I am glad you are here. My name is Jessica Harris. I am a writer, speaker, and grateful victim of grace. Here, I write about pornography, freedom, purity, sex, singleness, and grace. I will be traveling to the Philippines this summer to share my story there (very excited!).
Please feel free to read up on my story or pick up a copy of my devotional: Love Done Right (available for free to Kindle owners).
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Within moments, there will be an online screening for “The Heart of the Matter,” the documentary I was asked to interview for back in May 2012. It was released while I was away on hiatus, and I have yet to see the finished product, but I came across a scathing review of it.
The review, from a self-proclaimed “porn loving feminist,” detailed the shame in the film. So much shame, from the gray backgrounds to the single chair in the middle of a barren room. Our interviews talked about shame. She honed in on mine in particular and said that if I could just get rid of my shame, I could join her and her progressive feminist friends (apparently progressive feminist is synonymous for “women who like watching porn”). Her point was that the film simply showcases a toxic culture of shame in the church.
It is not often that I write addressing current events. They can be so volatile and slathered in opinion. One poor choice of words and you bring the wrath of a politically-correct American democracy crashing down on your head. So, yes, I keep my little voice out of the big fight, perhaps more often than I should.
This week though, I just do not feel I can remain silent, because the effects of porn have been all over my news feed.
From a college porn star bemoaning the fact that she gets no respect now, to the outcry at Miss USA, to a large Christian publication’s story in which they allow a child abuser and sexual predator to spin his interactions with a minor as if it were just an affair. #TakeDownThatPost is sprinkled all over my Twitter.
And my heart seriously could not take it anymore. This all, in my mind, has one root problem- sin, yes, but more specifically, porn.
Michelle and Alexi had been best friends for years. It seemed natural that they would be roommates in college. So, off to college they went together- home away from home.
But Alexi was harboring a secret. She was struggling with porn.
After months of silence, Alexi finally gathered the courage to confess to Michelle.
And then everything changed.
When Alexi e-mailed me, Michelle was distant. Alexi felt she was being treated differently and she was disappointed in her friend for not being there for her. This was the time she needed her the most. Now what was she supposed to do?
It is a situation many of us dread: we confess and someone just walks away. What do we do?
If you are ‘in the market’ for an accountability partner, it can feel a lot like, well…. dating.
No, I am not kidding, and if you read the e-mails I receive from readers, you would know I am not kidding.
Maybe this whole accountability thing is not a big deal to men. At least we women do not picture it being a big deal to the men among us. After all, porn is just a given, right?
Guys have it so easy, we think. There is this universal understanding that guys struggle with porn, as if it is an effect of the Y chromosome. Whenever we hear a man talk about ‘sin’ in his life, what do we all immediately think? I know I am not the only one who immediately assumes it is a sexual sin of some sort. I am not saying that is fair (because is it is not), but that is how we can perceive the male experience.
We picture men having a conversation about porn like we might have a conversation about shoes:
I have a confession to make. I have 20 pairs of shoes.
Girl! Me too!
(Come to think of it, that might actually be true for me.)
We picture that confession being met with nods of agreement and manly side hugs of understanding. “It’s OK, man. We have all been there.” Then, they all pray together, text each other throughout the week, install accountability software and ask each other tough coded questions like, “How’s your walk?”
We women look at that and think, “I want accountability like that.”
The “I struggle with porn” conversation is not quite as casual for women, at least it does not feel that way. Instead of feeling like a conversation about shoes, it can feel more like confessing to being an ax murderer. You just have to be careful who you tell, right? Right!?
It is time (finally) to pick back up in the Trigger series. In case you are new (or in the likely and totally understandable event that you cannot remember what I wrote about five months ago), let me get you up to speed on what exactly we are talking about.
Have you ever been doing just fine in your walk on freedom only to suddenly find yourself knocked over by failure? One moment you are doing fine, even better than fine- you are doing great. By the end of the day, though, you have fallen and fallen hard. What is worse is you do not even seem to care.
How did that happen? What makes some days harder than others or some temptations easier to resist than others?
I can sit in a car alone with a man and not even think twice about it, but smelling a certain lotion can start a battle. Why?