The Problem With Pornography

In the last bedroom post I talked about how pornography has become ingrained in American culture.

I shared our own experiences with pornography because too often pornography is deemed a "man's issue," something only guys struggle with. Although the majority of girls are exposed to pornographic content in their teenage years, the prevailing thought remains that women, especially married women, don't struggle with pornography and lust.

Google Creative Commons

Google Creative Commons

But the statistics tell a different story. 1 in every 3 visits to a porn site is by a woman. And 90% of women have read or actively read erotic literature. 

Where's the Horror

If I told you I was investing in a business that profited from people dying of cancer, you would likely look at me with disgust.

There would be nothing short of horror and public outrage against a company that invited people to "get off," while watching someone die a slow, painful death. That would be unthinkable for many of us.

And yet, as flawed beings who are not exempt from making terrible mistakes, we have a way of humanizing horror. Making it okay, at least to the point where we can quietly live with it.

If that was not true, then the atrocities of slavery and the Holocaust would not be matters of fact. Those things happened because people accepted them, and thought it was okay, at least for a time. The world treats silence as consent. 

Where is the outrage for the porn industry?

There are people who believe pornography is a right, and that it is harmless as long as it doesn't result in increased rapes, or a person doesn't bring it into their bedroom...and the exceptions and excuses for tolerance go on and on.

But we cannot continue to ignore the obvious detriment pornography is to the culture, to individuals, and to marriage. 

The culture - Sex Trafficking

Even when pornography is tolerated, there is general public disdain for sex trafficking. There have been public debates about whether or not the $10 to 12 billion porn industry in the United States is connected to the $99 billion international underground sex trafficking industry

Supply increases when demand increases, that's basic economics. Sex trafficking is still a major problem, now more than ever! Sex trafficking has been increasing because demand for it has been increasing. People, men especially, are increasingly willing to have sex with a person (even a child) who is being controlled and abused by pimps and traffickers. There are only two conclusions: People are either naturally willing to do this [nature] or they are being socialized by culture to lose empathy [nurture].

"I refuse to accept that men are born rapists, porn users, or johns," said Dr. Gail Dines.  

The Individual - Affects Sexual Performance

While both men and women can become addicted to pornography or obsessed with pornographic content. Studies are showing that men's sexual performances are significantly hampered because of pornography.

Pornography leads to sexual dysfunction in men because it leads to premature ejaculation, or super delayed ejaculation and difficulty reaching orgasm, erectile dysfunction, and eventually complete disinterest in sex with a real woman. 

It's no wonder that now men of all ages are turning to the magic blue pill to help them perform better in bed. But Viagra can only do so much. For many men, better sexual performance  is a much deeper intimacy issue that needs to be resolved, rather than a simple quick fix for the physique. 

The Marriage - Unreal + Unfair Expectations

But a man's sexual dysfunction doesn't just affect him. "After all, if a guy can't get it up, keep it up, or reach orgasm, then his partner's sexual pleasure is also likely to be diminished." (Source). 

When a husband or wife views, or listens to, pornographic content of any kind, they are inviting third parties into their bedroom. And unfortunately, many people take this third party and replace their spouse altogether. 

Pornography creates unreal + unfair sexual expectations through:

  • Objectification - It reduces the worth of an individual to their sexual functions
  • False Beauty Expectations - perfectly airbrushed and edited bodies
  • The Idea of Sex on Demand - anytime, anyplace, however you want
  • Making Sex Extinguishable at Will - shut it down whenever you please
  • Portraying No Emotional Connection - you don't need to feel anything but lust toward these paid actors
  • Little Talk, No Real Communication - sounds of pleasure, no matter how false, will suffice 
  • Tailored to Selfish Specifications - find your perfect type
  • Completely Submissive - does what you want, when you want
  • No Judgement of Your End of the Performance - As a passive viewer or silent listener you are the perfect audience and therefore the best lover

When a person cannot find the fulfillment of this ideals with their spouse they will often look elsewhere.  Research shows that pornography in marriage increases the chance of infidelity by 300 (%) percent.

The greatest danger pornography poses to culture, individuals, and marriages is the fact that repeated exposure pornographic content creates fantasy-based expectations that no real person can ever live up to. Not a spouse or a sidepiece. 

Good sex in marriage requires intimacy. It requires an emotional connection and honest communication. You have to be able to recognize the ever-evolving beauty of your spouse, inside and out. 

Good sex embodies selflessness, seeking first to please rather than to be pleased. You can't quit mid act. And there is a very real person on the other end who is going to respond to, and have an opinion on, your performance—sexual and otherwise.

That's all a part of the intimacy of marriage. 

Even if you're of the wayward opinion that viewing, listening to, or producing pornographic content is not morally wrong, you have to at least consider the facts. Pornographic content continues to show itself more harmful than helpful.