Sexual Desire: Purity and Porn

Posted by on Apr 26, 2013 in Blog: Doing sex God’s way

Sexual Desire: Purity and Porn

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Pornography and erotica saturates our culture of today. From the sexualised Bratz dolls our little girls play with to the faux dominatrix gyrations of pop stars in the latest music video and free amateur porn videos posted on YouTube; there is no getting away from the Pornification of society and the porn aesthetic of culture.

Pornography by definition is the production and distribution of graphic material created specifically to sexually arouse the user. In practical terms this would encompass the material in many common magazines available to any young person with a couple of dollars; DVDs available in XXX stores and of course the plethora of paid porn masquerading as entertainment on the internet and TV channels available to hotel guests and home viewers.

Internationally pornography is a multibillion dollar industry. The average age at which a young person first views porn is between eleven and thirteen years of age.

For more on porn statistics check: http://www.covenanteyes.com/pornstats/

Pornography today is available, accessible and totally anonymous. Both men and women are climbing onto the bus of easy second hand sexual gratification

Porn as the sex educator of teenagers:

Social learning theory and sexual scripting theorise that watching pornography will result in the acceptance and adoption of the attitudes of male domination and female subservience at the least and the rape myth that women enjoy forced and violent sex at the other extreme. In teenagers, research indicates that boys who watch porn feel pressured[1] to gain masculine status through sexual achievement; accept the sexual double standard of female ‘sluts’ and male ‘studs’; have a narrow image of what is an attractive female body (based on the porn stars); often expect girls to mimic porn stars in love making and develop a tolerance to sexual violence.

In the case of girls, the prevalence of porn, supported by the pop culture of media and music videos, and the subsequent peer pressures to conform have resulted in the emergence of what is called ‘Raunch culture’ [2]. Here girls make sex objects of themselves and others with the expectation that exhibition of the body is the norm. They see female empowerment as signalled only by overt and public sexuality. Today we see young girls shaving their pubes and asking for breast enlargements and ‘sexting’ nude pictures of themselves to their boyfriends.

Porn as a relationship breaker:

Over ninety per cent of men would have viewed porn in some form before marriage. They are usually occasional users, going there when stressed, tired or as a release for sexual tension. However, the images and behaviours they see wheedle their way into the brain.

Porn sex rarely (if ever!) includes affection, intimacy or expressions of love. There is no kissing, cuddling or foreplay. The focus is on male pleasure with an apparently ever-available complaint partner. These expectations get carried to real life relationships, with unreal expectations of sexual behaviour, abuse and finally infidelity and separation[3]. Women who find out that their partner is a porn user struggle with two issues. Firstly there is a deep feeling of rejection and loss of self-worth. Secondly there is anger and feelings of being used and abused at being asked to do things that they feel are unnatural and reflect what porn stars do. Therapy requires dealing with the compulsive porn use as well as mending the fences of intimacy and re-establishing a good sex-relational model.

Porn as an addiction:

The debate is on-going as to whether regular, use of progressively more graphic and aggressive pornography is actually an addiction like alcoholism or a hypersexual disorder more akin to compulsive gambling. What we do know is that there is a release of brain neurochemicals like dopamine when watching porn that mimic the drug high of cocaine. Also that it is likely that there is a cortical neuronal ‘rewiring’ to alter sexual arousal pathways. Porn use leads to an addiction cycle of the need for increasingly higher doses (more graphically sexual porn). Treatment of porn addiction is today a specialist area and involves both the treatment of the immediate problem as well as on-going prevention.

A question you may be asked:

Is porn use always bad and destructive? Is there ‘good porn’?  What about couples who use porn as part of their sexual lovemaking repertoire?

Porn when accepted as the ‘norm’ sets the user on a slippery slope of behaviour that drags sexuality from being a wonderful act of intimacy and love into the cess pit of aggression and ugliness.  It exchanges the reality of one flesh couple sex for the fantasy world.

Whatever age or sex you are – it is destructive.



[1] Flood, M, 2009, ‘The harms of pornography exposure among children and young people’, Child Abuse Review, vol. 18, issue 6, pp. 384–400.

[2] Levy, A. (2005) Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. Melbourne: Schwartz

[3] Franklin O. Poulsen , Dean M. Busby & Adam M. Galovan (2013): Pornography Use: Who Uses It and How It

Is Associated with Couple Outcomes, Journal of Sex Research, 50:1, 72-83