There are things in life that we typically don’t think twice about until something changes or impacts our normal day-to-day activities. For instance, usually there is no reason to be concerned about things such as saying hello and greeting someone with a handshake or a hug. But that can change dramatically during times of crisis or epidemic (real or potential) and people have to consider that they are not in a “business-as-usual” situation. Take for instance the recent scenario of H1N1 in our country. For the first time people in the public sector were dealing with something that would ordinarily never be an issue. Even pastors at churches were making decisions as to the safety of something as simple as greeting those around you at a Sunday morning church service. Again, the rules changed because of the circumstances around us.
I present to you a problem in the area of relationships—specifically dating—in which the rules must change because of the circumstances we find ourselves in. I am convinced that the presence of pornography is so prevalent and damaging that indeed, it is an epidemic in our country. Because of the widespread use of pornography, and connected to that masturbation, dating isn’t what it used to be. Things in our culture like “friends with benefits”, “hooking up”, dating and sleeping with multitudes of people, waiting for marriage until you are thirty-something, and other nonsense have completely changed what dating is all about. But make no mistake, pornography is an ever-present thread that is interwoven through all of it.
In generations past no woman would have thought to ask these questions of her male suitor: Do you look at porn? Are you involved in self-gratification? Today in our culture when this type of behavior is rampant, it is absolutely necessary for women to have these conversations during the dating process. Not to say that turn-about is not fair play, because women can also be involved in this destructive behavior and guys can ask the questions too; but it is primarily men who are caught up in this plague. It may sound like I’m a bit of an alarmist to some, but it truly is a plague and we have yet to see the full impact of the devastation that lies ahead of this country because of it.
Due to modern media—especially the internet—boys are exposed to very sexually explicit and pornographic material at an earlier age than ever. Some reports say as young as 8-11 years of age and the availability and ease of access creates conditions where it’s quite simple to be pulled into the lure of it all. Combine that with sex education programs and experts galore all over the TV, internet, in books and magazines telling people that masturbation is normal, natural, good for you and that it leads to a great sex life, and we have a recipe for disaster.
The truth—and one which you will rarely hear anyone say—is that pornography and masturbation will ruin your sex life. Women dating guys who are into it have the right and absolutely should know if he is bringing this garbage into a marriage where it can wreck all kinds of havoc in the relationship. But if the “experts” are saying that it’s good for us, how is it that I can make such a statement? Because the proof is in the countless number of women and men that I talk to and get emails from telling me that their sex lives and relationships are suffering because of porn and masturbation. Because I hear of couple after couple where the guy (usually but not always) has no interest in making love to his wife but would rather just take care of his own needs. Because I continually hear the heartache from women who can’t figure out why their husbands aren’t giving them any kind of a physical relationship—that’s why I can say it. Far too often porn and masturbation are the culprits. And usually it’s been a problem since the guy was young.
Ladies, once you start getting serious about a guy you are dating, you positively have to look that man in eye and ask him straight out: “Do you look at porn and masturbate?” If he can answer easily and readily with an unequivocal “no”, good! He is worth keeping and building a life with—assuming everything else adds up in the marital equation for you. If he hems and haws, won’t look you in the eye, dodges the question or outright tells you “yes”, then you need to seriously consider dumping the guy. Even if he tells you that he has had issues in the past but is over it, tread carefully and really check this out. It still may not be a good idea, because this kind of old habit dies very hard and he may end up in the mess down the road and this time you’ll be dragged in too. Is the man truly past it? Is he repentant and clean from it for some time? Does he relapse or occasionally turn to it as a comfort, escape or to fill a void?
Too many people, men and women alike, make the mistake of thinking that it will be fine, it will all go away and won’t be an issue once they are married and having sex regularly with their spouse. But that is not the way it works. Men and women both train their bodies and minds to respond to a type of stimulation that marital sex—no matter how fabulous it is—can’t match. You simply cannot practice something day after day for years and think that it’s not what your mind and body will become used to. I hear heartbreaking stories of couples who struggle with one or the other not being able to even achieve orgasm in “normal” ways with their spouse. They just can’t get there without doing it themselves or without the aid of porn or appliances. Men and women who prefer to gratify themselves rather than have a sexual relationship with their spouse. That is just sad and it certainly isn’t great sex as all the experts promise.
We positively must get this message out to our young people. Adults need to realize that porn is not what it was in the days of pin up posters in your mechanic’s shop. It is so much more than that. It’s no longer “boys being boys looking at scantily clad women”. Parents, you need to talk to your kids and teach them that there is a danger to this stuff and damage that can occur, despite what they are hearing in the messages of this culture. Teach your young people before they go down a path that can ruin their sex lives in marriage and bring disaster to their future relationship. Boys need to stay away from it, and girls need to stay away from boys who don’t.