A Terrific Article about Pornography

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amateurparent
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by amateurparent » 06 Jun 2015, 17:10

A few years back, a friends' son was talking about some breastaraunt -- probably Hooters. He didn't see what the big deal was about eating there.

I was blunt.

A girl goes and gets a job at Hooters. She is loved and admired and appreciated for how she looks. She makes an okay living .. Not great .. But good enough to get by .. And she is having a really good time. Ten years go by. Suddenly she is 29 years old. At 29, she is no longer hirable at Hooters. She has felt no need to develop any job skills or pursue an education. At 29, she finds herself with no job, no skill set, no education, and an industry that is happy to move onto the next young nubile body to hire.

The pornography industry is that same dynamic taken to an extreme. It takes self worth and leaves shame in its place. Women who try to find a place in society outside of the industry are all too often haunted by their photographic and film history that destroys their attempts to enter larger society.

The same man who wants to date a porn star is quite hesitant to want to marry one and make her the mother of his children.

But if he can find a CHEERLEADER for a professional football team .. That girl is considered the epitomy of hot .. And marriage worthy.

Such weird societal standards ..
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 Jun 2015, 18:17

The porn industry is all kinds of messed up.

Erotica, nakedness and porn are very different things. As a community, we do a lousy job of understanding the differences.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 11 Jun 2015, 07:23

I appreciate that he is trying to approach this in a healthier and more thoughtful way than some of the over-the-top demonization and emotional rhetoric we repeatedly hear in the Church. However, (being the devil's advocate again) I thought the article was a little too optimistic in that I get the impression that some Church members including the author that are able to see through some of the hype about porn and at least recognize that sometimes the harsh guilt-trips, fear, and shame the Church uses to try to prevent this actually ends up doing more harm than good overall still hold onto the idealistic notion and hope that if they go about it the "right" way and simply educate people about what is supposedly wrong with porn then that will somehow make all the difference in getting people to avoid it most of the time or even permanently.

In reality I suspect that no matter how people try to discourage it in the end many men will simply end up viewing porn/nudity repeatedly anyway at some point. When you are basically trying to fight against nature to this extent then it is always going to be an uphill battle and there are definitely going to be significant limitations on how much "success" will ever be achieved in real life if complete abstinence from viewing porn for everyone is the goal. What do you expect when the LDS scriptures claim that, "the natural man is an enemy to God" if not a constant struggle and typically being outnumbered 10 to 1 in terms of the big picture? Certainly many Church members already do expect every active member to overcome the "natural man" but personally I don't think this is a very realistic or reasonable expectation to begin with and my guess is that it will increasingly backfire and wreak havoc when this hard-line zero tolerance approach doesn't actually result in men avoiding porn at all but at best mostly encourages many of them to keep it secret at all costs.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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LookingHard
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by LookingHard » 11 Jun 2015, 11:03

DevilsAdvocate wrote:I appreciate that he is trying to approach this in a healthier and more thoughtful way than some of the over-the-top demonization and emotional rhetoric we repeatedly hear in the Church. However, (being the devil's advocate again) I thought the article was a little too optimistic in that I get the impression that some Church members including the author that are able to see through some of the hype about porn and at least recognize that sometimes the harsh guilt-trips, fear, and shame the Church uses to try to prevent this actually ends up doing more harm than good overall still hold onto the idealistic notion and hope that if they go about it the "right" way and simply educate people about what is supposedly wrong with porn then that will somehow make all the difference in getting people to avoid it most of the time or even permanently.

In reality I suspect that no matter how people try to discourage it in the end many men will simply end up viewing porn/nudity repeatedly anyway at some point. When you are basically trying to fight against nature to this extent then it is always going to be an uphill battle and there are definitely going to be significant limitations on how much "success" will ever be achieved in real life if complete abstinence from viewing porn for everyone is the goal. What do you expect when the LDS scriptures claim that, "the natural man is an enemy to God" if not a constant struggle and typically being outnumbered 10 to 1 in terms of the big picture? Certainly many Church members already do expect every active member to overcome the "natural man" but personally I don't think this is a very realistic or reasonable expectation to begin with and my guess is that it will increasingly backfire and wreak havoc when this hard-line zero tolerance approach doesn't actually result in men avoiding porn at all but at best mostly encourages many of them to keep it secret at all costs.
I don't think the article help a mid to older aged man that has a solid and long habit of viewing porn.

Where I think this can help is to teach about porn more like this article does. I think that because what I experienced was lots of, "porn is somewhere hear murder" pounded before I really had been exposed. When I saw it and it was exciting, it kicked in the shame big time. I kept going in a cycle of trying to never watch, giving in, then saying for a long time in a state of "I had better get all the viewing in I can until I tell the bishop next week" for sometimes years, eventually confessing and then starting the cycle over and over. If I wouldn't have had the huge shame pressure and a bit more, "it is normal to really like it and try not to look at it, but you might at some point in the future, no biggie." I probably would not have viewed as much. Many people outside of the church and religion occasionally view porn and they are a bit of take it or leave it. They know in the future if the mood strikes, they can do it. So no pressure right now to do something now before you go say your 10 hail Mary's.

startpoor
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by startpoor » 11 Jun 2015, 14:23

Looking hard: exactly. What the article teaches is the damage of the shame cycle. I went through this for years same as you. Shame breeds repeating the action that brought you shame in the first place. Teaching porn avoidance should be done much like teaching sex Ed. Learn how to do it responsibly. Ie, learn how to not ruin your relationships over it and have a healthy belief about it.


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dash1730
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by dash1730 » 11 Jun 2015, 17:45

I agree Ray's article is terrific.

Coincidentally I found in my email box an article published by BYU. It's not as good as Ray's, but it is more rational than most church stuff. It can be found here
http://magazine-dev.byu.edu/arm-your-ki ... he-battle/
I may not walk the straight and narrow, but I try to cross it as often as I can.
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Curt Sunshine
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Jun 2015, 05:52

DA, to be totally honest, I think you have mis-characterized the article and the author badly by expanding the focus WAY beyond its intent. I think you defend porn reflexively, as evidenced by many quotes here, and, therefore, tend to react negatively to anything you think is anti-porn in any way.

Also, what LookingHard and startpoor said.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 12 Jun 2015, 07:25

Ray DeGraw wrote:DA, to be totally honest, I think you have mis-characterized the article and the author badly by expanding the focus WAY beyond its intent. I think you defend porn reflexively, as evidenced by many quotes here, and, therefore, tend to react negatively to anything you think is anti-porn in any way.
What do you think the intent of the article was, in your opinion? I'll admit that I like to read between the lines and guess what people really mean above and beyond what they explicitly say not only in the case of porn but in general so maybe I am seeing something that isn't there. However, the fact that someone would go to all the trouble of having such a detailed discussion with his son about porn of all things and then this same discussion would spread around Facebook as much as it did already says something by itself such as that porn is a rather big deal in the Church and people are reacting to it with a great deal of fear, shame, condemnation, etc.

For example, I would summarize the main point of the article as mostly a preemptive attempt to try to prevent his son from eventually becoming a porn "addict" based on the comments about avoiding a self-defeating cycle of shame like startpoor and LookingHard said. Well there are people that spend so much time playing video games that they have a hard time functioning very well in real life, that are compulsive shoppers that run up huge debts and can't afford to pay their bills, etc. So why don't we hear as much about addictions like this? I suppose it's mostly because these hobbies are not regarded as serious sins in the Church and aren't quite as common as all the supposed porn addictions.

In fact, to me it sounded like this article was not simply about porn but also about trying to counteract some of the common ideas in the Church and try to prevent them from backfiring and adding to the compulsion to view porn even more. I get all that and am not necessarily disagreeing with it but my main point is simply that what I don't hear anyone saying in a very clear or straightforward way is that in reality sex, naked women, etc. are a fairly common thing for easily the majority of perfectly normal men to naturally like; it is not some kind of unusual disease or disorder, it is just they way men are. So to expect everyone to go against this natural instinct to the extent they have typically been expected to just because the Church said so, their wife doesn't approve, it supposedly exploits people in an unfair way, etc. is simply not very realistic and more imoportanly is most likely not going to happen at least in a permanent and lasting way in many if not the majority of cases nowadays.
"Truth is what works." - William James

Curt Sunshine
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Jun 2015, 09:34

DA, again, in total honesty, I just read your last comment, then reread the article just to make sure I wasn't misremembering it, and wondered (truly did wonder) if you actually read the article - or if you skimmed it and only noticed some sentences that, out of the overall context, reinforced your natural assumptions.

To lump it together with most things we read and hear in the LDS Church about porn and say it's really not that different and really just reinforces what others have been saying is mind-boggling to me. It really is. I just don't get it.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roy
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Re: A Terrific Article about Pornography

Post by Roy » 14 Jun 2015, 11:45

I read both the articles linked to here.

http://magazine-dev.byu.edu/arm-your-ki ... he-battle/

I did feel that this one had some good points. I particularly liked that they point out that not all porn use or M means an addiction. I also liked that the article said that growing teens will naturally discover ways to "have feel good experiences" (which I assume means M). I did not like that it still made it seem like pornography really really bad - just that our tactics for fighting pornography need to be improved.

https://medium.com/@ungewissen/the-nake ... 70a27fdb59

I appreciated that the main focus of this article seemed to be about knowing yourself and asking “Why” you feel drawn to it. Porn use can be an escape mechanism or “self-soothing” as the article says. A way to feel wanted, powerful, and in control. The deeper problem as I understand the article to be saying is when we use the escape to avoid dealing with the real world in healthy ways. The underlying problem is when we feel bad about ourselves and then get trapped in cycles that perpetuate our negative feelings and negative self-labels.

Porn is not the enemy. Shame, self-loathing, and self-destructive habits are.

The best part IMO is that it attempts to take the shame aspect out of the conversation so that helpful and healthy information sharing can continue.

When I was in sophomore year of high school I played a game of spin the bottle at a party. I open mouth kissed a girl (older, more experienced girl) for the first time. I felt very conflicted about it. 1) I liked it a lot. 2) I was hoping that I did it ok to the point that maybe she liked it too. 3) I was embarrassed about not seeming cool enough or experienced enough in front of my friends/peers. I broached the subject with my Mom because she usually helped me sort through things. My mom told me that we do not believe in open mouth kissing as it goes against the law of chastity. Not only did this not help any of my concerns but it shut down the conversation. I still could talk to my mom about most things but never again about anything of a sexual nature.

If I understand this “naked people in your iPod” article correctly, it is mostly about keeping the lines of communication open.
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