Okay. This is a hard topic to talk about, and it includes a lot of sensitive stuff – but it’s something that we really need to talk about…

Porn.

My oldest daughter just had the “puberty talk” in school. I thought, “For sure, she’s nine, they’re going to cover porn”, But they didn’t. And, I feel like I need to talk about it, and we all need to talk about it. I am going to try my best to make a serious topic not so serious, and not so scary. That’s my goal for this blog post; to make this topic a little bit more accessible for us to talk about, because at the end of this I want you to go out and talk about it with other people.

To give you an idea of the scale of this issue, here are a few stats about pornography. These are from fightthenewdrug.org. Check it out, it’s a great website filled with information about pornography. They’ve also got a great program called, “Fortify,” which is an online program to help combat pornography addiction.

35% of all internet downloads are porn related.

Think about Netflix, Amazon, banking, the government, Facebook, social media, YouTube. Think about the amount of downloads that happen, and transactions that happen in our world. So 35% of that.

64% of young people, ages 13 to 24 actively seek out pornography weekly, or more often.

There is a saying, “If they’re eight, it’s too late.” You need to be talking to your children before they’re eight, because chances are, they’re going to get a popup, or their friends are going to show them something, and they’ll come across it somehow. Depending on where their brains are at, they’re really susceptible to addiction really young. I mean, we’re looking at kids age 11, becoming addicted to it.

I don’t want to freak you out. What I want to do is really encourage you to just start talking about porn. Start talking about it with your children. I know it’s an uncomfortable conversation to have. When I did this with my daughters, my heart was racing – I felt super weird and uncomfortable, because the reality is that it’s not a natural topic. We’re not supposed to be talking about this in ideal world, but this is the reality we live in, and we need to keep our children safe.

We also need to start talking about pornography with our spouses. Let me talk a little bit about the ramifications of porn addiction. I don’t come at this from a moral standpoint at all, I don’t find that really helpful because addiction is bred by shame, and I don’t want to increase that in the world. I love the brain science approach. A great website for this is, yourbrainonporn.com. It’s a fantastic website. The gentleman who founded it did a Ted Talk called, “The Great Porn Experiment.”

Pornography is linked to attachment; how we feel needed, important, and valued in the world, and by our spouses. It’s linked to touch deficit in men, because men starting at age four are touched less by their parents, and are shamed for non-sexual touch. They can’t hug or touch their guy friends, or they’ll be called gay, and it’s very dangerous for them to be called that. I mean, in some cases they’re murdered for that. Pornography is linked to that, because if men aren’t getting that type of non-sexual touch just in day to day life, then the only legitimate forms are through aggression and sexual activity, and the safest and easiest form of sexual activity is pornography and masturbation.

I know I’m saying all the words here, and I’m being really blunt. But I think it’s really, really important to recognize that this is a huge epidemic in our culture, and so many people are dealing with this. I help marriages heal from this. I healed from it in my own marriage. And, once you actually start talking about it, and questioning, and researching, you realize that it’s an epidemic. You might be in this category of struggling with yourself, or your spouse, or your children have watched something and you’re freaking out about it. It’s so common, I mean unreal. Again, 35% of downloads from the internet. The whole internet! And at least 30% of all data transferred across the internet is porn related. Can we just all let this sink in a little bit?

I’m not even talking about the social ramifications: sex trafficking, child pornography/pedophilia… I mean,  I’m not even going there because it is so common and accepted in our culture, and there’s so many jokes like made about it, that we can’t see it as something that some crazy pervert does in the corner anymore. We have to actually really talk about it with our children, and with our spouses. If you are married, or if you’re single, I really recommend that you just educate yourself. If you’re a teacher, see what you can do in your school. If you are allowed, fightthenewdrug.org is a great resource for that. They will come into schools and have conversations about it.

Please, contact me if you need any more support, or resources, or anything. I want to do whatever I can do to further this movement, about being honest about what’s going on.

This is real. It’s not just some abnormal thing that some small percentage of the population are affected by. And, it affects your brain, it affects your mental health, it affects how you show up in the world as a man, as a woman; it affects your relationships, it affects your productivity… it affects so much, because we’re talking about the brain.

So go forth, talk about porn, and I’ll see you later.