For some, images such as this are pure evil. I find it beautiful...and hot.

900 days without porn or masturbation? No, not me. I am too sexual for that. Rather, I recently heard this from a man who was crusading against the evil of porn. Increasingly I am becoming uncomfortable with many religious approaches to porn. Most of these are Christian groups, but I am sure you could find Muslim or Jewish groups, and others, etc, engaged in the holy battle against lust and sin. In their desire to confess to their own porn addictions, and eliminate porn from the world, they do not seem to understand that turning porn, sexual desire, lust and masturbation into this evil, dark cultural problem only makes the allure of porn and sexual desire that much more powerful. Porn, rather, when not being enjoyed, should really be laughed at. Most of it is actually fairly silly stuff. But that is not the attitude of the anti-porn crusaders. No, to them it is a scourge as terrible as the black death.

I recently heard one testimony from a man who was trying to free himself from porn. He had gone over 900 days without looking at any porn, or masturbating. In another case, a young on her blog women tortures herself over her desires, her sexual thoughts and fantasies. She even tortures herself over her sexual dreams. She wants to be pure. She wants to be close to God. Among men, the term “warriors” is often used to describe the battle against sexual immorality. The war against porn is a militant movement. And as in all militant movements, women are white knighted to a degree that is absurd: women are holy and pure vessels who need to be protected from aggressive, sinful male sexual desire. Women are not sexual beings themselves. Rather, they are pure, holy, abstract creatures, the products of male intellectual moralizing. They don’t have pussies that actually get wet from desire. They are marble statues, or closer to images of the Virgin Mary. Pure, holy, sexless. Men are the aggressors, women the victims. In their world good women do not look at porn, or have deep sexual desires, or enjoy erotica, and the ones who do enjoy these things, the ones who are openly sexual, who even masturbate, well they are somehow damaged, psychologically fragile beings, victims of a pagan and morally impure society. In the morally pure universe of religious fanaticism, none of us can indulge in our fantasies, sexual or not. We must all be absolutely pure when it comes to sex and sexual desires.  God demands it.

A naked woman!!! Clearly, this smut must be eliminated for the good of us all.

Now, if people do not want to look at porn, that is fine, it is their choice. If they want to lead a life of religious purity, that is fine. I wish them well. But that is not what is happening here. As with all religious groups crusading against some perceived social ill, such as the Temperance movement in the Nineteenth century, this will eventually become a struggle for civil liberties. In the name of wiping out porn, and all things erotic, these fundamentalist religious types will attempt to enact political legislation to wipe out the scourge of porn from all aspects of our lives. The same happened with alcohol and this lead to the absurdity of Prohibition. And as with Prohibition, in the name of social purity, the net will be cast broadly (and, like Prohibition, it will utterly fail). If free speech suffers in the process, so be it. The loss of liberties will be justified in the name of God. It is basically same attitude that drives the Muslim fanatics to fly airplanes into skyscrapers. It wont be simply overt porn that the fanatics try to wipe out, but everything that they perceive to be pornographic, a threat to their holy souls, whether in print, television, or other forms of media. Anything that might arouse lusty thoughts is to be destroyed, all in the name of purity. As one of the neo-puritans said, porn is the “terrorism of the soul”. So in order to protect their own fragile souls from the scourge of this “terrorism”, they will insist that all erotica be wiped out, cleansed from the face of the earth. It is an old story, but one that never changes. The scourge of religious purity is always with us. The spirit of Savonarola lives.

If you doubt me on this, here is a bit of information. I recently heard a talk by a certain Archbishop, who was called for a crusade against pornography. He wants his flock to become “God’s instruments” in order to take back the culture from Satan. In his talk he mentioned the actual Crusades, and, with a few mistakes here and there, how they were basically a good and noble thing. Yes, Christians killing Muslims for some Middle Eastern real estate was indeed a good thing. So I often wonder…was the Christian God of love and peace blessing his holy warrior as he plunged his sword into the guts of the holy warrior of Islam defending his ancestral lands? I guess the Muslim warrior dying in agonizing pain for his homeland at the hands of French invaders is more than acceptable for the Christian religion of peace, forgiveness and brotherly love. Well, I guess that is the case for at least  some holy Archbishops today. You are allowed to commit all sorts of atrocious acts, even indiscriminate violence against innocent people, so long as you are acting as “God’s instrument” for social change. Onwards, Christian soldiers!

Rather than plunge my sword into an infidel in the name of God, I prefer to plunge my penis into my lover in the name of Eros.

This is not what is strange, the Crusades are a much more complicated history than the caricature they are often presented as, but the bottom line is that they were armed conflicts in the name of religion. Christians inflicted violent deaths on innocent people in the name of Christ and “social change”. So in the name of the Crusades a present day Bishop calls his flock to engage in a struggle against the evils of naked photos, erotic videos, and erotic writing. Bring it on, I say.

To me, porn is the natural extension of the basic human desire for visual stimulation. Men enjoy seeing beautiful women. We enjoy seeing them naked. Watching beautiful people fuck is a turn on. Women enjoy these things too. They enjoy reading good erotic things too. Good porn and erotica can even be artistic. The notion that you can wipe porn off the face of the earth is as ludicrous as thinking you can wipe drugs or alcohol out. Porn exists, and it exists as a 13 billion dollar industry, an industry greater than the NFL, MLB and NBA combined, because people want to see porn. Turning it into this horrible, demonic force unleashed by the forces of hell only serves to make porn all the more alluring, forbidden and enticing. That is what the initial attraction to porn was anyway, the allure of the hard to find sexually forbidden thing, before the internet made porn ubiquitous. The internet has actually made porn mundane. I really don’t view that much porn because, after viewing it, I find it rather dull and boring or ugly. But I do enjoy some porn or erotica. The good stuff can be a nice escape from reality for a while, like any good fantasy or form of entertainment. But after getting what I want from it, I simply move on to something else, such as writing, or reading good poetry or fiction or something like that. I don’t move on the more bizarre forms of porn when I become bored with it. I simply move on to something non sexual.

Erotic art would have to go too in the morally pure society.

Among the crusaders, the narrative is always the same: men become addicted to porn, they “objectify” women, they destroy their marriages, they ruin their pure, virginal wives with their nasty sexual desires. Whole lives are ruined. The destruction is cataclysmic. The world becomes aflame with sexual immorality. We are all lost. And so we need a crusade of repentant masturbators and porn addicts to free us from this scourge.

Here is how one person described their need for purity. This is how they “screen themselves from Satan’s evils”, as one speaker put it.

Screen movies. As we know, Hollywood is the source of all evil.
No television. Part of Hollywood and therefore evil.  Friends for instance, is an evil show that must be avoided. I heard one holy warrior state this recently. That is right, Friends is porn. Trust me, if the religiously pure had their way, it would be eliminated from television all together. You can only imagine what else would go.
Listen only to Christian music. Rock is evil. The Pope even condemned Led Zeppelin as demonic once. Too bad I am listening to it right now.
Don’t read newspapers. Yeah, newspapers, those bastions of evil and porn. I guess underwear adds are too tempting.
Don’t go to video stores that rent porn. As if these stores are even going to exist anymore in a few years, with all the free internet porn out there.
No internet on cell phones. Don’t want to jerk off at the office.
Filter away porn on pc at home. A lot of money is being made on selling porn addicts these things.
Take a polygraph every year for the integrity of one’s spouse. Oh yeah, the best way to a trusting, holy marriage is always through an annual polygraph.

I understand that there are people out there who have legitimate issues and problems with excessive use of porn or sexual activities. If these things are making you unhappy, ruining your finances or relationships, then you should avoid them. But, when it comes to the overall crusade against everything considered pornographic or erotic or sexually impure, especially in a religious context, I can’t help but laugh at this whole phenomena. It is a strange world for me. It is an alien world for me. The people advocating these things seem utterly naive, hopelessly idealistic, and completely repressed sexually. Despite my own spiritual desires, I feel no connection to these sort of things. Do people seriously think that they can eliminate the desire for people to see or read erotic things or to enjoy sexual pleasure outside the strict bonds of traditional marriage? If eroticism is so horrible, then why did God give us the capacity to enjoy these things? Why is eroticism so ubiquitous if it is so evil? If God is watching over us, then why does the internet even exist, with so many links to erotic pleasures. I thought we would never be tempted beyond our control? There is nothing more easy than to simply click a porn link in the privacy of your own home. Even alcoholics have to go to a store and publicly buy booze and spend money to do so. Porn is free.

Another bit of loveliness. Look, she is even touching her naughty parts. Does she not know, women ARE NOT ALLOWED to masturbate in the morally pure society. It is FORBIDDEN!!!

Listening to Christians endlessly rail on about sexual purity and the evils of erotic things makes me want to become a Hindu or Zoroastrian or something.