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7 Lies I Believed When I Still Watched Porn

Last Updated: November 14, 2019

Amy Riordan

Amy Riordan is a Christian writer and speaker with a desire to see women’s hearts healed and set free. Her passion is to inspire others to embrace who they were created and redeemed to be. Amy lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. She candidly shares her story on her blog, Longing for Intimacy, encouraging women to pursue an intimate relationship with Jesus, the only One who can satisfy their deep longings for intimacy and connection

As someone who was once deeply trapped in the web of pornography, I can now look back and recognize several lies I believed without question during that time. Since sharing my story with many people over the years, I have found that these lies are not unique to my own story at all. Many of us have silently accepted these lies as truth, when they are anything but truth.

Lie #1: I can never tell anyone.

I didn’t think I could ever tell anyone of my porn addiction. I looked like I had it all together on the outside, and no one suspected what I was doing. I was sure that everyone would reject me if they found out my deep, dark secret. I had trouble admitting my struggle to myself, let alone anyone else. I repeatedly tried to stop watching porn on my own, but it never worked. I was convinced that telling someone would be a huge mistake.

TRUTH: My heart didn’t start to heal until I told someone.

Little did I realize, not telling anyone would have been my biggest mistake. Confessing my struggle is what helped set me free. Strongholds like pornography grow in the dark, and when they are brought into the light (telling someone) their chains start to loosen. I still had a long road ahead of me, but the day I confessed my struggle to my husband was the day my healing started. It was the scariest but one of the most important parts of my journey.

If you are struggling with pornography, I encourage you to pray about someone you can talk to. Telling someone may seem absolutely horrifying, but it will aid in your freedom. As long as you carry this secret sin on your own, it will eat you alive from the inside out. Telling someone breaks off part of the stronghold and allows the process of healing to begin.

Lie #2: I don’t know any other women who struggle with pornography.

I thought I was the only Christian woman who struggled in this way. I felt like a freak of nature. When I searched for help online, all I found were resources for men and support for women whose husbands were addicted. I felt so alone. Any sermon I had ever heard preached on pornography (which wasn’t very often) was in reference to men. Believing I was the only woman I knew who was trapped in this struggle increased the shame I already felt so deeply.

TRUTH: Most likely, there are other women in your own church and maybe even in your own circle of friends who secretly know all too well what you are dealing with.

When I first shared my story on my blog, I started receiving emails from other women who were also struggling. In addition, I had a few women in my own life who confessed their addictions to pornography to me once they heard of my own. Many thought they were alone until they heard the testimony of another woman who finally spoke up. Be encouraged! There are many women, like myself, who have found healing in their lives and freedom from pornography. This is available for you, too!

Lie #3: I am attracted to the women in porn. I must be a lesbian.

I was drawn to lesbian porn from the beginning, which did nothing but escalate the questions I already had concerning my sexual identity. Before I knew it, I was fantasizing about it all the time. After doing this repeatedly, I became convinced that I must be gay. (Why else would I be watching lesbian porn, right?) This made it even more difficult for me to confess to someone that I was trapped. I felt such shame and embarrassment. I was a married to an amazing Christian man, yet I was indulging in lesbian porn. I felt like two different people, and I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Over the last several years, I have talked with many women who question their sexuality. They have no desire to be with a woman in real life, but they find themselves aroused by the women they see in pornography. Many of them never questioned their sexuality until after they started looking at porn. (This is so much more common than you may think.)

TRUTH: If you started questioning your sexuality after watching porn, please let me encourage you: this does not mean you are gay.

As women, we put ourselves in the place of the women we see in porn. We want to look like them, or we even imagine being sexually desired in that same way. Mix in the heightened sexual arousal that pornography is designed to provoke, and it is no wonder many women start questioning their sexuality afterwards. Pornography warps our view of sex, sexuality and what true intimacy is. This is one of the reasons it is so important to know who God created us to be. The enemy can be relentless in attacking our identity. We are going to be led all over the place in directions we were never meant to go if we don’t know and embrace our true identity in Christ.

Related: What Your Sexual Fantasies (Might) Say About You

Lie #4: God must hate me.

I felt such guilt and shame for the pornography I continued to seek after. I believed God was angry with me, and I was convinced He turned away from me. I was absolutely disgusted with myself, and I couldn’t imagine that He felt any differently. I pictured myself turning to Him for help, but all I envisioned was Him pointing His finger in my face and walking away from me. I was aware of how destructive my actions had become. I felt so ashamed and thought I went too far to receive His grace, mercy or forgiveness.

TRUTH: It was only through God’s forgiveness, grace and love for me that I was able to begin the journey of Him healing my heart so I could be set free.

God certainly did not approve of my sin, but I didn’t realize He was not going to turn away from me when I reached out to Him for help. Did I mess up along the way? Yes. As I learned how to seek Him first and keep my eyes on Him, I started to see much more progress along the way. Knowing that God was my strength and that He would never give up on me gave me the determination I needed to persevere during the toughest of times.

Lie #5: There is something wrong with me. I cannot stop craving porn.

I craved pornography all the time. When I would stop trying to watch it, my mind was on constant replay of all the scenes I had previously watched. I lived in a fantasy world. It numbed the feelings I did not want, and it also helped me to escape into a world I could never get enough of.

I was convinced there was something very wrong with me, because I kept craving the very scenes that I hated myself for.

TRUTH: What I was truly craving was the intimacy God created me to have.

Porn is a very cheap imitation of what God designed sex and intimacy to be. I tried to let pornography fill a deep need I had inside of me, but God started showing me I was settling for a counterfeit. I always heard that God could fill all of my needs, but how could God fill a need in me that was so corrupt? It didn’t seem possible that a holy God could fill something in me that was anything but holy. This is when He started showing me that what I really wanted, needed and craved was intimacy.

Do you crave porn? You were created to experience an intimate relationship with God that runs deeper than anything else you could experience on this earth. This is why pornography never fills you up for long, and it is never enough. I encourage you to pray and ask God to reveal what intimacy with Him is. You are hard-wired for it. If you are reading these words, it is not too late for you to know the depth and satisfaction that comes with an intimate relationship with Him. There is nothing like it!

Related: Why Can’t I Stop Watching Porn? 3 Reasons It’s Hard to Quit

Lie #6: “I feel numb, and porn helps me to feel something.”

In an effort to turn off my lustful thoughts and attractions, I inadvertently turned off many of my emotions. My heart was also wounded in so many ways, and part of it shut down somewhere along the way. I couldn’t feel anything anymore. I wanted to feel something again but didn’t know how to. When I turned to porn, it awakened feelings in me that felt like life to me. It made me feel alive, even though I knew it was so destructive. The exhilaration that came with viewing porn made it incredibly alluring to me when I otherwise felt so numb.

TRUTH: Porn was only a temporary fix that led me further away from the joy I was seeking.

Looking at porn brought temporary feelings of exhilaration, but it quickly led to depression, despair, and feeling even more numb. I was stuck in a cycle of feeling numb, so I turned to porn, only to feel numb again. It was leading me further and further away from the joy I was seeking. I didn’t know how to stop what I was doing. It wasn’t until after I confessed to my husband that I was looking at porn and God started the process of cleaning out my heart that I started to feel joy again. The joy restored to me felt so clean and pure, unlike what porn offered me. It took cleaning out the junk in my heart to feel the pureness of joy again. This is something I never want to lose again!

Lie #7: It’s too late. I ruined my brain forever.

The more I tried to stop looking at porn, the more I realized how much I fantasized about it. My mind was on constant replay with many of the scenes and pictures I viewed, and I thought I had ruined my brain forever. Pornography did re-wire my brain in a way it was not wired to think and feel before.

Regret is not an adequate word to describe the pain I felt when I was repeatedly unable to rid myself of the compulsions and pictures in my mind I did not used to have. Many of you know exactly what I mean. I wanted to feel pure and not constantly be reminded of how I corrupted my mind had become. I wanted the marriage God designed me to have, but because of the horrific choices I made I was afraid it was too late.

TRUTH: I have found lasting healing for my heart and brain.

As I started taking steps to guard my eyes and my heart, I also started surrendering my thought life to God. As I was diligent in this, I started to find the hope I needed to see a future free of pornography. This was not an overnight process. There were times I felt like nothing was changing, but I kept moving forward. I can now say that my brain has not been ruined forever. Many of those images that were burned into my brain have subsided as I learned how to fight against them.

Do you recognize any lies that you have been believing?

I want to reiterate that if you are struggling with pornography and have not told anyone, please pray about who you can talk to. As God has healed my heart, I have been set free from a pornography addiction and the fantasies that go along with it. This has been a long process, but God has restored so much to me, and He can do the same for you.

  • Comments on: 7 Lies I Believed When I Still Watched Porn
    1. Benjamin Warner on

      This was helpful because I have felt this way.

      Reply
    2. K on

      Wow! Thank you so much Amy! This is such an encouraging post.

      Reply
    3. Caitlin on

      I espeically appreciate you commenting on questioning sexuality because of experience with porn. I have wondered often why that has been the case for me in my struggle against temptation. What you are writing is incredibly important! Keep going!

      Reply
    4. Kernyuy Leonard on

      Thanks be to God, i thought i was alone

      Reply
    5. L on

      Thank you so much for writing this. I am trying to understand some of the things that I’ve felt inside ever since I was a kid. This article is helping me. It’s so easy to feel like some sort of freak because different things turn you on or excite. If I didn’t believe that God existed or that He cared about humans, I wouldn’t care about the feelings I struggle with. But because I know He is real and good and has a purpose for humans and for sex, I am convinced that I do not have to be a slave to my feelings whatever they may be.

      It encourages me to see the work He has done in other people’s lives.

      Reply
    6. David on

      “TRUTH: My heart didn’t start to heal until I told someone.”

      I can testify this is absolutely true.

      Over many years as I tried to keep my porn addiction secret and tried to “white knuckle” my way through it over and over (always failing , always vowing “never again” … only to fall again … and again … and again … ) I experienced constant defeat. When I finally confessed my porn addiction to an Orthodox monk and received the sacrament of Reconciliation I was finally set free from it . I recognize I am still a porn addict , it will probably always be something I must be careful about , I must avoid it like an alcoholic avoids taking that first “little drink” , but through the healing power of Jesus Christ I can be free of it . This freedom and confidence did not come until I confessed it.

      Reply
    7. Chris on

      Thank you for sharing this. I am a man, and I struggled with homosexual porn throughout my porn addiction. In the beginning, I found this porn to be attractive because I wanted the sexual experience that came from porn, but it was “dirty” for me to see a naked woman. This led me to seek out gay porn, and eventually begin to think that I was gay myself. I know that I am not. I always wanted to date a girl, marry a woman and have children with her. Thanks for the continued reminder that I am not alone. Others have walked the same or a very similar road to mine. Be blessed!!

      Reply
    8. Someone on

      My same feeling
      Just the same guilty feeling,,, the same need to talk once in my life
      The same need for the GOD
      Further more I am from an eastern Muslim community,single and have good life
      Actually very good life only if I can control this subject to feel that GOD still with me
      To rebuild with
      I need to talk for so long time that made me wondering now isn’t it too late?

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        I’m Christian, so I can speak for the God I know, but I don’t think He believes in “too late.” Turn to God today! And, engage the power of loving accountability with someone you trust. It’s the best way to break free. Peace! Chris (Covenant Eyes)

    9. Veronica on

      I was still crawling when I was exposed to my first image of a sex scene in a movie. I saw a beautiful naked female body.My father was watching it. At the time he was a very unwise and selfish man. He probably assumed it was fine to watch it in front of me since I was just a child (probably my siblings had the same experience, I’m not sure, it’s not like a subject you want to brng up at a family get together). That image is still fresh to me 26 years later. From the age of 7 i started experimenting with “things” i liked how it made me feel. I then reached a point when I involved another person in to fulfil these sexual desires and I was only 10. I didn’t lose my virginity but I did lose my innocence at a very young age. I now became my dad. I was selfish and didn’t care at the time about the repercussions it would have on this person I just wanted my need filled. Life went on, now a young teen. I was craving sex though I’ve never done it before at 15 i lost my virginity to a guy 10 years older and very experienced. That moment changed my life forever. Flashback: My mum was a respected godly woman. My bestfriend. She raised me knowing Jesus. And I remember before all of this I prayed every night for protection over the ones i loved making sure I named every single person in my life and would even pray for the homeless and the sick. I often sang to Jesus and imagined His angels in the room with me whenever I was scared. I was inlove with the King. My mum was my protector and teacher of wisdom. She taught us about no sex before marriage and saving ourselves for that special someone. BUT things changed in our lives when my mum’s little brother went to prison. Our church fell apart family separated themselves from eachother and everyone gave up on God and their faith. 2 years my mum tried to find a church for us but to no avail in the end she gave up as well. My mum had nomore convictions I guess. She wasn’t the same. Both her and my dad became addicts to gambling. I never saw them as much anymore. I’d leave for school in the morning and return to an empty house. Evening will come and my parents will walk in angry and blaming eachother because they wasted away all our shopping and bills money. Now my parents are beggars as well. I lost friends because of who my parents were. I suffered shame at the expense of their decision. Old friends didnt want to know me or my siblings. We were labelled “scabs” and I admit I was a scab I was hungry alot because we didn’t have food at home but worse of all I didn’t have my mum and dad. I missed them so much. This addiction of theirs began in my primary school years. Because they were hardly around right into my late teen years I got away with a whole lot of things. I drank heavy, smoked and had sex with whoever whenever wherever. I remember I hooked up with this one guy and he put a lesbian porn film on (This was the first time i saw lesbianism porn) and i just couldnt get enough. All my teen years and early adult years that was the only sought of porn I craved. By the age of 20 i had slept with at least 30 guys. Just in 5 years. Just before my 21st I met a guy I wanted to get serious with we were both into old school music we were both dancers and he was a hip hop artist. We were perfect together. For the next year I actually thought I was over my porn addiction because he was the one fulfilling my sexual cravings. I had a child to him and I felt like a good mother. We still weren’t married though. But I was dead wrong. Every bad decision he made like leaving me and our son to go party out in his neighbourhood made me feel unwanted and unloved these choices stirred in me those old feelings I use to feel when I was alone. Whenever I felt lonely or stressed I would turn to lesbain porn for satisfaction. My thoughts were “if he can do whatever he wants, so can i” so I didn’t really have a conscience at the time because I was so sure he was sleeping around. (First time I actually justified my actions). 4 years and 2 more children later we’re married and have pledged our lives to Christ. Though I have recommitted myself to the Saviour I still struggle with porn BUT I have a great desire to beat it and destroy it forever and I have a CONSCIENCE centred on Christ. I pray and seek his help but I need sisters to help me. I’m planted in a Church but I’m not really close with any of them because of our cultural differences I wish I could speak to them but they have walls up so it’s difficult. May you please pray with me as I ask God to show me the person in whom I can reveal my struggles too please. I want help. I found something I desire more than porn and that is being all i can be for my Christ and Saviour.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hi Veronica. Thank you so much for sharing so deeply with us. My heart just breaks for the pain you suffered as a child; I would call your early exposure to pornography child abuse. I think the outcome in your life bears out that reality: the early sexualization is just one symptom of abuse. Then so much more of your story contains trauma as well. I would encourage you to find a therapist experienced in helping victims of childhood trauma who can help you heal at a deep level. The things you’ve been through are so painful and have had such difficult repercussions in your life; I think a therapist would really be your best option for that safe person who can help you through. Peace to you, Kay

    10. Roger on

      Thank you for sharing this. I have been struggling with the after affects of using porn…lust.
      “My grace is sufficient”.
      Just knowing, if you believe, than you can overcome. That is powerful.

      Reply
    11. Lily on

      This has been very helpful to me, thank you! I feel like God has brought me to this place; to help me understand my addiction and how it has taken me over.

      I am stuck in this rut of knowing I have to stop and feeling horribly guilty for not being able to… Like you described, it feels like I’m somehow defying God; isolating myself from Him every time I indulge, and what makes it worse is the fact that I *know* it’s wrong and destructive and against God’s will even as I’m using it. It’s a vicious cycle, and before I came across your article and others on this site, I felt like — well, I believed a lot of these things you laid out right here. I thought it was some deep, inherent failure that I couldn’t overcome this on my own by sheer will.

      Thank you for helping me realize that I do need someone to help me. My only problem now is how to find someone to help me — to tell this to.

      I mean, I have shared this with people before. But so many of the people I know (pretty much 99% of them) — my friends and my siblings — do not believe in this like I do. My brother, who also has an addiction but refuses to admit it’s unhealthy or destructive, believes — according to “most of our society” — that it is neither sinful nor wrong, but normal. He insists I accept it, or he just refuses to talk about. My friends, likewise non-Christian, don’t see anything wrong with what I’m doing. So… accountability isn’t really possible there.

      My church is very small; there are no other young woman my age (college-age) that attend, and the Pastor has set up a support group for this porn-addicted purpose — but exclusively for young men. (Not that it’s possible to set one up for young women, seeing as I’m the ONLY one… And not that I’m particularly interested in sharing any of this with young men. Am I possibly wrong about that?) The closest woman there to my age is over 15 years older… And perhaps age doesn’t truly matter — am I wrong about this? — but I also don’t know them very well. It might be… awkward.

      I am in college, but I live at home… And the only person that I can see helping me in this area is my mother. And I am, and I think understandably so, VERY resistant to choosing her. It isn’t that she’s not Christian, or that she’s judgmental or we’re estranged… Heck, she’s actually the least-judgmental person I know and I trust her very much; we have an excellent relationship.

      But that’s half of the reason I CAN’T tell her… because I’m afraid of how her opinion of me will go down. How she might see me… more as a failure. And I’ve always had issues of her and my father’s opinion of me. It feels very intimate to share and I’m not so certain that it would be right, regardless. A lot of my addiction I feel is wrapped up in a depression I fell into in my young teen years (which is… not so long ago, but still!), some severe bullying and body-image issues, and a lot of misconceptions about sex and sexuality that my parents never discussed. (Which is probably more information that you needed, buuut regardless…)

      If you have the time, I was wondering if I might ask your’s (or anyone else here, please) advice on this… Um, this is a very personal question to be asking of someone who doesn’t know me, but in anyone’s opinion — is it a good idea to tell my mother and have *her* keep me accountable? If she is the only strong, positive Christian woman I see in person currently in my life?

      For some reason… and perhaps I’m wrong… I feel like it would be messy. Yes; humiliating in some aspects, even though it shouldn’t be. But also because we *never* discuss sex in my home. I have had one or two conversations about sex with my mother very very recently, but still… I would be lying if I said that is the last thing I want to do on this Earth. (Okay, exaggerating, but you know what I mean.)

      I know many people have been in this position, of not having many options for help… But if I find I can’t tell my mother, or for some reason it doesn’t seem right… Do you think it’s possible to wait? To find someone else, who perhaps has a little less control over me — a little less importance in my life — to help me be accountable? (If I try and find someone else, however, I would be waiting at least six months to a year — the time during which I’m planning of transferring to a Christian University.) So, to rephrase this… Is it worth it to wait? To wait a year or even possibly longer?

      Or has an online accountability partner truly worked for a lot of people? Does anyone know, by any chance, where I could find one?

      Thank you,

      In Christ,

      Lily

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hey Lily, if you’re a college student you should have access to campus counseling services. I know this is a bit different from the type of accountability you’re thinking of, but a counselor would be a good, safe place to open up and talk about this and help you work toward your goals. There are online groups at xxxChurch that you might look at as well. Peace, Kay

    12. Grace on

      Thank you. I’ve struggled with porn for years. I’m 18 now and still struggling. I believe I can be free but sometimes I lose hope of ever being free. It all started at the age of 8 or 9. I just couldn’t tell anyone. I want covenant eyes app but I couldn’t afford to pay.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hi, Grace – we have a robust benevolence program for anyone who can’t afford our service. Please call customer service at 877-479-1119 for more details and we’ll be happy to help. I’m so sorry that you’ve been struggling, which at times can seem hopeless. BUT, please hold onto that belief that freedom is possible. Choose it minute by minute. It will be exhausting. But, worth it. Even if you can’t find someone to talk to in person, at least get connected to a forum, like nofap.com, where you can find like-minded individuals who are also struggling. You are not alone!

        Chris

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