Women & Pornography

Cries in the Dark: Calls For Help From Women Who Struggle with Porn

I’ve spent the weekend catching up on e-mails.  I just finished a really busy travel season and have a two month break before I start again.  The plan is to make a dent in a few writing projects and get some guests posts out, but the priority is always to catch up on e-mails.  I’m a couple months behind.

It’s always emotionally exhausting to read through these- the cries of girls and women who are struggling, desperate for a way out.  Part of the reason I wrote out my story was to connect with them. I want to drive to wherever they are and sit down across from them, but I can’t.

But someone can.

It dawned on me, after e-mail number 5, that these girls live in communities.  They live in churches.  Most of them are active in churches and yet, they’re trapped, because they believe their churches don’t understand grace enough to be able to extend it to them.

And I got angry.  I’d like to think it’s a righteous anger.  Angry at shame, angry that we’ve so idolized women in our church culture that they can’t even imagine coming forward to get help.  We’ve alienated them from grace and that makes me angry.

But maybe it’s simply ignorance.

After I spoke at the Set Free Summit, pastors came up to me and said, “I didn’t know. I had no idea women could struggle with porn.”

So, in an effort to be rid of that excuse, I decided to share quotes from e-mails I’ve received in the last six months.  They are edited only to protect the identities of the senders and to correct any blatant text speak.  Listen to these girls, in their own words:

“I’m 20 years old. I don’t know if I am addicted. I don’t. But this is the only time I’ve ever written out that I have struggled with pornography for 7 years now. I grew up in a church that doesn’t talk about porn and now I go to a Christian college that doesn’t talk about porn. I have no accountability. This has screwed me up in so many areas of my life and has convinced me that there’s no way God or any people can love me anymore.”

“I’ve struggled with pornography through books and movies and masturbation. I feel gross writing those words and it’s difficult admitting it out loud especially when everyone around me thinks that I’m naive and so holy because I serve at church and a student led ministry at my university.”

“I’m a christian girl, I’m very active in my church and I feel gross and guilty. I don’t know what to do! Every time I feel the urge, I do it. I have tried praying, to have Jesus help me stop but its like it has a grip on me and I have absolutely no will power. I’m too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it. I don’t want it to take over my life! I want to have a family and a husband when I get older and I feel like I’m ruining everything for myself. How is a man of Christ ever going to love someone that’s addicted to something so gross?”

” I’m 47 single never married. I’m addicted to porn and going on to Craig’s List and scheduling hookups. I’m a Christian… tomorrow, I’m going to hook up with a guy that I don’t know and have sex.

I’m still a virgin… There’s just no hope for me. I just feel like that there’s not much time for me to find the real thing. I’m worthless and I hate myself. It will be safe sex. I just don’t know who or where to turn to to help me with this addiction. I absolutely hate it and it is against all of my faith, morals, and values and most important against GOD!!! …

Please pray for me that I will stay safe and alive and that God will forgive me for this most disgraceful act and maybe that He will set me free from this.”

In case you missed it, she had set up a meeting to have sex with a complete stranger and was literally scared for her life, yet still felt like she had to do it.

“I feel so disgusted whenever I watch it. I have breakdowns and I feel like a failure when I watch it as well. I am even ashamed to repent because I feel like God is tired of me. I cry as I send this message because I am so ashamed of myself. I want to get help for myself and my boyfriend as well.”

Background on that one: She caught her boyfriend watching gay porn and chatting with men online, so she broke up with him and never told him that she watches lesbian porn.

“I really need help. I’m addicted to watching porn. I really want to get out of it. My exams are near. I am not able to concentrate on them. I am regretting that I became such a bad sinner.  Outside my fantasy world, people have a good opinion about me.  They do not know.  Such a dirty person I am… I have prayed several times to Jesus, but still I fall again”

“I want help, but I’m so scared. I’m 17, I’m a leader in my youth group and my youth pastor thinks very highly of me. All my friends know me as “the Christian girl” who doesn’t do anything bad. My parents, well, I wouldn’t dream of ever telling my parents…

I gave in again, and then basically just told myself over and over again that it doesn’t matter anymore, you’ve already screwed up, God has probably given up on you for real now.

I’m supposed to sharing my testimony to my small group in Sunday school tomorrow. I feel so ashamed of myself; I can’t talk about how much I love Jesus with what I just did. I’m so sick of myself and I actually thought about skipping church tomorrow. I want to get help, I want to tell someone, but anyone I tell will never look at me the same again. I can’t do it, I’m not brave enough… My life could be completely ruined if I reach out, but I desperately want to change.

E-mail after e-mail, line after line.

Listen to me, all of you fighters who rally for men to be real men.  All of you who challenge your guys to be Godly husbands and fathers.  All of you parents who are so diligent about your sons:

Pornography is creeping behind your defenses and ripping the hearts and souls out of your daughters.  

Wake up!  You are being flanked.


Now what?

Start the Conversation- start talking about women and porn.  Women are looking for someone to know they exist.  Hence the reason I get bombarded with e-mails.  You start talking about it and they will come to you for help.

Not sure how?

Bring me in, or buy my book to read more about my story.  Feel free to use my story as an icebreaker.  That’s why I share it.

Many, if not all, the women who write in to me feel they are alone.  They’re not, and we need to let them know.

Set Free Summit
Image Courtesy of Covenant Eyes and the Set Free Summit
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