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marriage bed symbol

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Gospel Doctrine or Cultural Myth: Profane erotica (pornography) addicts hate women

To believe this is to fundamentally misunderstand what profane erotica is and how it affects men.

What’s on the Surface…

Many women (when they think of profane erotica) imagine BDSM forms. Women sexually torturing their bodies, scenes of rape, or men being rough, pulling hair, cursing at the women and/or acting sexually violent. Surely such violence involves a deep resentment and hatred, right?

There are many, many different forms of profane erotica that don’t involve violence at all. Many involve romantic stories that lead up to a couple gently and sensually engaging in intercourse in what many would consider a loving fashion, though graphically depicted.

I’m not saying this to justify profane erotica in any way[i], but to illustrate that expressions of profane erotica are much more diverse than women often consider. Profane erotica as a whole can’t be labeled as a hate-generating machine.

…Is Not What’s Happening.

In fact, many (if not most) men who are addicted to profane erotica very much love women. They still love their wives, and would not trade them out for a porn queen, even if they somehow had that opportunity.

This is what profane erotica does to men’s bodies and minds:

·         It creates a dopamine release that pushes the individual to seek more. Dopamine is the “seeking” chemical.[ii] It’s also very addicting. It’s the powerful agent that is released into a man’s brain and body when he ejaculates.

·         The brain releases endorphins when the person finds what the brain is looking for, reinforcing their behavior as something desirable and good. These endorphins motivate the person to continue seeking more of that activity.

·         The male body craves sex, and the subconscious can’t tell the difference between what is real and what is simulated. All it knows is – it sees the promise of what it wants but can’t ever reach it, so the brain continues to motivate the man to seek for more.

·         For men who are married, profane erotica gives a libido boost. This comes in handy when you’re tired and having trouble getting an erection, but not in the mood for sex. It also helps men reach orgasm quicker. In addition to spiritual self-loathing, a consequence of this is the law of diminishing returns. It creates a dependence where eventually you can’t get an erection at all, unless you watch profane erotica first. This can also lead to impotence down the road.[iii]

·         Another drawback is that the man is thinking about another woman instead of his wife to get aroused, which mentally separates him emotionally from his wife and (in her mind) threatens the relationship. Fortunately, this effect has been shown to be reversible by abstaining from profane erotica for six months.

·         The ability to get an erection is strongly tied to a man’s self-esteem. If a man is feeling insecure about his attractiveness, virility, or ability to sexually satisfy his wife, this can motivate him to watch profane erotica because it is a self-medicating way to get a quick libido boost and erection.

·         For most men, the highest expression of love in marriage is to give and receive sexual pleasure. Women think very differently about sex, and this can be difficult for many women to understand as generally women more define sex as "relationship building" than the act itself. A man's perspective on sex is often something outside of their own experience, but it doesn’t make men wrong to feel this way. It just makes men different than women and with a righteous purpose, to bring husbands and wives together.

The Tyranny of False Expectations

Most male oriented profane erotica doesn’t follow any story line. They bypass relationship-building and focus more on the sexual act itself.This is because it bypasses the thinking part of the brain and does directly to the appetite part of the brain - the lymbic system.

Perhaps this is a reason women feel such an aversion toward male profane erotica -  because it tends to sidestep any emotional or relationship connection, which women value highly. It also tends to create the unrealistic impression that there are women who don’t need a relationship, and can go straight from seeing a man to wanting intercourse.

It gives the illusion that there are women who feel and desire and experience sexual intercourse the same as a man does; that a woman who can be turned on and ready for sex at a moment’s notice is more desirable than a woman who isn’t.

A woman may fear that her husband will hate her because she personally can’t live up to the “drop-of-a-hat” expectation that profane erotica can create. They fear the death of the relationship, which can be everything for the wife.

The reality is, men enter a relationship to get the sex. Building a relationship is challenging. Profane erotica promises men that they don’t need to go to all that work, or that there are women who don’t need the relationship and just want sex. Women see this, and think that if a man hates building a relationship, he must hate women.

What women often don’t realize is that the relationship was never the goal for the men in the first place…and this is true, even for righteous, LDS men. Men spend much of their lives and most of their time in priesthood meetings and service learning the value of relationships. It doesn’t come naturally to them, at least not as women define relationships. Sex motivates men to get better at relationships to get to the sex – this is a good thing. If men weren’t motivated by that powerful God-given drive to procreate, they wouldn’t be motivated to do much at all.[iv]

Profane erotica has been used as a self-medication to soothe a husband’s own insecurity…insecurity over possible rejection, insecurity about his own libido not working ‘right’ and insecurity about his ability to sexually satisfy his wife.

The hate that is focused on in studies is the belief that profane erotica creates a feeling of superiority over women and a hatred of any woman who thinks she is an equal to men. Studies showed these fears were unfounded.[v]

Again, this suggests that profane erotica is about creating relationships. It is not. Relationships are only utilized in female profane erotica. 

It Works Both Ways…

Some women wonder why men can kick back so hard at romantic novels or movies. This is for the same reason, but in reverse. Female profane erotica creates false expectations about how men should behave. Many times, they are also expectations that men cannot live up to, creating frustration toward men and then generating enmity between the sexes.

This is another reason to just stay away from both forms of profane erotica. I’m not saying that all romantic stories that women enjoy are profane, but some are. If a story is not explicitly sexual in nature like profane erotica aimed at men, but still creates unrealistic expectation of men’s behavior, it can still cause problems. These materials then contribute to separation, rather than bringing a couple closer together. 

Unity comes from understanding, appreciating, and gaining strength from our complementary differences. An electrical outlet could ridicule or hate a plug because they are different, but they need each other to fulfill the measure of their creation. Their ultimate purpose can only be accomplished together, despite their stark difference and functions. So, it is the same with men and women.[vi]

Profane erotica (pornography) addicts hate women: Myth

[i] It’s my belief that profane erotica (my term for pornography) cannot help an LDS marriage sexual relationship in any way. Any possible physical benefit discussed in this article is overwhelmed by the immediate spiritual and relationship damage that comes to the user. When the General Authorities encourage the members to ‘flee pornography’, that also includes married members of the Church for good reason.

[iii] Gary Wilson’s TED talk on “The Great Porn Experiment’ discusses this connection:

[iv] Mark Gungor tells a story on this video at 11:40: “This one lady tells me, she says: "You know what?" "My husband, if there are dirty dishes in the sink, he cleans them and puts them away." "Yes, and?" She said: "Well, I asked him: 'Why do you do that?'" "And he said: 'Because I hate dirty dishes!'" And she started cryin'! I said: "Lady, most women think they died and went to heaven if their husbands..." "Yeah, but I want him to say: 'I do it because I love you!'" Who cares why he does it?! Seriously, you've got to let up on this stuff! Leave him alone! Who cares what his motivations are! What his desires...! I tell you what most men desires are: Is to do nothing! :
[vi] 1 Corinthians 11:11

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