PORN – An Addiction Worth Talking About

by Adam Warburton, Pottsville, Australia

I have been inspired by the recent blog ‘Pornography, Internet & Sex – An Insight into a Distorted World’ and my thanks go to the author for having the courage to start up the conversation on this topic. Nearly all men that I know have been affected by pornography at some point in their life, but it is a topic that bears too much shame to talk about properly – shame that we have been part of it and shame that we have contributed to the abuse of women in this way. Yet the fact is that the author of the above blog is right when he says that porn is something that controls us. It is a drug, a form of addiction, and one that is more common than we care to admit. Like any person in denial, I never thought I had an issue with porn. I was not a serial or frequent user, more an occasional if not rare recreational user, as many people like to explain themselves when defending their use of addictive substances. Yet, when I started to really question my attraction to it, I realised that my occasional foray into porn was having a huge effect on my life…

It is time that we are able to openly talk about the effects of porn on men and women alike, because men too need to be able to talk openly about what is going on here if there is to be true healing, as we are just as affected. As men it affects our ability to experience true love and intimacy with women (and other men) in ways that we don’t even realise. It taints our perception of what is real and what is not, but that is only the beginning. In the end, it owns us. It affects our dreams, our ability to see women in truth, and our ability to connect as men to our own feminine essence (which I can attest does actually exist underneath the hard exterior that so many men think is them).

Why is porn so addictive? What is it that we seek from women when we do this – is it just sexual arousal, or is it intimacy? And if it is intimacy, is that sense of intimacy best described as the ability to be affectionate with another? Maybe, but is it deeper than that? If it is just that, then why do married men do it in such large numbers when they have so much opportunity to be affectionate with their wives? From work, I know that the most serial users of porn are nearly all married men.

As for myself, I began to realise a while ago that seeking porn enabled me to feel like I was being intimate without needing to feel ‘burdened’ by the so called responsibility of being in a relationship. I felt ‘free’ in my experiences with porn. So what did that say about my relationships in life, if that was the case?

In the end I came to realise that I found it difficult to be truly intimate in my relationships because of the perceived burden I associated with them – the burden of being the provider, the bread winner, the strong supportive man, the protector etc, etc. I subconsciously associated the stress of being the provider with my relationship and it took me a long time to dare to admit this, even to myself, because I knew it was not “right” to have such feelings. My refusal to look at this openly made me start to subconsciously resent my partner in the long term. It was after realising this that I began to understand that the temptation and addiction of porn was that it served as an outlet from this stress; a place where I could pretend to experience the intimacy I secretly craved, without the burden of a relationship.

Yet this realisation was not enough to stop me looking at pictures of women posing seductively and wishing I was with them. Although it helped me to understand my attraction to porn, it did not free me completely from its addictive clutches. In order to do that, I needed to go deeper. Eventually I started to question what it was that I was seeking in women in general – what was it that I wanted from them that I could not find in myself? It was then that I realised that I wanted that stillness, that gentle-ness, tenderness, open-ness and vulnerability that women tend to show more easily in the world – characteristics that are drummed out of men by society from a very young age. So, I started to look for those characteristics in myself, and when I did, I began to realise that they are actually there residing within me – EQUALLY SO.

When I discovered this, something curious happened. I began looking at women very differently, as though a veil had been lifted from my eyes. Interestingly, as I increasingly honoured this side of myself, I came to realise that in many respects I was more connected to my female side than many women I observed. I noticed how many women in the world ignored their own female-ness as well, and as a result had become hardened in body and mind, just like the men.

Maybe this is why women are also now turning to porn in increasingly large numbers on the internet – fact. Maybe they en-masse are also starting to miss a way of being that once upon a time was much easier to connect to for women than it was for men, and so now they too turn to porn to fill the hole. Maybe now, intimacy is an expression that is becoming equally suppressed in women.

But the real evil of porn is that it comes laced. True, it does bring relief from stress, and it does SEEM to deliver a feeling of intimacy with a woman, but when you really connect to TRUE intimacy (i.e. intimacy within self) you realise just how short of the truth you were being sold. You were being sold the cheap lookalike watch, but more than that, you were being sold something way more insidious, something that easily becomes very addictive over time. Because in the end, PORN OWNS YOU. It starts to affect the way you look at women in the street, your dreams, the way you look to have sex, the expectations you have from your partner. Eventually – if you do it for long enough – it even strangely starts to affect your libido in real life, as is talked about by a scientific researcher.

When I began to connect with myself more strongly, I went back to porn to see what it was that had dragged me in. I looked not at the bodies of the women, but their eyes, to see if they had what I was feeling deep within me, and it shocked me. Because, if you look deeply into their eyes, they all have the same look, and they all look at you the same way. Their eyes are empty, with a desperation for attention that screams out at you. But underneath that, you see something else. It is like something else is looking out from behind their eyes, as though they too are owned by something, something that leers at you, something that reaches out and says “I’ve got you now and I’m not letting go”. I am talking here about the energy of porn, and it affects both men and women equally.

Not sure what I am talking about? Society has other names for it – seedy, unclean, creepy, sticky – the kind of feeling that makes you want to have multiple showers to cleanse yourself when you have been exposed to it. I had always felt this energy from porn before, but not before I had been seduced by its addictive allure, and only after I had used porn for my own means, and the excitement it offered had subsided. Of course, it was always then accompanied by the guilt and shame that followed after having being fooled again. Now I was seeing it from the outset, and it repelled me.

When I stayed connected to those “feminine” qualities that I could now feel so strongly within me, I could no longer get aroused by the images I saw – I only felt saddened. I saw then not naked women promising to fulfill my fantasies, but young daughters and mothers and sisters, slaves to an energy that now owned them, who were desperate for the attention of men – conversely, falsely hoping that men could bring them what they were missing in themselves.

So there it is. Having said all of that, Porn itself is not the problem, nor the real evil here. The real evil is that as a society we do not foster these “female” qualities that are naturally inherent in small boys in the same way we do with girls. We drum it out of them, tell them to harden up, don’t cry, grow up, be strong, don’t complain when it hurts. Yet deep down those qualities of fragility, tenderness, and vulnerability remain in every man, no matter how hard they have tried to bury them. And when they do try to reconnect to them, society tells them that they are being sissy, gay, soft, pathetic, a whinger.

In a peculiar sort of way there is a perverted honesty about the man who turns to porn as relief from the world around him, as an escape and a refuge from the hardened man he has become. For if he is willing to be reflective for a second, it tells him that something is missing in his life. For me, it was safe, and allowed me to experience the intimacy I so craved without having to open up to the world, or challenge the protective layer I held as a man. And it asked nothing of me in return – or so I thought. Yet when I did challenge who I was, and connected to the beauty that was within me, I was able to finally see the true nature of porn – an addictive, ugly lure that falsely offers to replace something that we deeply miss within ourselves. For me, I realised that what I was missing was that feeling of loveliness that I knew so naturally as a child. Once I connected to that, the addictive allure of porn had no hold.

Related reading
Pornography, Internet & Sex, An Insight into a Distorted World
The Harm of Pornography

331 thoughts on “PORN – An Addiction Worth Talking About

  1. Great topic to open up and explore. The effect of porn is devastating to relationships yet many may not realise the effect it has. Opening up the conversation is a very supportive way to delve into this mucky area and uncover many of the layers around it.

  2. There is so much to discuss here I agree. We are now in a time where pornography is rife, young men and women are being so influenced by imagery that just isn’t natural or normal. They are influenced then in their behaviours and how they treat one another. Then you overlay social media, how prolific it also now is for people to share such pornographic pictures there also. When are we going to say this is not loving and fosters behaviours that are damaging relationships, not only with ourselves, but with everyone.

  3. A brilliant expose of the underlying reasons for porn. We can look at it on the surface and see it’s seediness, the abuse inherent in the industry, the exploitation of the people who work in front of the cameras, the attention-seeking and need of approval and we can react to this, demanding it be shut down, outraged that it is going on at all. But in reality are we not all responsible for the pornography industry in the way we perpetuate the absolute lie that we have to toughen up to make it in this world? In doing so we abandon our natural ways of being that Adam has so beautifully discussed, and in doing so, further cement the foundations of pornography.

  4. Goodness there are so many points I would love to pick up here – the energy of porn, what comes through the women and the men, but I was struck by what causes that separation in so many to valuing intimacy with the person actually in their life. “I found it difficult to be truly intimate in my relationships because of the perceived burden I associated with them” This makes absolute sense and I see it in so many relationships. Yes with the partner, but also relationships and connections between parents and children, teachers and students – the connection is sometimes complicated and messy because of the perceived burden of responsibility to be a particular way or fulfill a particular need.

  5. I have known men who simply do not believe that there are men who don’t do porn and who are not interested in it. They would say that the men are lying to me, to me this shows how ingrained this choice is and often multigenerational.

  6. I have known men who simply do not believe that there are men who don’t do porn and who are not interested in it. They would say that the men are lying to me, to me this shows how ingrained this choice is and often multigenerational. So it makes articles such as this one so important and for men who are making other choices it is so important to speak up and share why you have made your choices, not form dogma but loving and respectful choices for yourself and women.

  7. It has been my experience that as I took more time to take for myself in the choices I made, things unrelated to the act of watching porn or even considering sex, the desire to watch porn disappeared from my life. So for me porn had that energetic hold when I was seeking something to fill an empty feeling, what is an energetic hold it could be asked, I would say it is when you do something to fill up a part of you that feels unsetttled and unhappy with your lot, there is a hole for that creepy seedy feeling to take hold. The more we care for ourselves the less room there is for such a desire to arise as it can never match what it feels to create intimacy with yourself in how we live. And as men and women, I guess it is how open and free of fear we are to create intimacy in all aspects of our lives, not just in the bedroom, but in how we relate to ourselves and other people.

  8. Brilliantly and so openly stated and shared Adam Warburton, thank-you.
    Our willingness to see beyond the surface of porn and into the deeper layers you have described is key here – for it reveals how much we truly miss connection with ourselves and the power of real love and intimacy in our lives.

  9. If we are willing to truly see the energy of porn as you’ve described here Adam, and how “…in the end, PORN OWNS YOU.” we can unravel so very much, and not only about porn itself. For how much are we bombarded in our everyday lives with images, products and more that are designed to ‘hook’, designed to allure and tempt us with something that promises us something – a moment of ecstasy, a getting off on something, a reward, a promise of a better life…?
    We are wise to look beyond the ‘surface offering’ and what then may ‘own us’ – and be willing to learn about the energetic consequences of saying ‘yes’ to something that at times, equates to (metaphorically) inviting the vampire over your threshold and into your home… Once that’s occurred, you are no longer in control. Until that is, you decide to reclaim yourself from why you said ‘yes’ in the first place.

  10. Younger and younger children are these days being hooked into porn. It is such an addictive, harmful and rampant energy we really need to take a much deeper look at our society and question what is going on here and what is the wider ailment that is leading to this choice?

    1. Reading your last line: “I was missing was that feeling of loveliness that I knew so naturally as a child” so what does that say about younger and younger children turning to porn and not getting to experience their loveliness. What is going on with our society and our children?

  11. Adam, I have no words to describe the blessing we have received after reading this blog..its HUGE. The whole need of pornography and the energy behind it is exposed. We are more free to feel and think after the awareness and clarity you brought to us. More free to be our feminine selves and claim our feminine parts (men and women). I am stunned – as at the same time I know that by this blog you helped us clear for good the illusion about pornography, if truly grasped and accept and initiate that which you have exposed.

  12. Connecting with those feminine qualities within us really is a way to save ourselves from the addiction to porn, because like any addiction if we just try and change the behaviour then we have nothing within us to go to that we trust, but when we are connecting more with ourselves and the delicateness and preciousness of others than porn simply doesn’t fit and is not satisfying.

  13. It’s only when we see it without the veil Adam that you amazingly described is when we see the truth, the truth is Porn is an abuse of women, and Men enjoy hiding in this to get intimacy they aren’t getting in real life.

  14. Dear Adam, a stunning read on your relationship with porn. Deeply honest, brave, insightful, engaging and offers the reader much to consider. It is quite amazing when you take the time to get honest about something that you are addicted to, and explore the reasons why and take it as deep as you can go, then you return to it and see it in a whole different light when it no longer has its hooks in you.

    As a human race, we are all trying to fill up so many holes in so many ways – porn, drama, icecream, chocolate, alcohol and drugs, hard work, no work, sport, charity work – the list is endless. I loved that it was your connection to you, and in this case learning to connect to your femaleness, that ceased your attraction to porn. For each of us, and our own stories, we need to find what it is for us that has got us hooked, then do what is needed from there. Universal Medicine and their healing modalities and presentations are an incredible support to do just that – combined with your own willingness it is a power-full combination. Thank you Adam for taking the time to share this with us all.

  15. so much is here for us to consider. and the rise in porn amongst women, men, and now even children spells disaster for the future of our relationships, and the abuse of all in this deeply destructive energy. Like with so much the world offers, it offers a false cheap and corrupted imitation of the truth we naturally seek, and sells us drastically short. The true connection intimacy and love starts with ourselves, and only then can we bring true honouring and intimacy with another, so lets not to continue to seek outside of us from emptiness and need but rediscover we hold all the love and love for all already within.

  16. ‘Because in the end, PORN OWNS YOU.’ This is very true Adam… porn uses you far more than you use it.

  17. It’s interesting that couples see porn as a way to get intimacy and connection within their own relationship, but from what the author has written here, this seems highly unlikely seeing as the men and women are owned by an energy that is not about connection. So using porn in this way will never deliver the quality of connection that couples crave within their relationships, but will only add a feeling of separation and dissatisfaction with each other, not forgetting feeling guilty, empty, let down.

  18. Love this blog, it is our sensitivity and feminine quality that holds us in our own strength. And gives us the opportunity to see the truth of what pornography is offering us. A very false and creepy energy, that is implying intimacy but is far from providing that. As nothing can fill the void that is left than our own choice of coming back to our true qualities.

  19. the way porn has infiltrated into all aspects of our lives through the medium of devices, film, tv, computer games and the internet is robbing our children, and adults of the potential for true intimacy and relationships – at what price for the future of our communities and the health of everyone.

  20. Porn is in great support of keeping intimacy out of our lives as through the eyes of porn we can only see the other person as a sex object that has to fulfill our needs and to bring us relief. While this is far from the truth of who we are and that what people actually can bring to us, it is amongst us in many ways and with an intensity that to me is increasing every year only to offset that what is continuously being asked of us, that is to build deeply intimate relationships instead.

  21. Porn shows he is missing something in his life.

    A great blog if you want to know more about the effect porn has and the true reason why we do it.

  22. “…I saw then not naked women promising to fulfill my fantasies, but young daughters and mothers and sisters, slaves to an energy that now owned them…” – by being willing to explore what porn was to you Adam, it was like a veil being removed from over your eyes so you could see what was really there. Not woman who were sexy and appealing, but women who were themselves craving something that they had known possibly in their early lives, and were so desperately missing.

  23. Porn, like anything, can only work if their is a demand for it. It is like sugar – promising so much, addictive and it keeps people coming back for more because they get the initial rush, then the crash, and then they want more. Deal with the ‘why’ you need it, and the demand drops away, therefore the supply isn’t needed.

  24. Thank you for this honest blog Adam. You have opened up a topic that really needs to be spoken about. Thanks for sharing and going deeper to explore the issues that trigger porn addiction and how it changes our behaviour towards each other.

  25. I have found that intimacy is what we have misunderstood in a big way. Your blog is sharing with us the energy that perpetuates a behaviour that shuts down that intimacy completely. Even though the act itself is physically incredibly intimate, there is no real connection when one, other or both are imagining a picture when engaged in this most intimate act. There is so much harm in the energy that shuts down the ability to connect deeply with another, to allow yourself to be completely open with another.

  26. We don’t realise what we are signing up for when we choose to look at porn, the effects of which last much much longer than when we turn off the computer…

  27. The effects of porn are now more widespread than ever before with the internet and media propagating it like a rampant weed. Porn harms people, it takes away their tenderness, intimacy and inner connection. There is no other way to say it.

  28. Porn is attracting a younger audience which is really sad and disturbing. Great to have this subject exposed for the harm and destructive nature it has, ‘porn is something that controls us. It is a drug, a form of addiction’.

  29. I love how you went deeper with choosing to understand what was attracting you to these pictures, ‘what was it that I wanted from them that I could not find in myself? It was then that I realised that I wanted that stillness, that gentle-ness, tenderness, open-ness and vulnerability that women tend to show more easily in the world – characteristics that are drummed out of men by society from a very young age. So, I started to look for those characteristics in myself, and when I did, I began to realise that they are actually there residing within me – EQUALLY SO.’

  30. A great in-detailed summary of porn. Covered it all! The only way I feel to respond or comment is to be myself via an honest appraisal on my feelings and otherwise knowing of porn.
    I can feel how I give myself over to life – that reduces my intimacy and openness. We are built-in to receive what’s next in life but instead we close off and react why how our openness and tenderness has not been received before when actual fact when I am in my fragility (and I am a big man), this is what the world men and women are craving. It’s just that the energy of porn is coming through many to create the offset of emotions that denies this equisite beauty when in fact when this inner-delicateness within yourself is truly honoured it is embraced. As Adam openly expresses it must be embraced by you first which may feel confronting to start with ..

  31. Definitely a topic worth talking about, I can feel my resistance that in turn adds to the pool of denial. It’s time to get a little uncomfortable so truth can come.

  32. “The real evil is that as a society we do not foster these “female” qualities that are naturally inherent in small boys in the same way we do with girls. We drum it out of them, tell them to harden up, don’t cry, grow up, be strong, don’t complain when it hurts. Yet deep down those qualities of fragility, tenderness, and vulnerability remain in every man, no matter how hard they have tried to bury them. And when they do try to reconnect to them, society tells them that they are being sissy, gay, soft, pathetic, a winger.” – Well said Adam, and in a similar way girls also need to have this tenderness fostered and encouraged as otherwise the same pitfall of porn will affect them too, as you have mentioned in your blog.

  33. We get drawn to porn because there is something missing in our lives, so essentially the porn is a symptom of something going on for us. You can blame the porn, but the real problem is the fact that we have to turn inwards to see why we are attracted to it in the first place.

  34. Such an insightful article into a problem that is impacting our societies at greater and greater levels. It is now commonplace to have children not even in their teens download porn from the easily available internet world. Such is the desperation that society has en masse for not being met in the love and warmth we so crave. Porn will continue to be one of the go-to substitutes to fill that gaping hole, until we decide to look within us, and reconnect back to the tender, exquisite and ‘womanly’ qualities we so crave – men and women alike.

  35. Adam a great blog in realising how the lack of true connection to the tenderness men have available to them can result in men feeling a lack of intimacy, yet society is set up to make men dismiss that connection in favour of being hard and being seen as strong, when women truly embrace their own tenderness it encourages men to connect to their tenderness too.

  36. This is a beautiful piece of writing from a deeply connected, feminine, tender man. Great insights on how and why we use porn and the path that leads there from the suppression of those tender, feminine qualities in boys leading to hardening and disconnection (and the equivalent now in girls too) to that safe intimacy which porn offers to fill, but at a price of owning us. This is such a commentary on our societies and how we live that we quash that tenderness in each other and a great showing that everything is connected.

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