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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Competing With XXX

“We can’t possibly make ourselves look as appealing to our mates as all of the pornographic images they have access to,” is a lament I often hear from women.

They have a point. Most females don’t resemble the surgically altered nymphomaniacs portrayed on screen--ever young, alluring and available.

And speaking of available, fifty years ago there were some 1000 US theaters featuring X-rated films. Most were in an undesirable part of town, and to go there was to risk ones good reputation.

Today there are literally millions of such “theaters” everywhere, in the form of personal computers found in almost every home and office, each with unlimited varieties of X-rated material available at the click of a mouse. As a result, the number of men addicted to this fare has multiplied, with large numbers of teen age boys now hooked on this material.

That’s the bad news--and its even worse than bad. We may never fully know the devastating effects of this plague on the stability and durability of marriage and family relationships.

Is there any good news in the picture?

Maybe. There is at least one simple truth we should announce loud and clear: Most of this X-rated hype is utterly fake. In real life, the characters portrayed aren’t any more interested in sex than the rest of us, just greedy for the big bucks they can make--or for the attention they can get--pretending to be.

In the end, pornography is all about using deception for the sake of obscene profits. In reality, it is to good, satisfying lovemaking something like WWE wrestling is to an Olympic event. If we’re looking for fantasy, we can find plenty of it here to fix our eyes on and to fire up our imaginations. But in the end, the actors and actresses involved are as pathetic and needy as are the consumers of their shabby products.

Unfortunately, a lot of addicted men, infantile in their need for a next quick fix, have lost their ability to appreciate the difference. According to feminist author Naomi Wolfe, a disturbing number of males have come to expect their wives or partners to look and perform like porn stars. “Real women,” she says, “who come in a wide variety of body styles, and who aren’t downloadable and then deleteable at will, and who aren’t dying to have instant sex with whatever male body may be at hand, are seen as just not being exciting enough to satisfy today’s pornographized expectations.” Wolfe adds that today “sex, like the fast food industry, is about everything being super packaged and super sized, where the more appetites are stimulated by poor-quality material, the more junk it takes to satisfy.”

But if we prefer truly satisfying and lasting bonds, real men and women like you and me can outperform the competition hands down. With God’s help, we can affirm things like “I love you,” and “I’ll always be there for you,” and really mean it. We can actually keep sacred promises like “in sickness and in health,” and “until death do us part.” We can offer reassuring touch and warm hugs to the love of our life, and receive the same. And we can form a satisfying lifelong bond and help create a loving family that can bless the world.

That’s real, unlike anything the dark and fake world of porn can offer. And in the context of a committed and blessed wedded life, we can celebrate times of ecstasy and intimacy far superior to anything offered on screen--with pure delight and no regrets.

That’s priceless.
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