Still, pornography has become so mainstream, even among churchgoers, that much of society is starting to believe it’s harmless.
What you’ll often hear from porn users is, “I’m not hurting anybody!”
But the truth is there are very real victims, such as the girls and women working in the industry, some of whom are actually sex-trafficked and forced to act in obscene productions against their will.
“Naideen” testified about that at a recent summit in the Washington, D.C. area of the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation.
‘Porn Star’ Bound, Raped
“What was happening to me was a lot of violence and bondage, and being raped and kicked and beaten,” she said. “I learned how to cooperate because then it didn’t hurt so bad and didn’t last as long.”
Such cooperation included faking the smiles, looks and sounds of pleasure that are then used to justify the assertion that the females in porn obviously enjoy being in it.
“Naideen” said the man producing torture films starring her put her in an aquarium with a huge boa constrictor.
“He put me in the aquarium, that dry aquarium,” she recalled. “And then dropped the snake in on top of me and closed the lid, and he filmed me—my terror—which hadn’t got anything to do with sex, except that I was naked.”
This blatant exploitation wouldn’t happen and these women wouldn’t be getting hurt if there wasn’t such an X-rated demand, if the buyers stopped buying and the market for pornography dried up.
But these consumers also often hurt the people closest to them, like the wife of Matt Russell. He carried a longtime porn addiction into their marriage.
“It was just a constant companion of mine, despite marriage, despite children,” he told CBN News.
“It really sunk me because I felt he preferred just even the image of someone over me,” Danielle Russell said. “And as a woman, that’s a hard thing to handle. It finally got to a point where I just said, ‘I’m done, I’m done with this,’ and we separated.”
Cathy Dyer’s husband, Greg, drove her to seek therapy after he deserted her for an affair that followed his lifelong addiction.
“I had this gaping wound, and I knew if I didn’t get some counseling, I knew that I was going to hate men,” she told CBN News. “I was going to be very bitter. And I could already feel those things sort of cropping up in me. And I didn’t want to be that person.”
These husbands eventually broke free and both couples reconciled, joining Lakeland, Florida’s First Baptist Church at the Mall that tackles porn addiction directly.
Lost Jobs, Careers, Families
Kevin Conrad leads an accountability support group at the church.
“I have seen men lose jobs—careers. Not just jobs, but careers,” Conrad said. “I’ve seen them lose families, lose children, lose relationships with parents and siblings.”
Trena Mewborn, First Baptist’s director of Counseling and Support Groups, sees how desire for the X-rated destroys marriages.
“Just based on the couples that I’ve seen through the years, at least 50 percent of the couples who are coming forward have some type of struggle with pornography or Internet affairs or some type of sexual issue,” Mewborn said.
CBN News asked First Baptist’s Senior Pastor Jay Dennis if he’s witnessed men losing jobs, wives and families over pornography.
“Absolutely,” he replied. “And I hear it continually. I see it in the church. I see it among pastors.”
Dennis has written books about how users can break free from the X-rated material, and his church produced a DVD about it, called “Our Hardcore Battle Plan.”
In it, church member Tom Wolfe testifies how his heavy porn use led to sex addiction and a series of affairs.
“I was found out, and obviously lost my job, lost my church, lost my youth pastor’s job, and for a while lost my family,” Wolfe says.
Mewborn said she has seen men in the business world lose jobs over pornography. She talked about how bosses will say, ‘Why is so-and-so spending four hours a day on this site? This is not what he’s supposed to be doing as his job.”
And she told of how some of these addicted employees will act out, saying, “They don’t go to work, they’re not on time, they leave at lunch and they don’t come back because the Internet has sucked them in.”