This past Sunday a man of God spoke in sleepy Cedar City, Utah. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to a large group of church members there. During this gathering, Elder Oaks admonished single and married members alike to “Flee pornography. It frightens me when I see the terrible influence of the adversary. It’s now available in the bedrooms of teenagers with a few taps of the keyboard.”.

To be honest, I wasn’t at the meeting, but I heard about it for 20 minutes as I was driving home from work. Since my car is a cell-phone-free zone, I was stuck talking to the radio. I realized that there must be something wrong with my radio because the host, Bob Lonsberry, never heard me. Next time I’ll talk louder over the traffic noise. Lonsberry was commenting on Elder Oaks’ conference and was asking the audience to come up with explanations why pornography is bad for married couples. Several callers offered some good ideas, but nobody came up with the two ideas that Bob had in mind. His two reasons were: first, God doesn’t want people to use pornography; second, since pornography is mainly a solo activity, it short-circuits the normal sexual pathways and generates a monosexual or solosexual attitude toward sexual pleasure.

Since Bob didn’t acknowledge my ranting, I’m using this forum, and since it’s my site, I can type what I want, so neener. Anyway, the first reason I came up with to explain why people should avoid pornography is the way it changes the pornographee dirty little pervert’s attitude. When a DLP spends his time looking at nekkid pictures of women, he stops seeing the women he encounters as people and starts to view them as objects. And since they are objects, he will begin to treat them as such. Does he have to worry about their feelings? Not at all! Thanks to porn, he has come to think of sex as a solo act, so he doesn’t have to bother with the niceties of talking with and relating to the females around him. (Then again, since the typical DLP is a pimply-faced wimp who gets his vitamin D from the cheery glow of his computer screen, it’s probably a good thing that he fails to relate with women. We can only hope he won’t breed.)

My second idea is that viewing pornography warps the expectations of sex. Unless you marry a Claudia Schiffer or a Brad Pitt, your spouse/loved one/significant other isn’t going to measure up physically to the images on the computer and television screen. These days it is pretty trivial to digitally edit images, erasing the normal blemishes and flaws that make us human, and the people who work in the porn industry are already on the extreme end of the physical human spectrum. The DLP spends his hours dwelling on these airbrushed images or silicon-boosted babes. Since he is a pimply-faced wimp, he is not going to encounter a supermodel who will fall in love with him. His mental image of the “average woman” is far from reality; he will either fail to find anyone who meets his unrealistic physical standards, or he will “settle for” and look down on a woman who doesn’t measure up to the images on the computer. He cannot fully give his heart to his wife when his lust is tied up with the glow of his screen.

When Christ spoke his Sermon on the Mount, He stated that “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” And what is pornography but lusting after a woman? (If you haven’t clued in yet, I’m writing this from my point of view as a heterosexual male.) If the DLP is married, he spends his time lusting after the images of women who are not his wife. How can he become one in mind, soul, and body with his wife when the longings of his mind, the desires of his soul, and the lusts of his body are tied to the images on the screen? This is the recipe for a failed and broken marriage.

A woman called Bob Lonsberry’s show and said that she and her significant other like to buy pornography and watch it together. She claimed they bought porn to give them insight into “sexual techniques” and not for titillation. Fat chance, lady! If you really want to learn sexual techniques, you will do better buying The Joy of Sex or other how-to books rather than buying pornography when the “sexual techniques” are buried in a paper-thin plot and cheesy ’70s soundtrack. A how-to book would be a much better use of this couple’s money than the porn they purchase. Bob asked her if she felt poorly because her sweetheart wanted to look at pornography rather than being involved solely with her. She said that she didn’t, but if she ever caught him looking at porn without her, I suspect it would put the lie to her protestations.

After moving into our new home, we looked in the attic and noticed that someone had left some items there. We left the cheesy lamp and rolled-up carpets, but we pulled down a nice-looking suitcase. Inside we found boxed sets of Oz and Winnie-the-Pooh books, and a practically unused day planner. There were also some well-used videotapes with titles like “Debbie Does Dishes.” We called the previous occupants of the home (day planners with cell-phone numbers are great things) and said we had found a suitcase. The woman who answered the phone was very happy to hear that we had found her suitcase, since she had missed her books. She sent her brand-new husband over to pick up the suitcase, and he came with a friend. When he arrived, he asked us hesitantly if we had noticed anything else in the suitcase. When we mentioned the videotapes, his face went ashen. If he didn’t toss those tapes on the way home, I have no doubt they found a new hiding place at his buddy’s house. How strong do you think this new marriage will be if the husband continues to view porn and hide it from his wife?

I have learned a few things in almost eleven years of marriage. One is not to anger your wife if she owns a pirate cutlass. (If my wife reads this, I’m only kidding.) Another thing I’ve learned is to listen when an apostle of the Lord tells you how God wants you to live.

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