Pornography, Boiling Water, and You

Pornography, Boiling Water, and You

Porn addiction 2Jennifer Luu & Jessica Madrid

In today’s society, many of us have grown up hearing the parable of the Frog and the Boiling Water. So for just a moment, picture if you would, a frog placed into a pot of boiling water, the frog will hop immediately out of that pot due to the high temperature of the water. However, as we know, if a frog is placed is a pot of lukewarm water and then gradually the pot of water comes to an intense boil that frog would lounge around in the water and be slowly cooked. Many would think the frog would jump out when the water got too hot, but in this case the frog stays put in the warmth of the water; not realizing that the water’s heat is increasing, and he would eventually meet his demise.

Pornography is the pot of lukewarm water and we are the frogs. Too many people are lounging around in lukewarm water, not realizing they are cooking themselves into relational and emotional death. The prevalence of pornography is astounding; here are a few statistical facts. Forty million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites, and 20 percent of men have admitted to watching porn online while at work. The lowest day of the year for viewing porn is Thanksgiving and the highest day of the week is Sunday. The average age for children to first see pornography online is eleven years old.   The word pornography comes from a Greek word meaning “porn” and “graphic,” which means the depictions of the activities of whores. In our day and age it is defined as any material that is sexually explicit and intended primarily for the purpose of sexual arousal.

The Damage

The most common damage sustained by viewers of pornography is that it warps their perception of people, relationships, and sex. Pornography also teaches its viewers unrealistic and inappropriate sexual expectations, decreases satisfaction with monogamy and lowers family loyalties, objectifies and degrades women, links sex and violence and it is harmful to others. Some may think, “So what is it to you, pornography is not harming me now?” The answer to this question is that you are still “in lukewarm water.” But as the water heats up, so does the use of pornography.

Viewing pornography may not be seen as addictive as drugs, alcohol, or abuse of medical prescriptions. But in reality, pornography addiction leads to the same brain activity as alcoholism or drug addiction. A study of MRI scans of test subjects who admitted to compulsive pornography use showed that the reactions of the reward centers of the brain to seeing explicit material are parallel to what an alcoholic might experience on seeing an alcoholic drink in an advertisement.

As the water heats up so does the damage. Not only are we seeing the harmful effects in the brain, but as stated previously, pornography alters a person’s perception in the following ways:

  • Fear of intimacy: In pornographic material, the people who are portrayed have no demands or expectations beyond sexual arousal and pleasure. Pornography viewers or users do not learn how to form realistic relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. They also do not learn how to be selfless, sacrificing, and committed. As a result they come to fear true intimacy which requires them to relate emotionally and spiritually with other people in their social circle.
  • Validation: Those who view pornography numerous times see people in an idealistic form, and they begin to judge people’s worth by their physical attractiveness. They also only feel masculine or feminine when they are with beautiful people [beauty is based off the unrealistic, flawless people they see on screens/magazines]. They are less likely to be in committed relationships or committed to their partner when they go through life changes such as the aging process, childbirth or illness that decreases their youthfulness or their good looks.
  • Objectification: On several, or nearly all pornography sites, men, women, and children are almost always portrayed as sexual objects, whose worth lies in the size and shape of their body parts.
  • Voyeurism: When viewers are looking at pornography, they are being taught to focus on looking at a person instead of forming real relationships.
  • Trophyism: When in relationships, those who are viewing pornography will have tendencies to view romantic partners as trophies to be displayed and owned, and not to be treated as real people

Harmful Effects

Another harm that originates from pornography is the excessive use by its participants. The water heats up even hotter and the harm that is created is the development of pornography into a compulsion. Compulsion can be defined as “an intense urge to do a certain behavior (view pornography in any form; internet, magazines, books, etc.) regardless of the negative consequences.” Compulsions, like addictions, can be so powerful that the person often feels helpless to deny them, even if they know it is harmful. Below are actual accounts of how pornography has affected lives.

  • In one study, a man happy in a relationship described getting curious about porn on the Internet. Although most sites bored him, he soon noticed that there were more that fascinated him to the point he was craving it constantly. The more he used porn the more he wanted to, yet while his cravings for porn were strong, he did not like them. He found himself thinking of porn just from thinking about using his computer. Later he also admitted that he was far less attracted to his partner.
  • Another young man tells of his personal experience with pornography by stating, “Some boys can look back at adolescent years and recall one or two occasions they were exposed to pornography. I look back and recall the one or two days I wasn’t. It consumed my life. It affected my grades, faith, employment, and relationships.”
  • Dr. Cline, a professor of psychology at the University of Utah and a practicing psychologist demonstrated the addictive nature of pornography when he related the story of a married, religious man who came to him in order to break his pornography habit. This patient explained to him, “It’s like being on crack, I can see what it is doing to me and I want to get rid of the habit, but I can’t seem to stop. Nothing seems to work.” In order to break his habit, he was given a challenge of putting $10,000 into a bank account. If he could make it 90 days without viewing porn he could get the money back, but if he failed the money would go to a charity. The man successfully made it 87 days. However, when having to go on a business trip he gorged himself with pornographic materials. Dr. Cline, giving him another chance, told him if he could make it 87 days, he could make it 90 days. As a result he did not even last two weeks before relapsing and all the money went to a charity. Losing large amounts of money could not even help this man break the habit.

A Word of Warning

In conclusion, many people, religious or not-religious, may try to convince themselves that pornography is harmless to them and to those around them. However, research and experiences that have been described here are telling us otherwise. Pornography has emotional, social, and self-negative consequences. It leaves the user, like the frog, spiritually and emotionally dead. It is important as a nation that we familiarize ourselves with the knowledge of the effects of pornography and the harm it can cause to ourselves as individuals and those around us such as loved ones, friends or colleagues. Pornography is no joke. It best not to take the first peek – stay out of lukewarm water.

Jennifer LuuJennifer Luu is from Spokane Washington. She has been happily married for two years and is Graduating from BYU-Idaho in hopes of being a child Specialist.



Jessica MadridJessica Madrid was born and educated in Los Angeles, but spent three years of her childhood in the Dominican Republic. She is a student at BYU-Idaho studying Child Development with a minor in Clothing Construction.




Birch, P. J. (2002). Pornography use: Consequences and cures. Marriage and families, 18-25

Retrieved June 15, 2004.

Brewer, A., & Jamieson, R. (n.d.). Use and harm of pornography. Retrieved from

Cline, V. B. (2002). Pornography’s effects on adults and children. Retrieved June 15, 2004.

Cline, V., & Wilcox, B. The pornography trap. Bringham Young University. Retrieved from

Pornography stats. (2013, October 01). Retrieved from

Voon, V. (2013, September 27). Your brain on porn. Retrieved from


  • My Required Name
    Posted at 18:35h, 28 April

    I’m not defending pornography in any way, shape or form, let’s get that straight from the beginning …

    You probably shouldn’t use the “frog in boiling water” analogy if you want people to take you seriously. It’s not true.* It’s an old-wives tale and kind of taints your message. Frogs aren’t actually that stupid (or unaware of a lethal heat building in their environment) and people are even less stupid than frogs. Using that analogy is an insult to intelligent people, frogs, and your own message.

    The reason I’m making that point is that you begin your message with a fallacy … I’m sure that you don’t mean the rest of the message to be likewise fallacious. Though I’m not sure about that because-

    All the same claims you made about pornography can be made about anything that trips the trigger for dopamine release. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that is responsible for feeling pleasure. Serotonin is the “antidote” neurotransmitter that signals the brain that you’re satisfied, that shuts off the dopamine uptake. Bear with me and I’ll explain why that’s important.

    Alcohol and drugs, video games, gambling and winning, sex and food are some of the more well known dopamine triggers.

    Not everyone that drinks alcohol becomes an alcoholic. Not everyone who has experimented with drugs becomes a drug addict. Not everyone who plays video games becomes a terminal couch potato glued to a game console. Not everyone who gambles becomes an irresponsible liability that loses the rent money every month. Not everyone who has sex becomes an obsessive sexually addicted deviant. Not everyone who eats food becomes a morbidly obese candidate for a stroke and heart attack. In fact, with perhaps the exception of drugs none of those things generally lead to an abnormally unhealthy fixation in the majority of people. Because the majority of people are more-or-less mentally healthy and smart enough not to take those things to the point of diminishing returns.

    This also applies to pornography, like it or not.

    I have a completely unrelated complaint about pornography- I’m the owner of an IT company; pornography and gambling websites are the two most dangerous, most attack-ware laden types of sites on the internet. It’s an ongoing battle to educate users and block access to those things. Those are the internet equivalent of a dark alley in the worst part of town and you ARE going to get mugged if you go there.

    So I’m not defending pornography.

    What I AM doing is pointing out that hyperbole, fallacious analogies, dire warnings that if you get in the pornography pot it will heat up and boil you before you are aware of the need to escape, and anything else that is less than brutally and undeniably factual is a LIE. It’s just as bad to lie to people trying to warn them as it is to lie to them about anything else.

    Why is that important? Why did I take the time to sit down and write all this out to explain it to you?

    I went to school in the 60’s when the drug counter-culture was reaching full steam. Because of the dangers associated with drug use the powers-that-be decided we needed to have drug education classes in our science courses. We had drug awareness identification kits on the walls, lectures about the evils of drug abuse, and speakers who came in to school-wide assemblies to try to scare everyone straight. Sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn’t, and one of the reasons it didn’t was because people lied to us either out of their own ignorance or more often “for our own good”.

    I know of several people who sat in rapt attention in those lectures and assemblies, hanging on every word about the horrors of drug abuse. One of the really big points was that “marijuana is classed as an hallucinogen”. We all knew about Art Linkletter’s daughter taking a swan dive from a multistory apartment building because of an hallucinogenic flashback from LSD. LSD is an hallucinogen, marijuana is an hallucinogen, or so we were told. So when those people who sat there so raptly attentive did encounter marijuana and didn’t hallucinate they rightly assumed that they’d been lied to. Problem is, they assumed everything else they were taught about drugs was likewise a lie. So they ignored everything else along with the “hallucinogenic marijuana” malarkey and many of them went on to lives of dissipation and death. Because someone assumed they were frogs and too stupid to handle facts so they needed to be lied and exaggerated to.

    So please don’t do that.

    Marijuana IS a detrimental substance, I just wish they’d told us all the truth instead of lying to us. I had to do a lot of pre-internet research years ago to nail down what was actually bad about marijuana and it’s use. While I was sitting through those classes back in school it would have been far better if those doing the lecturing and teaching actually knew what they were talking about and saved me the effort of digging the truth out myself. After all, they were the supposed experts, like you writing about pornography …

    Tell people the facts, tell them the truth, and let them process real information correctly or at least give them a chance to do so. Tell them that not everyone who ever looked at a naked picture is doomed to a life of obsession. Tell them what signs and symptoms to look for to spot a budding obsession or addiction. Tell them how upset their wives (usually we’re talking about men and pornography but not always so make that clear too) will be to find out that they’re doing something she considers disgusting.

    Because you can substitute an obsession with pornography for any other addiction or obsession and the results are similar. You’re not going to ban alcohol, it’s been tried. You’re not going to ban video games, food, or sex either. You’re not going to stop people from becoming addicts or gluttons or video game couch potatoes. All you can do is put the facts out there and hope to educate those who can and will be educated.

    The fact you omitted is that a small minority of any dopamine triggered stimulus will eventuate catastrophe in the overall population and the weakness lies in the person seeking the dopamine trigger obsessively. The weakness is in the lack of proper serotonin uptake to tell that person’s brain to knock it off now. The weakness lies in the individual. There is no similarity to frogs involved in any manner.

    Just as there are people who can have a drink or two and no more than that, people who can play a video game in their spare time when they have nothing more urgent to attend to, people who do not gorge themselves every time they sit down to eat- there must likewise be a majority of people who do not treat women as subhuman sex-objects, destroy their families, become hairy palmed sociopaths and/or any of the other horrors you’ve highlighted simply because they have or do view pornography on their computers. They probably DO mess up their computers though, and sometimes when I fix a computer that someone complains has “gotten to slow to use” it’s because they’ve been surfing places they ought not go.

    The fact is a frog will not sit in a slowly warming pot of water until it gets cooked and the fact is even the dumbest people are smarter than frogs.

    I’m a big fan of UFI and I took the time to write all of this to try to demonstrate why no matter how just or right your cause is, you have to scrupulously adhere to accuracy or the consequences will be other than what you were striving for. This goes for UFI and everything else.

    *According to a prominent zoologist. “The legend is entirely incorrect! The ‘critical thermal maxima’ of many species of frogs have been determined by several investigators. In this procedure, the water in which a frog is submerged is heated gradually at about 2 degrees Fahrenheit per minute. As the temperature of the water is gradually increased, the frog will eventually become more and more active in attempts to escape the heated water. If the container size and opening allow the frog to jump out, it will do so.”

  • jessie elizabeth
    Posted at 07:05h, 07 May

    very good and enlightening article – I wish the world could read!

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