Pornography vs. premarital sex


#1

I’m sure you have noticed that there have been threads regarding the hurt and the pain caused by both pornography and premarital sex. My question (mainly for women) is this. Which would cause you more pain and hurt, that your husband had premarital sex or that he had an addiction to pornography? Assuming that he is chaste now, no sex and no pornography.

The reason I ask is because I had an addiction to pornography, but I’m afraid that since I committed adultery in my heart, that my future wife might see me as not saving myself for marriage, that viewing pornography is the same as having premarital sex. So I guess my question, clarified, is if women view pornography the same as premarital sex?


#2

I don't know which is worse, but a future wife who really loves you should be able to be more concerned about the person you are now, not sins of the past. She wouldn't be sinless either. She might have lied, stolen, or skipped Mass at times but if she's well intentioned now and of pure heart, then the past is the past. It's highly unlikely you'll meet a saint. But together, with the same vision of growing in Holiness, you can be happy. If she can't forgive you, she's not the right person anyway.


#3

I really don't know what the answer to the question is, since both have specific issues associated with them. If I had to choose, from a purely secular POV, premarital sex is probably the lesser of the two evils, notably if the person having such a relationship is faithful to that one person.


#4

If it's a sin you no longer do anymore, then it shouldn't matter to anyone that it happened. I will never understand the people who want to make someone miserable for a past deed done that they have already moved on from and repented for. Someone who loves you wouldn't care one bit about your past sins and would only care about the person you are today, in the present. Everyone makes mistakes. Anyone who would reject you as a potential spouse because of this doesn't deserve your love anyway. "Those without sin cast the first stone..." comes to mind.

I, personally, don't view pornography as being the same as having actual sex. In some ways it can be worse though, to me. Because it'd be more worrisome. I would rather my spouse have had premarital sex then a porn addiction since having sex before marriage is not an indicator of having anything to worry about during the marriage itself, and whether or not someone saves themselves for marriage was never anything that mattered to me personally. But having an addiction can be very damaging to a relationship since it takes your heart from your spouse and can cause lots of stress and problems. As long as you know you are healed completely from your past addiction and can assure any potential partner of that, then I don't see why it should be a problem either.


#5

Tough question since both issues are rough and unfortunately not uncommon, especially in today’s sad world. At least there is no issue of STD’s for a future wife to be concerned with in regard to the porn, but there’s the more extreme prior intimacy issue with premarital sex. But a porn habit often resurfaces after marriage, unfortunately, and can destroy not only the marriage but an entire family… If left unchecked, it can also lead to worse things, such as adultery, other deviant types of porn viewing, or even violence.

Speaking from a married woman’s standpoint whose husband viewed porn both before and after marriage, I would recommend keeping God absolutely first in both of your lives, individually and together as a couple, so that if any issues come up in the future you can discuss them lovingly - and prayerfully remain out of satan’s reach as far as the porn temptation goes days or years down the line. It’s a very painful and devastating habit for a wife to deal with. Prayer, open and caring communication as a couple, and the Sacraments can be real keys to helping keep a marriage strong.


#6

IMHO it is be wise to avoid any conversations about past sexual experiences with anyone you are dating. It is an occasion of sin and generally no good ever comes out of it. More than likely the girl that you date will also have a past she may not be proud of. Remember that we are all sinners. Focus on what you have in the present and don't ask for or share too many details about the past.


#7

I am pretty sure that premarital sex is considered the lesser of the two evils. I believe the catecism lists the increasing forms of lust. I'm not 100% sure of the order but I believe it is:

Lust, Masterbation, Fornication, Pornography, Prostitution, Rape

If you are an addict, I would encourage you to tell your future spouse that you are. I think it is fair for her to know if she is going to commit to you for the long term. I am an addict myself, and it requires many sacrifices for me to stay sober. If my wife didn't know about my addiction, I don't even see how it would be possible.

My guess is that if you disclose to her your struggles she will love you and the more you can reveal yourself to her the better your marriage should be. She doesn't need details that can be painful, but be sure to share your struggles before marriage. That was one of the best decisions I have made.

On a side note, I would encourage that if you are not in recovery and making progress towards sobriety that you get in recovery. I would wait to tell her until after you have been in recovery roughly 6 months. Most addicts, myself included, don't really have a clue how to stop lusting until after they been in recovery for a while. If you tell her too soon, the only answer you will have to her questions are, "I'm not sure", "I don't know" etc.

God Bless!


#8

Thank you all for the responses. Just to be clear, I've been sober for close to 5 months after reading TOTB during Lent this year. One of things that has worked extremely well for me is whenever I'm tempted, I simply tell Satan that I refuse to hurt my future wife any further. And for the past 2 months, I really haven't had any temptation at all, which I think is Satan's way of luring me into a false sense of security, just to trip me up when I least expect it. So I'm keeping vigilant in that regard.

Some posters say past sins don't matter. Well they do matter. The effects of the sin are still there. That is what has me so worried because I have no clue how long the effects of pornography will stay with me.


#9

[quote="bethanysamuel, post:2, topic:253597"]
I don't know which is worse, but a future wife who really loves you should be able to be more concerned about the person you are now, not sins of the past. She wouldn't be sinless either. She might have lied, stolen, or skipped Mass at times but if she's well intentioned now and of pure heart, then the past is the past. It's highly unlikely you'll meet a saint. But together, with the same vision of growing in Holiness, you can be happy. If she can't forgive you, she's not the right person anyway.

[/quote]

"I've been really surprised here, there seems to be a lot of people who are WAY too hung up on sexual sins"

A priest told me that while talking one day... He was talking about his new Parish but it definitely applies to here as well. People tend to treat sexual sins different from other mortal sins it seems and make a big deal about them while they are probably chatting with their friend on IM gossiping.

In my opinion if you meet someone who has that much of a hang up about sex, especially if they seem to ignore other moral issues (which seems to be common) it might be a big red flag!

Joe


#10

:confused: Past sin is it a big deal? Is it not a big deal ? Are we too hung up on sex ? Well I don’t realy know the answers. But I know dbacks5439 that it is a big deal to you and that is at the heart of it. Stay sober and continue to heal though prayer, the sacriments and educating yourself, as you are doing already by reading TOTB! Leave the future spouse stuff to our Lord.
Long before I was married I was involved with the " adult " industry. Never could I have ever believed what was possible for me though Jesus. I am a convert but not until I had been married for a few years. God has indeed given back to me the wasted years I spent and transformed me, as he has promised us all!:extrahappy: Satan still likes to remind me of my past from time to time, but a growing relationship with Jesus and an open and honest relationship with my husband are my saving graces. The Lord is good, so pick up that cross and follow him, ( he will lead you so don’t worry )


#11

[quote="KostyaJMJ, post:6, topic:253597"]
IMHO it is be wise to avoid any conversations about past sexual experiences with anyone you are dating. It is an occasion of sin and generally no good ever comes out of it. More than likely the girl that you date will also have a past she may not be proud of. Remember that we are all sinners. Focus on what you have in the present and don't ask for or share too many details about the past.

[/quote]

I think this depends on a few things. If one is just in the initial stages of dating, there is no reason to speak in detail about personal issues. However, if they get serious and wish to marry, I recommend discussing these issues in the necessary detail. For example, I would need to know if one were cheating on a boyfriend/prior spouse/etc., had an abortion, etc. because these type of details pertain directly to commitment, honesty, and family. I personally would not exclude a potential spouse because of past sins, but I would have to understand why these things happened and what was done to correct them.


#12

I must say this: Actually it sounds like "good news" to have read that premarital sex is less of a sin than porn. I have never really thought about it until now.

I get the argument. But I guess most young people would think that porn is less offensive.


#13

yes
if it really is an addiction, not an excuse, get therapy. Also get spiritual direction in confession. You cannot enter into a relationship leading to happy marriage until you are freed from these chains.

OP is not asking about the relative evil of these sins he is asking about a woman’s perception and yes a porn habit will damage a wife, marriage and family as much if not more than an actual physical immoral act. For one reason it almost always goes along with masturbation which is a sign of sexual immaturity an inability to enjoy marital sex fully.

I am speaking as if OP were a generic male asking the question, not to a specific person.


#14

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