marriage bed symbol

marriage bed symbol

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why Female Porn is Considered More Benign Than Male Porn - Avoiding the Double Standard Part II

Historically, ignorance breeds prejudice. In other words, when people don’t take the time to educate themselves on what the truth is, they rely on cultural conditioning or environment to set the definition of what the truth is, whether true or not.

This tendency also works with sexuality. If a person is sexually ignorant about their bodies or the bodies of the opposite gender, then their understanding of themselves and the other sex must rely on prejudice.

Our cultural paradigm among Christians (at large in the United States) of what is immoral comes primarily from the early Christian model and scriptural historical perspective of what immorality is. (Duggan, Sex and the Celts) Both are from a predominantly male perspective of what is sexually immoral. Whenever lust or immoral thoughts are ever mentioned in the scriptures, it’s more often directed at the men, and lust is never given in a positive context. (see 1 John 2: 16-17; Rom 1:24, 27; Matt 5:28)

The belief about lust was transformed by puritanical thinking into meaning anything sexual; any sexual desires whether married or not is evil. This teaching about male sexual feelings was passed from generation to generation over thousands of years and leaves today’s males standing with the resolve that to fill the measure of their creation, they must give in to evil.

To understand what God truly intended for humans and sexuality, we must look closer at the human body and recognize that both males and females are sexual beings, and the sexual process for both begins in the brain.

The limbic system of our brain has the job of recording anything that is associated with sexual arousal. When the wind blows through our hair, signals are sent to our limbic system where the question is asked, “Is this sexy?” If we have had a prior sexual experience where the wind was blowing through our hair, the answer cataloged in our limbic brain would be “yes”. A series of other events would then take place in our bodies giving us the feeling that this sensation is arousing and part of sex; time to get ready for sex.

Dr. Helen Fisher in the documentary “Science of the Sexes” makes the observation that from the very tip of the hair on our head to the very tip of our toenails, our physical and mental makeup is made up of sexual mechanisms. These mechanisms help our brain to know what is sexually arousing and when to tell our bodies to get ready for sex and send the chemicals that motivate us to take part in the full sensation and pleasure of sexual response.

From development in the womb, males and females’ brains are created and wired differently. This difference extends to how each view sex and what each considers sexually arousing. What is consistent between the sexes is that both need a sexual stimulus to become aroused even though the stimulus used is unique for each gender.

In our culture, anything that can be defined as male sexual stimuli (MSS) is defined as porn. However, given the necessity of female sexual stimuli (FSS), then anything that is FSS must also be defined as porn. Unfortunately, our definition of porn is based upon the historically male perspective of MSS which clouds the morality of FSS.

Men do not find FSS sexually arousing. In fact, they find it benign, boring, or dumb. Many subscribe to the belief that anything that turns a woman on to sex is “a good thing”.

On the other side of the coin, traditional MSS is viewed as gross, immoral, degradation, destructive and sinful. The question is, can FSS be just as immoral, destructive and sinful as MSS if we allow our paradigm of FSS to change?

This FSS is illusive because it’s harder to define. Oliver Wendell Holmes said of pornography that he knew it when he saw it, but such is not the case for pornography designed for females, because it isn’t visual. Both Mark Gungor and Dr. Helen Fisher agree that MSS & FSS are different because of how the brains of each gender are designed.

From “Laugh Your Way to a Happy Marriage”, Christian marriage expert Mark Gungor explains that the male brain is compartmentalized. This allows the male to focus on any one subject. It makes him purpose-oriented. He mentally seeks to reach a goal or accomplish a task.

When a male entertains a film of a sex act, these images are stored and processed in a compartment. When viewing, he can stay in that compartment and become lost in that compartment for hours because it focuses him on the goal of penetrating and pleasuring female sexual organs.

Similar to cocaine, porn triggers the same part of the brain that is activated when one falls in love. This part of the brain works in conjunction with another part of the brain that floods the body with dopamine when the male ejaculates. The problem is, he gets that high but never reaches climax or release of any kind. It is continuous and non-stop stimulation of the dopamine part of his brain.

As the male continues to watch porn, the dopamine part of the brain becomes overworked and the body desensitized. He must watch more and for longer to get the same high. When masturbation is introduced, the limbic system of the brain in conjunction with this “pornography compartment” records to the sexual memory that this activity feels good, is sexy, and must be appropriate sexual behavior.” ( Laugh your way to a better marriage Mark Gungor. ; Pornography: Addiction Effects and Ultimate Consequences  Dr. Victor Cline)Worse, it trains the body to think “this is sex” and will make it difficult if not impossible to have an ejaculation or even an erection unless porn is involved to some degree.

The wife cannot arouse him by her own presence. If she knows this, she is humiliated. The natural sexual cycle between husband and wife becomes broken and the complete intimate connection they could feel together becomes lost. The formula for great sex as demonstrated by Mark Gungor shows that
{turned on husband + turned on wife = great sex}
. When pornography is introduced into the mix you have
{turned on husband + not turned on wife =/= great sex}
Females’ brains are not compartmentalized. All parts of the brain are connected, and a woman spends most of her brain energy in the communication and relationships stream in her brain. When this stream of communication and relationships has an element introduced into it and that element connects this stream with the limbic system by defining it as sexy, that item becomes FSS.

When a sexual act (i.e. masturbation, fornication, or married intercourse) accompanies the arousing element, her limbic system records to the sexual memory that this activity feels good, and is categorized in her brain as appropriate sexual behavior and therefore FSS.

Again, FSS have not been given as much attention as MSS and has been typically defined as harmless “romance.”

Females are stimulated sexually by several different things. Visually they can be stimulated by a good-looking man, but that by itself is not enough. They need talking. They need to feel attractive. They need to feel safe. They need to feel that the male is happy with them and/or her children.

This stimulus is achieved through male physical appearance, how a man smells, his smile, how he speaks to her (kindly and sincerely), his sense of humor, and being taken to a place, either physically or mentally, that feels safe, without danger, and without consequence. Literature or movies that illustrate these points are described as “romance” and considered of little worth by men because they are not focused on reaching a sexual goal.

Yet, for a woman, these elements are very sexually arousing. They are designed to work sexually with the relationship connective workings of the female brain.

True porn will lead to the habit or addiction of relying on books, videos or movies in order to obtain those emotional connections that lead to sexual arousal. This is pornography, for men or women, regardless of the vehicle.

Are all romance novels pornography? Is it possible that two different women can read the same romance book and one will become obsessed while the other will not? Some say the same thing about gambling or drinking; some can do it without becoming addicted and some can’t. That doesn’t make it morally right to drink or gamble. Obsession over a story character, or video game, or movie series can have its own destructive elements and be completely void of anything sexual.

However, obsession is a different disorder than what we’re talking about here. What’s being defined here is that pornography (for men or women) consists of entertainments that are needed and used for sexual arousal.

Some make the argument that visual pornography  is worse, because it victimizes real people. This is true. Watching Pornography supports and advocates the destruction of the lives of the actors and actresses involved, as demonstrated by former porn actress Shelly Lubben of the Pink Cross Foundation (www.thepinkcross.org).

What about such entertainments as hentai anime, which could easily be classified as pornography by most people’s standards? Because no real people are involved, is this an acceptable sexual stimulus to use in marriage?

The answer is no. Ray Castle's “Manga Mad” spotlights this sexually stimulating side of the popular manga stories of Japan. We have learned from observation of the Japanese culture that this type of entertainment can be just as detrimental as live-action pornography. Both distort a person’s mental, emotional and physical paradigm of what is healthy human sexual behavior.

The Japanese even have a name for the disorder caused by watching hentai. It’s called Moe Otaku (MOE-eh oh-TAH-koo) – an addiction to anime pornography. This addiction has lead to such perversions of healthy sexuality as “marrying” cartoon characters and developing a revulsion or fear of having sex with real people, and preferring sex dolls that are made in the likeness of the anime characters. Anime also mentally links sex acts with violence and with young children.

From these examples, currently all forms of pornography distort healthy and righteous sexual behavior. The written can be just as harmful as the visual, and all forms of pornography need to be recognized for what they are and dealt with appropriately to avoid becoming ensnared.

Some media is safe to be devoured. Others can devour you.

1 comment:

Grandma Nadeoui said...

It might be a good point to mention the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has an addiction recovery program that is part of the family services department of the Church. The program is based on the 12 steps of recovery, though our "higher power" is, of course, the Savior, Jesus Christ. Classes are available in many areas of the world, and there is a manual that can be downloaded at www.providentliving.org under the Social and Emotional Strength tab, then clicking on Addiction REcovery Program.