How Life Becomes More Fulfilling Without Watching Porn

How it is on the Screen is Not how it is in Real Life

One of the most severe things porn does to someone is shape their brain to start seeing men and women in real life the way they see men and women in porn.

I was addicted to pornography from seventh grade through my freshman year of college and I always thought the porn I was looking at was staying self-contained within itself. When I was looking at the porn, I thought I had set up a fence in my brain which categorized the women in porn over there, keeping them separate from the women I’d see in real life. Almost like the women in porn weren’t real women at all, they were something else. Something I was allowed to degrade and objectify, and the women in real life weren’t going to be affected by that.

Boy, was I wrong.

how life becomes more fulfilling without watching porn

Women are Much More than a Collection of Body Parts

I’m now 35 years old. It’s been almost half of my life since I was hooked on porn and as it turns out, that fence I thought I built in my brain many years ago was nothing more than an illusion. All of those years of looking at porn acted like a professor on my impressionable brain, teaching me that women want to be objectified and used. I never became a rapist, as some have, but the warping of my brain has had lasting repercussions that I’ve had to spend an incredible amount of time and energy undoing.

Let me say this: it is not fulfilling to see women in your everyday life and have no control over lusting over them. This is probably the number one complaint I hear from men who I am counseling in their sexual purity. And if we’d never looked at porn, this autopilot thought pattern would never have developed. If anyone reading this has never looked at porn, please do yourself a huge favor and never start.

I realize that most readers of this article are not in that boat. Some might still be looking at porn, without even wanting out. Maybe you’ve just resigned yourself to thinking porn is a necessary way to get your sexual fix, or you see it as a natural rite of passage of adulthood.

By the grace of God, I am many years removed from my days of viewing pornography (and I include in this movies with nudity and sex scenes in them, as well as other lustful images like the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition).

The absolute greatest, most fulfilling part of life away from porn is to see my wife as a whole person, rather than as a set of body parts. Porn conditioned me to see women as body parts, and the Christian sexual purity books and marriage books I read conditioned me to see my future wife as a set of body parts. Needless to say, with this sort of definition of a woman in my mind, my first few years of marriage were really rough on both me and my wife. Undoing what porn did to my brain required undoing the entire “woman are body parts” mentality. Women are under so much pressure by men and by the world to keep the perfect shape and look. I love that my wife doesn’t have to feel this pressure from me anymore. And trust me, she used to! I’m ashamed and embarrassed that I put her through that.

Porn blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. Porn is obviously a fantasy, but the fantasy doesn’t stay there. You soon start thinking the women in real life are like the women in porn and you start thinking about them in that way. They must want you the way the woman on the screen wants you. And the only truth about fantasy is that it is a huge lie. Fantasy has no finish line. It has no point of satisfaction. It is only one never-ending treadmill. A thirst that is never quenched. It begins when you see your first pornographic image and it will never end until you stop looking at porn and reprogram your brain back to reality. Porn trains you to be attracted to things that aren’t even human: screens, pixels, and paper. Photoshop, lighting, and silicone. Actors and actresses pretending to be something they are not. You will never actually find any of these things! They don’t exist. Porn is the airplane with no destination. It just keeps you flying and flying and flying, but never actually going anywhere. Who wants to sign up for that trip?

On a very practical note, I can’t believe how much time I wasted in my life looking at porn. Life is meant to be lived, not to be sucked out of us in the numbing addiction of viewing pornography. I remember wasting hours of my life looking at porn, that waste of time only adding to the guilt and shame I already felt from the empty act.

Related: Hobbies and Habits–Fighting Porn with Purpose

And oh, who can forget the guilt and shame? I remember in the midst of my addiction how quickly guilt and shame would spring on me after I was finished with my indulgence. Such a sickening feeling. It always felt like I had just crawled into a filthy garbage can and closed the lid on myself. Let me tell you, life is much more fulfilling without that feeling!

Looking back at my years of porn viewing, it’s amazing how much time and energy I gave to it, and how little it gave back to me. In fact, it not only didn’t give me anything back, it took so much from me beyond the hours I spent in front of that screen. If porn were like investing in a stock, the sales pitch would be, “Invest every dollar you have, and you will cash out with nothing. Nothing except depression, a sub-human view of sex, a sub-human view of men and women, guilt, shame, isolation, and a thirst that can never be quenched.” Nobody would invest in that stock! It’s time we start seeing porn in the same light.

The great news is there is a way to have your thirst quenched, but you’ll never find it in porn. Please contact me if you want help with this and it would be my joy to help you experience the fulfillment of ridding your life of pornography.