Take the Pledge: No More Indulging Porn

wein

 

By SHMULEY BOTEACH and PAMELA ANDERSON
Aug. 31, 2016
Wall Street Journal

If anyone still had doubts about the addictive dangers of pornography, Anthony Weiner should have put paid to them with his repeated, self-sabotaging sexting.

And if anyone still doubted the devastation that porn addiction wreaks on those closest to the addict, behold the now-shattered marriage of Mr. Weiner and Huma Abedin, a breakup that she initiated, reportedly, in shock at the disgraced ex-congressman’s inclusion of their 4-year-old son in one lewd photo that he sent to a near-stranger.

From our respective positions of rabbi-counselor and former Playboy model and actress, we have often warned about pornography’s corrosive effects on a man’s soul and on his ability to function as husband and, by extension, as father. This is a public hazard of unprecedented seriousness given how freely available, anonymously accessible and easily disseminated pornography is nowadays.

Put another way, we are a guinea-pig generation for an experiment in mass debasement that few of us would have ever consented to, and whose full nefarious impact may not be known for years. How many families will suffer? How many marriages will implode? How many talented men will scrap their most important relationships and careers for a brief onanistic thrill? How many children will propel, warp-speed, into the dark side of adult sexuality by forced exposure to their fathers’ profanations?

The statistics already available are terrifying. According to data provided by the American Psychological Association, porn consumption rates are between 50% and 99% among men and 30% to 86% among women, with the former group often reporting less satisfactory intimate lives with their wives or girlfriends as a result of the consumption. By contrast, many female fans of pornography tend to prefer a less explicit variety, and report that it improves their sexual relationships.
Nine percent of porn users said they had tried unsuccessfully to stop—an indication of addiction that is all the more startling when you consider that the dependency rate among people who try marijuana is the same—9%—and not much higher among those who try cocaine (15%), according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

But it is a fair guess that whereas drug-dependency data are mostly stable, the incidence of porn addiction will only spiral as the children now being raised in an environment of wall-to-wall, digitized sexual images become adults inured to intimacy and in need of even greater graphic stimulation. They are the crack babies of porn.

All people are unique individuals and we can be sure that Mr. Weiner’s problems are at least in part a matter of his personal psycho-pathologies. Yet his behavior squares with what we have observed with all too many men, especially in the U.S. or other Western countries that enjoy liberal values and material prosperity. These are men who, by any objective measure, have succeeded yet regard themselves as failures. These are men who feel marooned in lassitude because they enjoy physical security, who feel bereft and bored even if they are blessed to have the committed love of a wife or girlfriend. These are men who believe that cruising the internet for explicit footage of other women or sharing such images of themselves over the remote communication offered by smartphones are risqué but risk-free distractions from the tedium.

The march of technology is irreversible and we aren’t so naive as to believe that any kind of imposed regulation could ever reseal the Pandora’s box of pornography. What is required is an honest dialogue about what we are witnessing—the true nature and danger of porn—and an honor code to tamp it down in the collective interests of our well-being as individuals, as families and as communities.

The ubiquity of porn is an outgrowth of the sexual revolution that began a half-century ago and which, with gender rights and freedoms now having been established, has arguably run its course. Now is the time for an epochal shift in our private and public lives. Call it a “sensual revolution.”

The sensual revolution would replace pornography with eroticism—the alloying of sex with love, of physicality with personality, of the body’s mechanics with imagination, of orgasmic release with binding relationships. In an age where public disapproval is no longer an obstacle to personal disgrace, we must turn instead to the appeal of self-interest.

Simply put, we must educate ourselves and our children to understand that porn is for losers—a boring, wasteful and dead-end outlet for people too lazy to reap the ample rewards of healthy sexuality.

My comments:

I actually don’t think Anthony Weiner’s problem is related to porn, but a form of exhibitionism. I wouldn’t have posted it except for the fact that she did make some valuable points about contemporary internet porn that the masses are watching. I realize that there are healthy porn flicks from a small segment of producers and I’m not speaking to those. If they were the norm I don’t think we’d be faced with lots of mental and physical health concerns. It’s only going to get worse and I’m preparing myself the best that I can to help guys in their 20’s and beyond by supporting them as they learn how to have sex with real women and how to adjust their expectations. Not all women consider anal sex acceptable. Not all women want to look upward as they are giving oral. Not all women are going to allow a guy to cum on their bodies.

 

Rabbi Boteach is a an author, TV host and public speaker. Ms. Anderson is a model, author and actress.

 

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