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Pornography Addiction

By Mormon.org

We’ve all heard arguments against pornography—that it distorts our perception of love and interferes with our ability to have a normal relationship. On the other hand, some argue that pornography is harmless, victimless, and even helpful in a marriage. Some therapists even recommend pornography to couples as a means for enhancing their ability to express love. So what is the truth—is pornography harmful, or not? 

Understanding What Makes a Healthy Relationship

Let’s look at what healthy relationships are built on: Trust. Love. Selflessness. Sacrifice. Intimacy. God created us to love, trust, sacrifice, and be intimate—emotionally and, in the right circumstances, physically. The boundaries that surround our passions are drawn around us by God to help protect us. Anything outside that very personal sharing of emotions and physical contact betrays the relationship and the identity of those involved. Pornography is betrayal.  It’s a betrayal of real emotions, whether we are single or married. It’s counterfeit.

A healthy relationship develops through a series of trust-building communications, commitments, and experiences as we share feelings, vulnerabilities, challenges, and successes. Over time, we put our emotions into someone else’s care, commit to share our deepest feelings and physical expressions with only one person, and seal that commitment through marriage. The physical expression of our feelings is the culmination of all those acts of trust. Pornography shortcuts the process and goes straight to a physical act. And without the emotional attachment, the act of viewing pornography is ultimately unsatisfying, which leads to viewing more in an addictive search for a connection that can never be found. 

Realizing the Repercussions of Pornography

So what are the dangers? Well, for the single person, pornography creates an emotional void that separates him or her from deeply satisfying relationships. Because of this inability to connect, pornography often causes depression and a feeling of loss of identity. For the married person, pornography builds a wall between two people who are trying to love each other but who likewise can’t quite connect anymore. The marriage can become superficial and often ends.

Worst of all, pornography addiction is a real affliction. It interferes with our ability to have a normal relationship, to be productive at work, to understand our purpose in life, and to feel God’s love.

Recognizing That Happiness Relies on Real—Not Substitute—Emotions

God’s plan is for us to have true joy. To experience real emotions. To learn from life. To feel all the various forms of love—from brotherly love and familial love to that deepest human emotion possible: intimate love in all its forms. When we love someone with all our heart, mind, body, and spirit, there is no substitution. Not even close.