quas, Creative Commons
“I must warn you that what I am about to share with you is very dark.”
So began an article I read via Facebook last July. The featured image was of a very cute, wholesome-looking fourteen-year-old girl. The article was written by a reformed porn actress recruiter who exploited and preyed upon very young women and girls. It was depressingly eye-opening.
The article brought to mind the ad that ran daily in my university’s newspaper – the one that promised big bucks for modeling. The ad seemed creepy and the money seemed too good to be true. But there the ad was, in my face, day after day, wearing me down. And as my bank account grew weaker, so did my common sense. “What’s the harm in calling and asking?,” I finally inquired of my roommate. “Go ahead,” she replied. So I called. “Modeling and light massage” is what I was told. I did not know what “light massage” meant, exactly, but I knew I wanted no part of it. So I quickly hung up the phone. We still used wall phones back then. And then I spritzed the phone with lysol – just in case. Ewww.
Now I know what became of some/many/most? of my fellow co-eds who did not hang up their phones. Now I know what could have become of me.
The article went on for paragraphs detailing how the perpetrator lured the young girl further and further into decay – from “innocent” modeling into full-blown hardcore pornography. He also detailed how he ruined her life in the process – how it is still ruined.
By the end of the article I was angry. I wanted to smack him – HARD!
As the article progressed, the pictures he included became more and more inappropriate. Perhaps he was trying to show the evolution from wholesomeness to defilement. But I felt like he was exploiting her all over again.
It felt like he was providing a fix to any pitiful sex addict that might stumble upon it.
Or – to be generous – at least potentially triggering a recovering addict.
It made me mad that, in the end, he is reformed (unless he’s not and the article was an insidious attempt to “innocently” lure in new users… wait, that might be too dark on my part. But I might as well admit that it struck me that way. I have a very strong and reliable sense of discernment). And, in the end, he is making money off of his book and speaking engagements, while she is still strung out and homeless, trying to rear her child in poverty.
I hope he’s throwing some of the money her child’s way, because not only did he ruin her life, as the title of the article states, he also got her child’s life off to a very rocky, rocky, rocky start.
Then yesterday I started following a Christian blogger who is a recovering porn addict.
He wrote a book on how to break the addiction. When I speak to kids, I warn them to steer way clear of that stuff. But sadly, for some it is too late, and then parents and teachers ask me to suggest resources. So I read an excerpt from his book. And it made me say, “Ewww.” I could have done without the details. And then it occurred to me that for some, those details would be a trigger.
So I commented my thought to him. And he sent a suitable reply saying it was tricky and unavoidable.
Except that David gave no details whatsoever when he confessed his sexual sin with Bathsheba. And we, the readers, understand perfectly well what happened without them. What he did share was how the sin affected him:
When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer. from Psalm 32
And how he regained his strength:
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin. from Psalm 32
And what the consequences were:
Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house… Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight…. because you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” from 2 Samuel 12
As a recovering addict, the blogger should know better. A recovering food addict would not describe the taste, sensation and ritual of eating a box of frozen hostess cupcakes to readers who might just stumble at those words – who might run to her stash hidden under the organic chicken and frozen green beans in her downstairs freezer.
A recovering alcoholic would not describe the glorious burning sensation of the alcohol traveling down his throat and into his veins, warming and calming his body. Even if he was describing it in the context of saying alcohol ruined his life. A true recovering alcoholic, If he really cared about helping others, would just say, “Alcohol ruined my life.” Any details would be about the damage he did to himself and others. Anyone reading it who was an alcoholic/recovering alcoholic would not need the experience described for them – they live(d) it.
Writing books about one’s sexual addiction is a tricky business – it is obviously very easy to warp into exploiting one’s disease and/or enticing others.
So here’s my question and my challenge:
Would someone PLEASE write a book about how to break a pornography/sex addiction that does not include any descriptions of the acts. Those who are caught in that web already know what the acts look like and they are trying to keep those images out of their heads thank-you-very-much.
Would someone please write a book that I can actually recommend to a teen or parent without worrying that they will be sucked in, or relapse?
Maybe I am a pornophobe. So what? Sex is one of God’s greatest inventions and pornography wrecks, wrecks, wreck it. And I’m sick of it.
New Year’s Eve, after our truly special dinner, the four of us played Scrabble. We played the deluxe, mahogany-encased Scrabble that my daughter gave us for Christmas.
Before playing one of his words, our guest – the father of two very wholesome, healthy, well-adjusted young adults (one a newlywed and the other a college student) – apologized for what he was about to lay down on the board: n-u-d-e.
I wish the writers of books and articles on pornography and sex addiction would be that kind of a gentleman, with that level of sensibility. Amen.
© The Reluctant Baptist, 2015