Generation Porn: Single and Too Addicted to Mingle

I had the “perfect” Christian upbringing. My dad was a pastor, and our family’s faith was strongly integrated into every aspect of our life from day one. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at a young age and felt confident in what I believed and how I lived out my testimony of faith.

So, when I moved out and started college at a public university, my perfect world flipped upside down. I was surrounded on a daily basis by students, professors, and friends who had not only turned away from God but lived like there would be no tomorrow.

I was regularly encouraged by these people to enjoy college as a lifestyle, not a professional path to a career. This included partying, drinking heavily, interactions with countless boys, and recreational drugs, none of which I actually wanted to participate in, but did anyways because of the intense peer pressure.

I was encouraged to watch porn.

I think what shocked me most about the “college experience” was the casualness regarding porn. Everyone watched it, everyone loved it, and everyone talked about it like it was a completely normal thing to do. Now, I know what you’re probably expecting me to say: I started watching porn and became addicted and my Christian upbringing was destroyed.

Praise God, because I’m not going to tell you that. I am incredibly thankful that out of all the miserable activities I participated in throughout college, watching porn was not one of them. Just like partying and binge-drinking, I knew that porn was wrong, but by God’s grace, I never watched it.

I’ve thought a lot about why that was the case, especially since so many people tried to convince me that it was not only okay to watch, but actually enjoyable. It only clicked for me after I graduated and really started to study the detrimental effects that pornography is having on the millennial generation.

Millennials fear commitment.

To be blunt, pornography is sex. It’s edited, filtered, and heavily staged, but it is sex nonetheless. When somebody sits down to watch porn, they are watching sexual interactions that appear to be perfect. And for those who watch it regularly (i.e., the majority of college students), this image of perfect sex is becoming ingrained in their brain. They are quite literally being trained to believe that when they have sex, it’s going to be “just like the movies.”

And when it’s not? When they realize that sex is not at all like the videos portrayed on their screens, they feel confused, dissatisfied, and bored – the opposite of what God intended sex to be.

In college, I was amazed at the lack of commitment displayed by girls and guys my age. Everyone was afraid to commit to a significant other, and I couldn’t understand why. Sure, some people will cheat and betray their partner, but this isn’t the norm. So why are so many millennials single and afraid to mingle—or, more accurately, afraid to commit?

I believe that porn is one of the biggest reasons.

It’s a bold assumption, I know. There are other factors that play into this issue, I’m sure, but I will confidently put porn near near the top of the list. To accentuate this premise, let me paint a two-fold picture for you.

Girl is a sophomore in college. She meets junior Boy at a frat party, and they hit it off. Boy takes Girl home and they have sex. Over the next few weeks, the two continue to have sex and hang out casually. There are clearly feelings involved, but when Girl approaches Boy about starting an exclusive relationship, Boy backs off and completely cuts off contact with Girl.

He has enjoyed his time with her, but what if there’s someone out there who can provide even greater satisfaction for him? He’s seen some great sex online, so he’s afraid to commit when there could be someone better out there. Girl is confused and hurt, and she will now have less trust for the next guy that comes around.

I’ve heard this exact story from so many college students.

I’ve seen girls cry tears of disappointment because they aren’t enough for a boy who they thought cared for them. I’ve seen boys frustrated over girls who are just using them for nothing more than a one-night stand.

The second concept of this scenario is that Boy doesn’t need Girl (or any girl, for that matter) because porn is satisfying enough. He can achieve his goal through porn, without having to commit, communicate, or pay for dinner.

When Boy starts to think about commitment and everything that is included with loyalty, it just doesn’t seem worth it. Why even have sex with someone and risk their feelings when you can watch porn, achieve your goal, and hurt nobody (except yourself, but that’s an article for another day).

I know this sounds terrible. It makes the human race seem incredibly selfish and sickened me beyond belief while I pursued a higher education. But, for those who are just looking for a relationship to fulfill sexual desire, pornography can do just that. It literally takes the whole purpose of sex, which is to bring two married people together as one, and turns it into the complete opposite.

This wasn’t God’s intention for sex.

So, I’ll say it again, and maybe you’ll hear me out this time: porn is destroying the beauty of a committed relationship for hundreds of thousands of young people worldwide.

The hook-up culture has existed for years, but porn has caused it to reach a new level that is damaging trust and extinguishing the innocence of true love. I completely avoided relationships in college because of this.

Without ever watching porn, I became fearful that just being me would not be enough for a guy. I went on a lot of first dates that ended quickly because it was clear that my date’s intention was far from pure. My idea of commitment shifted from picturesque to terrifying, at a time in my life where stress was already high and my influences were primarily negative.

Based on how I felt and perceived relationships, I can’t even imagine how similarly terrible this is for the rest of the college student population.

I could go on and on about the detrimental effects that porn is having on millennials…casual sex, body image, social media obsession, emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, unexpected pregnancy, STD’s, etc. You’d be stuck reading this post for days if I covered each of these issues.

So, what next?

I’ve given you something to think about, but what can you do about it? How can we as a culture change this trend and help the upcoming generation understand that there is nothing good to be found in porn?

If you’re a millennial like me, I would encourage you to read our ebook: More Than Single—Finding Purpose Beyond Porn. Read the statistics, and let research help you understand how pornography affects your brain.

Ultimately, no matter how old you are, the issue still stands. Young adults and twenty-somethings are increasingly afraid to be in a committed relationship and uncomfortably comfortable with watching porn. This has to stop. And soon.