Porn Nation (Book Review)

There is a silent epidemic that is plaguing men, women, adults and youth throughout the world—and especially in America. Michael Leahy, author and speaker, is recovering from this plague and spreading the message across the nation that sexual addiction is a tremendous problem that is poised to cause havoc on lives, marriages, families, churches, communities, and society at large. It is a problem that is growing, not decreasing. His book, Porn Nation: Conquering America’s #1 Addiction, is part memoir, part sociological analysis, part psychological assessment, and part therapy. Leahy’s journey from a recreational porn consumer that led him to a shattered life, and his path back to wholeness is a wake-up call to reform our hyper-sexualized culture and repent of our willingness to destroy ourselves and others.

From the cover:

Welcome to Porn Nation. It’s a $100 billion a year industry worldwide [as of 2008]. Even bigger when you consider the fact that porn is now the norm in our mainstream media. But have you ever stopped to think about why, when it comes to porn, we just can’t seem to get enough? And are we certain this “cheap form of harmless entertainment” isn’t changing the way we see ourselves and how we act toward others in relationships? What you fee grows, and what you starve dies. Enter Michael Leahy, a guy who spent over 30 years as a recreational user of pornography. That is until he discovered what many experts refer to as “the crack cocaine of sexual addiction”—Internet porn. What happened next would change everything, not just for Michael and his family but for all of us living in this Porn Nation.

Porn Nation is written for a broad audience. The author is a Christian and is unapologetic about his belief that the grace of the Triune God of the Bible is the answer to sexual addiction. But he doesn’t come off as preachy or distant from the world of non-Christians. Hence the book is appropriate reading for anyone who is struggling with porn addiction, in relationship with someone who is, and those who want an eye-opening look at the problem to be equipped to help others.

The book is divided into three sections with 16 chapters. Additionally, the preface, introduction and conclusion are not superfluous. They function as “bookends” for the body of the book that contain valuable information themselves. The appendices include statistics, recommended reading, and a sexual addiction screening test developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes, founder of sexhelp.com.

Part 1: The Truth About Me
1. Leaving Paradise
2. The Great Escape
3. Meet Ken & Barbie
4. Going Under
5. In Her Own Words
6. Hitting Bottom
7. Getting Well
Part 2: The Truth About Us
8. A Perfect Storm
9. Generation Sex and the New Pornographers
10. I Am Not Charlotte Simmons
11. Introducing Sex Syndrome
12. Am I a Sex Addict?
Part 3: The Truth About the New You
13. Defining Moments: Do You Want to Get Well?
14. Heal Your Body by Changing Your Mind
15. Heal Your Soul by Changing Your Heart
16. Sex God Ron Jeremy

Every chapter offers helpful material. But my favorites were chapter 5 (In Her Own Words) and chapter 16 (Sex God Ron Jeremy). Chapter 5 contains many entries from the author’s wife’s personal journal as she battled to stay hopeful when her husband was unfaithful. Her words are tearful and painful to read. This is there value, for in reading them they exhibit the destruction that pornography and sexual sin brings into the lives of loved ones touched by the horrible effects of this type of sin. If you are not convinced that pornography is wicked, then read this chapter first. Chapter 16 records the story of Leahy’s unusual friendship with former porn star Ron Jeremy. Leahy shows that even those who for advocates of porn cannot escape the spiritual emptiness that it causes. Pornography for Ron Jeremy has become his worldview lenses that are glued to his face. Porn is a cruel taskmaster. It enslaves and blinds users. It destroys souls by convincing people there is no hope for deliverance, and that the only kind of happiness that exists is pornographic fantasy and orgasm.  What a lie!  The Spirit of God is able to release the captives from bondage.  Jesus Christ came to announce and bring this glorious kingdom of God.  Only he can deliver captive sinners from the clutches of pornographic slavery and the hell to which it leads.

Visit Michael Leahy’s organization Bravehearts, dedicated to increasing the public’s awareness of the hidden dangers and long-term consequences of pornography consumption.

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