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The Secret Women's Porn ProblemBruno Passigatti / iStock

The Secret Women's Porn Problem


Oct 23 2013
We may not talk much about women’s addiction to erotica, but it’s happening.

It's difficult to find concrete numbers on women's pornography viewership. We shouldn't be surprised; adult entertainment has always been designated as the "man problem." But the little research on the topic, plus anecdotal evidence, reveals otherwise.

In 2007, Nielsen/NetRatings found that approximately 13 million American women click on pornographic sites each month. They make up an estimated one in three visitors to adult entertainment websites.

With the uptick in Internet use and the growth of online pornography, we can assume more men and women are viewing this content. Women also read erotica in huge numbers, with 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James breaking records as the fastest-selling Kindle eBook and paperback novel in history, according to Business Insider.

Even as Christian groups work to combat our culture's porn addiction, their efforts continue to skew male. The Gospel Coalition editor Joe Carter published helpful findings on the effect of pornography on the brain, adding to the ongoing discussion over men and porn.

It's much harder to find similar articles tailored for women, leading many to deduce that pornography remains a struggle only for men. When we don't talk about women and porn, women everywhere hide in the shadows with this deep-rooted secret. Thousands, perhaps millions, of Christian women struggle with sexual sin, and we must speak openly about these temptations.

Many of these women start viewing pornography young—very young—and continue to struggle into their 20s. Three have volunteered to share from their stories.

Rachel: Googling Sex

It started when I was 9. A few days before, some friends were giggling about this thing called sex. I searched for it on Google, and up came countless links to pornographic websites. I clicked on many of them, and the screen was soon covered with explicit pop-ups. A flood of intense shame came over me, but I wanted to see more. I almost got caught, so I resolved to never do it again. I came too close to being exposed, and the shame was too much.

As a teenager, I became romantically involved with a guy who had just graduated from my school. Before long, we were discussing sexual fantasies. I went back to pornography, and I began to masturbate frequently. When things between us ended, I combated rejection and heartache with pornography and masturbation. It was an intimacy that I could control.

Every morning and evening—sometimes even in the afternoons—I would engage in those things. On the outside I was a straight-A student, a leader in my high school's chapel band, a core part of my youth group, a social butterfly, and a talented athlete. On the inside I was slowly wasting away, chained to my addictions and the woundedness that I was trying to avoid. For those four years I led a double life, and I was good at it.

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