About the author, Matt Fradd

Matt Fradd is the author of Delivered: True Stories of Men and Woman Who Turned from Porn to Purity. After experiencing a profound conversion at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, Matt has worked through full-time lay ministry in Australia, Ireland, Canada, and Texas. He has served as an apologist for Catholic Answers and has traveled all over the world, speaking to tens of thousands of teens and young adults. He and his wife Cameron have four children and live in North Georgia.

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Your Brain on Porn

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

Watching just 5 hours of porn has been proven to significantly change people's sexual beliefs and attitudes. Find out 5 distinct ways that porn warps your brain, as well as 5 biblical ways to renew your mind and find freedom.

20 thoughts on “Is It Possible to Break Free from Porn?

  1. Matt, I do not think I have read any of your material until now. As I discovered/admitted over 4 years ago, I am addicted to lust and this article addresses the very root cause of the mess that porn continues to propagate in our society. It is a day by day struggle in which victory one day at a time is so much better than the losing that same battle on a daily basis. The Grace that covers our sins is certainly greater than those wrong-hearted/headed desires. Thank you for your clear, concise and encouraging words.

  2. “Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” I sometimes think this applies to America’s version of Christianity. Oddly, when you look at fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Islam …. both are puritanical. If people stopped worry about what others do in their own bedrooms and lives, this world would be a much better place. Here is also the reality — everything we make taboo ends up thriving. Everything. From drugs to sex. It ends up thriving. Why? At some point, people get tired of the guilt. Tired of being called a sinner. They get so tired. Angry and begin to question. Then they eventually say screw it and stop caring. You are going to be a sinner anyhow. If it isn’t sinning from lust it will be some other sin. It gets so crazy that even if you live a near perfect life — they throw original sin at you.

    Also, you know why porn will never go away and people will never break free? Women use sex throughout most of their lives. Sex is leverage for women. No one hold women accountable for porn. Never ever. Here is the cold reality. If women didn’t take off their clothes in front of a camera — there would be no porn. Go out to the net. There are billions upon billions of images don by tens of millions of women. Start addressing that then you have a shot. But we wont. We never hold women accountable for anything therefore we only address one side of an equation and that never leads to a problem being solved. Never.

    • The term “puritanism” is a strange one to me, especially when you actually read the writings of Puritans (not just how they are characterized in literature written a century or two after they all lived). It is sad such a devoted, passionate group of people are characterized as such frigid individuals—even if there were a handful that were a little prudish.

      But I digress…

      As far as fundamentalists caring too much what others do in their own bedrooms, I agree we can’t change the world through shrewd moralism. Here at Covenant Eyes we try to take a different approach. First, we try to write to the very individuals who are bringing their bedroom lives to us: men and women who feel ensnared by porn, the spouses and children caught in the crossfire of ugly addictions, the counselors and pastors who are seeking to help. Second, we try to write in such a way as to bring about heart-change in individuals, to introduce them to the One who can transform not just their sex drive or their habits, but their very identity. Not sure if you think we do a good job of that, but if not, I’d love to know how you think we can improve.

      But please understand: You are simply wrong that no one holds women accountable for porn. We have scores of women who use our software for their own protection and accountability—and scored of articles, videos, and podcasts for women who struggle. We have spoken with many different former porn actresses who are seeking to help current porn stars to see the depravity of the industry. We talk to many wives and mothers who are seeking to make genuine changes in their own households. Perhaps you are just making over-generalizations for emotional effect, but I really want to hear why you think you can make such sweeping statements about all womankind.

    • You have the law of supply and demand backwards. Women take off their clothes in front of a camera because there is a demand for porn. If there was no demand, the supply side would die out.

    • I recently heard a man say, “If men were removed from the earth, how many brothels would remain?” Good food for thought, and a sad commentary on how toxic masculinity impacts both sexes.

    • As far as mainstream media goes you have small point. But most porn (85%) is made by trafficked individuals -slaves- who would much rather not.

    • Puritanism isn’t the goal here. The struggle with porn isn’t about waging war with women on the internet, it’s about bringing our own bodies into willing submission to God.
      As Matt’s first point details, the idea is not freedom from sex, it’s freedom to think about sex in a good and healthy way.

  3. So exactly why is looking a pretty women in porn wrong? How is it any different than looking at any other woman in society? At Ohio State University, they tracked sexual thoughts using ‘clickers’. They gave these to 283 college students, divided into three groups, and asked them to press and record each time they thought about sex, or food, or sleep. Using this method they found that the average man in their study had 19 thoughts about sex a day. This was more than the women in their study – who had about 10 thoughts a day. However, the men also had more thoughts about food and sleep, suggesting perhaps that men are more prone to indulgent impulses in general. Or they are more likely to decide to count any vague feeling as a thought. Or some combination of both.

    Furthermore, love at first sight actually implies eye contact for 8.2 seconds. Men typically held eye contact with women they found attractive for that duration of time, while an indication of a less attractive women involved eye contact of 4.5 seconds or less. However, women did not provide as strong of a distinction with eye contact in terms of attractiveness. A decision as to whether a person is ‘dating’ material is made within 5 minutes given the following two brain processes:
    Physical attractiveness- the ventromedial prefrontal cortex determines whether a person is considered attractive
    Compatibility- the medial prefrontal cortex determines whether or not a person was considered suitable for dating
    Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/love-at-first-sight-instant-attraction-brain-region_n_2087843.html

    Bottom line, you are trying to fight biology. A biology God created. I mean really. The research on attraction is quite extensive.

    • JS, you may be confusing fighting against compared to walking in self control (your Bottom line). So, if you’re married and you make eye contact with your neighbors wife, or the girl at the grocery store for 8.2 seconds, do you now leave your wife, as you’ve now found your new biological love?

      It’s all about self control of a God given biology, sexual desire He has given us. Let alone I really wouldn’t take to much stock from anything that comes from the Huffington Post website, they are truly liberally biased, and will find any “research” to bolster their liberal philosophy and bent.

  4. I took an online class bible based to help free me from temptation from porn. It didn’t work. It angers me bc nothing I tried worked & I lost my family bc of it.

    • Hi Leah. I’m so sorry for the pain and loss you’ve suffered, and I know it’s disappointing when you’ve tried to break free and haven’t succeeded yet. I want to encourage you to get back up and keep trying. The Bible isn’t a magic wand, and if someone sold you on that idea, I’m sorry. We usually find that recovery comes over time through a combination of lifestyle changes, accountability, supportive relationships, education, and spiritual growth. It takes time and persistence to overcome a long-standing habit, but people do it all the time, and you can too! Here’s an article about the differences between failure and success in overcoming a porn habit. Have a look and let me know what you think. Kay

    • This site is so helpfull may God bless you for rescuing souls of sons and daughters of God from porn addiction,infact porn is so addictive. it requires God’s grace to abstain.I hope one day we will have a generation safe from porn

  5. I refuse to believe looking at a naked woman is some awful sin. Actually, last week, it was reported that people identifying as not being religious has eclipsed those believing in individual religions. Why is that? Because people see the nonsense. Let me give you clear example. Christians say that marriage should be between a man and a woman. One man and one woman. Yet, that is not what the bible said. In fact, let me go down the list of appropriate marriages in the bible:

    One man and his sister.
    One man and his dead brother’s wife.
    One man and one woman and her servants.
    One man and his rape victim.
    One man and many women.
    One man and 700 women and 300 concubines.
    One man and one woman and her slaves.
    One soldier and his virgin prisoner.

    So, someone out there is lying about what is appropriate. It is either modern day Christians or the Bible. So pardon me if I think looking a naked woman is evil. Actually, it is quite frustrating. You want to believe in God and Jesus, yet, hypocritical, self-righteous Christians make it impossible, then those very same Christian deny the blatant contradictions in the bible.

    Christ needs to come back because everyone is getting it wrong — especially his followers in America.

    • One of the common misunderstandings of the Bible is that it’s always prescriptive, when in reality, significant portions of it are descriptive. They’re relating history, not giving examples for us to live by. In the cases where it *is* prescriptive, cultural context helps significantly. For example, when Absalom raped his half-sister Tamar, she begged him to marry her afterward, in accordance to the Levitical law that commands rapists to marry their victims. While this seems cruel to us now, at the time, a woman’s future was tied to her ability to have legitimate children. If she was known to have been raped, then at the time no other man would have touched her with a 10′ pole. She would have effectively been cut off from society. So by making rapists care for their victims, it meant that the women would still have a place in society. Plus, it was telling rapists that “If you like it, then we’ll make you put a ring on it,” encouraging them to pursue marriage instead of rape in the first place. Fortunately, the cultural stigma against rape victims is much less, so they no longer need the social protection of lawful marriage, and we can instead focus on punishing rapists with jail time as they deserve.

      Beyond that, even if you reject the concept of sin, there are still significant health outcomes to watching pornography. For example, the Reddit NoFap group exists because those men discovered that erectile dysfunction went away when they stopped watching porn.

    • Hey brother, I just wanted to say I read your comment- and I think there are a lot of people that are asking and saying the same things. So, I thought I might help and give you a reply from a Christian. – all of those examples of marriage that you mentioned that are clearly wrong are not ordained from God, as a matter of fact God never ordains any of those situations. Whenever something such as a man marrying his rape victim occurred, he usually was stoned to death, killed some other way or the marriage in rare situations were mans way of “fixing” the situation. This was never Gods approval though, and the fact that David did it doesn’t make it right either, but because we now have christ, we no longer have an excuse for such behavior as Jesus set it right when He came to die for our sins. A lot of evil happened before Christ and God was patient with them because Je knew that they were hopeless without Him because of sin, and so after death they waited for Christ to fix it straight. But now that we have Jesus we no longer have excuse because of the abundant grace, so we are held to a higher stranded then our ancestors. So to answer your question- Lust is wrong. It ruins thoughts and images, ideas and morals in our heads. And as far as your proof. Well, I am your proof- I am recovering from these problems as I walk with Christ. I hope you realize how much he loves you and that you can be changed for the better too brother.

  6. What a wonderful article that hits at the core of the issues.

    Also impressive is that even though there are differences in opinion on porn as commented above everyone has…so far…been cordial and respective. Pleasant surprise on such a hard topic.

  7. I’m someone who has struggled (in the negative sense) with porn for more than 25 years, ever since I was 16 and asked my father to please get rid of his stash of magazines (it didn’t help, as I later amassed a stash that dwarfed his own). The ease with which I can find porn on the internet, in an semi-anonymous and inexpensive way, has made viewing porn a daily, or at least weekly, thing.

    I have been to counselors during this time, and even counselors with a “christian” background have said, “so, what’s wrong with it?” It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I found one who took Matthew 5:28 seriously, that I started seeing what giving into porn has been doing to my brain (by chemically rewarding the choices I have been seeking to avoid). When I saw this 40-Day Challenge, I recognized this as the next step in my increasing freedom from what has now become a societal (even in faith circles) “boys will be boys” attitude, giving up on the thought that men (and women) can seek and successfully attain purity from the thought-demons that society wants us to give into.

    Thank you for making this Challenge available. I am looking forward to learning lots, and achieving more.

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