Pornography – It’s Not Only a Problem for Men. Women Struggle Too
Pornography is primarily seen as a problem for men but I can attest that it can also be an issue for women. I was exposed to pornography at the young age of eight and it has had a long-lasting detrimental effect on my life.
It happened while my family and I were staying with relatives who gave us the use of their main bedroom. As a curious child, I was innocently trawling through cupboards and drawers, when I came across a stash of porn magazines.
I didn’t understand what these magazines were all about, yet found myself looking through them. Like any nosey child I wanted to know why the ladies were naked. I’d barely seen my parents naked, so these images were seared on my mind and I received an underlying subliminal message that in order to be loved, you had to be sexy like those women.
My Mum found the magazines hidden under my pillow and removed them. I was told off, but with no explanation as to why it was naughty. I don’t remember putting them there or why I would have done that. I could never have imagined it then, as a young girl, but the damage had already been done. For many years I had flashbacks to certain images. No wonder God warns us about what we look at.
“Your eyes light up your inward being. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. A lustful eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. So watch out that the sunshine isn’t blotted out. If you are filled with light within, with no dark corners, then your face will be radiant too, as though a floodlight is beamed upon you.” (Luke 11:34-36)
Pornography came up again in my life a few years later when a neighbour’s son showed me his father’s collection. He was older than me and wanted me to touch him inappropriately… I was barely a teenager and this reinforced my earlier childhood experience. I liked the attention and unfortunately, the subliminal message of having to be sexy to be loved was reiterated in a damaging way.
This was further compounded by dubious male neighbours who listened to the likes of Gary Glitter and held me in upside-down poses as they leered up my skirt. It was the 70s, fresh off the whole sexual revolution of anything goes years and without clear teaching on the dangers of being involved with pornography or of the dangers of men’s behaviour I found myself falling into a trap.
By the time I hit my teens, I began to see pornography as normal as I got so used to watching it with boyfriends. It caused me to question my own sexuality because I became aroused while watching and at the same time felt dirty for doing so. The long-term effect was a firm belief that in order to be loved I had to be like those women I was watching. Thank God I was finally set free from this lie when I learnt the truth.
Thankfully when I became a Christian in my 30s I was able to start putting all this behind me. Only then did I see just how much damage viewing porn had done in my life and how much I needed to renew my mind with God’s Word.
For me, pornography destroyed the true image of what it meant for me to keep my identity as a woman pure and sexual relationship within the safe confines of a loving marriage. It took years to erase the images seared into my brain and reconfigure my true identity and it has taken a lot of prayer and willpower to not watch or respond to triggers that would draw me back into the cycle of addiction.
Today I have learnt my true identity in Christ and am able to share how God and help you overcome any addiction.
Lessons I’ve learned:
- Don’t go there, don’t even look out of curiosity you can’t erase the images easily;
- Know your triggers and catch yourself quickly;
- Do NOT have porn in your house, available on you TV or smart device, put blocks and safety mechanisms in place; and
- Be accountable to a trusted Christian friend.
Deborah Armin is the author of ‘On My Way Home: One Woman’s Journey in search of the unknown god’, published by Authentic Media. In this book Deborah shares how she was able to overcome her struggles, feelings of hopelessness and suicide and serve God wholeheartedly.
There is Hope
Get Free, live in peace and say goodbye to porn forever!
If you struggle with an addiction to pornography there is hope, no matter whether you are a man or a woman. Unlike the past, when Deborah was dealing with her addiction alone, today there are many organisations that offer support. One of these is XXX Church led by Craig Gross, which has been featured on GOD TV.
You can watch all six episodes of Sex In The Digital Age online now via video on demand. GOD TV is also partnering with XXX Church to provide various courses to help individuals overcome pornography and masturbation and to help couples embrace a Godly sex life. These courses include:
- My Pilgrimage is a four-module approach to finding freedom from pornography and masturbation. It starts with upending everything you thought you knew and ends with complete and total freedom. Get Free, live in peace and say goodbye to porn forever!
- Touchy Subjects: We now live in a ‘touchscreen world’ which is also full of touchy subjects. This course guides parents and gives them a a strategy to guide their kids safely into adulthood. Teaching them how to interact with sex, tech and social media.
- Best Sex Life Now is an online video course hosted by couples, Dave & Ashley Willis and Craig & Jeanette Gross. It’s a real, honest conversation about sex and marriage, for married couples, newlyweds, and those about to be married.
- Fighting for My Marriage is a proven course that can strengthen (and possibly even save) a marriage, whether the couple is actively working together or one spouse is currently fighting the battle alone.
To access any of these courses: Visit www.god.tv/sex
This article was written by British author and speaker, Deborah Armin who is a graduate of the London School of Theology. Her book On My Way Home: One Woman’s Journey in Search of the Unknown God, is published by Authentic Media.