman-hating, the man having dominion over the woman and doing as he wishes regardless her reaction or needs. The point is (I’m generalizing) warped folks seek warped religion and warped sexual gratification. Might it be better to outlaw sex sites and churches, just to be safe….? Can we legislate moderation and balance?
    (I have not seen Magic Mike but I have seen porn penis fotos on porn where the penis is bigger that the woman looking at it… Jurassic World…. Photoshop fantasy edition…. )

    Reply
  4. Kenneth

    The thing I hated the most about being a Christian was the guilt of “sinning”, especially with very minute things. Once deconverted, I finally again felt the freedom I had been missing from before. I never felt any freedom as a believer (you know, the freedom they say you will feel as a believer?). Some have blamed my deconversion on always being wishy-washy with what I believe as being morally right (because I often find myself asking a lot of questions and seeking truth on my own, as I was taught) but as a believer there were no exceptions to God’s word.

    Although porn can be an addiction and bad in some situations, I never believed it ALL to be bad. The whole “you are either with us or against us” mentality that most evangelicals have I cannot stand, hence why I’m no longer a believer and never again will be.

    Reply
  5. Stephanie

    I find porn either boring or just there for shock value. I definitely have a lot of critiques of it and concerns but that is whole other discussion and I am of the mind that taping consensual sex is not wrong. Told the boyfriend he can watch porn and that actually takes away the whole “I feel betrayed!” thing. But neither one of us really care about it anyway aside from making commentary on it.

    Reply

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