Christian Naturism vs. Pornography Poll

Pornography destroys lots of marriages, and harms lof people in terrible ways. How can nudists pretend it doesn't matter?<P>Only Native Residents may post here.

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How has your practice of viewing pornography for sexual gratification changed since you were exposed to Christian naturism?

I regularly viewed porn prior to my exposure to Christian naturism and I still do. (No change)
0
No votes
I regularly viewed porn prior to my exposure to Christian naturism but now I rarely do. (Decreased)
6
24%
I regularly viewed porn prior to my exposure to Christian naturism but now I never do. (Decreased)
4
16%
I rarely viewed porn prior to my exposure to Christian naturism but now I regularly do. (Increased)
0
No votes
I rarely viewed porn prior to my exposure to Christian naturism and I still do. (No change)
2
8%
I rarely viewed porn prior to my exposure to Christian naturism but now I never do. (Decreased)
12
48%
I never viewed porn prior to my exposure to Christian naturism but now I regularly do. (Increased)
0
No votes
I never viewed porn prior to my exposure to Christian naturism but now I rarely do. (Increased)
0
No votes
I never viewed porn prior to my exposure to Christian naturism and I still don't. (No change)
1
4%
 
Total votes : 25

Postby MatthewNeal » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:19 am

JWD wrote: When I took the poll I answered never viewed porn prior to getting into naturism and that maybe a lie to some. To be honest, it has been since that incident almost tweenty years ago but like I said, that lure is still there. Christ will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I can bare and provide a way of escape :)


JWD,

It was unbelieveable.... my wife and I had been looking at this thread not 10 minutes before you made your post. It was as if God was putting his exclamation point on our discussion and conclusions about it.

We were commenting on the data and had noted that 16 of 17 had reported a problem with pornography prior to exploring CN. Evidently, you were the one that had not. But it seems that we are actually 17 for 17!

I have no problem with you answering the way you did. I'm just amazed at how pervasive the problem really is.

I find in this little poll some very interesting observations.

1. All 17 respondents have struggled with porn before.
2. All but 6 indicated a change that was a reduction after exploring CN.
3. Nobody indicated that they still regularly view porn!
4. Nobody indicated an INCREASE in their viewing habits!
5. Of the 17, only 6 indicate that they still view porn at all, and all of them indicate that it is rarely.

Obviously, this poll is not scientific, but the trend that it points to is exciting.

Thanks for posting, JWD. It brought this poll back to our attention and I think it's a good time for it!

Matt
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Postby LivingFree » Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:18 pm

The underlying, nagging question I have is, did you (generically, meaning anyone) view soft core porn or hard core porn, and if it was soft core porn only, was it mainly to get sexual stimulation, or primarily to simply enjoy the beauty of the naked female form?
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Postby Strandloper » Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:30 pm

LF asked: “. . . was it mainly to get sexual stimulation, or primarily to simply enjoy the beauty of the naked female form?”

Definitely the latter, although the nature of the images was such that it was difficult to avoid the first.
Thank God for decent naturism.
Shalom,
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Postby JWD » Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:49 pm

Naturism has given me a more healthier picture of the Gods' creation.
I don't have an desire for porn. :D
Nudist- One who suffers from clothestrophobia.
(Left-Handed Dictionary)
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Postby Strandloper » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:55 am

JWD wrote: “Naturism has given me a more healthier picture of God’s creation.
I don't have an desire for porn.”

That I go along with, too.
I didn’t answer the poll because none of the categories quite fitted. In the first place, I did look at some porn fairly regularly at one time. But where does one draw the line between hard-core and soft-core?
I was certainly not interested in seeing copulation, or in homosexual (male or female) pictures, let alone bestiality. My interest, as I mentioned, was in the beauty of the female form. My early searches for nudism and naturism had only opened up questionable or openly pornographic sites, an in a few of those it was possible to see pictures of women in a natural hairy state (I abhor the smooth look). But at the same time I was disgusted by the poses – women with their legs wide open.
I put that tendency behind me when I discovered naturism, and especially Christian naturism.
Currently I do not seek out pornography. But I do feel, as a webmaster, a duty to vet sites that advertise themselves as being nudist or naturist. In this way I occasionally come across porn (usually no worse than what I viewed previously), but having established what those sites are, I then avoid them.
Those that are worthwhile, I eventually add to my list of links on my website.
Shalom,
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Postby boondon » Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:53 am

Well, I suppose I need to chime in on this topic because of the effect that participating in social nudity has had on me. That "keen edge" of the desire to view porn has definitely been removed as a whole for me. I will have to say, however, that total victory has never been really achieved in all honesty. Through these last few years, there still has been some scattered times when I have still felt the urge and, sorry to say, given in. So I just checked on our survey that I used to do it regularly, but now rarely. Sooooooo....... Now that everyone is thoroughly disgusted with me, let me explain. It seems to be just like me breaking the chain of alcohol. There, I have been absolutely sober for three and a half years which is the longest ever in my life. Although I had broken the cycle many years ago, it has taken that long for abstinence to actually take place. Porn desire, in the same way, almost literally dried up overnight at first when I first started in on exploring naturism from a Christian perpective. I did quite well for a long time, particularly after I actually visited Empire Haven, a nudist park near Syracuse, NY. It seems like during times when I can't participate for a while, that's when temptation strikes. I'm human like all of us unfortunately. Believe me when I tell you of how deeply entrenched these things were for me during most of my adult life! Now I'm at the point where I can turn around and leave before I fall because I have the strength through the Holy Spirit to walk away! There is always that possibility that I could fall so I need to remember not to brag and say that I don't have a problem anymore which I think I have done before, both here and on the Naturist Christians site.
In thinking about the possible reasons why naturism works in this regard, I'm beginning to see that when you are naked physically around others, I think that it forces you to reveal a certain amount of intimacy to others. The reason I say that is that using pornography allows the user to AVOID intimacy- you know those images can't hurt you. I don't know if "intimacy" is a good word to use when you are socially naked, but I think we all know that there is something about being naked around others that changes the way you relate to people. Just some thoughts.
Don
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Postby jochanaan » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:18 pm

boondon wrote:...I don't know if "intimacy" is a good word to use when you are socially naked...

It's a perfect word, describing very well what happens. After all, not all intimate interactions are sexual. 8)
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Postby LivingFree » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:27 pm

boondon wrote: Through these last few years, there still has been some scattered times when I have still felt the urge and, sorry to say, given in.


Don, two questions (and you needn't answer if you don't want to).

1. Are you referring to soft porn or hard core porn?

2. Are you still occasionally being drawn to porn for the sake of sexual arousal, or mainly to enjoy the beauty of the naked human form?

I raise those two questions because the true meaning of "pornography" denotes photos or writings about illicit sexualized activity. As Christians, we believe that kind of activity to be wrong. In scripture, however, we do not find commands against enjoying human beauty. In fact, Song of Solomon actually seems to encourage the enjoyment of the beauty of both the male and female naked form, without the sexualized content that the modern day porn industry tries to force upon us.

To really get technical, I think viewing porn in order to enjoy the beauty of the human form is sin if it draws us away from our spouse, but is not sin if it does not harm that relationship. I also think a spouse sins when s/he does not provide appropriate opportunities for the mate to enjoy his/her beauty (see 1 Cor. 7:3-5).
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Postby boondon » Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:16 pm

First: Yes, Joch, in looking back at my post, I agree with you that it is a good choice of words and it does seem to be at the root of our historic arguments that social nudity is not sexual. It is intimate and yet does not involve sex. It correlates quite nicely with the "cover-up" in the Garden at the advent of sin when intimacy with God was so sorely interrupted.

Second: Here goes, LF!
Question 1: I am indeed referring to hard core porn which leads right to the answer for question 2: Sexual arousal.
The reasons are multitude, yet simple. Multitude that in my case they involve my relationships with my family when I was young and impressionable. I know one difficulty was that I probably learned that I should leave my Dad alone. I say that because of his history and the way he was. His father left the family when he was young and he drove a bakery delivery wagon during the depression to help make ends meet. He later became a POW in WWII, an experience that to this day, he doesn't speak much of and probably suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome while I was growing up. Somehow through it all I must have learned that something happened to satisfy some kind of need through sex as looking at Playboys was a fascinating pasttime for me when I was a young teen. (Someone earlier mentioned that they lifted one from a store, but I found a drugstore that would sell them to me with no questions asked.) Naturally that evolved to much worse over the years. I can easily see that the formation of relationships was a problem for me. I was not married until I was 45. So that is what is leading me to disagree with you fairly strongly to say that porn does indeed have a negative effect on relationships. I think I see where you might be going with your thoughts, but I think that there are so many other healthier options to use if one wants to appreciate the human body. A photo of two people involved in a sexual act could be potentially beautiful as well as there is nothing wrong with the act itself as it is a gift from God, but when presented in the common format of pornographic materials, it serves no purpose at all. You can easily tell that there is no love involved between the "actors". Even I'm not so sure that, say, a well photographed scene in a movie would be very wise to view because I wonder what the purpose really would be. Maybe for me it would be all too easy to revert back to simple sexual arousal if I viewed it. (Actually scenes from regular movies don't really have a whole lot of effect on me.)
No, I think that use of pornography does not benefit a relationship. For sure, if either partner withholds a physical relationship from the other, that is a problem dealt with in scripture. But if the partner uses pornography to get satisfaction, I think it is almost as bad as going off to be satisfied elsewhere. Maybe we could define sin as committing adultery in your mind or not trying to be fruitful and multiplying. I know a few of us are beyond that stage, but going off and trying to get satisfaction somewhere else I think would be our sin, because in a sense it is not being faithful to our partner like God asks us to be. Like I sad, I think there are plenty of healthier options out there like photo essay books, artwork, etc. that depict the human body, both male and female in such a way to be safely appreciated.
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Postby LivingFree » Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:29 pm

boondon,

Let me push out that point just a bit, about "not harming the relationship."

Example A: A couple is at opposite ends of the libido scpectrum. IOW, one craves sex every evening; the other is satisfied once or twice a month, or not at all. Their relationship is mostly platonic, therefore, and healthy, except one is famished for sexual release.

Example B: One partner craves the joy of seeing the beauty of the naked form; the other has a morbid fear of ever being undressed, except in the shower. Sex is done only between the sheets, with the lights out. If the other wants to see nakedness, it's OK if that one views soft porn. It doesn't harm the relationship in other ways.

Does any of this make sense?
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Postby boondon » Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:58 am

Both these circumstances are probably all too real and practical for some of our members. I'll give it a shot, but obviously it only my opinion which is in all likelihood quite error-prone.

Couple A might be in more trouble than just very unequal sexual desires. It could be indicative of deeper communication difficulties or problems in meeting each others needs. On the surface the one that feels a need to experience the sexual release obviously might be tempted to use pornography for stimulation for masturbation. At the risk of making everyone angry at me, I think that such a person is failing to think of their partner's needs so therefore a bit selfish in going off to see to their needs themselves rather than working on the relationship. They are literally taking into their own hands the welfare of their relationship! But look at the substitute! If it is just a picture, it doesn't seem to be any harm, but since a picture is pinch-hitting for the partner, doesn't that diminish the partner's importance? Now this isn't even taking into account the whole issue of masturbation. For the one partner, though, to use pornography for stimulation, I think does work to the detriment of the relationship in question.

Couple B also seems to have a problem as well as needs again are not being met. What is the motivation for the partner that uses pornography to view naked bodies? Is this for sexual satisfaction, also, because of the somewhat unusual manner in which the other partner treats being naked? But where do we cross the line on the LORD's command not to lust after another, because we then would have committed adultery in our hearts? There seems to be an issue of purity that is at stake here. We do know that viewing photos of ordinary naked people doing normal activities seem to have a calming effect. We have read of many testimonies of that where the desire for porn has been greatly reduced. If that's the case then there IS something sexual involved with viewing porn and we would be best advised to flee that as well because of the potential of falling into impurity, immorality, or worse, all of which the NT calls sin at one point or another.

In all this, I'm not about to say that masturbation is sin and we shouldn't do it at all. Our only example in the Bible was Onan who "spilled his seed" outside his dead brother's wife tent in direct disobedience to God's law. He wouldn't go in fulfill the commandment to raise up children to preserve his brother's name so God struck him dead. We don't really have this principle to live up to anymore these days, but I do think that somehow we should be careful to remain as sexually pure as possible, because that is what we are certainly commanded to do today. If one can do that with masturbation without diminishing the importance of their partner, then we can probably do so under the kinds of circumstances of couples A and B. Somehow, I don't think that is possible if one resorts to pornography as a substitute for stimulation.

Or maybe we could just say that to be able to use pornography is simply another lie from Satan telling us it's OK to go ahead. Pretty extreme statement, huh? But in trying to define what's good and bad porn, we will accumulate many opinions. Hard-core porn is pretty self-explanatory: sex acts, etc. What about soft porn? Do we define it as the "look on her face" along with the pose? And just how much of angle are the legs exposing the genitals do we allow before we say it is bad or how hard or soft is the penis? On the other hand we know that there is nudity that is not sexual at all, but is pure in intention. Among such materials is photos of people who happen to be naked while they are hiking or swimming or you name the normal activity. Artwork, either photographic or drawings can be very artistically expressive without being sexual. But it is pornography that races along the edge of whether it is pleasing to God or not. I rather suspect that it is not pleasing to God at all because of any sexual overtones. God has given us the gift of having beautiful sex between two loving partners, but it is we who have perverted the gift because of our fallen nature. Satan has obviously taken full advantage of it by confusing the situation immensely.

But back to the meeting of each other's needs- There is a better alternative than to be retreating into the use of pornography. That's why I say that use of pornography is detrimental to a relationship. That option is to work at meeting the partner's needs in a way that makes sense. Who better than the partner knows what they can do for their mate which would benefit the mate? Use of pornography only "benefits" one, not both. That's why I call it selfish. Just a few ideas: Do something that benefits your household. Like doing the dishes without being asked or how about cleaning the bathroom or changing the cat's litter box? Silly sounding? Maybe even a late evening backrub WITHOUT expecting anything in return. Talk about exercising self-control! Oh, did I just mention self-control? That's one of the Fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5 that we're supposed to be developing during our Christian lives. Now I feel like I've come full circle to be giving you some reasons why porn would be best unused. Now only if those unsatisfied partners concentrated on the needs of their mates, it appears that they would be fulfilling scriptural commands to be pure in heart, deny themselves, and follow Christ. What could possibly be a better outcome?

I hope this helps clarify things a little....(Yeah-like a mud puddle!):-)
Don
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Postby jochanaan » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:06 pm

Don, I tend to agree with your main point that if there are big differences between partners' sexual desires, there's already a problem with the marriage. In my own marriage, difficulties in the bedroom were a precursor to many other difficulties that neither of us could ultimately overcome.

(I have said this many times but it "bares" repeating: What Onan did in Genesis 38 was not masturbation but coitus interruptus.)

It would be wonderful if every couple who suffered from differing sex needs could work together to make sure each partner was meeting the other's needs; but so many people everywhere are so schizoid about sex that it's impossible to expect this to happen. And not everyone--I know this to my hurt--is willing to do the hard work of accepting psychological healing for themselves.

You also asked, "But where do we cross the line on the LORD's command not to lust after another, because we then would have committed adultery in our hearts?" I'm not sure God expects us never to think about sex unless and until we have a life-partner to enjoy it with. But when fantasy becomes a fixed intention--"I would if s/he'd let me"--that's when lust happens.

Yet maybe that's wishful thinking. I confess that I have, and still sometimes do, wonder what it might be like to make love to a certain woman or another; yet I have no intention to follow up on these fantasies. Have I sinned? (This is a serious question. I don't think I have sinned at all in this since my fixed intent is to follow God's laws, especially those regarding sexual intercourse. But maybe I'm justifying myself unjustly...)
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Postby boondon » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:14 am

I certainly do agree that there are some landmine-type questions here. I must have missed your comments on Onan in the past as I just went back to reread it, Gen. 38:7-9. It does indeed indicate that he was in the process of having sex with her, but wouldn't finish the task! That is quite different than anything to do with masturbation. So now masturbation definitely goes into the vast "grey area" of scripture as there is nothing else I know of that comes close to talking about it. OK, so now we have the issue about whether or not one might choose to masturbate using pornography for stimulation. I still stand by 1) the emotional detachment that the user can exert looking at the pictures whether or not he might ultimately use his imagination to produce an orgasm and thus the sexual release. I don't think that the emotional detachment is healthy for a relationship. But 2) I still think that in a sense that looking at the materials as a substitute for one's mate violates the principles of purity set down in scripture. I would apply Romans 1 here because in a way pornography might act as an idol. Also Phillipians 4 tells us to think on things that are right, just, noble, pure, etc. I just don't think that pornography is very close to any of those qualities. I'd be interested to read what others think about what God might think of pornography. Yes, He doesn't call it a sin directly, but he does command us to flee sexual immorality and idolatry. Can it be seen to promote either of those two? Then we need to flee!
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Postby jochanaan » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:58 pm

Yeah, Don, it does seem as if most of the church has forgotten the true nature of Onan's sin. :( It's good to be reminded from time to time in the face of contrary teachings.

I make a distinction here between pornography and erotica. Pornography is designed with one purpose in mind, to arouse the viewer/reader, and pornographers stop at no degradation to accomplish this, as you know. Erotica is a celebration of sex and sexuality, both the act and the potential for it; any arousal that happens is a sort of by-product. Pornography usually does not define or explore its characters; erotica often does. Pornography tends to deaden our awareness; good erotica may well increase both our capacity to feel and our awareness of our feelings. Of course, much erotica also arouses the viewers--but its end purpose is higher. (The distinction is not sharp-edged, more like two ends of a line, as for "art" and "entertainment.")

And although I am sure God cannot abide the kind of pornography that debases both its subjects and its viewers, I do not feel He has anything against artistic celebrations of the act He created to bring men and women together and beget humans in His image. The Song of Songs, for example, is sacred erotica, a celebration of the beauty of Woman and Man, of the desire and life-commitment that leads to high, pure erotic fulfillment.
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Postby boondon » Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:09 pm

Good point, Joch. I'm afraid that I don't have much to say to the differences between erotica and pornography, but I did say that artistic expressions may be OK. I just wonder where the old proverbial line is drawn..... The issue for me remains just what is pleasing to the LORD?
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