What i want you to know: women struggle with pornography, too

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest posts is by anonymous reader.

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What I want you to know is that men aren’t the only ones that struggle with pornography.

I was six years old when I stumbled upon my first bit of pornography. I was playing in the woods behind our house and found a stack of adult magazines. There was nothing that my parents or anyone that cared about me could have done about it. It was just a very unfortunate accident. I didn’t understand exactly what I was seeing but from that moment on it was something that I knew I would like to see again. I’ve heard it described as a switch that gets turned on in your mind. I don’t know if that’s an accurate statement but it’s certainly how I felt.

It would shock my parents to hear it but growing up pornography was readily available in our house. Not because they subscribed to any magazines but because we had a satellite dish that had no parental controls on it. A friend taught me how to find the ‘bad’ channels pretty much as soon as we got it. I was eight. It was never anything my parents thought a child would be interested in watching so they didn’t think they needed to monitor it.

When I was twelve I started reading romance novels. My Mom knew about it but she had no idea how adult the content was in them. Pornography is a bit like a drug. What excites you the first time doesn’t necessarily excite you the next so it wasn’t too long until I had worked up the courage to buy truly adult books that they sold at the local bookstore. Apparently, there were no rules about how old you had to be to buy them.

Because I believed that only men were interested in pornography I felt like there was no one I could talk to about my struggles. I felt like if I came clean I would be seen as a pariah and someone to be avoided. So, my life then took on a circular pattern that would involve me seeking out pornography and then feeling incredibly guilty and ashamed about it.

When I was in college the Lord really got a hold of my life and it was then that all of my problems with pornography magically disappeared. Er…not so much! It was absolutely still a struggle!

After listening to a really powerful sermon by Matt Chandler I began to ask myself the following questions: Why was I seeking this out? What void was I trying to fill in my life? What did my heart truly desire?

What I once saw as a ‘head’ problem I now saw as a ‘heart’ problem. What I mean is, that I used to try to control my desire for pornography by saying “if I get this filter on my computer I won’t look anything up” or “if I only go to the bookstore when it’s crowded I wont be tempted to buy anything.” While these things are definitely good they didn’t deal with my heart. So, they never worked in the long term. Internet filters are good and useful. If you have kids you absolutely need them. But they couldn’t change my heart.

What I want you to know is that even though I’m a woman and a Christian I still sometimes struggle with pornography. What I want you to know is that as parents we can’t control everything that a child sees but we can control what they see at our own houses. What I want you to know is that even if this is something you’ve struggled with your whole life you can find freedom from it.

What I want you to know is that if you struggle with this you are not alone.



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