At work, we have these two aquarium tanks that display a collection of captivating fish of varying colors, sizes, and shapes. Though I, Devin, encounter them almost daily, I still find it difficult to stifle the inner child in me that begs to come out at the sight of these attractions.
I could sit and stare at this simplistic spectacle for an immoderate amount of time.
I think, however, that more than just alluring aesthetics, I’m more enthralled by the perspective of life through the fishes eyes. You see, their natural habitat is aquatic, so that is their reality. They don’t know that life exists outside of that because everything visible is viewed through such lens. Pondering on that truth has brought me to a place where I have had to ask, “Do we also see life through a confined angle?”
In our current time, it seems it’s nearly impossible to turn on the television, utilize your phone, go to the grocery store, etc. without being exposed to some sort of sexually enticing image. These images flood the magazine aisles, commercials, and online ads in a way that is nearly inescapable. In the last decade or more, censorship has depleted drastically and in result, general morality has exhausted itself. As a society, we have not only casualized sexuality but have made entertainment out of its exploitation.
Currently, it is stated by many reliable sources that the average age for first exposure to pornography is 11. It is evident that with the progressively changing cultural adoption of this banishing censorship, it is rapidly becoming the new normal. So again I ask, “Do we also see life through a confined angle?”
The problem of pornography in marriage:
“I have also seen in my clinical experience that pornography damages the sexual performance of the viewers. Pornography viewers tend to have problems with premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Having spent so much time in unnatural sexual experiences with paper, celluloid, and cyberspace, they seem to find it difficult to have sex with a real human being. Pornography is raising their expectation and demand for types and amounts of sexual experiences; at the same time it is reducing their ability to experience sex.” Dr. MaryAnne Layden
According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, prolonged exposure to pornography leads to:
1. An exaggerated perception of sexual activity in society
2. Diminished trust between intimate couples
3. The abandonment of the hope of sexual monogamy
4. Belief that promiscuity is the natural state
5. Belief that abstinence and sexual inactivity are unhealthy
6. Cynicism about love or the need for affection between sexual partners
7. Belief that marriage is sexually confining
8. Lack of attraction to family and child-raising
According to sociologist Jill Manning, the research indicates pornography indulgence is correlated with the following 6 trends, among others:
1. Increased marital distress and risk of separation and divorce
2. Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction
4. Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal, or unsafe practices
5. Devaluation of monogamy, marriage, or child rearing
6. An increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behavior
In 2002, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported the following as the most dominant factors present in divorce cases:
1. 63% of the divorces involved one party meeting a new lover over the internet
2. 56% involved one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites”
3. 47% involved spending excessive time on the computer
4. 33% involved excessive time spent speaking in chat rooms
It’s a great enigma of our time that the destruction of pornography on individuals, marriages, and families can be so evident while the recovery from it remains so taboo.
If we continue to become mere fish floating in an adaptation of pornography, we will expect to experience a life of failed marriages, disconnection to our peers, dissatisfaction in life as a whole, shame, depression, isolation, etc. You minimize the power of unhealthy sexual bondage on your life by revealing the nature of your struggle to someone who can be trusted, seeking counsel, getting into a recovery group, and many other helpful steps.