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QUESTION: Is It OK for a Married Couple to Use Porn to Enhance Their Sex Life?


Is it ok for a husband and wife to use porn to enhance their sex life? We both want to do what is right in the sight of God. Some say it is fine if we both agree, because a married couple’s bedroom cannot be defiled as long as it is between the two.

I am glad that you both want to do what is right in the sight of God. Porn, in the sense of actual video graphically displaying various sexual acts between two (or frequently, more) persons is something the Bible does not talk about – because the technology that enables us to do this in the privacy of our own homes was not available when the Bible was written.

Yet, the principles in the Scripture certainly apply to this practice. So it is not difficult for us to see what is right in the sight of God, if we are willing to listen.   While it is true that Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled,” it also adds “for God will judge the immoral and adulterous” (RSV). The word translated “immoral” here is the Greek word pornos, which is the Greek root for pornography.

Thus, I would be very skeptical about saying, on the basis of Hebrews 13:4, that a couple’s bedroom cannot be defiled.   It is true that in sexual activity between a husband and wife, nothing is immoral in and of itself. Yet, even married sex can become immoral when it becomes abusive of the body or person of the partner. For example, it would be immoral for a man to insist sadistic sexual activity. This would be abusive of her body. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (RSV) says,

For this is the will of God, your consecration; that you abstain from immorality [porneia, from the same Greek word family]; that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in consecration and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God.

This certainly implies that it is possible for a man “to take a wife for himself… in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God.” Otherwise, Paul would not have told them not to do this.   When the passion of lust is the basis for the married couple’s sexual union, they have moved away from “consecration and honor.” And that is exactly what would happen should they “use porn to enhance their sex life.”

The passion would be excited, not by the person and body of the marriage partner – but by the actors in the porn. There would be lust for the ones viewed on the screen (or read about, if it were verbal porn), not for the marriage partner. Then the act between the husband and wife would be a fantasy about the images brought to him or them by the porn.

There is another danger here as well. Porn is addictive, especially for men. Using porn can bring a person to the point that no passion can be evoked without it – and where you need harder and harder porn to find stimulation. Thus, far from enhancing sexual intimacy between the husband and wife, it will become a crutch that takes you into a fantasy world and away from each other, even though you may be using each other’s body to play out your fantasy. When this happens, the marriage partner becomes dehumanized into a mere sex object that stands in for whoever the lust is for at the moment.

So, my judgment is that this would be a very dangerous practice for your marriage, even if both of you agreed.

I suspect, though, that one of you is pushing the other to do this and that the agreement, if given, will be reluctant. This person will most likely find little satisfaction in using porn, even though he or she may have “agreed” to try it.

You must be completely honest with yourselves and with each other. Has one of you already been “experimenting” with porn in private – and is now wanting the other to join him or her in this pursuit of lust? If so, you may need help to break out of this pattern of behavior that can be very destructive of normal sexual drives and fulfillment.   I pray that this is not the case, but if it is please begin to break this habit immediately.

Hopefully these few words will be of some help to you in dealing with a plague that is infecting our society in a ways that were undreamed of just a few years ago.

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