Sexuality: What Makes Pornography So Inviting?


Kama Sutra Positions

Pornography is defined as writings, pictures, films, etc, designed to stimulate sexual excitement. Nearly everyone has viewed some kind of erotic materials intentionally or accidentally. It appears that porn is the Achilles heal for many including Christians and leaders of the church. So what is it about pornography that seems to pull so many into its grasp? It seems to possess two elements which the church and the average society deems taboo: nakedness and sex.

Porn is sometimes described as a fantasy come true; a visual reenactment of someone’s erotic imagination that they would probably not experience in their daily lives. The sex industry which is a money-maker business provides a variety of sexual enticements. It has categories for every imaginable sexual fantasy, most of which I could not fathom or understand how that invokes pleasure.  The other hypothesis is that this industry is so tabooed that it creates curiosity.

My experiences with accidentally seeing pornography happened during early childhood. The first time, I inadvertently walked into my aunt’s livingroom in the early evening hours  to see a bunch of men watching a video. I was curious what they were watching so I peeked and was hoping to join them but I was able to make out two naked bodies before I was quickly banished to the room. No one talked about it to me. I have to say that it took me awhile to figure out that it was a “blue movie.” The second experience, I found some glossy magazines (I still don’t know who they belong to) and starting looking through them and there they were pictures of naked women in different poses exposing their private areas (something I had never seen before not even on myself). Again, I was curious so I went to check to see if my private area looked anything like theirs. (lol) I was a child (younger than 13). After all, no one ever talked to me about my body. Interestingly, I began to wonder if all women’s private areas and breasts had the same colour and shape? was I normal if I looked different? Oh course I also was curious what boys looked like, did they have the same stuff?

Taboo 1: Nakedness has been around since the creation of man. Adam and Eve were the first nudist to let it all hang out without any shame before they sinned. We are subsequently taught that our bodies are objects in which to be ashamed; to cover and hide.  A few married women have boasted that their spouses have never seen them naked except under the sheet or in the dark. I will even venture to say that most adults have never stood before a mirror for an extended period of time to take a good look at their bodies. It reminds me of an episode of Sex and the City in which the character Charlotte never saw her vagina and was encouraged to use a mirror and take a good look. Well, pornography removes this body shame by showcasing men and women with the proverbial “ideal bodies” for anyone’s viewing.

One thing that seems to make pornography so inviting is  the actors do not have much of a problem looking at or showing their bodies. They have no problems with being naked which is contrary to what we are being taught to hate one’s body and change it into a perfect specimen. They possess a sense of confidence about themselves without clothes that most adults will never experience in their lives.

Taboo 2: Sex is even a bigger taboo than nakedness. Sex is the dirty secret that is a part of life but evokes such shame and hate. Sex is so shameful to the point that of all the crimes that happen in the world, sexually related crimes still carries such a tremendous stigma for the victims. They are rarely reported and the least likely in which someone would seek help. Interestingly, one of the result of sexual crimes is a hatred, disdain and distortion for one’s body and for sex. ( I digress).

Just like our naked bodies, sex is considered dirty, something to not talk about even in a married relationship. Parents would avoid the topic like the plague [I am still waiting for my sex talk from my parents:-)]. I actually learned about my body by discovery a book called Every Woman. So, if no one talks sex, then were is the best place to get some kind of  information? (a) Your parents (b) Your pastor (c) the holy congregation (d) your doctor (e) If you are newly married virgins just wing it (f) a website or dvd devoted to sex (explicit or instructional). There are not a lot of good options. So, the porn industry fills this void and makes money on providing information even though it is by  far the worst information and  it goes against everything that a good relationship and sexual behavior should be for couples and singles. 

My information about sex and the body over the years (since being exposed to porn and is still collecting) came from a few sources which would include some that most Christians would deem immoral: 1. I have made it a point to collect a few books devoted to sex and no they are not in a dark hiding place, they are on my book shelve in the sexuality section ( I will list the books at the end) 2. Dr Ruth and medically related material related to sexuality 3. HBO’s documentaries: Real Sex and Pornucopia: Going Down In the Valley. Let’s just say that the HBO series really let me know how shelter I was! I sometimes think I gained a little bit too much knowledge in certain things. Pornography serves a purpose; it probably fills a void that should have been addressed since puberty. It replaces the conversations parents should have with children, women and men should have with each other, and husbands and wives should be having. Nakedness and sex are meant to be something good at appropriate times as well as  in the right relationships but the absence of that appears to drive the need for porn. When people start to explore their own sexual nature, then there will be less or no need to be enticed by pornography.

MY BOOKS

The Kama Sutra by Anne Hooper (the pocket guide & simpler version). Barnes and Noble

Kama Sutra: The Classic Eastern Love Text (translated from the original). Barnes and Noble

Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity by Lauren F. Winner

Intimate Issues: Conversations Woman to Woman by Linda Dillow & Lorraine Pintus

The New Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort

Sex & Sexual Health: It’s Perfectly Normal (to talk about the body to kids) by Robie H Harris

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5 thoughts on “Sexuality: What Makes Pornography So Inviting?

  1. I know your post is more than 4 years old, but sexuality is an area we don’t “move on” from. I’d like to offer some resources of Christian insight about this whole subject of sexuality, nakedness and porn. One is a doctrinal paper I wrote: “Incarnational Truth about Humanity’s Sexual Nature” (Google-able). Two shorter articles are published on the MCAG anti-porn website: “The Pornographic View of the Body” and “Porn Addiction” (http://mychainsaregone.org/articles/pornographic-view/). These articles are radically nontraditional, but are necessarily so, in order to be theological sound and liberating.

    Sex is extremely sacred ground. It’s functional platform (“male and female He created them”) is the Bible’s very first description about our being in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). And if we balk at that, God’s very first mandate corrects our prudery by telling us to use our male and female equipment for reproduction. Of course, this is in the whole context of the first two chapters of Genesis, where sexuality is intended to be intrinsic to marriage. But for sexuality to be mentioned there first, before anything else, is a firm rebuke to the church’s theological sloth in waiting till the pagan “Sexual Revolution” of the latter 20th Century before finding its voice to talk about sex sanely and wholesomely.

    1. It is funny how something so simple and natural as one’s sexuality can cause such a raucous over the ages and fluster the great and the small. The sad thing is the more the conservatives try to suppress/inhibit themselves the more you see issues with pornography, cheating, and all other means of sexual release outside the conventional marriage bed.

  2. The process of learning about sex and the anatomy of the opposite sex is one that should be tread carefully. The porn industry is pushing hard to get anyone and everyone hooked into their wares (women and men alike), because it makes a massive amount of money doing so (more than the revenues of the top technology companies combined: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink). The problem is that porn doesn’t (and never will) tell the truth about what sex and relationships should be…about how women should be respected and loved for who they are. I have no problem with objective learning about sex–it’s needed, but we need to be honest with ourselves before God as to how and why we go about doing that.

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