There is not now, never has been, and never will be a feminist case for men to commercialize the bodies of women.
Rachelle Morran, victim of the sex trade
Victims of betrayal and emotional abuse know that pornography is harmful, but it can be difficult to put into words why it is so destructive and abusive.
One of the reasons that pornography is dangerous is because its very nature is anti-woman. Jessica Sky Bahr, board member of Culture Reframed, joins Anne on the free BTR podcast to boldly declare and explain why pornography is anti-feminist. Listen to the free BTR Podcast and read the full transcript below for more.
Pornography Objectifies & Dehumanizes Women
Clearly against the principles of feminism, the pornography and sex trade industry seeks to use women as objects and currency. Jessica elaborates:
Second Wave feminism is looking at what’s good for women as a class. So, if I decide to be a stripper or go in to the sex trade, in the big picture not only is it not good for me as a woman, it’s not good from my sisters, it’s not good for women as a class because it puts women at risk and puts out a message to society that women can be bought and sold and rented by men.
Jessica Sky Bahr, Culture Reframed
Historically, Pornography Has Been Considered Anti-Feminist
Victims can take comfort in knowing that some of the most influential feminists of all time have supported the truth that pornography is anti-feminist.
The Women’s Liberation Movement back in the ’60s and ’70s, Gloria Steinem, and the women of that movement…were very, very critical about pornography and sexual exploitation because they understood that when you have an oppressor class, which is men in male supremacy or patriarchy buying or renting the bodies of the oppressed class you can never have equality.
Jessica Sky Bahr, Culture Reframed
Victims of the Pornography Industry Do Not Have Choices
A faulty and dangerous societal belief is that pornography is pro-feminism because it offers women choices of what to do with their bodies.
This is both untrue and offensive. Jessica explains that women who are bought and sold in the sex trade, including the pornography industry, are not being liberated, they are being oppressed:
I’m a firm believer that until we address the demand side of sex buying women will not be liberated because we know by the data and by the experts in this field who study prostitution and pornography, that it is the most destitute, impoverished, traumatized, vulnerable people on the planet are the ones who end up in prostitution, being trafficked, pornography, and stripping. People argue for choice, like: “Oh, that’s her choice.” We have to step back and really define what choice is. Is her choice that she has to prostitute herself because she won’t be able to feed her kids? Are those the kind of choices that we are looking at?
Jessica Sky Bahr, Culture Reframed
Secret Pornography Use Is Abuse & Sexual Coercion
When men use pornography against their partner’s wishes, or choose not to disclose their history of, and current use, of pornography, they are committing sexual coercion.
Porn use is abusive. I 100% agree, as it is taking away that person’s right to consent because they don’t have all the information to give informed, enthusiastic consent to their partner. If women knew that their partner was masturbating to violence, to rape porn, to child-themed pedophilia porn, and if we knew that our partner’s sexual template was that and that’s what turned them on and that’s what they were masturbating too, we should have every right to know that so that we could say: “I’m not sexually compatible with that person. I don’t want to be having sex with somebody who’s turned on by that.” It would not be sexually compatible because this is now crossing over into core values. I don’t believe in violence against women, so I don’t want to be with somebody who’s masturbating to it.
Jessica Sky Bahr, Culture Reframed
Violence, abuse, and coercion against women is clearly anti-feminist.
Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Victims of Betrayal and Abuse
At BTR, we clearly see the pornography industry as a feminist issue, a human rights issue, and a public health crisis.
Victims of sexual abuse, sexual coercion, and betrayal deserve a safe place to process their trauma, ask questions, and form friendships with other victims. The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group offers the validation, safety, and support that you need as you begin your journey to healing. Join today.
Anne: Welcome to Betrayal Trauma Recovery, this is Anne.
I have Jessica Bahr on today’s episode. Jessica Sky Bahr is a relationship and individual coach and founder of relationshifting.com. She holds a bachelor’s degree in media studies and has an in-depth understanding of how the media impacts our lives and shapes our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Jessica is soon to complete her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling so she can become a licensed therapist specializing in couples counseling, adult attachment, healthy sexuality, and intimacy disorders including compulsive sexual behaviors, porn, and sex addiction, and the partners and families affected by it.
She is a feminist and activist who brings this important lens to the topic of pornography, sexuality, and relationships. She is also on the board of directors of Culture Reframed, a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Gail Dines, who I’m going to have on the podcast soon, whose mission is to build resilience and resistance to hyper-sexualized media and porn. The combination of feminism, media studies, and mental health informs her critical perspectives on the myriad of ways digital sex and hyper-sexualization impacts individuals, relationships, and cultures.
Jessica: Thank you, I’m glad to be here.
Anne: So, I’d like to start with talking about feminism and why feminists should be opposed to pornography and why pornography is a feminist issue and also why it’s a humane rights issue. Can you start talking about that? Because there are so many feminists who claim that pornography empowers women.
Feminism Helps Protect And Uplift Women
Jessica: Yeah, I’m happy to speak to that because I think there is a lot of confusion and divisiveness in women and in feminism in particular around this topic and I think there is a lot of misguided intention and a lot of misinformation. So, I just want to start by reading a quote from Rachelle Morran, who is a sex trade survivor. She was a prostituted woman in her youth and she has now exited and has become an author and an activist. She has a quote that says: “there is not now, never has been, and never will be a feminist case for men to commercialize the bodies of women”.
So, I think that’s a really good quote the kind of summarizes a really complex issue. There are 2 different types of feminism that I think your speaking to when you say the people who think it’s empowering and then the people like me who think there’s no benefit to the commercialization or commodification of sex or women’s bodies. The difference in language is that someone like me is called a 2nd wave feminist. Another term for it is a radical feminist, and radical simply means the Latin root of the word radical is to get to the root of something. So radical feminists look at the overall system of oppression, which means patriarchy and how patriarchy oppresses women and children. Radical feminists really try to look at the root.
The other type of feminist who maybe would argue that pornography or prostitution is empowering is typically referred to as liberal feminists, 3rd wave feminist, choice feminist, or even sex-positive, which I shudder at that and I’ll explain why later and why it’s not sex-positive, but there is major disagreement among these 2 types of feminism and people who are in these movements. So, the 3rd wave people who think it’s empowering believe that if a woman is making the choice, no matter what the choice is, it is empowering just based on the fact that she’s getting to make the choice. So, they’re looking at individual empowerment for the actual individual whereas a 2nd wave feminism; like myself, Gail Dines, and so many other people in this movement are looking at what’s good for women as a class. So, if I decide to be a stripper or go in to the sex trade, in the big picture not only is it not good for me as a women, it’s not good from my sisters, it’s not good for women as a class because it puts women at risk and puts out a message to society that women can be bought and sold and rented by men.
Radical Feminists Do Not Support Porn
So, our focus is on the liberation of all women and so as long as there are women enslaved my goal is to help free all women under oppression under patriarchy, not just to make my personal decision. For example, I wear makeup, but I don’t call wearing makeup feminists. So, this word feminism has really gotten completed with a lot of other things and it’s changed the meaning and we see that happening with a lot of things over time. It gets kind of co-opted and people redefine it and turn it into something else, but the original definition of feminism really speaks to women as a class and not the individual.
Anne: Yes, as a radical feminist myself I appreciate you defining that. That is awesome.
Jean Kilbourne, she did a series called Killing Us Softly and it was about how women were portrayed in advertising. It’s brilliant if you can ever get your hands on it, it’s a three-part series. She said: “Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step towards justifying violence against that person.”
Jessica: Good. I just want to add too, you know people get freaked out by the word radical because it does sound so extreme, but I like to just remind people that the 2nd wave movement, which was the Women’s Liberation Movement back in the ’60s and ’70s, Gloria Steinem, and the women of that movement were 2nd wave. They were very, very critical about pornography and sexual exploitation because they understood that when you have an oppressor class, which is men in male supremacy or patriarchy buying or renting the bodies of the oppressed class you can never have equality. It just doesn’t work.
Feminism Means Upholding Women As A Class
So, that’s really where we are coming from with this. I just want to add too that another word for radical feminist or 2nd wave feminist is an abolitionist feminist. In other words, I don’t think that the sex industry, and I like to call it the sex-industrial complex because that’s what it is. It’s a multi-billion-dollar industry and it includes pornography, prostitution, stripping, massage parlors. It’s a big, big industry and the sex-industrial complex is just this large thing that we need to look at from a broader picture and how it’s affecting women all over.
So, in other words, if I have a sister who’s getting prostituted or women who are being looked at as objects, how does that translate to me out in the real world, in society, and in culture? How am I going to get looked at? How am I going to be impacted? Whether I’m in that industry or not.
Anne: Yeah, and that’s my goal here at Betrayal Trauma Recovery is to liberate all women from misogynistic ideas and views and the oppression of what they “should” act like, and what it means to be a woman. We can have a voice in order to be a woman. We don’t have to accept sexual coercion. We don’t have to accept any form of pornography or anything that we feel uncomfortable about in our sexual relationship. At any time, any one of us stands up for our own sexual rights, we stand up for everyone. If we could hold hands around the world and stop sexual exploitation it would stop because there wouldn’t be anywhere else for it to go.
Pornography Is A Feminist Issue
Jessica: Right. You know, I do think women have played a big role in this like you’re talking about but I’m a firm believer that until we address the demand side of sex buying women will not be liberated because we know by the data and by the experts in this field who study prostitution and pornography, that it is the most, generally speaking, the most destitute, impoverished, traumatized, vulnerable people on the planet are the ones who end up in prostitution, being trafficked, pornography, stripping. You know, people argue for choice, like: “Oh, that’s her choice.” We have to step back and really define what choice is. Is her choice that she has to prostitute herself because she won’t be able to feed her kids? Are those the kind of choices that we are looking at?
Are we talking about sheer survival? Why would we argue for that choice? Shouldn’t we be giving women more opportunities and we should be stepping back and looking at what are the driving forces that are driving these “choices”, and what is bringing them there and why are they staying too? I mean, if we could just look at what brings people to the sex industry and what keeps people from getting out. It’s horrifying. Really, if people got really educated about this topic and they saw what brought women to this, aside from being trafficked right, and being coerced and drugged and all that. What brings women there and then why they can’t get out. The drug addiction, the Stockholm syndrome, the trauma, the feeling that they have no place to go and the brokenness.
When you leave the sex trade, I don’t believe it should be qualified as work, when you escape this abusive trade the needs that you have to get back on your feet emotionally, physically, spiritually, all of it. It’s a lot of heavy lifting, and there is not a lot of services out there so a lot of women don’t make it out of the trade alive. They take their own lives. They die of drug addiction or overdose. They are killed. They die of complications from injuries, all kinds of health and physical risks.
Abolition or feminists like myself, we don’t believe that this industry can be regulated. The same way an abolitionist in the 1800’s in this country would never say we want to keep slavery, but we want to regulate it. They wanted it gone because they knew that this was something that was built upon oppression. It was built upon racism. It was built upon patriarchy, and so from a 2nd wave feminist point of view, like myself and Gail and you, we see it the same way. You cannot regulate an industry that is built on exploitation, on inequality, on patriarchy. We see it as dehumanizing and objectifying of humane beings and this is a humane rights issue.
Why Feminism Does Not Support Porn?
Anne: And even though the task seems impossible to stop all pornography, it is a worthy goal and I don’t think there’s anything wrong in saying: Okay, it’s impractical to say we’re going to stop all pornography by next week, right, which we know is impractical. I don’t think that should keep us from saying: Our goal is to stop all pornography and we are working toward that the best way we know how one step at a time. Otherwise, if that’s not our ultimate goal, whenever that happens or if it even is possible, then we’re leaving some of our sisters to be abused.
Jessica: Yeah, agreed. Culture Reframed, an organization that I’m a board member of, is addressing pornography (online/internet pornography), as a public health crisis. If we address this as a public health crisis, we can build resilience and resistance to the hyper-sexualized media and to porn by educating people, by giving people resources, by arming parents and teachers and pediatricians with knowledge and information so that they can share it with the youth in their life. We can talk to regulators. Anything you would consider under the public health umbrella.
Pornography Does Not Support Women’s Equality
Big tobacco is a really good example and a model that we like to reference a lot because there was a time not too long ago where there was a huge divide in the medical field about whether or not cigarettes were bad for you and whether or not they cause lung cancer. Some doctors were actually prescribing cigarettes to clients to help ease anxiety and relax them and whatnot, and we still have clinicians in my field (the mental health, counseling, and coaching fields) today who prescribe pornography for couples and it’s harmful.
We still aren’t there yet in terms of education, and so I think the public health approach is the best approach that everybody can get on board with. Everybody can get on board with this because it’s about looking at the facts, it’s about the data, it’s about the science, and it’s about education so that people can make informed decisions instead of: “Oh, I’m just going to take this away and the person goes and seeks it underground or whatever”. This is now an informed decision about your health and your relationships, which equates to your health because we know how important relationships are to health.
Anne: Exactly. So, with that, let’s actually talk about the sex-positive movement. We had a guest on one of our episodes talking about being sex positive is so cool right now and in order to be a progressive educated person, you need to be sex positive. If you said: “I’m not sex positive,” then everyone would give you a very weird look. Can you talk about how porn is not sex-positive and why?
Why Is Pornography Not Sex-Positive?
Jessica: Yeah, there are so many reasons that it’s not and I can’t even think of one reason that it is, but I’ll start with first and foremost it ruins people’s sex lives. So, that’s very ironic that the more people use porn the less sex they have with a real-life partner. You’ve heard of porn-induced erectile dysfunction. This is a new phenomenon we’re seeing since the explosion of internet pornography. Young men are reporting erectile dysfunction that can’t be explained by any other variable than their pornography use. They are otherwise healthy men who don’t have a physical reason for having erectile dysfunction. So, it’s keeping people from actually connecting sexually, so there’s that number 1.
Number 2: It is a product. It is scripted. It is not creative, it’s very formulaic. It’s very bottom line driven. It’s about hooking the consumer. It’s about taking away their agency. If you want to talk about choice and agency and empowerment, it’s the absolute opposite. They are hijacking our own ability to have authentic sex. So, the template changes. If I’m a porn user, instead of me authoring my own sex life, my own sexuality, which is the most private, personal thing in my life, now it’s being co-opted by this multi-billion-dollar industry that is designed to change my mind, to change my template.
It really takes people’s power away and you hear this from a lot of recovering people. That once they stopped using and they stopped using for a while they get their sense of agency back and they start to have their connection with their partner back and they can co-create a sexual relationship with their sex partner, which when you think about it if you’re sex-positive that’s what that is. I came up with this quote because one of the big arguments in the 3rd wave sex positive movement is: “It’s none of your business what people are doing in their bedrooms, in the privacy of their bedrooms” and I like to respond by saying: “If it’s none of anybody’s business what people are doing in their own bedrooms, why have we made it the business of the porn companies? Why have we made it the business of the pornographers to the tune of multi-billions of dollars?”
Anne: Uh huh and also that pornography is directly affecting what’s happening in people’s bedrooms.
What About Sex-Work? Is That A Feminist Issue?
Jessica: Yes. So, they have basically gone from saying: “It’s nobody’s business what I do” to “I’ve handed it over to a big business” and now what happens in the bedroom is run directly or indirectly by this multi-billion-dollar industry, that quite frankly, has nobody’s best interests in mind. Not only is it addictive but we know it’s horrifically, and this speaks to the feminist piece and to the human race piece, it is horrifically sexist, misogamist, violent, brutal towards women. There is tons of data on this. I don’t know how anybody could defend the content that’s online today with any kind of positive or feminist lens. Or even defend it as a human, somebody who believes in human decency.
It’s a type of hate speech, in my opinion, and that’s one of the other arguments that I have is: “Why is this protected when they’re showing so much hate?” Anne, think about this, if you were to show any other group of people, of an oppressor class like white people for example, and you had a multi-billion-dollar media industry that shows white people abusing a subjugated group of people, let’s say an Asian group or Black group or another oppressed or subjugated group of people, there would be public outcries. This would not be okay. But, because it’s women and because you’re throwing sex in the mix, your sexualizing the violence, you’re eroticizing the aggression, now it’s okay. But if you take away the sex if you take away the sexual piece, all you see is violence and torture and brutality, and why are we okay with that? Especially because we live in a culture, actually a world-wide global culture of an epidemic or pandemic of abuse and violence against women.
So, when people say: “Oh, well, this is just fantasy”, it’s not. We know the numbers with Me-too movement that came out, you know, 1-in-3. Every day I read another article or more statistics about how violence against women is going up and rape and campus rape. It is a pandemic. People can’t even keep up with it, and now we have this medium where men masturbate to these scenarios. These fantasies that men are masturbating to are real-life nightmares for real women.
Feminism Aims To Dismantle Oppression Against Women
Something is really, really wrong with that. That is like the most divisive thing you could do, to have this group of people (women) on the planet suffering at the hands of men with sexual violence and then make movies about it for entertainment and for men to masturbate to. The problem with the 3rd wave liberal sex-positive movement is they’re not connecting the dots. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot say we believe women should be free of violence, free of sexual exploitation, and free of objectification; when you support an industry that is based on all of those things.
Anne: Yeah. I think that they are just purposefully ignoring it because every time you try to address it with someone in that camp they just talk in circles. There’s no resolution to it and they don’t make any sense. You could say this isn’t logical, but they won’t be pinned down because they don’t want to give up their porn.
Jessica: Yep. That’s just it. There’s no real argument. There’s no data. It’s a very thinly veiled debate. I don’t’ get far in those because I’ll start asking real questions and I don’t get answers. I just get: “It’s my choice”, “If you don’t like it don’t watch it”, you know all the things that you could do to dismiss a public health crisis. You know, like cigarettes, don’t smoke them. Then you start zooming out and going: “Wait, now it’s affecting everybody.” It’s affecting children, it’s affecting our healthcare system and our taxes. I mean the list goes on and on and on.
Anne: Yeah, and not to mention that cigarette in this scenario is a person.
Porn Is Oppressive
Jessica: Correct, and that is a beautiful Segway to the differentiation between sex addiction and every other kind of addiction is that the human being, in many cases it’s women, are the substance that’s being abused and there is a big difference when you’re using a person as a substance versus a drink or a drug or cigarette. So, this is another reason why it’s even more serious and it needs to be looked at as a human rights issue.
I also copied down another one of my favorite quotes. It’s by Jean Kilbourne, she did a series called Killing Us Softly and it was about how women were portrayed in advertising. It’s brilliant if you can ever get your hands on it, it’s a three-part series. She said: “Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step towards justifying violence against that person.”
So, there are a lot of women who self-objectify, there is psychology behind that which I’ll try to remember to circle back around too, but even if you say: “It’s my choice to strip or it’s my choice to do this or it’s okay for women to step out and objectify”, what we have to remember is that objectification is dangerous. There is a lot of statistics on this. There is a great organization out of Australia called Collective Shout that researches this about how objectification hurts not only the person being objectified but the person doing the objectifying and it really does lead to violence and harm and it changes the way we interact with each other, the way we connect.
It changes the way we view others and ourselves. It takes away our empathy because if the person is now an object, you are really distanced from that person and you lose empathy. This is the problem with pornography.
Anne: So, we are the largest wives of pornography user’s organization in the world here at Betrayal Trauma Recovery. So, whereas we have lots of organizations that are fighting exploitation or sex trafficking or pornography, what we view ourselves here as is the in-home victims of these types of abusers. They are clicking on and masturbating to other people’s abuse and it makes them abusive in their own homes to their own wives. Let’s talk about that for a minute. I think we’ve firmly established that it’s absolutely okay, and not only okay but actually every single woman in the world should set a boundary of no pornography in their relationship. They should set that as a human rights boundary and also as a self-respect boundary. Like, I will not allow myself to be abused like this in my own home.
Feminism Helps Women Break Through Oppression
I want to talk about sexual coercion for a bit. So, it is our contention here at BTR that if a man tries to talk a woman into accepting his pornography use when she doesn’t want it or she states: “I do not accept pornography in my relationship” and he hides it from her, that it is a form of sexual coercion and he has not received her consent because he’s not giving her the full information. So, where he’s trying to talk her into accepting his pornography use, that would be sexual coercion, and while he’s hiding it from her that would be considered that he is withholding her ability to give consent.
Jessica: Yeah, I think it’s common. I 100% agree with where you’re coming from on both of those and I think it’s common that the user tries to get around it by using these types of manipulation. The part about trying to talk your partner into accepting something that doesn’t feel good to them and is coming between you sexually, it definitely coercion and abusive because it can leave the partner feeling shammed or shameful. It could lead you to feeling like: “If I don’t do this he’s not going to be happy, he’s going to leave me” or “That my authentic sexuality isn’t good enough.”
Also, what’s happening is there’s a control issue. He’s controlling the sexual merit in the relationship. So, there’s not a co-creative sexual relationship between the 2 people who get to come together and be playful and creative and decide what feels good to both of them, what’s mutually pleasurable. So, this is somebody who’s saying: “I want this for me even though you’ve already stated that you’re not comfortable with this.” So, trying to talk somebody into something as important as what their sexual limitations and boundaries are is a violation. It’s a type of abuse and coercion, which those go hand in hand.
Pornography Is Harmful To Women
As far as hiding it goes, I mean you guys know this more than anybody because you deal with betrayal trauma, which has to do with secrecy and lying and dishonesty. That will break a person. It can break a person and it could ruin relationships and make it hard to trust again. I hear people talk about this issue of pornography. They say: “What is the partner really angry about? The fact that her husband is using porn or that he lied about it?” I hear people say: “Oh, that he lied about it” and I would argue that in this case, it’s both. If my husband, I’m not married now but let’s just say I married, if my husband lied to me about stopping off from work and getting a piece of cake because he’s on a diet and he just fell off the wagon and got a piece of cake and he didn’t tell me about it or he lied to me. Yeah, lying is not good, it makes you question people. It erodes trust. It’s not a good thing, but if he’s lying about sex and he’s lying about something that’s against my values, something that I’ve set a boundary on, something that has to do with masturbating to images of other women, he is seeking sexual stimulus outside of our monogamous relationship; assuming we’ve agreed on a monogamous, committed relationship, then that is a different kind of betrayal.
Anne: Well, it’s also abusive. This lack of consent and saying: “I know that you want a monogamous relationship with no pornography and so I’m going to hide that from you. That is coercive in and of itself and manipulative, and it’s also you are not giving her the information she needs to make the right decision and to give her consent.
Jessica: 100% agreed that withholding information like that takes away her consent and she is in engaging in a sexual relationship with somebody who she does not have all the information.
Anne: That she wants. She said flat out: “I don’t want this,” and so he lies and hides it from her. I think this is extremely serious and people are not taking it seriously and it is an abuse issue. People are kind of dismissing it or saying: “Oh, well, he doesn’t need to tell her” or whatever and I’m thinking: “No, no, no, you don’t realize that this represents abuse and it represents abuse in every case where he is controlling the sexual merit like you said and not willing to give her all the information that she needs to give her consent. It’s a serious, serious abuse issue.
Porn Use In A Relationship Is Coercion
Jessica: It is an abuse issue and I 100% agree it is taking away that person’s right to consent because they don’t have all the information to give informed, enthusiastic consent to their partner. If women knew that their partner was masturbating to violence, to rape porn, to child themed pedophilia porn, to anything that’s now mainstream mind you on Pornhub, if we knew that our partner’s sexual template was that and that’s what turned them on and that’s what they were masturbating too, we should have every right to know that so that we could say: “I’m not sexually compatible with that person. I don’t want to be having sex with somebody who’s turned on by that.” For lots of reasons. One it’s not sexually compatible because this is now crossing over into core values. I don’t believe in violence against women, so I don’t want to be with somebody who’s masturbating to it.
We have to get straight about when we meet somebody or when we’re with our partner about what our core values are in general and also what our core values are around sex and what is our sexual compatibility because if somebody has a secret life when they’re masturbating to these images, the bottom line is there’s no compatibility here.
Anne: I am so grateful for Jessica coming on today. I love all women of different faiths or paradigms, Jessica is Agnostic, with different ways of viewing this so that we can all see that when it comes to pornography we are all on the same page or we need to be in order to combat this. Not only in society but in our own homes.
So, Jessica is actually going to come back to talk about how to bring up the topic of porn with someone that you’re dating. Many of you are currently married but you’re talking with women who are single and you’re like: “Hey, have you talked about their porn use?” so this will be an important episode, so stay tuned for that.
Thank you so much, Jessica, for coming on today’s episode.
Jessica: My pleasure, thanks, Anne.
Feminists Do Not Support Pornography Use
Anne: Jessica can be contacted at relationshifting.com and for more information about the important work being done by Culture Reframed visit culturereframed.org where you can find many resources as well as their parents of tweens program.
I will be speaking with Gail Dines, the founding President and CEO of the non-profit Culture Reframed next week, so please stay tuned for that episode.
I just purchased a book by Sarah Bessey, called Jesus Feminist, and I’m going to be reading it. If any of you want to read it too and then we’ll have an on-air book club and talk about Jesus Feminist and how we felt about it, email me at anne@BTR.org and say: “Hey, I’m reading the book too, I’d love to come on the podcast.”
Please comment below and let us know your thoughts. What are your thoughts about feminism? What are your thoughts about pornography being a human rights issue? I would love to know what you think.
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Excellent. I so appreciate this and, as a therapist, will be sharing it with my clients and colleagues.
Thank you for your work with victims of abuse – most therapists don’t understand that pornography is abusive to a spouse. Thank you!
Thanks for this episode. It definitely hits the nail on the head. I found the values issue of hiding porn interesting. I grew up in a feminist home and consider myself a feminist is many ways. Additionally, I am a sexaholic and have watched lots of abusive porn towards women. I know that my values and actions totally did not match up but felt powerless to live in accordance with my values. Basically, trying to say that if a sex addict is willing to work a program and get honest in recovery, sexual compatibility can be built over time. Additionally, most addicts are not able to live their values during active addiction.
David, thank you for your comments about how watching porn harmed you and your family. I’m so glad you’re getting help.
I don’t think I have ever had a healthy relationship. Not one! I grew up in a house An alcoholic. I was kicked out a16 and I was so glad. I ended up quitting school and supporting a physically abusive bf. When I finally left for the last time at 19 I decided to be a stripper bc I felt empowered. Here I am 39, I thought I picked a safe man. He’s so addicted to porn that he cannot be intimate with me on any level! We have a son who is almost 7. I am scared to death I won’t be able to find a way to support myself an raise my son to respect women. BTR has been a blessing to listen to this past week. Thank You
I’m so glad you found us!
Thanks for this. Married almost 40 years, and I’m currently visiting my children and grandchildren overseas.
Within five hours of me leaving, my husband was acting out in his sex addiction (even though he promised he’d stopped). He says he’s not an addict. He swears he would never ever look at porn again, that he has no interest in it anymore.
But then he does this sick stuff while I’m gone, and he isn’t even aware that I know what he’s doing. He watches sick stuff and does sick stuff to himself watching it. I feel like I’m walking around in shock and questioning my take on reality.
How’s it possible that a man can make promises, swear he’s never going to do such stuff ever again but continue doing it every opportunity he gets? Sadly, I realized too late that he is not trustworthy. I had told him that he needs to prove he can be trusted if we are to be be married again in the true sense of the word. We’ve been in-house separated since July (the last time I caught him acting out) and since then, until I left to visit family last Sunday, he has put on a fantastic Christian mask.
I even got hopeful that perhaps, just perhaps change is possible as there seemed to be a tiny bit of evidence of some change. He reads his Bible, prays and pretends to be this fantastic born-again, spirit filled, tongue talking, demon disturbing man of God. Hope is dangerous when your husband is a master at lying and secrecy.