What Unspoken Addiction Is Affecting Men Worldwide?
By Sukh Singh, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International
"Just as junk food and lack of exercise can ruin an athlete’s condition, those things that are obscene, crude, or pornographic can breed an inner darkness that numbs our higher sensibilities and substitutes the social conscience of “Will I be found out?” for the natural or divine conscience of “What is right and wrong?"
- Stephen R. Covey
Let's just get this out the way.
Or more accurately, it's young men becoming steadily addicted to the buzz of watching sensational videos and images on their laptops or even their phones. It's easier and cheaper than taking any drug, no one needs to know you're doing it, and you don't even have to leave your own home. It's the perfect addiction (so to speak). And just like any addiction, when you can't live without it, even for one month, it's going to slowly and subtly erode your senses, your discipline and your relationships. I'm speaking from personal experience here too.
After all, at the end of the day, how many men are going to say on their deathbed, that they wish they watched more pornography? How many will rather say, I wish I lived more, loved more and connected with my family, my friends and my partner?
Here are 5 well known individuals speaking honestly about pornography, starting with NFL player-turned-actor Terry Crews...
Is This Really That Bad? Isn't It Healthy and Normal?
Ask yourself one question... if you have or had children, how would you feel about the idea of them sitting down regularly, watching pornography?
Ultimately, this is not about what the internet has in store, but what has happened to men and women. Sexuality is pervading more and more into our culture, and it's affecting us more than we realise... there's less intimacy, more marriages are breaking down, children as young as 11 years old are watching pornography. Where's the health in that!?
A study from the 1980s, that pre-dated internet porn, found that in participants who watched more porn, that:
- Male subjects demonstrated increased callousness toward women.
- Subjects considered the crime of rape less serious.
- Subjects were more accepting of non-marital sexual activity and non-coital sexual practices such as oral and anal sex.
- Subjects became more interested in more extreme and deviant forms of pornography.
- Subjects were more likely to say they were dissatisfied with their sexual partner.
- Subjects were more accepting of sexual infidelity in a relationship.
- Subjects valued marriage less and were twice as likely to believe marriage may become obsolete.
- Men experienced a decreased desire for children, and women experienced a decreased desire to have a daughter.
- Subjects showed a greater acceptance of female promiscuity.
Here is author and speaker Ravi Zacharias on the mental effects of pornography on young men...
What Are We Teaching Our Children?
We may still think this is harmless for us as adults, but what example are we giving to kids? They don't even need to see pornography for us to know...
How Can You Overcome This Habit?
1. Feed Your Heart & Mind
One of the biggest curses of modern day living is that we have distractions at our fingertips. If it's not pornography, it's checking out what other people are up to on social media. Or watching 'reality TV' and seeing what some celebrity is up to whom we have no relationship with! Again, I'd encourage you to seriously look at how you want to nourish your mind, what you want to feed it.
Just like your body, it needs good nourishing food! What developmental books are you reading? What projects or ideas could you work on to fulfil your ambitions?
2. Build Honourable Relationships
One of the subtle consequences of such addictions is that we become less and less able to build real, intimate, personal relationships.
Spend more time connecting with others - whether that's friends, colleagues, or even reaching out to new opportunities through sports clubs, social nights or even real dating events!
3. Develop Your Own Security, Strength and Wisdom
I can speak from personal experience in saying that having a low sense of self-worth can drive you to hide away from the world and escaping into your laptop for some sense of connection and validation. Instead of running away and building up and an unhealthy sense of insecurity, you have SO much potential to tap into! Find a mentor, a coach, a support network, build your personal and professional strengths - break away from your unhealthy habits, whatever they may be!
This is a huge underbelly of society and not many people are willing to talk about it.