3 Ways to Help Women Addicted to Porn

“Porn for women” ranked number one in searches on Pornhub in 2017, increasing by over 1,400 percent since 2016. Despite the increase of women addicted to porn, Christians fail to talk about pornography and women. When scrolling through Twitter, one can find article headlines that read, “Talk to Your Son About Porn,” and “A Letter to My Sons About Porn.” Christians successfully talk about the dangers of porn for sons, but what about for daughters? Most articles about pornography use masculine pronouns, isolating women, yet, one-third of women report using porn on a regular basis.

Girls need rescuing from the chains of pornography, too.

As an eleven-year-old girl, I was introduced to pornography under the safety of my own roof. Those images sparked sexual curiosity and led me to sexually act out as a teen. As a freshman in college, date raped on day three, I turned to porn again, first, for a sex education, but then to cope with the pain. 

For myself and other women, the silence on women and porn adds even more shame, and leads us to question, “Do only men struggle with this? What’s wrong with me? How could God love me?”

Instead of hearing that girls struggle too, women hear the message, “Boys will be boys.” Instead of loving their bodies, they compare themselves to the perfectly waxed and edited bodies on the screen. As Christians, we desperately need to engage the issue of pornography and women. 

To help women find freedom, we need to explore how this issue first starts. Between ages ten and twelve years old, young women may (accidentally or intentionally) discover pornography. Often a woman starts by looking at simple images on the internet. In a millisecond, the brain fires dopamine, a pleasure chemical, and jump-starts the road to addiction. Often, this happens just by watching rom coms or reading romance novels, all considered soft porn. Other ways to find porn include the following: magazines, television, movies, family, friends, and boyfriends. Because of technology, women can watch porn in the secrecy of their own homes. Seventy percent of women keep their sexual addictions secret. If Christians fail to talk about taboo topics, neither will the women living in sexual shame.

Shame continues the cycle of addiction, forcing a woman to keep her addiction a secret. When she keeps her pain to herself, she may never find freedom or accountability. Eventually, porn may no longer meet her desires. Like with drug addiction, the addict will turn to bigger and harder products. The list of sex addictions goes on and on and points us away from God’s design for sex.

Once we understand that women struggle too, then we can provide recovery tools for healing. 

3 Ways to Help Women Addicted to Porn

1. Share first.

Share your struggles first, even if you have never struggled with pornography. Porn addicts keep their stories to themselves, which builds shame in their hearts and gives Satan power. Even if you have never struggled with sexual addiction, begin the conversation and authentically share the struggles from your life. Your vulnerability will help women confess their addictions and find freedom. 

2. Equip.

Teach parents how to talk with their kids about sex. Because children can view sexually explicit images at younger and younger ages, we need to help parents talk to their kids about sex and set up internet filters like Covenant Eyes. We need to inform ministers about the rise of pornography among women and help them know how to talk about porn with women. Talk about God’s design for sexuality and women. Focus on changing the heart, not the behavior. One cannot cover up sexual addiction with a religious Band-Aid. Telling a woman to pray more or do more won’t fix the heart issues. A woman addicted to porn most likely turns to porn as a coping mechanism. If we fix the outer behavior of watching porn and fail to fix the heart issues, then the woman will create a new coping mechanism or a new addiction. If we don’t help her with the heart issues, the cycle will go on and on.

3. Point them to Jesus.

Only Jesus can heal our women from pain, free them from addiction, and release them from the darkness. Take the pressure off yourself and point women to Jesus. 

In our ministries, we preach the good news of Jesus—the redemption of the Cross. Jesus died to redeem lives. He died for men and for women. He died for porn addicts. Jesus came to break every chain—every single chain, even porn addiction for women. 

Can we talk about women and pornography so that women can start the journey to freedom? Join me in going first so that others can go second.

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