3 Steps to Conquering Pornography

NOTE: This article features more mature topics that may not be suitable for younger readers. Please use discretion.

Pornography is a 100-billion-dollar industry, and yet, only 10% of all viewed pornography is paid for. The United States consumes more pornographic content than any other country. While pornography historically targets male viewers, female viewers now make up 40% of the traffic on these sites. Even if you personally are not struggling with pornography, the statistics tell us that someone you love is struggling with it. Needless to say, we have a huge problem, and it’s growing.

Jim O’Day joined Trending with Timmerie to discuss the issue of pornography addiction, the problems it causes, and three concrete steps one can take to beat this attachment and embrace holy purity.

“It feels completely hopeless for that person,” Jim began. “It feels like they can never imagine a world where pornography is not in their life. But it is possible and there is hope.”

Jim is the executive director of Integrity Restored, a Catholic, non-profit ministerial organization aimed at leading people away from their dependency on pornography through faith-focused guidance and training. They provide education and scientific resources to help individuals in their fights against porn, and they’ve found that a certain three-pronged strategy is the most effective:

  1. Seek Scientific Counseling and Therapy – Addiction to pornography is always traced back to other wounds or issues in a person’s life that have previously gone unaddressed. Through strong counseling and therapy, individuals can focus on healing those wounds that might cause our gravitation towards instant gratification and harmful methods of self-soothing.
  2. Maintain an Active Spiritual Life, Frequent the Sacraments, and Seek Spiritual Direction – Secular sources will tell you that the spiritual life has nothing to do with pornography, addiction, or the damage that it does to one’s soul and mind. On the contrary, the fight against addiction is directly tied to the spiritual life. It’s a spiritual fight, and without a vibrant relationship with God, we don’t stand a chance against our weaknesses.

Jim encouraged those who struggle with pornography to frequent the sacraments, especially reconciliation. Returning to Our Lord in humility can only serve to build up resilience against your weaknesses, and confessors can offer some of the most helpful advice in beating them altogether.

Finding a regular spiritual director is essentially like adding a new coach to your team who will hold you accountable and guide you along your journey to recovery. They tie our reception of the sacraments and our spiritual life together and help us use the benefits gained from both.

  1. Involve Yourself in the Community and Accountability – No matter what area we are struggling with in life, we cannot do it alone. It might be a challenging work life. It could be marital or other family issues. It could be an addiction to pornography, drugs, or alcohol. No matter what, we need God and the people around us to help us get through it. They will be the ones to hold us accountable for our actions and pick us back up when we fall. As Jim said, nobody’s path to recovery is a straight line: it’s filled with twists and turns. But with loving and supportive people around us, we can correct our slips and continue forward.

Timmerie pointed out that pornography is a vice predicated on isolation and selfishness. It’s focused on “me”, the good feeling that I can get, and how I can take advantage of others to get what I want. That’s why our relationships with God and others are so important in this fight. It will teach us to get out of ourselves, see how fulfilling life can be outside of our dependency, and reintroduce us to the innocence and beauty of living a life of generosity and selflessness.

Tune in to Trending with Timmerie weekdays at 6pm CT

John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at relevantradio.com and on the Relevant Radio® app.