Porn. Part 2.

How “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” Broke My Heart and Killed My Generation. Part 8. 

Porn – it’s such a tricky thing and seemingly so well defined. But I would argue that it’s not well defined. Sure we have societal, industry, and the religious definitions but what exactly IS porn? I did a quick search in Miriam Webster.

Definition of PORNOGRAPHY

1: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement

2: material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement

3: the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.

Hmm… different than what I thought it would be. How about you? I especially want to zero in on the third definition. “… arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.” Oh wait, so there’s emotional porn too? I feel like chick-flicks and romantic novels should be next to that statement in parentheses.

Now don’t get me wrong – I am a sucker for romance just like any other girl. I want to be wooed, desired, and pursued. I’m just learning that real life wooing is much different than that of novels and movies. Yesterday we talked about traditional porn and how it teaches people that their future spouse’s body won’t satisfy them. While I can’t speak from experience I can agree with that theory.

I can however speak to the experience of feeling like no man will ever match up to the lead in a romance novel or Noah from the Notebook. I think it was sometime in college that I realized that I turned to these books when I was feeling unwanted or unlovable. For a few hours I could escape into a novel where there was usually a feisty girl, some sort of conflict, enter the romantic hero who she either doesn’t get along with or they don’t love each other at first, more conflict, eventually he rescues her, and they fall madly in love. At some point he lets her down but then quickly realizes what he’s done and says all the right things to make up for it.

It wasn’t so much as the actual novels and content, it was what I did with it. I filled a void, an ache, and an emptiness. I kept pushing real life guys away to see if we could create our own romantic novel. I set them up for expectations that they couldn’t ever meet without realizing it. But as I started diving into the struggles my guy friends had with porn, I started to see my own struggle.It’s amazing how seeing the struggle of someone else often is a mirror to your own struggles.

Just like young men are exposed to traditional porn very early on, I think emotional porn is something that we are exposed to from a very young age. I would argue that soft core emotional porn starts with Disney Princess movies.

I watched those movies from a very young age, as I’m sure many of us did. We cut our teeth on Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. We were raised to believe in fairytale endings and happily ever after. Between 1989 – 1995 (6 years), Disney released 5 Disney Princess movies. Compare that to the 3 between 1937-1959 (18 years) and it’s not hard to see the significant influx of these types of movies between different generations.

Couple the early influence of fairy tale endings, children being raised as a product of divorced house-holds, aggressive women / passive men, and you’ve got the perfect storm of dysfunctional young adults. Many of us grew up thinking that marriage is the next logical step right after high school or into college, especially those of us influenced by the courtship movement. So naturally, we did what we thought was the right thing and got married.

We got married believing in fairy tale endings, prince charming, and romantic comedies. We came from dysfunctional house holds and shunned dating which kept us from learning healthy relationship skills. We set ourselves up to fail.

And fail we’ve done. I can name half a dozen great Godly men I know whose wives have cheated on them and left. These guys are primarily in their twenties or early thirties. It shocked me when I started noticing a trend of this. Guys in Nashville, guys in Colorado, it was an epidemic! It broke my heart because I knew that so much of it has been because women haven’t gotten what they need and leave to find it elsewhere. Not realizing that they will never be fulfilled by another human. But they don’t believe that to be true so they keep moving on breaking their own hearts and the hearts of these wonderful men.

Ladies, Prince Charming does not exist. Noah does not exist. Mr. Darcy does not exist. You know who does exist? A whole generation of men who can’t measure up to them. A whole generation of men that we’ve written off because they don’t write us letters every day for a year or stand in a field at sunrise waiting for us to show up so they can declare their love for us. A whole generation of men that long to fight for you but they don’t know how.

These men have more romance that you could ever imagine. They have more romance than the movies, and the novels, and the tv shows put together. They just don’t know it. They need to know we aren’t going to make fun of their feeble attempts or shoot them down when they fumble through a compliment. They need to know that THEY are enough. They need to know we don’t expect them to be perfect but we want them. We don’t want a made up version of them. We want the real life flawed imperfect silly confusing wonderful them.

The sooner we start admitting this and living in it – the better it will be in our relationships.

Let’s encourage each other to stop numbing our loneliness with emotional porn. Instead of going to see the new Twilight movie – go to coffee or go for a hike. Spend time talking about your loneliness and being mutually encouraging in the faith. Make dinner. Just don’t numb the ache together.

Two more posts to go and then we’re all finished! Well maybe… 🙂


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2 thoughts on “Porn. Part 2.

  1. Pingback: Never Been Kissed. Part 2. | The Heart of the Journey

  2. Pingback: The New Purity | Restore Our Love

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