What if she wants to? (For Men)
In my struggle with pornography, I encountered one attitude that I found difficult to deal with: “What if she wants to?” After all, I thought to myself, “these are adult, consenting women who sign contracts and agree to appear in these productions.” The more I wrestled with pornography, the more this notion unsettled me. Something about it wasn’t right, something wasn’t leaving me in peace…
In high school, I entered a relationship that turned reckless in a hurry. We spent a lot of time together and when it came to physicality, we threw caution to the wind. If I was manipulating her into being physical with me, I would have felt guilty about it and would have had to confront myself about my actions. The reason it was easy to let things slide was because her actions told me that she wanted to. This made it easy for me to excuse my actions.
As a man, I notice this attitude that says, “If it’s not my fault, it’s not my guilt.” It’s the Adam in me talking, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it” (Gen 3:12). The difference between Adam and Jesus when it comes to sin is that Adam shifted the blame for sin on his woman. Jesus took on the sins of the world and redeemed his bride, the church.
There are deceiving parts of pornography that are visible: sex without consequence, lust and not love, video editing, makeup, lighting, plastic surgery. There are also unseen parts that pornography doesn’t want you knowing about: Actresses vomiting off screen after realizing the horror they have participated in. Porn won’t inform you that porn stars spend a sizable amount of their paychecks on booze and drugs to deal with the pain. Porn won’t make mention of the high mortality rate of porn stars and the emotional and social trauma they experience in their daily life.
All the while, porn consumers make peace with porn because of the belief that the women on screen “want to.” We say to ourselves, “she wants to” and offer it as a bargaining chip to our conscience. Instead, we need to ask ourselves: “Even if she does want it, why should I want it?” If our daughters wanted various men to have their way with them would we stand back and let it happen?
We need to work toward eliminating the “she wants to” attitude from our mindset. Here’s 3 ideas:
1) Build your house on rock: Pray for the grace to be pure and commit to purity as a man. This way you won’t be blown left and right when the winds come (whether the wind is porn, your girlfriend or any other form of temptation). If you build your house on rock, the winds will beat against it and it will not be moved. If you’re unconvinced of your own position, the wind will sweep you away (Matthew 7:24-27).
2) Be attentive to the cry behind the action: We don’t watch porn because it leaves us feeling guilty, empty or frustrated. It’s usually because we are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. This is the cry behind our actions. Likewise, her actions might say that she wants it, but there’s a cry behind it. It could be that she’s lonely, seeking affirmation, affection, or something else. If we’re not her father or her husband, it ain’t our business. Be a life saver, not a life taker. We don’t need to listen to or understand her problem, just steer clear of it. If she’s revealing too much, point her to God.
3) Pray for the ladies: There’s never an issue that prayer cannot fix. We all struggle and our weaknesses are always trying to get the better of us. Pray for the women in your life (not just the one you want to be with – everyone needs prayers). Consider this: if your future wife was in a relationship with another man, you would hope that her desire for affection and affirmation would not present itself to that guy in a way that would invite him in.
You may be that guy and the woman you’re with may not be the one you end up with, so build your house on rock, be attentive to the cry behind the action and pray for the ladies.