Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

Trying to argue that porn is not bad in many people’s minds is like trying to argue that using cocaine is not bad. Some would even go as far as saying trying to defend porn use is akin to defending child molestation and rape (as they believe porn leads to these horrible things).

But just because an argument, or defense of something is not popular – does not make it any less right to defend. Truth is always truth no matter how popular it might be. When Columbus tried to argue that the earth was round – everyone thought he was a fool. When Martin Luther stood up and said over a 1000 years of Catholic teaching and authority was wrong – he was called a heretic.

If I were trying to argue that porn was not bad from a secular perspective, then I would primarily being going up against feminists and others who believe porn causes men to objectify women.

But I am a born again, Bible believing Christian. I believe there is one true God, the God of the Bible, that God sent his Son – Jesus Christ the God man. I believe that he is as he said in John 14:6 “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father” but by him.

But I also believe based on that same Bible that tells us about God, why he created us, how he created us and the allowable behavior of men in the Bible by God – that porn is not bad for man to view or use on a regular basis.

So this position creates enemies on both sides of the aisle – both religious and secular.

Sexual imagination is NOT Lust

I have to repeat this over and over again, and I will continue to for as long as God gives me breath. If I had a dime for every time a fellow brother or sister in Christ threw Matthew 5:28 at me to condemn pornography I would be a millionaire! When it comes to the Bible, Scripture always interprets Scripture. This is what Matthew 5:28 states:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

So does God condemn men looking at women? No. Does he condemn men for admiring a woman’s beauty? No. Does he condemn men for being sexually aroused by a woman’s beauty or imagining her naked? No. Lust is NOT sexual arousal or sexual imagination. The Apostle Paul tells us what lust is Romans 7:7:

“…for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Lust is covetousness, not sexual arousal or even sexual imagination. Lust is the strong desire to possess something that you cannot have. True lust which is covetousness – is what proceeds adultery.

Now that we have that truth established lets move on this subject of Porn NOT being bad.

Is all Porn good?

No. Porn that depicts immoral acts such as rape and violence, or featuring minors with adults is not good and it not right. Porn that features orgies, wife swapping or homosexual acts is not right. When I say that porn is not bad – I mean the viewing of naked members of the opposite sex, or normal heterosexual sex between a man and woman as God designed it.

What about Porn addiction?

Earlier I said I believe it is not bad for a man to view porn “on a regular basis”. But what is the difference between viewing porn on a regular basis and addiction? Addiction is anytime we do something more often than we should.

For instance people who are addicted to pain pills – take them more often than prescribed. People who have eating addictions eat more often than they should. In the same way, people who have porn addictions look at porn more often than they should.

I will have a separate post on how to deal with compulsive masturbation and porn addiction. But I will just say here that if you find yourself masturbating when you should be working, or spending time with family, or doing other things you love – where masturbation and viewing porn is how you spend the majority of your time – then you may well have an addiction issue that you need to deal with.

“Porn made me depressed”

Many studies and surveys have found that some men report that porn makes them feel depressed. But what are the actual sources of this depression?

Sources of Pre-Porn Viewing depression

School troubles (failing grades in school or college).

Upset over not having a girlfriend or wife

Relationship troubles with girlfriend or wife

Financial issues

Death of a loved one

Chemical imbalance that should be medicated with anti-depression drugs

This is list is by no means exhaustive source of what can trigger depression in men, but you get my point that a man can be depressed BEFORE he views porn, not necessarily BECAUSE he has viewed porn.

Is it wrong for a man to view porn because he is depressed?

I will answer this question first with some other questions.

Is it wrong for someone to eat their favorite comfort food (cupcakes, chips, pizza) when they are depressed?

Is it wrong for someone to have sex with their spouse when they feel depressed?

Is it wrong for someone to drink alcohol when they are depressed?

I could go on, but again you get my point. Do you know that the Bible actually shows in one example, and commands in another verse the use of some of these things to handle depression?

“Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.” – Proverbs 31:6

“those that be of heavy hearts” refers to people suffering from depression. It says give them wine to help alleviate their depression.”

In another Biblical example – Isaac is comforted after his mother’s death by sex with his new wife:

“And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” – Genesis 24:67

Here is Isaac- he is very distraught at the loss of his mother as any loving son would be. He is depressed beyond measure. His servant arrives and tells him about Rebekah, and without barely saying a word to her he takes her in his mother’s tent and had sex with her – that was him saying he wanted her to be his wife! The Bible says that sex with Rebekah “comforted” him “after his mother’s death”. So we see here that our sexuality, our ability to be sexually aroused and experience orgasm – either by masturbation or by sex with our spouse can be a power anti-depressant!

A word of caution. If you are person that deals with chronic depression then you should see psychological help and get on some anti-depression meds. The things I mentioned above like eating comfort foods, having sex with your spouse and drinking alcohol are not wrong for temporary sources of depression. But if you have chronic depression you need to seek other avenues of help.

But having given that word of caution – I see no absolutely no Biblical problem or even a psychological problem with a person viewing porn and then masturbating as a way to alleviate depression.

Do men only view porn and masturbate because of the issues I mentioned?

Do men only view porn and masturbate because of relationship troubles or other problems with depression? Absolutely not! So many articles online and elsewhere throw out this untruth, this garbage that somehow if a man views porn and masturbates he is doing it to compensate for something – and that could not be farther from the truth.

Men also view porn and masturbate for the same reason men like the smells, sight and taste of food – because we like it! Because we enjoy it! Because we have a natural God given hunger to think about and view female beauty and sex!

What about post-porn viewing depression?

So up to this point we have established that a man’s depression surrounding porn does not necessarily come from the viewing the porn. It may come before the porn, and having nothing to do with viewing porn.

However I will readily acknowledge that there are some men, many men that do not start viewing porn because of pre-porn depression issues, but rather they feel depressed afterwards.

There are three primary sources of post-porn viewing depression. Societal guilt, Religious guilt and Relationship guilt.

Societal guilt

This type of guilt which causes post-porn viewing depression is based on the stigma that is placed on watching porn.

These are some thoughts or feelings that might go through a man’s head immediately after watching porn and then masturbating:

“Only perverts watch porn!”

“You are going to eventually molest women or children, or become a rapist because of what you have just done”

“You have just objectified all those women you looked at – you don’t see women as people, but only as objects for your pleasure – you are a pig!”

But none of these things that our society heaps upon porn viewing are truthful. We often hear studies that show the vast majority of rapists and molesters were big time porn viewers before they started doing these horrible things as if the porn made them do it. In fact some serial rapists have been interviewed in prison and they claim that porn made them do it.

This is a complete and utter copout! This is the same as people who go out on killing sprees saying violent video games made them do it! 99% of people who place video games never commit these atrocious crimes.

Rapists and molesters do not watch porn and then become rapists and molesters – Rapists and molesters watch porn because they are ALREADY potential rapists and molesters. If anything the porn staves them off from the real thing for a long time and then when the fantasy is no longer good enough and they must go and do it for real.

Religious Guilt

The second type of guilt which causes post-porn viewing depression is based on one’s religious beliefs. Since this is a Christian site I will speak directly to Christian teaching that heaps guilt on men for viewing porn and/or masturbating.

Some Christian Churches (like the Roman Catholic Church) and others teach that God only intended for men and women to experience their sexuality through intercourse within marriage. Any experience of an orgasm outside of intercourse is forbidden. That means absolutely no masturbation. Some Christians modify this a bit and say Christians can masturbate, but only in the presence of their spouse as foreplay to intercourse.

Still other Christians say that masturbation is allowed, by no viewing of erotic or pornographic material is allowed. The person must masturbate with no sexual thoughts whatsoever, or in other words – sexual fantasy is forbidden for Christian, unless they are thinking of their spouse.

Let me be clear – the Bible NEVER condemns masturbation. In fact it actually regulates the cleanup of a man masturbating in the cleanliness laws of Israel:

“16 ‘Now if a man has a seminal emission, he shall bathe all his body in water and be unclean until evening. 17 As for any garment or any leather on which there is seminal emission, it shall be washed with water and be unclean until evening. 18 If a man lies with a woman so that there is a seminal emission, they shall both bathe in water and be unclean until evening.” – Leviticus 15:16-19 (NASB)

In Leviticus we see two ways a man is having a seminal emission – by himself and with his wife. And neither of these are considered sinful, or in need of sacrifice.

But masturbation is a huge topic so I would suggest for a larger examination of the Scriptures you read these posts from TheGiftOfSex.com:

http://thegiftofsex.com/masturbation/

http://thegiftofsex.com/2015/01/11/how-to-overcome-the-guilt-associated-with-masturbation/

Relationship guilt

The third type of guilt which causes post-porn viewing depression is based on one’s belief about relationships. Many people feel that a man viewing porn and then masturbating to fantasies of sexual relations with those women is “emotional cheating”.

Is viewing porn “emotional cheating”?

The truth is that watching porn is no more “emotional cheating” for a man than a woman watching a romance movie and fantasizes about her husband making the romantic gestures that the guy in the film is toward the woman. In fact often time’s women get turned on by watching romance movies in the same men get from watch porn.

“But viewing porn and masturbating makes me upset that I don’t have a relationship”

There is another kind of relationship guilt that some men experience after viewing porn and masturbating. I call this the “I would have rather done this with a real woman, my wife” guilt. The fact is that masturbation – while being a wonderful gift God has given us as part of sexuality – is not the same emotionally and physically as being with a woman.

Check out this post from web MD on the differences between masturbation and sex

http://www.webmd.com/men/guide/male-masturbation-5-things-you-didnt-know

But having said that – as a man you need to let that guilt go. You need to be able to enjoy your sexuality while seeking the mate God would have for you. You need to recognize that yes while masturbation is not the same as having sex with a woman whom you love and who loves you, it is still a gift God has given you to experience your sexuality before marriage and also during marriage (when your wife is sick or you are separated for various reasons, or sometimes just because you feel like it!)

Just because you masturbate does not mean you have to stop looking for a mate, or if you have a wife that you will stop wanting to have sex with your wife.

“But I am hiding something from my wife and that is wrong”

Another kind of Relationship guilt that men experience after viewing porn and masturbating is “this is wrong because I am hiding something from my wife”. In fact if you look online this often was the biggest things that offends wives about their husband’s porn and masturbation habits.

Contrary to popular notions about relationships or even popular Christian beliefs – you do not have to tell your spouse every thought you have, or every action you do. It is one thing to lie to hide your own sin. For example if you have a gambling problem and you are hiding that from you wife – that is wrong. But there is no sin in masturbation or in viewing porn (within the limits I talked about earlier) – this is a natural and desirable thing for any man to do if he is being honest with himself and how God designed him.

Are there women that are just as visual as men and enjoy looking at pornography? Absolutely! I get emails from them all the time telling me how much they enjoy this site and some of the pictures I have posted are from such women.

But I would estimate that these types of women that can enjoy what I call “visual sexuality” in the same way a typical man does are maybe 5 to 10 percent of women at best (and if you are married to such a woman you are one luck guy!)

For most women the visual side of sex is very small when compared to the relational and romantic side of it. In fact most women are dumb founded by how men are able to completely separate the physical side of sex from the relational – it astounds them.

If viewing porn is ok than why all the secrecy?

In the same vein as a man hiding this from his wife, a common attack on porn (and its cousin masturbation) is – “If viewing porn and masturbating is so great and noble, why is it always done in private?”

My answer to that is there are many things in life that are wonder and noble, yet they are things we want to experience in private. I love and appreciate those married couples that want to photograph their sexual love and they share it with my site and others. But let’s face it, most people want to experience sex with their spouse in private. Does this make sex with one’s spouse wrong because it is done in private?

In the same way most of us would rather enjoy viewing porn and masturbating in private and there is no sin because it is done in private.

When men view porn it causes them to objectify women

I mentioned this briefly above, but I want to come back and attack this untruth about porn viewing head on. Get ready for it ladies…

Porn does NOT cause men to see women as sex objects – a man’s brain comes pre-wired from God to view women as sex objects.

Now as I have said in other posts – women are both sex objects and people. A serial rapist rapes women because he has separated women from their personhood, he only sees women as sex objects and not also as people. Women are both – you cannot separate the fact that a woman is both a person and an object of sexual beauty and pleasure to a man.

Conclusion

Porn is not bad for Christian men or women to view and enjoy contrary to the assertions of secular feminists on one side and Church leaders on the other. Porn when used within the guidelines of God’s gift of sex can be a wonderful blessing to men and women.

I find it fascinating how human imagination – when it comes to almost any other subject is so honored in our society but when it comes to sex – sexual fantasy and imagination are condemned. The same mind that is capable of dreaming up poetry, philosophy, architecture, scientific theories is also capable of imagining beautiful and arousing sexual imagery.

God condemns sinful imagination – like someone imagining they are raping someone, or torturing someone, or murdering someone, or molesting someone. God does not condemn all sexual imagination as lust– he designed us to desire and imagine heterosexual sex – it is built in to who we are as human beings.

While many of these articles are geared toward men – because men are usually much more visual and physical in their sexual nature than women – these truths would apply equally to women. There is nothing wrong with a woman having sexual imagination – in fact I think if more women cultivated a sexual imagination they would see the benefits to their marriage not only in the bedroom, but outside the bedroom as well.

Your sexuality is not a curse from God, but a gift. You sexuality is not meant to be repressed, but rather enjoyed within the boundaries of God’s law and his design. God gave us both masturbation and sex. He gave us sexual imaginations – if we will only allow ourselves to imagine. So I encourage you brother or sister in Christ – go and enjoy fully the gift of sex that God has given you today!

Here are some secular articles to read that tackle anti-porn propaganda:

(Just be aware that as a Christian I don’t necessarily endorse everything in these articles, but they do raise some valid points(and studies) as to why porn is not bad for men)

Porn is not the Problem – You Are

Five reasons you need to watch porn

Ten Reason porn is actually good for you

http://www.webmd.com/men/guide/male-masturbation-5-things-you-didnt-know?page=2

NOTE: This article was originally written by the anonymous blogger at RestoringChristianSexuality.com.  He is shutting his site down and gave me permission to copy his articles over to my site so people will be able to continue to see them after his site is gone.