On a cold, dark night, there’s nothing better than a blazing fire in the fireplace. You can pile on the wood and let it burn nice and warm. It’s safe, warm, relaxing, and romantic.

Now take that same fire out of the fireplace (which was built for it) and drop it in the middle of the living room. Suddenly it becomes destructive. It can burn down the whole house and kill everyone inside.

Sex is like that fire. As long as it’s expressed in the protective commitment of a marriage relationship, it’s wonderful, warm, and romantic.

But porn takes sex outside that safe, healthy context. And it is destructive in its effects.

A Big Business

Porn is big business. Porn producers will show you whatever they think will make you come back and buy more. It is created to be addictive, feeding on your desire to feel good, if only momentarily.

Porn’s Image of Sex

One of the most vital parts of our mental environment is a healthy idea of sex. If these ideas are polluted, a critical part of our thinking becomes twisted.

The porn culture focuses on self-satisfaction. In porn, people have sex with total strangers — people they just met. Porn communicates the attitude of, “All that matters is my satisfaction. It doesn’t matter whose body I’m using, as long as I get it.” Porn communicates the message that sex is something you can have anytime, anywhere, with anyone, with no consequences. It can cause you to begin to think that people exist for your own pleasure.

What Sex is Really About

Deep, lasting relationships are not built on sex, but on commitment, caring, and mutual trust. In that loving relational context, sex is wonderful, like fire in a fireplace. What makes sex really great is being with someone who loves and accepts you, someone who is committed to you for your whole lives together, someone you can give yourself completely to and focus on pleasing and serving through the sex act.

The Lies of Porn

You can’t learn the truth about sex from pornography. It doesn’t deal in truth. Pornography is not made to educate, but to sell. Porn thrives on lies — lies about sex, women, marriage, and a lot of other things.

A closer look at these lies can shed light on the negative messages communicated by porn and how they are influencing the lives and attitudes of those consuming pornography.

Lie #1 – Some people are less than human.

The women in Playboy magazine are called “bunnies,” making them cute little animals, or “playmates,” making them a toy. Penthouse magazine calls them “pets.” Porn often refers to women as animals, playthings, or body parts. Some pornography shows only the body or the genitals and doesn’t show the face at all. The idea that women are real human beings, to be treated with honor and respect, is replaced with the lie that they exist to be used. The same can be said of how men are depicted in porn aimed at women. There, the men are objectified and used.

Lie #2 – Sex is a “sport.”

Porn views sex as a game — and in a game, you have to “win,” “conquer,” or “score.” Men who buy into this view like to talk about “scoring” with women. They start judging their manhood by how many “conquests” they can make. This encourages men to adopt the attitude, “Each woman I ‘score’ with is another trophy on my shelf, another ‘notch’ in my belt to validate my masculinity.” Women can also buy into the idea that sex is a sport, a meaningless activity that requires no true intimacy or lasting relationship.

Lie #3 – Sex is bought.

We’ve all seen the pictures of the slick car with the sexy girl draped over it. The unspoken message, “Buy one, and you get them both.” Hard-core porn carries this even further. It displays people like merchandise in a catalog, exposing them as openly as possible for the customer to look at. It’s not surprising that many young people think that if they have spent some money taking someone out, they have a right to have sex with that person.

Lie #4 – A person’s value depends on their physical attributes.

Less attractive women are ridiculed in porn. They are called dogs, whales, pigs, or worse, simply because they don’t fit into porn’s criteria of the “perfect” woman. Men are also often evaluated simply on the basis of their fitness or attractiveness. Porn doesn’t care about a person’s mind or personality, only their appearance.

Lie #5 – Rape is acceptable.

“When they say no, they means yes” is a typical porn scenario. People are shown being raped, fighting and kicking at first, and then starting to like it. Porn teaches its consumers that enjoying, hurting, and abusing people for entertainment is acceptable.

Lie #6 – People should be degraded.

In porn, people are sometimes shown being tortured and humiliated in hundreds of sick ways and begging for more. Does this kind of treatment show any respect? Any love? Or is porn promoting, violence,hatred and contempt?

Lie #7 – Little kids should have sex.

One of the biggest sellers in pornography is imitation “child” porn, where adults dress and act like children. The message of the images and cartoons is that adults having sex with kids is OK. This sets the porn user up to see children in a sexual way.

Lie #8 – Illegal sex is fun.

Porn often has illegal or dangerous elements thrown in to make sex more “interesting.” It suggests that you can’t enjoy sex if it isn’t weird, illegal, or dangerous.

Lie #9 – Prostitution is glamorous.

Porn paints an exciting picture of prostitution. In reality, many of the people portrayed in pornographic material are runaways trapped in a life of slavery, many having been sexually abused. Some of them are infected with incurable sexually transmitted diseases that are highly contagious and often die very young. Many take drugs just to cope.

Bottom line: Pornography makes a profit from ruined lives and entraps people who will spend much time and money on their product. It gives us an unbiblical view of both people and sex, and removes love, respect and honor from the equation. For these reasons and more, seek help if you are a Christian addicted to it. There is hope, there is healing, there is restoration in Christ! Feel free to talk to one of our online mentors if you feel the need for support. This service to our readers is free, confidential and anonymous.

Photo Credit: Ian Espinosa