My apology to porn stars

We were recently contacted by a young man grieving over his past pornography use. He explained that he is currently involved in a 12-step recovery group and when he came to step nine he knew what he needed to do.

Step 9 reads: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

This man is not able to make direct amends in this case, but wanted this letter published as his sincere attempt to do so and to highlight for others the harm and suffering he knows he caused. He shared that he wept bitterly when he wrote the letter. Since then, reflecting on it and sharing it with others has helped to reduce the lust that had gotten control of him. Thanks be to God.

He desires that this letter be shared widely.


Dear porn stars,

I am a Christian, but I am not writing to condemn you or shame you in any way. The truth is, I have wronged you. I have belittled and degraded you, reducing you to a mere physical body rather than seeing you as created in God’s image. I have lusted after you with my flesh rather than loved you from my heart. I have sinned against you repeatedly.

You see, I have had an addiction to pornography for years. And in those years, I have consumed you as if the only value you had was the sexual excitement you could give me. I have not cared about how the industry has exploited you; I was only thinking of myself. You see, I have learned that it is not uncommon for people like you to end up where you are through force, coercion, or even promising of something else.

Some of you started out reluctant to participate in the on-camera activities, and I have watched you go farther than you ever thought you would. Some of you have even called this freedom. It is not freedom, though, for people like me to dictate what you will and will not do. We have made you our slaves. I have made you my slave. Some of you were not even of age when you began, and I have not cared. This too is heinous on my part. I regret to say that I only know most of you by an onscreen name. I don’t even know who you really are. Perhaps you have forgotten too.

Parable of the Good Samaritan by Jan Wynants, 1670

Parable of the Good Samaritan by Jan Wynants, 1670

Jesus once told a parable explaining how we are to love each other. He told the story of a man who was beaten by robbers and left for dead. Two religious leaders walked by and did nothing to help the man. Then a man, the “Good Samaritan,” bandaged the injured man’s wounds and made sure he was taken care of. In this story, if you were the man beaten down, I have been everyone but the Good Samaritan. By consuming the pornography you were in, I was one of the robbers who beat you, stole from you, and left you for dead. My adulterous heart has rejoiced at your own degradation, and I have left you for dead when I got what I wanted. As a Christian, I have been the two religious guys, passing by you with disapproval of you so that I could keep up a righteous appearance. I have shunned you, refusing to see that you have been victimized, instead opting to look down on you as the sinner.

But I can no longer do that. You see, Jesus hates my sin. My lust for you, my pursuit of you, my selfishness and pride – they make him sick. When I watched you, he probably wept. I was too self-absorbed to care though. I wasn’t able to see what I was doing. I made excuses. I fought to continue in my destructive behavior. I even pushed away people who wanted to help me, people who cared more than I realized, because I wanted to continue destroying you for my own amusement. But, for reasons I can’t explain, Jesus loved me.

Jesus didn’t give me the punishment I deserved. Instead, he took my sin – every lustful stare, every mouse click, every hateful word, every self-gratification – and he took it to the cross. Jesus died in the place I should have died. He died so that God would forgive me. I was not good. I did not deserve it, nor could I ever deserve it. But he did it for me anyway. And he rose from the dead to give me new life. Because of that new life, I have begun to see things differently.

I have come to realize just how wrongly I have treated you because of my lust. My eyes have been opened to the harm that I cause to you when I continue looking at you as a sexual object. And I can no longer continue in the path I have been going down.

I cannot begin to make up to you the wrong that I have done, but this I offer you: I’m going to be your voice, calling people to see you as human beings, not sex objects. I’m going to tell society the truth about the industry that continues to exploit you until they see how they were wrong. I’m going to pray that Jesus shows himself to you and that you find your wholeness in him.

Lastly, with Jesus’ help I am going to war against my lust so that I will not continue to lust after and degrade you. I will fight against myself to make sure that I stop looking at pornography and, instead, like the Good Samaritan, seek to help you for your good.

Thank you for your time. I hope that you can forgive me for the ways that I have wronged you, and I hope you can find hope and fullness in Jesus Christ.

Signed,

Anonymous