Last time I shared about how the lack of my father’s presence in my life impacted my growth and development. In this post, I’d like to share a little how my vision about human sexuality began to be distorted.
Growing up, I never discussed sex with my parents. In elementary school, I remember writing Mad Libs with one of my friends, filling in all the blanks with sexually explicit words. My mom caught us and sat me down for a little chat. “Do you know what sex is?” she asked. “Sure,” I answered. That was the extent of our conversation. It was obvious she was uncomfortable talking about the subject. How different my path might have been had she been able to articulate something of the glorious splendor and God-given purpose of human sexuality — how much pain and agony I could have been spared!
Since I lacked true sexual education, I had to learn on my own. It really is true that “what isn’t taught will be caught,” and I certainly was predisposed to be infected by the porn epidemic. My earliest exposure to pornographic material I had was in fifth grade (age ten) when one of my friends, “Adam,” and I discovered several copies of my brother’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Illustrated editions. When no one was home, we took those issues, ripped out the women we thought were the prettiest, and laid them in a circle. We put a used Coke bottle in the center and we played a unique version of “spin-the-bottle.” When it was my turn, I had to spin the bottle and wherever the head of the bottle landed, I would have to kiss that image. I was attracted to these images yet did not know why. My response to the apparent beauty flowed out of that misunderstanding. I did not really understand why we were doing this, but looking back now I know I was seeking real intimacy in a faulty way.
In sixth grade, as I was crossing from one block to another in my suburban neighborhood, in the middle of the street I saw a brown paper bag filled with paper (I like to think of this as Satan “accidentally” dropping one of the pieces of forbidden fruit – just for me). I picked up the bag and realized it was not just any type of paper, but ripped up images of naked body parts. Later, after assembling the pieces, I discovered it was hard-core pornography. I knew what I had discovered was contraband, so I took it home and hid it in the basement. I was ashamed of what I had seen but was really excited and, like a thief who had just stolen some poor chap’s lottery ticket, I could not keep the secret. I blabbed about my find to a classmate. Like me, he was from a home without a father and had been looking for love in all the wrong places. When I showed the images to him, he could not help himself. He offered me $20 for the bag on the spot. For an eleven- year-old, I had hit the jackpot, so I traded up.
Although this had been a small exposure, the hook had been set in my heart, and I was beginning to be led to a place of great darkness.
To be continued…
Steve Pokorny is the founder of Freedom Coaching, a one-on-one mentoring system devoted to breaking the power of pornified images. If you or someone you care about is hooked on porn, click on the link above to learn how you can be set free.