In the battle against pornography, it’s important that we not only feed our souls, but our minds. The fourth step I want to suggest is that educating yourself on the destructive nature of pornography will help convince you to break free from it. If you missed the other articles in my series, you can read them beginning here. Here’s what the Catechism has to say about it:
Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.
Before I suggest some resources that will help you unpack why pornography is so harmful and destructive, let me pose three questions to see how much, or how little, you know.
Are you aware that pornography can be as addictive?
While no one would argue that a video clip, magazine or digital image is a drug, the fact is that the use of pornography does elicit powerful neurotransmitters (or brain drugs) such as dopamine—the primary neurotransmitter involved in the reward pathways in the brain. According to Neurosurgeon Dr. Donald L. Hilton, “When the pathways are used compulsively, a downgrading occurs that actually decreases the amount of dopamine in the pleasure areas available for use, and the dopamine cells themselves start to atrophy, or shrink. The reward cells in the nucleus accumbens are now starved for dopamine and exist in a state of dopamine craving, as a downgrading of dopamine receptors on the pleasure cells occurs as well. This resetting of the ‘pleasure thermostat’ produces a ‘new normal.’ In this addictive state, the person must act out in addiction to boost the dopamine to levels sufficient just to feel normal.”
Are you aware that pornography use can lead to impotency?
According to an article published in Psychology Today, “Lots of guys, 20s or so, can't get it up anymore with a real girl, and they all relate having a serious porn/masturbation habit. Guys will never openly discuss this with friends or co-workers, for fear of getting laughed out of town. But when someone tells their story on a health forum, and there are 50-100 replies from other guys who struggle with the same thing. This is for real.
Are you aware that many porn stars hate making porn?
One former porn star I know put it this way, “Sex-packed porn films featuring freshly dyed blondes whose evocative eyes say ‘I want you’ is quite possibly one of the greatest deceptions of all time. Trust me, I know. I did it all the time, and I did it for the lust of power and the love of money. I never liked sex. I never wanted sex, and in fact I was more apt to spend time with Jack Daniels than some of the studs I was paid to fake it with. That's right – none of us freshly dyed blondes like doing porn. In fact, we hate it. We hate being touched by strangers who care nothing about us.... Some women hate it so much you can hear them vomiting in the bathroom between scenes. Others can be found outside smoking an endless chain of Marlboro Lights… but the porn industry wants YOU to think we porn actresses love sex. They want you to think we enjoy being degraded by all kinds of repulsive acts.”
The following resources will help you learn more about the negative effects of porn:
www.theporneffect.com is dedicated to exposing the harmful effects of pornography.
www.beggarsdaughter.com provides helpful tools, advice and support to women struggling with sexual sin such as pornography and masturbation.
www.chastityproject.com is a comprehensive online resource that promotes the virtue of chastity.
Slave Master: How Pornography Drugs & Changes Your Brain. In this article Neurosurgeon Donald L. Hilton explains the addictive effects pornography has on the human brain.
Parenting the Porn Generation. In this article I explain the grim reality that confronts our children today and offer practical tips about how to parent them wisely on the Internet.
Five Myths About Porn. In this article former porn star April Garris exposes five myths that are commonly believed about the porn industry.
Taking Down Goliath. In this audio presentation I share my own story of recovery and suggest five strategies (more detailed than the ones presented in this blog series) to get porn out of your life.
The Ugly Truth: Two Former Insiders Expose the Reality Behind the Porn Industry. In this audio presentation I conduct two interviews: the first with a former porn actress and the second is with a former Playboy producer. The Ugly Truth is a difficult but edifying listen, and a sobering answer to porn’s lies.
Pure of Heart: Breaking Free from Porn. In this audio presentation (the equivalent of 5 CD’s) Jason Evert provides ten tips to help men conquer their daily temptations with lust, with special emphasis on breaking free from pornography.
Read Step 5 now!