Is pornography use really adultery? Does it equate to cheating within a committed relationship? What does virtual sex even mean? We explore these questions by addressing some important points of this topic:

Generally, when we talk about virtual sex, we are meaning the use pornography coupled with arousal and masturbation for the viewer of it. But this behavior is not without ethical problems. Anne’s mother states, “Many people have in their mind that it’s just this innocent thing, on the man’s part. It doesn’t involve a real person in real time. But these women, a lot of them are either sex trafficked or forced into doing this by virtue of drug abuse or slavery.”

Pornography Use Is The Same As Adultery

The connection between pornography and sex trafficking is undeniable. “Pornography undoubtedly perpetuates the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls in America, yet the exact role it plays linking the two remains a hotly contested topic. It is commonly known in the anti-trafficking field that 80 percent of survivors report that their customers showed them pornography to illustrate the kinds of sexual acts they want performed. Pornography is also used by traffickers to train sex trafficking victims about various sexual acts and situations buyers prefer. Besides being forced to watch pornography, victims of sex trafficking often have a much more violent and personal interaction through forced performance in the industry. There are multiple reasons traffickers force victims into pornography.”(HumanTraffickingSearch)

Taking a second look at why pornography is adultery, Anne, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery, states, “When you think of pornography you think of a man sitting in front of a computer or his phone just looking at it. People do not envision him looking at their phone or computer while masturbating and basically fetishizing females bodies in these ways.” 

Adultery Related To Porn Use Erodes Trust

If a porn user is actively being aroused by something else and acting on that arousal and also seeking this arousal outside the committed relationship, than it becomes clear that this is indicating infidelity.

Anne’s mother states, “The reason I thought it was important is because we often just use the term pornography and I think that a lot of the world just pictures that in their own minds as guys looking at pictures. They don’t really think that it involves anything else other than just looking at pictures. But when they’re looking at those pictures they are real women that had their picture taken. They’re somebody’s mom, they’re somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister. They are real women.”

If you have found this information helpful, consider signing up for our Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group, where you can receive specialized support from a group of women who have been there and one of our amazing coaches.

Don’t forget that we also have several great Individual Sessions available. Check out Detecting and Confronting Gaslighting with Coach Sarah to help gain knowledge and empowerment.

Porn Use Is The Same As Infidelity

Anne: Welcome to Betrayal Trauma Recovery, this is Anne.

I have my Mom back again today because my Mom has been on a soap box lately, just to me; because she doesn’t share this with the world, but she’s going to be sharing it with the world today about how she thinks, and I agree with her, that we should be talking more about how pornography isn’t just viewing pictures, that it’s actually virtual sex because it involves masturbation. It involves bonding with something else through the chemicals that you would release during sex.

This came up because I am writing a book, which I’ll tell you about later, and I was asking my Mom to help me. She was thinking that somewhere in the book we needed to talk about masturbation being part of the equation. So, will you start with telling me about what your thoughts were and why you thought that was important?

Mom: Well, the reason I thought it was important is because we often just use the term pornography and I think that a lot of the world just pictures that in their own minds as guys looking at pictures. They don’t really think that it involves anything else other than just looking at pictures. But when they’re looking at those pictures they are real women that had their picture taken. They’re somebody’s mom, they’re somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister. They are real women.

Ethical Concerns Over Porn Use And Adultery

The other thought I had is that usually in connection with the porn men masturbate. Just like Anne said in the opening; that involves the same chemicals, the same hormonal response that a man would have with a live woman. So, I just felt like instead of everybody just saying: Well, avoid porn it’s not good for you, blah, blah, blah; you need to call it virtual sex because that’s what it is.

Back when I was younger a lot of men used phone sex and that’s what they called it. Phone sex. They would call on the phone. It was a real woman, but she was responding in real time to his comments and of course he would be masturbating at the same time. So, that was kind of where I was coming from. Then also the quote in Matthew, I think it’s in Chapter 5 and I believe it’s verse 28, where it says:…if a man lusts after a woman he has already committed adultery in his heart.  

Anne: So, a lot of people don’t think that just porn use is adultery, but if you combine it with masturbation to create a sexual experience that someone is having or performing with another person or thing, in this case with a virtual scenario, then they actually are having sex with a computer.

Mom: Yeah, yes. You wouldn’t say computer, I mean that conjures up all kinds of other issues.  

Anne: It’s not just a picture though it’s a video.

Mom: A video of a real person, yes. They’re just providing their own physical stimulation.

Pornography And Virtual Sex Erode Trust

Anne: Through the masturbation part.

Mom: Uh huh.

Anne: My mom’s idea, and I kind of liked it, was for all of us rather than saying pornography to say virtual sex all the time. Which is going to be hard because everybody says pornography all the time and that’s really common, but I’ve started saying that and it’s actually been kind of cool. Like, the responses I received from the few people that I have said it too so far that virtual sex is adultery, and what includes virtual sex isn’t just VR googles that you would wear or something like that, but actually just viewing pornography and masturbating is virtual sex. That’s what it is.  

Why do you think people think that it’s not adultery?

Virtual Sex Is Adultery

Mom: I think they have in their mind that it’s just this innocent thing, on the man’s part I guess I should say, it doesn’t involve a real person in real time. But these women, a lot of them are either sex trafficked or forced into doing this by virtue of drug abuse or slavery.

Anne: Well, regardless, regardless of how they got there

Mom: Right.

Anne: They’re a real person.

Mom: Yes, they are a real person. It’s still a real person.

Anne: Yeah, and the man is still having real actual sex.

Mom: Uh huh.

Anne: With that person that he doesn’t not know.

Adultery And Virtual Sex Are The Same Thing

Mom: Right.

Anne: That has no name, that’s on the film. The other thing is that he is actually having real sex with himself.

Mom: Yes. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe when people hear: He just uses porn all the time, they don’t view it as kind of this innocent just looking at a picture type of thing.

Anne: Or a video.

Mom: Or a video. Yeah. But I think, this is my soap box here, it really is virtual sex and we should call it what it really is so that there’s no confusion about it.

Anne: When you think of pornography you think of a man sitting in front of a computer or his phone just looking at it.

Mom: Right.

Anne: People do not envision him looking at their phone or computer while masturbating.

Mom: Right.   

Porn Equals Adultery

Anne: I think that’s just a natural thing that people do because who wants to think about that?

Mom: Yeah.

Anne: No one.

Mom: Yeah. It’s too awkward, it’s too uncomfortable. A lot of people have trouble even saying the word masturbation.

Anne: Right.

Mom: You know, it’s not a comfortable thing.

Anne:. No. So, it makes sense that when you say pornography that’s what people envision. That they’re looking at their phone or at their computer.

Mom: And a lot of people in the world, me not being one of them, think that that’s just fine. That masturbation is just fine. So, that’s the other issue. It’s not just that we don’t see them as maybe not having sex, but they don’t view that as “sex” when it really is.

Anne: Right.

Adultery And Infidelity Because Of Porn Use Are Damaging

Mom: It involves the same hormones, the same body responses.

Anne: Right. Because in essence their having sex with themselves.

Mom: Yes.

Anne: We want to know what you think about this. We would welcome your comments. Please go to btr.org, find this podcast episode. It will be called Why Pornography Use Really Is Adultery. We’re not going to put the word masturbation in there because then it might be blocked other places. We would like to know what you think. Do you think it is adultery and why?

Mom: When it involves someone in a committed relationship.

Anne: Right. If they’re not in a committed relationship is it fornication? Yes, in my opinion if you’re a religious person and you believe in the Commandments and the Law of Chasity then it would be fornication.

Mom: Uh huh.

Anne: It’s either fornication or it’s adultery but in neither of those cases, in my opinion, is it ok. Maybe you disagree. We would love to hear your thoughts on it. So, again go to btr.org, go to education, and then go to podcasts. You can find the transcription there. You can scroll down to the bottom and make some comments. We’d also like you to share this on social media. See what other people think. You’re going to get a lot of people who think that it’s crazy and that’s ok. That’s what we’re here for. To validate women who feel this way and let you know that if you do feel this way, we feel the same way too. You’re in good company.

Virtual Sex Is Adultery

Mom: Or bad company. 

Anne:  Or you’re in very bad company. We’re such an evil influence. 

Mom: Dangerous.

Anne: I know! We’re laughing because people call my ideas dangerous a lot of the time. So, it’s so dangerous to say that pornography use is adultery. When Christ himself said it in what, Matthew?

Mom: Matthew Chapter 5.

Anne: I love my mom. I’m super grateful that she came on today and I love her opinion that we should start just saying virtual sex rather than pornography and I encourage you all to try it.

Pornography Is Virtual Sex

We’ve had lots of requests inside of Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group for women to be able to attend a group with women in a similar situation to their own. For example: If you’re in the U.S. then it would be on a Tuesday. It might be on a different day if you’re in a different time zone. So, check out your time zone. It says: This session is for new members, but all members are always welcome.

We’re doing this because many people requested when they start Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group that they don’t exactly know where to start. As soon as you join, you don’t have to wait for that new member session, you can go to any of the sessions. But if you don’t want to jump in, you’re a little hesitant, then you can go to that one and Joi can help you with your questions in the beginning.

We’re going to also have a specific session for women who are thinking about getting divorced or are already divorced, and also a specific session for women who are in a committed relationship and their husband is in recovery or seems to be in recovery and seems to be doing well. What does that look like?

Always, in all groups, any women who is a member of Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group can go to any session, so this does not prohibit you from going. So, just check out our schedule.

Adultery And Pornography Hurt Many People

Many of you are considering separation or thinking about that. Coach Laura is really great at separation plans and all the different things you need to consider with separation. If you don’t quite know where to start a good place to go is the individual sessions page to look at all the different topics that our coaches cover. It will help you recognize where you can start, or you could just schedule a session with any one of the coaches and they can help you know where to start or create a plan.

If this podcast is helpful to you, we need your donations to continue bringing this education to women who are abused throughout the world. Please set a recurring monthly donation. Go to btr.org, scroll down to the bottom, click on make-a-donation, and set your monthly recurring donation today.

As always, if this podcast is helpful to you please rate it on itunes or your other podcasting apps. Every single one of your ratings helps boost our search engine rankings and helps women who are isolated find us. Until next week, stay safe out there.  

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