Ten Effects of Pornography on Your Personal Life

When I was a child, the neighbor boy flashed some flashy magazines at me.

We were underneath the trees that bordered my yard. The shade cast dark shadows on us, which concealed our activity. He didn’t tell me these magazines were forbidden, but I sensed it in the hushed secrecy of the shadows.

Time stood still, pregnant with exhilaration and danger. We could be caught. But it didn’t matter, this I had to see. At that point, I was too young for my parents to have considered giving the sex talk. So the first sex talk I received was from these bare bodies on these glossy pages. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I had a long speech that day.

I wish he had shown me a gun from his dad’s drawer. I wish he had stumbled upon his dad’s handgun and shown me that. With that gun I would have known what to do. From that gun I would have run. It was obviously dangerous, not something a child should handle. But at that age, what was pornography? How could it be dangerous?

I think that’s a question many of us are asking. We might not be children hiding in shadows, losing innocence as we crouch. We already know what pornography is. But still we wonder how it’s affecting us. Since I can’t go back in time and urge that boy to run, I can offer something to you.

With hope that you run the other way, here are ten effects of pornography on your personal life:

1. Pornography plants images in your brain through the release of dopamine.
Dopamine is released in your brain during sexual activity. Not only does dopamine form a sexual memory, but it creates a desire for what you just experienced. This is why you can’t forget images you saw years ago, but you can’t remember your kid’s social security number.
(Colossians 3.2,5)

2. Pornography creates a soul tie between you and the person you are watching.
The soul is made up of the mind, will, and emotions. Images of the person are branded on your mind and have feelings toward that person. Plus you have a physical reaction to him or her. A tie has been created. This is also why images are hard to forget. Think of the soul tie as glue. Whether you like it or not, it’s sticky.
(1 Corinthians 6.16-18)

3. Pornography primes you for risky behaviors.
Like smoking can be a gateway to illegal drugs, pornography can be a gateway to risky behaviors. Instead of sexuality being a sacred and private matter, watching pornography lowers your inhibitions. Your standards decline and soon you are doing things you would have once avoided. Sexual predators sometimes use pornography to loosen up their targets.
(1 Peter 5.8)

4. Pornography keeps sex on your mind all the time.
Whether you’re at work, at school, with friends or family, it’s challenging to shake sex from your thoughts. Not only are the images vividly flashing through your mind like a red light district, but you imagine new situations with the people around you. Pornography never stays on the screen or page, it leaps onto your daily life.
(Philippians 4.8)

5. Pornography leads to unhealthy shame and self-hate.
Shame is the feeling that something is fundamentally wrong with you. Sometimes shame is healthy if it alerts you to beliefs or behaviors that are misaligned with your identity. But if you don’t listen to healthy shame, it can create self-hatred and low self-esteem. The private nature of pornography perpetuates these negative emotions. If you can’t bring your activity into the light, it’s probably casting darkness onto your identity.
(1 John 1.6-7)

6. Pornography sets up a fantasy world that is impossible to attain.
With the natural challenges that marriage brings, why add impossible expectations to it? Pornography creates a fantasy world that sets up your spouse and sex life for failure. The anonymous bodies become your standard, so when your spouse’s body doesn’t measure up, you get disappointed and distance is sown. But when God brings together a marriage, both bodies fit together perfectly.
(Songs of Songs 6.3)

7. Pornography invites another person into your marriage bed.
God created sex to be between a man and a woman who are married to each other. But pornography violates this sacred activity by bringing another person into the marriage bed. Even though a physical encounter might not occur, pornography creates a sexual encounter. Marriage was not made for three (unless the third person is Jesus).
(Ephesians 5.31)

8. Pornography encourages shallow relationships.
Each person is made up of a spirit, soul, and body. However, pornography reduces the person to a body. It disregards the spirit and soul of the individual. People become one dimensional objects whose value is only physical.
(1 Thessalonians 5.23)

9. Pornography turns people into your personal pleasure centers.
When you use pornography, you begin to see people as objects to serve your personal pleasures. You become the center of the universe, the sun around whom the planets orbit. Satisfying your desires and whims take center stage. Selfishness leads you.
(Philippians 2.3-4)

10. Pornography blocks intimacy with Jesus.
It’s impossible to remain close with Jesus and disobey him at the same time. It’s one thing to slip and fall—Jesus is there. But repeated rebellion creates a wedge between you and Jesus; intimacy is difficult. One of the areas Jesus is particular about is sex. The Bible says that when we unite our bodies with someone, we are one with him or her. But in Jesus, we are one with him, and our body is not our own. Therefore, how we handle our sexuality influences our walk with Jesus.
(1 Corinthians 6.16,17,19,20)

You can’t afford to kid around with pornography. It’ll take your life one image and thought at a time, until you have nothing but shadows.

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Chris Heinz is the Founder and CEO of Munyay, which creates coaching tools to help you love your life and work. He's also the Vice President of Human Resources for EnergyCAP, Inc. and is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, a Certified Professional Life Coach, and a Certified Gallup Strengths Coach. Chris enjoys coaching people, writing, and speaking on the topics of engagement, coaching, and strengths. He blogs often at www.Munyay.com/blog.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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18 thoughts on “Ten Effects of Pornography on Your Personal Life

  1. Thank you for your courage in dealing with an explosive, difficult topic.
    Appreciate your good guidance and warning.
    Hopefully now people will understand the danger and run like they would from a loaded gun.

  2. Chris, that was very informative and I want my kids to understand better than I did.  I have been slowly introducing my children to the concept of marriage and sex. Is there some good information out there as to how much you share with them and at what ages?

  3. Hi Russ, that’s a great question. I don’t know. I would recommend checking out http://www.purefreedom.org Pure .Freedom is a great ministry that is local, but reaches out nationwide on issues of sexuality, purity, and modesty. Dannah and Bob Gresh are the founders and good friends of mine. They might have some resources on their website to answer your question.

  4. Chris, through shear God-incidence (I don’t believe in coincidence) I stumbled upon your site and this article.  This is so well written and so needed.  I will definitely be linking from my blog back to this article.

    I had a similar experience as a kid.  A neighborhood kid and friend of mine had taken his dad’s magazines and hid them in a grocery sack behind some bushes.

    I think these types of articles are more needed now than ever, given the fact that any kid with a computer, phone or Ipad can tap into unlimited images with the stroke of a few keys.

  5. John, I love how God works! I’m thankful God led you to CSHeinz.com. I checked out your site and you have some great resources and articles. Bless you.

  6. I think your science is off quite a bit. For one, porn objectifies people. You connect with the flesh only -not the soul or mind of the person. If porn could connect souls, then it would have beneficial qualities. After all, you can’t connect with your neighbor’s soul just by saying hello to him.

    The ‘gateway” argument doesn’t bear out, either. We’re in the midst of the most porn-saturated era of human existence. Based on your conclusions, we should also be seeing a corresponding spike in sexual crimes. Instead we’ve had a dramatic drop in sexual crimes.

    Point 5 is relative to ones’ culture. A Muslim will likely feel more shame than a Christian, since Muslims are much less likely to accept conditions where porn is acceptable, and the punishment in Muslim societies is much harsher. On the other hand, in more permissive societies there is much less likelihood that a person will feel shame.

    Overall I think most of what you say is spot-on, but the exceptions must be acknowledged. I find porn to be reprehensible, but there are couples who have credited porn with improving their intimacy and their relationship.

  7. Allow me to copy it. This a good pointers to discuss.
    Another tool for Youth Bible study meeting.
    Thank you Chris Heinz.

  8. Your statement about dopamine is incorrect. Dopamine is not involved in the creation of memories. Dopamine is simply the chemical released in anticipation of a risk or reward. A porn addict who looks at a computer anticipating a chance to watch porn has already received their dopamine rush before they’ve watched it.

    A good way to think about it is that Dopamine tells our brain to pay attention to something. You get a dopamine rush when you see someone you love, but dopamine does not make you fall in love with that person. Soldiers also get a dopamine rush when they have PTSD. It’s not always associated with pleasure. Dopamine is secreted when viewing porn, but it is not involved in memorizing pornographic images.

  9. You should have ended with a call to action or a redemptive application. You can’t really share this with someone without a solution.

  10. i just want to say thank.you for the information you shared and i will start to put what you action and i konw that the Good Lord will help me to cut donw these soul ties once again Thank you God bless and keep sharing Amen

  11. Thank u chris, GOD sends messages through people and specifically 4 some people, GOD thanks 4 speaking 2 me through chris.

  12. For your spiritual, financial and marital problems kindly contact Bernd Temple to bring an ever lasting solution and light to your dark days.

  13. Am an addicted watcher of Porn and of course, masturbator for about 7years now. And ever since I find it difficult to stop the practice, and even after given my life to Christ and baptized, its still there and even worsened. It has really drained the life and transformed me in a all aspects , day by day into a shadow of myself. Even my relationship with God, can’t get intimate bcuz seriousness is not even in my heart. I don’t know where to go from here.
    Am weak and helpless, pls I need help.

  14. My boyfriend recently told me he was addicted to porn for a large number of years but then Jesus broke the chains, should I be worried about any long term effects of that addiction in our relationship and or future ? He also isn’t a virgin should that worry me? It’s been roughly 8 months I think since he’s been done