Why do men use pornography

Christopher West | The Cor Project | More like this: here

I can’t count the number of distraught women who have cornered me at a seminar to tell me the sad tale of a husband or boyfriend addicted to porn. Not that looking at porn is only a male problem. An increasing number of women also find themselves in the throes of porn addiction.

Still, anguished women repeatedly ask me, “Why do men do that?” I remember an episode of Oprah from some years ago in which a panel of “experts” on male behavior led by Jay Leno (?) explained why men look at pornography, go to strip clubs, and cheat on their wives. Many of the women in the audience were visibly and audibly pained as Leno and his friends basically told them to “get over it” because “it’s no big deal.”

Why do men do that? The root of the problem has to do with the fact that God’s original plan for sexual desire and attraction has been twisted in our hearts by lust. God created sexual desire to be the power to love divinely. This is what enabled the first man and woman to be naked without shame (see Gen 2:25): they loved rightly, and there is no shame in loving as God loves.

But since the dawn of sin, sexual desire has become inverted, self-seeking: in a word, lustful. We cover our bodies in a fallen world not because the body is “bad,” but because the body is so very good and – when we are in touch with our own goodness – we instinctively feel the need to protect the body from the degradation of lust.

In men, inverted sexual desire typically tends to seek physical gratification at the expense of women. When lust takes control of a man’s heart, it seeks release in whatever outlet presents itself. This is exactly what the porn industry capitalizes on.

Why does all of this pain women so much? Because women want to be loved and cherished for who they are as persons, not for the sexual release they offer men. In this case, the opposite of love is not hatred. The opposite of love is to use someone merely as a means to an end. This is what lust leads people to do – use others rather than love them.

I know it’s a cliche, but why do so many wives claim “headache” when their husbands want sex? Could it be because they feel used rather than loved? Marriage does not justify lust; it is not a ticket to treat a spouse as a means of selfish pleasure. A spouse who is the object of lust soon realizes, “You don’t love me; you don’t need me. You’re only interested in a means to your own gratification, and you can get that anywhere.”

When the name of the game is self-gratification, any outlet will do. In this view, the Church’s teaching on sex seems tailor made to “keep me from having a good time.” But when the name of the game is self-donating love, everything the Church teaches seems tailor made to help me overcome lust and learn to love as God intended in the beginning.

If you or someone you know needs help overcoming pornography, visit this helpful website http://www.theporneffect.com.

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  1. Paul Fisher July 29, 2019 at 10:45 am - Reply

    When I was Married in 1972, I was looking to become one flesh with my new beautiful wife. We dated almost 2 years(she was my one and only LOVE). I soon learned that she got dressed and undressed at lighting speed.
    Flannel nightgowns and cuddle time. I went to stip bars just to see what a unclosed women looked like and was beyond impressed. I did not think this hide and seek would go on forever but it did. We had our children and intimacy was seldom, I complained and was told (IS SEX ALL YOU CAN THINK OF) I shut my mouth and started looking at porn (whats a man to do). The children are now grown and married and things did get better for a few years until fibro hit and back to square one. I am so lonely and lost (nothing more to live for) I quite.

  2. billy April 26, 2017 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    I only use it because I was never able to get any girl to date and marry me. I’m 47. I’m a virgin. In grade school I was degraded as a “nerd.” The only girls who liked me are the ones I didn’t like in return. “Well why didn’t you give them a chance?” Why didn’t the ones I liked give me a chance? OK then. I wish I didn’t feel like I couldn’t ever find a wife. But now…what’s the use? Maybe next life God will create me attractive and I won’t use porn. I don’t really like it, truth be told. I just want my own wife. But no one I choose ever wants me. Only God knows.

    • Francine & Byron Pirola
      Francine & Byron Pirola April 26, 2017 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      Billy, We don’t know you or your situation apart from your comment above. No doubt you have felt angry and insulted by the sexual rejection from women you found attractive. We would point out however that using pornography makes you even less attractive to women. Even though they may not know you use it, it changes your mind and it changes the way that you look at them. Women don’t like to be objectified and that’s what porn teaches you to do. If you want to be attractive to women, get off the porn and work on being the finest human being you can be – loving, generous, other-centred, kind. That is irresistible to women, especially older women who have learnt the hard way that good looks can often disappoint.

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