“Like the woman at the well I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy
And then I heard my Savior speaking
Draw from my well that never will run dry
Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up Lord
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole”
This is a snip-it from the old hymn, Fill My Cup Lord. If you’ve spent any time at all in an old Baptist church, I am sure you’ve sang this hymn a time or two. When I read these words, I can’t help but wonder if the person who wrote this song struggled with sexual sin. We know the woman at the well did (refer to John 4 ); She had already been married five times and the man she was living with at the time of her conversation with Jesus was not her husband. She was never satisfied, always searching for the next best thing. Nothing could quench her thirst for love and affection. We see this phenomenon countless times in Scripture. The Israelites were prime example of people who were always turning to things that could not satisfy. God provided them with everything they could possibly need, He freely gave them food, shelter, protection, and yet they continually turned away from God and worshipped idols. They gave themselves over to orgies as they celebrated these false gods. Weird, right? Why would the Israelites trade the real thing, God Almighty, Who was able to bless their sandals off, to worship false gods, which could not satisfy even their most basic needs? And the more they gave themselves over to their idols, the less satisfied they became with God.
Pornography has a similar effect. God created sex. Sex is amazing. It’s pleasurable, it can knock your socks off! It’s the real thing. Yet so many people are trading the real thing for porn, which cannot satisfy even your most basic desires for intimacy and affection. And in turn, the more you seek pleasure in pornography, the less satisfied you are with the real thing. The less content you are with your spouse. Not only their sexual performance, but with their physical appearance and affection as well. Studies show that people who consume pornography are less satisfied with their spouse’s sexual performance and that they eventually begin to compare their mate to the images of porn (Zillman and Bryant). Like the woman at the well, they are seeking for things that cannot satisfy. Pornography is bizarre, it is novel, it is fantasy. It is unrealistic. But viewers of pornography tend to blur the line between reality and fantasy, expecting this grandiose sexual experience with their spouse that just isn’t going to happen. And when your spouse doesn’t look, sound, and act like a porn star, you become frustrated, dissatisfied, and bored. Pornography also offers sexual arousal through multiple partners; encouraging men and women to be less aroused by their spouse and instead be drawn to sexual relationships with multiple partners outside the marriage. That’s why you will hear most men who commit adultery say “it started with porn.” “Over time the brain that feeds on erotic media is trained to equate sexual excitement with the novelty and variety of pornography. Eventually the familiar face, body, and sexual performance of a spouse doesn’t arouse the way it used to” (Luke Gilkerson, Covenant Eyes). It’s sad but true. Pornography diminishes your satisfaction in sexual pleasure with your spouse and increases your desire to seek out bizarre and novel sexual experiences. Unfortunately, many men (and women) eventually turn to sex with prostitutes, strangers, and even children. Prostitution, sex trafficking, and pedophilia are fueled by pornography. By men and women who are seeking these things that cannot satisfy and turn to more and more deviant behaviors. Granted, there are many porn addicts that never venture into these extreme behaviors; however, none can escape the dissatisfaction with their spouse that comes with their insatiable lust for pornographic fantasy.
As a wife whose husband is a recovered porn addict, I can attest to the difference in his sexual satisfaction. When my husband was viewing pornography (even though I was unaware at the time), our sexual relationship was very strained. It was frustrating and often left us both feeling unsatisfied. My husband had no idea that his pornography addiction was fueling his inability to find pleasure and enjoyment through intimacy with me. However, once repentance occurred and my husband began his journey towards recovery, our sexual relationship changed drastically. My husband’s attraction to me increased exponentially and his satisfaction (and therefore mine) in our sexual intimacy greatly increased. The frustration was replaced with excitement and pleasure. God blessed our marriage bed and sex became something that we look forward to. Something that we cherish. For so long, pornography had been suffocating my husband’s sexual satisfaction and when it was removed, he was able to experience real intimacy for the first time in his life. I think he’d agree it knocked his socks off!