The Truth About Women and Porn

The Truth About Women and Porn January 7, 2015

shutterstock_98528147

Let’s face it.  We are all visual creatures, and nudity draws us in like flies to a bright light.  This really isn’t a bad thing.  In fact, God made human beings this way on purpose.  He made us sexual so that we can experience intimate pleasure with our spouse and possibly have children one day.  We are supposed to appreciate the naked body.  We are wired to desire sex.  It isn’t gross; it’s beautiful.  Unfortunately our culture often represents it as everything but the amazing gift that it is.

I recently watched part of an episode of a reality show that follows the glamorous lives of several famous married women.  You might know what show I’m referring to, and it can be addicting to watch.  During this particular show, one housewife was discussing what she described as the secret to her seventeen-year marriage.  She said that they both “worked at it” and did things to “spice things up” including watching porn together on a regular basis.  She then commented that most of her friends didn’t watch porn with their spouses, and she thinks that everyone would have better marriages if they watched it together.  I honestly couldn’t believe how comfortable she was in admitting that this was a regular practice in her marriage.  Even if it were true, most people wouldn’t admit it on national television.  She was not only admitting it; she was celebrating it and even advising it.  I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Is porn really becoming this socially acceptable?”.

 

The more I’ve thought about this, I’ve realized that this famous housewife’s view of porn might be more common than I think.  She’s willing to call porn what it is in front of millions of people, instead of giving it another name or denying her use of it all together.  The porn industry is a multi-billion dollar business that is growing everyday.  It draws in more profits than all the television networks COMBINED.  So, yeah, lots of people are watching it; and it’s not just men.  Statistics show that more and more women are paying for porn as well.  Although many will not admit to it, statistics show that most people have seen at least one explicit sexual act, willingly or otherwise, in their lifetime.  Porn has certainly permeated our society, but it’s not just through the porn industry itself, even though the profits are astonishingly high.

 

For more statistics and information about the adverse effects of porn, please check out my husband’s blog, “The Truth About Porn”, by clicking here.  The aforementioned statistics are provided by XXX Church, a non-profit ministry helping those with porn addictions and those who want to get out of the porn industry.  For more information, visit XXX Church, by clicking here.

 

Unless you are living completely off the grid, you may have heard of a little book called “Fifty Shades of Grey” and a movie about it that is coming out pretty soon.  I’ll be honest; I have never read “Fifty Shades” but I have talked with many friends that have.  I’ve also seen the movie trailer, and well, it’s racy to say the least.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  If you are not a Christian, I don’t see any reason why you didn’t pick up the book.  Who wouldn’t want to read about an extremely good-looking, successful, and mysterious man who supposedly sweeps a young, innocent, and sexually inexperienced young lady right off her feet?  Did I mention that it has been described as “graphic” and a “guilty pleasure”?  I get it.  I do.  No wonder more than 100 million copies have been sold worldwide, according to the New York Times.

 

For those of us who are Christians, I think we have to pause here and ask ourselves how God wants us to respond to all of this.  Again, I am speaking to myself here.  “Fifty Shades” isn’t the first salacious novel and movie to pop up in our culture, and it won’t be the last.  When we read novels filled with erotic scenes, our brains respond in a very similar way as if we are watching an explicit sexual act.  For many women, it is all about the fantasy.  That is the very reason many of us end up reading these novels.  What we fail to realize is that we are opening ourselves up to lustful thinking that doesn’t involve our spouse, and this is detrimental to our marriages.  In Matthew 5:28, Jesus gives us a sober warning against lust when he tells us,

 

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

 

The same goes for women looking at men lustfully.  We tell ourselves it is harmless because we aren’t engaging in the act, but Jesus clearly raises the standard for Christians here and states that thinking about it is just as sinful as doing it.  He doesn’t tell us this to be a huge buzz-kill or to make life extra hard; he is trying to teach us how to guard our mind and hearts against sexual sin.  As Christian wives, we are called to only have eyes and longings for our husbands.  Allowing ourselves to be gripped by the lustful thoughts that are sure to come from these seemingly harmless, sexually-driven novels or movies only train our minds and hearts to be unsatisfied with our own sex lives.  It’s so easy to compromise our beliefs when it comes to this.  I too have read a little too much, looked a little too long, and pondered longer than I should have.  That is exactly what lust does to us.  It seems so innocent at the time, but it is an act of subtle disobedience that only leads us down a road of insecurity and emptiness, not to mention broken relationships.

 

Throughout our marriage ministry, my husband, Dave, and I have talked to many couples contemplating divorce.  When we would try and get to the root of their marital issues, they would often share that they had not had sex for months or even years.  In many of these situations, the husband was frequently looking at porn and the wife was filling the void with novels, movies, and nights out with girlfriends.  They had lost interest in each other, and they considered themselves to be “out of love”.  What they failed to see was the common denominator…lust.  They had stopped desiring each other, so they were seeking to fill their sexual desires elsewhere.  Sometimes, these husbands and wives would end up having full-blown emotional or physical affairs, which only made the road to healing much more difficult.

 

I am not sharing all of this to make anyone feel guilty or hopeless because I know otherwise.  God loves us and understands us.  He will forgive the repentant.  There is hope.  I have seen husbands with a hidden porn addiction find the road to healing and restore their marriages.  I know wives who have turned away from a lifestyle filled with lust and loveless marriages only to find that they can have a completely fulfilling marriage on all levels with God’s blessing.  We don’t have to accept whatever our culture deems as socially acceptable.  If we want our marriages to be strong, we must turn our hearts and minds to God and he will help us to keep our eyes, minds, and hearts from wandering.  He will bless all aspects of our marriages, including the sexual.  You don’t need porn or some made-up steamy novel to spice up your marriage anyway.  So, let’s keep movie characters, empty novel fantasies, and ridiculous porn scenarios out of our bedrooms and enjoy the beautiful intimate union that we can have with our spouse.

 

For more on how to spice up your marriage or if you have any questions questions about what is or isn’t Biblically appropriate when it comes to sex and your marriage, please check out our newest video resource, “Best Sex Life Now”, by clicking here.

 

 

 

"Ashley... Thank you so much for this article. I am struggling with a wife who ..."

To the Spouse Who’s “Checked Out” ..."
"I'm 71-years-old, and my wife Sue passed away in 2002 after almost 28 years of ..."

Out of the Dust: One Couple’s ..."
"Is there a way or place to read these articles without clicking through 50 pages ..."

10 Symptoms of a STRUGGLING MARRIAGE ..."
"That is a very nice article.https://www.believeall.com/..."

Are you expecting your spouse to ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Family
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Megan

    Thank you so much for posting this. I feel like I am in the minority by keeping porn out of my marriage and this helps a lot.

  • Candice Horn

    My husband and I are going to celebrate 10years of marriage soon and we have a very good and strong marriage; we always have. We are both believers, we dated for four years before we married…(because we were 18 when we started dating) and we were both virgins on our wedding night. When we first married although I enjoyed sex with my husband I knew there was something lacking, I read countless books both secular and Christian. When I went to my mother she was not helpful, not because she didn’t want to be, but the conversation was uncomfortable for her and I didn’t really have any other girlfriends to talk to. Someone who was not a believer recommended I watch porn. I of course was not comfortable with this but what I did do was read a romance book that had some sensual scenes in it. It helped ALOT! I began to explore reading erotica, but only within reason and the books gave me a better idea of what to expect, what to do, and allowed me to feel more comfortable with exploring and trying new things. I was always ashamed that I read these books; my husband knew and actually liked the new things I would want to try after reading about new things, but I was embarrassed to tell anyone else. My best friend was the only person I ever confided in. She was understanding and it allowed us to share freely in a comfortable and nonjudgmental way about finding pleasure with our husbands. Now 10yrs later I no longer read those kinds of books and am actually repelled by them. I know that sounds harsh but what I guess I mean to say is I no longer find any enjoyment in reading them and often feel a great deal of conviction. In the beginning of my marriage they were of a great help to me, so I would never think negatively of someone who was trying to find a way to spice up their marriage but I do believe that you should do so with caution and be sure to guard your heart and mind. Don’t let the story become your ideal of romance and sexy, instead use it to fuel your imagination to enhance your own romance with your spouse.

  • Angelica Ruiz

    While I do agree that Christian women should stop to consider wether or not they should or should not read the Christian Gray trilogy, we also have to stop to ponder WHY have so many women bought this book in the first place?! There’s obviously something very lacking in our sex life that reading the books fills. I think more men need to read these books instead of women to find out how much they’re missing out on. Women are very sexual creatures and we desire PASSION. Unfortunately men feel this isn’t necessary, which leaves us women unfulfilled and vulnerable in the same way not having sex at all would make our husbands vulberable to temptation. Just my two cents

  • ashleywillis4

    Great points! No judging; just trying to encourage and strengthen marriages. Thank you so much for your input and taking the time to read this. May God bless you and your marriages.

  • Kyla Dobbins

    I agree on some points, and disagree on others. I read books like this and never lust for another man. If anything we act it out, have fun with it and spice up the bedroom. Neither of us watch porn. My spouse likes to read with me and it helps him understand the mind of a woman better and vise versa. That way we are both pleasing each other to the max, mentally and physically. This way we won’t have to go outside our marriage to fill that void.

  • Kyla Dobbins

    I totally agree!

  • Chris Dagostino

    Ashley, I have to give you credit here for categorizing things like “Fifty Shades” as being just as detrimental to women as the more “traditional” forms of pornography that men use.

  • Richard Surroz

    Been married 25 years . . .do not think you have anything to tell my wife and I about what should and should not be in a marriage.

  • Michael

    I have to disagree about women reading these books because “something is obviously missing in our sex life”. My wife has read all three books, and she doesnt even care for sex. Thats not to say she doesnt LIKE sex, its just not something she seeks out. I am a very sexual person. I like sex a lot. We have often talked about the vast difference in our desires for sex. The issue she and I have is that she wants to just make it quick and get on with the rest of the day, or get to sleep, while I would prefer to spend time enjoying each other with foreplay. I guess that makes us different than most men and women in that our “roles” seem.to.be reversed. At any rate, she read them for two reasons: first, to see what the fuss was all about, and second, as entertainment. We are both avid readers and enjoy many good books. Personally, I like sci-fi and espionage style books. That doesnt mean I wish I were a spy in a galaxy far far away. Its just entertainment. I thknk there are many women, maybe even most, that have read these books as sexual fantasy and enjoyed the the impurity of it. However, to say that is THE reason women read them is like saying all dogs are lazy because a neighbor’s dog sleeps all day every day. Just my opinion though. Also, from what I have gathered from my wife, these books arent so much about passion as domination. To some, that may mean passion, but is that REALLY what is portrayed in these books? I dont know because I have not, and will not, read them.

  • Michael

    I would first like to say thank you for this article. I read many of the articles pertaining to marriage that you and your husband post.
    My wife and I have been married twice, both times to each other. Our first marriage, I am sad to say, ended because I was unfaithful. Our current marriage, has had some very rough times due to her addictions. But we have decided that we are going to do whatever we can to fix the problems, in ourselves and in our marriage, with the power of the Holy Spirit. We know we dont have the strength to do this ourselves and need His strength to keep us moving.
    With that being said, I have a question about porn. We have watched porn, both individually and together, and sometimes it helps spice things up, sometimes it just makes us laugh. My question though is this: if we watch porn, and think of it as us on the screen, or if we were to “make” our own “movie”, would that be wrong? If we are just watching it as something to enhance our sex life, and its actually us or we look at it as us, is that sinful? And along those same lines: if one of us were to masterbate to thoughts of OUR sexual encounters with our spouse, is that sinful?
    I ask that last question because my wife is in a faith based rehab program for a full year. We do not, and will not, have the opportunity to have intimate relations with each other until she is able to come home. Even when she has her weekly pass to come spend time with the family, we wont be able to have sex because we also have kids and our time is too limited to spend it “sneaking off” to be alone.
    I appreciate ALL constructive comments to my qurstions. And again, thank you for your and your husband’s devotion to helping build healthier and more faith-filled marriages.

  • Ashley Jean Johnson

    I read this book because it was recommended to me by a friend (before all the hoopla). She sent it to me on my honeymoon. There was nothing lacking for us. I really found this trilogy to be a psychological experience rather than sexual. Is there a lot of sex in the book? Yes. But is that the root of it? No. It makes me so sad that society took that aspect of it and ran. Poverty, neglect, abandonment, older women predators….and so much more lie within these books. Sex was a side effect, not the whole point. I personally didn’t “lust” after anyone other than my husband during my time reading the book. I hate to think others have.

  • Mindy

    “If you are not a Christian, I don’t see any reason why you didn’t pick up the book.” The choice to abstain from watching pornography is not exclusive to Christians….it’s a matter of morality, no matter your religious preference.