Shelley Lubben, an ex-porn star (now a Christian) blew the lies of the porn industry out of the water with her book, The Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn. She wrote:
“[Porn stars] get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to lie because this is their occupation. Porn stars are paid professional liars who know how to ‘act’ and they do it well”.
The world of porn is based on lies and deception. These lies have ways of adapting to the liberal Western culture (which birthed it) as well as conservative African culture. This is why some Nollywood porn stars doubletalk:
Judith Okpara (“Afrocandy”): “I …want to solemnly clear the air here and now that I do not act porn movies, never acted in any porn movie and I am not a porn star…”
Collins Owochei: “I did not shoot or act in a soft porn movie … I have no interest in nudity.”
Mimi Quaker: “It’s only make-believe. You are not having sex but making it look like you are having sex.”
Cossy Orjiako: “I can act in a porn movie, but I can never go nude myself.”
Maheeda: “I don’t have a problem doing that but I think it is because of my job and I know most Christians won’t understand it … I just believe His grace is enough for me. He loves me more than my ‘nakedness’. If you see God as a Father because He sees you as a daughter, I would not because of your nakedness want to ruin you or kill you. That is how I see God. He understands me. He hates me but He loves me at the same time. Jesus is the best thing that happened to my life.”
Notice that these are the same things most drug addicts will say in public: “Oh no, I’m not a junkie, I’m clean!,” “I was never a drug addict! My body may be going awry, but my soul hates weed! Praise Jesus” or “It’s just make-believe. I’m just making you people think I was smoking that crack.”
Jennifer Lynn Case, an ex-porn star, reflects: “One thing I remember was trying to separate the real me from the porn star me. I became two people and turned it on and off when needed. My other personality ‘Veronica’ was just a fake front to protect the real me and get the job done,” she said. “When I did porn, I wanted it to be over as quickly as possible and it was all about the money for me. I thought I did what I had to do to survive at the moment. My fantasies usually consisted of living a normal life, I fantasized about what life would be like if I wasn’t stuck in that nightmare. When you watch porn, you are watching a lie that is made to destroy you”
This applies both to the porn makers and their consumers. And this is why the first step to freedom from porn is to stop living in denial.
Porn is so destructive because its needs a dark place or a “fortress” within the mind in order to survive. So to uproot it, you need to stop shielding it. After delving into porn, a young man observed: “I had never had severe social anxiety, but I noticed that I found it hard to look people in the eye, I became very lazy and unmotivated in my teenage years going to bed late, waking up late”. He began to lack self-confidence in approaching many women because porn was easier, “and the fact that the guys in those scenes are huge and I’m an average Joe” he said.
This spiral descent is fairly common. There are several effects that looking at porn can have on people.
Gary Wilson in his article Brain on Porn, demonstrated with several cases that porn addicts commonly show symptoms like tiredness, social anxiety, depression, isolation, insecurity, erectile dysfunction, poor academic performance, relationship/marital issues and a lack of interest in anything other than porn.
Porn materials stimulate a hormone in the brain called Dopamine which desensitizes a user such that a porn that seems “hot” to him today will seem “boring” tomorrow. This is why most porn addicts seek different types of new porn materials in order to maintain the thrill.
“I was exposed to porn at the age of 12 by spelling a URL wrong” wrote a Christian man, “I quickly closed it because I wasn’t interested.” But one day while browsing, he logged on to a porn site. “A whole new area with tons of porn images and videos and livestreams started coming up” he adds, “then it started to where I was searching Google images and I started watching live cams and stuffs like that. It grew from watching just nude girls to actually sex porn videos.”
This illustrates how sin – particularly porn – quickly grows and when it has properly grown, it brings death and one of the first things it kills is one’s relationship with God (James 1:15).
“I was having thoughts of self-injury because of the pain and anger and shame from my addiction to masturbation and pornography” wrote Alex, “the Devil has constantly been telling me that I’m fake and not worth God’s time because of this.” Virtually every Christian struggling with this habit also struggle with guilt and even depression. Most people resort to porn to “escape” from an emotional pain, such as rejection, or boredom. So a good starting point to freedom is to find out why you keep falling into it.
No matter how long one has struggled with it, the truth is, porn can be overcome in Christ just like every other sin. It has to repented of however, and this implies eschewing all porn materials/websites.
To maintain your freedom, you will also have to actively resist porn and this involves discipline – and takes time. In some cases, a Christian struggling with porn may need the help of a mature Christian to counsel and pray with him regularly. Personally, there are some magazines, movies or TV programs that I consider very dangerous for a person who is just recovering from such.
“If you are viewing porn or addicted to porn, you are trying to fill a void inside of you that only God can fill” says Jennifer, mentioned earlier. “Whenever you look at porn, you are making the void bigger and you will destroy your life. It’s evil; it’s a drug and it is poison and a lie.”