Porn and Sad Sex

The New Year: time for resolutions, or maybe just the firm resolution to change the direction of one’s life.  We are as Orthodox prayer taught to spend the remaining time of our lives in repentance.  Certainly one form of media “entertainment” which Christians need to wean themselves away from is pornography whether soft or hard.

According to PACIFIC STANDARD magazine  (Jan/Feb 2013), in a study done through Indiana University which covered years from 2006-2008, respondents who reported watching x-rated movies were about twice as likely to engage in casual sex as those who claimed not to watch porn.  The study is interesting because many who watch porn would say it doesn’t affect anyone but themselves.  This study says otherwise – people who watch porn engage in more casual sex than those who don’t.  That finding isn’t surprising, but people who watch porn and claim it doesn’t affect anyone else, need to think about the partners with whom they engage in casual sex -porn obviously has some effect on the people seeking casual sex and their partners.  Porn affects what we do with others – it is a form of media that effects how we view others and our relationships with them.

Interestingly people who reported that they were over all “very happy” did not engage as frequently in the casual sex even after watching porn – the effects of the porn were pronounced among those who felt only “pretty happy” about themselves.   The less happy one is the more one engages in casual sex after watching porn.   Those who considered themselves “’not too happy’ were almost seven times more likely to be sleeping around.”  So those finding themselves with casual sex partners, keep in mind your partners may simply be not too happy with themselves rather than interested in you.  Then of course maybe you are engaged in casual sex because you are not happy either.

While the culture may be comfortable with random people meaninglessly hooking up, Christians are supposed to be coming to terms with their sexuality in terms of love, reproduction and God’s will.   Porn does not fit well into a godly understanding of sex.

Watching porn and then engaging in casual sex is at best selfish acts of seeking satisfaction and sexual release.  No report that casual sex did anything to improve happiness.  Is casual sex therefore the behavior of the sad?   Sex may momentarily, due to releasing hormones in the body and the right chemicals in the brain, have an intense uplifting effect on those who are feeling none-too-happy.  But it does not long term change one’s disposition no matter how much one uses sex or sexual partners to satisfy one’s self.

What we do, what we watch, what we think, how we relate to others are never just personal choices for they always have social and spiritual consequences.

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3 Responses to Porn and Sad Sex

  1. Pingback: Orthodox Collective

  2. fatherlevi says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Father – it is always good to have studies one can point to back up some of the other reasons porn is bad for humanity to counter the ‘oh, you just don’t people to enjoy themselves’ type of nonsense arguments out there. Happy new year!

  3. James Marnell says:

    Fr. Ted, I’m sure you realize that the loneliest and saddest sex that often results from the frequent consumption of Porn is mastrubation. This essay is excellent in many respects. However, I find the lack of any mention of self abuse and its negative spiritual/psychological impact, gives the piece much less realism. I appreciate your willingness to broach a subject often avoided in church circles as taboo to the detriment of the flock. I do think it important to note that above and beyond increase of casual sex, Porn incites an essentially inverted and self defeating exercise of sexuality frequently leading to forms of compulsive addiction with ruinous effects on spouses, children and other significant relationships. Church pastors need to expose this illness to the therapeutic remedies available uniquely within the Body of Christ, namely the sacrament of repentance and the Holy Eucharist. Thanks for joining your virtual voice to meeting this pastoral challenge.

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