Age Verification to prevent children under the age of 18 from accessing online pornography is set for rollout in the UK. The House of Lords approved the final piece of legislation relating to guidance for the new UK Age Verification system this week (Dec. 11, 2018), with final sign-off from the House of Commons poised. Enforcement is anticipated to begin in early 2019.
Here are some common questions and issues that are being raised.
By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CSRRS, CCSAS, CPCS
The question I’m
asked often by married men is masturbation “wrong”.
My answer is three-fold. First, masturbation leads to lustful thoughts. I have yet to meet a man who claimshe can masturbate without the aid of sexual thoughts. So, let’s stay here for amoment. I think we would all agree, men who struggle with pornography or sexual addictions should not be focusing on sexual thoughts or fantasy. In fact, we train them to do the opposite and learn to control compulsive sexual thoughts.
Scripture tellsus focusing on sexual thoughts is not healthy for our relationship or ourselves.
“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that could defile the body and the spirit, and thus accomplish holiness out of reverence for God.” 1 Cor. 7:1
Notice the words in bold. Unhealthy sexual thoughts lead to erosion of men. Strike One against masturbation.
The second part of my answer is masturbation is pseudo intimacy. Sex is an amazing and wonderful gift designed by God to help married couples enhance their emotional intimacy and connection. In his book, Sacred Sex Tim Alan Gardner points out:
“Sex is comforting,and naturally reduces anxiety,” he said. “These are wonderful byproducts of healthy, marital sexuality. Sex is not meant, however, to be used like a drug.”
And when we masturbate that is how we use sex – like a drug. We use masturbation to help us distract from emotional/mental distress or obtain an adrenaline rush. That is the same as having a little too much to drink with the exception that it doesn’t produce a hangover. Instead sex is an activity we are to share and enjoy withour spouse.
The third and final point is this, clinical studies have been indicating masturbation can lead to a host of sexual dysfunctions including erectile dysfunction and retarded ejaculation.
So, to answer the question, is masturbation wrong? The answer is yes, in that it shifts true intimacy away from a couple and moves it to pseudo intimacy for an individual. The answer is yes, in that it results in men turning to fantasy for lustful supposes instead of turning to their spouse for mutual enjoyment.
Sometimes it is difficult to determine if someone is dealing with a sexual addiction. A man who views pornography a couple times a year may be acting inappropriately and hurting intimacy between him and his wife, but it doesn’t mean he is a sex addict.
A sexual addiction is diagnosed when sexual activity has a negative impact and effect on other parts of a person’s life including relationships, finances, health, safety, employment, and/or relationship with God.
The following is a brief assessment to help you get an initial read if you are indeed struggling with a sexual addiction. Check each one that applies to you.
Does your mind wander with sexual thoughts throughout the day?
“I don’t know what you are so upset about. Every guy watches porn. It’s no big deal so why don’t you just leave it alone.”
I am blown away by the number of men I meet in my counseling practice who have uttered those words to their wives to justify their pornography addiction. In fact, many men believe watching pornography is as harmless as watching football. In their minds, since “every guy watches porn,” then it’s a harmless activity.
But they’re wrong.
Viewing pornography is far from harmless, especially to the emotional well-being of our wives. When we watch porn, we are sending extremely hurtful messages to our spouses.
While we may not intend to communicate self-worth eroding messages, nevertheless these messages are coming through loud and clear. Here are three of them.
Readers, the following first appeared on the website ThePornEffect.com. It is a letter written by a young woman who spent time in the pornography industry. For those men – and even some women – who think there is nothing wrong viewing pornography, you need to read this.
Dear Porn User,
I want you to know that I don’t write this with any hostility to you. Maybe you watch porn but don’t want to. Maybe you watch porn and don’t want to stop. Either way, thanks for reading.
I was a “porn star” for only six months but featured in over twenty films. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I’ve seen the reality of what the porn industry is really like. I think many people believe falsehoods about porn. Falsehoods which, if they knew them to be such, would probably try harder (or try at all) to stop watching porn.Continue reading “So You Think Women Enjoy Being in Porn? Think Again.”→
Eddie, I have been happily married for 13 years and my wife and I have sex approximately once a week. I also masturbate (without pornography) about two times a week. Do you believe I have a sexual integrity issue?