Sexual Stockholm Syndrome

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed
Luke 4:18

In generations past older women trained the younger in how to best prepare for and navigate marriage. This was the way God intended it to be (Titus 2:4). With the invasion of television into every home the option was offered to utilize a surrogate teacher. June Cleaver, a wholesome and imitable role model, soon gave way to the modern sitcom where the typical formula includes a buffoonish and lazy husband and a wife who undermines and ridicules him at every opportunity. While this not-so-subtle, exaggerated mockery of marriage has played a part in devaluing the God-ordained covenant between man and woman for the generation that sat under its teaching, it showed restraint by leaving the cameras out of the bedroom.

Enter pornography. If the sitcom offers us a distorted and false vision of what marriage should look like in its public facet, pornography offers a distorted and false vision of what the private consummation of marriage looks like. If the mothers and fathers of today are not diligent in reclaiming God’s plan for passing on his vision for marriage, we can be sure the next generation will largely adopt the lies told by pornography as the norm for the bedroom.

Pornhub, one of the largest providers of online porn, is now launching a digital “Sexual Health Center” to further expand its efforts to “educate” its users. They claim that they want to provide “credible and insightful information” on topics like reproductive health, and relationship building. A curious and seeming conflict of interest considering that pornography tears at the fabric of real-life intimacy and healthy relationships.

Remember the old suspicion that the companies that sold antivirus software were actually the same people that created the viruses in the first place? Pornhub’s attempt to offer legitimate sex education is a blatant real life version of the antivirus conspiracy in which they first hijack the consumers brain with false visions of human intimacy and then cross-sell them a sex “education” to correct the misinformation they disseminated in the first exchange. But most alarming about this endeavor is that, as one source puts it, “there are a lot of young people for whom these are very real questions.” In other words, this is an effort to further normalize and capitalize on porn production for the next generation.

Make no mistake, the porn industry wants to take your children hostage. By saturating the web with easily accessible filmed fornication that can be accessed anonymously, they provide the ledge that your children—like lemmings—can jump off to their own destruction. Upon crash-landing at the bottom and shattering their innocence the porn industry’s newly devised strategy is to then extend a hand out as if to pull them back out of the pit, completely shirking responsibility for the fact that they were the ones responsible for wooing them to jump in the first place.

While some may laude Pornhub’s effort as a step to negate some of the damage it’s done by distorting and cheapening the gift of sex, it’s a much more deceptive tactic driven by dollar signs at the opportunity to further capitalize on addiction. With one hand they offer the narcotic: the illusion of sexual gratification without any commitment. Knowing that the narcotic does not deliver on its promise and leaves the consumer feeling empty after they come down from their “high” they then extend the other hand offering the detox: here’s what healthy sexual relationships look like, let us educate you. The porn industry wants to trap your kids—like captives at Stockholm—inside a cruel game where they offer the “solution” to the problem that they created in the first place.

But maybe I’ve put the cart before the horse, maybe I’m not giving them the benefit of the doubt. Instead, what if their intent is to use the old bait-and-switch. Since it is illegal (although incredibly easy) for minors to view pornography maybe this is their veiled marketing attempt to children. By offering to fill the void of sex education for children the company creates a “legitimate” information-only site and the only reference to pornography is that a minor can’t avoid typing the word “pornhub” into the address bar. Not so subtly, the next generation is made aware of the online buffet of sexual sin. The order is not as important as the result: a devious game of good cop/bad cop in which the next generation is left confused and disoriented. And sex, a good gift of God, is further distorted and divorced from the purpose it was originally designed for.

It’s becoming the new norm that parents ask themselves not what to do if their child is exposed to pornography, but rather, to strategize a plan for when their child is exposed to pornography. It is an almost inevitable scenario. The false narrative offered by pornography—and now the half-truth education offered by their other hand—will continue to sink its hooks into the backs of an unsuspecting generation. Still, the truth is always more powerful and more appealing than the lie.

I close with that truth and an application for both parents and the generation they are seeking to disciple. God’s design for sex—being the only appropriate design—is better than the pseudo design peddled by porn. He created man and woman as complementary companions to join in one flesh (Mt. 10:8). Woman was the answer to man’s loneliness (Gen. 2:18) in the covenant of marriage. The false promises of porn are immediately evident after the laptop screen is closed and the consumer is still alone. Humanity was never meant to have its needs met by a computer screen.

So parents, be diligent to prayerfully open up continued conversations about God’s design for sex within marriage with your children from a young age. Create an environment in which they are warned of the highly addictive nature of pornography but are also informed that there is grace available should they fall into this snare. Diminish the likelihood that porn will have an appeal to them by zealously communicating the grander and more beautiful design that God has given us. Foster their desires toward the One who gives his children good gifts, including sex (Lk 11:13).

And to those in the next generation not yet old enough to be married, I know you are constantly assaulted by a culture that loves the gift of sex more than its Giver and pleads with you to do the same. It will not be easy to stand strong against it. However, be diligent to build an arsenal of truth to combat porn’s lies. It will tell you, like the serpent in the garden, that God’s plan for your sex life is somehow less than. It’s newest lie is to offer us an education. A new tree of knowledge, of sorts, that we are not intended to eat from (Gen. 2:17). Because porn’s fruit, once indulged, surely leads to death. Death of true intimacy, death of healthy relationships, death of desire, and death of God’s gift. It can be difficult to wait for God to give it (Songs 2:7)—particularly in this culture of instant gratification—but I assure you once opened it is better than the counterfeit.

[Photo Credit: DiariVeu – Flickr via Compfight cc]

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