6 minute read

3 Truths About Porn Addiction Recovery Every Woman Needs to Know

Last Updated: June 21, 2021

Joy Skarka
Joy Skarka

Joy Pedrow Skarka is passionate about creating spaces to free women from shame. Joy is the Director of Discipleship for Authentic Intimacy and desires to reclaim God’s design for sexuality. Currently, Joy is currently pursuing a Doctor of Educational Ministries degree from Dallas Theological Seminary studying how women find freedom from sexual shame.

Do you have a hard time believing you will ever find freedom from porn addiction? I have been there. There were nights when I thought I would never break free from the addiction. I wanted victory over my struggle with porn, but I believed I would always lose the battle. In those moments, I felt hopeless and often questioned God’s plan for my life.

When you feel stuck in addiction, it may be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You may even begin to convince yourself that you are the only woman struggling with porn. Did you know that 70% of women keep their cyber activities a secret? That is why we feel alone.

Porn use is very prevalent with women. 1 out of 3 visitors to adult sites are women. 17% of all women struggle with pornography addiction. 89% of women struggle with masturbation. These statistics might even be low, because most women feel too shameful to talk about the issue. Out of fear, they decide to keep the secret inside.

Recovery can seem challenging, especially when the problem is not talked about. When you are controlled by a behavior for so long it becomes even harder to imagine living in freedom. But there is hope. You can recover from porn addiction. Below are just a few of the truths about porn addiction recovery that every woman needs to know:

Truth #1: Recovery can’t be done alone.

The feeling of isolation is common among women who struggle with porn. The enemy wants you to feel alone. It is easy to live a life in hiding when you struggle with porn addiction. You don’t want others to know that you are addicted to porn, but if no one knows, you will never find support from others. Please know that you are not alone in your recovery journeyI’ve been there. I’ve been stuck in the cycle of addiction and now I am living in freedom from porn addiction. 

Joining a porn addiction recovery group is one way to help you realize that you are not alone. In group, you will be in communication with other women who can relate to you. They know the temptations that you face every day, and understand what you are going through.

Sometimes we are afraid to open up and let each other see inside our hearts and minds. Once we share our stories, then we realize that we are not alone. As a group, you can share what you are learning and provide support to each other.

When you feel like you are failing the battle, remember that you are not alone. My friend Jessica can relate to believing the lie that she was alone in her addiction. Jessica shared about her struggle with porn, “I was exposed to pornography as a first grader by a childhood friend and had no idea the lasting effects it would have on me as I got older. While I didn’t understand what it was or why it was bad, I innately felt that it was wrong and that alone filled me with plenty of shame.

As I got older I curiously surfed the tv channels late at night and would find similar content to what I saw that very first night. While finishing up in high school it evolved from watching porn to masturbating and I always convinced myself it was harmless because it affected nobody but me.

Little did I know it began to affect my thought life in some very intense ways which evolved into lust in my heart and mind. The shame followed me through life until the first time I heard someone else share that they too struggled with it. That defeated the biggest lie I believed, “I was in this alone.” 

Once Jessica realized that she was not alone, she was able to take the next step in her recovery journey.

Truth #2: Recovery will help you move past the shame.

The issue of porn addiction is surrounded by shame, especially for women. Shame is from the enemy. He wants you to feel defeated, but God wants you to find victory over the addiction.

Shame will keep you in bondage. Shame will make you feel worthless, unloved, and unvalued. For example, when we believe that we are more sexually broken than those around us, we may be stuck in the cycle of sexual sin. 

When we look back at the story in Genesis, the Fall caused shame to enter in and touch every aspect of human lives, including our relationships, our sexuality, and our spirituality. Shame is not just a consequence of what happened in the garden; the enemy also uses it as a weapon to separate us from others and from God.

After realizing their nakedness, Adam and Eve hid from God. The writer of Genesis records, “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8 NIV).

Because of their shame, the first couple hid from God. And we experience that same shame in each of our stories. Until Jesus returns and he binds up the great accuser forever, our enemy will use shame as a weapon to destroy us. He will sneak around, like the snake in the garden, telling us lies and convincing us that we do not deserve God’s love.

How do we escape the tight grasps of the shame our accuser brings? We must find our identity in Christ and each day become more and more like him. We must learn how to live naked and unashamed by uncovering the wounds that birthed the shame in the first place.

The good news is that God does not leave us alone in our shame. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9 NIV). God, being good and gracious, seeks us out and whispers, “Where are you?”

He invites us out of our hiding and into His light. He calls us from the darkness of shame and into His presence. The Lord walked with Adam and Eve after they sinned and metaphorically speaking, He walks with you today. 

When you begin to feel shameful, remember that shame comes from the enemy. 

Truth #3:  Recovery requires accountability.

Porn addiction recovery is a battle that needs accountability. Accountability is a responsibility for one’s actions. In other words, accountability means that someone is there for you and cares about what you are going through.

You were created to live in community with others, and keeping your story and struggles to yourself won’t help. It may not be easy being vulnerable with others, but it is worth it.

Accountability usually includes intentional questions about your week. For example, being asked if you have watched porn or if you were tempted to read erotica are great accountability questions. Accountability may seem intimidating, but often knowing that someone will ask you these questions helps you want to stop the action. 

My friend Grace found freedom and hope through accountability. She shares her story with us, “I finally confessed out loud for the first time that I had a porn and sex addiction to one of the pastors at my church. I was sobbing as I did it, but I found a sort of freedom by finally exposing my addiction. She became my accountability partner, and we meet once a week from then on.

Not only did I find someone who I could confide in, an accountability partner who is older and wiser than me, but I also made a friend in her. Having someone to talk to and be with me on my journey of recovery is amazing.

I’m still healing, and my progress isn’t perfect, but it is progress. I have never regretted my decision to confess my addiction. I’m so glad I did. Ever since, God has shown me that He is with me through my freedom journey.”

Grace was able to share her struggle with a pastor and had intentional accountability through their relationship. Accountability is key to helping you on your journey to freedom.

Begin to think about who could come alongside you as a sister in Christ and support you in your freedom journey. If you can’t think of anyone, begin praying that God will bring someone into your life.

You want your accountability friend to be a safe, wise, trusted, Jesus-loving woman who knows you are actively pursuing freedom, knows how to pray for you, what questions to ask you each week, and knows how you are doing with your struggle with porn. 

Accountability software like Covenant Eyes is also helpful for your journey to healing. When you join Covenant Eyes, you get to add accountability partners or allies who receive reports about your screen activity.

Knowing your ally will be notified if you look at inappropriate content will help lessen the temptation to look at porn. If you don’t have an ally, Covenant Eyes can still help!

When you are doubting that you will ever find healing, remember that you are not alone, that shame is from the enemy, and that accountability is key for healing.

God has taken my painful story and has made it my passion to help others. He has healed me, freed me from sexual shame and sexual addiction, and I believe he can do that in your life too. I love connecting with women who are walking similar roads. Feel free to send me a DM on Instagram @joyskarka. I would love to connect with you.