GUEST POST: Who Does Pornography Hurt?

Note from Josh: While I’m ending the year (and starting the new year) finishing projects, starting new ones and trying to take a little down time, one of my favorite porn addiction bloggers, Hugh Houston, has agreed to share some of his late-2020 entries here. This is the final blog from Hugh that I’ll be sharing and I appreciate him for letting me use some of his material. You can follow Hugh’s blog HERE and pick up a copy of his terrific book, Jesus is Better than Porn through Amazon.

Millions claim that pornography is a harmless, victimless activity.  I used to say: “But of course I enjoy looking at pictures of naked ladies.  As a man I’m supposed to be attracted to beautiful women.”

Who does porn hurt?  I believe those posing and performing for porn are victims.  Sure some of them get paid handsomely for their role.  Yet many of those resort to alcohol and drugs to help them cope with life they are living.  What parent dreams that one day their child will become a porn star?  How would you like for others to look at you as an object to be used and objectified for selfish gratification?  And I have not even mentioned the undeniable connection that exist between the porn industry and human trafficking.  The whole idea behind porn is that a human being has become a commodity to be sold at a profit to the highest bidder.

As a husband and father and friend who gets hurt when I look at pornography?  Obviously my children pay a price.  Every minute spent with porn takes me away from them.  And if no community wants a sexual pervert living in their midst, where would that put me if every knew what I was doing behind closed doors?  I hid my addiction to pornography from my wife for the first 30 years of our marriage.  Yet she knew that something was wrong with me.  My smile was gone.  I was not fun to be around.  Porn had sapped my joy.  How could I be the father my children needed and deserved?  I’ll never get those years back.  I stole from my own offspring.  I hurt my beloved children.

My wife suffered immeasurably by my serial betrayals.  If my excuse was that none of it was real and nobody was getting hurt, her view was totally opposite.  Every time I looked at “the porn girls” I was turning my back on her and desiring them over her.  She felt rejected, unworthy, unwanted, undesirable and ultimately unloved.  On our wedding day I had vowed to be true to her.  To love her above all others till death do us part.  Yet countless times I had broken this vow. Her wounds were so raw and so deep that it took months and years for her to heal.  Today, 15 years after I confessed my sin to her, she would still rather not think about it and relive the pain all over again.

Nobody put a gun to my temple and forced me to look at porn.  I did it because I wanted to.  I found it enticing and appealing.  Fascinating and addicting.  It certainly had a Herculean pull on me as I vowed countless times never to go back to it, yet I choose to break my promise to myself endlessly over more than three decades.  While my involvement was voluntary, I also claim to be a victim of this grave evil.  Porn promised pleasure and ecstasy, but left me sad and all alone. In my efforts to spread the word about freedom from this vice, I have met men and women, all across the globe, of various ages and occupations, both religious and non-religious – all of whom intensely desire to break free from enslavement to this evil, where people are exploited objectified for selfish ends.

The pornography industry generates $12 billion dollars in annual revenue – larger than the combined annual revenues of ABC, NBC, and CBS.  Some might say porn is boon for those who produce it.  Yet in my mind they too are victims.  Merely producing a drug that sells to the masses.  But what must it be like to put your head on your pillow at night and know that your whole life revolves around using and abusing human beings created to be loved and valued?  Who wants that written on their tombstone?

If you are trapped on the hamster wheel of compulsive addiction to porn it is time to wise up and wake up.  Open your eyes.  Look at how many victims there are.  Decide that you have had enough and that you will do everything you can to get help and find a way out.  Yes, millions do it every day and say it is normal and natural.  Yet millions also see the destruction that porn causes.  Users left depleted and alone.  Families ruined.  Painful divorces.  Children who cry out for a parent to love and cherish them more than their own selfish lusts.  I found freedom and a new life.  Millions of others have put porn in the rearview mirror and you can too.

Lead Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

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5 thoughts on “GUEST POST: Who Does Pornography Hurt?

  1. “What parent dreams that one day their child will become a porn star? How would you like for others to look at you as an object to be used and objectified for selfish gratification?” “But what must it be like to put your head on your pillow at night and know that your whole life revolves around using and abusing human beings created to be loved and valued?” – I think it’s really problematic to project one’s own moral stance onto others. The same kind of thing often happens with regards to women engaged in prostitution. It’s easy to assume that these people are all victims for ending up doing work that they should be ashamed of, but that’s not true across the board, and it’s demeaning to people engaged in that work who don’t see it as a moral issue to suggest that it should be one.

    1. I don’t disagree with you, Ashley. Would you like to write a guest blog responding? I’m more about fostering discussion than taking more stances myself. If you look at my podcast list, I’ve appeared on panels with porn stars and with priests.

      1. I don’t have quite enough gas in the mental tank for that, but thinking back on the post now, I can see how there could potentially be a lot of value in moralizing pornography from the addict perspective. I think where I’m coming from is moralizing is the moralizer’s issue, and if other people don’t share those moral views, that does not make them amoral.

      2. I think there is also a lot of value in understanding everybody’s perspective. Just because you understand somebody’s point of view does not mean you endorse it.

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