Chapter 2 of Surfing for God is titled It's Not About Sex. Isn't porn all about sex? Sure seems like it. In truth it goes much deeper. Michael Cusick quotes William Struthers to begin the chapter, "It's not the shouting of pornography that gives it so much power over men. It is the whispering of the lie."
Michael exposes some of the rationalizations men use to not face what really lies underneath the struggles with porn: If I weren't so horny all the time, I wouldn't struggle this way. But hey, I can't change my sexual urges. If my wife were more turned on or did what turns me on, if she'd just cut loose and be more uninhibited, then I wouldn't need porn. If my wife lost weight or got a boob job or dressed sexier, I'd be more interested in her. If I could be more disciplined and focused, I know I could get over this. If I really tried harder, I could give up porn. If I read my Bible more, prayed more, focused on God more, then He would help me avoid the temptation. If I knew more people I could trust, guys who really understand what it's like, men I could come clean with, then I know I could control this.
He says that porn is about far more than the thrill of orgasms or the appreciation of a woman's body or illicit sex. He quotes 1 Corinthians 6:16, "There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact." Michael explains, "If we seek on the physical level what can only be obtained on a spiritual level , then we set ourselves up for a never-ending cycle that only leads to desperation, despair and bondage."
Wow. Can you identify with that in your desire to end your porn use or leave your affair?
He explains the title of his book. "Almost a century ago, G.K. Chesterton wrote that the man who knocks on the brothel door is knocking for God. If he were writing today, he might say that the man who surfs the web for porn is surfing for God. If nothing else, this truth means that sex is a signpost to God. It also points us to the way He designed us as sexual beings.--when we are most aligned with this design and intention, we are most powerful, complete, and fulfilled."
"Sexual arousal is an accumulation of your experiences, deep needs, and uncounscious beliefs. Your heart shares a deep connection to your body parts. The way you are sexually aroused reflects what's happening deep in your soul, beyond sexual organs. Indeed, sex is as much spiritual mystery as it is physical fact. The reality is that your heart needs something, and porn promises to meet that need."
Porn whispers lies of acceptance and affirmation. The women in your mind tell you that you do have what it takes and that you satisfy them in every way. One of Michael's great statements is this, "Porn allows you to feel like a man without requiring you to be one." He says that, "porn's only requirement of a man is a pulse--and maybe the click of a mouse."
Then when men move back into relationship with a real flesh and blood woman it feels too difficult. She wants something more. We don't feel as confident. We know we are weak. "So we turn to porn as if it were steroids for our soul."
Surfing for God exposes the false promises of porn:
Porn promises validation of our manhood without requiring strength.
Porn promises sexual fulfillment without relationship.
Porn promises intimacy without requiring risk and suffering.
Porn promises passion and life without connection to your soul.
Porn promises power over women without responsibility and humility.
Porn promises comfort and care without depending on others.
Michael concludes the chapter with this, "Have your ever asked yourself what's really going on beneath your craving for porn? What lies below your desire for a pleasurable, physical release? What is your heart's real desire, the legitimate need desperately crying out to be heard? Not only can you overcome your sexual struggles with porn, fantasy, and masturbation, but you can also enjoy life at a level you've never experienced. It's called joy."