Monday, November 25, 2013

"Why is porn bad?" Part I: The Question

I was recently asked by a close friend something like, "Why is pornography bad?" I wasn't asked this in criticism for the choices I have made with my husband or of my desire to fight pornography and sex-addiction. I was asked this because so many people really have no clue. The person who asked me this was picking my brain because he would not know how to explain to someone why pornography is bad if they didn't believe in God, had no morals, or just fell into society's trap of acceptance. It's something he has thought about a lot because he also wants to find a way to fight it (and E./N. if you're reading this and I just butchered this first part, sorry. I'm trying to remember this conversation as best as I can).

This brought on an hour-long conversation. When my husband arrived (we were eating dinner at this couple's house), I said, "Jump right in, we are talking about pornography." I love that these friends provide a safe refuge for issues like this to be talked about.

The issue of pornography and sex-addiction is tricky.

There are people who believe in God and see nothing wrong with pornography, masturbation, or being sex-minded. Some people who have an overall high moral fiber may think pornography or masturbation is okay. And then, people who don't believe in God may think sex in any form is okay.

There are also the very religiously-strong who believe and know that pornography is wrong and the misuse of sex is wrong. Even some people who don't believe in God may feel that pornography is wrong (I don't actually know anyone who doesn't believe in God, but I have hopes that there are people out here who don't believe in God and feels something wrong with it. That may be too high of a hope, though. Not sure).

Maybe it's just me, but I'm finding the group of people who find sex-addiction, in any form, to be wrong is small and getting smaller. Society is becoming more accepting of it. Not only are we more accepting of it in men, and women just have to deal with men's desires, but women are being tempted to sex-addiction even more. And it seems that everyone is okay with it. I know not everyone is, and there are people wallowing in the depths of addiction who are not okay with how accepted it is in society. I'm stereotyping society as a whole because it seems to me that in general, the misuse of sex is becoming more and more accepted. Except it's not even considered the misuse of sex. It's just sex. Using sex is becoming more acceptable. Sex seems to be our way of life.

Exhibit A: I teach high school. I hear and see things that show me sex is just accepted. Some students have talked to me about rumors going around about them and how hurt they are by the fact that people think they are sleeping around, but they are the minority. Granted, I could be completely wrong because I realize not everyone comes and talks to me about that stuff. But from conversations I overhear, I truly think it is the minority that keep themselves clean. And that is just from casual sex. I have no idea about those particular students' views on pornography or masturbation. Any reference I have heard, from both girls and boys, about pornography or masturbation has told me it's just what they do. It just is, and they seem to kind of welcome it in.

Exhibit B: I dated a guy in high school who was shocked that I had never viewed pornography, nor did I have the desire to. I also had guy-friends who slept around. I knew of people in my high school who filmed themselves and showed those videos to other students at school. And it was all for a good laugh or pleasure. It was weird to them that I wouldn't involve myself in that type of activity. And for some, it became a game to "corrupt me".

Exhibit C: I met someone at the Togetherness Project whose marriage counselor, who also counselled her husband individually, convinced her husband that the only reason his actions were wrong was [hold on to your hats here] because he was married. If he was not married, he could do whatever it wanted because that is how the single life is. So, he filed for divorce, and is living a life full of sex. It may not be an addiction to him, though, because that is just what guys do. Ever heard that one before?

Exhibit D: My husband's counselor told him that whenever he had the temptation to look at pornography or masturbation, to have sex with me. That would make me his own personal porn puppet, and the intimacy and meaning of our sexual relationship would be gone. My husband had the dignity to not even bring that up until I was talking to him about people I knew who had been scarred by things said/advice given by people they thought they could trust. Thanks, Ben, for knowing that would not be okay. The counselor, on the other hand, thought that was good advice. And that advice is probably "normal". He also told Ben that masturbation is okay and normal except for the fact that we are married, and our marriage is what made those fantasies and actions wrong.

These are just four examples. There are so many more I could give! Our society is changing. Some people think we are becoming more accepting and tolerant, and that is a good thing. It's not. Certain morals are changing or becoming the minority. People are losing the ability to feel the Spirit of God in their lives. It honestly scares me to think about where our society is headed.



So, with society being so accepting of sex in general, how do we explain that pornography, masturbation, or other misuses of sex are wrong?

Feel free to comment with your ideas of how to answer this question!

Read Part II here.

2 comments:

  1. Pornography perpetuates the acceptance of rape myths. These rape myths include things such as--

    -When a woman says "no," she doesn't really mean no. Keep trying, she wants it!
    -When a woman is dressed a certain way, she obviously wants to have sex. She's offering consent by her outfit, so go ahead and take what she's dangling in front of you.
    -Women enjoy being hit, having their hair pulled, and getting rough with sex. Even if she protests-- see bullet 1.

    It's maddening.

    Pornography also desensitizes the brain to actual human interaction. Because of the tolerance effect, the pornography drug requires greater doses (higher levels of stimuli) in order to achieve the same reaction. That's why escalation occurs in addiction-- a Victoria's Secret catalog will build to a Playboy, then to videos, then fetishism, etc. With chronic exposure to escalating stimuli, eventually the ability to achieve sexual arousal with your monogamous partner becomes impossible. This results in the need to utilize other sources (extra marital affairs, for example) in order to achieve the "fix."

    Research has also shown that exposure to pornography, even after just six times, dramatically increases dissatisfaction with your sexual partner.

    Pornography exists entirely on the reality that human beings are objects. They are not two individuals with ideas, values, emotions, or worth-- they are merely tools for accomplishing orgasm. When people are desensitized to the objectification of their fellow beings, the rates of violent crime (assault, rape, murder) increase.

    ....I could go on. Sorry for rambling. I've done a lot of reading on this.

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    Replies
    1. No need to apologize! I didn't even consider it rambling :) I was happy to read this, and I actually hadn't really thought of talking about the rape culture in my post (not sure why...it wasn't in my notes for these posts), but I'll definitely include it!

      I agree. It is maddening. I hate pornography, and I hate how accepted it is in society.

      I also hate lingerie. To me it is a symbol of everything I hate about society's welcoming of the misuse of sex. I have a post coming soon about that too.

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