My mailbox is too small! As a frequent reviewer of books, I receive a steady stream of packages from publishers — and if more than one box arrives on the same day, my mailbox often can't contain my blessings. But amid the influx of important new words and profound ideas, one package caught my attention: Inside the customary mailing envelope, the book was gift wrapped in plain black paper with a white label that read:

Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of...

Really?! I carefully pulled at the scotch tape to find Matt Fradd's latest book, The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography (Ignatius Press, 2017).

Ugh! I HATE porn!

But I love Matt Fradd, who has done perhaps more than anyone to stand against the negative impact of pornography in today's feel-good culture. Matt is a Catholic apologist, arguing for the existence of God, the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the truth of the Catholic Church. He is also founder of The Porn Effect website and author of several books intended to help men and women escape the claws of pornography addiction. He is co-creator of Victory, an app that provides a strategic battle plan for winning the struggle against pornography.

Matt begins The Porn Myth with an interesting insight into the sex lives of gypsy moths. The gypsy moth had been imported from Europe in the 1860s to spur the American silk industry; but as is often the case, there were unexpected consequences. The gypsy moths began to overtake their smaller American counterparts, devastating forests with their voracious appetites. But in the 1960s and 1970s, Fradd writes,

...scientists devised a new strategy. Biologists knew that the male gypsy moth found the female moth by following her scent – her pheromone. So scientists developed massive quantities of a synthetic version of this pheromone and scattered small pellets of it from the air over infested forests.

The effect was overpowering for males. They were so overwhelmed by the highly concentrated pheromone that they either became confused and didn't know where to turn to find the female or became desensitized to the lower levels of pheromone naturally produced by the female. Either way, the moths failed to reproduce themselves, and their population declined precipitously.

By way of analogy, this is what pornography is our society: a synthetic, highly concentrated pheromone. Having been overexposed to it, many people are either confused about or disinterested in real sexual intimacy.

In The Porn Myth, Matt Fradd shines a spotlight on the porn culture and challenges common misconceptions – proving that porn isn't just “adult” entertainment, that it doesn't empower women, and that it's not only religious people who oppose pornography. One can be “anti-porn,” he insists, without being “anti-sex.” He cites extensive research by medical doctors and social scientists to effectively refute those who would try to claim that it's harmless.

Fradd exposes the lies touted by the porn industry to defend their activities. Lies like: “Porn isn't sex slavery.” “Porn stars are just well-rounded nymphomaniacs.” “Sure, child porn is a problem, but I watch only adult porn. No harm in that.”

Pornography has an effect on relationships, damaging trust and negatively impacting marriage. A husband who indulges in pornography may wrongly think that the fault lies with his wife, and that he would not use porn if only she were more sexually attentive or prettier. The porn user may deceive himself into thinking that using porn together as a couple will enhance marital intimacy, or that not masturbating is unhealthy for a guy. Fradd shows, though, that all is not lost — that it is possible to overcome the porn habit, regain marital trust, and carve a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with one's spouse.

With the myths about pornography enumerated and refuted, Fradd offers three appendices for further study: an exhaustive review of findings by experts which itemize pornography's harmful effects; a resource guide for individuals, spouses and parents; and a report on brain studies, proving that regular use of pornography requires ever more stimulation and has the effect of rendering “ordinary” sexual relations unsatisfying.

It's a difficult subject; but for spouses who have wrestled with the temptation to view pornography, or for parents of teens, it's a critical issue. Matt Fradd offers the information and the tools to tackle the issue head-on, to fight the temptation to indulge one's baser instincts, and to find fulfillment in compassionate relationships based on mutual respect and love.