By Sathiya Sam
Pornography is a prevalent commodity in our society today, with over 2 billion pornographic websites on the internet.
Things weren’t always this way.
As recently as 20-30 years ago, porn existed in magazines & secret rooms of local convenience stores. While these media forms were hidden, they were common.
Pornography is media-based, and the most popular forms of media – motion pictures, books & photos – are significantly on the rise. As media consumption has increased over time, unfortunately, so has pornography viewership.
It’s crazy to think that people a few decades ago were concerned about the prevalence of porn because what we are witnessing today is on another level.
- By the time someone turns 18, there is a 93% chance they’ve watched pornography with some form of regularity (http://www.familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html).
- In the time it takes you to read this sentence, over $10,000 has been spent on pornography (https://www.covenanteyes.com/pornstats/).
- Over 40 million Americans admit they regularly visit porn websites (https://www.sagu.edu/thoughthub/pornography-statistics-who-uses-pornography).
- 1 in 3 porn viewers are women (https://www.sagu.edu/thoughthub/pornography-statistics-who-uses-pornography).
- Divorce rates double in marriages where porn is viewed regularly (https://www.inquisitr.com/3441111/porn-watching-by-married-couples-jacks-divorce-risk-rate-up-nearly-200-percent/).
So what has caused such a dramatic increase in pornography viewership and ultimately porn-related problems?
Affordability, accessibility & anonymity.
These three qualities have made pornography rampant in our culture today. Like any problem, when you can identify the underlying causes, you gain insights into the solution. Let’s take a closer look at the affordability, accessibility & anonymity of pornography, and how these aspects can be leveraged to gain freedom.
Porn is monetarily free. There are hundreds of thousands of pornographic websites that charge no money to view their content. A lack of cost reduces the barrier to access. People go nuts over free stuff. If you don’t believe me, just watch a free sample table in a supermarket.
The price of something often factors into whether or not we will purchase it. But as soon as something is free, the only question we really ask is “Do I want it?”
The affordability of pornography eliminates any sort of defense mechanism that a consumer would encounter if there was a cost. This level of affordability makes porn hard to resist.
While pornography doesn’t necessarily have a financial cost, here’s a more important question to ask…
What is the cost of pornography emotionally? Mentally? Spiritually? Relationally? Vocationally?
Speaking from personal experience, I can confidently say that the cost to hide a porn problem is HIGH.
It’s exhausting emotionally and mentally. Just the effort required to hide is draining.
Spiritually, Pornography is deflating. Disappointing the most important person in your life over and over again is not a good feeling.
Relationally, pornography is taxing. No relationship is strengthened by pornography – romantic or not. Intimacy declines and connection suffers.
Vocationally, pornography can be very expensive. People have lost their jobs over porn.
Do not be fooled by the lack of financial cost – watching pornography IS expensive, and identifying the cost in other important areas of your life can reveal just how much pornography is actually costing you.
The digital age has proven that time and time again, humans prefer convenience. We are economical creatures who intrinsically calculate how much effort is required for small tasks, big projects and everything in between. A more convenient option usually wins.
Think about it. Convenience is the reason…
Blockbuster is bankrupt and Disney+ is exploding.
Uber has 100 million users while the taxi industry is tanking.
iPhones are ubiquitous and digital cameras are obsolete.
The list goes on…
Let’s face it. We love convenience.
And let’s not kid ourselves – we are a better society because of it. Some of the world’s greatest creations and companies have come with convenience in mind. A world without Disney+, Uber & iPhones is one that I have no interest in being a part of!
But convenience is also the MAJOR reason that pornography viewership is at an all-time high. Laptops, phones, tablets, and TV make porn within reach at any given moment of any given day. That makes porn hard to avoid.
The implications are scarier when you explore the effects on the youth of this generation, who do not know a world without portable digital technology & social media. The devices that are enhancing the accessibility of online content are not “cool inventions”, they are staples in their life. The average age of first exposure to pornography is 11 years old, and that is only going lower as time goes on.
It’s not all bad news, though. The accessibility of pornography can actually be a good thing for someone who wants to get free. It’s really just a matter of perception.
Someone who is on a diet doesn’t moan about how many chocolate cakes are out there. In fact, the more they concentrate on all the food they can’t eat, the more prone they will be to cravings & ultimately, poor choices. The faithful dieter will actually focus on the right things to consume.
While there is a lot of pornography out there that is readily available at our fingertips, there is also a lot of useful content out there to consume. The devices we hold can be used for good and should be used for good. They make the world a better place.
Usually, when people diet, they remove junk food from their house. We don’t quite have that option with pornography, but this is where tools like an internet filter and internet time limitations are key. I personally don’t use social media on my phone and I have an extension on my laptop that only lets me use social media for 15 mins/day (the extension is called StayFocusd).
These kinds of measures are imperative in this day and age if you really want to make the most of your time online and ultimately make good choices in your life.
Watching porn is (usually) an anonymous experience. No one sees you. No one knows your name. No one is going to track you down afterward. When all is said and done, you can close your browser, and carry on.
Porn is not usually consumed in public places. It’s private, personal, and anonymous.
The anonymity of porn fuels the shame that undergirds most decisions to watch porn in the first place. Anyone who has a porn problem really has a shame problem. And shame has one core message: HIDE.
As long as you are hidden, you can’t be found out. And if you can’t be found out, then you are safe.
These are the lies of shame.
And these are the reasons why people delete browser history, create secret folder pathways on their hard drives, and stay buried in a porn problem for years. It is seemingly safer to stay hidden and avoid the consequences.
Ironically, experiencing consequences is often the primary driver of behavioral change. Without a consequence, we are likely not motivated enough to induce change in our life.
The good news here is that there IS a solution to combat anonymity…
Talk about it.
It could be a trusted friend. A pastor. A leader. A counselor. A coach. A spouse. A mentor. Heck, even a stranger. But the minute you come out of hiding, and stay out of hiding, anonymity loses its power. Now you have an opportunity to experience freedom.
Is it scary? Yes.
Does it require crazy courage? Definitely.
Will it be totally worth it? Absolutely.
if you’ve read this far, it’s safe to say that you probably have experienced all three A’s in your life as you work towards freedom. Do not lose heart, there is hope for you. No matter how badly you’ve been affected by them.
Use this information to help you find freedom today. Rather than giving in to the affordability of pornography, count the cost. Find tools that reduce convenience and set you up for good choices. Be courageous and talk about what’s going on. Cultivate intimacy in your relationships. Take an active approach to get free today.
Most importantly – get help. Find courses, mentors & coaches with a proven track record to help you accelerate your journey to freedom. You’ll be glad you did.
Cheering you on,