Isolation versus Intimacy: thoughts on porn and liberation.

01 April 2011 10 comments

"Truth is, p0rn liberated men much the same way The Pill liberated women. Men are no longer obligated to lifetime economic contracts merely to tend to unavoidable bodily functions. Men are free to pursue their dreams, untroubled by any mental torments of s3xual starvation, even in the most-isolated female-free environments. Being compelled to think about s3x constantly is a torture (as anyone who’s lived with man-sized testosterone levels can tell you), but p0rn liberates men from that, and we will Never Look Back!"

So says "Pat," commenting on a blog post about a marriage strained by the husband's use of pornography. It's a rather provocative statement. And in fact, it says quite a lot about the mindset of pornography use and highlights that at its core pornography operates out of isolation and opposes intimacy.

From Pat's perspective, male sexuality is a combination of "mental torture" and "unavoidable bodily functions." It has no interpersonal function; it is completely void of intimacy. 

It makes sense then that marriage has no place in Pat's world. For Pat, marriage is a "lifetime economic contract" that some men would put up with for sex, but really, it's just a barrier for men pursuing their dreams. Intimacy is an obstacle to the highest form of living.

And women? Women are useful, probably more pleasing than pornography, but their inaccessibility is a serious impediment to their usefulness. Being able to orgasm without a woman by using pornography liberates men from needing women as accessories for releasing their sexual desires.

By rejecting interpersonal connection, commitment, and women-as-partners, Pat and other pornography users are rejecting intimacy. I know a long list of people who view religious sexual mores as oppressive restrictions which suffocate sexuality and personal freedom. But the godly sex life in the Bible is a good sex life. >>

It takes place within a marriage commitment so it can be safe physically and emotionally. That commitment is an exclusive covenant between two people because marriage was designed to be the pinnacle of intimacy. The Bible says marriage makes two people "one flesh" because that's how closely their lives and their psyches were meant to be intertwined.

That exclusive, lifetime commitment is in place because it creates a safe environment for deep interpersonal connection. In this setting, intercourse is not undertaken just to take care of "unavoidable bodily functions," but to give and receive from one's very personhood in vulnerability and service.

In biblical sexuality, women are not creatures of use, but as sexual partners they are partners in life and in pleasure. "May you rejoice in the wife of your youth... may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love." [see prov5.15-23] And men are not uncontrollable sex machines who really can't be held accountable for their bodies or their behavior. No, according to the Bible men were created with dignity and they possess moral responsibility and an incredible capacity to shape the world for good through the exercise of righteousness in their homes--- including their bedrooms.

I hope one day Pat will choose intimacy over isolation. Because it's a shame to lose your best sex life for a convenient sex life.


  • rose said...

    It's sad that he views sex and sexuality in these ways. The very fact that we instinctively seek privacy to complete these acts implies intimacy. The act of sex, or any type of sexual gratification is intimate, there is no way to separate the two.
    So, that he would intentionally try to separate them, to reduce it to a simple body function rather than an expression of intimacy.... That is to separate it from it's core and roots at the same time. It is to make it less than it is, and therefore less satisfying. So sad for him.
    Because I agree with you Kes, a biblical sex life is not only a good one, it's fulfilling. That is something he'll never find with his computer screen.

  • Anthony said...

    This can be a deep struggle for so many but your article for me makes me sad for those that have this as an end instead of a battle.
    I agree with Nick.

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