Of Porn and other Fantasies

Did you know that Blu-ray won the format war against HD-DVD mainly because of support from the porn industry?

Or that in 2006, porn had a recorded $97 billion dollar revenue globally? That’s about equal to the GDP of Canada in 1971. If porn were a country, it would have ranked 15th for GDP in 2006 in the world. In comparison, subscription based Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games earned about $86 million dollars in 2012-2013; in-game purchases from free-to-play online games earned $312 million dollars. These are totals from games like World of Warcraft AND other titles.

Note the ‘b’ and ‘m’ differences on those numbers. MMO’s are more visible; however, the ‘invisible’ porn industry holds more dollar sway.

I’ll be honest with you – my christian upbringing and family support kept me largely shielded from the pulls of exposure to pornography. My struggle was more with the unknown challenges of fantasy escapism in games, especially the four years I devoted to World of Warcraft in my teens.

Though at face value they are very different, aftertalking with those dear to me who struggle with porn, and from my few brief exposures, let me show you that both are similar and both are problematic.

The Common Root of Shame

What is the underlying root of addiction to pornography and other addictive fantasies? I, upon much research, would argue that it lies in shame.

What is shame? It is the same as guilt, right? I mean, I see those words used interchangeably all the time. Let me make a clear distinction for you right now – they are not the same.

Guilt – the feeling of knowing you did something wrong.

Shame – the feeling of being internally wrong, of havingnot enough control.

They do walk hand in hand often, but they are remedied in very different ways – I’ll get to that later so stick with me.

Results of Porn and Escapism Addiction

Allow me to be blunt with you. Pornography and other escapist fantasies — the consuming desire to live someone else’s life through a TV show or game or book instead of your own life — are very destructive. Even if you don’t believe in the laws of the Bible.

In any self-satisfying realm of fantasy, you are creating and living in a realm that is not reality. We as people are very adaptive. We learn to be good at what we spend our time at. So if we spend our time adapting to living in a realm of fantasy, we lose our edge and grasp on reality.

But hey, reality is the less desirable place to be after all. Why work at earning approval in reality when you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes who does the all of the work and has approval literally thrown at their feet.

That seductive girl eagerly seeking to satisfy every wish of that man on the screen or page just because he walks into the room? Who tweaks every fiber of your arousal and promises gratification that we are wired to want? That warrior or wizard who receives all the honor, approval and riches from some computer generated characters; who is feared and esteemed in all the virtual landscape?

It is so much easier to pretend to receive those honors bestowed on someone who represents you than it is to work and receive those from real people. We always seem to have as much or as little control in our fantasies as we want. Let’s be honest, those characters we are watching and pretending to be are not us, nor do they have the same qualities we do.

That’s the great part of it – we can forget who are! It feels wonderful! In the end however, you have robbed yourself of precious time you could use to become someone worthy of healthy honor and glory. You have robbed yourself of realistic expectations from your family, significant other, and friends. You have placed more energy adapting to a destructive habit than a constructive habit.

If you sit with that thought for any length of time, I imagine you’d feel a cold, dull, deadening sensation in your gut – if that isn’t already your normal state of being.

The TOf Porn and Other Fantasies | Did you know that Blu-ray won the format war against HD-DVD mainly because of support from the porn industry?  Or that in 2006, porn had a recorded $97 billion dollar revenue globally? That's about equal to the GDP of Canada in 1971. Read more!rap of Shame

Shame, unlike guilt, is our feeling of who we are. It strikes closer to our essence of existence than anything else. In healthy relationships, appropriate shame is the gentle reminder that we are not the same as the other person. In it’s perverted form however, it is the corruption and destruction of yourself.

Biologically, the experience of shame to your nervous system is the same as the experience of dying. That cold, deadening feeling you get when you feel shame? That’s your organs literally starting to shut down.

Imagine a child about to stick her hand on the stove top, and her mother is too far away to reach her. The tone of voice and the stern face that her parent makes at her causes her nervous system to essentially stop all action until mother can get there. Shame is important. Shame is MEANT to … (To see the rest of this post, visit Lauren DeMoss’s site: Of Porn and other Fantasies)

This post was originally written by myself for Lauren DeMoss in May 2013.

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