Porn w/o lust?

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...
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HerKnight
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Re: Porn w/o lust?

Postby HerKnight » Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:13 am

PS56 wrote:The point I was really getting at, is that if a husband and/or wife are looking at porn regularly because they like it, then there is virtually a 100% certainty (in my opinion) that this is going to damage the marriage and the relationship with the spouse (as well as the relationsip with God.) There is no such thing as a healthy desire for regular and recreational porn veiwing (regardless of whether the performers are being harmed in some way).

2 points of agreement
1. The essential self-centeredness of our sin nature leads us to compare ourselves to others. Watching others will inevitably lead to some degree of comparisons [and they can be relative non-conscious] around, looks, performance, etc.

2. Scripture encourages us - "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." What I set before my eyes I will think about.
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Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby TJC » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:55 am

Paul' recent post on the XY Code has got me thinking, and would like to get thoughts on this from those who have experience. This is part of my most recent comment on that post:

The reasons, and motivations for those who consume porn are numerous and varied. I think Paul’s point that porn and lust are not the same is extremely valid. It’s assumed that the attraction to porn is visual stimulation by younger, more sexual women. When I was younger, that would generally have been true. However it is possible, it is possible to view porn and feel no lust at all for the woman. It is possible to view it to indulge the fantasy of being THAT guy, to being able to please your DW like THAT. It’s also possible to view it as a form of self-loathing. because of one’s negative view of themselves, and their own insecurities.

Am I the only one who sees porn in this light? As I stated there I am not trying to justify anything, simply trying to promote understanding of the complexity of the issue, and understanding of my own triggers that cause my attraction to it.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby zelfyr » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:39 am

I see it the same way.

Actually, when you dream of buying a car or a house or when you are student as I am and you dream of so much more :wink: ... What do you do? You try to "project yourself". For example, every time we pass by the car dealer we always look at the same BMW and whenever it is a real estate office we look at every announce searching for THE house.

When you have no sex or just a little, you try to project your couple into the sexual relationship you're dreaming for. And porn is a way many use.

The fact is that, when you look at porn, people tell you to be careful because you risk of expecting much more than you can have, becoming frustrated and creating disorder into your couple (when you have no sex, you already have disorder in your couple...) but when you look for a big house (which is quiet harder to obtain in France than in USA =/) nobody is telling you to stop, they even encourage you.

Hhh... The question now is about how to explain to my wife that I need to dream of having an amazing sexual relationship with her, and for this, I need to project myself into it, as we do for cars and houses. She knows it and I think many women know it but feel discomfort when you just tell them you're fantasying on them, so telling them that porn seems to you a better way for it.... u_u

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby seeking perspective » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:13 am

TJC wrote: It is possible to view it to indulge the fantasy of being THAT guy, to being able to please your DW like THAT.

zelfyr wrote:When you have no sex or just a little, you try to project your couple into the sexual relationship you're dreaming for.

You know, I've heard this before, but I can't reconcile it with statistics I've seen about porn. A major porn website posts its viewer statistics each year. For 2016, two of the top three categories viewed were teen and lesbian. A safe-to-view article about 2014 search and viewer statistics can be found at Fight the New Drug. Take a good look at the list of search terms. Many men say that they are watching couples or that they imagine themselves as being that guy--but it doesn't sound to me like what is being viewed is necessarily a couple.

My gut reaction is to say that what you both describe sounds a lot like justification to me. However, I also know that what sounds like justification may actually be an attempt to understand why we do something we know we shouldn't.

I do think porn is lust. I believe that it might not be lust for the woman being watched, but it is a lust for being something you're not. I suppose it could be argued that the first is a sexual lust and therefore "real" lust, whereas the second isn't sexual and is therefore just a normal struggle with the heart. However, sexuality is such a core part of of how many men view themselves that separating the two is far from simple.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby TJC » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:38 am

seeking perspective wrote:I do think porn is lust. I believe that it might not be lust for the woman being watched, but it is a lust for being something you're not. I suppose it could be argued that the first is a sexual lust and therefore "real" lust, whereas the second isn't sexual and is therefore just a normal struggle with the heart. However, sexuality is such a core part of of how many men view themselves that separating the two is far from simple.

You might be on to something there....
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby MrsG » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:10 pm

Yes. I think the lust fueled by porn is way deeper than sexual desire for women. Porn promises to fulfill many desires in the human heart and to solve feelings of inadequacy, powerlessness, loneliness, rejection, loss of purpose or identity, boredom, or stress.

Porn doesn't compete with wives. Porn competes with God.

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby tjw » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:43 pm

James 1:15 (KJV)
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

I do think porn is lust.


I think porn use is a result of lust, yes. We can lust for almost anything. Sexual gratification, food, money, power, fame, property, etc.
To know whether any activity we conduct is borne of lust, we need only to look at its "bringeth forth". Results in our life, results in the lives of others.

Porn use damages us psychologically, and our marital partners psychologically. I also call porn use adultery because it has the same results as do adultery on the betrayed partner.

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby TJC » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:42 pm

In this broader sense of the word lust, we are equating it to mean a strong desire. By that definition, it is not necessarily wrong or sinful. Don't get me wrong, I think porn is very damaging for both individuals and marriages for other reasons. I just have trouble with the concept that porn is tantamount to adultery in a man or woman's heart.

It's been my experience that the amount of sex one is having has very little to do with the temptation to view porn. Rather it has much to do with how one views themselves in their relationship, mostly with their spouse, but also in their relationship with God.

Also i think the type of porn varies dramatically by age, experience, and beliefs. There is a valid argument to be made against porn on a purely human level, however if one is not a Christian the argument of it being sin simply doesn't matter. If you're a Christian who feels like you've lost your salvation and beyond hope, as I was for many years, porn use pales in comparison to one's relationship with Jesus in issues needing to be dealt with. Also it is no surprise to me that the average man would be attracted to teen or younger women, regardless of age. Apart from Christ, I am fully convinced of the utter depravity of the human race. In talking about the struggle against porn, this is in great part unique to Christian and Jewish beliefs. Muslims do not struggle with this, nor do many other religions.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby TJC » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:17 pm

On this topic it would be really helpful to have a poll of Christians who have or, have had an issue with porn, along with age and genre. SP the problem with the stats you cited are that they do not distinguish by age or belief system. It is simply the number of hits a certain website received and the search terms. If teens are learning about sex through the internet, as the article implies, it would make sense that teen porn would be the most popular search item.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby Leah » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:36 pm

Once upon a time a Christian counselor said to me, "A porn addiction is a lust addiction."

Pornography sparks the same spike in dopamine in the brain as cocaine does. The same with video games.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby seeking perspective » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:57 pm

TJC wrote:On this topic it would be really helpful to have a poll of Christians who have or, have had an issue with porn, along with age and genre. SP the problem with the stats you cited are that they do not distinguish by age or belief system. It is simply the number of hits a certain website received and the search terms.


I know there are major problems with those statistics. I looked at the original source of that information, and that isn't broken down by religious affiliation, either. Covenant Eyes doesn't break it down by category, either. Plus, what people search for is not necessarily what they end up watching.

If teens are learning about sex through the internet, as the article implies, it would make sense that teen porn would be the most popular search item.


The statistics do bear this out. I looked directly at the major porn site's statistics for last year (which I will not link to here). The average age of visitors to the major porn site is 35, with 31% falling into the 18-24 age range and 29% in the 25-34. The only age range where teen is the most popular search is, indeed, the 18-24 age group.

However, other popular searches for all age ranges relate to lesbian sex, specific ethnicities, physical attributes of various kinds, incest, a variety of group activities, and anal sex. I'm no more persuaded by this list than I am by thinking about teens as the most popular search for all ages.

It doesn't matter what I think about whether people are watching porn to project themselves into being something they want to be, anyway. I think it matters far more that people who want to end porn use learn for themselves what the appeal was--just as you are doing here.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby alaska bob » Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:49 am

when I was using porn, I wouldn't have described it as being about lust. I did not lust after the women in porn, and I did not generally seek out porn with younger, more attractive, or enormously endowed women. Rather, I was looking for scenes with women who didn't overact, but seemed at least to portray someone genuinely enjoying it, and scenes that provided more graphic camera angles/view lines. I think the research shows that watching porn makes your brain feel similar to when you are actually having sex. I was seeking to fill a void left by a dissatisfying sex life. I didn't want to have sex with those women or any other woman other than my wife.

I think porn is horrible, but not necessarily because it is about lust.

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby tjw » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:13 am

This thread offers terrific insight as to whether porn = lust and porn = adultery:

The most recent post on it tells the "bringeth forth"..... from the other side of the marriage.....

viewtopic.php?f=94&t=67671

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby doug-h » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:34 am

This is an interesting subject. My first response was pretty much that someone was edging a little too close to denial, but the truth is that it is probably a mixture of "needs" that might be fulfilled by porn. Obviously, I think that a surrogate sex life is one of those, and I don't think that you can separate that completely from the issue of lust.

My own experience is not so different from what AB is speaking of. I was almost entirely drawn to one particular genre. I won't go into more detail than to say that it was never abusive or degrading in content, nor could it possibly be, as it was a solo act.(tho I realize that all porn ultimately is, or has the potential to be degrading). It had to appear genuine, or I was not only disinterested, I was generally repulsed by it. To be completely honest, the search for what I considered "quality and genuineness" was ultimately more of a draw to me than actually watching.

Knowing that about myself, gives me reason for pause, in even identifying what need it was filling in me. Of course, it was sexual in nature, so I can't rule out an element of lust, and I'm not sure anyone should even try, but there was also a great deal of effort spent in the search, and discernment a to what appeared real, and above all, I think it was a mind numbing way to pass time.

I also had a number of other strategies to pass the time, and most of them were on the surface, harmless. It was the reason behind most of them that was the problem, not the act itself (porn being an exception to that, as both the act and the motivation were problems). That indicates to me that at least in my case, the sexual aspect and lust were not the motivating factors, but we're in fact an unhealthy side effect.

A good analogy would be that most alcoholics don't have drinking problems. They have problems that manifest themselves in alcohol. I had a long discussion just yesterday on that with a friend with a similar background. We were recalling our individual experience with alcohol, both by ourselves and those we observed closely. I'm pretty sure that had I made one choice different than I did (joining the military), I would almost certainly been an alcoholic or a drug addict. Too many people I know with similar backgrounds fell into that lifestyle, including close family members.

Over the years, I just settled into a number of more socially acceptable ways to drug myself, pornography being one of many.

Whatever one might say about it or what motivates it's consumption, it is damaging to both individuals and relationships, and even the "quality/safe/non-degrading" genres have absolutely no redeeming qualities, and it only deteriorates from there to the truly abhorrent genres.

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby TJC » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:28 am

tjw I reread the thread you linked ( I had read it before). Then I reread my OP. The thing that stood out most to me, is likely the difference in my view and the husband in that thread is age. The poster in that thread is relatively newlywed to myself. When I ask these questions bear in mind DW and I have been wed for over 40 years. I am now in my 60s.
DW is similar in that she is responsive in nature, she is turned on when I am dominant in the MB. Still to be completely honest DW has told me, and I believe her, that my struggle with porn is my own struggle with sin, and does not see it in any way as a reflection on her or our marriage. She likens it to her own struggle with indulging in unhealthy eating habits. Bottom line it seems to matter more to me than to her.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby SeekingChange » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:53 am

TJC wrote:Still to be completely honest DW has told me, and I believe her, that my struggle with porn is my own struggle with sin, and does not see it in any way as a reflection on her or our marriage.

Just to confirm this is absolutely possible.... I felt the same way.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby doug-h » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:07 am

TJC wrote:Bottom line it seems to matter more to me than to her.


I think that is a dangerous assumption to make. I think it is reasonable to say that she empathizes with your struggle, because she is familiar with her own struggle, and that she can apply grace appropriately to yours. I think that is far removed from your assertion that it doesn't matter.

I think there is the possibility of a symbiotic relationship as well, but it may be burried pretty deeply.

In the case of porn and refusal, there is a recognized link that each can feed directly into the other. I'm not going to have sex with him because he watches porn/I watch porn because she won't have sex with me.

I think that it is possible to use a husbands porn struggles, and use that to justify overeating and self image struggles. The inverse of that is, she wont take care of her appearance and hides her sexuality, so I will look at porn. I think the link is more deeply burried, and not so easily recognizable, but yeah, I think it can be just as strong.

I know that when I repented of my pornography use, my wife started transforming almost immediately, and started adjusting her appearance in small ways to suit my preference and desires. There is no question in my mind that the two things are related. When I quit telling her she was the only woman I was interested in, and actually started living that way and showing her, she had a heart change in that resulted in her becoming more vibrant, more feminine in her dress, and more sensual/sexual. If I belive that the change was due to me removing pornography from my life, then I have to acknowledge that my actions were directly impacting hers. When she didn't think she could compete, there was no reason to try. When she didn't have to compete, she did it all on her own.

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby tjw » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:21 am

I like the alcohol analogy. If you and your spouse are not being damaged by it, then it probably does not qualify as "lust", just as an occasional social drink or a beer on a hot day barbecue doesn't qualify as "lust".

It clearly falls, like alcohol, under the Pauline 1 Corinthians 8:18:

Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.


If I were married to a wife who struggled with alcohol addiction, or if she believed that abstinence was a christian-life requirement (as many do), then I would have to give myself no permission to drink alcohol at all in order to fulfill the standard of my own christian life.

I like to watch "Criminal Minds" - my DW doesn't care if I watch it when she's not here or after she has gone to bed. I fully understand that it is a fiction TV show which has no basis in reality, and I do not "lust" after becoming a serial killer. However, there are those individuals who would be far better off to never watch it, and if married to a wife who lost her family to a serial killer, then I think that would have to be a sacrifice that I make willingly in order to fulfill "...love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it...".
Last edited by tjw on Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby tjw » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:25 am

If I belive that the change was due to me removing pornography from my life, then I have to acknowledge that my actions were directly impacting hers. When she didn't think she could compete, there was no reason to try. When she didn't have to compete, she did it all on her own.


"...so then they are no more twain, but one flesh...."

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby Cayenne » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:28 am

What qualifies as lust isn't changed by our opinion, or what bothers our spouse, but by God's opinion. Everything we do as a Christian is subject to God's definitions, and He said in scripture:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8.
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