07 October 2009

Peeps' thoughts on porn

What is with the incredible pull of pornography? What's with it, I think, is the human ache to know and be known and the simultaneous terror of knowing and being known. We want the wonder, the joy, the piercing grief even, of knowing another person to the depths of her being; we want someone to seek out those depths in us. This is arousal, this is desire. It is love. It is what we most want.

It is also what we most fear. Pornography keeps the viewer safe, because it keeps the viewer anonymous and unknown. The problem is that being unknown is precisely what the viewer, ultimately, doesn't want. This pull between what the viewer feels that he desires, and then arriving at what he really doesn't desire, is what keeps the viewer temporarily satiated, and it's what keeps the viewer coming back. Hence: addiction. It evokes some kind of desire, and seems to meet the desire. The craving to be known and loved--and to know and love--is so powerful and pervasive. But the problem is obvious. The porn addict is like a starving man who does not know he is starving. He eats dirt, handful after handful, but he still feels so hungry. Instead of finding nourishing food to eat, he keeps eating more dirt, convinced that if he just eats more the gnawing hunger will subside.....

But pornography is an extreme (though a very common extreme) and it is a distortion. What about simple and ordinary desire? What about how sexuality is part of who we are all the time, what about how most relationships include some element of sexuality? Desire, intimacy, being known, loving.....what the heck are we supposed to do about these things?


...perhaps only when we can acknowledge to ourselves that we loathe and fear sex, and that we crave and love sex, that our desires are many and extraordinary (and utterly ordinary)--only when we are completely honest with ourselves--will we find ourselves. And we will find ourselves known, undressed, loved, desired, encompassed, taken, whole.
-Tamie http://owlrainfeathers.blogspot.com/2008/08/eros.html


3 comments:

casey lynn said...

Cristy, my friend and I are currently reading through Henri Nouwen's "Reaching Out" together, and I came across this excerpt that I thought you might be interested in:

"The contemporary society in which we find ourselves makes us acutely aware that we are living in a world where even the most intimate relationships have become part of competition and rivalry.
"Pornography seems one of the logical results. It is intimacy for sale. In the many 'porno shops' hundreds of lonely young and old men, full of fear that anyone will recognize them, gaze silently at the pictures of nude girls drawing their minds into intimate close rooms where some stranger will melt away their loneliness. The streets meanwhile shout about the cruel struggle for survival and even the porno corners cannot silence that noise, certainly not when the shop owners keep reminding their customers that they should buy instead of 'just looking.'"

cristyroses said...

wow. sorry it's taken me so long to respond, but BIG THANKS for this post comment. In that book I recently read, the writer argues that Western civilization values, above all, the all-seeing eye.
Here's a clip from my book sum; you might find it interesting:

McFague explores the historical movement from medieval thought to the “arrogant [and all knowing/enlightened] eye [of the mind]” that allows the “viewer [the illusion of[ distance, objectivity, and control: one can see without being seen, without being touched, without behind heard, without being detected”(67). This type of vision, which comes from platonic and descartian disembodied light of reason (74) that desires to understand to control (75). The arrogant eye then sees nature as a landscape painting (rather than a maze), a film spectacle (68), a National Geographic article that appears like a documentary but is really interpretative (82), a zoo, and pornography (85). It leads to “substitut[ing] pictures for the real thing” (83) and “stealing souls” (84). The viewer, the subject of the arrogant eye, “denies its dependency on the other” and “the other is polarized though hyperseparation” (88-9).

I realized in reading and writing this that although porn is not something I'm interested in, I do fluctuate between either fusion or hyperseparation and I let my imagination keep me at a distance from others, so I don't have to be vulnerable. Anyways, such is life. Besos.

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