*This post contains mention of sexual assault.
I spent many college nights scrolling through porn on my phone. Image after image flickered across my screen, but they always left me longing for more. One image or video was never enough to erase my loneliness or cure my sexual desire. Just like a drug addict, one hit never felt like it was enough.
Back then, I thought porn was my biggest problem. Turns out, this wasn’t true. It was a problem in my life, but it was a symptom of a larger issue. Porn was my way to cope with and numb the pain and loneliness I felt every day. This is also true for those who struggle with other unwanted sexual behaviors like habitual masturbation, reading erotica, or lusting.
As a freshman in college, I was date raped on my third day on campus. After going through this trauma, I questioned everything about God, myself, and my sexuality.
“Was God there when it happened?”
“Was God mad at me?”
“Was it my fault?”
“Is that what sex is supposed to look like?”
Porn became my everything. It was my punching bag that I turned to when I was angry at my abuser—my therapist when I felt empty inside. And porn was my sex educator when I questioned if what had happened to me was “normal” sex. But even though porn became my everything, over time I began to realize it wasn’t my biggest problem.