10.19.2015

Is Porn Only a Male Struggle? + My Story with Porn



I wrote a blog post about female porn in the spring and shared a bit of my story with struggling with "female porn." [ aka, false expectations women put on men in relationships from romantic comedies, books etc]. If you haven't read it, you can check it out here.

I had many woman comment saying they were struggling with reading erotica and placing false expectations on future boyfriends/husbands. These were the conversations I was hoping to have. Then, I also had woman email me that they struggle with "female porn" but struggle with watching porn too. The woman I talked to all felt so ashamed that this was even a struggle for them. It's suppose to be something guys struggle with but not girls right? Us ladies struggle with reading fifty shades of grey but not the hardcore porn stuff right? I started thinking and chatting to others about males watching porn vs. female. Then I did some very basic research (I always want to be careful when researching about porn…it can get dangerous fast). Here's some of the basic facts.

1) Women watch porn. [23% of Pornhub's viewers are women]
2) Women watch porn longer than men on average
3) The majority of women who are watching porn fall into the age category of 18-24. my age demographic. [36%] [Women between 18-34 make up 64% of viewers]

Then I looked up what my go to Christian ladies say when it comes to sex, porn, masterbation etc. I started reading their blogs and listening to the podcasts they were posting. Over and over and over again women were saying they were addicted- yet so ashamed. It's a mans struggle, not a woman's - let alone a Christian women.

In a lot of males testimonies you hear them struggling with porn and masterbation. Yet, how many ladies get up and tell that in their story? Even though many of them are struggling with it.

Mark and I have worked for many years with Christian teens. Many of those guys come straight up to Mark and have a PAM (porn and masterbation) questions. I was thinking how many ladies have approached me so boldly and asked those same questions…very few.

I think the first thing we need to get over is that many godly Christian women struggle with porn. Just like many godly Christian men struggle with it. Yes, more men struggle with porn, but that doesn't mean it's not a women's issue.

Secondly, I don't think there is a lot of support out there for woman struggling with porn. Sure, my non Christian friends talk about porn and watching porn with their boyfriends to get going… I think in our North American culture it is normal for women to watch porn now, but in the church - I'm not sure how many youth groups are talking to teen girls about the addiction.

So why do I even care about this? Great question! 

I have a heart to see all Christians but especially Christian women walk unashamed in who God has called them to be. Yet, I keep having conversations with women who feel like they are living a double life, because they love Jesus so much but are struggling with such a "dirty taboo sin." Satan is keeping them in bondage because of the stereotype women watching porn gets in the church. They feel that if "anyone knew or their future boyfriend/husband found out" they would run. I want us ladies to live in the full freedom of the cross. That means confessing our sins, and getting help especially when it comes to addictions. Having a mentor or someone to talk to about it can provide such hope and encouragement. Even telling a trusted Christian mentor can feel so amazing - just to get it off your chest.

I remember in grade ten my boyfriend ask me to watch a movie with him. Little did I know the movie was porn. I remember feeling so helpless not wanting to hurt him or not be cool and ask him to turn it off but knowing that this was wrong. He didn't even ask me to do anything with him afterward and when I went home I felt so ashamed. I didn't realize the images that would stay with me for so long. I can recall the sex scene typing this out today. I thank the Lord that I didn't get addicted like I know so many of my sisters in Christ are but that doesn't mean I didn't start casually watching porn. So I thought who can I tell who won't judge me and think I am the worst Christian ever? No one came to mind. I was working at a Christian camp in the summer and knew I had mentors but I couldn't think of one person to tell to help me. It was devastating. One summer I remember brining up the topic of porn to test if there was anyone I could confide in. The girls and the older mentors all said things like "gross, disgusting, thats not what Godly women do" and other comments that made me feel like I was the worst for struggling with porn and masterbation. People were judging me for kissing guys let alone watching porn. That summer going into grade 11 I had myself convinced that I was the only Christian girl on the planet who struggled with this and that I was the worst Christian ever. It was a long couple years that I stayed in bondage. Yes, God still used me in incredible ways and I grew in my relationship with Him and learnt lots but I wasn't living in the full freedom I am now. I always had my secret sin that i thought would never make me good enough to date a Christian guy or "really be used by God." 

I got that freedom by reading God's word. It came from time spent in the bible letting scripture define me and not my sin. Once that freedom came [long journey] I vowed to myself and the Lord that I would be more open about my struggle [in a tactful way] if the Lord would use me to love on and encourage other Godly women struggling with this.

Wow, God has answered that prayer a hundred times over. I remember one girl around my age who I looked up to so much. She was the ultra Christian and everyone adored her. I shared very little of my story with her and then we changed topics. She came back with tears in her eyes later that day and said "I struggle with it too. I'm addicted." I remember just looking at her, hugging her and realizing this is something that so many of us are keeping a secret and keeping us in bondage.

God has given me countless opportunities to pray with ladies and chat about 'sexual sin'. I am not proud of my sin. But today, I wouldn't change my story for anything. God is using my weakness to bring glory to His name. He is using me to chat with girls and ladies who are struggling with this sin and just need to know someone has been there. I don't want any girl struggling with porn and wanting help and a mentor and having the same experience I did… not being able to trust anyone because they think they will be judged.  I want to open God's word and read truth and freedom over these beautiful ladies. We are called to live this life in full freedom.

Males struggle with porn and so do females. I think the church should know this. 

If this is something you struggle with, know that I have prayed for you already. I prayed through my research and before even writing this blog. I prayed hard to know what to say online and prayed that you would find freedom in Christ knowing that He has given you the strength to overcome all sin. Jesus died for it all. Remember you are not alone. I can think of so many Godly ladies I know struggling with this right now. Remember there is hope in Christ.

If you want to chat please send me an email. I'd love to share more if you need, hear your story and pray for you.

check back on Wednesday for another post!

so much love,
maddie


*stats from this website http://www.pornhub.com/insights/what-women-want -  

1 comment:

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