The statistics on porn use are staggering. It’s pretty safe to say that at least one in two American men, and a growing number of women, struggle with compulsive porn use. And it’s no wonder: porn is easy to access, free, pleasurable (at least for the moment), and anonymous, making it seemingly irresistible and highly addictive.
But despite these numbers, countless porn users think that they’re the only one who struggles. “No one else,” they tell themselves, “finds porn as compelling as I do, and so I must be especially messed up.”
Among Christians, the problem can be even worse. Many young men and women think that no one else struggles with lust or porn, which makes their struggle feel even more shameful and sinful.
The problem with this belief is that it is completely unfounded.
It’s Time to Get Real
Let’s get real about the prevalence of porn.
There’s a strong likelihood that if you grew up around or lived during the technological explosion in the early 21st century, you’ve been exposed to pornography. Researchers seeking to study the effects of pornography on the brain have trouble doing so for the simple reason that they can’t find anyone who hasn’t seen porn to use as a control group. In short, pretty much everyone has seen porn at this point. It’s that prevalent.
And if you’ve seen porn, there’s a strong chance that you went back and viewed it again. Porn presses all the right neurological buttons, flooding our brains with dopamine and adrenaline. It’s perfectly suited to be habit forming and even addicting.
Oh, and if you think Christians are immune, think again. Studies show that compulsive porn use is just as common among Christians. It’s an equal opportunity destroyer.
Here’s the point. Nearly everyone has seen porn, and lot’s of people—Christian or non-Christian—find it addicting and hard to quit. So if you think you’re alone in this struggle, it simply isn’t true. There are lots of people with stories just like yours. Some are still struggling, but many have found freedom.
Nate Found Freedom in Telling His Story
One man who found lasting freedom from porn is Nate Larkin. He was a successful pastor with a large following of admirers. But he had a terrible secret: He was a sex addict. He compulsively viewed porn and even bought sex.
After facing a crisis in his life, he finally found the courage to tell his story. Here’s what he says about his experience:
Telling your story for the first time can be intimidating, even terrifying. It can feel like you’re about to lose everything—and that’s why many people don’t want to do it.
But once you actually do go public with your struggles, you realize you’re not alone. You find the burden of shame is lifted, and like Nate, you feel a new rush of freedom and hope.
Tell Your Story
If you’re reading this, and you’re struggling with porn, tell your story to someone you can trust. It’s scary, I know, but you’ll be glad you did. Chances are, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a lot more encouragement and support than you think. More importantly, you’ll realize, like Nate Larkin, that your story isn’t nearly as unique as you thought.
And if you’re reading this and you’ve defeated porn in your life, please tell your story. Hearing about a journey of authentic healing and recovery from porn use can empower someone else to open up and seek help. It can literally change a life. Yes, it requires some courage and vulnerability, but it’s an act of service and love. We’re all in this together.
Author Brene Brown once said, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” Telling our story requires a great deal of vulnerability, and we often fear we will appear weak if we admit our struggles. But the truth is the exact opposite. Being vulnerable is one of the most courageous and freeing things we can do, and it can give others permission to be vulnerable themselves, and find healing as a result.
If porn is going to be defeated in our culture, we need a lot more courageously vulnerable truth-tellers to stand up and be honest about their struggles—and victories—with porn. Telling your story is a powerful act of resistance to a pornified world, and it can empower you and others to live lives of freedom and joy.