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Porn is Not a Reality



According to Zach Brittle, LMHC at the Gottman Institute: Blog, X is for X Rated, the implication is clear: The most devastating effects of porn use are more emotional than physical and more relational than personal.


Brittle claimed “One of my clients, struggling with pornography addiction, has even called it “soul destroying.” My goal here is not to climb up on a soapbox. Instead, it’s to offer a sobering perspective on what is otherwise becoming a mainstream “reality” based almost entirely in myth. Here are four damaging myths about pornography for you to consider.”


Myth of Perfection: The men and women are at the peak of their condition, and everything is perfect, but it is a lie.

Myth of Ease: No needy children, ringing phones, or interruptions, and no consequences, but it is a lie.

Myth of Escape: (pornography) bonds the user to a fetish of impersonal sex and ultimately leads them away from personal relationships and back into pornography. This can lead to overuse and compulsion. It feels like an escape. And it’s a lie.

Myth of privacy: Dr. Brittle tells us that Dr. Gottman has articulated a “typical” descent from porn to infidelity simply by seeking out increasing stimulation. Eventually, private online activity leads to personal interactions, permitting you to cross boundaries you swore you’d never cross. Once this happens, you compromise your privacy and the privacy of your family and community. Privacy is a lovely idea. And it’s a lie.


Dr. Brittle advises: “If a relationship with porn is undermining your relationship(s) with people, I’d encourage you to take steps toward repair. Take a good look at the story of your relationship with porn and your sexual story in general. If you’re not ready to do this with your partner, consider talking with a professional or a friend or with your journal. In any case, it’s important to undertake an examination and to look for intimacy and truth rather than settle for myths.”


This then led Brittle to state that “During my research for this article, I learned that the least popular day for Americans to view porn is Thanksgiving Day. I wonder if that tells us something about the relationship between gratitude and intimacy. If not, perhaps it should”.


Finally, this leads us to what Brittle has to say about Dr. Gottman’s book, “What Makes Love Last". In his book, Dr. Gottman unambiguously weighs in on porn, noting, “Even non-compulsive use of [pornographic] images can damage a committed relationship”. He expands by saying, “Most porn encourages steps that can lead to betrayal,” including the loss of emotional connection, secret-keeping, negative comparisons, and dismissing the partner as unattractive and, worse, unworthy.


Help for Healing: Porn Addicts Anonymous (PAA), says that “We are many men and women who have suffered from our own addictive behavior. Having been isolated, alone, afraid, and sometimes filled with shame and grief, we now seek the experience, strength, and hope of others who are recovering from this addiction. We believe that by using the 12 steps, a spiritual program of recovery, we may recover from our addictive disease. There are no fees for a membership, the only requirement for PAA membership is a desire to stop using pornography in all forms. If you are struggling with a pornography addiction, you are not alone”.


In this article, we find hope. It points out the dangers of porn use, lets us know what the myths are, and gives good counsel if we are involved. We can let our partners know that we love and treasure them for who they are and want to do all we can to make them healthy and happy. If anyone needs fellowship and help, the link for Porn Addicts Anonymous is below.


Resources:

Gottman, J. & Silver, N. (2013, September 10). What makes love last?: How to build trust and avoid betrayal. Simon and Schuster, NYC

Porn Addicts Anonymous: A 12-Step fellowship for those seeking recovery from an addiction to pornography, n.d. Retrieved online 8 May 2024.

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