All men look at porn … The handful of men who claim they don’t look at porn are liars or castrates. Tearful discussions about your insecurities or your feminist principles will not stop a man from looking at porn. That’s why the best advice for straight women is this: GET OVER IT. If you don’t want to be with someone who looks at porn … get a woman, get a dog, or get a blind guy … While men shouldn’t rub their female partners’ noses in the fact that they look at porn—that’s just inconsiderate—telling women that the porn “problem” can be resolved through good communication, couples counseling, or a chat with your pastor is neither helpful nor realistic.
While gay marriage bugs me chiefly because I anticipate that Mormons will increasingly be persecuted for not accepting it, porn bugs me because so many people are rationalizing and justifying something that's clearly unholy and impure. I think viewing porn is a spiritually destructive thing to do; I think it literally rots spiritual brain cells and makes it more difficult to believe in God, religion, the church, etc. I have several friends who have left the Mormon church, and I suspect that porn played a big role in many cases. Around the same time that we found porn on my 13-year-old's iPod, he also told his mom that he doesn't believe in God—fortunately, I think he's made some positive progress since then, both in avoiding porn and in exercising some faith. I tried to explain to him that it's much harder to believe in God if you're doing something you know he doesn't approve of.
I’ve seen a fair bit of porn in my time, and I’m glad I’ve never developed an addiction to it. Growing up in Southern California, I regularly looked at Playboy and Penthouse in several of my friends’ homes. One guy’s dad even left out copies in the spare bedroom where my friend kept his comic-book collection, perhaps as part of his sex education. I remember the first time I looked at such a magazine, when I was probably only nine or ten—it gave me such a weird buzz of pleasure.
Even in sheltered Bountiful, Utah, porn made its way into our ultra-Mormon neighborhood. One kid across the street was given a boxful of sex magazines by his dirty old uncle, and we’d spend hours poring over them, forgetting all about the dog-eared pile of Mad magazines over in my bedroom. I’m glad the Internet didn’t exist when I was a teen, or I probably would’ve totally gotten into online porn and maybe developed a lifelong habit.
More recently, when my wife hauled me into the fertility clinic about six or seven years ago for a series of artificial inseminations, I availed myself of the sex magazines provided by the clinic to expedite the DNA extraction process. I admit that part of me was thinking, "Hey, wow, a legitimate opportunity to indulge myself in some porn. I can't pass this up!" I didn't hide it from my wife, and she didn't say much about it—this is the same woman who tolerated my subscription to Maxim for a few years. I even wrote a Sugar Beet satire piece about it, titled something like "Area Man Uses Penthouse to Help Build the Kingdom."
Of course, these magazines were arousing to look at for a few minutes, but pretty soon I would start feeling pretty sleazy and gross about it, and I haven’t looked at any since then. I’m sure that if I stumbled across the wrong thing on the Internet I could get myself in trouble, but so far I’ve been able to stay away from it.
Anyway, I don’t see how this flood of pornography can fail to seriously damage the overall morality and spiritual well-being of this civilization. During our years of prosperity and comfort and ease, so many people have been dulling their spiritual senses with pornography, and when things get difficult and chaotic—as I expect they will soon, if not within months or years then within decades—these irreligious people are probably going to turn into real animals. Humbly struggling to overcome a porn problem is one thing, but I don’t see how God can bless and protect and inspire people who are willfully, proudly, unrepentantly indulging in this precursor form of fornication and adultery.