How Porn Is Damaging Your Chances To Find Love

I read a fascinating article awhile back written by a self-professed feminist mother – a woman who believed that sex outside of marriage was perfectly fine, as long as it was practiced in a setting of love and commitment – who was lamenting the fact that her daughter, who was on the hunt for just such a loving and committed relationship, couldn’t find one. It seems that all the men want is sex.

“Most kids today don’t couple up, they hook up,” she writes. “As a result, we are seeing a generation of girls whose early sexual experiences lack the elements of emotional commitment and love that are so important for them.” And what are the boys doing? They’re looking at porn. “The youngest adolescent boys are often steeped in sexual images and expectations that are punishing to girls’ spirits.”

The author really had no good suggestions how to fix this. She scoffed at the thought of reviving old, outdated moral codes, i.e. Christianity. Her only solution – and I kid you not – was to have young people go back and re-read some old romance novels to learn again about love and commitment in relationships. (Yeah, good luck with that. Picture a football locker room strewn with copies of Wuthering Heights.)

So here’s a mom who wants for her daughter to experience the richness of a loving and committed relationship with a man. Good for her. This is consistent with how God created a woman to be sexually. This is how a woman experiences the sexual energy within her. Deep down is the yearning to be pursued, wanted, courted, protected, loved, by someone who will make her his one and only. But it’s less visual than it is relational. It’s less physical than it is emotional. Why do women eat up romance novels and chick flicks? It’s how their hearts tick. It’s how they experience the dance.

We laugh at chastity then are shocked to find debauchery in our midst.

But men experience the dance differently, because God created them with a different sort of sexual energy. God gave men a strength and a yearning to pursue the Beauty in their lives. There is a godly aggression within them to initiate, to lead, to protect. But the man is motivated by an inner attraction that is more profoundly visual than relational, and more physical than emotional.

Neither of these is wrong. God set it all up this way, not to frustrate us, but to bless us. For the man, the experience of the physical union with the woman is the most mysterious and powerful part of the dance, and it drives him to court the woman, to pursue her, to protect her, to romance her. For a man, sex is the reward of loving his woman relationally.

For the women, the experience of the emotional union with the man – to be loved fully by one who knows her inside and out – is the most mysterious and powerful part of the dance, and so it motivates her to unveil her beauty and give herself physically to him. For a woman, the relationship is the reward of loving her man sexually.

Because this is the way our biology and emotions work, any tampering with this sexual machinery will be have serious effects on what kicks out on the other side. And what’s coming out on the other side are men who are increasingly reluctant to enter into long-term relationships, and the ongoing postponement of marriage.

Mark Regnerus, a University of Texas (Austin) sociologist, has just published a study that confirms these relational impacts in economic terms. In his book Cheap Sex: The Transformation Of Men, Marriage and Monogamy”, Regnerus argues that women are the “gatekeepers” of a product, namely sex. When this “product” is less easily obtained, it’s value increases, and men – who are seeking this product – will alter their behavior to obtain it, i.e. they will offer commitment, sacrifice and faithfulness. As cultural moral standards have lowered, making the “product” more easily available, and especially now with the availability of pornography which has flooded the market with a facsimile of the “product”, Regnerus believes the “product” is now so cheaply obtained, that men find no biological need to work hard for the relationship. Marriage is consequently devalued and shoved aside.

Back to the poor woman and her daughter.

Where did all the loving, committed men run off to? the mother asks. It’s actually not too hard to figure out. Remember that outdated, moral code which the mother wanted nothing to do with? Well, it’s a simple law of spiritual physics. That moral code if practiced would produce those sort of men. When the code is dismantled, those men disappear, and we mess up the dance.

To adapt a well-known C.S. Lewis quote: we laugh at chastity then are shocked to find debauchery in our midst.

If the physical union is the reward for the man, and he is given it without any effort, no pursuit required, no emotional investment necessary, proceed directly to “Go” and collect your $200, well, what do you expect? The best part of the cinnamon roll is the middle. The reason you work through the outer layers of the cinnamon roll is to get to the center. If you could give me the center without the other stuff, I would do it every time. And trust me on this: when it comes to sex, most men have the IQ of a cinnamon roll.

Tampering with God’s laws is treacherous business. Someone once said if you jump off a roof, you don’t break the law of gravity, you illustrate it. Clearly, there’s a lot of illustrating going on today, as this mother is painfully learning. And as you are probably figuring out through the struggles in your own life.

Sounds to me like yet another good reason to dedicate yourself to training to be godly. It might be far more beneficial to you than you might ever imagine.

If you struggle with porn obsession or addiction, and are ready to break free, pick up Bear’s new book “Train Yourself To Be Godly: A 40-Day Journey Toward Sexual Wholeness”, available now through Amazon. Click here.

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