If you’re still under the impression that porn addiction is primarily a “men's issue,” think again. Anecdotally, Beth and I had females sharing their struggles with porn with us beginning several years ago. It’s continued gaining momentum to this day.
Approximately three years ago I produced a lengthy video series on the topic of pornography titled “Porneia: A Global Tragedy,” in which I cited a statistics from 2013 showing that 55% of women watch pornographic videos on their own. The survey went on to reveal that 96% have watched porn with a partner and say that it improves sex.1
The so‐called ‘blesser‐blessee phenomenon’ has become a common occurrence among young people in South Africa. Frequent reports about young women finding themselves in sexual relationships with older male partners in exchange for monetary incentives abound. This new form of the longstanding ‘sugar daddy’ relationship infiltrated different platforms including social media, with websites such as BlesserInc., Blesserfinder and Blesserfinder Mzansi, specifically targeting those individuals with the desire to be a blesser or blessee.
The ‘blesser‐blessee’ phenomenon can be described as a form of transactional sex, which has a number of similarities with prostitution, as it involves non‐marital sexual relationships, often with multiple partners, in exchange for financial or in‐kind incentives. However, transactional sex also differs from prostitution, since participants are known as ‘boyfriends’ and ‘girlfriends’ and not ‘prostitutes’ and ‘clients’, and the exchange of gifts for sex is part of a broader set of obligations that might not involve a predetermined payment (Hunter, 2002).2
What is at the heart of this tragic trend? You guessed it; pornography. Those who participated in the focus group discussions agreed that online pornography fuels the blesser-blessee phenomenon.
It was discovered that the majority of the young people we surveyed had been exposed to pornography at a young age, and during the focus groups, it was estimated that 80 - 100% of young males and 60 - 100% of young females view pornographic material. 3 Here in the US, the dramatic rise in female usage of pornography hasn’t gone unnoticed. ProvenMen is a ministry that I also collaborate with, and they are dedicated to offering help to men who struggle with porn addiction. ProvenMen has now opened another “branch” of their ministry called ProvenWomen.
I recently interviewed Marshall Shank, the Director of Outreach for ProvenMen. In the following video podcast, we discuss these issues regarding pornography usage by both men and women within the Church. Most importantly, we talked about what to do about it. Please feel free to watch and share.
2. Blesser_Blessee_Research_Report 11_May_2018_FINAL_EDITED.PDF