Saturday, December 9, 2006

Cheaper Than Dating?

I have driven past the Secrets Adult Store billboard many times. Their tagline, It’s cheaper than dating, has always bothered me.

Think about what they are talking about; it’s pornography and masturbation. A wife, husband, partner, date, whoever, has been replaced. All you need is yourself, some of their porn and you’re set.

I want to return to Lauren Winner’s book, Real Sex. I mentioned it in a post titled Bad Sex on November 27th. In Chapter six, two section titles are: Pornography: It Teaches You That Real Bodies Aren’t Good Enough and Masturbation: It Teaches You That Sex Happens Outside a Relationship.

Here are some quotes on pornography. Take the time to absorb what they say.

“Porn turns sex into something simultaneously fantastic and exploitative, removing it from the relational reality of marriage, importing outside standards into the bedroom, and thereby objectifying whatever living and breathing fleshly person one might later have sex with. Pornography is destructive because it communicates a tacit narrative about physical gratification without saying a thing about how sex really happens. It teaches its clientele expectations that are, simply, not connected to reality, to real men and women with real bodies (not to mention real souls, hearts, and minds).”

“Dude, all of my friends are so obsessed with Internet porn that they can’t sleep with their girlfriends unless they act like porn stars.”

“For most of human history, erotic images have been reflections of, or celebrations of, or substitutes for, real naked women. For the first time in human history, the images' power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn.”

The problem with masturbation:

“Masturbation teaches us that immediate gratification is a part of sex, and masturbation removes sex from a relationship. Indeed, the whole point of masturbation is to provide the release and pleasure of orgasm without the work and joy of a relationship.”

“…masturbating plunges us into a world of unreality. Rick's solution is to masturbate to I-porn. "Thing is, you can find a million girls just like them online," he says. "And they're naked, doing whatever you want them to do." This is, in Rick's own astute phrase, a "substitute for reality."”

Think about the guy who dials a 900 number and masturbates during phone sex. Your phone-sex lady may be talking passionate talk; she may be saying that she wants you; but in reality she doesn't know who you are. That a sexual act serves as a "substitute for reality" ought to give us pause. After all, we Christians are the people devoted to living the really real.

Above quotes from Lauren Winner, Real Sex (Brazos Press 2005) 110-117

The Secrets Adult Bookstore offers a cheap substitute for real sex; sadly many people fall for it.


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