Blogs May 3, 2010 at 10:19 am


Everyone knows
is an essential component
of Spiritually Enlightened
Skipping to Gommorah...
i was pretty sexually repressed for awhile in high school. god damn church. turns out illicit sex is really awesome. wish i could bring the good news to these kids.
If these people would only think. But that's too much to ask.
I was about to forward that article to you. Well said. What a terrible way to approach sexuality. My guess is that withing five years, all of the "graduates" of this program will either no longer be Christians or be suffering from depression from all this self-loathing.
"Maybe it would be okay with Ms. Renaud if her charges only masturbated about the sex they hope to have inside marriage?"

What if they think about Jesus? Is that what nuns do, since they're married to God?
Organized religion is the root of all evil.
@3 It's not so much that they're not thinking, it's what they're thinking about that's the problem. I'm amazed at the amount of time and mental energy these people devote to finding new ways to feel guilty and hate themselves. What a miserable existence.
"In her first weeks, she recalled, she struggled to avoid masturbation. [...] 'But I need to release myself,' Michele said."

Damn, that's hot. Um. Excuse me. I'm going to, uh, pray.
@5, they did that in the movie "Saved." Fiction, yes, but the kids turned out about the same as Dan predicts.

I'm more concerned about the 17 year old who has been convinced that “You have to take into consideration what’s best for the one you’re going to be with. Say someday I’m married and my husband can’t please me as much as I please myself. That’d be terrible.”

I think that having a partner who can't or won't please you would be a sign not to get married, but this path is being taught as sinful to these impressionable youths. Sad.
I take it you've seen the South Park episode about Tiger Woods?

"Ladies and gentlemen, for the past several days, we've been screening our nation's schools for signs of sex addition. The results of our tests are troubling to say the least. In fourth graders, 5% of male students were found to be sex addicts. By sixth grade, the number goes up to 30%. At high schools, nearly 91% of male students answered...what handkerchief?"
Wasn't there still disagreement clinically on what could and couldn't be medically considered an addiction? I seem to recall seeing things to that effect, that some medical professionals (and not just fringe ones) were under the belief that anything could evolve into an unhealthy psychological addiction. Gambling addiction, for example, is a real condition, and is no more physical than porn addiction.
What these kids need are some youth pastors!
I'm sure it doesn't help these poor ladies that God is hung like a stallion.
This is so sad. I am a single mother with a teenage son. When he was 15 and I found porn in the history of our computer, I told him he could look at whatever he wants, just as long as all the people were over 18 and there were no animals (gotta have some standards). He is going to college without any STD's or pregnant girlfriends. Masturbation and porn do have a place in keeping people safe from disease and unwanted pregnancies.
Porn can still be addictive like any other type of behavioral addiction,e.g., gambling, computer use, slog comments, etc.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh o­n a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Matthew 5:27&28
porn does create chemical dependency in the brain.
I saw this earlier, and found it very disturbing. This kind of laserlike, obsessive focus on every moment of people's sexual lives has very little to do with the kind of Christianity I grew up with, and is really deeply creepy.
@14: Kudos to you, but you do realize that your porn caveats have very possibly given your son beastiality and/or pedophila fetishes? Nothing's hotter than that which is forbidden.
It's not the porn that's the problem, it's the addict personality. I know it first hand, I once became addicted to lasagna, for heaven's sakes. Some people just don't know when to stop, and thus all the addiction to shopping, gambling, eating, sex, porn, internet, gaming... Take all this away from people like me, and we'll become addicted to something else.
@19, true, but I don't want the feds knocking at me door because of 15 year old tits and seeing images of sex with animals just goes too far.

What? They're just teaching her early that women shouldn't enjoy sex or even just be happy.

I understood the definition of an addiction to revolve around an uncontrolled, pervasive and negative impact on the subject's life. The DSM reflects that definition more clearly than I could.…

Under those terms, pornography use (or anything else) could be an addiction. I'm not sure what the boundaries are, but I think we have to make room for that possibility.

I understood the definition of an addiction to revolve around an uncontrolled, pervasive and negative impact on the subject's life. The DSM reflects that definition more clearly than I could.

Under those terms, pornography use (or anything else) could be an addiction. I'm not sure what the boundaries are, but I think we have to make room for that possibility.
@19, forget that... I hope that she wipes down that computer before she uses it. ew.
Twice a week? Wow, I'm 3 times the porn addict she is! 3.5 times, actulally.
Agree with @11 (and a couple others). Physically addictive? No. Psychologically addictive? Yes. As I understand it, addiction is most traditionally defined as a compulsion that continues despite its destructive effects.

And really, addiction is all about chemicals, right? Why couldn't one be equally as addicted to the release of natural endorphins, etc. that come with viewing porn as to a synthetic blend of happiness-inducing chemicals?

I can't even comment on the content of the article posted. For one thing, I'm busy masturbating and fantasizing about illicit sexual activities. For another, it makes me cry (the article, not my masturbation - though sometimes, when it's reeeeeally good...)
Ugh. I was raised Pentecostal and remember being 13 and sobbing while masturbating because "I can't stop, I'm so sorry, Jesus."

It's funny to look back at now, but at the time I was devastated and seriously depressed. And I didn't even know I WAS masturbating, I just knew I was having sinful thoughts, and whatever I was doing with them was sending me to hell.

It's such a horrible amount of pressure to put on a teenager, especially since you're already prone to so much depression and confusion at that age.

Dan's absolutely right that God doesn't always come out the winner in the "struggles of the flesh." I'm a happy, sexually satisfied atheist now (not merely because of the wanking issue, but that was one of the first fissures in my faith).

All the kids from my youth group who "stayed pure" ended up getting married immediately after (and sometimes DURING) high school, just to finally get a nut/ovary off. Since they weren't allowed to date outside of the church, they ended up pairing off from a very limited pool, and rarely had anything other than god in common with a spouse they could never leave (lest they still go to hell).

The only thing I ever thank god for now is that I'm an atheist.
I think I'll go volunteer at Planned Parenthood now...
I wonder if they completely ignore the entire book of the Song of Solomon also known as the Song of Songs? Do they just ignore it?

How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince's daughter? Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman's hands. Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies. Your breasts are like two fawns, twin gazelle. Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is the tower of Lebanon looking towards Damascus. Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel. Your hair is like royal tapestry; the king is held captive by its tresses. How beautiful your are and how pleasing. O love, with your delights! Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, "I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit." May your breasts be like the clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth the best wine. ~Song of Songs 7: 1-9

Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruit.
~Song of Songs 4:10

Or is erotic poetry, imagery and metaphors found in the Bible not allowed? And, have you failed if you got turned on reading your Bible? Seriously, do they beat themselves up for reading erotic poetry (that's in their Bible) and finding it erotic?

Poor things.
When you force young people to choose between healthy sexual desires and a judgmental sex-negative, sex-obsessed God, they don't always never pick God. They just lie about it.

As assholes on the Internet are prone to say, fixed that for you.

I'm sure Dan, you've written about this before. But am I to guess from this comment that you don't believe in sex addiction either? (I don't, but was curious what your thoughts are.)
@30, haven't you seen a Gideon Bible lately? It's all New Testament, plus Psalms. The OT doesn't really exist for these folks, and some don't believe it should matter at all, since Jesus brought the new covenant and all that.

These also are the same sorts that are fun to annoy by asking them about their favorite creation story (Genesis ch. 1 vs. Genesis ch. 2). Scripture is not a strong suit for fundies that I've met, unless they are misquoting it.
is consuming porn regularly even a bad thing? i'm a porn addict like i am an alcoholic.

one or two times a day and less than a half hour of my time.

enjoy your "can't miss comedy" four hour block of television tonight.
My husband, when he was 18, was ready to go on his Mormon mission; he'd received his call to Brazil and was months away from leaving. Part of the process in preparation is to go to the Bishop and confess his sins. When he revealed to the Bishop that he had been masturbating for years, and feeling powerful guilt over his actions the Bishop told him "oh, that's nothing, everybody does that." That was the moment that he left the church. The guilt he'd experienced for 6 or 7 years suddenly didn't matter. He could have been masturbating and simply enjoying himself, but nobody told him that. Just as Dan said, not everybody chooses God in this position; and it's a rediculous position to put young people in!
"a girl who "slips" and looks at porn twice a week does not have a problem."

Amen to THAT.
I'm a girl and I love porn. Porn is great. I just tacked up some erotic art to my wall actually. It's lovely.
Are there any local support groups for women addicted to porn?

I'm sure there are lots of kindhearted men and women who'd be happy to help these gals find alternative outlets for that irrepressible sexual energy.
"XXX Church" ??? Pretty interesting! Sounds like a church I could, er, get behind.
Seriously, if I had any idea how many horny teenaged girls there were in the world, I would have become a youth pastor.
@ 32,

Yes, I've seen a Gideon Bible lately. But, I've never been in a church or Bible study that used one as it's text. I spent most of my life in a denomination that views the Bible as a divine product with divine authority, and it was to be interpreted as both literal and factual. Every church used Bibles with both the Old and New Testaments and they read it as a divine revelation of doctrine and morals, what to believe and do to receive salvation for the afterlife. In fact, every church that I have ever been in that has called itself Christian has had Bibles in their pews that contained the Old and New Testament. That includes those that view the Bible as a human response to God and interpret it as historical and metaphorical, and use it as a source of sacrament. I personally don't know of a single church that uses a Gideon Bible, but perhaps the one referenced in the article is one.

Head into any Christian Supply and you will find rows of Bibles that contain both the New and Old Testament. Even the Bible sold at Costco has both.
On porn addiction...

It only ever seems to be lame religious people who have "porn addiction". I think that if you don't have sexual hang ups (usually caused by religion) it's a bit harder to be "addicted" to it. You hear them claiming that they're so addicted, they'll watch porn like 5-6 hours at a time, several times a week.

I mean, I'm a gay atheist raised in a non-religious family, and for me, I watch porn generally however long it takes me to get off, which means usually 5-15 minutes. I don't see how porn would be interesting to watch for 5 hours straight - I'd either be fairly uninterested because I already came, or I'd be using a lot of restraint.

All of this is to say that probably the proper treatment for porn addiction is to stop being religious or at least stop thinking that normal sexuality is a sin, and for many of them, get your spouse to do the same, or get a new spouse.
Having been sexually abused as an adolescent, I had zero interest in sex during my teenage years. Perhaps they should use that approach. Oh wait, they do.
"Telling young adults that they're not right with God when they're horny and/or masturbating is as good as telling young adults that they're never right with God."

The fact is, you NEVER REALLY ARE right with God. That's a standard part of Christian theology. Doesn't really matter whether it has to do with sex or not.

"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Whathisname, Chap. whatever, verse whatever.
@41 - Yeah, that 5-6 hours a day thing, even though there's no REASON to watch it for longer than it takes to get off, and even when it's not really INTERESTING after about 15-30 minutes? That's when you've crossed the line from normal and healthy into addiction. Eventually, heroin stops getting you high, too, but you still sell everything you own to get more of it. Tolerance (and therefore increased intake) is a hallmark of addiction.

But the church's definition of "addiction" isn't addiction, it's normal and healthy interest. They clearly define addiction as "anything you want to do even though you know you shouldn't" (i.e. because God says so). So, you know, pretty much every time you do something fun and exciting, you're an addict.
I must be a terrible addict because I consider it a bad day if I don't masturbate to pr00n.
Kim, just because a church has whole, intact Bibles in the pews (or at the Bible studies) doesn't mean that the parishioners read the whole thing. How else could the Pentecostals of my youth sing "Jesus loves me," preach I John 4:7-8, and still be such haters?

I never said that they read the whole Bible. I just asked if they ignored the Song of Songs? And, if they didn't ignore it, what happened if they found it to be erotic when read.

I've personally never been to a church that didn't have a read through the entire Bible in one year assignment, and that didn't read from some part of the Old Testament in its weekly service. That's only my personal experience. I'm not an authority.

The reality, at least to me, is that the Bible is only symbols on a page, it requires a human to interpret those symbols. How those symbols are interpreted can differ. How those symbols are approached, as divinely inspired direct words from God or as historical, metaphorical, sacramental human responses to God, impacts their interpretation. It has been my experience that you can find anything you want within the pages. If you want to find acceptance, tolerance, commands for social justice and equality, you can find them. If you want to find justification to be intolerant, exclusive, and permission to be judgmental, its there too. And, that is the best explanation I can offer as to why the actions of the Pentecostals of your youth came across as hypocritical. And, I'm guessing that if you were to ask them, they would not see themselves as "haters". We humans are marvelous at psychologically convincing ourselves that our actions are kind or at minimum benign towards each other.

Sorry if you thought I was saying something different.
I think number 27 is right about the addiction thing. You're forgetting Dan, that masturbation and sex does release chemicals in the brain, endorphins and such, that create a mental happy state. One can become addicted to it. One can become addicted to just about anything--so long as the act creates an almost uncontrollable compulsion that takes over one's life and negatively impacts one's life.

Food addictions, sex addictions, gambling addictions, and drug addictions are all "chemical".

That all aside though, the church's definitions of sex addiction are widely different from most people's. Masturbation twice a week is hardly an addiction--maybe masturbation every hour of the day or something, but yeesh, not a few times a month.
Hey #16, it says; he who looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 'With her', as if she committed adultry ('in...heart' only) with him as he looked lustfully at her. She's a whore just because HE looked at her with lust in his, er, heart. Blaming the 'VICTIM' for 2.000 years!
For what it's worth...when I was in middle school, I had a sex education class at my Lutheran church where we learned that masturbation is perfectly normal, a-ok with God and a good way to help preserve our virginities until marriage. We talked frankly about sexual relationships and puberty, got compassionate and accurate (if somewhat religiously ambiguous) information about homosexuality, and even got comprehensive sex education (Lutherans are fine with birth control, you know). And yeah, we were taught that our church teaches abstinence until marriage, but we weren't shamed about it.

That's was better - WORLDS better - than the abstinence-heavy (this was the days before the big "abstinence-only" push from the federal level), shame-based education I got at public school. Growing up in a conservative town, ELCA education was a much better option than the local "secular" culture.

Not trying to make a point of any particular kind. I just like to tell that story because it's so counter to what you usually see and is proof that you *can* teach Christian ideals about sex without committing emotional and spiritual violence against teenagers....which, of course, makes one wonder about the sorts of people who get their jollies from doing so...
@48 - And don't forget video game addiction. That's a biggie, nowadays.
Ugh, that brings back memories - having grown up in an environment like that, I can say that all it did for me was leave me extremely confused, uneducated regarding sex and when I got older - made me experiment sexually at the speed of sound.
@5, Sometimes a partner who can't please you isn't entirely their fault. Some partners, no matter how hard they try - just can't find that switch that magically gets you off 100% of the time. I'm in that situation and in my case it's because I have the girl version of a deathgrip problem. Too much of the same stimulation over the years and now no one can do it but me - but I recognize that it's something I did, not something he did.

It's not always the other person's fault. Frequently, but not always. ...and there are other reasons to get married.
Just because somebody likes to do something does not mean it qualifies as an addiction. "Sex-addiction" and "Porn-addiction" are not true addictions. You won't suffer physiological withdrawal if you don't jack off or look at some boobies.

Calling everything an addiction is just giving the Puritans what they want - making people feel shame for seeking pleasure.
I like how the article quotes the girl saying that it would be terrible if a man couldn't please her as well as she pleases herself. 1. Dudes mostly LOVE it when girls masturbate for them 2. if YOU don't know what YOU like, how in the hell are you going to ask for it from someone else?

My Lutheran Church was Missouri Synod (read: strict) and they actually said that masturbation was okay, albeit via film.
My church said masturbation was bad for girls, because they didn't have a physical need for release. Boys had such a physical need, so masturbation was OK for them, as long as while they were doing it they were simultaneously thanking God for giving them this way to release their physical needs. That always seemed like the ultimate boner-killer, which may have been the point.
@56 - Lol. That reminds me of this:…
@57 - thank you for sharing!

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