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Pornography: An Exercise in Selfishness

The words "Me" under the magnifying glass representing the selfishness of watching pornography..
Pornography weakens the capacity to give.

My mentor recently said something that I found thought-provoking. He said only two things in life are free–the gift of salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit–everything else you have to work for. I bet most of you reading this would agree with me that relationships are the most important thing in life. And healthy relationships–romantic, business, friendly, and spiritual–are based on reciprocity. It works like this: you give something (time, knowledge, presence, love, etc.) and you get something back in return. Call it the law of give-and-take. When the law of give-and-take breaks down, relationships fail. When relationships fail, mental health fails, productivity plummets, and dissatisfaction ensues. Learning how to create and sustain win-win relationships is crucial. People who succeed at this art are happy. People who fail at it are miserable.

One exception to the law of give-and-take is the parent-child relationship. Good parents routinely make sacrifices for their kids that no one else would. But even in this most unselfish of dynamics, the child’s existence is ideally a source of happiness for parents. And when the child grows up, the expectations is they will return some of the favor they received throughout their formative years. If you’re not already an adult, believe me when I say that adults who give nothing will receive nothing 99 times out of 100.

Pornography is an exercise in selfishness, like bicep curls and gorilla squats for the body. It trains you to think only in terms of yourself–your interests, your needs, your desires. It is the opposite of the love. And since sexuality isn’t something you can compartmentalize, it influences every area of life. Just ask Terry Crews. One of his biggest issues with pornography was that it taught him to see others as objects to be used rather than people to be loved. I have found the same to be true. How could it be otherwise?

Pornography violates the law of give-and-take. It is a healthy relationship killer. And no one suffers more from selfishness than selfish people.

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An intellectually curious millennial passionate about seeing people make healthy, informed choices about the moral direction of their lives. When I’m not reading or writing, I enjoy hiking, web-making, learning foreign languages, and watching live sports. Alumnus of Georgetown University (B.S.) and The Ohio State University (M.A.).


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