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Porn: The Subtle Anesthesia

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I cannot count the number of worship services I’ve stood through unmoved. Others around me would be weeping, dancing or shouting their passionate cries to the Lord while I stood in the midst of it wishing I felt something. Anything. The Catechism states that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, but most of the time, if I’m honest, there has been little to no enjoyment of Him. In fact, in the midst of my porn addiction, there was often no enjoyment of anything at all.

I’ve been thinking about porn addiction for a while, and how exactly I want to say this. Because what I have found to be one of the absolute worst effects of porn is that it numbs me to reality. To the good and the bad. It files down the sharpened points of agony when suffering comes into my life, but it also curtails the heights of joy when there is reason to rejoice.

I feel like men and women turn to porn because something is lacking in their lives. They want to escape the bad and painful bits, but end up escaping the good too.

Sometimes it would be so that I could not enjoy sunsets
or hikes in the mountains
or board games with friends
or sitting by the sea
or any of the small things that simply enrich our lives
because my mind was elsewhere.

It was as if the volume was turned down on reality. It’s similar to the way C.S. Lewis described grief:

“At other times it feels like being mildly drunk or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting.”

I didn’t cry for seven years.

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Ethan Renoe has published 7 books, been on 6 continents, done 5 one-armed pull-ups, and gone to 4 universities. He has not fallen in love, but he did fall out of a tree in front of a cute girl one time. Not only is he scuba certified, but he also knows how to dance. He is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and is currently attending Denver Seminary. Read him weekly at ethanrenoe.com.