On Porn, and how Cyndi Lauper Can Help You Find Yourself

Over the past week or so, there’s been a story that keeps popping up on various online news sites (I saw something about it on CNN.com, Foxnews.com, Yahoo, and Drudge Report), regarding a young woman—a freshman at Duke University—was “outed” by a classmate as being a porn star. Ostensibly, she chose this particular career path because college is really expensive and she needed help with her tuition.

As an adult student nearing completion of my BA, finally, I can personally attest to the truth of this. College is freaking expensive. I chose the student loan path, however, rather than trying to break into the adult film industry as an overweight guy in his mid-40’s with more hair on his back than his head.

What got my head to spinning a little bit about this young woman was not her work (no, I did not try to find any, though I am certain it would have been easy), but a comment she made in an interview. There was a very short blurb on CNN where she said words to the effect that she found performing in porn “freeing.”

Who is freed?

As I can only speak from a male perspective, I would submit to anyone who cares to listen that porn isn’t freeing at all—quite the contrary. It’s enslaving.

It’s my belief that her attitude is something symptomatic of this current generation, which has somehow found itself steeped in moral relativism rather than any sort of values, traditional or otherwise. Hey, go ahead and do it if no one gets hurt. And sometimes even if they do.

Porn is freeing? It is not. I only wish I were not speaking from experience. If you want statistics, I am sure there are plenty of articles out there that will give them to you. That isn’t what I wanted to talk about today.

Porn is dangerous and harmful in so many ways. It is not, as the industry and those partaking in it would have you think, harmless or victimless–in my opinion, not to the consumers or the performers.

This line of reasoning, however, is what makes it so easy to fall back into the habit of looking at that shit and rationalizing it as simply entertainment.

Why is it harmful?

Again, from a male perspective, it gives young people–young men–a highly skewed (and highly incorrect) perception of what sex should be like, and how women (or men, I suppose) view it.

It objectifies both women and men and makes the act itself often a carnal buffet of grossness, supposedly meant to be titillating but often more along the lines of nauseating, at least to me.

Perhaps those without “religious” values or some kind of moral center would think of porn like the performers and partakers do, but it is so difficult for me to get my mind around that way of thinking, now that I realize the truth of it, and think about my own kids potentially getting involved in it or with it.

This young woman at Duke is not freeing herself, no matter what she might say or think. Kudos go out, I suppose, for her entrepreneurial spirit. She found a way to pay her tuition without going into debt. Yay.

Numerous meaningless sexual encounters with people who likely view her as little more than a…means to an end.

Meanwhile, young men (and possibly women—I don’t know anything from that perspective) are partaking in her work and developing an image in their little heads about what women are like, and what they want from a sexual encounter (which, I believe, is meant to be—as designed by God—within the framework of a marriage). In my opinion (and in my experience), that is not a game of naked Twister with…uh, visible results.

As someone who was single for most of my adult life, there was a time when I held that image of women that porn wanted me to. I am thankful that God showed me the truth of it. I was chained up by that nasty garbage for a number of years, and I know plenty of other men who were, too, at one point or another. I know men who have had their relationships and their marriages threatened by it, and lost to it.

It’s not harmless, people. It’s not victimless, either.

I can’t say how performing in porn damages the female psyches of young women.

I can’t say how it damages the psyches of the male performers, either.

What I can say is that if left unchecked, it can be an addiction like any other addiction. It can affect and even ruin lives. It can prevent or harm otherwise healthy relationships and marriages by giving men and women unrealistic and unhealthy ideas about sex and love, in a sense.

My personal belief is that if you reduce sex to a simply biological act, then you are detracting from what it was designed to be. The formula that porn tries to sell people is false. It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s bull, completely.

If you had a daughter, would you want her to be a porn star? How about your sister? Your mom?

Would you instruct your son on how to find the “best” porn online?

Rhetorical questions, certainly, and I hope the answers would be “no” if given.

All I know is when I was slave to that crap I was lost in almost every way a person can be lost. I found my way out, by the grace of God and the accountability of people I trusted. You can, too, if you’re stuck in that particular rut.

I was thinking about that stuff all the way to work today, and I remember asking God what to say about it? How can my words mean anything to anyone?

I was driving down 95 when the words of an old 1980’s song occurred to me, from the unlikely Cyndi Lauper.

If you’re lost you can look and you will find me

Time after Time

If you fall I will catch you, I’ll be waiting

Time after Time

I don’t know if that will mean anything to anyone else, but it did to me.

Clearly, she wasn’t writing about God. But that’s what the chorus made me think of today. Funny how that works.