A little over a week ago, I posted a poll on this blog asking for feedback about your thoughts on pornography.
As of yesterday, an overwhelming percentage of you believed that looking at pornography is always wrong, no matter the circumstance. (Of course, these results are likely more so a commentary on the mentality and values of the people who read this blog than they are an accurate and scientific representation of what the average person today thinks of pornography.)
- 11% of you yesterday believed it depended on the person/circumstance.
- 6% saw no problem with it whatsoever, thought that it is sometimes healthy and/or necessary for a person, and is only wrong if in a committed relationship or married.
- 3% of you had no opinion.
The reality is that if you are reading this and are over the age of 11, chances are you have been exposed to pornography at least once already in your lifetime. And if you are a young adult male reading this, chances are extremely high that you regularly view pornography at this time in your life (statistically speaking, anyway).
Alright, but what’s the big deal? I mean, provided you’re not in a relationship or keeping it a secret from your significant other or anything. We are human, after all. Sex isn’t dirty or wrong; and we should all be free to give into our natural desires. We have “needs”, right?
Pornography as “Healthy”
This kind of mentality about sex is nothing particularly new. It goes back as far as the 1930s, and even earlier than that. In 1936, a German man named Wilhelm Reich wrote a book called The Sexual Revolution. In it, he wrote that:
“Sexuality…is the productive vital energy, simply speaking. Its suppression leads not only to medical damage, but also quite generally to damage in the basic functions of life. The essential social expression of this damage is purposeless (irrational) action by human beings: their insanity, their mysticism, their readiness for war, etc…The core of life’s happiness is sexual happiness.”
What is Mr. Reich saying in the above quote? Essentially, if we suppress our sexual desires, we are more likely to be unhealthy, uptight, angry, and violent people.
…Sound familiar? It’s the mindset of most of the popular shows we watch on TV today. The character who plays the president of the chastity club is an uptight prude (and usually a cheerleader?? I’ve never quite understood that…but I digress). The characters that engage in sexual activity are often portrayed as more mature or wise. The thought goes something like this: “We need to be able to do things like look at pornography. It keeps us healthy. It makes us happy. It keeps us sane.”
No Such Thing As Selfish Love
But does it really? Interestingly, most of you who believed that pornography is sometimes healthy or necessary actually thought it was NOT ok within the context of a marriage or committed relationship. Why? Presumably because the thought is that, within a relationship, you should be fulfilling each other’s needs, and that pornography within that relationships is, in the very least, “emotional cheating”.
Let’s think about that for a moment, though. Do you really think of a person you are making love to as just “fulfilling a need” of yours? I honestly think that most reasonable people (religious or non-religious) would say no. Sex with someone you love is supposed to be more than that. It’s supposed to be about love—an expression of that love— not mutually using one another.
If we really believe that sex is about more than using someone else to fulfill a need, then looking at pornography can never be ok. Why? Well, as we have just shown, pornography trains those who look at it to view sex as absolutely nothing more than selfish gratification (read: “fulfilling my needs”). It’s naive (read: “wrong”) to think that your mindset will just magically change when you enter into a committed relationship.
I don’t think anyone would argue with me when I say that love cannot be selfish. It has to be selfless. Begin training yourself in love today. Waiting for tomorrow may be too late.
In case you missed it, here’s the poll again:
Also Check Out: “5 Ways Porn Saps Your Manliness”