Men Aren't Pigs

Most guys remember the awkwardness of "becoming a man." For me, it was realizing that Xena: Warrior Princess had become my favorite TV show. I also found myself ignoring the comics in the newspaper in favor of the Sears catalog.

As I got older, things only got more difficult for those of us who grew up with the internet in our homes. Years ago, good Christian boys could keep the wiles of the world at bay because to do otherwise meant publicly purchasing a copy of Playboy (no, I'm not linking that).

But then cable happened and those lucky enough to have their own TV's could stay up till 3:30 and watch Girls Gone Wild in the privacy of their own rooms. The internet was truly a game changer. Especially if you had your own computer like I did.

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of women read that and were disgusted that this has become the common experience of most men. And after battling a 9-year-long pornography addiction and having to explain that to my wife, I understand your indignation.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc
All I can say is what I've learned as a survivor. And I think there are two critical elements missing from our understanding of boys and porn.

The first is curiosity. Pardon me for getting graphic, but let's be honest: the first time a young guy realizes he can ejaculate, he's pretty stoked. We all know boys are obsessed with bodily functions so this is not much different. Except that it feels better than most things. Can we really blame young men for getting a little excited about that?

It's new. It's different. It's pleasurable. It's everything that men love about life. So exploring that function is natural. I'm not getting moral yet, just looking at the physical act. And in that sense, it's harmless.

The second is intimacy. I didn't even realize this one until later when my wife and I were working through some of that stuff. She was the one who pointed out that I was looking for intimacy, just in all the wrong places. And I think she's right.

Not to abdicate men's moral responsibility or ignore the evil impulses within all of us, but sex was designed to foster intimacy. In fact, I'd go so far as to say there's no such thing as a solo sex act. At least in our minds. It's something we've all been wired to long for and search for. Just because the world has given us all these devices doesn't mean the desire is wrong.

It's all a part of the shame culture our podcast talked about recently. And men are no more immune than women. Just like girls are made to feel guilty for losing their virginity, boys are made to feel dirty for looking at porn.

The problem is, when you tell people that, they begin to believe that those natural and healthy things like curiosity and intimacy are shameful too. Instead of shaming impurity, we need to be cultivating intimacy. Just like food was meant to taste good, sex was made to feel good. Let's not make people feel guilty for looking forward to that.