Why My Wedding Night was a Flop by Miria Reki

25 01 2016

My wedding night was a flop

My boyfriend and I did not wait until marriage before sex. Then came our wedding day and I suddenly wished that we had.  Yeah, I got a little emotional because I did not want our wedding night to be just one more night; I wanted it to be special.

I tried cutting off sex a few months before the wedding, so we can “wait” until the big day and then start having sex again but when I overhead my boyfriend gripping to his guys, “She’s making me wait now! She says no more sex until the wedding. Ugh.” I had to give in to stop the whining.

If you asked me to explain, I can tell that it just feels right that the crowing of the beginning of our life-long- commitment with each other should be marked by a unique act, an act of self-giving performed for the first time as a symbol, a memorial. It should have been our first time of having sex. All the overwhelming emotions, passions and crushing tenderness we poured into our first sex was “stolen” from our wedding night. I remember with tenderness our first sex, but I dread the memories of our wedding night, it fills me with pain.

We should have waited for that night to have sex for the first time

Because we’ve already been having sex, and living together for years, our wedding night was nothing new. It was just a night of disappointment, an anti climax. It could have been any of the many nights we had sex after a night out with the boys. My boyfriend turned husband was unusually drunk and the quick jerky entanglement we had just before he passed out was one of the worst memories in my life.

Thus, though our wedding day is beautiful, the food was good; yet we had no sense of mystery or of expectation. There was no magic in air for us. We had no sense of anticipation or of discovery.  Rather, we felt our wedding was just mere legalities. It didn’t change anything. It did not mark the end of one era and beginning of new. It was just a fancy public celebration of the lifestyle that was already living. Our wedding night—-we did not start a new life — we simply went back to the exact same life.

My best friend Lisa waited her whole life without having sex until her wedding night and she would forever talk about it. It was spectacularly more special and meaningful than mine — with totally off-the-charts specialness.

I tell my  daughter to wait, “Your wedding day and night will be everything every Hallmark card, every romance novel, every poem, every religious text, and every little girl’s fantasy as a wedding should be.” I tell her.

“All of the symbolism — turning from two lives into one, owning each other in every way, making a commitment with body and soul — will be physically real to you and present throughout your wedding day and night.”

“Others will reach their wedding day and find themselves thinking “Sigh…I kind of wish we had waited”. You will reach your wedding day and think “I’m so glad we waited!”

I hope she learns from her poor mother’s sad experience.





Watching Pornography will destroy you, says Ex porn star, Jennifer Lynn Case

7 12 2015

jenni_photo

 

Jenni, thank you so much for allowing me to interview you.

You’re very welcome, anything I can do to help, it’s my pleasure.

How long have you been out of the porn industry now?

I officially left the entire sex industry about 3 years ago after coming to Christ and finding Shelley Lubben and the Pink Cross Foundation but I stopped actively doing porn in my late 20’s when I got married and had my son. I didn’t spend too much time doing porn but I used my porn title to sell myself more in other areas and it worked. I used my porn experience to promote myself as a dancer and a prostitute, etc.

Yes, because when you are in the porn industry, the clubs will promote you as a “feature dancer” and you can get more money that way.

Exactly!! I was only 20 when I moved to Hollywood to get into mainstream porn.

How old were you when you first started in the porn industry, and how long were you in for?

I was very young only barely 18 years old when I started doing porn and I would say I did it off and on for about 10 years. I really didn’t know how to take care of myself and it seemed to be an easy way to survive. I would say that I was in the sex industry for about 15 years. They love to prey on young girls who need money. They are very easy to take advantage of.

Approximately how many movies did you make?

I probably made about 20 movies not very many at all.

Would you mind describing how you got into porn? I know that no porn performer wakes up one day and randomly decides to get into porn. There is always something leading up to it. Can you just lay out for us the events leading up to your decision to enter the porn industry?

I started out by doing other things first like dancing in a nude bar, doing bachelor parties, and escorting. I needed the money and hadn’t finished school and was living on my own at that point. I started living that sex industry lifestyle so eventually someone suggested that I do porn and it sounded like it paid really well and it was legal so I decided to contact a local agent who got me started. The agent got me a scene in a cheap hotel in Denver and that’s how it all started. I had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time.

What do you remember the most about that first experience. Was it very traumatic for you?

That first experience was odd. I was bothered by the fact that my agent used forged documents that showed I had been tested for HIV and other STDs. I had never been tested. I also remember the porn star I was supposed to work with that day was there but she couldn’t do anything because of her health. Her insides were so damaged from porn. I thought it was going to be me and a woman – less threatening right? But these 2 guys joined in and I didn’t think they were going to do that I was supposed to act like it was NOT my first film ever but I think they could tell I was new. There were lots of red flags in the beginning there.

What about your childhood? I know a lot of girls in the industry have backgrounds of sexual abuse, rape, neglect, or some sort of trauma. Do you think any of the events in your childhood made you more susceptible to the idea of getting into porn?

I definitely think my childhood played a big part in me getting into porn, etc. My dad was never around much and my parents divorced when I was about 8. At 14 I ran away from home and eventually became a ward of the state and remained in and out of foster homes, group homes, institutions, and other places until I was 17. I ran away alot and spent time on the streets where it was easy for me to get into trouble and my life was never stable after that. I was also exposed to porn at a very young age and saw porn magazines many times as a child. I think alot of things things from my childhood set me up for a nice, long career in the sex industry.

You mention your dad not being around. I know that’s the case for most porn actresses. I know it was for me. What would you say your emotional state was like during your porn career?

It’s actually hard to remember alot of what happened since I have blocked most of it out. I think emotionally I was basically “not there” and I numbed myself with pot and alcohol and other things so I didn’t have to deal with my raw feelings. I found myself depressed and lonely quite a bit and my behavior was erratic and very self destructive. I look back now and see there was alot of anger and bitterness there as well. I was a real mess.

For a lot of us, drugs was a huge part of how we coped with being in that lifestyle. How did you cope mentally and emotionally with being in the porn industry?

I think it was all about numbing myself and finding any way to escape or “check out”. My drug of choice was mostly pot for many years but I got to be a pretty big drinker when I turned 21 while working in a topless bar. I also realized later on that sex was a drug for me as well and slept around alot even when I wasn’t working. The marijuana mixed with liquor and sex were a bad combination and left me feeling more empty, lonely and depressed afterwords. As a woman in that lifestyle, you find you never have to pay for drugs or alcohol etc. because someone was always there to provide those things for me. One thing I remember was trying to separate the real me from the porn star me. I became two people and turned it on and off when needed. My other personality “Veronica” was just a fake front to cover up and to protect the real me so I could get my job done. Veronica was very social and outgoing and bold, The real me, Jenni, not so much haha.

Jenni, a lot of people who watch porn believe that the women love what they are doing, and are simply acting out their fantasies. Is this REALLY the truth?

This is NOT the truth about porn, it is a lie. The women living that lie do not love it and if they say they love it, it’s a way they lie to themselves to make it seem better. When I did porn, I wanted it to be over as quickly as possible and it was all about the money for me. I thought I did what I had to do to survive at the moment. My fantasies usually consisted of living a normal life, I fantasized about what life would be like if I wasn’t stuck in that nightmare. When you watch porn, you are watching a lie that is made to destroy you.

Amen to that!!! When you were in porn, what was your opinion of the guys who watched porn – or even men in general?

I grew to hate men in general and had no respect for men who watched porn. I thought men were perverts and just wanted one thing from women period and they treated women horribly. I think of men differently now. I see them as victims of the porn industry as well. I know that men want what women want too, not sex but love. We all want love. We all have a void to fill but some people try to do that with porn. Some men pay a price for porn addiction by losing their families and jobs. It is so sad and tragic to me that porn destroys the people who make it and also the people to view it. That is clear to me now.

Ya, but when you are in the porn industry, you don’t really see it that way, do you? You basically don’t care about yourself or anyone else.

Totally. You don’t have any respect for yourself or the person you’re with. It’s all about money, and getting what you can from the other person. It’s all about survival. You go into the industry not caring about yourself, and the longer you stay in, the less you care about yourself.

I know I actually hated myself by the time I left. What was the breaking point for you? When did you decide that you finally had to break free from all of that?

It was not just one thing really that made me quit. Many things happened at once and I became severely broken. I was in and out of the sex industry for many years. I tried to get out many times before but I would always need the money and I didn’t know what else to do so I would go back to it. I finally hit bottom a few years ago. I lost everything and things were not going well anymore. I had enough of selling my body and soul and couldn’t take any of it anymore. I just gave up and didn’t know how I would survive, but I had no soul left to sell period. I was dead inside there was only one way to go and that was up. This was the lowest point in my life. I had a son at this point and wasn’t going to let it ruin his life as well. If I would have not been a mother, I may be dead. I think part of my motivation was wanting to be a good mother to him.

So, by this time, you pretty much determined to leave because you couldn’t take it anymore, but were there any fears?

It was very hard at first but it felt really good to just finally let go and be free from all of it. My only fear was being able to survive without the money. The money kept me hooked. I was worried how I could take care of myself and my child. But I decided I would rather be homeless than ever sell my self again. Once you let go of the money, it’s much easier to get out.

We both know that a lot of girls in the industry suffer from mental illness. I know that I myself suffered from serious depression, even after leaving the industry. How would you say your mental condition was upon leaving the porn industry?

I know now that after years of living that life, I was traumatized by it. It was like enduring many years of oppression and abuse of all kinds. When I left and got rid of the drugs, etc., my emotions were raw for the first time in years. Over the years, I suffered depression and anxiety among many other problems and had to have counseling and take medication. Anyone who enters into that and already has mental illness, it will only make it worse.

What about physical problems?

Over the years, I mostly had to deal with STDs. I had so many different infections all of the time. I left Hollywood because I became so ill from Chlamydia. My abdomen hurt so much I had to come back home. My insides had been so abused, that at one point, a doctor at Planned Parenthood brought a group of interns in to look at my damaged cervix! I knew that “business” was taking a toll on my body and it also ages you quickly.

How did you personally recover from your time in porn? Was it extremely difficult?

I feel like the only way I could recover from that is with God in my life. God gives me hope that I didn’t have before. The past few years have been hard but so worth it. Things that helped me have been constant support from others, prayer, God’s word, and lots of love. The most difficult things have been trying to break old habits and trying to have a “real job”. It’s all about learning to live a new way, a better way. I think my recovery is an ongoing thing and it takes alot of time. I was in for many years and there was alot of damage done. I know alot more about porn now than I ever did when I was doing it.

Do you feel that Christ had a significant part in your recovery?

I know Jesus was the only way I could get out and stay out for good! For once, I had hope. Jesus saved my life. His love is amazing and I had never experienced love like that before. It was so intense that it hurt sometimes. My mind is being renewed daily by Him. All of the lies that ruled my life are being replaced with the truth, God’s word. I had realized that God was my father and would take care of me. He started to fix things in me that were broken. I become stronger in my faith every day. I don’t think He is done yet. he is still working on me. I think I am a better mother now because of all of this too. I would not have done any of this if were not for my little boy. I want him to know the truth about porn and treat women with respect.

What about recovery? Do you feel like the hardest part is over, or do you still have a lot of healing to do?

I do think the hardest part is over but I still have healing to do and it will probably take the rest of my life. I have learned how to live a new way and I have been learning how God works. One of the most healing things for me is to help others affected by porn. Reaching out to others helps me heal. God’s love fills that void now. I told myself when I was trapped in porn, that if I ever got out (which I thought I never would) that I would try to help women out of that world. There was no help for women like me. I am passionate about it.

So, what do you see for yourself in the future? I know that you volunteer with the Pink Cross Foundation and reach out to other girls. Do you see yourself continuing down that path?

I definitely think that’s where God wants me, going back into that nightmare to help save people from it. When I see some of those girls, I see me at 18. There was no such thing as The Pink Cross when I did porn. I know that porn is a major problem and it seems not much is being done about it. I love The Pink Cross Foundation and will continue to work with them. There is a certain way to handle the porn issue and educating and informing everyone makes a difference. I also plan on moving from Colorado to California to help with the cause.

That is awesome, Jenni. If you could say one thing to the men who are reading this right now, what would that be?

Men, GOD LOVES YOU! I love you too and I will always pray for all of you, for the chains to be broken. You are a slave to porn much as much any porn star. If you are viewing porn or addicted to porn, you are trying to fill a void inside of you that only God can fill. Whenever you look at porn, you are making the void bigger, and you will destroy your life. It evil it is a drug and it is poison and a lie. If you think you can keep it in the dark, God will bring it out into the light to stop you and heal you. These women are precious and deserve to be loved just as much as you do. There is a real person on the other side of the images you are seeing, and you are destroying her life and the lives of her children. Every porno has somebody’s daughter in it. What if it were your little girl? You may actually be assisting in someone’s death! Male and female porn actors die all of the time from AIDS, drug overdoses, suicides, etc. Please stop looking at porn.

[Editor’s note:] If you need help to beat pornography addiction, please read: The Porn Circuit. It will help you understand how to overcome.

*First published on the website http://www.theporneffect.com

Jenni blogs at http://momentofclarityblog.blogspot.com/





Once: We were not sex addicts by Julianna Iboma

14 05 2015

Once

I once saw a movie called “Once” and it made me very happy. One of the things I loved about this movie was the beauty of the friendship between the boy (Glen Hansard) and the girl (Markéta Irglová). Their friendship was not reduced to mindless sex like friendship between boys and girls in Hollywood movies often are. In one of the more memorable scenes, they went to the boy’s place and after introducing her to his Father, the boy took her up to his bedroom to enjoy some nice song he had written. When it was time to go, the girl wouldn’t bulge when the boy’s passion got the better of him and he asked, almost pleaded with her to stay the night.

“I really must go now,” said the girl

“Please stay”

“What!” the girl asked shocked.

“Please stay the night ‘ the boy repeated sheepishly

“Fuck this’ the girl said, and stormed out.

The next day they patched things up when the boy apologized for the insult and they go on to make a truly beautiful music.

The producers of this movie won my respect because of the girl’s character. She reminded me of the modesty and self-respect which young girls in time past used to have and which today they have almost entirely lost. She carried her femininity with such dignity and grace that would put to shame many young girls. Today, a girl would share romantic moment with a boy; she, immodestly clad and having an alcoholic drink. She does not know his last name, and she would  have sex with him before the evening is out. Tomorrow they may part and have nothing to do with each other thereafter. This is the type of culture Hollywood has created and it is now everywhere.  It is ironic that this movie was made in Ireland. I think they have a lot to teach Hollywood about making decent movies.

Hollywood has made us into sex addicts and sex revolutionaries. Our values and sense of right and wrong, as Peter Kreeft says, are all standing on their heads. Now, because of sex you  can steal another man’s wife. You cannot betray your lawyer without being severely penalized, but you can betray your wife because of sex. You cannot kill bald eagles or blue whales without being a criminal but you can kill your own children as long as you do it a second before the two blades of the scissors meet in the middle of the umbilical cord rather than a second after, or a second before the body emerges from the birth canal rather than a second after… all because of sex. What kind of logic is this? Perhaps, perhaps this is why this movie that was shot for only €112,000 (US$150,000), was successful, earning substantial per-screen box office averages and the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song and the soundtrack as a whole also received a Grammy Award nomination, all because it shows us what true values we once had, and what true society we once had, but now lost.

Here is the sound track of Falling slowly 

The movie; 





Monogamy is unnatural

14 01 2014

Here is a nice readmonogamy

The Matt Walsh Blog

Monogamous marriages are unnatural. On this, I agree with the emailer below.

Now, behold these enlightening thoughts that I found in my inbox this morning:

Greetings Mr. Walsh,

I am a college professor, author, and researcher. It was obvious to me before you ever stated it that you are a man of little education and limited intelligence. Still, I commend your newfound fame and congratulate you on the enormous amounts of money you must be making.

[Five more sentences of insults and pretentious self-aggrandizement]

…You have become a hot topic in some of my classes and this very much worries me. It wasn’t until your name came up for a fifth time that I decided to investigate you. Your prose are rife with fallacies and Neanderthalic musings, so I could easily disembowel and discredit any part of it. But I’d like to concentrate on what seems to be your most common themes:…

View original post 1,201 more words





I LOVE YOU! FOR FIVE YEARS?

6 01 2014

  I LOVE YOU!  FOR FIVE YEARS?

1. Marriage is for life
If someone says: “I love you for five years” or “I marry you for five years but later…I have to reconsider it again, I may ask for a divorce…” Who likes to hear these words? We feel that there is something wrong in this approach to marriage and we are right; this would not be a real marriage according to our human nature and dignity. We deserve much more than five years. Our human nature and dignity asks for a decision for life, without putting conditions to love. Unfortunately we realize that a falling out after some years of married life is quite common.

2. Courtship is a very important preparation for marriage.

Marriage is a very serious step. We bind ourselves for a whole lifetime. Therefore, a period of courtship is necessary; a period of time during which a person can get to know sufficiently well his or her lifetime partner, before making the decision to get married.
During the period of courtship, the man and the woman have to help each other. Human love should not be selfish; marriage is a life of dedication and service to the other and one has to be well prepared. During this period, the most important task is to know the dispositions of the other’s soul, the spirit with which he or she will face married life.

Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence. We are persons, a marvelous unity of body and soul; to surrender our own body to one’s spouse signifies surrendering our own self to him or her; honest sexual language demands a commitment to lifelong fidelity.

When a person is not yet married, there is as yet no true commitment; there is no marital bond and a free decision to be with the other for life has not yet been made. (Let us be honest!). If he or she has not committed his or her freedom totally, as the other deserves because of his or her dignity as a human person, one have to admit that the possibility of changing his or her mind in the future still exists; therefore the totality of the gift of oneself would be lacking. Pre-marital relations are a lie.

(Perhaps with an example we can understand this better). If before marriage, one of them suffers an accident in which he or she is disfigured, the other one could decide not to marry that person anymore and it would not be an injustice. There was no true commitment of married life yet. But for a married couple, it would be a terrible lack of justice to leave the other. In marriage, the commitments radically changed their status in life. They promised each other to be faithful in any circumstance.

Those commitments of a married person, so radically change his or her life that a period of courtship is really important and necessary to prepare them.

Courtship should be seen as a time of testing, a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity and the hope of receiving one another as a true gift from God. They should reserve for marriage, expressions of affection that belong to married love and help each other grow in chastity and love (cfr. Pope John Paul II address on the 6 of Feb. 1993).

3. Consequence of the truth about love and courtship.

Man and woman complete each other but expressions of love cannot be governed by feelings alone. We are humans. If the couple does not act prudently, progressively concupiscence can end up governing the relationship and reducing it simply to sexual attraction, each one becoming an object for satisfying personal desires, lowering the relation to the animal level, contrary to the reality of the human person. We should be governed by our mind, which is above our feelings, ready to give ourselves to the other out of love, not out of selfish feelings. For this reason, prudence has always advised that the length of the engagement before marriage be relatively brief (one or two years seem enough to acquire a deep mutual knowledge). External guarantees of stability, such as provided by age, professional situation, house, cannot be forgotten.

Authentic human love is an instrument of sanctification and those in courtship have the obligation to preserve it from selfishness; they are laying the solid foundations for their future stability and fruitfulness.

4. Men and women are different.

Men and women are different; in body and emotions.
Men can easily get aroused. Women are not aroused easily to sexual pleasure. Even if a woman loves someone very much, she may stop some kind of advance which is not proper. For men, this is more difficult. She has slower rising of sexual desires. This is a kind of protection for her, part of the plan of the Creator. This difference in behavior corresponds to the way God made man and woman; it is obvious that the consequences of a sexual act in a man are different from that in a woman. Men do not get pregnant. Women can get pregnant. Women get more trapped, so to speak.

Their hearts are also different. A man can separate sex from love. The average young lady does not generally separate love from sex; for her, feelings of romantic love and sexual desires are closely related.
For the man, sexual desires come suddenly; can be intense and not necessarily related with the heart. He does not feel deep emotions of love and tenderness; he wants immediate satisfaction and pleasure. The woman should understand that the biological and psychological conditions of the man are different. ( Cfr. Jimmy Achacoso, Documentation Service, Philippines, July, 1998).

True friendship is impossible if one allows lust in it. Lust disturbs the capacity of clear discernment and calm thinking. The physical attraction should be subordinated to the spiritual level, to mind and reason.

5. Conclusion

Courtship is a time for holiness, a time to pray, a time to cultivate a love in which the spiritual, emotional, affective aspects are well harmonized and open to the consequences of a married life. A time to fall in love not only in a sentimental way, just because of feelings. But to fall in love, using the mind, the heart and the freedom to chose, for life, a person who has the qualities to be one’s husband or one’s wife until death, and who will be the father or the mother of one’s children.

6. A practical approach.
Some suggestions for the period of courtship:

a) Sincerity. To discuss seriously important topics: children, finance, home, in-laws, work, etc.
b) To avoid travelling alone with him or with her.
c) To avoid certain places, late-night meetings.
d) To get to know his or her friends.
e) To get to know his or her workplace.
f) To seek advice from parents and mature persons.
g) To avoid less decent way of wearing clothes.
h) It is good to have serious disagreements that are quickly solved. In married life these will occur as well.
i) Prayer for happy marriage.

Based on a publication about the topic: DOCUMENTATION SERVICE on Courtship, Dating and going steady, Philippines (1998). Special thanks to John Paul II and Jimmy Achacoso. Written and arranged by Jose Pedro Libano M.





Why Many College Girls Think They Don’t Have Enough Sex by Ross Douthat

20 12 2013

Why Many College Girls Think They Don't Have Enough Sex by Ross Douthat

Not surprisingly, my weekend musings on the gender-specific anxieties parents might have about their daughters, and how those anxieties might possibly translate into some sort of affinity for moral traditionalism, has prompted a lot of responses from socially-liberal and feminist commentators — some huffy, some bemused, some condescending, some all three. For the purposes of this post I’m just going to work off these remarks from the New Republic’s Marc Tracy, who interviewed Adelle Waldman, the novelist whose “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.” served as one of my column’s touchstones, and who used their conversation as grist for the following conclusion:
In my reading, Douthat makes the classic, noble conservative mistake of assuming that rigid social conventions must do the work that we cannot trust young adults to do themselves. Waldman’s opinion (and mine) is that granting young men and women the social freedom to make their own way will result, most of the time and more times than not, in liberated decision-making that leaves everyone better off.
While hesitating to be too much of a spoiler, Waldman explained, “The person Nate winds up with in the book is one that he slept with on the first date. And that was deliberate, because it doesn’t ring true to my experience or to people I know that relationships are better when you wait to have sex.” She added, in a line that should only sound gooey if you have never been through it, “I think that what really makes relationships work depends on the two people and what they bring to it at that moment in time.”
I actually have no idea what kind of romantic landscape would result from perfectly “liberated decision-making,” because — much like the anarcho-capitalist utopia of certain libertarian imaginings — no such perfect personal liberation is possible. To be human in society is to live with conventions, patterns, expectations; if you do away with one set on the grounds that it’s too “rigid,” as Tracy puts it, you can expect that whatever social system emerges after the revolution will have its own set of pressures, assumptions, and constraints.
Here’s a relevant example of what I mean. If you look at the sociological literature on premarital sex and the attitudes surrounding it — how soon it should happen in a relationship, how casually it should take place — you see fairly clear gender differences: In the aggregate (note: I said aggregate), women’s stated preferences incline them toward a somewhat longer period of dating before sex and a closer link between intimacy, monogamy and commitment. And then you also see a significant correlation between female happiness and the fulfillment of those preferences: The risk of depression, for instance, is much lower for women with stable relationships and a low number of overall sexual partners, a correlation which doesn’t appear to anything like the same degree for men.

But then when you ask women (and men) what they assume about other people’s sexual preferences and behavior, there is a consistent overestimation of how often and how quickly their peers are having sex. The phenomenon at work here goes by the technical name “pluralistic ignorance,” and its effects are summarized as follows by Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker, in a discussion of sexual patterns on college campuses:
… pluralistic ignorance happens when within a group of individuals, each person believes his or her private attitudes, beliefs, or judgments are discrepant from the norm displayed by the public behavior of others. Therefore, each group member, wishing to be seen as a desirable member of the group, publicly conforms to the norm, each believing he or she is the only one in the group experiencing conflict between his or her private attitude and his or her public behavior. Group members believe that most others in their group, especially those who are popular and opinion leaders, actually endorse the norm and want to behave that way, while they themselves privately feel they are going along with the norm because of a desire to fit in with the group and exemplify the norm. This pattern suggests that plenty of college students think that they don’t have sex as much as other people do and aren’t as comfortable with uncommitted sex as other people are, but generally don’t wish to appear so. In other words, many college students are more sexually conservative than they prefer to let on. They’re afraid to appear prudish, which strikes many as a social kiss of death. The results of pluralistic ignorance about others’ sex lives, however, can “lead one or both sexual partners to act according to the perceived norm rather than to their own convictions.” In other words, sex becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: “The more students believe sexual activity is occurring, the more sexual activity occurs.”
If you don’t like the jargon of “pluralistic ignorance,” you can just use Tracy’s language instead: The expectation of relatively-swift sex is itself a “social convention,” no less than the expectation of chastity or courtship, and one that like any convention influences people’s decisionmaking as much as their own internal beliefs and preferences do.
And where gender differences are concerned, it influences them in a very specific way: In the aggregate (note that word again!), the current conventions surrounding premarital sex seem to push women to conform to male desires rather than to their own stated preferences. Look, for instance, at Figure 2 in this paper, which compares female comfort levels with various activities during a casual hook-up both with male comfort levels and with what the women thought other women would be comfortable with. You’ll see a striking pattern: Male and female comfort levels diverged sharply when the options moved from what people used to call “heavy petting” to oral sex and intercourse — men were reasonably comfortable with everything; women weren’t — but the women surveyed mistakenly assumed that other women’s preferences looked much more like the male preferences than their own. (So, significantly, did the men.) In other words, in our sexual culture, the male preference gets treated as normative even by women who don’t share it, and whose own comfort level with sex outside a committed relationship is actually substantially lower.

Now there are three ways you can look at this kind of data, three attitudes you can take. One possibility, which I take to be view of a number of the feminist writers who criticized my column, is that the division in stated preferences is itself a social convention — one of the legacies of patriarchy and male privilege, an entirely socially-constructed divergence that reflects the historical shaming of promiscuous women and the devaluing of female sexual pleasure. In this view, women who think they want to wait longer to have sex than men and who are more uncomfortable than males with the idea of sex with near-strangers are victims of false consciousness, disconnected from their actual desires and own best interests, and their enduring hang-ups are an obstacle to equality, freedom, and truly liberated decision making.
But this argument ends up in a peculiar place. It is one thing to argue that, say, the association between female promiscuity and depression, and the absence of a similarly strong association for men, is just an example of how the old sexual double standard warps women’s sense of self-worth. That’s a plausible-enough argument, though one that I think is somewhat incomplete. It’s much more sweeping and strange, though, to argue that in the name of female empowerment, male attitudes toward sex should be treated as comprehensively normative and healthy, female attitudes should be treated as self-deceived and borderline pathological, and that women should reshape and renovate their own desires about sex and relationships to conform to what men already want. The logic can be made to work, I concede, with sufficient intellectual gymnastics. But it still feels like a very strange sort of feminism that looks at the literature on sexual and romantic preferences and makes what men want the measure of empowerment, happiness and health.
The second possible attitude, which I think is actually more commonplace (though often unstated) than the strict feminist take, doesn’t dismiss these patterns but basically denies that they have any clear relevance to individual lives and relationships — because every sexual situation is so different, every romantic encounter so distinctive, that trying to draw any kind of specific life lessons from what a bunch of men and women tell a sociologist is a fool’s errand. Or, alternatively, perhaps, it’s not a fool’s errand but it is a dangerous business, because the risks from having too many rules (repression, misery, etc.) are much more significant than the risks from having too few, and the “rigid social conventions” of the past were so self-evidently anti-sex and awful that it’s better not to question whatever conventions we’ve replaced them with.
I think you can see a hint of this idea in Waldman’s comment about waiting or not waiting to have sex, and how she had her protagonist end up with a girl he slept with quickly because that was true to the experiences in her social circle, and to the broader mystery of how specific couples interact. From a novelist’s perspective, that’s a wise choice: Every relationship really is different, which means that plenty of relationships begin with sex and become something deeper and more durable — and no work of fiction, even one that doubles as a work of social criticism, should privilege sociological findings at the expense of the raw complexity of real human interaction.

But it still feels like an abdication of intellectual responsibility — and of personal responsibility, to return to my column’s theme, in the case of parents and families and communities — to simply ignore the sociology, to insist that the patterns and preferences have no relevance to people’s happiness, or to try to paper them over out of an implausible fear that merely acknowledging them will send us hurtling back into the world of “Mad Men,” the Victorians, or worse. Because actually, for instance, in the aggregate (yes, that word again) it does seem to be the case that relationships are better when you wait to have sex — not till marriage or even engagement, necessarily, but just longer than the average, longer than the current cultural norm. And pretending that this knowledge shouldn’t have any relevance to individual sexual and romantic choices, and can’t possibly justify any kind of structural critique of contemporary mores, seems like a weird sort of anti-empiricism, a kind of faith-based liberationism that recognizes no challenge to its dogmas.
Which brings us to the third possible response to the sociological findings and patterns mentioned above. If there’s evidence that 1) women’s stated sexual preferences are somewhat more conservative than what men say they want and what our cultural norms encourage, that 2) women’s happiness increases when their sex lives conform to their own preferences rather than to the culture’s more libertine script, and that (at least anecdotally) 3) men tend toward a kind of indecisive, listless, semi-exploitative relationship style when their preferences are too easily fulfilled, then perhaps — just perhaps — what we have here is a case for a somewhat more conservative sexual culture. Not a culture where the Ministry of Virtue locks Nathaniel P. away for crimes against chastity; not a culture where nobody ever has a one-night stand or a friend with benefits; not a culture where women are treated like porcelain or taught to quiver in fear of the ravening lusts of lecherous males. Just a culture where it’s a little easier for women (and men) to act on attitudes and preferences that, in the aggregate (!!!!), seem to correlate more with happiness and flourishing than many social liberals are willing to acknowledge or admit.
—-The NewYorkTimes

 





VIDEO Fighting the New Drug (2’25”)

22 11 2013


We need to talk about pornography. Wait, don’t go. This is important. You see, pornography affects all of us.
It’s not a question of if you get exposed, but when. So what, right? Some people say it’s not a big deal.
They’re wrong. Viewing pornography changes your brain. That’s right, it actually CHANGES YOUR BRAIN.
When you see pornography your brain is over-exposed with chemicals, the same chemicals that are released with hard drugs. They make you come back for more. Overtime your brain starts to rewire itself.
And it doesn’t take long until you crave it. You have to see more. You’re addicted.

And that ADDICTION takes over your life. It takes you away from your friends, your family, everything you love.
Addiction doesn’t care who you are. It doesn’t think about your future. It just wants to be satisfied.

Now we know what you’re thinking, “It won’t happen to me.” Maybe you’re right, but what if you’re wrong?
Why take a chance? Get the facts about pornography. Fight the New Drug.

 








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