BEVERLY HILLS—Why is it that men are ashamed of their internet movie addiction? Hint: I’m not talking about YouTube or Netflix.
Why do some say the habit creates violence, rape, and even murder, yet some cannot live without it?
What makes women so mad at their boyfriends for viewing it?
What is it about the word pornography that makes everyone momentarily freeze?
You can probably guess by now that pornography wasn’t hanging around my household. In fact, it was never discussed or considered in my life. That is, until I started attending college and started getting loads of: “Hush…she’s coming, turn it off!”
If you’re a guy and tell me you have no interest in seeing some bleach blonde frizzed out floozy, for lack of a better term, jumping about naked, I’ll immediately think you’re either gay or lying. If you’re gay, you have your own bit of pornography and drama. If you’re lying, why?
Personally, I don’t have any interest in pornography. To me, it’s simply naughty. The sight of girls being that cheap is gross, sickening, and evil. But luckily for you, my convictions and perceptions aren’t yours. I have a special way of handling my sexual identity. It is unique, something I learned from a young age. I’m content with it.
However, I have a strong position on pornography, one that’s opposite my cultural teachings.
Pornography doesn’t make nice men brutish, raping murderers. Evil people do that. I do believe evil goes into the creation of pornography. I don’t feel it is made of love, as God intended us to act with our bodies. I feel it’s exploitative and it cheapens the magic that can happen between sexual partners.
And yet, it’s so popular! According to familysafemedia.com, $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography every second. In that same second, 28,258 internet users are viewing it.
According to rainn.org, a rape occurs every 107 seconds. That means, in the time of one rape, there are 3,023,606 internet users viewing pornography.
There are approximately 46 murders every day in the US. During that day, there are 2,441,491,200 watching pornography.
I almost failed my statistics class, so maybe I’m wrong. However, that seems to suggest that one out of over 3 million watchers raped someone, and one out of over 2 billion killed someone. Of course, even that suggestion is operating under the assumption that all murderers and rapists regularly view pornographic content.
I won’t totally dismiss the notion that the type of person attracted to pornography could also be prone to acts of violence, whether sexual or otherwise. But claiming pornography changes a person’s character is ludicrous. A person choosing to indulge in extreme pornography is a disturbed character to begin with. You can’t blame the pornography any more than you can blame the gun used to shoot someone.
Simply put, it’s there and indulgence is a choice.
Last year, I met a lovely couple who had lost their 25-year-old daughter. She was murdered by her husband. It was pure tragedy.
During the investigation, they found loads of pornographic pictures on his computer. They recently sent me a documentary covering the murder case. In the film, I got the distinct feeling the producers were blaming pornography for the husband killing his wife.
But wait, I know a hundred plus other guys his age that all watch pornography. They haven’t killed anyone yet!
Troubled, I started observing the relationship between pornography and the people in my own life.
I grew-up next door to a very charming, intelligent, educated, and gorgeous man. He was always very patient, loving, and kind.
Years later, we dated, and he learned of my cultural ways. He learned that I didn’t indulge in activity that breeds impure thoughts. Ashamed, he shared with me that he watched pornography on a near daily basis.
Except for one incident, he never exhibited any anger or sexual power problems. In fact, quite the contrary. Most guys I’ve dated long-term lose patience with waiting until marriage. They are accustomed to having sex when and where they want it. I saw nothing but patience, love, kindness, and gentle behavior from him.
Last year, we got back together a long break. He told me he that following a conference at his church, he’d decided to change some things about himself.
Sure, it sounded all good. It helped him stop smoking and drinking excessively, and he curbed his daily pornography use. He told me he hadn’t so much as looked at any in nearly a year.
At first glance, I wasn’t so sure I liked the change. It wasn’t long before I concretely noticed a difference. He was less relaxed, more anxious, almost as if I could feel him screaming in the midst of our romantic silence.
He repeatedly complimented me, showing his admiration for my high standards and strict cultural values. They were the motivation behind him wanting to have a “pure” head. He even asked me for tips on how to maintain pure thoughts.
But it doesn’t quite work like that. Having a pure heart starts before sexual development. You learn to control the urge before you even feel it. My cultural teachings never said anything about a man having to have pure thoughts, or even if such control is possible. A man looks at an attractive person and sexual desire floods his mind.
Asking him to stop secretly lusting after women so that he could be “more like me,” isn’t fair.
In his pornography watching days, we’d have a romantic date, go walking on the beach, lie together on the sand beneath the moon cuddling for hours. I never feared his reaction to hearing the word “no” when he got ziggy. I always felt safe in his arms.
Well now that he is on this mission for pure thoughts, when things get heated, the word “no” freaks him out.
Each time, it becomes an argument followed by a breakup and a week of sending me roses. It’s a cycle. If his thoughts are so pure, why does it feel so unsafe to be alone with him?
Hanging out with him, I noticed he was not as gentle as before. I thought he had simply changed.
Upon further observation, I’ve come to the conclusion that he suffered from a lack of an outlet for his hostility and angst.
Guys and girls are different. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be a guy and have that constant, uncontrollable desire. It’s not the same for a girl, unless she is already sexually active. One can maintain control of their thoughts, thereby controlling their sexual destiny and keeping their heart pure.
You can’t suppress a desire that you’ve satisfied for years by taking away the vehicle of your satisfaction. In the end, the desire is still there. The more something is rendered a forbidden fruit, the more it is desired in a spiteful way.
It’s the perception, the judgement, the lack of acceptance from loved ones telling them their actions are naughty. If we react with love and understanding, the negative consequences of guilt and shame will evaporate.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter @hazel90210. I’d love to hear your position!