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Protected: Sexual Creativity Doesn’t Always Reveal a Corrosive Influence from the Porn Industry

by Carson T. Clark on February 28, 2014

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  • Tyler P

    Carson, I think I get what you’re after here. I see how the automatic accusation would annoy you; these accusations lack nuance on their part. Yet, while sexual creativity is not necessarily indicative of pornographic influence, it doesn’t invalidate a claim that a lot of what might deemed sexual creativity today is merely replicating pornography. Even in light of your elderly friends, I think there is still evidence that porn is having a heavy influence on our society. So, is an automatic accusation bad? I’d say yes. But what about an automatic assumption? By this I mean something very different than an accusation. In my mind, an assumption is non-judgmental and non-condemning; it is merely a starting point from which to ask questions. So, let’s say a guy wants to try anal sex with his wife. My assumption, in light of knowing what the porn industry is pushing and knowing that anal sex is pretty rare, would be that the guy is probably being influenced by porn. Now, I could be wrong and the assumption would just be a starting place to ask questions, but my gut feeling is that 9 out of 10 times the assumption would have some basis. Maybe assumption is too strong a word. Perhaps instinct would be better. Curious on your thoughts.

    By the way, this is pretty old, but the influence of porn is being felt beyond the evangelical church.

    • carsontclark

      A very brief comment for now that doesn’t do justice to the thoughtfulness of your own comment: The elderly couple I mentioned practiced anal sex, too. There was actually a whole paragraph about that I edited out. There view is that anal sex should *never* be forced or pressured, but that it shouldn’t be taboo, either. So, again, I think knee-jerk assumption gets us in trouble.

  • Dan Martin

    As one who, in a response to your previous post, probably am one of the targets of your ire, I feel I should clarify. _Mutually consenting_ creativity within the bounds of a monogamous, married couple is not only not wrong, it’s very good. However, creativity (indeed all sexual expression) should always be subordinate to love and respect (including patience, gentleness, and respect of boundaries deferring to a “weaker” partner). Sex that isn’t first and foremost grounded in relationship is perversion.

    When I suggested a possible porn-driven expectations problem, I was responding to your suggestion that a prospective couple ought to negotiate the sexual menu before committing to each other. I reiterate that this circumvents the mutual exploration which must be the environment in which healthy creativity may be exercised. If they aren’t discovering together, those expectations are necessarily coming from another source…and the two most probable are previous sexual experience and porn. Neither is a healthy source or standard.

    I would only add in addition that healthy experimentation has got to allow for either partner to say no, not yet, or never again to things that are tried. and that unless you’re prepared to suggest nobody should enter marriage as a virgin, there is simply no way to ensure the sexual proclivities of the members. The body and psyche just aren’t that predictable.

    • carsontclark

      I wasn’t aware that I was exhibiting ire.

    • Dan Martin

      Perhaps I projected ire onto your post from the obvious anger expressed in its two prequels. Rereading I see a much more measured tone than I sensed at first. I withdraw that description.

      I do stand by my statements regarding the influences that drive sexual expectations, though.

    • carsontclark

      It’s my view that a basic level of sexual compatibility is essential for a healthy, successful marriage. For example, if a husband has a very high sex drive in which intercourse a minimum of 3 times a week isn’t unreasonable while his wife has a very low sex drive in which intercourse 3 times a year isn’t unreasonable, that’s going to be a major problem. That marriage is likely to suffer and fail. A conversation about the frequency of marital sex, then, isn’t inappropriate during pre-marital counseling or perhaps even long before that. There are all sorts of examples like that.

      Now, I’m not suggesting that it won’t take time nor that both persons don’t need to be loving, respectful, and self-sacrificial. It will and they do. But here we get into degrees of sexual compatibility between the epic and the miniscule. I’m not saying they have to be tuned into the exact same radio station before marriage, but making sure they’re both on AM, FM, or satellite radio is important. To employ another analogy, one needs to make sure before marriage that one person doesn’t think of marital sex like bowling (i.e. flabby, slow, methodical, repetitious, boring) while the other thinks of marital sex as MMA (i.e. fit, fast, organic, improvisional, exciting). If both persons expect the same sport, then I think the specific strategies can be hammered out together after they say, “I do.” But if a couple has *profoundly* divergent expectations for sex going into marriage, they’re headed for trouble. I would again point you to the epidemic of sexless evangelical marriages I’ve become aware of.

    • Dan Martin

      But how, short of experience I hope you still consider inappropriate prior to marriage, can even the expectations you describe be quantified? By how much they think about what they haven’t yet experienced?

      Look, I’m under no illusion that all Christians are virgins when they marry. But I think the standard you set is impossible for any virgin to meet. Unless you are prepared to say that everyone should explore sex premaritally, and maybe even that every prospective couple should take each other for a test drive … neither of which I can support.

      You don’t seem to understand that people who choose to wait till marriage for sex (still a good, moral, Christian thing to do IMO) cannot reasonably know what you want them to know. Nobody really knows what they will want before they’ve tried. Heck, I maintain, entirely apart from the physical, I never imagined what marital love was like till my wife and I experienced it. How could I possibly have set up expectations beyond “whatever it is, it belongs to her?”