• Shayden Bertagnolli

Real Men Do Look At Porn

In my profession as a marriage and family therapist, my experience has told me that insight isn't worth a lick. In other words, if insight really changed us, America would not have the problems it faces. Every talk show in the country gives insight into every ache and pain we have, but does it really change anything? Take obesity for example. If someone struggling with obesity entered my room for therapy and my words to them were "you are obese, do you know that?" Or, "do you know you are really really overweight?" This would not change them. In fact, chances are they would continue eating, not return for help, and would feel completely justified in their habits of eating.


Therefore what?...


Those addicted usually load more shame around than they can ever hope to carry? They become two people. One side of them is the happy go lucky, I'm doing fine, and the other side is the secret self. The side they do not let anyone see. When someone gets close to finding it out, they use perfect strategies to get out...usually anger or withdrawal. Ultimately, if we choose to help those wanting to change, but don't know how, I suggest we avoid thinking of them as adulterers (creating more shame), and attempt to invite them to feel safe talking about their shame and guilt. When they come to understand that they are acceptable, of worth, men, and can be forgiven, the shame will slowly erode, and the need for secrecy will halt.



Believe me, the secrets covered with shame more severely crucify the addict than the porn does. Shame creates the cycle of needing more porn. A man looks at porn, masturbates, then feels horrible that "I did it again." They then shame themselves for a while, falsely paying the price for the debt they have incurred, until they feel so horrible about themselves that they feel fully justified to look again. Thus, soothing the anxiety they have of their utter worthlessness, feeling pleasure for a moment, and then falling back into guilt. They then go on for years, "trying to stop," which only creates more of the problem. The mere thought of "quit looking at porn," only reminds them of more porn. I do not condone porn in the slightest, but my experience has shown me that helping someone overcome their shame more powerfully frees them from their addiction than telling them how bad porn is.


Real men do look at porn, and that is the problem. They are men, good men, who are stuck. We all are in this together, no matter what your experience with porn has been. We, as good Christian people, must be so careful we don't inadvertently throw "stones" at those trying so hard to break from this habit. Many men I have helped have had long-standing habits (10+ years) and it takes time to change. Our part in holding our rocks, rather than throwing them, happens as we seek to accept them as men; men who need to feel safe to come from behind the bushes and say "God, here I am, I did eat of the fruit of good and evil." They have tasted of it, and they know its evil. Our telling them of how evil it is only creates more shame and secrecy. Relationships are the way out. Love is the ultimate filler of the desires they struggle with. It is the only way they will find the change they desire.

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© 2020 - Motyv. Shayden J. Bertagnolli. 435.315.2520. shayden@motyv.org. 2485 Grant Ave. suite 315, Ogden, Utah 84401

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