Making Porn Powerless

Porn instills us with an incredible sense of entitlement born from an unrelenting tide of self-gratification. We learn that we get what we want and we get it now. We never have to work, wait, worry for anything.

Does this sound to you like a healthy life-view to you?

Didn’t think so.

Now, when nothing in our lives can give us what we think we deserve. All of our other positive, healthy connections dissolve at the corrosive touch of pornography. This leaves us hollow, sad and shameful. We hate ourselves and believe ourselves to be worthless. But we still want it all and we want it all now. This mindset is twisted, dangerous, overwhelming and it just plain hurts.

This combination of entitlement and insecurity leaves of us dependent to our addiction. It robbed us of our power and teaches us a belief system that supports our dependency. In this powerless state addicts find themselves floundering, often unable to break their chains, or even try.

So how do you get the power back? Or how can you help someone find their strength?

Well, like everything there are probably a thousand ways to answer that. Take this story from one of our Fortifiers, Jesse, to get started.

I was born just before the internet, and long story short, I was addicted to porn by the time I was eleven. It totally and completely sucked. My parents found out but none of us knew what to do. I got stuck in counseling but I just lied. That was easier, I wasn’t letting people down and I didn’t have to feel guilty, not in the open. I always wanted to be better but I never felt safe enough to try. I was so convinced that my worth as a person was contingent on my full recovery. Basically, I believed that I could eventually be good, but I wasn’t good right now. Right now, I was broken.

Finally, I started to find good help. I guess there were enough people like me popping up everywhere that we started to understand what was happening. Once I started my real recovery, where I could separate myself and my identity from the shame of my addiction, I started to get better. And that all happened when I learned to talk about it. Open, honest, healthy communication. It was like oxygen. And I’m not talking about spilling my guts to strangers, details were irrelevant. No one needed to see my search history. I just started to prove to myself that I was a real, worthwhile person. I was enough, at every stage of my addiction and recovery. I was enough.

For Fortifiers

Nothing will make it harder for you to make it through this addiction than trying to go it alone. Trust us. We know you want to wait until you're more under control, when it's less scary, but there will always be a reason not to talk about this and it will always be scary. But just at first. Opening up about your addiction takes the power away from your shame and guilt. It will get easier and easier to talk about with more and more people. You might be an addict but you are not your addiction. And people will see that. It will be hard and it might hurt at first but it will be worth it.

For Parents

The time of “the talk” is gone. Considering the level of sexualized media we view everyday, by accident or otherwise, a metaphor about birds and bees is not going to cut it. The solution isn’t extremism either. Kids need to feel comfortable and shame free, they need to know that you trust them. If your home is a place where your kids have both a clear warning of the dangers of porn but also the comfort to discuss any questions, worries or mistakes.

Jesse reported that now, his family talks about porn all the time (in a good way), and almost all of them have FTND shirts, even some cousins. It stopped being this shapeless, terrifying thing and because something they understood and knew how to deal with. We understand this is a big box to open so if you need help getting started check out The Guideline on the FTND store. It’s a free PDF for parents.

For Partners

A lot of the same rules apply, open honest communication. Anyone close to an addict has a lot on influence to help them remember that they are a worthwhile person. The catch is, anyone close to an addict has dealt with serious betrayal and heartache. You could probably use a lot of support and affirmation coming your way as well. And you should get it! Don’t feel bad about needing help and support too. You and your partner should support each other and work to clean all of that toxicity out of your relationship. This can be tough so you might want to think about enlisting some help, professional or otherwise. For starters you could check out Bloom for Women, an online service that specializes in betrayal trauma recovery.

For Fighters

Sometime conversations need to happen in our community. We may encounter resistence or plain indifference. The thing is, people suffer in secret with this problem. If we don’t talk about it, they could stay lost and alone for a long time.

Our pal Jesse has a younger brother, and he has a bit of a story of his own.

My little brother, Trevor, is 14. If I can think of anything good that has come of my addiction is that now he understands what I went through. I gave him a “Love Can’t Be Clicked” T and he wears it all the time. My mom said that when he sits down he adjusts it so you can clearly see the message.

Anyway, he was getting so mad that no one ever asked about it. This kid wanted to be a warrior and other kids at his middle school would talk about porn all the time, but mostly which sites they liked best. Finally, he got a chance to talk about it. He explained so stuff about what porn can do to you and told his friends to look it up. He was so freaking proud. Now, if one of his little buddies is struggling, I hope they go to him because he will send them to Fortify.

I got him a big, red “Porn Kills Love” T as a reward. I told him that one will really turn heads.