Ok, Let’s Talk…first topic up: porn

What Attitude Problem?: The problem with porn

Read the listed link at Dan’s blog, Cerulean Sanctum…. discuss, here or at Greg’s. I’m up for a discussion on this.

So is porn a problem, amongst Christians, of over-scheduling? Women not giving it up to their husbands? what?

*ALSO: is the Internet to blame for the porn explosion? what part does the internet play…. or did it start earlier in movies and television? What is your opinion?

Fashion magazines? Really…any opinion…because I am undecided on this and I think it needs to be talked about…..

UPDATE: At Another Think: What Andrea Dworkin Got Right

Dworkin had been in the sex trades. She saw a clear link between pornography and the objectification of women. She saw clearly that pornography incited male hostility towards women. She felt a deep compassion for these women and wanted to restore their dignity.

I have always felt that feminists should be at the forefront of the campaign against prostitution and pornography.

“The pervasive message is this: women are sex toys; women exist to please their men.” Is this not the same message when the problem is laid on the woman’s doorstep… with “you aren’t providing for your man’s needs, no wonder he goes to porn?” Isn’t that just playing into the whole mythos that pornography is a natural thing, a healthy outlet…instead of seeing it for what it is: damaging to the psyche of women and draining off real intimacy from a marriage?

Is the old Total Woman message the Christian message for women on what a woman should be? What part a wife plays? And the picture of sexual wholeness and healthiness?

Because the message of Christ is one of Wholeness… so what is wholeness in the context of who you are as a woman?

11 thoughts on “Ok, Let’s Talk…first topic up: porn”

  1. This is an important topic, Ilona. When there is an easy and abundant supply of anything, demand is created that wasn’t there before. When porn was only available by making a secret trip to a seedy bookstore, that lack of availability served as a natural obstruction to porn use. With the internet on everyone’s desk, easy and private availability has increased demand. So yes, the internet plays a big part.

    But the more basic question is “why the desire in the first place?” There’s not going to be a single answer, but I think sexual boredom is more of a factor than overscheduling. And, the allure of forbidden fruit is a big deal. Monogamy is hard work, and porn lets you play with those fantasies that wouldn’t be safe to act out on. The background level of sexual stimulation is high because of sexy fashions, media, and so on, so men (who are very visual) never lack for sexual turn-ons in their daily lives. This creates a continual level of awareness and frustration that just wears you down at times.

    I think porn kills the desire for intimacy with a spouse and creates an unfaithfulness of the heart that is very destructive to a marriage.

    Related to this subject, you might read my new post called “What Andrea Dworkin Got Right”.

  2. I’m very interested in reading your new post.
    Here, I’ll say that I agree 100% with “porn kills the desire for intimacy with a spouse and creates an unfaithfulness of the heart that is very destructive to a marriage.” I think that is undeniably true.

    For the question of ‘why the desire’ I don’t believe that is what we are looking at, it is ‘why are Christians having such problems’. Not that we aren’t human, but we claim to have something that deals with this. I believe we do, but there is a breach. I would like to ascertain where the breach is so we can build the wall of defense.

    No one can deny the internet’s part, but wasn’t there a problem before internet became bigtime?

  3. In my own view, Christians “deal with” these temptations through the spiritual disciplines that create intimacy with God. And, by open and honest communication with a spouse or close friend, through accountability. And, through self-discipline. But since we are human, these all mitigate but don’t eliminate the desires. I’m a bit puzzled by the “total woman” thing. Certainly a wife has to take seriously her responsibilities towards her husband, but I think men set themselves up for failure in this area by not taking seriously enough the call of Christ to “take my yoke upon you”. If we are truly yoked to Christ and keep our eyes on him, our hearts will not wander where they shouldn’t.

  4. The Total Woman was a book by Marabel Morgan that lots of Christian (American) women went by some time ago. It basically was the idea that you have to do all these spiced-up things to keep your marriage, etc. that idea was that if you are woman enough your man will be man enough and your marriage will be good enough. Lots of Christian teaching prob’ly went along those lines, too… at that time.

    I have to say that I think lumping it into “spiritual disciplines”, while not off the mark, is too vague. Vague to the point that it won’t help discern the steps involved in extricating from this problem.

  5. I think that both men and women should put more time into their relating, and that would include shaving major committments off the calendar, including church activities. It means not keeping up with Jones in child activities, in economic icons of success, etc.

    I think men need to take accountability for each other in the church seriously. Nothing counteracts the pull of temptation like ‘fessing up to a brother ( and this goes for women, who wouldn’t get caught in the snares of adultery so much if they jsut shared with a sister how close they are coming to looking elsewhere).

    And a big thing for dealing with lusts of the flesh is to “just don’t go there”. Don’t stand there and pray it won’t affect you! Get yourself out of the pull of whatever it is that is grabbing at your heart, and if you have those who know, have them pray with you and help you. Everyone is weak at some point with something they shouldn’t be doing. We all have something, and we ought to be there to help each other.

  6. Recent research about dieting showed an interesting phenomena. It was a test to do with the psychology of dieters and non-dieters set up in such a way that test subjects were convinced they were evaluating food products and nothing more. Meanwhile researchers had secretly done background work to see which of the test subjects were dieters and which were not. So during the tests, the subjects were first given a thick calorie-rich milkshake and asked to drink it and evaluate it. Then 3 heaping trays of cookies were set out in front of them. They must taste each kind and evaluate. After that they could eat as many as they liked.

    So the subjects drank the milkshakes, and then an interesting thing happened with the cookies. The dieters ate as many as 7 or 8 cookies, the non-dieters ate three and in some instances not even that many. What the test proved is that by denying oneself something, that thought is overlaid at the surface of the brain, and the food-consciousness of the dieters made them more prone to indulge than the non-dieters who never gave the food any thought except as to flavor.

    Your post made me wonder if this kind of psychology could be at the base of men’s porn/adulterous appetites when as you word it ‘women don’t give it up to their husbands?’

  7. I worded it that way since that was one of the ideas in Dan’s original post: that women are too busy in their lives to provide time for sexual intimacy, and thus hisbands reach for the pornography. I don’t think that is a primary attribute of porn use, but it could be in some inidvidual cases. Still, why blame the woman for the man’s choice?

    In your diet idea… I think I would wonder most about whether some people are more given to ascetic or indulgent habits to begin with.

    I do think there is some sort of deny/desire dynamic going on, but I don’t think that triggers it, I think that is part of the vicious cycle that some people find themselves in, in dieting and in trying to deny themselves.

    In both cases, is it really about the “thing”? the food or the porn? Or is it some problem with the self and the need for love… and finding it in a self-destructive substitute?

  8. Ilona, I trust I will not offend you with further observations. Going back to my original analogy about the dieting/non-dieting research, it strikes me there is even another parallel. Look at the traffic milling about today. I hope this interest is not due to a bunch of Godly people who are porn-free dieters who when given a plate of porn (like the cookies) tend to want to indulge more than they even realize. Your blog is not porn is any way, shape, or form, but pick that topic and there is a line up.

    Of course that’s not why I’m here. I’m not over-Godly or overly-porn. I’m here because it is a very interesting discussion. ;>)

  9. I consider you to be an intelligent and welcome participant. I have not had many posts that invited people to share their thoughts- so this is new for me.

    I think people in the Church are desiring to hear something helpful on a subject that concerns them, I think people outside the Church want to see if their presumptions are accurate or if there is something they can hear as a rational answer to a confusing issue.

  10. Ilona, you always respond with elegance and thought-provoking common-sense — guess that’s why I keep visiting your site. A lot of people can benefit from what you write whether they agree or disagree. So my special Hallmark wish for you today is “May your blog and garden grow”.

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