Like a Virgin – no more!

I am really sad to say that the semester is over. I can’t recall enjoying a course this much.  I would wait by the computer on a Monday or Tuesday to get my assignment and I couldn’t wait to get started on that week’s lectures. I would watch the 2 or 3 lectures, read the articles assigned and post my thoughts.

Dr. Halavais presented the coursework in a professional manner – no easy task since the subject was pornography.  I learned more this semester than I expected.  Not that I had much expectations – I had no idea what I was in store for!  I was pleasantly surprised.

I am not a prude and I happen to be very outspoken. I say what is on my mind.  I enjoy writing as well, so the assignments were not torturous and the subject matter did not bother or offend me. I enjoyed it.

I did not expect to learn so much about the history or laws regarding pornography. I cannot pick a specific subject matter that I preferred. Nothing stands out.  The overall experience and knowledge I obtained speaks volumes, yet is hard to put down in one post.  You would have to read my entire blog to see what I got out of the class.

To zone in on a few topics that fascinated me were the obsurity of defining such terms as pornography and obscenity, how different people view such material in terms of what they consider to be offensive and the courts struggle to draw the line for legality sake.

I learned that pornography dates back to pre-historic times and cave pictures, that pornography shaped technology, and that it was the Adult websites that were the first ones to test out online payments.  They were the ones in essence that tested the waters with everything.

What blew me away was the fact that big companies, such as AT&T, Marriot and General Motors all have their hand in pornography!  No one knows, it is not publicized but they promote it by either supporting or carrying certain pornographic content or owning companies that do. They are capitalizing on the industry which generates billions of dollars annually.  A number that made my jaw drop.  Pornography is not going away, not when it generates that type of money.

I found out that not all porn stars were forced into their career.  Not that I gave it much thought.  The whole idea of choice was brought up and debated.  It is argued that some chose this career out of desperation, there was nothing else for them to do.  I heard for the first time “gay for pay” a term used for straight male actors performing in gay movies for the higher salary.  I found out not all woman in the industry are treated like low-life sluts.  There are some that actually garner respect from their directors and co-actors.  They call the shots and say what they will or will not do. This, I must say, impressed me.

We learned about the zoning rules and what the counties can and cannot limit in regards to adult businesses.  With the explosion of the internet brings more problems in terms of what is considered under community standards – whose community are we referring to? Who can control it? Should it be controlled?

It was not all fun and games, nor adults only.  We covered such topics as sex trafficking and child pornography – two disturbing elements in the adult business.  How do we prevent this, how do we protect them? How much should be covered by the First Amendment?  Child porn is obscene – it is not legal, yet child porn is also considered to be when a child stumbles upon indecent material.  So how do we prevent that from happening?  There are many who argue both sides of the issue.

I found more websites than I care to admit.  My husband wishes I found more!  I wanted to understand my husbands obsession and was upset over his appreciation of the industry! I was jealous and wanted to be all he ever needed.  In the end, this class made me realize he is not alone nor am I.  I realize now that by him viewing the material does not mean that he does not love me or that I am not enough.  He was exposed to porn as a young man and once that happens you are sucked into it – almost like an addiction. I cannot fault him for it.  I like to read erotica – I enjoyed reading Penthouse forum in college.  I laughed at it and sometimes was aroused by it.  I grew out of it though, he hasn’t – but that has nothing to do with me!

I want to thank Dr. Halavais for such an interesting class.  I don’t think I was ever sad to see something end like I am with this course. I think the layout of the class was wonderful.  I just wish I had time to read and respond to everyone’s post – a difficult feat considering there were 400 students that took the class. I enjoyed getting feedback from others.  I think the way Dr. H. framed the outline and managed the topics were magnificent. I think this class should be offered in every college.  As a parent, I did not know the extent of the problem pornography posed on the internet.  I knew to protect my children from online predators, but had no idea about the extent of other damaging aspects.  I thank Dr. Halavais for pointing out all these dangers and becoming more pro-active in spreading the word. 



5 Responses to “Like a Virgin – no more!”

  1. Father Joe Says:

    The secular view that pornography has a legitimate role in society is obviously not one shared by the Church. I would suggest that those voices that claim objectivity and tolerance are often really on the side of graphic sexual displays. There are even professors who get kick backs and have a vested interest in the books and materials they suggest or require for students, including pornography, if that should be the subject at hand.

    The argument that pornography does no harm is one that does not wash. Even some in the filth industry know this and they will go to great lengths to separate themselves from the hardcore material or from the illegal use of children. Again, the answers they give are self-seeking.

    Pornography can become a terrible addiction, particular for men. Certain secular authorities might argue that these materials give helpful ideas to couples (even husbands and wives) and that they help to maintain sexual interest there as well.

    However, as a pastor of souls, I can assert that the sexual thrill that comes with pornography is both addictive and one that goes to ever greater extremes to find satisfaction. There is a clear link between pornography and the abuse of women and children. It amazes me to what extremes people will go to satiate carnal lusts. Religion and law are pretty much all that we have to rein in this human passion.

    The Church would argue that sexual intimacy is a beautiful and a holy thing between a husband and wife. But, the Church, as you know, would insist that it stay there.

    When a man looks at pornography in a book, magazine or film, he is not thinking about his wife. He is thinking about the person whose image is given him. It is a kind of virtual fornication or adultery. He might subsequently have relations with his wife, but he might pretend that he is with someone else. He is also likely to avoid the marital act entirely and to resort to masturbation.

    It is not enough to think what the pornography does to you; what about the people who are its subjects. Often poor and ill-informed people are exploited for the profits of those unseen. Their caretakers themselves may be addicts to the material as well.

    Imagine for a moment that the girl having sex or even feigning sex on the page or screen is your daughter, or your son; would you still be pleased to watch it, and to have others do so? They are someone’s children, are they not? While love without sex can be both sublime and frustrating; sex without love is always exploitation. The subject, who should be viewed as a person with irreplaceable value and dignity, is lowered to the level of an object, a thing. We love persons. But when there is no love, and marital passion is replaced by lust, the human being becomes merely a means to an ends.

    True love between a man and a woman finds its goal in that love itself. There is mutual surrender and deep respect.

    Pornography respects no one. It takes what it wants. It feeds a beast that always wants more. It leads to sex out of marriage and then adultery afterwards. Once sex has been taken out of marriage, it is a genie hard to put back into the bottle. I should think if pornography were not so rampant, the sins I have mentioned, as well as the crimes of rape and child abuse, would not be so often in the news.

    A friend of mine was devastated when she pulled a box from under her father’s bed. She was only a child and so did not fully understand. The box was filled with porno magazines. She embarrassed the family by bringing a few of them out while guests were visiting. Apologies were made, silence ensued, and everyone left early.

    “Daddy,” she asked, “why is the man hurting that woman? Why is he doing that?”

    He did not want to say. He lied to himself a thousand times over that it hurt no one. Now, he knew that he could lie no longer. He could not answer his little girl, but by God’s grace, he had the strength to burn the filth. He also asked a priest to bless his home and to dedicate it to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    I cannot always heal memories, and I have no time machine to undo the past; however, as a priest I can bring blessing and God’s Spirit, and thus maybe cast out those darker spirits that exult in man’s degradation.


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