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My Interview with Audrey Assad on Female Porn Addiction

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November 15, 2013 by mattfradd


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Audrey contributed her story to my new book, Delivered, of having once been hooked on porn as a young woman and then, later, by God’s grace, finding hope and healing.

We recently shot some emails back and forth on the topic of female porn addiction.

Oh, and for those of you who have not yet heard of Audrey Assad . . . Buckle up!

Right? Check out her site!

Here’s our interview. We’d love to hear your feedback!

Matt: Audrey, on a scale from 1 to stepping on lego barefoot, how much does it hurt you when you hear someone say, “girls don’t struggle with porn. Porn is a guy’s issue.”

Audrey: It’s certainly a little stab to my heart when I overhear something like that, especially when it’s spoken from a platform. Whenever I heard this as a teenager it isolated me even more in my battle against pornography addiction, because it reinforced my assumption that I should never tell anyone about it.

I thought that I was the only woman in the world going through it—and this was Satan’s greatest foothold in my heart and mind while I was in bondage to pornography.

As long as I thought I couldn’t tell anyone, it was virtually impossible for me to experience deliverance.
Hearing things like this from the platform of ministry only reinforced the deception.

Matt: I know you’ve had the opportunity to share your story of porn addiction and recovery with young women all over the country. What’s their reaction?

Audrey: It’s pretty incredible how many girls will share the truth about their addictions with you if you just speak up about yours.

A few years back I spoke at a conference for high-school students and shared (briefly) my testimony at a girls’ session; and then for the rest of the week girl after girl pulled me aside to share that she was battling pornography addiction.

I probably talked to fifty girls. And their youth leaders were pulling me aside as well–some to share their own struggles and some telling me about their uncertainty about what to do with the students who had suddenly been confessing to them. One told me that a girl in her group shared that she’d been compulsively viewing pornography since the age of eight.

It’s a lot more common than anyone would like to believe, and the sooner we learn how to address it, the sooner more and more young women can find freedom in community.

Matt: What three things would you recommend to a woman struggling with porn who may be reading this?

Audrey: I’d recommend confession first: whether you’re Catholic or Protestant, speaking your sins aloud to someone you trust is the surest way to begin to confront them, and then to walk away from them.

Secondly, accountability: pick several people in your life (probably of your same gender, unless you’re choosing your brother or your dad) who know you well and who don’t judge you for your sins, but who care enough about you to hold you accountable to what you are attempting to do.

Thirdly, counseling: pornography feeds on what is, deep-down, a good and innocent need—the need for intimacy, for love, and for affection. Most often when someone is addicted to pornography, the foothold of the enemy is to warp and twist those natural, God-given needs and desires. A good counselor can help you unravel the spiritual and emotional reasons those needs and desires are being preyed on, and help you develop healthy ways to meet those needs at your stage in life and in your state in life.

Matt: Thanks for your time, and thanks again for contributing to the new book!

delivered banner-1

30 thoughts on “My Interview with Audrey Assad on Female Porn Addiction

  1. Reblogged this on Cloudy with a chance of Catholic. and commented:
    It’s not just a guy thing.

  2. dignitatem says:

    Reblogged this on Dignitatem and commented:
    Because you aren’t alone..

  3. […] Tongue – Cth Ln 5 Things to Say to Someone Considering Leaving the Church – A. Baratta My Interview with Audrey Assad on Female Porn Addiction – Matt Fradd The Philippines: Typhoon Aftermath Getting Worse – Fr. Z’s Blog […]

  4. Colleen says:

    This is so important to talk about! You didn’t mention whether the porn was male or female – I looked at Playboy in 5th grade because they were so available to me. It was where I began to think that was how to draw male attention to myself, I should look like that, too. I really struggled with the idea of modesty and learning the truth about healthy sexuality. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront for all the dear sisters bearing this burden!

  5. Julia says:

    Thank you for being such a courageous witness in Christ, I know that God is saying no more baby steps and that He wants long strides from us, and that the world is forever changed by one little yes to do His will.
    Thank you for sharing, so that millions of women and young ladies will turn to Christ instead of fifty shades of grey! PRAISE GOD!!

  6. I wrote a post recently about the importance of not painting the issue of Pornography and Lust as simply a male issue, as it is ignorant and very harmful to both genders. Really appreciate a woman speaking out on this in honesty and truth.

  7. angela says:

    So ironic, I was discussing placing an order yesterday with Lighthouse Catholic Media to share in our parish for the evangelization CD by Jeff Cavins titled “Defeating satan’s Deadly Weapon Against Men” also titled “The Pornography Plague and the Path to Christian Purity.” I just commented on wishing there were a related CD for women, as well. Maybe there is & I just don’t know; but I am so glad to see Audrey’s courage. I am a mother of 4 sons (2 young men & 2 young boys). I have had numerous discussions with other women who recognize the threats to young men from sexually aggressive young women. It used to be the other way around for the most part. (The world we live in. :/ ) This problem of pornography addiction encourages full-blown, aggressive sexual behavior; and is not exclusive to women. It’s wonderful to see this coming to light. So thanks to Matt for reporting & Audrey for having the courage and desire to save souls!
    And about the song…. Very Nice! Her powerful voice seems to flow effortlessly. Beautiful! Loved it!! Music & all

    • Dan says:

      Also check out Jason Evert’s “Detox” cd. Really excellent. “Christ is so obsessed with the heart because whoever wins the heart wins everything.”

  8. Faith and Hope says:

    WOW — WHAT A VOICE! She is absolutely delightful to listen to — I love her style!

  9. Rachel says:

    Thank you for revealing your weakness about pornography and how to free yourself. I’m Catholic, and a singer and have struggled with pornography and masturbation since my teen years. Going to reconciliation continuously has started the freedom process for me; God is amazing and so merciful…

  10. Thank you for this post. I have been wanting to learn more about this issue.

  11. Anne Aparthe says:

    Glad Assad and this topic were featured, but Matt, in your very first question you distastefully and unoriginally downplay a complex psychological and spiritual struggle by likening the pain to that of stepping on a Lego which is, despite whatever buzzfeed memes you binge consume say, is passing and negligible.

    Nice journalism, kid.

    • mattfradd says:

      Haters gonna hate 😉

    • Brian says:

      Except he absolutely didn’t make that comparison. He compared hearing someone say that pornography is exclusively a male problem to stepping on a lego piece. You on the other hand jump to angry conclusions so that you can reflexively condemn someone in the midst of making courageous strides to confront a major problem in our culture. Furthermore, you do so with sarcasm and name calling rather than constructive and charitable criticism. Please, for the sake of everyone here and those within your orbit of influence, kindly and without incident, descend from your high horse. It is made of dust and will collapse with you on it if you persist.

  12. Alex Jacob says:

    Dear Audrey, I appreciate your courage and honesty, this will help many others to seek help. btw you look really beautiful and very sweet voice as well. God bless you.

  13. Ioannes says:

    Consecration to Our Lady was the point I was finally able to be released. Once I gave up my eyes, my mind, my everything to her for Jesus, I was set free thanks be to God. I knew I couldn’t use my body for me anymore…

  14. DGE says:

    Is it any surprise then, that “Fifty Shades of Grey” (a girlie porn novel if there ever was one) is one of the most successful runaway bestsellers of all time? Now all the talk is about the film version. How in the world are they going to do “Fifty Shades” without making it X-rated? And this book is only one of a trilogy.
    I will suggest here what I suggested in another Matt Fradd thread. Please, if you (man or woman) are struggling with a sexual addiction, try to find a nearby Sex Addicts Anonymous or Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous group. They are patterned after the successful Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps 12 Principles program. From personal experience (this was some years ago) I can attest that active participation in such a group will help you deal with the addiction and deepen your relationship with God.

  15. […] Oh, and for those of you who have not yet heard of Audrey Assad . . . Buckle up! CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE, SEE VIDEOS… […]

  16. Philip John says:

    A short, but great wisdom, showing a way and giving courage for those seeking deliverance from the bondage of porn.

  17. […] This interview is one more reason why. […]

  18. Reblogged this on Convert2Catholicism and commented:
    Amazing Audrey Assad interview about female addiction to pornography. Check out Matt Fradd’s blog while you’re there – great information!

  19. I realise there’s likely to be some resistance to this, but feel I must add comment about the other dimension of porn. Paul said in Ephesians that we war not against flesh and blood but against the whole hierarchy of fallen angels encompassing several levels. People like Bill Schnoebelen of withoneaccord.org, who’ve been dealing with helping people be freed from compulsions, evil obesessions, etc, have found as Jesus said the “this kind come forth only with much prayer and fastinig ” and He spent a considerable amount if His time one earth freeing people from varying degrees of control by evil spirits / angels -the most extreme case being the Gadarene demoniac. So not only, confession, counselling, may be needed but also actual deliverance. I highly recommend some of the free resources at withoneaccord.org and Bill’s book / personal testimony “Blood on the Doorpost” available from him or amazon.

  20. JT Barnes says:

    Wow – I love reading the comments. Most are compassionate. I for one, for years was very “compassionate” for people who had experienced a bondage that I had not. Now I am there. After 40 years of marriage, and after 30 years of being a Christian I have had 8 affairs in the last year. I know why I am doing it, but it has been surprising to realize why the 8 good, mature women are doing it. Single, married, and divorced – each one has been a very decent woman. When Audrey said it “feeds on a good and innocent need”, I knew she understood what the general world, sadly, the Christian world does not understand. Good people can get trapped to take the wrong road and will go to incredible lengths in our attempts to experience intimacy.
    What we need is the good and safe path back. Thanks to Audrey, Matt and the others. You give me hope.

  21. roxriotour says:

    Reblogged this on Roxie's Random SpirituaL {MU5inGzzz}…… and commented:
    interesting had no idea, this “affected” that many..

  22. AB says:

    Truth be told, only a few people will “admit” to their “sin”. I imagine these people are eager to please God, despite not understanding they’re just pleasing people behind podiums and on evangelistic stages.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want people to be healed. But this is a wrong way to go about it. I don’t mean Assad’s music–I didn’t even listen to it, no offense to her, I just have a problem with the comfortable pejoratives used.

    I have noticed, even secular people like to condemn the “porn addicts” in their own non-spiritual way. And it’s not helpful. Not to the massive amounts of people who may not get off of the attention (not really positive, due to the result(s)) that a false confession brings.

    The sin is on the part of those who are supposed to be leaders and helpers. To address these things before they’re a problem. To really, actually care and show that they’re concerned as people, as spiritual mentors, and spiritual family. No, I don’t mean they should be supplicating for “confessions”–I mean before this misinterpretation-of-needing-intimacy-and-lack-of-intimacy (as we know leads to this “addiction”) dynamic becomes a pornographic issue we all need to actually, especially those who call themselves spiritual leaders: Be There. Be Present.

    I know a lot of why this problem happens:
    1.) is the discomfort of bringing it up, by the part of those who are supposed to curtail and prevent spiritual issues. Period. There is a lot of things you guys don’t explain, to us, period. The end result, being what it is, O.K. Fine.
    2.) it is the fact that lots of people are lonely and NOBODY notices or does anything, spiritual leaders included. *if you aren’t like that, I apologize, but plenty people are*
    People are detached from each other, and Christendom is no exception. I know, I was in it. I was in a sect that was considered cult-like (you probably know what I’m talking about).

    I hate to keep reiterating, but seriously, its’ not going to be a huge help. Many people will not admit to “sinning’ when they were simply confused and had no one with answers they needed–or even broaching subjects within their “spiritual support system”. I certainly don’t feel like a “sinner”. I feel a bit ashamed, but I know I had tried to get help and deal with this issue I had no clue about how to navigate.
    Honestly, asside from the clique-ism, hypocrisy, and generally feeling like I was a loose car part in in the parts department of some car dealership, that “religion” my entire life, I ended up leaving because they ended up failing me, majorly.

    I, personally had “elders” tell me to pray.
    Mind you, this was before I even had a “preoccupation”
    (void of intimacy which lead to filling that void elsewhere).
    I was simply struggling with my libido, mainly. I thought at the time that was the sole cause of my “preoccupation”. I made other prayers too, before, after, again and again. All around. Back and forth. Obviously I didn’t enjoy being burned with passion nor not knowing what I could do about it. No one does.

    You wanna know what I often prayed for?
    I prayed for my libido to go away. Literally.
    Unfortunately, I don’t think that God or Gods answer those sorts of prayers.

    There’s a prayer I think, in hindsight (and with the correct understanding and knowledge) I could’ve used that God or Gods (I’m hard to describe in a “theist” way) that would be well:

    Please God of creation where Love comes from, bring me True Friendship and Intimacy.

    I know, that in Christianity humans are all considered sinners but washed by the blood of the sacrificial lamb (Jesus), but in this regard, there is no sin, only lack of knowledge and real support in the “community”

    A lot of you are too preoccupied with roles and titles that aren’t so important than say: mentors, parents, and spiritual support of the young people among you (yeah, even the quiet and/or obnoxious ones).

    I have a couple questions (mainly they are rhetorical):
    what is really meant about “not wasting ones’ semen upon the earth”
    and “it is better to marry than to be burned with passion”
    (?)
    furthermore, why wouldn’t this stuff confuse young people who are having these issues?

  23. AB says:

    “Don’t get me wrong, I want people to be healed. But this is a wrong way to go about it. I don’t mean Assad’s music–I didn’t even listen to it, no offense to her, I just have a problem with the comfortable pejoratives used.”–
    I meant the pejoratives used here and other places when on this subject. Apologies!

  24. Ce Gzz says:

    The real end of my problem came when I found Theology of the Body. I realized that it had to be a personal decision with the BIG HELP of God. Confession was helping, but I needed the real explanation. TOB was the answer I was looking and the reason why the questions AB presents, were able to have an answer.

    Now it is time to spread TOB.

  25. […] everyone trades in child porn, sure. But well over half of men (and many women) rely on pornography in some way. (If we’re just talking about “casual” use, the […]

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