What I am about to write about is very personal. In fact, I wouldn’t really write about it unless I felt as though I was doing a real service rather than the opposite. I am going to share my personal struggle with pornography. This is so important to me because I honestly do not want others to experience the hurt and pain I have gone through because of the grip porn held over my life. I hope this post will be informative and thought provoking.
My first view of porn was when I was about 13 (today, that is the average age a child sees pornography for the first time – I guess I fall in line with the stats). I am thankful I cannot remember the exact image or scenario I saw but I remember, for whatever reason, I was 13 and I saw a woman naked. I remember being so scared. Someone might see something or me. I had to hide it somewhere. Having a PhD of a mind, I most likely put it under my bed. I never thought my mom would clean under there anyway.
When I was 15 we got the Internet. Being a new deal to our family, we would ‘surf the web’ and write letters across the waves of electricity to family and friends. Having the latest AOL 2.0, we saw different countries and places we would probably never have enough money to go and see. I also saw something that I never thought I would see – a naked woman. They were everywhere. Just type in the word ‘boobs’ or something, and a site would pop up with some pictures. This was intense. I would make little folders on my computer marked ‘Tim’s private folder’ and would actually download pictures of these women into a folder for a later look late at night sometimes when everyone was asleep.
Before I go any further, I need to make a statement. I am a Christian. Some might be reading this and wondering how does a Christian ‘struggle’ with pornography? Today, even more, it is very easy for anyone (Christian or not) to come face-to-face with pornography. One does not even have to type in a word like ‘boobs’ to find pornography on their computer. You could type in most anything in order to see links to sites that provide ‘adult entertainment.’
For me, pornography led to masturbation. It was a way for me to ‘live out the experience’ of fantasy. I never thought there was anything wrong with it. Other guys told me I went to school with masturbation allowed us guys to ‘release our sexual issues as guys and be more relaxed around the ladies.’ Who does not want to be relaxed around the ladies? I came to realize though that they were wrong. In fact, I can safely say that it has done the exact opposite of what these guys had told me. I do not blame these guys for their information. It does not justify my actions of masturbation. As Kurt Vonnegut would almost always write after a serious outcome, “So it goes.”
As I have come to grow in my faith in Christ, I was confronted with the issues of pornography and masturbation. I finally came to a place where I realize that porn was destroying my ability to maintain or even begin a ‘normal’ relationship with the opposite sex. Ultimately, porn was destroying my relationship with God. I decided to do something about it. I went for counseling and began to talk to someone about my issue. Sometimes just getting the ‘dirty little secret’ out is all one needs to begin a journey of freedom from pornography. It was just what the doctor ordered for me.
With the continued growth of technology, there have been some new advanced tools to help those who struggle with pornography. My friend, Craig Gross started a Christian website called www.xxxchurch.com. It has created a new buzz on the web. On the site, there are forums to talk to other people about your issues and there is also a computer program that actually tracts your web history and sends an email to a friend that you trust to help you make positive decisions about your internet activity. For me and for others, this program has been a Godsend. Check out the site and download the program for yourself. Let us get the dirty secret out and journey our way to freedom from a very serious issue.
I will be honest and say that at times, I still struggle with masturbation. It is not easy to break. I do not put myself down though or allow guilt and shame to overcome me. I simply take a moment and ask God for forgiveness and ask Him to help me be more like Him. I also have an accountability partner that I can always talk to about anything. Get one of those accountability partners. They are totally awesome. If you cannot be real with your mom or dad, at least be real with someone. I do not know if I will ever arrive at the fullness of purity. I do not know if I will ever not have an urge to masturbate or view pornographic material on the web. I am getting there though. I am proud to say that pornography no longer has a grip on me. I have gotten a grip on it and will continue to fight in order to destroy it.
In closing, I heard that a guy wrote Craig Gross not that long ago. He is married to a beautiful woman. Because of the hold of pornography on his life, this dude struggled to have an erection while having sex. He was not in need of Viagra. He had masturbated so often that the only time that he could get an erection was when he closed his eyes and fantasized. He would ask his wife to do these strange things in order to ejaculate. In some of his final words, he wrote that he is going to fight this issue. His reason is because he would rather love his wife and have something that is real rather than fantasize about something that is fake. For me, and for many others who are x-porn addicts, we agree.