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The Lies of “Soft Pornography”

There’s nothing soft about the damage “soft pornography” does to those not aware of its dangers.  And few people are.  If you use pornography or know somebody who does, here are fifteen common lies whispered to us by the purveyors of sex trash in magazines, movies, and websites.

I can control myself.  I will be able to keep my porn use from growing.

Reality:   What satisfies now won’t satisfy later.  Porn demands increasingly degrading stimulation.

If not, my firewall will hold up. No one else will ever know what I’m doing here.

Reality:   Porn sites are very wealthy, and so they have pioneered the technology for recording what you want and how to get you aroused.  They recognize you as a unique customer, and at your most vulnerable moments, they present you with images selected for you personally.  Private porn (just like actual cheating with a lover on the side) craves the thrill of increasing the risk of detection.

I won’t masturbate to this stuff.  

Reality:  It will arouse you, and it will glamorize masturbation.  If you give it enough opportunities, porn will talk you into it.

Even if I did, it would be harmless.  

Reality:  Just as the sound of the bell became an appetizing turn-on to Pavlov’s dogs just because it came right before the food, whatever you’re looking at or thinking about right before an orgasm will become irresistible in real life.  You will be training yourself not only to want promiscuous partners, but become unable to resist them.

I’m single—I’ll quit if I marry a prude, and let’s hope I don’t.  

Reality:  By training yourself to want promiscuous partners, you’re preparing any exclusive relationship to get ruined, by cheating, and guaranteeing it will be messed up by possessive jealousy.  Most of the insights below about marriage will apply to most single adult love relationships as well.

Porn is harmless to marriage.  In fact, it will spice up a marriage.

Reality:   Private porn stimulates the mindsets that trigger its use:  self-pity and self-centeredness, entitlement and resentment, insecurity and impatience, lust and loneliness.  All these attitudes ruin a marriage.

What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

Reality:   Whatever you do to yourself, you do to your spouse too (you’re a one-flesh team).  Even if you don’t get caught.  When you deceive your spouse, life always goes out of the marriage, and both of you can feel it.  When you do get caught, you’ll soon realize that the cover-up actually hurts the spouse worse than the pornography or the promiscuous sex it will eventually lead to.

Porn prevents adultery.  If I can enjoy porn privately, it will drain off the desire to cheat.

Reality:  By portraying sex apart from responsibilities like marriage, porn glamorizes cheating, stimulates the desire for it, and weakens the resolve to avoid it.

I can have it both ways.  I can change my mental gears to fit into whatever setting I’m in.

Reality:   Memories, pictures, feelings and desires from the porn world will spill over into a marriage, and vice-versa.  Each will mess up the other.

The purpose of sex is just pleasure and relaxation, so porn is pretty much perfect sex.   

Reality:   The best purpose of sex is for the enjoyment and bonding together of husband and wife, and that’s where all the perfect sex lies.

Marriage?  Fidelity and Monogamy are gone with the wind. Virtually no one is faithful anymore, and those who try to be are tragicomic figures who surely would cheat if only they could get away with it.

Reality:   Some people who could seemingly get away with it choose not to cheat because they want genuine intimacy at home.  They are the free ones, free to cheat or to be faithful, free to be natural, passionate, tender, and completely close all at the same time.  The tragic figures here those who stray.  They are not free, because they are slaves to their desires or to others’ temptations—they can’t always  say no.

Deep down all women want to get off.  Every woman is steaming hot underneath, and wants orgasms above all.  They can and should come to a man preheated, ready to get sexy without any need for love, tenderness, or fidelity, which are all just a waste of time.

Reality:   Women heat up slow like a crock-pot.  They need appreciation, conversation, then affection.  Those who train themselves to discount these things and be aroused like men at just the touch or the sight of certain body parts are very unhappy down inside.  They long for a committed, caring relationship, and in time they will try to turn any extra-marital affair into a marriage for themselves.  Historically, these women make horrible wives, and dangerous friends.

Sex comes easy for men.   Men are passive and privileged, able to just wait until a woman presents herself.  They don’t need to approach her, love her, understand her, listen to her, be true to her, or partner with her.  Men don’t need a woman to do any of this in order for him to get aroused.  They just need a fresh supply of raunchy stuff.

Reality:   As the years go by, love gets more and more sexually arousing to men, and lust, less and less.  Sure, nearly all men like to be playful and creative with their lovemaking, and want their wives to be the same.  But men like to take the initiative, and to be admired for their character, and for what they do in life.  No one’s approval or disapproval means more to him than his family’s, and that requires fidelity.

Lust has a lovely luster. People who crave sex and can’t get enough of it live a beautiful, carefree, pleasure-filled life, played out in the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Reality:   No, these people are sex addicts, and unless they get into recovery or die young, they are destined to lose everything.  A sexual addiction can be satisfied with nothing less than destroying your family, friends, health, faith, money and even your ability to orgasm.  Truth is, “Anything you put before your recovery you will lose.”

If it feels good do it.  

Reality:   If it feels good, first think through the long-term, widespread harm.  Do a cost-benefit analysis.  Remember that relationships are way more fulfilling than orgasms.  No one wants to live and die alone.

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About Dr. Paul Schmidt, PhD

Dr. Paul Schmidt, PhD is a psychologist life coach with offices in Louisville and Shelbyville, KY, 502 633 2860.