I don’t want to stop watching porn, not really anyway. .

You see, porn is a very difficult and complex issue. Often, porn is used as a catch-all phrase so we don’t actually have to be honest about what we are really doing.

For example: I call it “porn” when I really spent 3 hours having cyber-sex. By using “porn” this way, I don’t have to be honest to myself or others about what I was really doing.  We prevent ourselves from really bringing things into the light and thus we prevent ourselves from walking in freedom.

And I think we do it on purpose (I know I do) because we really don’t want to stop watching porn. So, in light of that, can we set up a little circle of honesty, please?

Gather around the computer screen. Sit back in your comfy chair / bed / couch / the swivel kind of office chair / the toilet you’re using while reading this from your phone, and raise your right hand or your left because it doesn’t really matter.

Repeat after me:

I (state your name) solemnly promise to abide by the rules of this sacred Honesty Circle. By stepping into this space, I hereby commit to strip myself, naked and bare, of every mask and lie I am aware of. I will not, to the best of my ability, withhold my secrets from myself or from God; I will not allow the shame and fear I feel shackle me to the lies I present and live into; and I will accept the grace of Christ.

I (state your name) bear the image of God and will not be clothed in garments of lies while inside this Honesty Circle.

I think many of you are in the same boat as me; I think many of you also don’t want to stop watching porn.

Now, before you guys grab your pitchforks and follow the angry, hyper-masculine figure of Gaston to kill the beast — hear me out. Honesty Circle.

There must be some reason we continue to fall to the whims of our flesh.

When I say “whims of the flesh,” I’m not talking about continued submissions to any biological needs to masturbate, as I know some of us are bound to partake in.

Note: This post is not an apology for or argument against the sinfulness of masturbation itself. That discussion can happen through a different medium.

Now, if you are lusting or looking at porn or engaging in online sexual behavior while satisfying this “biological need,” then I am talking about that.

I’m talking about phone-sex. I’m talking about those little “cruises” Friday night after work. I’m talking about those weekend-long quests to find a sexual partner. I’m talking about those manipulative app conversations just trying to get someone to send you a pic or agree to meet up for we-all-know-what.

I’m talking about the click and click and click we make searching for just the “right” porn with the hottest guys doing the hottest things. I’m talking about “non-pornish” pictures with just that little taste of what we want. I’m talking about all the ways that we use porn as a blanket statement.

When “it’s not porn, it’s just…” is used as a way to prevent our being honest about what’s really happening.

When I talk about whims of the flesh, I’m talking about any way we continually choose our desires over Christ’s call to obedience.

If I’m being honest (which I am because of the Honesty Circle), I give into the whims of the flesh more than just sexually. But for the sake of space and the focus of this blog, let’s limit our discussion to our sexual whims.

Take a minute to explore the ways you continue to cling to sexual sin. Go on.

I’ll wait.

This is important.

Write them down if you have to.

Remember:

Honesty Circle.

I myself continue to spend hours thinking about the sexual lives of the people around me. I still focus more on the guy’s hand that I’m shaking than his personhood, searching his eyes for any clue about his inner demons, sexual secrets, and whether I could manipulate him sexually. I continue to stay up way into the early mornings consuming porn, hunting down any willing cyber-sex participant who may actually want to talk and share more.

I don’t really want to stop. And do you know why I don’t want to stop?

I don’t want to stop doing these things because on some level, at least, all of these activities satisfy a deep desire of mine.

My friend Ray, the best friend I made in college, started going through this book with a young man he is mentoring. One day, Ray read to me a passage he had marked in pink, a passage that would come to be referred to as “The Pink Question.”

Simply put, “The Pink Question” asks:

What is your heart’s real desire, the legitimate need crying out to be heard? What is the real desire that you are fulfilling when you don’t want to stop watching porn or masturbating or whatever?

I’ll give you my detailed answer in a coming post. But for now, let’s think about these things:

What’s your answer to “The Pink Question”? Do you have trouble wanting to stop watching porn, among other “blanket” struggles? What’s stopping you from taking that stuff out of this Honesty Circle and into the lives of the people who care about you and your spiritual well-being?

* Photo courtesy storrao, Creative Commons.

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