The Musings of Bek Curtis

Reluctantly….Porn

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Musings | 24 comments

Reluctantly….Porn

Lust. Sex. Porn.
If those words made you squirm, you may not want to read ahead. Likewise, if you’re of the prudish variety, because here I openly, albeit reluctantly, share with you my experience of, and thoughts on, pornography.

Reluctant, because people can be jerks. Some people refuse to see the transformational work of Jesus in the lives of others, and sadly these are often the same people who preach it.
Reluctant because I have children who need not be shamed or shunned on my behalf.
And reluctant, well, because I’m a woman, and women don’t struggle with porn….right?

The internet was not an accessible thing when I was a teenager. It hadn’t yet infiltrated every aspect of our daily lives.
Mobile phones weren’t capable of sending or receiving texts, let alone photos and videos. In fact, back then, mobile phones were black bricks with aerials that required manual extension for each and every conversation.
I had no access to, nor any real knowledge of pornography, and so it was not a part my formative years.

I developed a curiosity toward porn when Jordan and I were a few years into our marriage.
We’d stopped going to church, our relationship with God was practically non-existent, and the circle of friends we were keeping saw porn as no big deal, just something ‘everyone’ does.

I knew pornography had been a big part of Jordan’s life before we were together, and this knowledge made me irrationally angry, and jealous. I felt as though I was missing out on something, and I really do hate to miss out.

I decided, in my great wisdom, that it would be a fabulous idea to introduce porn into our marriage.
Jordan and I were solid, our sex life active, it could only add to the passion, what was the harm?

Surprisingly, Jordan was not keen, not keen at all.
I think his reluctance was mainly due to the fact that he thought it must be a trap. I mean, what wife encourages her husband to view porn with her?

However, he was also concerned that it would create marital tension, he felt as though it was just something that was not needed in our relationship.

I disagreed. I won.

Porn was not exactly what I had expected.
I knew it would be graphic, but this, this was beyond graphic.
This was not like the sex scenes in a movie.
This sex wasn’t just sex.
Porn sex was different.
The bodies were ‘perfect’, the positions, acrobatic.
No one had a single hair follicle visible anywhere on their perfect bodies. And visible their bodies were. Microscopically so.
Everything was up close and zoomed in. Nothing left to the imagination.

There was no kissing, no intimacy, no love, just animalistic, self-gratifying acts of sex.

And yet, I took the bait… I was hooked.

Jordan would beg me to come to bed, asking if it could be, “just us tonight“, instead of us and whatever random couple had piqued my interest on screen.

But I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop.
Frustrated, Jordan would storm off to bed whilst I sat glued to a computer screen, searching, waiting for the perfect body, the perfect couple, the perfect image. An image I could never find.
The searching became a drug.
I would search while Jordan was at work, I wanted to find the perfect woman to present to him. A woman who wasn’t overweight, a women whose body was not marred by stretch marks, and the not-so-flattering effects of gravity. He deserved her. Not me. This searching had become a bizarre act of self-loathing and self-punishment.

I found myself looking at women on the street, wondering what they were like in the bedroom, passive or dominant? What were they okay with, what weren’t they okay with? Did they have secret body piercings, tattoos? Pubic hair?

It was disgusting. I was violating them with my mind.
And no, I’m not sexually attracted to women, the images I been viewing had warped my thinking, been seared into my memory.

I no longer struggle with porn addiction or a desire to view it.
I no longer have pornographic images haunting my mind.
My God is the God of freedom, for those who truly desire it.

I still have to make the choice not to let my mind wander. I still have to choose not to click on Internet articles, links or videos that may contain questionable material.
I still have to make a choice to disengage from sexually explicit conversations.
I still have to make a choice to view each and every person I encounter; male or female, as God sees them. To honour and value them as fellow human beings, created in His image.

I long for the day when I can read a dessert menu, and not be aware that half the names on the list carry innuendo in porn speak.

I still have major body hang-ups and a ridiculously poor body image, something that didn’t exist to this degree before I invited pornography into my life.
There is a reason why the comparison game is a dangerous one to play.
I have freedom, but some consequences remain.

I recently had a discussion with a close friend of mine. She has
teenage daughters, and we were talking around the topic of this crazy world of porn and sexting that our kids are not only exposed to, but immersed in. Yes our kids. Our sheltered kids. The ones we watch and monitor, the ones in youth group, the ones being raised in Christian households, the ones attending Christian schools- Our kids!
As we talked, my friend told me of a blog she’d come across, written by a young man who was imploring women to show some self-respect by removing any and all hair from their pubic and genital region, making sure that all women heard his message loud and clear, that they should be sporting a Brazilian.
He wrote that pubic hair is ‘disgusting’ and he was physically incapable of maintaining an erection, if a girl had any hair, ‘down there’.

Are you freaking kidding me? Seriously?

This, this is the world our kids are living in.
This is why we need open, and I specify: age appropriate dialogue with our kids!

Our daughters do not need to grow up believing that there is something wrong with their body because it does what it was designed to do, believing that they are worthless, unattractive and disgusting unless they remove all their body hair.
They do not need to grow up believing that they have to perform all manner of sexual acts in order to deserve and receive love.
Our girls need to know that someone who would seek to bully, pester or coerce them into doing anything they are uncomfortable with, does not truly love them, and does not need to be indulged.

Our sons do not need to have their thinking warped by loveless, lust-filled images of sex-ploits. Images that are edited and produced to create and fulfil a need that can never be satisfied by just one viewing.
They do not need to have unrealistic expectations of women, relationships, sex and all sexual acts.
Our sons need not suffer sexual dysfunction because the images that are on repeat in their mind, have formed a new and flawed perception of ‘normal’.

We need to tell our kids not to avoid porn just because it’s wrong, but why it is so wrong.
We need to explain exactly how it devalues both sexes, and damages soul and spirit.

If I, as an adult woman over the age of 25, whose brain had finished developing, could have had her thinking rewired by viewing pornography, how much more susceptible are our adolescent kids to damage from pornograhic material?

We need to educate our children about exactly what it is that the porn industry is feeding into: sex slavery, human trafficking, child exploitation.
I literally had no idea that this industry was fuelling a hellish existence for so many young women, men too.

I wonder, had I known back then, what I know now, would porn have been any kind of turn on at all?

We shouldn’t educate our children in order to guilt them, but rather to equip them, to empower them to make choices that benefit not only themselves, but others also.

We need to teach our kids not that sex is dirty or wrong, but that it is quite the opposite.

Sex is beautiful, it’s fun, it can be messy, it can be awkward, it can end in, or be interrupted by fits of laughter as you both tumble off whatever piece of furniture it was that you were experimenting on.
It can be mind-blowing-ly amazing, and it can be a complete disaster. Sometimes things will go smoothly, other times things will most definitely not, but that all of it is good when expressed within the safety, sanctity, stability and mutual respect and equality of marriage.

Sometimes marriage sucks! It’s not all white picket fences and fields of flowers. Sometimes it’s just tumbleweeds and barbed wire. But to have the privilege of becoming one flesh with someone who totally gets you and is committed to you during the hard times, is a gift that should not be undervalued by images of lust, undervalued by a world that trades in old for new, and is hell-bent on instant gratification.

We need to tell our kids that we understand and remember what it is like to have raging hormones, to tell them we understand what it is like to be sexually curious, to be sexually aroused.
We need to teach them healthy ways to deal with that arousal, and the sexual frustration that those raging hormones bring.

We need to ask our kids how we can support them, and if they’re not really sure how, we need to suggest ways. We need to suggest mentors or trusted adults that they can talk openly with and journey with.

We need to teach our kids that God designed sex, not just as a means for procreation, but enjoyment, discovery. He’s not up in the sky sitting on a cloud with a cup of tea, muttering to Himself, ‘Oh dear, that’s a new one, didn’t think of that. Filthy humans.’

We need to teach our kids that God not only created sex, but the whole complex biological system responsible for switching on sexual desire.

We need to teach them that our God is an approachable God, that He is more than happy to provide a way to deal with whatever struggles we face in life, including sexual struggle.

And above all that, we need to believe that of our God! We need to experience that of Him! We need to share with our kids, how and when God has stepped in to provide a way out for us. That means inviting Him into our difficult situations, so He can do just that.

I am the mother of a teenage son and two daughters racing toward adolescence.
We can protect and shelter them all we like, but eventually they will discover the world, as they are supposed to.
They will grow and mature, and set their own boundaries and parameters.
They will decide what paths to take and what lines to cross.
And we will love them and support them all the way.
But while they are still under our roof, within our grasp, and accountable to us, we will have the difficult conversations.

We will tell them where we’ve failed.
We will tell them the outcomes of our failure and where we wish we’d taken different paths.
We will be real, we will be unedited.
But most of all, we will emphasise grace.

Grace for failure.
Grace for poor decisions.
Grace for outright rebellion.
Grace for a journey, and not just a quick fix.
Grace for forgiveness.
Grace for redemption.
Grace for transformation.

Grace for us as parents to recognise transformation, as we chose to forget indiscretion.
-Bek Curtis

 

24 Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. brett fish anderson

    Thanks for writing this Bek, I imagine sharing can’t have been easy and as one who for years was caught up in this as well, with slightly different motivation and enticement [altho equally messed up] i can relate and the idea of the freedom that Jesus is able to bring is well worth sharing as well as the invitation to speak to our children and others around us. So thank you very much. Especially as a woman sharing when the stereotype is that this is only a man thing.

    Strength and love
    Brett fish

    • Bek Curtis

      Thank you for you comment and encouragement. If I’m honest, I really didn’t want to publish this. I was quite happy for those with greater courage than myself to put themselves ‘out there’. But I guess this is just another step into grace and freedom, and another piece of shame broken over my life.
      This kind of support makes the process that bit easier.

      Bek

  2. Duffy1958

    Thank you for your bravery! Well written with MUCH grace. I too battled porn addiction & you described it very well. Thank you And God bless in Jesus name, amen & amen.

  3. picked_a_name

    Ey, you won’t believe what site I was headed to when I landed on this piece…!
    Thank you for the support. For the courage.

    I believe my biggest issue would be the people to walk the journey with..

    Thanks again! :)

  4. ben

    Hats off Bek and thank you for your honestly and courageous decision to share something very personal. Be strong as you will face judgment from religious zealots but you are helping so many who will be able to relate to your story as I do. Hats off to your hubby too. Your teenager kid is blessed with fantastic parents. Keep up the good work Sister :-)

  5. Scott

    Hi Bek,

    Your “I still” list of things you still have to be careful of was refreshing to hear, and is not talked about enough with those are recovering from addiction. I think that sometimes it is thought that gaining freedom from an addition means reverting to the way you were before the addiction without any ill effects. I think what freedom from addiction means is gaining the ability to control it rather than it controlling you. Having not only the ability but the desire to choose not to look. When you are in full addiction mode most time you either don’t have or can’t make that choice.

    Many people don’t realize the lasting effects of porn addiction such as what you describe with the dessert menu. Those of us who were addicted often tend without trying, to see a sexual slant to everything even when it’s not there, or perceive it to be more pronounced than it actually is. It’s something I still deal with and will surely deal with for years to come. I have found though that as I focus my life on God, and in his scripture that my mind is slowly but surely being healed of that.

    Scott

    • Bek Curtis

      Hey Scott,

      Do you know what? This message has really encouraged me and made me feel like I’m not alone either, so thank you so much for what you’ve written here, and for doing so with such openness.

  6. David

    Thank you so much for your candid honesty, Bek. We males tend to think that the lure of porn is something that women couldn’t possibly understand. Sharing as you have must have taken a lot of courage, which I admire.

    I, too, have struggled with pornography. I’ve been finding healing in God’s presence, which is wonderful but not always easy. Thank you for telling it as it is – the ongoing consequences/issues (like the desert menu you mentioned) are very real. I can relate to that perfectly, but I don’t think anybody who hasn’t struggled with porn can.

    Once again, thank you so much for sharing. What was difficult for you to share has been like a healing balm to me, and I I’m sure to many others.

    • Bek Curtis

      Thank you, David.
      I have to be honest, I was not feeling at all courageous when I published it!
      But I knew what God was asking of me, and ultimately His is the only opinion that should shape my behaviour. Still, feedback liked ours is so very much appreciated and also makes me feel as though I’m not alone again, thank you.

      -Bek

  7. Niyi

    Hello, I have a different comment, in that, I am still struggling, with porn. I have a wife who is doesnt like sex. So my sex life has been really hungered, say having sex a very passive sex once in a week. I resort to porn as to lift the urge off me since I wouldn’t go after anyone else.

  8. Rob

    Not married. So hard not to seek self gratification with the use of pornography. I love God and I do desire to be closer to Him. This fleshly desire separates me from Him. I do not want to be separated from Him. I truly need help! Where do I find this freedom from my bondage? Thank you, Rob

  9. Eli

    God bless you mam, you had a lot of courage to post this, thank the Lord for it.
    I just want to let you know that little is much if God is in it, and just as He taketh away the black, rotten, sin-stained branches that bear no fruit and He purgeth them that bear fruit that they might bear the same more abundantly, so is He able to take away any sin we have, any hold that stinkin’ dirty devil has on us will be cut off, if we’d just trust in Him…
    The blood flows deeper than the stain has gone.

    Nevertheless I’d let you know sister, that I got hooked on this sin just as bad as you if not twice as worse, years before I got saved, and it’s been a constant battle ever since, just trying to resist the temptation, that I might live that overcoming life, yet the flesh is weak and the devil is only skin deep and desperate to get out…
    Can you recommend any kinda habits to adopt to get away from this, I find the hardest thing of all is boredom, being around the house with the internet near, I just need me something to take my mind off, I find if I make even the smallest place, tarry even the shortest while or waver even the least, that a stronghold is build in my mind and the sin just grows and grows till I can’t resist it…

    What am I trying to say.. That this particular sin took up so much of my time that I don’t know what to do to keep my mind occupied often, can you recommend me anything?
    Thank you now, have yourself a fine day and God bless you.
    Little is much if GOD is in it.

  10. Melissa

    Bek, great read. I, too, have struggled in the past, and honestly, still do. It was a part of my first marriage, because we too felt like it might add some fire in our lives. It did quite the opposite. It ultimately destroyed our marriage, because I think it definitely lessened the value of what our marriage was truly about. We were both Christians with strong Christian backgrounds. We divorced after 7 years. His addiction was worsened, while I met another man who I felt fulfilled me. I loved him. I didn’t need the pornography any longer. Then one day – it hit me like a ton of bricks – Google updated their site, and I learned that you could do a search, and see video previews without actually having to go to a site. I fell flat on my face, and the addiction reared it’s ugly head. I kept my addiction from my new husband. We had been married 3 years before I told him this dark secret. I was free for a while, but depression always got the best of me, and it still creeps in. Most of the time, I can fight it off – but I still fall. I am about to read your second part, but felt compelled to go ahead and comment here. Thank you. Thank you for letting those of us who still struggle know that we aren’t alone. And thank you for giving us encouragement that we, too, can overcome this!

    • Bek Curtis

      Melissa, thank you so much for sharing your struggle in this area. I just don’t think it’s as uncommon as we all like to pretend. And I’m learning this more and more, from brave people like you who are willing to join the conversation with vulnerability and grace! Thank you!

  11. a Husband and Father

    Thank you. I am a follower of Christ who fell into this same pattern of sin.
    God brought about the circumstances to confront me with my sin and its affects on my family.
    You seem to have had a very similar journey :(

    I hear the strong words of the opening …and upon reading the book of Job I see that even Christians’ who preach God’s Word fail to understand this is a HUGE battle in this world. Shaming and shunning people is not what Christ wants. He is the God of freedom and he can grant it when we seek it with all our hearts. Sin is sin. Whatever it is.

    I was brought low. Not as low as Job in the Bible but I did lose my family. I am a unique case in that God cured me of my addiction one day when I was at my lowest. Not wanting to live – it had struck so severely. In that moment I was rescued and God’s grace has been sufficient since :) But not without the destroying words of those I thought were there for God’s work in my life.

    I was touched to read your article and reach out to you for your bravery. If it wasn’t for a pastor at a church I was ‘led to go to one morning’ by a random passer by!?! who opened to me that porn was once his struggle too, I would have had no hope left.

    It is a struggle for all in this world. Not something to be taken lightly. It is everywhere and it strikes at the heart, mind and souls of men and women. I now see its danger and love to see those helping others be free.

    Can I say to those who write here about being free. God can do it. He wants all saved from sin, no matter what it is. He knows our struggles. He knows us and I say filling our minds with God’s Word really helps as does prayer and a desperate heart. Ask for Him to give you light to see sin and run. Find someone to help you who is older and will not shame but weep and pray with you. Then use something like CovenantEyes to block it and remain accountable.

    Thank you Bek.

    • Bek Curtis

      Husband and Father,

      Thank you for sharing your story so openly. For too long too many have believed that porn is harmless and not addictive, but simply a habit. For those of us who know different, and have learned the hard way, we must speak up where possible and sound the alarm so to speak, if it helps just one person break free or avoid the pain to begin with, then it’s so worth it!
      I’m so sorry that you reached such a low point. I sincerely pray that God continues to heal and restore you from those lost years.
      Bless you!

  12. Mike

    Bek,
    Dear Bek,

    I really enjoyed reading your story from your perspective and relating to it. I read it long ago but decided not to reply then. I thought about it recently and read through it again. I built up the courage to write this time. I think your experience helps men understand women can fall into the same sexual immorality trap that men do when it comes to pornography. Often times, I think men feel like something is wrong with them. 1 Corinthians 7:9 talks about it is better to marry than to burn with lust. In the first year of our marriage my wife wouldn’t ever want to have sex unless it was on her terms. So once a month or so. I’m responsible for myself and it is not on her for my sin but I turned to pornography for that need. I was not the spiritual leader I should have been and we were not going to church. We did not have a personal relationship with God. So we got into a bad cycle where I didn’t give her attention and she wouldn’t have sex when I needed it. We were two single people cohabiting. Eventually we separated for 7 months. In society’s eyes we should not be married right now because of all the hurt and pain we caused each other. We are still happily married for 11 years now and more spiritually mature in Christ. Details would come up years later she had not shared with me previously. I should have become angry. The only thing that stuck out in my mind was God’s word, Matthew 18:21,22 & Romans 2:1. I was just as bad and even though I had forgiven her in the original circumstance, even though I suspected there was more I clung to Matthew 18:21,22. She had become a slave to her guilt. When she came forward later, I told her I had forgiven her then and it was done. She is aware that I’ve looked at pornography. We have taken to heart 1 Corinthians 7:1-6, I have trained myself to wait longer for intimacy and she has learned to give more intimacy, growing in one flesh. We are more attune to each others feelings and needs. On any given day, she will ask if I need it out of love or I will say no we don’t have to because I know that she doesn’t feel well or is tired out of love. We re-schedule. It is amazing how we have grown closer to each other by just communicating ours needs and yielding to each other. I would highly recommend, His Needs, Her Needs by Willard Harley, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. Our church hosts Love & Respect Video Conferences each year and we make it a point to go each time for a yearly reminder. They are great tools that have helped immensely.

    We have also shared our story with other couples who have had tough times. One marriage was restored after sharing my testimony, scripture and those tools that we used. One marriage is still in shambles and ongoing but we continue to pray for them. The one spouse has a hard heart despite growing up in the church and being a church leader. In their situation, part of the issue was learning the Love and Respect philosophy. Thanks again for sharing something so private and personal.

    • Bek Curtis

      Mike, I so appreciate the courage you have shown in sharing your story here. Thank you. Thank you for helping others to know they’re not alone. Thank you for proving that breakthrough and freedom is possible. Thank you for sharing hope.

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  1. Charisma Magazine - Perfectly Flawed | Perfectly Flawed - […] am so humbled by the amount of attention that my Reluctantly Pornpost […]
  2. Reluctantly Porn (Unplanned Part II): The 'How' of Freedom - Perfectly Flawed | Perfectly Flawed - […] Posted by Bek Curtis on Jul 22, 2014 in Musings | 0 comments […]
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