The following story is the first chapter from my book, 10 Lies Men Believe About Porn, available now wherever books are sold . It is presented here in eight parts and should take you no more than ten minutes to read (You can find Part 1 here). If you would rather read it off-line, you can sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive a free PDF download of the first three chapters of the book as my thank-you gift for signing up.
Fanning the Flames
Throughout the rest of my teenage years I would come across many more magazines and even a few videos. Usually these would come from friends with older brothers who could legally purchase them for us, but commonly through shoplifting as well. I always felt that porn was wrong, but I didn’t really know why. I sensed it was something to keep hidden, knew it was unacceptable in our house, and knew God didn’t want me to look at it. I ended up with a pretty good stash regardless, but I always felt like I needed more. I think I sensed from early on there was always something missing. Something better. I just needed to keep looking and eventually I would find it.
By my senior year of high school I had grown out of my awkwardness and girls started to show some interest in me. Because of my pornography habit, I had no idea how to relate to them outside of my self-focused sexuality, so most of my relationships quickly became physical. I had never developed an understanding of God’s plan for sexuality, and just hearing “Don’t have sex until you’re married” wasn’t going to cut it. In all honesty, even though I said I wanted to wait, my deepest desire was for sex. God was no longer controlling my life, my sexuality was.
Gasoline on a Dumpster Fire
The first big turning point in my struggle with pornography came when I left for college. It wasn’t a turn for the better. Leaving for college ushered me into a new life of independence, a lack of accountability—and unhindered access to the Internet. When I was at home, I was limited to whatever magazines I could find and always at risk of my parents walking in on me. At college I could surf the Internet for porn whenever I wanted…and I did. I would find myself mindlessly surfing porn until three or four in the morning, having no idea where the time had gone. My desire to find the perfect girl or website consumed me.
My addiction had reached a point where I couldn’t even make it through my shift delivering pizzas without stopping at the adult bookstore to watch a movie clip in the preview booth. I began pursuing girls I had no interest in having a relationship with outside of sex. Luckily, I rarely had the success in one-night stands I was hoping for. I can now see that God was protecting me from completely destroying myself during those days.
Deep down, I hated what I was doing. I hated how I was being controlled by this sin. I wanted to walk with God and be a “good” guy. I wanted to marry a great girl, be a godly husband, and raise my kids to hopefully love Jesus someday. But I also knew my life was not heading toward those goals—it was moving further away from them. I wanted desperately to be free from this addiction, but I wasn’t willing to admit I needed help yet. I still believed that if I tried hard enough, I could eventually get it under control on my own.