Taking Back Sexual Wholeness

Anyone except porn lovers and radical civil libertarians knows what a destructive tsunami the porn plague has been. It has devastated relationships, marriages, families and countless individuals in a downward spiral of degrading addiction.

And for some of course it leads to sex crimes. Sure, not every porn user goes off and commits acts of rape, sexual assault, and so on. But nearly all who do commit such acts are regular porn users. But leave aside those cases – ordinary people, including children, are being ravaged by porn as well.

The stats tell it all. Consider new figures coming out of the UK: “Internet traffic to legal pornography sites in the UK comprised 8.5% of all ‘clicks’ on web pages in June – exceeding those for shopping, news, business or social networks, according to new data obtained exclusively by the Guardian. Only ‘arts and entertainment’ – a category that is boosted by Google’s video site YouTube – and search engines were bigger, at 9.5% and 15.7% respectively.

“The figures, which do not include traffic from mobile phones, were compiled by SimilarWeb, a web measurement company based in Tel Aviv which tracks clicks online rather than total volume of traffic. Otherwise, the figures would be distorted by the sheer size of video files such as YouTube and the BBC’s iPlayer, which is classed under ‘news and media’ because it sits within the BBC’s website.

“The data does not include illegal searches for child abuse, which typically travel over secret networks such as Tor, or use peer-to-peer technology to try to hide the abuser’s identity. ‘Traffic on adult sites represents a huge portion of what people use the internet for, not just in the UK but around the world,’ said Daniel Buchuk, head of brand and strategy at SimilarWeb. ‘It is astonishing to see that adult sites are more popular in the UK than all social networks combined. People don’t just “stumble” upon adult content. More than 8% of Google UK searches led to adult sites in the past three months,’ he said.”

But let’s put a human face on all these figures. Melinda Tankard Reist covers both in a piece on the scene in Australia: “A 15-year-old boy confided in me after I addressed his class at a Sydney school last year. He cried as he told me he had been using porn since the age of nine. He didn’t have a social life, had few friends, had never had a girlfriend. His life revolved around online porn. He wanted to stop, he said, but didn’t know how.

“I have had similar conversations with other boys since then. Girls also share their experiences. Of boys pressuring them to provide porn-inspired acts. Of being expected to put up with things they don’t enjoy. Of seeing sex in terms of performance. Girls as young as 12 show me the text messages they routinely receive requesting naked images.

“Pornography is invading the lives of young people – 70 per cent of boys and 53.5 per cent of girls have seen porn by age 12, 100 per cent of boys and 97 per cent of girls by age 16, according to a study behind the book The Sex Lives of Australian Teenagers, by Joan Sauers.”

She offers other stories: “Jake, 18, says of his first sexual experience at 15: ‘First time I had sex, because I’d watched so much porn, I thought all chicks dig this, all chicks want this done to them … all chicks love it there. So I tried all this stuff and, yeah, it turned out bad … When a guy watches porn: “that’s hot, I want to try that. You, do this, this and this,” you know what I mean? And they will just keep pressuring and pressuring. I’ve got mates who do it. They will tell you, “Yeah, she didn’t want to at first but I just kept hounding her and hounding her and finally she let me …”’

“The level of disempowerment in the girls is disheartening. Disconnected from their own sense of pleasure and intimacy, they often pretend to like certain acts to keep a boy happy. Often he doesn’t even ask permission. Sara, 20, says, ‘Girls, they love it in porn, so maybe boys think that girls like that and, you know, when you love someone, you know, you’re always willing to just … make them happy. [if] I’m in love, then I’ll do it for you and I’ll pretend that I like it … And in the end … I just became an object …’”

The UK is looking at taking some tentative steps here to slow all this down: “Most households in the UK will have pornography blocked by their internet provider unless they choose to receive it, David Cameron has announced. In addition, the prime minister said possessing online pornography depicting rape would become illegal in England and Wales – in line with Scotland.”

Said David Cameron: “In the balance between freedom and responsibility we have neglected our responsibility to children. I’m not making this speech because I want to moralise or scaremonger, but because I feel profoundly as a politician, and as a father, that the time for action has come. This is, quite simply, about how we protect our children and their innocence.”

Of course this is not a panacea – it is simply one step. Going after the pornographers would be another part of the equation. Obviously the sleaze merchants and their civil libertarian buddies will throw a tantrum here and scream “censorship”. But in this scheme, those who want their fix of sleaze can still get it.

I for one favour any moves to protect our children. And I think adults also need help in overcoming the massive porn problem. Plenty of adult lives are being destroyed here as well. So this is just one small step. It remains to be seen how it all pans out.

But before the West is lost altogether in a sea of sleaze and plague of porn, responsible steps need to be taken. This is a start. And more needs to be done.


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15 Replies to “Taking Back Sexual Wholeness”

  1. David Cameron is a fraud – pretending to care about any moral issue whilst stampeding over the conservative viewpoint held in the UK against same sex marriage. Maybe this may end his career by trying to step on the filth mongers toes, but then again probably not.

    Dameon McManus

  2. While I acknowledge the serious problems with pornography, many of us in the UK don’t think that punishing the many to get at the few is the answer. Cameron’s moves to get porn filtered is merely the first step towards Internet control; today it’s porn (part of the problem-reaction-solution thing); but tomorrow it will be something else, like the opposition political parties that government doesn’t like, along with blogs that expose their wrong-doings; and next it’ll be religious sites, alternative news and everything that government doesn’t want you to know about.

    It’s ironic that Cameron bleats about “think of the children” and yet is happy for gay marriage to go ahead and then allow the perverted gay lifestyle to be taught in schools! He’s nothing but a hypocrite, along with the rest of the shower in power.

    This has come about mainly because parents won’t take responsibility for supervising their children while on the Internet. No, they leave it to the state because they’re too lazy to work out how to set their computers correctly. As a result, government is now prepared to punish ALL people (even those who don’t have children in their household).

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t seek out dirty websites or grubby pictures, but I object absolutely to having a nanny-state control how I use the Internet in my own home. The Internet service provider TalkTalk allows its customers’ browsing to be filtered by a Chinese company (China, from whence the majority of hackers come), irrespective of whether the customer has switched the family filters on or off.

    There are more paedophiles within the Downing Street circles than one might wish to know about; they need to get their own house in order before preaching to the rest of us. I’m afraid I see this “family filtering” as the thin end of the wedge and yes, I fear that censorship IS the end goal; at which point the Internet won’t be worth bothering with because governments will dictate what you are allowed to look at. We don’t want the UK becoming another China.

    Chris Dark, UK

  3. Thanks guys. Just a few quick replies if I may. I am certainly no fan of Cameron, and he is indeed a sham conservative. His idiotic push for homosexual marriage is just one of his many grievous errors. But I am also not a libertarian, where an open slather policy in this area trumps every other concern, including the wellbeing of children. As I said, this system is not a panacea, nor a perfect solution. But it looks like those perverts who must have their porn will still be allowed to. But admittedly I have not studied the proposals in detail – indeed, they may not even all be fully out yet. So before too many others come here to blast me for ‘censorship,’ fascism, or being the devil incarnate, let me say this: as a biblical Christian I will always stand for righteousness and sexual purity in a broken and needy world, and where possible, I will support legislative attempts to especially protect our children, while allowing freedom as much as is possible in a fallen and sinful world.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  4. And it starts so subtly.

    My favourite relaxation is diving/spearfishing and recently I needed a new pair of dive fins. A very popular brand amongst Australians has a drawing of bare-breasted “mermaid” on it. I think the reference to a mythological creature, possibly invented by heat-struck, scared, home sick sailors wanting dugongs to be attractive females, is harmless enough. The depiction is in-line with a nautical theme, but a “harmless” drawing is the beginning of the desensitisation process.

    Hence when looking around for a new pair of fins, I struck that brand off my wishlist immediately.

    Graeme Cumming

  5. Bill,

    I was a big fan of censoring internet porn. Until a fellow conservative showed me how easy it was to bypass such filters. I don’t want to see governments waste money on unworkable filters.

    My opinion will change again if filtering technology can be shown to work.

    Graeme Cumming

  6. Thanks Graeme. But you may be confusing issues here. Home-based filtering systems can indeed often be overcome by most cluey techie kids. Easy. But that is not what we are talking about here. Cameron is proposing blocking things from the ISP end – big difference. And that is important: Chris (above) may not be a parent, since he too misses the point. Parents can be absolutely scrupulous here (even throw out all computers and Internet etc) but that still does little to solve the problems: kids will still get access at schools, libraries, McDonalds, friends’ houses, etc – anywhere there is Internet access, and a means to get online – smart phones, laptops, etc. So putting all the burden on parents is just not helpful here. Sure parents must do all they can, but there is heaps they cannot do about this. That is why demanding a bit of responsibility and accountability from ISPs is also important.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  7. Pornography addiction has been made seductively private with the development of the Internet: Consumers of “adult” materials no longer need to run the gauntlet of the public gaze to buy their dubious merchandise at certain shops. A computer screen in a darkened room also gives the illusion of a furtive, secretive, false intimacy.

    Pornography is dishonest merchandise which leaves in its wake a trail of broken relationships and damaged women and children.

    John Wigg

  8. Thanks Bill, I too think Cameron is doing the right thing here, albeit one right thing.

    Johannes Archer

  9. Bill, I am a parent, though no longer to an under-18. I do fully understand and appreciate the seriousness of the issue. But when we talk about “filtering” websites, it can become subjective. Is an art gallery showing nude paintings “pornographic”, for example? How long will it be before search engine searches filter out perfectly innocent requests because they contain a “naughty” word?
    If we could be absolutely certain that ONLY real porn sites were blocked, there wouldnt be much to grumble about and I would happily go along with it. But I truly don’t think it is possible to be that precise.
    Chris Dark

  10. Thanks Chris. Respectfully, that is exactly the sort of silliness the sleaze industry regularly trots out: art galleries will be censored. Do you really believe we can’t differentiate between an XXX porn site and an art gallery? I agree that only porn sites should be targeted here. But unlike you I am not an expert on the technology of this, or as omniscient, to say it cannot be done.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  11. Why don’t they quarantine it under a .xxx or something like that instead of trying to filter it at the ISP? That way it would be easier for parents to block.

    I don’t think filtering is going to work and I’m concerned government’s will abuse it especially when the decision to define what ‘porn’ or ‘violence’ is.

    UK ‘Porn’ Filter Will Blacklist Non-Porn Websites


    Damien Spillane

  12. Your post on faith, fear and fortitude fits well into this subject, Bill, because it is due to cowardliness in this area that innocent children suffer so much. The evidence on the harm and danger of porn has been out there for decades, the wisdom of obeying God’s commands and thereby preventing all this misery has been out there for far longer, millennia in fact. Cowardliness is a sin of omission, neglecting to protect those who are vulnerable and at risk. So why are they getting worried about it now? Is it now becoming evident in statistics about national productivity or something that makes them consider doing something? Obviously the damage on spirits and souls, let alone bodies that may never result in the loss of productivity may never warrant doing something on a national level.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  13. Porn and homosexual propaganda should be banned. Russia had taken the lead in banning homosexual propaganda and rallies. Anything that promotes homosexuality is propaganda of the most perverse form. There is no such thing as positive objective information about homosexuality.
    Janice Tooh

  14. One area of importance is also to pressure makers of electronic goods to continue to make goods that do not have internet access. Not everything that has a battery needs to have access to the internet!

    Mario Del Giudice

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