Porn give unrealistic expectations?

Hi, does porn gives unrealistic expectations for marriage? Esp. when considering the vocation of marriage, and do you think it can be a hindrance for marriage decision?

Absolutely.

Just as a visit to a sewer will give you an unrealistic expectation of what to expect at the ocean.

I am inclined to say “yes”. I’m going to analyze this not from the moral sense, as that is something that is quite common sense. Let’s look at this, rather, through a more scientific approach, but one that still shows the dangers of pornography.

Pornography depicts sexual activity as something that is just constantly wanted by women and men, when this is, of course, far from the truth. Indeed, men tend to be much more interested in sexual activity than women, but, there are still times when even guys are not interested in having sex. It is not a very common happening, but still, it does happen. While men do have high levels of testosterone in their youth, they are not machines. I can speak to this fact. I am an 18 year old guy. I struggle often with the temptations of lust and sexual activity. But there are times (and I am quite thankful for these times) when I do not feel really any temptation of lust.

As we do have a natural, primal component, we do feel sexual urges in cycles. To feel these urges is not a sin in itself, for we all will get hit with sexual desire every once and a while. And sexual desire, when kept in order, is a good thing. If it wasn’t for sexual desire, the human race would have died out long ago. There is a difference between healthy sexual desire and lust. Lust is just letting your desires rule you and engaging in them without a care. Healthy sexual desire is tempered sexual desire, where you control your desires. Allow me to explain.

I am walking down the street, when I see a young woman, about my age. Her appearance is very physically attractive to me. I cannot help but notice this. But am I in a state of sin for doing such?

No. Merely recognizing that a member of the opposite sex is physically attractive is not a sin at all. God created this young woman, did He not? Is not recognizing her beauty a way of recognizing the perfection of God’s creation? If I think to myself, “What a beautiful young woman. Lord, Your creation reflects Your perfection.” I am not doing anything wrong at all. I may, being that I am attracted to physically attractive women (sorry if that was redundant), want to strike up a conversation with this young woman to see if there is any potential for a relationship. This is also not a sin. I am merely seeing if she’s someone I could see myself in a chaste, romantic relationship with. This is sexual desire, because the end goal of these relationships is marriage, and with marriage comes the marital act. But this is healthy sexual desire, as I am maintaining my chastity while seeking the woman I am to someday join in marriage.

This is not to say that if you currently have a boyfriend or girlfriend, you must marry that person. No, no, no. Sometimes, relationships seems like they work, but then the unmarried couple finds that it isn’t working, and so the relationship ends. This is not a sin, as they are not bound by marriage. Some of us will find the “right one” on the first try. Some of us may have numerous, chaste relationships before they find the one they feel God is calling them to marry.

Allow me now to show how pornography ruins that healthy sexual desire. Pornography makes it seem as though all women are lusting, sex-crazed machines that constantly desire all sexual activity no matter what it is. This is, of course, completely false. But the illusion of pornography makes it seem as such.

Let’s go back to me walking down the street, but, in this case, I am someone who often views pornography. I see this same beautiful young woman walking towards me. As someone with a pornography-damaged perception of women, instead of thinking, “Wow, she is beautiful. Lord, Your perfection is reflected by Your creation.” I’m more likely to think, “Wow, I’d love to get me some of that.” as I think of the pornography-inspired sexual adventures I’d have with this innocent young woman

Let’s look at the phrase, “Get some of that,” in this sense. I am not viewing this unique, beautiful young woman as a fellow person, but as something for my pleasure, as referenced by my reference to her as “that”. A woman is not an object. She is a unique, wonderful blessing of God. Indeed, she has a sexual aspect, but that is a sacred thing, reserved for marriage with her loving spouse.

That is why pornography damages marriage potential: It damages our perception of the opposite sex.

:thumbsup:

As someone who semi-regularly views pornography I’m not quite sure that’s a fair assessment. I think pornography simply depicts sexual activity. I don’t know that it depicts that people constantly want to have sex simply that people have sex (of all kinds).

And numerous movies and novels depict lawmen as something they’re not and priests as something they’re not and so on. Pornography is a sort of fiction; it is a given that it does not depict reality (assuming we’re not talking about home videos or something of that nature).

I still walk down the street and think far something closer to ‘she is beautiful’ (without the theological additions) than ‘I’d love to get me some of that.’ I would, however, go so far as to say that in my very limited personal experience (some) people look better naked. The form of the human body is a fantastic thing to behold in its abundant variations. While a person who assumed pornography depicts the true state of the world with regards to sex may think people look much different than they really do I don’t think this is a reasonable, realistic or common assumption. Further, if it is, it oughtn’t to be but I think that’s not to say that pornography shouldn’t exist but that people should realize that it’s not real.

There is a website to which I want to link but I am not sure if it is appropriate so I shan’t but you can google “make love, not porn” and you will find a website designed to dispel some of the more pervasive myths inspired by a worldview that can’t tell fiction from reality with regards to sex.

As a parting note it’s not only pornography that gives people false impressions. According to his biographer, Mary Lutyens, John Ruskin–author, artist and art critic–was so accustomed to the hairless nudes in art was so shocked by his discovery of his wife Effie’s pubic hair that he rejected her, finding her to be freakish and deformed. The marriage was later legally annulled (Millais and the Ruskins). I don’t think the classical art is any more responsible for Ruskin’s problem than pornography is for contemporary men’s issues; people have a hard time distinguishing fiction from reality and that is the core of the problem not the particular medium.

If you believe porn represents real sex, yes. Real people rarely measure up to fantasy.

For some people, sure. The same goes for all movies. A Beautiful Mind can give people wrong ideas about schizophrenics. Gladiator can give people a false impression of ancient Rome. Both movies can cause people to have a skewed view of Russell Crowe!

Fortunately, not everyone is so naive. People just need to understand the difference between movies and real life—and that goes for porn flicks, too.

Esp. when considering the vocation of marriage, and do you think it can be a hindrance for marriage decision?

I suppose there must be cases where it is, yes. I highly doubt that such cases are common, though.

Heh, speak for yourself.:smiley:

the porn habit destroys completely the ability to enter into marriage positively with proper intent and expectations, because one is already disposed to demean and objectify one’s partner, and the prospects for true intimacy, true self-giving love and the union God intended are dim. It causes as much damage as promiscuous sexual activity before marriage, and even more because while most people will stop that, at least for a while after marriage, the porn habit is likely to continue, so that person is constantly unfaithful to his or her spouse.

Ah…two unmarried people having graphic sex isn’t real because…?

Sure the plot isn’t real, but c’mon, the **plot **isn’t what’s most objectionable about porn.

Because it’s not real sex, that is to say it does not represent two (or more) real people having real sex in the privacy of their own bedroom (or kitchen &c). I suppose I wasn’t clear; of course the sex acts in pornography are real but they’re not real insofar as not very women, I presume, like impromptu anal sex or to be ejaculated upon despite the prevalence of these things in pornography. Does that make sense (honest question not a pedantic question, I’m not trying to talk down to you)?

Wait, the plots aren’t real either?! There goes my dream of being a UPS delivery guy or a milkman…

As a woman I can say yes. I’ve had boyfriends who watched porn and went to strip clubs and, even if they never said anything about it, I felt I could never measure up to those women. I’m by no means ugly, but it’s hard to compete with airbrushing and plastic body parts. Then the question becomes, if you watch porn then have sex with your wife, who are you really having sex with? Physically, you’re with your wife, but in your mind there’s the plastic bimbo that’s ridiculously flexible, lets you do whatever you want and moans enough to wake the neighbors. That’s not a standard that I, or any woman for that matter, wants to be held up to. We want to be cherished wives, not porn stars.

Women in porn are always ready for whatever kind of sex the man wants and are always shown oohing and aahing over the slightest touch. They are also shown enjoying sex acts that are specifically designed to be painful and degrading. Porn actresses only do it because it is a fantasy world and they are getting paid but just imagine if that is what a normal woman is expected to do. If you’re expectations are coming from porn you will not only be unable to relate to a woman in a sexual relationship you will also make one lousy lover.

I think it not only gives an unrealistic expectation for sexual activity in marriage but also in any kind of relationship. It puts intercourse on a pedastal as being the be-all-and-end-all of a relationship when it’s only one part. Yes sex is wonderful but we have to appreciate it in the context for which it was created. It is a gift given by God to bring a man and a woman closer togther in a marriage and to allow them to become a part of the life-giving process. Pornography objectifies it and the men and women involved. It alienates those who watch it from what sex is really about. That’s why I think it’s so dangerous.

OK, I understand what you’re saying. I thought you were implying that it’s not “real” sex in that it was simulated, and what we see on screen wasn’t what was happening.

I think pizza delivery guys are statistically the most…um…common foil for the storyline.

Interesting; I usually skip that bit when my movies have bits like that.

While what Thomas says here is in general true, there is a difference between porn and movies. In our brains are biochemicals that will grow and go into higher states of readiness as well as neurons that will link up and connect in unique ways depending on the stimulation we received.

Most of the time these biochemicals are increased or decreased in reversible ways. (Think of elastic loading on material mechanics or folding a piece of paper gently.) Then there are times when the stimulation is high enough that it triggers secondary effects that creates new baseline of biochemical readiness. (Think of plastic deformation in material mechanics or folding and forming a crease on the paper.)

Once this happens, new neuron connections are made. Repeated events of this will create lasting durable neural networks. While lesser stages can be dangerous, at this point, pornography has been ingrained and would take effort to remove. This could be ingrained as images, as sensations, as autonomic responses such as drooling or heighten excitation. As anyone that watches porn can attest, there are real bodily reactions that come more easily the second, third, or 100th time a person watches porn. One easy example is that a guy may take 30 seconds to get stiff the first time he views porn but now takes 5 seconds or even starts getting stiff as he searches and has not yet even found porn. The signal to get stiff comes from your brain. It’s not a coincidence. Their are many other changes inside the brain than getting stiff.

The difference between porn and movies about lawyers and priests is the level of stimulation. If a person has a gavel fetish, that person may be the same biological high from watching lawyer movies with gavels in it as a person who watches porn. Generally gavel fetishes are rare while sexual attraction to air-brushed bodies are common. Thus a Catholic with a gavel fetish would need to avoid lawyer movies if he wants to not have this problem and non-asexual Catholics would need to avoid porn for the same effect.

Loved this clear message!


As a side note, it may help those that enjoy porn to know that those professionally made porn could take a whole day to shoot a few minutes. This means that the women and men are surrounded by a team of people that regularly wipes the sweat or puts on jackets, whichever is appropriate at the time, throughout the day while the actors and actresses are holding the particular position. You see a lot of scene changing in professional porn because they cannot realistically make continuous scenes. In addition, they often have body doubles because while a girl could look hot from this angle she does not from another. Lastly, gays in porn are very strained. They could use techniques such as surgeries or inflatables to keep themselves stiff causing all sorts of health problems. In addition the actors/actresses are often yelled at and they often complain. Some do enjoy their work, but this is not often the case. They also have a very limited contract. Their usable years in the professional industry is very narrow and often they have to make many many film clips to have a sale-able product.

The first question, not necessarily, depends on what kind of porn you’ve seen. I’m not even sure what the second question means?

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