Author Topic: The Rust of Pornography  (Read 321 times)

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Offline GirlandTheWord

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The Rust of Pornography
« on: Mon Sep 12, 2016 - 22:34:06 »
The Rust of Pornography –
How porn seeps into our relationships and corrupts our perspective of what is innately valuable.

“Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents
and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires
that wage war against your very souls.”
-1 Peter 2:11

I once held firmly the belief that all men watch porn. All through high school, I had never met a male who denied watching porn. Pornography was like the community fountain that all males had to drink from in order to gain their rite of passage. I had accepted it as the norm. Whenever my female friends expressed their frustrations after “stumbling” upon a few suspicious URLs found on their boyfriends’ laptops, I convinced them to shrug it off because I, myself, was convinced that it was something perfectly normal and inevitable for guys. I didn’t understand why these girls had to make it seem like such a big deal. It was just porn, you know, like a routine haircut, a dose of cough medicine, or a cigarette smoke after a long day—not that I knew what that was like. I only ever saw people smoking around me and only ever heard of people watching porn. I was detached from those things personally, but my mind was conditioned into thinking that it was normal. And normal was good.

This perspective worsened when I became involved in a few serious relationships with men who viewed pornography as something normal, just like I did. It became so cringingly “normal” to me that at one point, I actually decided to give it a try for myself. What’s the big deal? They’re just videos of people doing each other, my high school brain had thought. My first time watching it out of curiosity was terrifyingly embarrassing, even though no one was around. I felt my cheeks flushing red as I scrolled through all of the most vulgar, self-deprecating thumbnails and titles that made my inner feminist wince. I was not a Christian at the time, and although I’d like to say that as soon as I encountered God I had never watched another video again, that was not the case. You see- cringing and intimidating as those videos were, they also gave me a sick sense of satisfaction for having tackled the topic of porn all by myself. Me—a girl—watching porn! How taboo. I wanted to see what those guys were all googly-eyed over—what their rite of passage entailed. I wanted to be their equal—to finally, with confidence, say that porn is not a big deal and that there is nothing to fuss over, ladies. But before I knew it, porn had seeped into my perspective on love, trust, marriage, and the tipping balance beam between men and women. After experiencing porn for myself, I found it difficult to trust any male figures in my life. The porn videos were not ‘just videos of people doing each other,’ like I had thought. They were much more disturbing and head-cockingly aggressive than that. I noticed that there were so many different, twisted categories to each porn site that I’d curiously visited. It occurred to me that people actually developed fetishes for these shocking, pedophilic categories of porn. There was no way I could ever look at another boyfriend, pastor, or male friend the same again. To think that the guy that I’d kiss would be looking at these violently objectifying videos on his free time was saddening and discouraging. The thought of pastors retreating into their dark offices to watch these girls get yanked and pulled and beat like animals made me want to puke. And the thought of husbands—men who have vowed in front of a hundred family members and friends to commit to their wives for the rest of their lives—apathetically opening up a tab on Chrome after a usual fight with their spouses made me never want to commit myself to a marriage covenant. What I didn’t realize, however, was that many girls around me, like myself, had secretly watched these videos as well. Porn was never an exclusive space for men, although studies [http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/videos/a20835/how-you-watch-porn-survey/] show that significantly more men admitted to watching porn than women.

When I was a teenager, porn was taboo amongst girls my age. It was accepted and sometimes even encouraged amongst teenage boys, but girls were never expected to watch such things. I felt like it wasn’t meant for our eyes, and that was the reason why I wanted to watch it to begin with. I wanted to rebel and be like the guys. It turned out that porn wasn’t meant for anyone’s eyes. The blatant objectification of the human body, the condescending name-calling, the unrealistic acrobatic moves, the lack of laughter, the lack of emotional safety, and the utter lack of affection made sex seem like nothing but a horrific and dehumanizing performance.

Let’s just courageously put this out there: Porn is a HUGE DEAL. It is a huge deal not because of how it gives us such a quick and string-less satisfaction, or how it reenacts all of our sickest fantasies, but because we have integrated it so deeply into our minds and our culture that this corrosion—this addictive, abusive corrosion—should be the norm. Like rust, pornography corrodes our image of what is inherently good. The human body is so beautiful—made to fit into each other like a symbol of unity and commitment. When two people come together, it is the ultimate emblem of trust and covenant—that you and I, we are together now, and I promise to take care of you, to commit to you for better or for worse, until our children move away and our hairs turn gray. Porn distorts that image. It makes that image seem silly, naïve, and unsexy. Who wants the mess that comes with commitment when you could just open a tab and watch the best angle of sex that technology has to offer? Those who are broken, who are addicted to lust, and are fearful of a deeply committed relationship with a real human being, that’s who. And the disheartening fact is that most of the nation falls into this category—including me, at one point. Sex was designed to be enjoyable and functional, but porn takes what it is beautiful and enjoyable and chokes, jabs, and beats it into a bruised and bloody pulp.

So, here is the truth about pornography: Pornography is, at its core, filmed prostitution. In a TEDTalk with Ran Gavrieli, he explains that Porne is short for the Greek pornographos, which depicts prostitutes. In ancient Greek, a brothel would be called a porneion. Graphein means “to write” or to document. So the etymology of the word pornography literally means, “documenting prostitution.” When we open a tab and go on these harmful, malefic websites, we are contributing to the abusive and misogynistic industry of prostitution. Don’t be naïve like my high school self and think that such a thing should be supported because the porn actors and actresses have the ‘right’ to exercise their freedom of occupation. Porn comes in categories, and each one sicker than the last. The reason for all of these humiliating, pedophilic, and violent categories within porn is because there is a demand for sick novelty. Can you imagine? As if the staged penetration wasn’t objectifying enough, our brains became so desensitized to ‘mild porn’ that there is now an innumerous supply of child pornography, BDSM (Bondage Dominance Submission Sadomasochism), and a host of other wildly aggressive and tear-jerking categories of porn, ready for pre-teens, husbands, fathers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, and sons to consume freely. It’s a sickening reality. I agree wholeheartedly with Gavrieli when he says, “Porn is not an embodiment of freedom of speech, of freedom of occupation… No. It’s an embodiment of sex-exploitation, working side by side with human trafficking, raping, pimping, [and] solicitation.”

In biblical terms, porn is synonymous with sexual immorality. I personally feel that it actually epitomizes sexual immorality. If you are in a relationship with a significant other and you are giving into your addiction to porn, you and your significant other should identify it for what it is: you are addicted to cheating. It is as clear as day. Just because “everyone does it” does not nullify the essence of what it is. You are a consumer of online prostitution. It is that serious, and so it should be treated with the appropriate severity. I’m not saying this to condemn you in hopes that you’d go wallow in shame, but so that you could feel the urgency to confess openly with your significant other and then go seek spiritual and emotional counseling with someone that you trust (ideally, a professional). I know that for many people, the addiction to pornography worsens during the depressive or stressful stages in their lives. This is because when we are at our weakest points, we tend to run to the easy, quick fixes. Porn is unbearably easy to access and so tempting, just like how all addictions are. You don’t even have to pay for porn. It’s free. I get it. I really do understand your struggle, but this is something you should not tolerate in your life. It is both morally and spiritually wrong, and it will do physical and emotional harm to you and/or your partner. LiveScience published an article explaining how even watching porn in moderation could lead to brain shrinkage, the same way alcoholism and depression shrink certain areas of the brain. Psychology Today offered a reliable and brilliantly horrifying article suggesting how the addiction to pornography decreases our commitment in a relationship and could lead to real-world cheating.

You may say that your libido is extremely overwhelming at times, so you need the sexual satisfaction that porn offers, but you actually don’t. People were not born watching filmed prostitution. You don’t need it; you just want it because you’re not willing to discipline your libido. There is a verse that always gets to me. It says, “You say, ‘Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.’ (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can't say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:13, emphasis made by me) Thank God for claiming our bodies as his own. He made our beautiful and intricate bodies, just the way they are, for his own pleasure. I find it insane that God cares so deeply for both the bodies of the prostitutes and the consumers of prostitution. I had always felt a nagging sense of shame when I thought about this chunk of my past, but God cares about me regardless of my shameful actions. My body, and the bodies of those who engage in pornography, are all made in His glorious image. He cares so deeply about how we treat our physical bodies because he had carefully crafted us from the womb. He is our skilled maker, and each one of us is literally his masterpiece. When we engage in watching pornography, we agree with just the opposite: that human bodies should be exploited, objectified, and abused. When we arouse ourselves with these videos, we exploit our own bodies and prostitute our own minds as well, because our minds and bodies belong to God, who gave up his only Son to die in exchange for us. We were bought at such a high price, so why should we give ourselves to sin so cheaply?

I encourage those who struggle with pornography to take a stand for your true identities. You are the sons and daughters of God, and you do have the willpower to quit this corrupted habit if you truly wanted to. Perhaps the most important first step is to seek help from either your spiritual counselors or another trustworthy outlet. It is crucial that you have a legitimate source of accountability to keep you motivated to stick by your words. From my personal experience, I don’t think that merely reading about the subject would do the most help. Confessing it to others, on the other hand, does a much better job at keeping us accountable to our goals. I hope with all of my heart that you will experience the liberation from pornography and declare that you’ve triumphed over a powerful addiction. I will end with a prayer, taken from the apostle’s encouragement in 1 Peter 2:9-11. Let’s pray together.

Dear Lord, you know my struggles. You know how tough it is when I am being tempted by sexual sin. I know that you’ve made us to experience life much differently, and I repent for giving in to the temptation numerous times in the past. I want to experience life the way you intended it. I don’t want my mind to be twisted anymore. I don’t want porn to hijack my self-control.

I know I am not like that, for you have chosen me. I have been adopted into your royal family, a holy nation; your very own possession. As a result, I can show others your goodness, for you have called me out of the darkness and into your marvelous light. Once, I had no identity as a person, but now I am a part of God's people. Once, I received no mercy, but now I have received your full mercy. Dear God, I pray that I will be like a temporary resident and a foreigner to this world, so that I could keep away from worldly desires that wage war against my very soul.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Written by GirlandTheWord

Offline chosenone

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Re: The Rust of Pornography
« Reply #1 on: Tue Sep 13, 2016 - 16:57:24 »
Yes porn is evil, there is nothing good or beneficial about it.