(Photo source: Pexels.com)

(Photo source: Pexels.com)

I don’t know for sure if this is just a confession or also a cry for help. It’s probably both.

But I do know that I have a problem, a real problem, and I need to be open about it because it’s the things we do in secret, the things we try to solve on our own, that come to destroy us.

It would be easy to blame other things or other people for this problem, this growing addiction, this new hang-up that I have. But I know I bear responsibility too, because I’ve fed it. And I keep feeding it.

It started in middle school. I read a book excerpt about Queen Elizabeth I that talked about her having graphic sex with a man. It was my introduction to erotica and I was horrified. I went to bed and cried and promised God I would never so much as kiss a boy until I was engaged. I wanted nothing to do with this sex thing.

But that excerpt led to the fantasies, and the fantasies are what stuck with me.

I’ve been fantasizing about being kissed since I was in middle school; I’ve been dreaming about the day some boy would lock lips with me, my stomach would stutter then burst into flames, and my heart would leap and fireworks would explode behind my eyes.

The older I got, the more those fantasies grew out of control. And without anyone to kiss, I turned to TV, movies, and books to get my fix.

At first it was just kissing. I would re-read books that had those scenes. Actually, that’s a lie: I would re-read the kissing scenes in books and close my eyes and imagine what it would be like to kiss someone myself. I would put searches in Google for “best TV kisses,” “greatest kisses in literature,” “hottest movie kisses,” and I would watch or read the results avidly.

Until the day I didn’t search for “kiss,” I searched for “sex scene.”


Until the day I didn’t search for “kiss,” I searched for “sex scene.”


This past year has been interrupted with occasional searches. At first they were a few months apart, then a few weeks, then a few days.

I wouldn’t say I have a porn addiction, because I don’t watch porn, per se. I would say that I have a fascination with erotica, especially with literary erotica. I would say that I am addicted to the titillating, exciting written passages that describe a beautiful kiss or a sexual encounter.

I don’t know why I’m telling you this, because I don’t have an answer. I’m not writing this piece to tell you how to overcome an addiction or a fascination, or at the very least to explain how God stepped in and saved me from those desires.

I’m also not writing this piece to scream about porn, premarital sex, and how to avoid them. It’s not a prescription — it’s a confession.

That said…I’m struggling with why I’m writing it. I promised myself that I would only write pieces when I felt God compelling me to do so, when I felt like I had a bite-sized revelation to share that could help someone.

I promised myself that I wouldn’t write pieces where I espouse my opinion and doctrine and tell you how to live. I don’t have that right.

Yet here I am, writing this piece, and the only reason I have is because I felt compelled to. Because when I’m online reading about sex, I sense something’s off. It’s not God’s disapproval or anger, but maybe it’s His sorrow? I sense that He is sad because He gave me guidelines. Guidelines I accepted. Guidelines He set out because He wants what’s best for me. And I’m disregarding them.

I guess I’m also writing it because nothing on the internet is sacred, not even your Google searches, not even the articles you read.

So before anyone gets the chance to “out” me as a reader of porn — straight porn, lesbian porn, you-name-it-literary-porn — I’m going to out myself.


Before anyone gets the chance to “out” me as a reader of porn I’m going to out myself.


Hi, I’m Karis. I’ve written 10 articles for I Am Second. I volunteer at church. I have even led groups at church. But I strive to be vulnerable in all aspects, so here I am telling you just how completely imperfect I am, just how broken and sinful I am. I am not perfect. I am not even OK.

I want you to know this about me so you know that when I speak I speak from a place of turmoil, of brokenness, of screwed-up-ness. I’m sure some of you will discount all of my words because of this.

But I hope that maybe, just maybe, my confession will show you that it’s OK to confess things, to be open about where we fail and fall short, because if there’s one thing God loves, it’s using someone who’s useless on their own.

And I’m writing this because that way I can be held accountable. I can be kept from going back. Because the more others know about my struggle, the better they’ll be able to help me and encourage me.

So I’m writing this for you and I’m writing it for me. And I’m writing it for God. Even as I’m finishing this article I feel a whole heap of terror about putting this to the world, but I also feel a bit of peace because I’m following my convictions to be vulnerable. I feel like God has his hand on my shoulder and is telling me He’ll walk with me and it’s going to be OK. He’s got me. He’s got you.

And in the end, I want that more than the porn.

Karis is a grad student at NYU in New York City. Her writing has appeared online with Seventeen as well as Good Housekeeping. She blogs at karisrogerson.com. To stay informed about all her writing, sign up here.


For more about addiction to pornography, check out Jason Castro’s new film: