Shades

Erotica is the new game in town, toying with intimacy and longings through literature- titillating words designed to awaken desire. Picture pornography and erotica as two sides of the same coin.

two sided

A recent book offers great clarity as to why the genre is exploding, linking the longings of a woman with the fiction of our day. Pulling Back the Shades (Gresh/Slattery) says:

The definition of erotica is “art or literature intended to arouse sexual desire.” Why is this a spiritual issue? Because sex is inherently spiritual. (Pg 44)

The word “spiritual” simply means that at our core, we were created for security and significance. Notice how the authors give further definition to a woman’s longings:

  • To escape reality
  • To be cherished by a man
  • To be protected by a strong man
  • To rescue a man
  • To be sexually alive

In the imaginary world of erotica, the reader both 1) gets saved and 2) becomes the savior. That’s the power. That’s the formula. Security and significance.

“Enter erotica. No man needed, no risks of heartbreak involved, you don’t even have to put on makeup….just start reading and you can have your body and mind awakened any time you want.” (Pg 24)

When Jesus says…

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

….he is talking about this very tendency. Whichever side of the coin we tilt towards does the same thing. It attempts to arouse our mind and body. The big question we’re left with is what exactly was Jesus implying? Was he taking the established code (no adultery) and simply ratcheting it up a notch? An impossible idealism? If you hold to that position, you may as well check into to the local despair unit.

Jesus is our security. And our significance comes from partnering with his agenda. This revolutionary intrusion into human history finds the Son of God invading our private space. We get saved and he is the one doing it. The savior.

 

Hooking Up

I vividly remember my first trip to Mexico. The heat, the smells and the litter. The ground looked like the day after a tornado with pop cans, wrappers, empty oil containers and discarded crap of all sorts. Ditches were full. It took me awhile, traveling back in time, to reflect on the America I once knew- where throwing litter out the window of a moving car was socially acceptable.

Picture a McDonald’s bag today, half eaten and discarded, laying in the middle of an otherwise pristine university lawn. It wouldn’t last long right? But litter of another sort adorns our college campuses, discarded from the roving hands of our middle adolescent crowd. A scourge more pervasive than ugly, smelly paper blowing in the wind.

An extraordinary article was posted recently at Princeton about the hookup culture on campus. “Love and lust in the bubble: Falling out of hooking up” reveals the emotional struggle of one very courageous young woman. For it takes guts to admit mistakes and even greater strength to write into a predominant culture. In her article, she states,

“During the second semester of my freshman year, two of my closest female friends and I created an “Accomplishment Chart,” complete with a star for each “accomplishment” we had achieved.”

“The author continues, talking about what it’s like to arrive on campus at age 18, finally independent of parents:”

“I think we forget how stupid we can be at age 18, finally free from our parents, but anxious to be accepted and afraid of being alone. I used to believe that dance floor make-outs and invitations to frat formals were indicators that I was happy. I am convinced that most of my hookups happened because their occurrence assured me that I was desirable and that I was normal. It’s fine to feel desirable and normal, but it’s perverse and counterintuitive when one of the only ways I felt desirable and normal was to do something I wasn’t completely comfortable with.”

Even more compelling was a comment that an older woman posted after reading the article. Check out her wisdom after tackling another two decades of life:

“The sorry tale is long and complicated. In many respects, we women of Gen X simply aren’t sure of ourselves. We give you, the current college coeds, the same advice we were given, put yourself and your career first before you burden yourself with the commitments of marriage and children, because we want your endorsement. Imitation is some proof that we were right…right? In fact, if you pay close attention to us, you will find that we are obsessed with being right–in the Mommy Wars, individual marriages, parenting theory… This is not a position of confidence. Frankly, it is mother guilt. In one of the many and varied illusions of feminism, independent modern women are oddly susceptible to it. They made our career success possible, and if we

subvert that success to anything else, then they think we have thanklessly tossed away hard won freedoms they gave to us. We owe them, you see. If this piece gets any circulation, you might find comments that you are not allowed to think this. That it is somehow disloyal or backward. That feminist mother guilt is the root of those arguments.

It is why we encourage your little star charts of “accomplishment.” It is the fastest way to career success—or at least it was for us GenXers who left college and grad school for high paying jobs. With this economy you might not even get that, though you will still have our trouble adjusting to marriage. It is not a selfish institution and all the focus-on-the-self practice and habit formed in the hookup culture complicate marriage. And then there is motherhood. It is the antithesis of selfishness. Plus, push it off, and you might not get it. IVF and other fertility treatments might have lessened the urgency of our biological clocks, but it has many costs: financial, physical, generational.”

The battle rages for the hearts and bodies of our adolescent girls. For what happens in college doesn’t just….stay in college. On the one hand, it trickles downward into high school and junior high versions. On the other, hooking up attaches itself like litter to the remainder of life’s journey, unable to be swept away by the winds of time.

How To Quit Porn

You’re not going believe this.

In 1869 the gypsy moth was brought to America to jump-start the silk industry. And yep, the experiment became a national disaster, destroying trees like oaks, maples and elms. Like… a 100 year disaster.

Attempts to get rid of the thing failed miserably until scientists (in the 1960’s) figured out that the male gypsy moth finds a female to mate with by following her scent. The scent? The Pheromone thing. If you haven’t been a male gypsy moth for a while, then you’ve probably forgotten just how intoxicating that scent really is.

Scientists mass-produced the pheromone and permeated the moths’ environment with it, using two highly effective methods: confusion and trapping. In the first, they scattered pellets causing the male to both get confused (didn’t know where to find the female) and desensitized (didn’t find the lower levels in the female attractive any longer). In the second method, they killed males who entered a contraption looking for a female, only to meet a fatal substitute.

In the article below, Donald L. Hilton, Jr., demonstrates the stunning similarity between pornography and the brain as compared to the gypsy moth and pheromone. He proves the drug-like qualities of porn by tracking the human brain.

The write-up is perhaps twelve pages long but a ‘must read.’

I’ve been using this article for more than a year and can’t shake the near perfect analogy. Our man culture is following the fatal drug. As our good friend Matt Zainea teaches, the pleasure of sex has been severed from its intended mate, procreation. Sexual scent permeates our culture, confusing and desensitizing our males. Their calling (to husband and father) is in great jeopardy.

Read it here:

http://www.salvomag.com/new/articles/salvo13/13hilton.php

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The analogy helps parents in two ways. It further exposes the culture that our sons are immersed in and it motivates us look for solutions. Consider three basic ways you can assist:

TALK – guys need to process the amount of garbage that is coming at them. Parents used to have ‘The Talk’. Once, maybe twice. This is no longer the rule. Ongoing dialogue has to happen. Keep short accounts by bringing it up often and without making a huge scene.

LIMIT – There is no getting around it. We’re overwhelmed by too much screen time. Books are beginning to flood the market on the Internet’s affect on the brain. As none of us appreciate limits very much, think creatively as to how to approach it

PRAY – Using a simple scripture verse is powerful and effective. Check out this one for your son: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ…” (Phil 1:9,10)