Pornography’s False Promise

Francesco_Hayez_1859_The Kiss

I was recently asked to sit before college undergraduates on a panel of philosophers, theologians and counselors tasked with discussing the impact of pornography on our culture. Specifically, I was asked to reflect on the widely confirmed fact that regular porn use deadens the male libido, that men who use pornography find themselves unable to be aroused by real women.

While I pity these men, I said, we should keep in mind that this situation is bad for women too. It is bad in two ways. On the one hand, it means that there’s less sex happening in a pornographic culture than otherwise. That not only makes people cranky, but it also entails that there are fewer families out there. Pornography is indirectly contraceptive in a purely mathematical sense, because less sex equals fewer babies.

The second reason the failed male libido is bad for women is because the kind of sexual activity that’s happening—and by sexual activity I include everything up to, including and after sex, even welcoming God’s sons and daughters into the world—the kind of sexual activity that is happening is less and less erotic.

Indeed, I think these two consequences of pornography are related: pornography leads to fewer babies and this makes sex less erotic and thus in turn we forget what really is erotic and what makes us want to have sex in the first place.

So that’s my thesis: that pornographic sex is fundamentally anti-erotic, and it makes us unerotic. Thus the anti-erotic nature of pornographic sex explains the failed male libido. Now if you’ll bear with me, I want to develop an analogy that will help explain why pornographic sex is unerotic. I want to compare sex with food, and the morality of sex with the morality of eating.

Thomistic philosophers like myself think there are two kinds of mistakes we human beings are prone to: sometimes we desire bad things, while sometimes we want good things in bad ways. We all agree, I hope, that dirt doused in paint thinner doesn’t make a good meal. It’s not very nourishing, it tastes funny, and it will kill you.

But I think we can also agree that there are bad ways to eat good food. In fact, the Catholic tradition identifies five forms of gluttony (bad eating). Think F.R.E.S.H.: fastidiously, ravenously, excessively, sumptuously, and hastily. (I borrowed this acronym from Rebecca DeYoung’s excellent book Glittering Vices.) Gluttony isn’t bad because it makes you fat. Indeed, you can be a skinny glutton, just as you can be a greedy rich man, like Ebeneezer Scrooge. No, gluttony is bad because it makes you less human. It makes you insensitive to or incapable of enjoying the real pleasures of table. The fastidious eater, for instance, is a picky eater, someone who insists that her meal be made just the way she likes it or else she sends it back. What happens when she refuses to eat even one slice of the birthday cake her grandmother spent all afternoon baking for her because she doesn’t like strawberry icing? She misses out on the meaning, the value or worth of the cake as a gift, as a sign of her grandmother’s love for her, and she wounds her grandmother by failing to be grateful. She deprives herself and her grandmother of the real pleasure of sharing love in the form of food.

Likewise, the ravenous eater is a greedy eater, the man who grabs a second piece of pie when the child next to him hasn’t had his first one yet. He misses out not only on justice, but on the unique pleasure of sharing, of giving some of what you have to another person because you know it will make them happy. The greedy eater cannot see Christ in the eyes of the poor (see Mt. 25), and thus deprives himself of the Eucharistic pleasure of offering God’s creation back to Him.

I could multiply examples like this, but we must return to principles. Gluttony is not primarily harmful by way of injury, that is, by damaging your health, but by depriving you of everything that makes human beings eating at table categorically different than pigs eating at trough, namely, the moral, aesthetic, interpersonal, and theological goods to be had in food, things like gratitude, justice, beauty, and leisurely conversation. It’s harmful by reduction, by treating you as something less than you are.

So imagine someone arguing that so long as no one is harmed by gluttony, that is, so long as some people choose to be gluttons and others choose to let them, there is no reason to oppose or condemn gluttony. Notice now why this is a bad argument: by assuming that all harm is injury, this argument treats you as less than fully human—not as a rational adult, but more like an animal—because human beings are ensouled bodies made for communion with each other and a triune God and even our eating reflects this. We are made to be what we are—all that we are, not less­—and to be that well, as St. Francis DeSales was so fond of saying.

What I want you to see is that the same is true of sex. The No Harm Defense of sexual deviance, that so long as no one is harmed by porn (or whatever), and so long as its production and consumption are consensual, there’s no reason to oppose it—that argument fails for sex for the same reason it failed for food. The reason it fails is because human beings are ensouled bodies made for communion with each other and a triune God and even our sexuality reflects this. The human sexual act is categorically different than animal rutting because of the moral, aesthetic, interpersonal, and theological goods to be had in sex.

Let me explain. First, we should note that sexual desire aims at fundamentally reproductive kinds of acts. If my friend Rodney and I are aliens and I give him a High-Five and he gets pregnant, you’d call that “sex,” because sex means a reproductive type of activity. That’s why there’s something deficient about sexual desire that doesn’t aim at a reproductive kind of act, say, the burning desire to make love to water coolers. You can’t reproduce with a water cooler. Second, we should note that human reproduction doesn’t just make more stuff, but co-creates new relationships: husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Sex makes families, and those relationships are the rock and foundation of a happy life (as the old know and the young soon discover).

Why is this important? Because it means that when men and women look at each other with a spark in their eye, if their vision is true, they should see what Blessed John Paul II called the genealogical person (Gratissimam Sane, 9). They should see each other as husbands and wives and mothers and fathers and their sons and daughters, and they should see that this spark in their eye is in fact the flame of eternity because every one of those relationships is real and forever and destined for blessedness therefore a moving image of the divine love of the Godhead who lights the world on fire. That’s what is really arousing about sex: that in this most physical and intimate act we receive more than we could possibly desire because the person we’re sharing ourselves with is more than we can possibly imagine.

What’s really and truly erotic isn’t a desire that’s never satisfied. It’s a love so overflowing in its abundance that it becomes creative. Just like God.

Viewing pornography, then, is like going to an art museum with a blindfold on. It’s like trying to listen to a symphony underwater, or dance with rocks in your shoes. Pornography extinguishes the erotic gaze by training your fiery eye on something other than persons. Do not be mistaken about this: the pornographic gaze desires the machine, not sex. It wants quick, convenient, and easy pleasure in the way the morphine addict wants a fix instead of friendship.

Of course porn deadens the male libido to real women. It trains us to prefer machines to people, because machines are easy. Mark my words: the second sexual revolution—the one coming right around the corner—will try to justify sex and love with machines, and people will want this because machines will never ask you to change, to sacrifice, or to be better than you are.

Porn deadens the male libido by destroying your sexual imagination because imagination is founded in what’s real. That’s why porn is ultimately unerotic. Porn use trains men to expect women to respond like euphoric machines to any sexual stimulation. This is not only false, as any married man can tell you, but there’s no challenge to porn, no demand of the other that you man up and learn how to turn on a real woman through humor, romance, courtship, marriage, and fatherhood. Real women (I’m told) are turned on by men who play with their kids; in other words, by gentlemen. Try learning that from porn.

Editor’s note: The image above titled “The Kiss” was painted by Francesco Hayez in 1859.

Joshua Schulz

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Joshua Schulz teaches moral philosophy in the Catholic intellectual tradition at DeSales University in Center Valley, PA. He earned his doctorate in philosophy from Marquette University in 2010.

  • boris

    The author doesn’t really adequately explain the meaning of ‘erotic’. He also fails to take note that in fallen man, what is ‘erotic’ is what is often forbidden, what ‘feels wrong’. This is the problem. It is very, very difficult for fallen man to engage in sexual activity without experiencing and arousing lust. Perhaps that is why Jesus said it is better to be single: a safer road to salvation.

    • Churchill4President

      It is not a sin to desire to have sexual intercourse with one’s spouse. Nor is it a sin to enjoy sex. God who created the human body, created sex to be enjoyable. After the sacrament of marriage both man and one become one body.

      Did Jesus say that a man should not “lust after his own wife”? No. Instead he said that man who lusts after another woman has committed adultery in his heart. Lust only exists when it involves fornication, masturbation or adultery.

      • Kevin McCormick

        It is certainly possible to lust after one’s own spouse. Interpersonally speaking, “to lust for” means to desire to use a person for one’s own sexual gratification. Real sexual love is meant to be a gift to the other, not a getting for the self. And most definitely this happens in many, many marriages and causes great destruction in marriages and families.

        • JediWonk

          Functional nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (fNMRI) studies of human females’ brains during arousal-to-orgasm *by a partner* show the arousal centers of the brain getting brighter and brighter (higher activity) while the “voluntary” centers get darker and darker. At orgasm the voluntary centers switch off completely.

          This comports with my experience of women having their ways with me over the decades. To fully sexually express, the lady has to “let go”. That is, let go of any “purposeful” effort to do anything, most especially to please her partner, or even be mindful of him.

          Specifically, sex *can’t* be a gift to me. Not while she is doing it. It really does have to be All About Her. I learned to coach women that in bed they have to be totally sexually selfish and have me do them exactly how they want to be done, for however long they want to be done.

          If you want to see something that is *really* destructive of marriage, check out what happens when a high-libido wife is trapped in a marriage with a husband who does not get it done for her!

          • Kevin McCormick

            Real sexual union is not what shows up on an MRI and it certainly can’t be reduced to involuntary muscle spasms. Real sexual union is a union of body and soul. It requires the desire to give oneself completely to the other. Sadly much of our culture, as obsessed as it is with sex, misses the deep and real for the surface and shallow.

          • Objectivetruth

            Obsess about sex much?

            Actually, to be more precise:

            Obsess about perverted sex much?

            • JediWonk

              Actually, unless I force it to, what my mind obsesses about is cybersecurity, health care reform, and wrapping a real company around a certain west-coast startup with a breakthrough approach to addressing diabetic foot wounds.

              HOWEVER, I have a 15-year-old son who is so big and beautiful that ladies 30 years his senior are coming sniffing around and a 10-year-old daughter who, while she has absolutely no interest in boys yet, is on rails to be so attractive that the boys will certainly have interest in *her*!

              The way I learn what *I* think about a matter is to write about it, and this thread is just the prompt I have been leveraging to get myself to do that.

              One of the things I need to sort out is what *words* to use for various phenomena within the realm of human sexuality. You use the word “perverted” in your post. That is an adjective that, along with its associated noun (“pervert”), I realize I have not much encountered since the 1960s. Does it still convey any useful concept in a world where the FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY trilogy has sold 100+ million copies?

              I think it does. I would use it to refer to sexual desires that do not guide the person experiencing them towards actions that even *might* cause a baby to be born. So male homosexual sex, anal sex, and, most especially sexual interest in true children (pre-puberty–legally, my 6′-1″, model-beautiful son is a “child”!) are “perverse”.

              The first and last of these are so reproductive-fitness-impairing that I would look to the Cochran-Ewald Hypothesis to explain them. The second is just something a lot of women insist on, and ordinary good sexual manners demands that as a male one accommodate their curiosity.

              Culture makes a big difference in sexual behavior not subject to the infectious disease hypothesis. “Sex in the City” drove a huge increase in the number of women trying anal sex and theeesomes. (Or at least media attention on women trying these things.) Now FIFTY SHADES has tripled the sales of rope in American hardware stores according to BUSINESS WEEK.

              What I want my children to know about sex is that its underlying neurophysiology demands that it be organized around whatever delights the female. I advise my 15-year-old son to be socially forward and sexually reticent, but to not be surprised when things like a lovely 22-year-old videographer singling him out in a crowd for her attentions happens. My daughter has expressed no curiosity about sex other than her realizing that her parents *don’t* engage in it (which causes more “relief” than “alarm”), but when she does I will (indirectly, through the women in her life) attempt to communicate my sexual values:

              - Sex is Just About Her

              - Don’t even give the time of day to a male who is not as excellent an example of “male” as you are of “female” (1 in 1000?) That is, a male such that if you had a son with him, and the son turned out to be just like Dad, that kid just could not lose in American society. (My son is such a male, so she has an example to observe.)

              - Don’t do *anything* “sexual” unless you have noticed that you have already soaked through your panties in anticipation of doing it. (If you do, you are just following some male’s agenda.)

              - No more rules are useful, because if a guy turns Princess on *that* much, nothing any authority figure says is going to get in the way. I just hope she will be conscious of when she is considering being sexual for a wrong reason, and, outside of marriage the only right reason is “blind lust”.

              “Blind lust” is very rare in teenage girls. Loneliness, a desire for attention, approval-seeking, and status competition (e.g., the lady who is my son’s girlfriend will be the teenage girl who has the hottest guy in the school) are far more common.

              If Princess turns out to be 2 or more standard deviations north of the female mean in libido, though, she will have to “manage” the Life Force, because it cannot be “mastered”. “Back in the day” I was a magnet for the magical avalanches of female lust that all these girls are. But I was an adult by the time such women got their hands on me, and so were they. However, all reported being “on fire” by the time they were fourteen. How to deal with Princess if she is one of those sexually gifted girls? My current plan is to die before her 16th birthday!

              Thanks for reading. According to

              http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1823

              all “fundamentalist” conservative religions are driven by the fears of males like you and others on this thread of female sexuality if it is not firmly repressed. All I can say is that you have a lot to be afraid of!

              And so do I. Not that one might not like me as a lover, but such women disproportionately set the “tone” of American culture for “normal” women. (Think of Mlley Cyrus on her wrecking ball.)

        • JediWonk

          By the way, female brains act very differently during masturbation-to-orgasm. They are more like male brains in which nothing much changes during arousal (other than the arousal centers getting brighter), and the female climaxes are almost as trivial as male ones (which are so short they are difficult to even capture on fNMRI).

          Anyway, during actual sex, all I can be is a “thing” to gratify my partner’s lust. But remind me: why would a male *want* to be anything else in bed for a woman?

          • John Hand

            Oh boy would I like to sit down and write a book on the comments you just entered (two hours ago). So off base that it literally cries out for answer and rebuttal. I think most women reading what you put in up there are saying…”What? It is getting quite late now, so no time for my History of the Sex World, Part one. . (I can see the comments on that now….)

            • JediWonk

              Please do ask your female friends if they would enjoy effortless, multi-orgasmic sex. A woman who would say “no” would lie about other things too!

              That said, sex is a “hygiene” need. Males are famously more “urgent” about sex than females, but their is a tiny percentage of women that enjoy sex in a way that is incomprehensible to a mere male.

              Interestingly, the men who understand this best are gay ones whom a woman has gotten hold of one or two times in their lives. The gays I have spoken to we utterly shocked by the amplitude of those women’s sexual passion. It was like nothing they had experienced from at least “hundreds” of their fellow males or could imagine feeling themselves.

              I have always been as sexually passive as your typical gay male. Indeed, I lived in Los Angeles for four years and, while I did not know it at the time, all my friends and colleagues simply *assumed* I was gay. When I married five years later, everyone who knew me back then was shocked.

              Anyway, the fNMRI and P.E.T. studies of the female brain under arousal to orgasm are really quite definitive. All that there is to be debated is what kind of woman would be willing to lay in a lab with her head in a scanner while her partner made her orgasm? It’s probably not a random sample. The women sexually aggressive enough to get me in bed sure were not.

              • Objectivetruth

                “Please do ask your female friends if they would enjoy effortless, multi-orgasmic sex. ”

                It’s funny you mention that, I asked my friends wife that very same question the other day at my neighbor’s daughter’s six year old birthday party. We were chit-chatting about the latest Viking range models and I thought I’d toss that question in there.

    • droolbritannia

      Jesus didn’t say it was safer to be single. Saint Paul said he wished people would be like him – presumably, single – but he didn’t say it was ‘safer’ than something else. He said it was better to marry than to burn – presumably safer to marry.

      Jesus’s first miracle was at a wedding feast, and we know that heaven is depicted as a marriage feast. Furthermore, God is a Trinity of Persons in relationship. So being in intimate and fruitful relationship with others has long been seen as the image of God in man.

    • JediWonk

      I don’t know about you, but “arousing lust” is not something women ever needed from me. They had plenty of it when they walked in the door. They just needed me to “satisfy” it.

      Good sex makes women profoundly happy. Bad sex makes them profoundly unhappy.

      As for “the forbidden”, you would be scared to death by what the women that you are with are thinking/wanting that they don’t talk to you about. The muslims put in writing that their need to control women is driven by their fear of being overmatched, overpowered, and overwhelmed by female lust:

      http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1823

      A lifetime of experience causes me to counsel all my fellow men: “Be Very, Very, Afraid!” The only difference between me and them is that I always *liked* to be overmatched, overpowered, and overwhelmed by female lust.

      Check out FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. Now, FIFTY is a sweet, almost *chaste* romantic fairy tale, but to the extent that it has any action at all, it’s poor Christian Grey getting caught in the avalanche of female lust that is Anastasia Steele once she gets going.

      By the way, FIFTY is *not* a retelling of “Cinderella”. It’s a recounting of the same Disney fairy tale recounted by the highest-grossing romantic comedy in the history of film: “Pretty Woman”. “Pornograhpy” does not sell 100 million books to women. Only “romance” does.

      And no, “Pretty Woman” did not have much to do about sex either. If it had been pornography, it would not have had such a boffo box office.

      • FernieV

        This forum, I believe, is meant for people who believe in Christ’s teachings, and who see man (and woman) as composites of body, which is perishable, and soul (which is eternal). We have been created for an eternal and happy union with God in Heaven. But He also wants us happy on earth. And happiness requires our fulfilling God’s will. It is my strong conviction that women’s (or men’s) happiness is not the result of satisfied sex, as your practice seems to offer, but of satisfied love (and sex is generally part of the equation for a married couple). In sex, with one’s spouse, happiness comes from self-giving (and naturally making an effort to satisfy the natural need of the spouse in matters sexual). I do not believe in a happiness that requires the satisfaction of a passing instinct (the sexual one) but on the lasting experience of mutual love with our neighbor (the spouse being the first neighbor for a married person).

        • JediWonk

          FernieV,

          I trust you quickly got into a stable and long-lasting marriage with a woman who was “normal” in terms of libido and so who did not need much in the way of a sex life to be happy. (Or, rather, not be *unhappy*–sex is more of a “hygiene” need for such ladies.) Because you are writing from the male point of view–our sexualities are pretty trivial and are controllable. We also peak in libido by 18 and decline rapidly thereafter.

          Women may start out on average behind, but by age 40 they can get awfully intense. At least they can if they are not subject to the de-sexualizing effects of a long-term marriage. Ours is the first society in human history where not even half of adult females are married and our population is aging so there are more and more women who can be awfully intense.

          My message is that the distribution of female libido has a lower mean but a much higher standard deviation than the male distribution. This implies that males should not be sexually “forward”–you will almost always be pushing your attentions on a poor girl who is just not into it.

          On the other hand, about 1% of women will be so sexually driven that they will come on to you, and one must be prepared to deal with them. There are health risks to them from having their sexualities indulged. “Honeymoon cystitis” comes to mind. I always have an Rx for ciprofloxin with me because if a woman gets her hands on me at all, she is likely to so overdo the act that she will give herself a UTI. UTIs require *immediate* medical attention on first onset of symptoms.

          Again, if a long-term marriage shelters you from having to deal with such creatures, count your blessings. But I have no reason to believe that believing in Christ’s teachings affects biology, whether it’s height or libido, so FYI.

      • Objectivetruth

        You really use the words “me” and “my” a lot. Is narcissism something you practice, or does it come naturally to you?

        • JediWonk

          I speak of my own personal experience because I am the only person *I* can speak about from direct knowledge. Unlike other members of this thread, I cannot speak for God and His will.

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  • John Hand

    Absolute B.S. At one time I used to be a photographer for nudist magazines, the real kind that showed families with kids and even grannies, totally undressed. At the time, the 60s, the police used to call that pornography. Now those kinds of pictures are considered so TAME that they aren’t even published anymore. I don’t think you could find a ‘legitimate’ nudist magazine on a stand today. So, real men were in nudist resorts and viewing real nude people (women) and I know that no one lost any desire to make love to his wife when darkness fell or the mood struck (in private of course). So all day real ‘porn’ was having no negative effects on men. When the more revealing photos/magazines began to be imported from overseas, the American publishers had to compete, and I saw it was time to get out, so I switched to car and motorcycle magazines. But I feel that I have had enough experience in the so-called ‘porno’ field to know how it affects men, and I say that first paragraph saying that men can’t ‘perform’ with real women after viewing porn is a bunch of bull. Throughout the years since the 60s I have known many men who either viewed porn movies or purchased the material, and now of course it is available at the click of a finger from home. The author can speak for himself, but most men out here would agree with me, it does NOT affect or desire with the women we love. .

    • John Hand

      Oh, and let me add something that almost the entire population of the USA today does not know. When Richard Nixon was president, there was appointed a presidential commission to investigate the negative effects of pornography on the public. The commission was well-funded, and staffed by many respected members of the medical and legal community. So what happened after more than a year of doing their investigation? The commission found that pornography had NO NEGATIVE EFFECTS on the viewing public. President Nixon was so upset that he refused to release it to the press and the public.

      • fredx2

        No, you have it wrong. Democratic President Johnson appointed the commission, with the exception of one member. However, it delivered its report after Nixon became President. Nixon denounced the findings in the report, as did congressional leaders of both parties.

        From the wikipedia entry

        “The report was widely criticized and rejected by Congress.[1] The Senate rejected the Commission’s findings and recommendations by a 60–5 vote, with 34 abstentions.[5]
        The Senate rejected the following findings and recommendations in particular:

        - That there was “no evidence to date that exposure to explicit sexual materials plays a significant role in the causation of delinquent or criminal behavior among youths or adults.”

        - That “a majority of American adults believe that adults should be allowed to read or see any sexual materials they wish.”

        - That “there is no reason to suppose that elimination of governmental prohibitions upon the sexual materials which may be made available to adults would adversely affect the availability to the public of other books, magazines, or films.”

        - That there was no “evidence that exposure to explicit sexual materials adversely affects character or moral attitudes regarding sex and sexual conduct.”

        - That “Federal, State, and Local legislation prohibiting the sale, exhibition, or distribution of sexual materials to consenting adults should be repealed.”

        President Nixon, who had succeeded Johnson in 1969, also emphatically rejected the report.

        • John Hand

          Verifies what I said. I was going from personal experience memory about that report and not ‘looking it up on Wikipedia.’ The face is, the commission of highly qualified members of their various fields found that pornography had no real harmful effects. The fact that Nixon and congress rejected the findings does not alter what they reported.

          • John Hand

            Oh, and did you take not that there were ’34 abstentions’ in Congress when it rejected the report? That is an unusually high number of abstentions. You know why so many, don’t you? They wanted to go along with the findings of the commission, but they also did not want to go on record as in favor of the report. You know…votes. And guys, when I write about the good or negative effects of porn, remember, I have been there. Most of you have only read about it, ,,, on the net.

          • MarkRutledge

            John, obviously the report came to many conclusions that the historical record of the past half century has proven incorrect.

            • John Hand

              And what ‘evidence’ can you cite to ‘prove’ that the report as written at that time was wrong? Has another well-funded and researched report been done? No, I do not mean some idle thing dreamed up in one writer’s head, I mean a real report, using surveys, studies, interviews, etc.

        • John Hand

          I didn’t say Nixon made the appointment. I just said there was a commission appointed. I should have said before he became prez.

      • cestusdei

        Addiction to pornography is a epidemic. There is plenty of research to show the harm done. It sounds like you are justifying your sin.

        • John Hand

          You say there is ‘plenty of research to show the harm done.’ That is just like there is so much research to show that we have ‘global warming’ and there is even more evidence to show that we don’t. You can find all the ‘evidence’ you want to either prove or dis-prove anything It’s all right here on the net. Did you know that GW Bush and Dick Chaney not only plotted the bombing of the World Trade Center, they also went in and personally planted the bombs? It must be true, because I saw it on the net.

          • richado

            Your so-called points in your argument are not logically coherent and are simply there to deflect.You don’t deal directly with the evidence. You simply dismiss it out of hand. Fallacious. False equivocation.You make an absolute assertion -”You can find all the evidence…” and yet your thinking reveals your relativism.Your evidence that your absolute assertion is true? Can then apples be proven to oranges and vice versa? So in your mind, there is no logic, no evidence, no facts to derive reasoned conclusions? All is relative?No truth? One fact is as good as another? Evidence is all equally valid? Rationalization is all I get from your post. Not evidence.

            • John Hand

              You ramble so, I mean you really ramble trying so hard to sound intelligent, but instead you just speak in platitudes. I now, speak from experience. And what experience can you claim that would make you such an expert? Well?

              • think

                Mr. John “Hand”, so now you’re an “expert” at what, again? “Nudist” studies? And now you only want experts to participate in this online forum? Sound a little elitist, no? I shall pray for you.

              • richado

                Strikes me that you are not interesting in a discussion or seeking the
                truth of the matter, but rather playing a game of one up-man-ship.
                Rather shows your intellectual impotency,perhaps.
                Rambling? You were off on tangent talking about global warming and so on. Stop projecting.
                Platitudes?
                Do you actually know what the word means? Again no evidence. Check
                Wikipedia at least.I made no trite or meaningless statements as you
                accuse me of. Rather it was you that did.
                Sound intelligent? Again comment on the points I made- stop projecting your anti-intellectual bias.

                And
                now we come to point of your almighty experience This is another
                fallacy of yours- an argument from authority-with a touch of ad hominem.
                Your experience counts for all- or else. No one else’s experience does?
                Porn addict who commented below? One may have experience but what
                meaning does one attach to it from reflecting on it? Yours was that of a
                nudie photographer and then you saw the light – well, sort of.
                Which brings to your challenge of ‘Well’?
                I
                spent twenty five years working with female victims of
                rape/incest/sexual abuse as well as of pornography/prostitution- they
                are often connected along with drug abuse. In many cases porn fueled the
                abuse, prostitution. Some of my so-called clients (I hated that term)
                have died from STDs or have committed suicide.I know them by name.So
                your experience is zip to me.
                Along with that ‘experience’ here in
                the West I lived and worked in an Asian culture- no Christian basis-
                where pornography was celebrated and was out in the open. The pernicious
                and openly deleterious effects on human beings and the culture were
                obvious. I took note.
                Pornography and prostitution. Human degradation and objectification.
                Your experience? Nudie picture titillation.
                Finally,
                while in second year of high school many years ago in a so-called
                health class, the health studies teacher brought in Playboy magazines
                and preached to the boys that it was no big deal:desensitization and the
                promotion of promiscuity – the message of the Hollywood degenerates and
                liberals. And all brought to you by so-called educated and well-meaning
                adults in our day!
                Pornography is pernicious, evil, and life
                destroying. It re-wires the brain- so we have physical evidence from
                brain scans during the viewing of pornography.
                Also let us not fooled
                by the homosexuals and lesbians- they promote their pornography as art
                and consider it beyond reproach. It is an essential part of their
                so-called lifestyle- part and parcel.
                Finally, in Toronto, Canada
                just recently there was the infamous web-cam murder trial. A young man
                murdered a young Chinese university student while she was on the webcam
                talking to her ex-boyfriend in China who witness part of the attack.
                Long story short- he was convicted. But what the jury was not told
                during the trial was this guy’s huge stash of Asian pornography. This
                evidence, Mr. Hand. Proof. How many instances of sexual violence and
                murder is this the case?
                How many times does the main stream media
                fail to inform us about this connection? Porn and sexual violence-
                heterosexual and homosexual.
                Well?

                • John Hand

                  Crap man. I started to read your drivel and when I hit the button and saw how much more, I just rolled my eyes and did not bother. Want to know something? I would bet that 90% of the rest of the viewers did the same thing. Oh, I just glanced up above at the bottom of your ramble and saw that you said something about a young man killing a young woman while she was on the webcam. And then you say ‘what the jury WAS NOT TOLD during the trial was this guy’s huge stash of Asian pornography. Want to know why the jury was not told? Because that judge, like me, knew that the ‘stash’ had nothing to do with the student killing the other student. You say ‘that was evidence, Mr Hand. Proof’. Proof of what? I am retired military. Do you know that every time a former veteran is involved in some kind of violence, even if he was in the military 40 years ago and only served for a day, that fact, that he was in the military always comes out in the news because for some reason, if you were in the military, 50 years ago, then it must have had some affect on your thinking because you did something. Is that proof Richado? Meaningless.

                  • richado

                    Clearly you have a short attention span. Don’t you remember your challenge to me? Remember that ,”Well?”
                    So I gave you the whole shooting match. I wanted to be as comprehensive as possible. Obviously you don’t like to read. And you don’t address ANY of the points I made except about the trial. And you are wrong about that- the porn played a prominent role in this murder. The jury took only four hours to convict. No doubt the judge and prosecution decided that introducing this evidence about the defendant’s heavy porn use would have dragged the trial out.Experts would have to have been called and so on. In short, in order to get a conviction this evidence wasn’t necessary as the justice system had enough on him. My point, which you missed, is about the real world of porn and sexual violence committed against women and men. The connection exists.Remember Ted Bundy? Heavy porn user. Period. Just because it wasn’t in the trial doesn’t mean a causal connection doesn’t exist. Porn use may not be introduced in court because of many reasons-sadly often for ideological and subjective reasons. So your comment is meaningless. You make assertions and can’t back them up with any evidence.
                    Clearly, your hissy fit really shows that it has to be all about you; you make spurious allegations and baseless accusations =like I did something and it affected my thinking? Q: What are you smoking? Again, why don’t you address my experience in the field. You are really on fishing expedition with your emotional outburst. And you were in the military – big deal.

                    Check out this site and you might learn something:
                    http://www.drjudithreisman.com/

                • JediWonk

                  The rate of violent crime has fallen as the availability of Internet pornography has risen. Ditto for “splatter” computer games.

          • cestusdei

            In your case I don’t think you really care about the research. You just want the porn. At least be honest about it.

            • John Hand

              I never said I wanted porn. I never said I enjoyed or viewed porn. Go back and get your facts straight.

              • cestusdei

                Yet you are defending it as if your life depended on it.

    • fredx2

      Umm – I think you are confusing nudity with pornography. Not the same thing.

      • John Hand

        Good for you. You, one of the few, know that nudity is not pornographic. When Paul Newman starred in that movie called, THE PRIZE, which was about winning the Nobel Peace Prize if I remember correctly, they filmed a scene supposedly in a nudist resort. When they were about to release the movie, Paul Newman and Elke Sommer came out to a nudist resort near Escondido, CA to be filmed (wearing clothes) with real nudists who were watching the ‘premiere’ of the movie. I was there. We saw the movie, and then the producers used a ‘loop’ to show the scene where Paul Newman was jumping up and down over and over again while nude (did not show his parts) and while we all sat there and watched the ‘movie,’ they filmed our naked backs watching the movie. There was nudity, but it was not porn.

        • Guest

          It does not need to be pornographic to be a grave sin.

          • John Hand

            Aaah ‘guest,’ what are we talking about here? “It does not need to be pornographic to be a grave sin.’
            I thought the subject of this site was porn, nudity, and sin. And oh boy it is so tiring to type in my name and address every time I want to reply to someone. There must be a better way…..

            • Guest

              Nudity is a general term. It must be defined in context to draw the proper moral conclusion. Nudist “resorts” are not consistent with the moral norm. Yes participation with them is objectively wrong.

      • TheAbaum

        Pornography usually, but doesn’t always entail (complete) nudity. Exhibit A: The Sports Illustrated “Swimsuit Issue”.

        That having been said, nudity is almost always pornographic to the average teenage boy.

    • Kevin McCormick

      You are really confusing the issue here. If you were a documentary photographer at a nudist colony then you were not necessarily producing pornography any more than a crew from National Geographic.

      • John Hand

        Nudists never liked having their places to gather being referred to as a ‘nudist colony.’ That sounds too much like a cult or something. They prefer terms such as nudist park, resort, etc. And though I have not been to one for years, I will say that some of them were quite nice, pool, restaurant, etc.

        • Art Deco

          Nudists never liked

          Tough.

    • boris

      You seem a bit confused. Why would a self-professed nudist, all the while claiming his behaviour is not sexual, want to look at a magazine of other nudists? You betray your own claims. You also confuse what porn is; porn is not simply images of naked people, rather it is depictions of real or simulated sex acts. As a man, my opinion is of unique value here. Porn raises men’s expectations to unrealistically high levels. Many women cannot compete with the airbrushed perfection of porn. It also causes men to objectify women, to see them as merely sex objects, to tick boxes on a fantasy list. I don’t believe any Christian seriously thinks nudism is a legitimate way of life – the lust that would be inflamed in any normal man (and indeed woman) would be ever present. That’s why, post-fall, we wear clothes. It is also true that repeated porn use changes the brain. Men become less responsive to stimulation and it takes more hard-hitting material to cause the same effect. Even non-Christians are recognising this and turning against porn and seeking to rid their lives of it.

      • John Hand

        I ignored this one yesterday to reply to some others, but now I will address your confusion. First of all, I never said that “I looked at magazines of other nudists.” Read my first letter again. I said that I PHOTOGRAPHED for nudist magazines, so I did a lot more than look, I created. That was back in the 60s. Then I said that when hard core stuff started coming in from Europe and the ‘innocent and real’ nudist magazines were now considered TAME, I saw the handwriting on the wall and switched my profession to car and motorcycle magazines. You people reading my comments here seem to think I am defending pornography and I never said that. All I said originally is that a well-funded large group of doctors, professors, legal minds, etc were given the assignment by President Johnson to do a study on the harmful effects of pornography. Many of those scholars went into the study expecting to find a lot of bad stuff, but when the report came out, they said pornography in itself (viewing) was not of itself harmful. The new President Nixon saw the report and immediately refused to release it. If the same committed was formed today and funded enough to do a comprehensive study, I wonder if the results would be the same because the lines have been drawn way further out.

        • John Hand

          Oh by the way, Boris, there really is no longer any such thing as ‘air brushed’ photos or models. I suppose they might do some, but now it is either show it all or not. And you said that I was saying that porn is images of naked people NO I DID NOT. I never said that. What I said was that back in the 60s when I was photographing legitimate real nudists, the police/authorities some religious fanatics called that porn, but it was not to me, and now those photos are considered to be so tame that people no longer will buy them.

      • redfish

        “Many women cannot compete with the airbrushed perfection of porn.”

        The problem with porn isn’t that the women in it are so beautiful. Often they’re not; they just fit a certain profile: they’re skinny, have certain proportions, and wear a lot of makeup. I’ve seen a lot of people who get into porn lose any standards of beauty, as long as a girl fits that profile. A girl wears enough makeup, is skinny enough, and has good enough proportions, she’s beautiful. Women who don’t wear makeup, or aren’t super skinny, are normal proportions, or don’t wear skimpy clothes become “ugly” to them.

    • Guest

      Nudist resorts are immoral. The desensitization to virtue and false moral reasoning used to justify such things are contrary to the Gospel.

      Unveiling what ought not be unveiled is a grave sin.

      • think

        That’s right. In the Eastern tradition of our Catholic Church, in Holy Matrimony, the wife’s Body is symbolically viewed as the Temple and the husband is viewed as the Priest. NO one enters the Temple (wife’s body, specifically her private parts) except the Priest (her husband). As for the Priest (husband), it’s his duty to protect the Temple (wife’s body) from any desecration. Only the Priest may view the Veiled parts of the Temple (aka wife’s private parts), except in cases of emergencies- doctors & family would be allowed. This is also why “nudist” & porns are wrong.

        • think

          The private areas of the Temple (wife’s body) are the Holy of Holies. Only her Priest (husband) may enter. In holy Matrimony.

      • John Hand

        Guest. If you have never been to a nudist resort where there are families with kids and all they do is swim, sunbathe, play volleyball and shuffleboard and usually eat good food at a (I knew some) restaurants that were rated class A, then you really have no idea how nice and relaxing a nudist resort can be. Don’t be spouting off making insinuations and accusations about something of which you have never personally experienced.

        • Guest

          Being desensitized to the truth does not change reality. Nudism is not consistent with the moral law. Your experience is not proof of anything other than your experience.

          It is immoral.

    • Objectivetruth

      My question is how does Mrs. John Hand feel as you sit around surfing porn sites in front of her.

      • Antonja Cermak

        Why should she care? I don’t understand the jealousy that some spouses feel when their partner views porn. Quite honestly, I don’t care if my partner does view it. As long as it is not unduly keeping us from the marital embrace, I don’t care. It it’s bad for his soul, that his concern, not mine, just as my soul is my concern, not his.

        • Steve

          How can you not care about your partners soul? Such is the attitude of a godless marriage, that his soul is his concern, not yours. Do you not remember in marriage that “the two become one flesh”? And how can you lie in a marital embrace with a partner who is using your genitals to satisfy his pornagraghic fantacy?

          • think

            Steve, not only that (“two become one flesh”) but it would also imply that the “one flesh” would also now have one soul (by extension). Antonja, his soul, just like that of your children (maybe you don’t even have children), should be of primary concern. We humans don’t have souls, we ARE souls & have bodies, like CS Lewis.

            • Antonja Cermak

              I don’t own anyone’s soul. The best I can do is live a cheerful, strong life and let others see the joy of the Divine in me. Quite honestly, I’d be a lot more upset if he were cheating his workers or stealing from his business than whether or not he views porn. Viewing porn is a private act that doesn’t seem to hurt anyone else in most cases (here I would put the true addict in a different category as well as the sociopaths)

          • Antonja Cermak

            One can have fantasies without pornography. It isn’t hard, just takes some imagination. And also, I don’t own his mind. To me marriage is a partnership, not an ownership. I don’t own his genitals, nor he mine. We have each promised to keep them only for each other, and I trust him to do that.

          • John Hand

            Steve, now read what you said up there. A man (or woman) is lying in marital embrace with a partner who is using his or her genitals to satisfy his or her pornographic fantasy. Now what exactly, is wrong with that if he or she confines it to that one person? Sometimes a partner needs a little something to keep things going. Why do you suppose the makers of the little blue pill are cleaning up today?

        • Jay B.

          Actually you are called to get your spouse (and kids) to heaven! It’s your job – now do you care?

          • Antonja Cermak

            That is, fortunately, not my job. My partner is an Atheist and I am part of a non-proselytizing religion, though we are both former Catholics. So by your lights, we’re neither getting there anyway. By his lights, an afterlife doesn’t exist; and my lights says there’s no evidence either way for such a thing.

            • anon

              I am also married to an atheist, but as a Catholic woman the trouble with even “dabbling” in porn is that it is supporting the sellers of that crap, even if it is “free” online, you know they are benefiting from it somehow. Intimacy is a private affair, and I won’t tolerate my husband spending his time as a peeping Tom, watching what he has no business watching, and then having his expectations for our own intimacy changed.

              • TheAbaum

                Note the word partner..

            • Objectivetruth

              Sounds like you and your partner are gay (or lesbian.)

              • Antonja Cermak

                Actually we’ve been married for 17 years which long predates IL gay marriage (which has only partially taken effect as yet.). My partner, is, however my partner. It’s a perfectly good word for all sexualities to indicate the one I have chosen and committed to spending the rest of my life with.

            • TheAbaum

              ….

            • TheAbaum

              Oh goody a new …..

              • Objectivetruth

                ……..troll!!!

            • John Hand

              Antonia, believe me, there IS a God, the Got of Jesus Christ. I am highly educated, have lived and worked in many places, and had multiple careers. I have heard all the liberals, watched all the so-called scientific shows on cable that try to disprove God created the world by saying this bone is 60 million years old and all that stuff. Still, I know there is a God. It could not happen until then, but since 1948 and the re-creation of Israel, everything foretold in the Bible, Revelation, the End TImes, etc. is all coming true. And now that the evil one is in the White House, it is happening very quickly. You and your mate need to get straight with the Lord because time is rapidly running out. If not, get some guns, store some gold and silver, stuck up on a lot of food and get a hiding place because soon you will be seeing your entire world coming down around you.

        • Objectivetruth

          “Even if a man looks lustfully at another in his heart, he has committed adultery.”
          Jesus Christ

          • Antonja Cermak

            An impossible standard to which to aspire.

            • Objectivetruth

              Nope. Incorrect. Your statement tells me you ain’t even trying. A pure heart, leads to pure thoughts, leads to pure actions. An impure heart leads to impure thoughts that leads to impure actions.

              Like participating in pornography.

      • John Hand

        Who said that I surf porn sites?

    • TheAbaum

      “Throughout the years since the 60s I have known many men who either viewed porn movies or purchased the material, and now of course it is available at the click of a finger from home. ”

      How many other people are thinking this poster’s pseudonymous? surname is a Freudian slip?

    • Paul

      John, please be honest. Why are you in this website? Why need to explain yourself unless you want to be swayed otherwise. Unless you work for ‘that’ industry then stop defending it.

      • John Hand

        I came on this website at first because of what I read in the first paragraph of the article in discussion. The author stated that a (man) can not perform with his mate if he has been viewing pornography and I totally disagree with that statement in itself. I admit that there might be and are some addicts out there that have trouble relating, but to say flat out that a man can not perform with his mate is, I said it before…B. S.

  • Joshua Schulz

    Dear Mr. Hand: Anecdote does not refute research. You might consult the many studies cited by Mary Eberstadt in chapter 3 of “Adam and Eve After the Pill,” an early version of which is available over at First Things under the title, “The Weight of Smut.”

    • John Hand

      Dear Mr. Schulz, thank you for taking the time to respond personally. Anytime you go online to state something, anything, there will be people who will take the opposite stance. I speak/write from personal experience, and I, unlike so many, use my REAL NAME when I write online. Most hide behind some moniker. But do not take my saying the first paragraph was B.S. personally. I was citing my experience and personal beliefs. Believe it or not, I am a Christian, but that does not mean that I have a closed mind. No, I do not advocate so-called real porn. But what is it? I feel that movies showing violence, especially against women and children is offensive, while a couple depicted as making love and with a little nudity on scene (if it is needed to establish the fact that it happened) is not. There was one instance where a US Supreme Court Judge said, “I can not define pornography, but I know it when I see it.” That is a famous often quoted statement, and porn either exists or does not exist in the eyes of most anyone.

      • Jim

        The problem with pornography is that over time the viewer needs newer/ more erotic porn to satisfy him or herself. Pornography becomes addictive over time at the expense of relationships, marriages and children. As a member of an international 12 step group I can tell you there are millions of persons all over the world that are feeling the negative effects of pornography and lust. If you were honest you would have to admit that it is darn near impossible to view porn and not have it in your head when you are having sexual relations with your wife or girlfriend. Porn because of it’s addictive qualities and false promises makes it interfere with being totally in the moment with a real live person. Persons struggling with lust carry around a library of porn in their head that affects all aspects of their lives that leaves them empty. Porn is a prostitute that leaves you unloved and your wallet empty. Only in admitting being helpless and by establishing a growing relationship with God the Divine Healer is there any help for the addict.

        • Antonja Cermak

          Aren’t you universalizing your own experience though? Not everyone who views porn becomes an addict, only a very small portion. True, worldwide,that would still be a lot of people, but booze doesn’t become bad just because some people have a tendency to become addicts.

          • Jim

            You should read again what I wrote. “Porn becomes addictive over time” I have never heard anyone share that they only viewed porn once. Since you equate the use of porn as to the use of alcohol please tell me what is good about viewing porn. What do you get out of it? Porn objectifies the actors and feeds selfishness.

          • John Hand

            Right on antonja!

      • Objectivetruth

        Thank you for being so brave and codescending in posting your real name, Mr. Hand.

        Can we see how brave you are by posting your real address and social security number also? Thank you!

        • John Hand

          Absolutely stupid comment coming from a guy who hides behind the name Objectivetruth. And by the way, my post up there was intended for Joshua Schutz and not you, so shove it. I expect criticism from some, and that is what makes these blogs interesting to read, but comments like yours are irritating.

          • Objectivetruth

            Oops. Look…your pacifier fell off your high chair…..

      • Perry Turchi

        Trying real hard to justify the unjustifiable by way of endless questioning.

    • CadaveraVeroInnumero

      Why is Mr Hand taking over this conversation? Come on guys, jump in. The squeamish need to get bold. Show me the woman whose life is flourishing because her man, at 3am, is on his favorite video site going through its 30 odd categories of sexual athleticism?

      Diverging the discussion into the merits of nudity in the arts sidelines the topic. I’m an artist. On my easel is a major (for me) an oil titled “The Purpose of Sex”: exhibiting the full frontal nudity is mom, dad, and their infant boy. Porn doesn’t enter in, but that’s not the point. One could make the case that porn is destroying the rightful place of nudity in the arts. True artists should be in the forefront of this battle. Mr Hand would demure, but he has run for the high grass – hiding in the weeds of pornography.

      The author is correct in tossing a harsh light on how porn cripples honest-to-goodness eroticism. Tolstoy would find our age an horror. But . . .

      As men renounce, through the gluttony of pornography, real sex with women, they are giving themselves over to “real” orgasmic experience, if only in their imagination. They are submitting their sex to orgasmic “relationships” which they have no business entering. Relationships defined by S&M fetishes. Relationships denominated by power, violence. The popular culture, especially film, is reflecting this: have you seen the German film “Cannibal” or the American, “The Woman”?

      And, don’t forget the growing popularity of jihadist beheading videos. Islam’s Jihad is nothing but de-eroticized sexuality – sex serving other means, with a bit of cannibalism thrown in to consume – that is to redeem – the enemy. A different issue, but it pertains.

      Men never cease being sexually fantasized. The deadening of the Woman as the sexual (receiving) subject does not indicate that male sexuality is deflating its potency, but that its “fitness” is in captivity by a very potent evil.

      • John Hand

        So..since you seem to attack me in your first paragraph, I have to ask you, why are you doing a painting depicting FULL FRONTAL NUDITY? To depict the purpose of sex because a baby was created? You do not need to depict nudity to portray that, so are you catering to the prurient interests of others? You are creating such an item and yet you find fault with the fact that at one time I photographed not just women but FULL FAMILIES at nudist parks doing healthy things in a healthy lifestyle. What does your painting depict? My photos at the nudist parks showed people playing volleyball, children swimming in the pool,adults sitting on a towel and carrying on conversations with friends, a lot of stuff like that. And yes, I also posed some people in those photos because you have to, otherwise you get nothing but knees and elbows coming into the lens. So how does your painting differ from what I did?

        • CadaveraVeroInnumero

          My work is connected to a “theme” (not a very clarifying term, but it works as shorthand). I would not imply that photography at a nudist camp is, in itself, is pornographic. But nude (whatever) unhinged from the real world (in the Aristotelian/Thomist sense) tends towards the pornographic. You would have to convince me that communal nudity is part of the “real world”.

      • Antonja Cermak

        Your post is tinged with the theme of woman as victim and passive receiver in sexual relations. If that’s your view of relations between the genders, then perhaps your only speaking of the 10-20% of people who view gender relations that way.

        • CadaveraVeroInnumero

          One would be surprised (maybe not) of how much the “receiving” woman directs (and fine tunes) the sexual relationship. Could wax here (long) about the reciprocity of the relationship between male & female (done according the covenant of their particular natures) but I won’t.

          For a case study on the subjection and violence done to and upon women I refer you to Islam.

  • Anna Githens

    Excellent article. Thank you.

  • XC

    ” Realwomen (I’m told) are turned on by men who play with their kids; in other words, by gentlemen. ” Wait, so married women with kids are turned on by other men who play with their kids? What? #editor

    • boris

      Exactly. Women are also turned on by the ‘bad boy’. This article didn’t really impress me very much.

    • MarkRutledge

      Can’t we assume that “their” here has an implied “both”? As in their home, their kids? Not inclusive of someone else’s? I think right reason dictates the statement be taken this way.

  • Terry

    When I was young numb and full of you-know-what there were times when I wasn’t getting any and sometimes I would go to a porn shop, armed with about 15 or 20 quarters and then I would go do my thing, taking the issue in hand, if you will.

    Sorry to be so graphic about the issue but porn is porn – it’s disgusting, I was ashamed of myself coming out of the place and the memories still disgust me.

    Let’s not forget that paragraph one is the way fertility clinics operate.

  • Hugh_Oxford

    I think a lot of men are waking up to the reality of what pornography is doing to them, physically, psychologically, emotionally and socially, and the ramifications for the culture. I think you have to be very dead to yourself not to have some sense of what it does.

    On a basic level it’s a drug: this is neurologically observable. Like all drugs it shortcuts the brain’s natural reward circuitry.

    In some ways I wonder if Satan hasn’t overplayed his hand with pornography: if the negative experiences of pornography that men have will lead them to try to reject it, first of all using “secular” methods, but ultimately leading to a prostration before God, and a deep theological revelation about themselves and the human person.

    • Antonja Cermak

      Yes, but regular exercise and learning to play a musical instrument are also neurologically observable. The formation of neural pathways of and by themselves don’t indicate much of anything.

  • Monica Pope

    “It trains us to prefer machines to people, because machines are easy.”

    of the women i know, some of the women who suffer the most every-day type of sadness are women in relationships with addicts. among those, women married to pornography addicts seem to be the most sorrowful.

    they’re sad not only because of what pornography has done to their husbands (distant, critical, demanding, dissatisfied) but what it has done to themselves. they want their husbands to want them and to love them, and they have tried to debase themselves to become the machine these men prefer. but the trying has hurt them badly. the trying and rejection has hurt them even worse.

    • Laud

      Thank you for sharing the truth, as a wife this is exactly how I have felt and have experienced. The truth is one far worse than even this well written article on the subject can explain. The fact is that porn kills love, it decimates intimacy and it renders the user incapable of loving anyone truly nor themselves. To not look at this issue for what it is is disingenuous at best and distorted at worst.

  • JediWonk

    What I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking is that sex is *important*, in the way that love is important.

    I don’t know what I would tell my now-10-year-old daughter if Dad could talk to a daughter at all about sex. Our received sexual morality evolved when the age of puberty for women was 18 and the age of marriage was the same as the age of puberty. I have a female business partner who hit puberty at 9, and was on *fire* by twelve and juggling multiple adult-male partners. (Or so she says.) She married at 39. Today, among the upper-middle class, 11 is a typical age of puberty for girls and 27 age of marriage.

    The big danger for women in having lots of sex partners is that they might run into one of those few males who is really good at it. Then they will accept nothing else in a husband. According to the women who have spoken (“complained”, is more like it) to me about you guys, such men are very, very rare. I wish I knew what my fellow males are doing wrong…

    Anyway, sex did not create my children. Assisted Reproduction Technology did. And we won the “DNA lottery” twice. And my kids are actually *relieved* that they were not created “that” way!

    • John Hand

      Now that is a really weird letter. Your kids are happy that they were artificially created, is that what you said? Sex IS important. The good Lord created sex in order to create an additional layer of bonding between man and woman as well as ensuring the continuation of the species. Why did God make sex pleasurable? Oh, some of you do not want to acknowledge that our God might have done that on purpose? Go on, tell me otherwise. Sex is important Jedi, and it is a compliment to love. In most marriages, if the sex fails, the marriage fails. Facts don’t lie. I could cite some facts about Sex that proves that there really is a God. Some people, you ask them what proof is there that there is a God, and they say ‘Look at a sunset,’ or see that flower.’ No, there are better ways to prove a God exists, and sex is one of them. The human female is constructed much different than a female of any other species. Now mull on that for a while and you might come up with something.

      • Antonja Cermak

        I don’t think sex is all that important. Many couples, for health reasons, may have to go through a period of abstinence from intercourse for periods of time. I don’t think most of these marriages fail. Some discover other things to do with each other (other types of sex for instance or other ways of being intimate).

        And some couples have lousy sex from day one. They somehow manage to soldier on in their marriage, maybe because they married their best friend, so if the relationship is lacking in that area, there are other things that make up for it. After all, if one wants an orgasm, there are ways to manage that that don’t involve a partner.

        • redfish

          I’d say that marriages that are built around sex are more likely to fall apart. People naturally start to have less sex when they start raising their kids. In a lot of these cases, the married couple will start to realize they don’t have as much in common as they thought, and will start fighting. Many will look for ways to reignite their sexual life, such as role-playing, to keep their relationship together. Men will think they need to use drugs like Viagra. If the relationship isn’t based around sex, none of this becomes an issue.

        • JediWonk

          Alas, if one is female, there are no good DIY orgasms. The fNMRI and PET scan studies show that women have to be able to “let go” of their brains’ “voluntary” centers to orgasm profoundly. Otherwise, their climaxes are almost as trivial as those of us males. (Of course ladies can have dozens for every one of ours–why in the world are *we* chasing *them*?)

      • JediWonk

        Kids find the notion of their parents having sex gross and embarrassing. So yes, *of course* mine are glad that they were not created “that” way.

        Truthfully, I find the notion of anyone having sex with a male of my age and appearance disgusting so I don’t do it anymore if I have any say in the matter.

        Sex is a “nice to have”, but, in my book, it’s not “important”. If you get to choose between true love and hot sex, my advice is to choose the former.

        • John Hand

          I am frowning a little reading your response. Are you saying that you ‘used to be’ a homosexual but now you are not, but you wanted children so rather than having to make love to some woman who just might have already been with a man who was much much better in bed than you would be so you chose to go the chemical route to make a baby? I am not trying to be insulting but that is what it sounds like based on all you wrote in your last two entries.

          • JediWonk

            Not that it matters at my age, but I am as heterosexual as males get. That is why, when I look in the mirror, the though of even a *female* wanting to have sex with what I see disgusts me.

            In my younger days (into my early 40s), everyone I knew just *assumed* I was gay because no straight males had bodies like mine. I would not have looked that way if I had had a choice, but I hobby was ballet partnering and the ballerina is just not physically *safe* unless her partner is extravagantly strong.

            Anyway, since they thought I was gay, women would talk about the guys they were dating as if I were just another girlfriend. I absolutely understand why males who so chronically disappoint women sexually would want that activity strictly controlled!

          • JediWonk

            Fertility problems on my side that had to be overcome with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) + intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

            If you get to choose between “hot sex” and “children”, choose “children”. The single most bizarre thing about the religious right is its obsession with “sex” and its indifference to “reproduction”.

            A recent NBER study showed that 100% of the growth of economic inequality since 1960 can be attributed to assortative mating. I selected a mother for the ability to give me the children I have, not for love and certainly not for hot sex. I could have been an actor in adult films. Every woman liked me in bed. But not every woman’s DNA would have merged with mine to create children who get perfect scores on standardized tests without preparation and are “model” beautiful.

            http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21595972-how-sexual-equality-increases-gap-between-rich-and-poor-households-sex-brains-and

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  • The_Bustle_in_Your_Hedgerow

    For Mr. Hand: http://yourbrainonporn.com/

    There is a *huge* difference between static, old-school Playboy shots (which are bad enough) and pornography depicting sexual acts and, especially, pornographic *films*. When the Reese Commission did it’s thing, it concerned itself with Playboy and Hustler, nothing like the internet with it’s endless array of highly specific, very graphic, often extremely kinky, sometimes violent porn that is gotten to with a few clicks of a mouse. And then on to the next one. Click, click, click.

    Please read the information provided at the link above. Internet porn is a truly serious problem, especially given that kids — not yet in their teens — are growing up watching it, learning what “sex” is from it. It destroys the libido of men and women (and the solo use of vibrators desensitizes women, another problem going on out there), creates ridiculous standards of sexual behavior and what is considered a turn-on, puts enormous pressure on people — usually women — to do things they don’t want to do, turns spouses into mere bodies as minds fantasize about others — it’s bad. Please check that link out?

    • John Hand

      There was no internet back then of course. Playboy and Hustler and some others were beginning to show some revealing stuff, plus they had ‘dirty’ cartoons, and the stories they were putting in, like in Hustler, would be considered just as racy as some of the stuff we see and read today. Check that link out? So many links, so little time. I am using up my entire evening just re-typing my name and e- address every time I have to reply to someone. Oh, and tomorrow I am on the road, so if any of you want to find fault with my knowledgeable honesty, go at it, because I will not be here to respond.

  • Porn Addict

    I am a porn addict.

    Everything the article says is true. Porn is sexual crack, a fast cheap high. You never can get enough.

    My introduction was at the age of 12, when a neighbor found his father’s “stash” of magazines. I still remember the first picture I saw.

    Back then, it was just pictures and you had to buy magazines. You choose the place to buy carefully, because you didn’t want to buy a magazine from a girl or somebody you knew.

    Now, the porn is hi-def movies from your computer. I have to watch what I search for, because the most innocent of terms will bring up something.

    Over the years, I’ve notice that its gotten more specialized. It’s no longer just naked women, theres sites specialize in different things, the type of women, type of bodies or the stuff being shown. There’s a lot of sites that have girls that look real young.

    Still I wonder who gets the worse end, the woman who are prostituting themselves (and if you see enough, you realize some girls, even the ones that aren’t “stars” are in multiple flicks. The same flicks will often be on different sites.

    I wonder how the girls get involved or if any ever moved on, straightened themselves out and then been discovered by a porn using boyfriend or husband, or generally what happens to them?

    Its been a couple of months since clicked on porn, but I have to watch how I say that, because I now realize this will be something I have to fight forever.

    • Laud

      You need help sir. You need to see that this is inhuman and you are participating in these young girls exploitation.

      • TheAbaum

        Did you read the last sentence?

        “Its been a couple of months since clicked on porn, but I have to watch how I say that, because I now realize this will be something I have to fight forever.”

        There’s plenty of indication of both penitence and progress.

        Now put the stone down unless you are without sin.

        • Laud

          As a matter of fact I did read your entire post. I very well know it is a work in progress and one cannot go at it alone. I also know if you want to be delivered from this it takes great contrition and reparation. I am not judging your heart or soul only your words and actions, which we are called to do. So no I am not throwing a stone as you perceive.

          • TheAbaum

            You have posters confused, although I empathize with the third paragraph.

            Too many young males are introduced to pornography by “friends”.

            • Laud

              What I meant to say was that you cannot go at this battle alone. If you want help you need to find help and get a support system going for yourself to help combat this. My husband was introduced when he was 11 by so called friends and it became a problem in our marriage. Not until he finally decided to kick this habit, because were going to get a divorce over this, did he realize the depravity and the destruction this causes in one’s life and those around them. He has realized he cannot fight this alone and he needs the help of others to fight this.

              • TheAbaum

                Once again, you have your posters confused.

                My introduction to what I consider pornography, came at the hands of a FEMALE who thought the movie “The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea” was appropriate viewing for 14 year old male in the care and company of a 30-something woman.

                (It most definitely was not).

      • JediWonk

        I ran an ad on sittercity.com for a babysitter for my 10-year-old daughter. The first three young women I interviewed, all premed students with ACT scores of 33 or higher, did not have enough hours available given their course loads. However, they all dance completely naked at various places in my metro area and they all invited me to come see them perform.

        I went once. That particular lady came home with $1,000 in cash for doing something that, by the look on her face, she would happily have done for free! If I were female and *that* beautiful (blond hair/blue eyes/runs marathons), I hope I would also have that preternatural womanly self-confidence so I could do that too.

        So who was exploiting whom?

        I actually felt sad for the guys. The only way they can get to see a woman *that* beautiful naked is by paying for it. When I was their age, it was free. At least for me.

        But I also feel sorry for men who cannot just appreciate how beautiful women are without feeling that they are sinning. God is a greater sculptor in flesh and blood than any man using marble. Let yourself appreciate His handiwork. (Don’t worry. They won’t have sex with you. They can do a *lot* better!)

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  • Objectivetruth

    Pornography is everywhere. $20 billion a year. Victoria Secret store windows are porn. Notice the eight foot high posters of panty and bra clad (and what appears to be) teenage girls. Try walking through the mall with your young sons and seeing that. All while your trying to teach them morals and values, that women are to be respected and dignified, no less than Our Blessed Mother Mary. Our society is awash in porn. It’s all sin.

    • JediWonk

      *Victoria’s Secret*? “Pornography”???

      Every single image is vetted by a committee of marketing experts to catch the eyes of *female* customers. That company has essentially male zero customers.

      While they are not pornography, that is not to say these images do no harm. The average height of an American woman is 5′-4″, while the average weight of an American is (give or take) 164 pounds. The average height of a supermodel is 5′-10″, while the average weight of a supermodel is 110 pounds.

      Seriously, ObjectiveTruth, you find such stick-women sexually appealing? Really? Have you ever seen one up-close and personal when she was wearing that little? By random accident I have found myself sharing a bedroom in Washington, DC with a young woman who answers to that description, except she is 5″-10-1/2 and 107. (She was fleeing domestic violence and ended up moving into my place without my even being consulted.) So far she has behaved herself, but she clearly has not a *trace* of body modesty. At least not around Yours Truly–somehow women have always known I was harmless (and they are correct). But companies do pay her to model because her look appeals to their female customers. Go figure.

      If you want to worry about something, take a close look at the covers of magazines aimed at women like COSMOPOLITAN or MARIE CLAIRE and then explain to me why HUSTLER Magazine is behind the counter but these “women’s” magazines are featured in the check-out lane at eye level for my 10-year-old daughter. The all have at least one story featured on “Ten New Ways To Blow The Mind Of That Guy You Just Met In Bed”.

      And all the cover girls are Size Twos and below, so how will my daughter feel when she is 18 and…. hmmm… actually, it’s already evident that Princess will look like one of those models. I have been telling her for years now that she must always use her Powers for Good and not Evil. But what if she were, well, “average”?

  • me

    Those of us who made the mistake of getting addicted to pornography have the chance to help prevent the same thing from happening to our children…. Do your best to keep porn out of the house. Don’t let your kids find you to be a hypocrite on the subject either.

  • John Hand

    PROOF THAT GOD EXISTS! Since this site has sort of turned into a sexual discussion, I will go off to the side a little and talk about female anatomy. And no, in a way this will not be a discussion of sex. A woman is indeed proof of creative design. Know what that means? The fact that someone or some entity up or out there deliberately designed things including the inhabitants of this Earth to exist rather than our being created out of some cosmic explosion billions of years ago. Some atheists today, they call themselves scientists, claim that we all are descendant of some lizard that crawled up out of the primordial swamp, or that we are descended from apes.
    They can speak for themselves.
    Here is how I make my claim, (one way) that there is a God. A woman is the ONLY FEMALE SPECIES that has a clitoris. Now don’t get all shook up at my use of that word and think this is going to be a ramble about sex. Hear me out.
    Monkeys do not have one. Nor do dogs, cattle, or sheep. Only the human female. Now why is that? Because in his infinite wisdom God gave the human female the ability to reason, and once she reasoned it out that sex (for the man) makes babies, all of a sudden she had the knowledge to say NO TO BABIES.
    So what did God do, knowing that women would one day discover this? The clitoris. That little item ensures the propagation of the species.(I won’t bother to go on about the so called G Spot) Women can can take the pill, but inevitably they want to receive pleasure along with their mate (or maybe some stranger) and lo and behold, even with a form of birth control, we have a pregnancy!
    The clitoris ensures that women, the only species that can reason out what makes babies, will keep having sex. And that ( I could write more to amplify but time grows short) ladies and gentlemen, is why you and I are here today. Creative Design. Now atheists, prove me wrong.

    • Nesbyth

      And the Muslims practise FGM which cuts off the clitoris…..but they still have loads of babies.

  • redfish

    I differ from the author in that he focuses only on the way gluttony ruins the pleasure of food and lust ruins the pleasure of sex. I think there’s truth in what he’s saying. But also someone shouldn’t get “cranky” if they don’t have sex, just like they shouldn’t get cranky if they don’t eat more than they need or don’t get exactly the food they want.

    They aren’t only problems because they ruin the good things, but they make people unhappy if they don’t have them. It ruins the ability to find pleasure in life without having things to fulfill that pleasure.

  • FernieV

    In the last analysis you either believe in Christ and his teachings or you don’t. This article explains with an amazing clarity the slaving consequence of this sin against the 6th (or is it the 9th?) commandment: Pornography. And in order to be free from this ugly sin, which shackles the soul and makes it incapable of seeing God in others (“Blessed be the clean of heart for they shall see God…”) we need to have recourse to the means the Church offers us: sacraments – especially Confession and Eucharist – prayer, devotion to Our Lady, and abstaining from the occasions of sin: in this case, restricting the use of the internet to the essentials. And then humility! Of course, those who are enslaved do not believe that it is possible to be free and they will try to justify this sad sin. Poor fellows! We need to pray for them.

  • Joseph

    Pornography and immodesty are the evil twins, but I submit immodesty is worse because it’s happening in public. At least those who view pornography are (usually) not trying to force others to watch it, whereas the public space, even our Catholic churches during Holy Mass, is overrun with immodestly clad people.

  • vito

    first of all let me confess that I am a porn user, maybe even ‘addicted’ in some sense. And let me also say that I will not try to deny here the morality aspects of porn, I will not try to argue that it is not a sin and that it does not damage one’s soul. And I am not justifying porn or myself here.
    However, I find a lot of what is said in this article completely incorrect, at least in my situation.
    First, it is definitely not true that men who view porn do not desire real women. Not true, completely false. In my case a complete opposite is true – my libido after watching porn increases both in the short and in the long term.
    Second, it is not true that men are no longer attracted to ‘normal’ women or ‘normal’ sex. Wrong again. I guess it might depend on the type of porn though… You can find ‘normal’ sex and normal women in porn pages. There are pages specifically for those who want ‘normal-looking’ women, if this is what you like.
    Third, good-quality porn can teach you a lot in terms of sex technique and can give you good ideas. When I started having sex I had not seen a porn page in my life. The sex was terrible. It sucked. I sucked. I could not satisfy the woman. I developed emotional impotence and anxiety. I did not know what to do. The quality of sex has improved over the years since I started watching porn and the episodes of impotence disappeared, although I never consulted a specialist.
    Fourth, do you know what reduces my libido? Having a baby did. After we had our first, not only we did not have sex for months, I could not even think about it. I had even lost, for a few weeks, my interest in porn, masturbation and the opposite sex in general. I thought something was wrong with me, but then I read that research shows this happens to nearly everyone, expecially dads who are very involved in taking care of the baby.
    So there’s my experience. You may condemn me, but assure you it is absolutely true. Again, this is not to justify porn from the MORAL standpoint. That is another topic. By I doubt lying about porn, or not giving complete data, will ever help to combat it.

  • http://www.renegaderadio.org/ William E Bauer

    There is a 12-step way out of pornography addiction. It works.

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