Lust & FantasyPornography

“Teach Men Not to Rape” and #TakeDownThatPost

It is not often that I write addressing current events.  They can be so volatile and slathered in opinion.  One poor choice of words and you bring the wrath of a politically-correct American democracy crashing down on your head.  So, yes, I keep my little voice out of the big fight, perhaps more often than I should.

This week though, I just do not feel I can remain silent, because the effects of porn have been all over my news feed.

From a college porn star bemoaning the fact that she gets no respect now, to the outcry at Miss USA, to a large Christian publication’s story in which they allow a child abuser and sexual predator to spin his interactions with a minor as if it were just an affair.  #TakeDownThatPost is sprinkled all over my Twitter.

And my heart seriously could not take it anymore.  This all, in my mind, has one root problem- sin, yes, but more specifically, porn.

If we boil down some characteristics of pornography, we will see common threads that feed in to all of these scenarios and more.  And ladies, yes, I am going to talk about pornography from the perspective of how it affects men, just because all of these current events have to do with pornography’s affect on men (and also women).

Pornography removes the person

Pornography is not personal.  It reduces people to body parts, removing their hearts and souls from the equation.  You do not know a porn actors hopes and dreams, even their favorite colors or foods.  Check out this quote from current porn performer Miriam Weeks (the former Duke students outed as a porn star):

“No one wants to hear about the abuses and exploitation that take place, no one wants to hear about the violence committed every day against sex workers, no one wants to consider that we have hopes and dreams and ambitions.”

Porn uses people, for their bodies.  Pornography takes the broken and feeds them to the broken.  It does not bring answers and does not bring healing, it tells people that they are not good for anything.  Except for their bodies.  There will always be room online for more bodies.

Pornography ‘gives in’ to demands

We are demanding people by nature.  We want what we want when we want it from the time we take our first breath.  Fast food, freezer meals, streaming movies, DVR- all of it caters this desire to have our satisfaction completely customized.  Porn is the same way.  Do not like that video?  Well, change it to a new one.  Don’t like her hair?  Find a new webcam.  Don’t like that fetish?  Find a different one.  People become nothing more than freezer meals.

Authentic human interaction of any sort requires sacrifice and inconvenience.  As Honey Brown says, “Aint’ nobody got time for that!” So instead of working to accomplish authentic intimacy in a relationship, this generation more than any other is being raised to believe that people bodies around them exist for their personal pleasure alone and now.  And that when a body does not give them exactly what they want, it deserves whatever punishment it receives.

Pornography normalizes the inappropriate and illegal

Let me be clear: sex itself is not inappropriate.  This is not the rant of some prude evangelical who thinks that sex is some horrible act between two people.  All evidence to the contrary. What I am talking about are the endless fetishes available at our fingertips.

Child porn?  There’s a market for that.

Want to keep it legal?  Well, then there are ‘barely legal’ girls made to look like kids just for you.

Rape porn?  There’s a market for that.

Bondage and brutality? There’s a market for that.

Doctors taking advantage of patients?  Check.

Teachers taking advantage of students?  Check.

Students with their professors?  Check.

Gang rapes?  There’s one for that too.

And in every one of these cases, the victims are made to act like it is absolutely the best thing that has ever happened.  They act like they want it, like they are being done a favor.  Porn does not just normalize these things; it glorifies them.

Pornography has no ‘consequences’

Pornography has plenty of consequences, but you never see those on screen.  I am not talking about how it affects the actual actors and actresses (STDs, physical injuries, drug dependencies, the list goes on).  I am referring to this alternate reality created by porn where you can do whatever you want and nothing bad ever happens.

I was going to ask if you ever noticed, but that is assuming every reader here has watched pornography.  So let me just tell you that there are never consequences for actions in pornography.

The teacher never loses her job for sleeping with her student.  The man who rapes never gets caught and you never see years of therapy for a rape victim.  The husband does not lose his wife- in fact, she often jumps right in, and vice versa.  The soccer coach keeps coaching.  Never any consequences.

The most frequent ‘consequences’ dealt out are if someone (usually the woman) does not do what the other (usually the man) wants.  She will get slapped, pushed, pulled, called names.

I guarantee you if there were more porn that showed what happened in real life, porn would lose a bit of its pull.

But do you see it?  Do you see how the common threads of pornography are contributing to the society we are in now.  It is a society of victims- some true victims and others victims in their own mind.

The Duke porn star who says she no longer gets respect now that people know she is a porn star.  She has been watching porn since she was 12.  At some point along the way, she bought the lie it sells that it is exactly what men want.  Now she makes her living off being nothing more than a body, and wishes to be a ‘person.’

The former youth worker addressing his actions, acting as if statutory rape is no big deal.  I have sat across from women who have been raped by their youth pastors.  Do not tell me it is no big deal.

It is a big deal to have your trust and that of your family violated in such a terrible way.  It is a big deal to have to relive it day after day as you go through court proceedings to put the creep in jail.

It is a big deal to have your story plastered in the newspaper and to live with the fear that one day someone will realize that “unnamed” victim is you because you somehow feel responsible.  It is a big deal to try to find love after that and figure out sex in marriage when every time your husband comes near, you see another man’s face and body.

It is a huge deal.

Nobody asks for this.  Nobody asks for any of this.

No person asks to be victimized.  No person asks to be broken.  

People cry out to fix the rape culture, but if you want to ‘fix’ the rape culture, you have to first fix the porn culture.  You have to get rid of the lies that reduce men and women to bodies here solely for each other’s disposal.  You have to enforce the truth that actions have consequences, and that no means no, not “more.”  You have to stop victimizing the attackers and start reaching out with love, care, and support to the actual victims.

We have to get back to the place where we love each other as people, not lust after each other as bodies.  We are not disposable, and despite what porn may tell you, our bodies are not either.

Recommended Reading (affiliate link): Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World
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