Rob Buckingham's Blog

Overcoming Porn Addiction

According to the XXXChurch website “The scary truth … is that at least 72% of men and 28% of women use pornography.” 

In His book Ashamed No More, Dr. T. C. Ryan lists four reasons why porn use is counter to healthy human sexuality:

  1. Looking at porn is seeing something very personal, very intimate of another person, but it’s not mutual. There is no exchange, and no genuine intimacy. It’s one-sided.
  2. If we are aroused and then climax sexually using porn, we experience a neuro-chemical sequence that is disjointed. Part of the sequence is intensely pleasurable (dopamine) followed by another part leaving us wanting to be held (oxytocin) but we’re alone. We’re not bonding; we’re isolating.
  3. For many this solo, porn-induced neuro-cocktail becomes a preferred experience. We become attached to non-attaching sexual experience. And when we become compulsive consumers, our appetites become progressive. Contentment with healthy intimacy is replaced with soul-starving consumption.
  4. We have to carefully and honestly consider how pornography is produced. People are hurt, used and abused in porn production. There is a correlation between the demands for porn and sexual trafficking. Something beautiful and God-given gets flipped into something evil and destructive. Porn production and consumption moves us from the light and into the darkening gloom of the shadow-life.

The following testimony is from a member of Bayside Church who was addicted to porn for many years and has now found freedom:

I want to share a story with you of my journey through my sexual and porn addiction.

I grew up in a normal middle class home where I had everything I needed.

While in my early to mid-teens I was first exposed to pornography. I found a pornographic video in my father’s draw and out of curiosity I watched it.  Little did I know at that time, but my father had a problem with lust. He used sex as a way of dealing with problems. I grew up seeing a man who would view porn and flirt with other women, and it became an example for me in how to deal with the issues of life.

From this moment on a desire and interest in porn was ignited within me. It was like nothing I had ever seen or experienced before, and it gave me a sense of excitement in my life that I was longing for.

I began to feed my desire for lust and would at least once a week visit the local news agency and steal a playboy or penthouse magazine. I also began to hire out pornographic movies and watch them when my parents were not at home.

My addiction to porn and lust grew to the point where every night before I went to sleep I would view pornographic magazines. It was my drug. At the age of 20 I became a Christian and I thought that my addiction would end, however it didn’t and it only grew stronger once I had discovered the world of the Internet. Now I could access all the material I wanted from the comfort of home without having to walk into a shop.

I was desperate to get help, however many of my church leaders had no idea about how to deal with this issue, some even said to go away and fast for a few days. This didn’t help!

I continued on as best as I could. I would stumble and then get up and sometimes be fine for months at a time. I would then get too confident, let my guard down, and I would be back to square one. My struggle led to an enormous amount of shame and guilt. Even though I continued to struggle, I loved God and was desperate to break free.

During this time I was attending a large church in Melbourne and eventually became a staff member there.  I was living this double life and it was becoming unbearable. Everyone thought I was some great man of God without a struggle in the world, yet I knew that I had this area of my life which was not under control.

My struggle continued and I eventually came to a point where I had had enough and visited my pastor and told him of my struggle. Eventually it was brought before the leadership team and my struggle was made public. It was one of the most humiliating times of my life, yet also the most freeing. I didn’t have to pretend to have it altogether any more.  There was something incredibly freeing about being honest and open. That was the start of my recovery and healing. I had to hit rock bottom before I could heal. I began to become accountable and attended counseling.

I recognised the triggers in my life and avoided those situations in life that led to sin and temptation.

Just after I confessed to my pastor, I met a wonderful lady who has since become my wife. I was upfront with her from the start about all that had taken place and the grace and love that she showed me was just incredible. I couldn’t have done it without her.

It has been over four years since that time and I can thankfully say that I have not succumbed to the pull of porn. I thank God for his grace and forgiveness.

If you find yourself with an addiction to pornography (or any other sexual addiction) you cannot free yourself from it on your own. You need to seek help. First of all share your problem with a trusted, Christian friend (of the same gender) who will pray with you and keep you accountable. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Seek counseling with a good counselor, and utilise the many useful online resources.  Here are two very good ones:

XXXChurch provides many incredible resources, workshops, X3watch accountability software, and online support groups to help you become the man or woman you want to be. Go to www.XXXChurch.com for more information and help.

The Feed the right wolf website is excellent too:

http://www.feedtherightwolf.org

Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman” (Job 31:1). We would all do well to do the same!


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