Pornographic Prison

She picked at the cinnamon roll and let her coffee go cold. I sat and waited for her to find the words that wouldn’t come. She was mindlessly twisting her wedding band and kept looking out the window past me.

We listened to the jazz music in the background and watched customers order their caffeinated pleasures. As I looked at the young woman across from me I thought about how much older I was. 

Decades ago I was like her, a young bride. I remembered struggling in the first years of marriage. But our struggle was a financial one. Her problem was far worse. 

Her two-year-old marriage was on its way to becoming a statistic. But not the kind she had ever expected. She was dealing with adultery but one she wouldn't have ever anticipated—pornography.  I knew the statistics: $14 billion spent annually in the US. The biggest users? 12 to 17 year-old boys. But her husband was 25.

He'd gotten hooked young. Keeping it well hidden, the ugliness didn’t emerge until he and his wife were so distant that they weren’t even sure they were in love anymore. Like my young friend said, “too many other women are in bed with us—nothing can erase them from his head.”

Think about the men and boys you know. They are vulnerable. Think it’s no big deal? Talk to a former porn addict. They’ll set you straight. Most admit there's no such thing as a "former" addict.

When I used to visit schools and talk to students about sex, those who emailed me later were almost always boys—wondering what to do about their porn problems. They already hated its grip and didn’t have a clue where to go for help. We live in a soft-porn culture--magazines, movies, TV, music. Its suggestiveness lures people in. Just inside that door is a greasy grimy pornographic prison. If you wonder why sex crimes are increasing: pornography. It’s ruining lives.

As I watched my young friend walk out of the coffee shop, I knew her life, her dreams, and her marriage were no longer the same.

I didn't have much hope; my friend had even less. Porn had imprisoned her husband but in many ways she was imprisoned too. I prayed they could find the key to unlock their lives. 

Maybe pornography hasn’t touched your world. I hope it never does.

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