So when do people think pornography becomes pornographic? If I were to write a script for an adult film that is never filmed is the script pornographic? How about if I make a graphic novel or animated film (aka manga/anime) that has graphic sex scenes, is it pornography? How about a song that includes gratuitous descriptions of sex acts, is it pornographic? What about a statue of a man or woman masturbating*?* Or perhaps a female artist’s self portrait with a sex toy?
I ask this because many are focusing on the issue of exploitation of women in the movies (disregarding same sex abuse in homosexual porn I guess :shrug:). While abuse in filming is certainly an issue that is not the only (or even main) issue with pornography. I tend to think of it as a second offense congruent with the first. Pornography is a sin because it:
“… remove(s) real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners …” and “… offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. … It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world.”
Now one might say “but in romance novels there really aren’t any partners, they’re imaginary.” It still separates the conjugal act from true marital intimacy for the purpose of entertainment. Heck most would consider adult magazines like hustler or playgirl to be pornography. It does not mater if it’s real people, imaginary characters, or depictions of one’s self in lewd acts; pornography is about turning sexuality into entertainment.
To those that say romance novels don’t cause as much harm… one of the worst times I was hurt in my marriage was when my wife said she was tired and was just going to read a chapter from a “historical novel” (about a WWII nurse that travels back in time to 18th century Scotland). After 10 minutes of reading she put down the book, rolled over and said something along the lines of “guess I’m not as tired as I thought; want to fool around?” The next morning I read the chapter and it certainly painted all sorts of pictures in my head. I asked her if the couple pages in question had anything to do with her renewed vigor the night before and she said the chapter might have warmed her up to possibilities. I half jokingly asked if my manliness wasn’t enough and she said “sometimes you need a little fantasy to get in the mood.” Sword right through my heart. How many women would be okay with their husbands looking at nude women to get in the mood?
One last thought about the comment that women don’t spend hours reading romance novels. Is it any less a sin if someone masturbates for 2 minutes or 20?
The damage is not just the time or the the exploitation, but that it dissociates intimacy reserved for spouses into a fantasy world. It doesn’t matter if it’s video, sculpture, the written or spoken word. Dressing it up as romance instead of porn doesn’t change that fact.