mercredi 17 d├ęcembre 2003

Sexual immorality

This has been a topic that Irene, Scott and Travis have written about extensively on their blogs and I think it's something that is very important for Christians to address, rather than ignore and sweep under the carpet.

Irene has written a great post about how it's not just a male issue because females struggle with this as well. She asks, "Why do men always think that women couldn't possibly have a problem with porn or lustful imaginations?" She's right, females are not exempt from these temptations and people need to start treating sexual immorality as a human problem, not just a male problem.

Scott has written about frequent failures and why it is so easy to fall back into sin. He asks, "Why are these other habits, all of which somehow involve purity, so hard to put behind?" Personally, accountability has been key in my life. Without my best friend keeping me on track, I would be more prone to wander and more likely to fall into that.

Travis just wrote a vulnerable and honest piece on sexual lust and temptation and how "temptation is not the sin, giving into the temptation is the sin." I'm impressed at the steps he has taken in order to guard himself from giving into that temptation and even more at how brave he has been to post about it all.

I left a comment on Travis' blog about how female porn has permeated a lot of females' lives and distorted their views on life, men and sexuality. Female porn, as I have discovered, consists primarily of "chick flicks" and romance novels that I know a lot of girls like to indulge in. Irene wrote a lot about her temptations with romance novels, and you can read about how hard it's been to overcome her battle.

Anyways, Katy responded to what I wrote about romance novels and chick flicks, so I thought I'd post it here.

"although those trashy romance novels can be considered one source of the problem, one shouldn't presuppose that women don't fall to visual lust."

That is true. I didn't mean to be exclusive about how romance novels were the only means by which females fall into this lust. After all, there are the covers that lend fuel to the fire of visual lust, and I'm sure there are Christian women out there who have fallen into other forms of visual lust.

"what i'm trying to do is say that there really is not such a big difference (if indeed one exists at all) between the way men and women respond to lust and sexual temptation. men are not all the same, neither are women. therefore, there are men who struggle more with visuals, there are women who struggle with visuals. there are men who read "dirty" books, there are women who read "dirty" books. trying to create distinctions between male and female lust problems only adds to the shame of women who think they are alone."

Men and women can respond to lust and sexual temptation differently just as men and women can fall into lust differently. Men are by nature, more likely to respond to visual symbols of lust whereas for women, they are more prone to the ideas of romantic stories and the fantasy of relationships that come with it. This is not to say that women never struggle with visuals and that men never struggle with relational fantasies. Both genders can fall into the temptations of either, but I think there is a distinction between the two types of porn. Male porn consists primarily of images of physical bodies while female porn targets more at emotional relationships. Each aims at stimulating different parts of the brain, but they do have the same devastating effect on males and females.

Here are some excerpts from a book I read called Dateable by Justin Lookadoo and Hayley Morgan:

Re: Female Porn

"... You watch this and fantasize about your hero. You become aroused by what you see and hear on the screen [or read in the books]. You desire it. You dream about it. You are emotionally and sexually turned on by this fictitious man.... Then you are released into the world of real men with real flaws who cannot satisfy the desire in you that was ignited by female porn.... Consciously or subconsciously, you are doing the same thing men do to women by dreaming of that supermodel - you are imposing an impossible set of demands on your guy."

Re: Male Porn

"The fastest-growing destructive force in man's relationship with women is the distorted image of women created by pornography. Guys fantasize about these ultimate women. They detach from reality and place themselves in the images they see.... [The women] become objects to be used for [their] own satisfaction and then left until [they] are ready for more.... Porn desensitizes you sexually. It makes you less sensual and sexually aware. It numbs you. Rather than enhancing sexual pleasure, it takes it away and replaces that pleasure with guilt.... You become a one-man pleasure machine that doesn't really need anyone to satisfy you sexually. And there you sit, alone and lonely, with only one-dimensional women to keep you company."

And for the last comment, "as for chick flicks, i don't think those are any kind of porn. stupid, yes, but not evil!"

Yes, they are stupid. But they can also be used as a means of escape for females. It has the potential for turning into evil when females allow these movies to eat at their minds, filling them with false notions of love and relationships, not to mention how they look at guys. Maybe it's not porn per se, but it can still have the same effect on females - the only thing is that it's glossed up in a storybook cover.

I am not claiming to be an expert on this at all. If I have stated anything on here that is inaccurate, I will immediately retract what I have written. But based on what I do know, this is what I personally believe regarding this subject. I am also not pretending to understand the difficult struggles that men and women face in this area. I wrote this mostly based on an outsider's perspective but I hope that some of what is posted here will help in explaining what I think God wants us to avoid.

[Listening to: Beneath the Surface - Souljahz - The Fault Is History (03:51)]