You Can Live a Porn-Free Life!

By Biz Gainey

I have been on a journey out of porn - into my truest self - for the past 20 years.  The past 10 - 15 years have been years of tremendous freedom from porn and victory over the struggle with porn – a struggle which entrapped me between the ages of 9 - 11 (nearly 35 years ago). 

Given my history of addiction and journey into freedom, I thought I would write an article birthed from my own experience, exploring two things:

  • What porn causes.
  • What you can do to be free.

What Porn Causes

Statistics reveal an increasing portion of women and a majority of men struggle with or are addicted to pornography. In other words, if you are in a Starbucks right now, there are people around you caught up in this disastrous world of desire distorted!  

Checking out in the 10-item-only aisle? Yep. 

In the church?  Yep (may even be the person preaching to you). 

At your place of work?  You Betcha! 

These realities remain hidden because porn is a ‘silent enemy,’ which causes us to live in fear and isolation (if you are caught up in porn, then you know this is true).   Fear and Isolation - the two-headed demon of distorted desire - lead us deeper into the distorted desires from which we long to be released.   It's as if we become zombie-like – lifelessly and uncontrollably staggering along.  We simply never get enough.  There are some outcomes of this distortion that affect every level of our existence!

One of the first distortions is that porn diminishes personhood.  As someone made in the image of God, this is paramount to all of us. The more we view porn the less human we become and the less able are we to view others as fully human.  Indeed, people become objects or tools to be used toward our own selfish ends.  Secondly, porn diminishes desire.  The more we consume the fantasy world of porn, the less we hunger for the fully human world in which we live.

Thirdly, porn diminishes vision and thereby destroys hope. This is important.  If you are viewing porn, then you are losing your sight.  Such myopia will only keep you staggering in a state of hopeless panic, unaware of the natural and sacred beauty all around you.  It is, alas, a journey to your own death.  It is often a painful and agonizing death by degrees. 

On a cultural level, porn diminishes civility and creates a culture of violence and rape.  If porn distorts personhood and diminishes desire, then the demise of hope is a natural outcome.   Ultimately, when hooked to porn, we become like islands of shame and guilt, isolated from any and all hope.

What You Can Do to Be Free!

There are, however, some things you can do to live free!  Let me pass on the things that I have found most helpful in my own journey.

1.      Confess this addiction to a trusted friend.

2.      Connect to meaningful community.

You must confess your addiction to your loved one(s).  Confession is not an apology.  Apologies are over-rated.   In our culture - where we say ‘sorry’ for everything and take responsibility for nothing - apologies are even cancerous.  If you are married, you may find it difficult to confess this to your spouse.  I understand.  I’ve been there.  You may well need to seek out a trusted friend or addiction/recovery group and verbalize your initial confession in that sacred space.  I would encourage you to enlist the help of the person(s) to whom you first confess and bring a full confession to your closest loved ones as soon as you are able.

Community is crucial in the recovery process.    If porn thrives in the soil of isolation, it is starved in the richness of community.  Find a local group of men or begin one of your own.  Once you begin to walk out of this addiction you will likely find others attempting a walk of their own.  Join together with them and lock arms as you travel this road.  Men Against Porn is assembling resources to help aid you in this journey.  I would encourage you to check out our resource page on this website!

The freedom journey is life-long.  If you confess your inability to ‘go it alone,’ and take steps to travel with others, you will find that you are well on your way to being free of porn for good!