Porn w/o lust?

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby doug-h » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:12 pm

TJC wrote:Like I said this thread is probably a waste of time.


Because people don't agree with you? Are you trying to convince others, or yourself?

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby TJC » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:29 pm

Because most seem to only want to fight with me. At least the OP question has been answered pretty clearly. Apparently I Am in the minority of people who sees it this way.I have no interest in fighting with any of you.
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Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby Cayenne » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:30 pm

Did you look at the link I posted this morning to a lengthy discussion of this very topic here on TMB? Maybe you'll find more of what you're looking for there.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby doug-h » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:31 pm

TJC wrote:Because most seem to only want to fight with me. At least the OP question has been answered pretty clearly. Apparently I Am in the minority of people who sees it this way.I have no interest in fighting with any of you.

I don't think anyone is interested in a fight. Certainly, the subject seems to bring forth strong opinions and arguments, my own included, but there is no animosity that I can determine. I will be the first to say that I don't believe what you are saying is accurate, and I find your arguments to be barely worth consideration, and they certainly wont sway my convictions on the matter. Further, I can not conceive of an argument that you could make that would sway me, as my convictions are deeply seated in my own experience and my own understanding.

I believe that you are in denial of the magnitude of your sin, you are in denial of the consequences of your sin, and are looking for arguments that relieve you of the responsibility of your sin. In short, I believe you are trying to justify your sin. I don't say that as one who sits in judgement. I say that as one who knows exactly what it looks like, because I have been guilty of it many times concerning a multitude of different sins, and I am sure that to one degree or another I will be guilty of it again, possibly even on the matter of pornography, and certainly with some other sin even if it isn't that one.

You have stated a number of times that you believe viewing pornography is a sin, but that you don't believe the sin is lust. IF NOT LUST, WHAT SIN IS IT? Educating yourself is not a sin. Learning to behave around your spouse or to please her is not a sin, a temporary escape from reality is not a sin (such as watching a movie or reading a novel), self help (as in your alpha male example) is not a sin. None of the examples you listed are in and of themselves sinful behavior, so if you believe that you are not lusting, then you should be arguing that it is not a sin at all.

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby TJC » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:01 am

On the contrary, you seem very much interested in fighting with me. You can't seem to let it go. I don't know what your motivation is, but I don't believe for one second, it is out of concern for or my salvation. Just let it go. i will work this out on my own.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby TJC » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:12 am

Cayenne I did read your linked post. It was actually a re-read, as I had read it before.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby doug-h » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:53 am

TJC wrote:On the contrary, you seem very much interested in fighting with me. You can't seem to let it go. I don't know what your motivation is, but I don't believe for one second, it is out of concern for or my salvation. Just let it go. i will work this out on my own.

You are right. I am not concerned about your salvation. You present yourself as a Christian, and I take you at your word without evidence to the contrary. I do believe that you are misguided in this, and I am concerned about that. I know without question that you would be better off without porn in your life, whether you only look at it for a few moments a month, or several hours a night. I believe that you are wrestling with some guilt, and I would see you free of that as well. It's also something that I am only too familiar with.

I am going to do as you ask and step aside, but remember, you are the one who invited the dialogue on the subject. Also, remember that you are very much swimming upstream here against almost everyone else's views. That is not a bad thing by itself, but it should really motivate you to reexamine your own assumptions.

For the record, I love to debate. That would be the only motivation I need to talk about this for hours, even if it wasn't something very close to my heart. It presented me with an opportunity to consider my own thoughts on the question, and test their validity. I know that in places, I spoke very bluntly about what I thought was going on with you. I can see why you might perceive that as an attack, but I assure you it is not. It's just truth as I see it. I have nothing to gain by attacking you.

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby OldMarriedLady » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:44 am

TJC wrote:I think Paul’s point that porn and lust are not the same is extremely valid.

TJC, could you please give us a link to that particular XY Code post where Paul made this point? I saw two of his recent posts this month about porn, but he did not discuss lust in either one of them.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby TJC » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:56 am

I don't know how to post links. The post was the second part on the truth about porn. It was not mentioned in the post itself rather in the comments. There are a lot!
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby seeking perspective » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:59 am

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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby TJC » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:10 am

doug-h this was never a debate for me. When you started implying things about me and my marriage that are not true, (a debate tactic to be sure) it becomes an attack. You assumed I am currently struggling with a porn issue. I am not. Admittedly it has only been a short time, relatively (3months), nevertheless I am not currently struggling in that area. Any responses I made were in response to why I thought he way I do. It was a very simple quest to test if there are those out there who could see this in the same way. If you don't that's fine, nothing wrong with that. For all intents and purposes this thread HAS served it's purpose for me.
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Re: Does viewing porn = lust?

Postby Pallando » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:49 pm

Because porn can be subjective (some things may not have been made for the purpose of being pornographic) then I understand when you say porn can be educational. That's because many educational materials may very well be pornographic.

Most porn is unrealistic, but it's not outside of the realm of possibility that "realistic" porn exists with real bodies and all of their real world problems. Sex position sites can either use drawings or real pictures and be as equally educational.

That said, even if it is educational, it is categorically harmful and sinful.

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Re: Porn w/o lust?

Postby TJC » Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:33 am

I guess a whole lot of what I'm trying to understand is this- what drives people to begin viewing porn? As I said earlier, until I met my wife everything I knew about sex I learned from porn. My sex talk from my dad consisted of handing me a copy of Penthouse. You could say that porn is not all that educational, but to a young man with raging curiosity and hormones, it appears to be a virtual sex manual. Once you're in I think it just becomes a habit if your marriage is good, a placebo if intimacy in ALL forms is lacking, and a fantasy one wants to have if they are single. If the initial drive is to learn about sexual intimacy, or how to make it better, that is not lust. It could lead to lust, but I'm not convinced it normally does, at least in the sense of desiring the particular people n the porn. Strongly desiring those acts, and attitudes in your own sexual relationship absolutely. it seems that many who avoided it, when they get married have intimacy issues, while many of those who have not have fewer issues. So where's the middle ground?
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Re: Porn w/o lust?

Postby Job29Man » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:05 am

I've worked with people addicted to and enmeshed with all kinds of addictions, and I do mean all kinds. Here's one thing I'm convinced of. No one just 90 days into recovery can actually have a real and totally healthy perspective of what he/she just got out of. I believe it takes a lot longer than that, usually years, to finally see it for what it actually was.

TLC, I'm glad you are 3 months into recovery. That's great! :D

My suggestion is, don't believe everything you think about it now. Let a lot of time pass, completely sober, before making a judgment about the connection (or not) between porn and lust.
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Re: Porn w/o lust?

Postby SeekingChange » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:20 am

TJC wrote:I guess a whole lot of what I'm trying to understand is this- what drives people to begin viewing porn? 

There was a discussion on here a few years ago about first exposures to porn, and I know that there were those, while they were kids, sought it out of curiosity...what's a naked woman, or man, look like? Etc. That could fall uner "educational". Yet, with sin in us, it sure doesn't take much for the lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes to take hold. If it was truly just for educational purposes, and it stayed that way, there really wouldn't be a need for a continual return to it.

Maybe this is where some of the misunderstandings and conflict is coming from....
but I'm not convinced it normally does, at least in the sense of desiring the particular people n the porn.  

If this is how you are defining "lust" when speaking of porn, I would agree that many are not "lusting" after the people. When women read "mommy porn", it's not a particular character they desire, for many, it's them imagining they are the receiver, and that's lust as well, even without a specific person as the target.
Strongly desiring those acts, and attitudes in your own sexual relationship absolutely.  

I am a little confused and just looking for clarity. Is, or is not, this "lust" to you?

If so, are you still saying this hasn't been a desire in you or the others you think don't have "lust" involved? They aren't desiring a receptive wife as they are veiwing, or that they want to bring out the same kind if response in their own wife?

If not, then are you saying a "strong desire", aka lust, is only sinful if it's directed towards a particular person? The "strong desire", aka lust, for acts or attitudes is not sinful when watching them, voyeuristicly, outside of your own marriage? Would there be any difference to you, if you had a "live freely, with no conviction" neighbor, and you called them up and asked, "I am not sure how to do this one thing in our sexual life, would you mind if I just pulled up a chair in your room tonight, so I could watch and learn?" Have you ever recalled something seen, or heard, or read, back up into your mind and dwelled on it, even if they are faceless? Is that "lust" to you?

it seems that many who avoided it, when they get married have intimacy issues, while many of those who have not have fewer issues. So where's the middle ground?

I am not sure where you've gotten this perception, but this goes totally against everything I have read, and have witnessed in our lives and the lives around me affected by porn (Being in ministry, and this being a part of my husband's testimony, we get to see and hear a lot compared to the average joe.) "Surfing For God", along with many other resources, speak about the "false intimacy" porn seems to provide. It's a deception and a distortion of what God designed for true intimacy,
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Re: Porn w/o lust?

Postby seeking perspective » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:33 am

Job29Man wrote:I've worked with people addicted to and enmeshed with all kinds of addictions, and I do mean all kinds. Here's one thing I'm convinced of. No one just 90 days into recovery can actually have a real and totally healthy perspective of what he/she just got out of. I believe it takes a lot longer than that, usually years, to finally see it for what it actually was.


I'm glad you mentioned addiction, Job. Over the last couple years, I've done a lot of reading about this because of a close family member's struggles with addiction. One problem that I have with Paul's post is that it has a fairly narrow vision of what addiction is and how it works. It is not always a constant compulsion; sometimes it is context-specific (like a person who can't be in a bar without smoking but doesn't smoke elsewhere or someone who can't deal with certain kinds of stresses without having a drink).

Even after an addiction is conquered, a situation years later can trigger a desire for the substance or activity. I was talking with a friend yesterday who smoked while she was in college and hasn't had a cigarette in 25 years. However, she's recently been under some stress as she has been intensely researching something and fearing failure. These were the same things that accompanied much of her smoking in college--and the other day she walked past someone smoking a cigarette and felt a need for a cigarette.

Addiction is a bit more complex than it is often portrayed, and even though the instant you quit you are in recovery, you are absolutely right that it takes more than a few months to be recovered and healed enough to have enough distance to be able to fully see and understand what was going on.

Some of my reading has focused on the critical role of relationships in recovering from addiction. (This article gives a pretty good overview.) Although some (including Paul) don't view porn as an actual addiction, I do think this view offers some ideas for how we can support those who are addicted to porn.

TJC wrote:I guess a whole lot of what I'm trying to understand is this- what drives people to begin viewing porn?


I don't think it really matters. Why do people begin doing anything that ends up being bad for them? Curiosity, being unaware of the risks, peers doing it, and all sorts of things make us try something. The more important question, to me, is what drives people to continue viewing porn? And what drives people to continue after being aware that it is a negative thing in their lives? More important, what drives people to stop using porn, and how can we help this happen for our brothers and sisters who can't seem to quit?
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Re: Porn w/o lust?

Postby TJC » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:06 am

SC, I can understand my thoughts on this are confusing. I'm not really clear myself. I think part of the reason is contained in SP's comment, in that I'm not that far into recovering, so it's hard to see clearly.
I do see a distinction between desiring of a particular individual sexually, and desiring a specific type of intimacy within your marriage, in terms of whether it's sinful. The addiction, or compulsion or whatever you want to call it, I think is chasing after some fantasy. The attraction that keeps people going back is no different, than those who love action movies or romance movies. It's a chasing after something you see as lacking in your life. Someone mentioned their husband had commented that Porn is just easier than having sex with their spouse. That actually makes sense to me, because true intimacy takes work. A lot of work. A lot of the damage I see in most forms of movie entertainment, porn being only one is they feed discontent with one's self and with their relationships. When we are stressed we tend to want to escape into fantasy of some sort. I remember thinking when I was going through my period of depression, I just want the pain to stop. I was determined not to go after my painkiller of choice, but had nothing healthy to replace it. I was just hurting, and at first it seemed like it was never going to end. I think the answer is to find my contentment in Christ. I think that's much harder to do than to say.
Maybe this goes back to the nature of sin. When you think of Adam and Eve, the temptation was a perception of missing out on something. They became discontent with God's provision. In marriage when I think of the verse about being infatuated with the wife of your youth, I think the point is to be satisfied with what God has given you.
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Re: Porn w/o lust?

Postby sunny-dee » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:18 am

TJC wrote:I guess a whole lot of what I'm trying to understand is this- what drives people to begin viewing porn?

I've touched on this and I think maybe others have, but at this point it seems less like you're looking for reasons and more for justification for viewing porn? Like it's not that bad if you do it "right."

TJC wrote:As I said earlier, until I met my wife everything I knew about sex I learned from porn. My sex talk from my dad consisted of handing me a copy of Penthouse. You could say that porn is not all that educational, but to a young man with raging curiosity and hormones, it appears to be a virtual sex manual. .....

Um, it's not a manual. It's not educational. It is a means to getting aroused and having release and giving all sorts of creative scenarios for that to happen. This is pretty much the definition of lust.

TJC wrote:it seems that many who avoided it, when they get married have intimacy issues, while many of those who have not have fewer issues. So where's the middle ground?

Anecdotally, this is not at all true. I never watched any kind of porn (not even R rated movies or HBO TV shows) or MB'ed before marriage, and my husband watched pretty much anything and used porn 2-3 times per week. I have really healthy relationships with my family and close friends and was totally sex-positive coming into the marriage. My husband had rocky relationships with family and superficial friendships and has been a refuser our entire marriage. (Even when he volunteers sex, he has to force himself to do it, his words.)

Honestly, even in your own description, you used porn yet have had a lot of intimacy issues in your marriage. I'm not saying porn is a cause, but I think it is worth considering it may be an influence, even in ways you're not perceiving right now. I am 100% making this up, but I am saying this as an example. Like, let's say that porn gave you the idea that women are like A. (A can be anything -- they orgasm from PIV, they don't need foreplay, they like roleplaying, whatever.) Let's say that when you got married, your wife wasn't like A, either because A actually requires a lot of experience and practice or because A is a matter of taste. If you were operating under the assumption that A is normal, then you will perceive that your wife is abnormal or that she is withholding good and normal things from you (and then ascribe motivation to that) or continually pressure her for A assuming that she'll get there. Over time, this is almost guaranteed to backfire because you are not listening to your wife at all here. Women tend to view sex relationally, and if your wife gets that idea that you don't know or care about her at all because you are fixated on A, then she is eventually going to shut down emotionally. Meanwhile, because you think A is normal and healthy and your wife is not doing / giving A, you could start blaming her or doubting her and that is eventually confirmed when she shuts down. And it all comes from that initial skewed perspective. (This, btw, is not limited to porn -- I think it's kind of a common spiral.)

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Re: Porn w/o lust?

Postby TJC » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:41 am

sunny-dee wrote:Um, it's not a manual. It's not educational. It is a means to getting aroused and having release and giving all sorts of creative scenarios for that to happen. This is pretty much the definition of lust.


With all due respect, that is only an opinion, one you seem highly invested in. I did say appears, not that it is. It is assuming to know the person's heart. To think that a young man or woman is thinking clearly on the issue of sex when the temptation is upon them is ludicrous. Most especially when they are left to fend for themselves on the issue.
Just out of curiosity, why did you feel the need to address this comment rather than the one I posted after?
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Re: Porn w/o lust?

Postby SeekingChange » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:04 pm

TJC, are you looking for reasons to go back to looking at porn? Would you recommend or advise others to find their "education" through porn? Have you confessed, repented and been forgiven of your porn use... or did you quit because of other reasons, rather than a conviction it was wrong/sin?

I personally believe answers to those questions would determine if he is actually trying to "justify" porn use, as several have claimed, or if there are reasons beyond why he is trying to determine if "viewing porn" automatically equates to "lust". I am on the side that just because one is trying to think outside of the box and determine if there's any validity to their thoughts, doesn't mean that they are automatically on the side of "sin" and justifying it.

It should always circle around to "what does God say and think", other people's opinions can help, or harm, but they really don't matter. I think there is a lot of support in God's Word that would be against porn use, even if it is possible for there to be absolutely no lust involved.
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