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Can Women Find Freedom in Pornography?

I was in the middle of writing one post, and my research led me to start up a second, and now a third.  I stumbled across an article about pornography on college campuses, and I traced the article back to its source.

The original article was about a college classes solely dedicated to pornography.  Students are assigned pornography as homework and guest lecturers are porn stars. One such guest lecturer was a male porn star, and the feedback from female students was, highly supportive.  Among them:

“It felt really good to be in a classroom where we could openly acknowledge that women get horny too without it being unsafe or weird.”

 

After the fire in my blood settled, my heart broke.  We’ve failed, as Christians.  We’ve dropped the ball when it comes to sex, and acknowledging it and heralding it for the beautiful, soul-knitting, creation of God that it is.  Our tight-lipped church culture is partly to blame for women starving for the freedom to be red-blooded, libido-possessing, women.

Women do have sex drives.  We do, pardon the crudeness, ‘get horny.’  And no, acknowledging that should never be unsafe or make women feel weird.

Is the answer found in pornography?

It would seem that the new wave of exploration for women is the world of pornography.  That is just where we are headed as a whole right now.  We’ve fought for our rights to vote, fought for equal pay, fought to be acknowledged in every area except our sexuality, and here it comes.

Ushered in, in part, by 50 Shades of Grey, in part by the advance of technology, and in part by our own humanity, we stand on the brink of a generation of women who ready to embrace commercial sex as the new norm.  High school girls find ‘self-expression’ through twerking, a highly provocative ‘dance’ move made popular by strip clubs.  Open relationship, swinging, orgies, group sex are all becoming the norm.

It makes women like me question, at times, if I’ve really got it wrong.  Is there freedom to be found in pornography?  Is there freedom to be found in publicly embracing and expressing my sexuality?

The problem with those questions, which I do sometimes ask myself, is that I have not only made the mistake of equating pornography with sex, but I’ve equated ‘fun’ with freedom.

I know there’s no freedom in pornography.  I’ve been there.  I do, however, understand the desire to be fully woman.

Too often in our church culture, the sexuality of a woman is overlooked.  When we teach young women about sex, we teach them to tell the men to keep their grimy paws off.  We teach them how to respect the sex drives of men in how they act and how they dress.  We have a male-centric approach to abstinence, saying that our virginity is a gift for our husbands.  It can leave a Christian young woman wondering, “What if I’m the one who wants to have sex?”

Heaven forbid she actually asks that question.

That silence, that stifling of sexuality, is torturous.  How can you understand how to use something that no one is willing to acknowledge you even have?

So the obvious counter to that is to embrace a completely ‘free’ sexuality.  Pornography, orgies, sexting, even twerking are all ways that women stand up and say, “Listen, we have sex drives too!”  When that is met with even more judgement, they feel even more justified in their expression.

It feels like freedom, because it feels so wrong.

It’s like skipping school to go joyriding through the countryside in a convertible you stole.  There’s just something so freeing about not having any rules, and for any one who has been there, you know pornography has no rules- none.

Free sex is carefree, and there are times I envy that.  I don’t think my past has anything to do with that envy.  I think it has everything to do with my being a woman.

But just like there will be consequences for skipping school to joyride in a stolen car, there are consequences to a carefree sexuality.  Beyond the typical abstinence scare of STDs and unwanted pregnancies, there are emotional consequences to freely dealing out your body and hormones to anyone willing to accept them.

There are consequences to pornography.  There are consequences to lust.  I know, because I’ve done my time in that prison.  I’ve had my little joy ride, and it turned into a hell ride.  I didn’t have issue with it because I am a Christian; I had issue with it because I am a woman, and therefore pornography fought against everything I wanted to believe about me.  It robbed me of everything I am, while promising me the time of my life.

I wasn’t free.  I was a captive of guilt, fear, shame, and feelings of worthlessness.  I won’t lie, it felt good.  Stealing a convertible and speeding through the fresh air would carry with it a rush of adrenaline and a thrill like no other.  At the end of the day, I’m guilty, alone, and imprisoned.

So no, pornography isn’t sex, and fun isn’t freedom.

Freedom is working hard and earning that convertible.  Freedom is taking the day off work, putting the pedal to the medal, letting my hair down, and whizzing by all those women who chose to settle.  At the end of the day, that, my friends, is true freedom.

 

One comment

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I have had the same feelings for many years, and I too, felt TOTALLY ALONE! It’s true, in church they tell us to keep ourselves clean, pure, modest, etc. for the boys, but never acknowledge that maybe we are struggling with the same feelings as the boys. I don’t know how I will teach this to my daughters-to-be, but I don’t feel like I can just let them have the same struggle I had without understanding that women are sexual too.