Devotional Intimacy Loneliness Pornography

The Violent Progression of Pornography

Like it or not, your seemingly innocent porn problem is fueling global human sex trafficking...


I don’t write this post as an authoritarian expert on the ins and outs of addiction or sex trafficking. Nor do I pose as some sort of holy man descended from the mountain with a word from the divine.

I write as a porn addict.

I’ve sat in the basements of downtown cathedrals with the other perverts and sex offenders, confessing my week and my shortcomings. Some of the other men at the Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings have a legal mandate to declare that they are registered for their addiction. They’ve done illicit things with children or the helpless elderly and been caught. In our imaginations, we tend to paint these men as wicked and sinister, endlessly plotting out when they will pounce on their next victim.

But that’s not what I see in the basement of the church. I see remorseful men, apologetic for their actions, and trying to break free from the desires which enslave them. The scariest part of attending S-meetings is the realization that I could be on the same path. These men did not wake up one day and decide to molest the innocent. Nearly every case began with a pornography addiction.

But sin has a bottomless stomach. It will eventually tire of digital images and want to move on to more tangible outlets.

The irony of me—a 25-year-old virgin—sitting in an S meeting is that I haven’t even come close to this sort of offense. My thorough Christian upbringing hasn’t even let me get past first base with a woman. So what was it that led me to attend my first SAA meeting all those months ago?

A big part of it was the realization that my addiction no longer affected just me.

Before I dive in, I want to address something: If you struggle with pornography but refuse to label yourself as an ‘addict,’ you are most likely wrong. For the majority of my life, I raged against the notion that I am actually an addict. The term seemed so dirty and helpless. You’re only an addict if it ruins your life, I thought, totally neglecting the fact that every alcoholic is an addict well before their life is ruined. Imagine how grateful a drug addict would be if they were able to kick their habit before it destroyed their life. So when it comes to pornography addiction, why do we assume that someday the problem will magically flutter away as a butterfly leaves a branch? Sin is hungry. Get help before it gets worse because it will not go away on its own.

Not only does a pornography addiction affect your friends, family, self worth, romance, and practically every relationship in our lives, but it fuels global sex trafficking.

As a professional blogger, my money comes from people visiting my website. The more clicks I get in a given month, the more money slides into my bank account. Advertisers pay for that precious space between the content, and they’re willing to pay more the more visitors per month a site has. The same is true for every website on the internet. The more visitors they get in a month, the more money they receive even if those visitors are not paying to be on their site. 

So when it comes to pornography sites, they make money from all the men and women visiting their site, even if they don’t spend a dime. And as these porn sites earn more money, they are able to bring in more ‘talent,’ or actors and actresses to star in their videos. And while many of these actors are consenting adults, many are not. In fact, 49% of women who are rescued from sex trafficking say that at one point, pornography was made of them against their will. Additionally, about 90% of American porn websites buy their content rather than making it themselves. What this means is that, as much as they promise that their products are above board, they really have little to no way to verify the actual age and consent of the people featured in their videos.

What this means for us is that we do not have to spend a penny to help fund human sex trafficking. It breaks me down to think that I have unwittingly contributed to the trafficking of real human beings in other parts of the globe simply by spending time on certain websites. In essence, we who look at porn are no better than the men in the S meetings who lay their hands on children and force them to do unspeakable things. Our rampant desires have continued the trade of videos which subject people to dehumanizing actions and terrible conditions. There really is no way around it. We cannot pick and choose which pornography sites are ‘ethical’ because the waters are so muddied.

However, the point of this post is not to point fingers and bring shame upon your head just because you have watched pornography. This post is an encouragement to people in the same position as me: Get help. Fight your addiction. Tell a friend, pastor, or spouse and begin to make efforts against pornography addiction, and by extension, human trafficking.

I have reached places which felt absolutely hopeless. I have felt like there was absolutely no good outcome for me, my future marriage is already doomed, and slavery to my desires is eternal. But this is not the case. I have come to realize that there are few things Jesus loves more than taking broken and twisted situations and making beautiful things out of them.

Nothing and no one is beyond redemption.

And you can help take a stand against this today. If you are also a porn addict, get help. Go to SAA meetings. Download filters and accountability software. And if you know someone in the throes of a pornography addiction, offer them help as well. Do not pile up shame and guilt, because that is the most counterproductive way to go about helping an addict of any kind.

Together we can take steps to combat the behemoth of sex trafficking, and it can begin by realizing that our ‘harmless porn habit’ is actually taking a toll on other people’s lives.


6 comments on “The Violent Progression of Pornography

  1. Very well done! I love it! All guys here needed this! Don’t lie to us selves … we need help! Let’s be brace and let’s go look for help! Why do we need to wait till we are all over the floor regretting it?


  2. Thank you for this post! I’ve talked to several porn addicts who try to pretend the link to sex trafficking doesn’t exist. They don’t want to admit it because it makes them feel guilty. I agree that guilt and shame are unproductive. I believe seeing the link between porn and sex trafficking will help people realize how much good can be brought into the world by not fueling the demand. Chasing greater pleasure (in God) is what helps people free themselves from porn. Understanding the connection between porn and sex trafficking will help people see that the greater pleasure to be had in abstaining from porn is saving a woman or child’s life. When a porn addict correctly interprets their actions in this way, saying no to porn is more pleasurable than the porn itself.


  3. I believe its is not only the guys that needs help. Girls too. They have it worse as they feel more with their hearts, mind, body and soul. It is tougher for girls to admit that they are porn addicts or sex addicts, they would feel shameful, disgusting and worthless that this is happening to them. Girls tend to feel more judged as compared to men, its is worse when one is a Christian. Why do i say that? Because i am an addict myself. I have spoken to my mentors in church and they know about my situation. Its a constant battle that i go through every single day but i continue to renew my mind every day to remind myself that my sins are forgiven and i made clean by the blood of Jesus Christ. This journey is not easy and it will get tougher in the days to come because the devil is lurking in the corner waiting to kill, steal and destroy. God knows how many times i have fallen but i get back up again and continue to fight this battle. I know its not easy but my heart is assured knowing that He is with me always. (

    (Isaiah 41:10, New Living Translation)
    Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.


  4. Pingback: Porn Makes You Numb – ethan renoe

  5. Pingback: Sexual Integrity Initiative » Porn Makes You Numb

  6. Andella Hypolite

    I agree with @Jenna. As young women Porn and Masturbation are quite touchy topics in that we aren’t even comfortable with idea ourselves much less sharing it with someone else.

    I’m a 17 year old virgin and porn and masturbation is much deeper than just the in the in-the-moment pleasure. As as Ethan correctly stated in one of his posts on Addiction, “addiction doesn’t start when you’re carrying out the action it starts hours or days before that moment;” and I couldn’t agree more! For me it’s more of a loneliness issue. Shame and feeling worthless factor in sometimes but..(TMI so i’ll leave it at that)

    I’m getting better, though. Yup! The blog posts and YT videos has given me a lot to ponder on and I feel like i have a friend in Ethan,even though he is God-knows how many miles away since i live in the Caribbean.

    Thank you for these and I’m glad I stumbled upon your YT channel.


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