So, I want to begin with a disclaimer. While there is a comparison between women and food in this post, the point is not to objectify women. The point is the opposite: to humanize them. So don’t just glance at the pictures or a pull quote and leave nasty comments, ok? (at least wait until you have read the article and have actual opinions on what I said)
What This Post Isn’t About
I am not here (today) to talk about why Christians shouldn’t watch porn. That is a whole other post for another day entirely. I am really just speaking to the general population. I am also not setting out to keep anyone from watching porn. –Though really, why? There are so many better (and more pleasant) things to do with your time.– Instead I want to talk about the relative merits of preferring porn when you are in a relationship with someone.
Who am I?
I’m just a guy who (like most guys) has looked at porn in the past. I have even done so while in relationships. It has never been a good choice, and I hope that part of my life is done for good at this point.
Porn vs Movies
What you see when you watch porn is a front. (also an affront, but more on that another day) It is a farce, a pretense, not even worthy of being called fiction no matter how many “plot lines” they attempt to have in a pornographic video. There is no substance, no story, no soul. There are just sexual objects performing the basic function of sex.
This isn’t like watching the latest super hero movie, horror/thriller or chick flick. Those were all stories, written by someone who (generally) knew how to tell a story, and then portrayed in film as a medium. The people in them are actors, playing parts as directed, but also giving their own flavor to a role. Humanoid CGI characters in movies will probably always have to be modeled after real actors, not because technology isn’t good enough to render them in the various poses, but because we (the audience) care about the subtle emotions a real person has.
Sure the actors all have makeup on (even the guys) and sure the director is trying with each scene to make you feel some particular emotion: maybe excited or scared or joyful or thoughtful. But these feelings persist long after the movie ends and are associated largely with the story, not the acting itself. The acting was just the thing that gave the story life like words read off a page. The story lives on in you and you can perhaps imagine yourself as one of the actors –performing the part event better than they did– because now it is your story, and not the director’s.
Women in Porn
Porn is different. There is no real story behind the guy and the girl on screen. They are only there for one purpose: to sexually arouse you. You might imagine yourself as the guy having sex, but this isn’t inserting yourself into a story, this is just a slightly more complex way of imagining yourself having sex. And who is that woman you –yes you, because the guy doesn’t exist anymore– are having sex with? Just a warm body capable of making you climax. People talk about objectification of women and it’s quite true, but most people don’t really think about exactly how abstract that woman in a porn scene is. Once CGI overcomes the uncanny valley, they will be able to replace actors in porn with 3d models and you will literally not even notice the difference, because the actors weren’t the point.
The Main Problem
Many men claim (and probably many believe) that they prefer women in porn to real women. I would humbly submit this is a lie. “But no real woman satisfies me the way this super kinky porn does.” Sorry, but you are missing the point. Women as seen in porn are vastly inferior to actual women.
Here comes that food analogy. It was born from a line out of the hit (?) movie of 2001. No, not The Fellowship of the Ring or Pearl Harbor. Not A Beautiful Mind or Hannibal. It was a kids movie. No, not Monsters Inc. Seriously, no guesses?
Yes, it was indeed that classic comedy about an ogre named Shrek.
In the movie, Eddy Murphy plays a Donkey who at one point is trying to cheer up Shrek by comparing him to a parfait, which, he claims everyone likes.
I would assert that, for the purposes of comparing pornographic female sex objects to living breathing women, women are also like parfaits, and the sex objects in porn are like… plain white cane sugar.
Sugar is pretty tasteless when you have it by itself. If you drop a spoonful in your mouth, it initially feels a bit like intensely sweet sand, then that eventually melts away to sickeningly sweet juice. There is no pleasant mouthfeel, if anything the extreme sweetness feels painful on your gums. There are no other accents to the food that is raw sugar, it is just the one intense but lonely note of flavor. By the end of a few spoonfuls, if you aren’t outright sick, you definitely don’t want any more, at least not until that taste is flushed from your mouth by something else. And tomorrow when you are craving something sweet, you will remember the experience as acceptable, but not satisfying. Maybe you will even be driven to wander over to the corner store for something else…
You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Hell no, I don’t like no parfait.”? Parfaits are delicious. – Donkey
Compare that with a parfait. First up, just look at that culinary masterpiece. It is pleasant to behold. It has texture, color, imperfections that are sure to create variety.
If you take a bite of this dessert, it is a whirlwind of flavors and sensations. There is the initial soft, thick, creamy base. Next up is the hard, salty, oily nuts. Finally there is the firm, sweet, and tart experience of the fruit. And every additional spoonful is layered just as complexly, but each is unique in ratio and order of ingredients. By the time you are done, you wish there was more, and you could reasonably see yourself having one every evening after dinner.
Real Women – Real People
People are imperfect. We are complex, unique, quirky, and sometimes just a mess. But that complexity is what makes human interaction infinitely better than porn. Getting to know a woman as an acquaintance, as a good friend, as a wife, leads to complex interactions of sensations, moods and emotions over time. Sometimes these interactions hurt. Sometimes they even lead to heartbreak when it becomes clear things aren’t working out. But it is the only way to intimately experience another living human, rather than a glorified sex toy.
If that all sounds like too much bother, by all means go back to pouring dry, bland, single flavor sugar down your throat until you make yourself sick.
But if you ever need a change and are thinking of trying a parfait, first put away the sugar. You don’t need it when there is something better available, and trying to add sugar around the edges of a parfait just masks the flavors that are already there.
Bringing this full circle: the only reason you can say you prefer porn over a girl you are dating is that porn is literally dulling the parts of your mind that can actually appreciate her. So stop blinding yourself with tasteless orgasms, and instead experience the real world in full vibrant color.