Hi everyone. It’s now over week since my interview on ABC’s 7.30 Report. It’s been wonderful having encouraging comments from people who’ve either seen the interview or read my blog. It was a bold move to put my story out there and I hope that it’s been encouraging to you. Laura is still working on her side of the story, it takes a while to get it done with a small 13 week old baby cyring for attention! Don’t worry it’ll be up soon, as I know that a few of you are wanting to hear her views.
I thought that today I’d mind dump a little about why I think that it’s so important to start talking about porn in churches, the right way.
Here’s some interesting and shocking facts.
- Worldwide porn revenues are now estimated to be over $100 billion a year
- 2/3 of porn sites are visited by men, the other 1/3 by women.
- Around 50% of people identifying as Christian’s have admitted to porn being a problem in their lives.
- The most popular day for viewing porn is Sunday!
Did you know that if people of faith alone stopped viewing porn it would decrease porn revenues by over 1/3!!!
The majority of Christian identifying men who talk to me about their pornography issues say that they suffer from guilt and shame. They also say that they feel like they’re the only ones with this problem and that there’s no one else that they can talk to. I certainly felt like this with my struggles. Because this is such a taboo topic I generally find that when we talk about porn it is something that we laugh and joke about but never, never talk about the deeper issues. Here’s a tip, in most cases the joking and laughing is actually a cry for help.
Now about the shame and guilt. Have you ever been late for an appointment at the doctor’s or late for a meeting? All you can think about is getting to that meeting. Your whole thought process is focused towards getting to that appointment. Nothing else can distract you. You have to get there.
This is similar to how a cycle of addiction starts. It’s called preoccupation. You just have to look. It’s all that you think about. You plan for it. It takes over all your thoughts. To make the thoughts go away you start to fantastise about it. Your mind become preoccupied with thoughts as you try and escape from your pain. You’ve reached the first stage of the addictive cycle.
This is when it starts to get scary. You start planning what you are going to do. How are you going to act out these fantasies? You do things that add to your arousal and your sense of control, trying to escape from feelings of unworthiness of being unloved. Stage two, check!
You now move on to stage three, acting out. This is where you give in and live out your fantasy. You might view porn. You might masturbate to it. You might be involved in cybersex. Anything goes at this stage. You just have to do something and nothing is going to stop you. Now that you’ve acted out, you have that release and that’s when the guilt and shame sets in. Oh no, I’ve stuffed up again. I’m such a loser. Why do I keep doing this? People hate me. I hate me. I’m useless. And what happens? You feel so lonely and depressed you go back to stage one, trying to escape form your pain.
Some of us will recognize this process. It will hit home. We’ve done this over and over for way to long with no escape! And one of the main feeders of this cycle is the shame and guilt. Can you see now why shame and guilt does not work? Sure you can hit an addicted Christian with Bible verses, but this will not help. Most of them know these things. All you are doing is adding to the pile of shame and guilt that’s already there. Driving these people deeper into their addiction, making it more taboo, making it thrilling, increasing the chemical hits. Save the verses for later, when they’re in a better state of mind.
We have to be compassionate towards people that are struggling. We have to come along side them. We have to support them and listen to them. These people are not thinking rationally, their thoughts are all over the place. This is why Guilty Pleasure logo represents a person who has been overcome by their guilt. It is overwhelming them. It has grown much bigger than them. They are desperate for help. These are the kinds of people who are crying out for help
By no means is every person you meet struggling with pornography, nor does every joking comment mean that there’s a problem, but we have to start being sensitive to this issue and be willing to step in if it is a cry for help. There is a section on this website called help which we are populating with contacts and material that you can direct people to, so they can learn more about this problem and the reasons why. You can find it here.
At the end of the day, understanding this issue better is going to help you either deal with the problem or help people struggling. I will blog soon with a few books that I’m reading on this topic. I encourage you to read some of them and learn more about this problem. I assure you that it will open your eyes and make you feel so much more compassionate towards porn addicts.
You can start by checking out “Wired for Intimacy“, which you can buy from Amazon either in hardcopy or download to the Kindle App.