“I Know It When I See It” (Weekend Poll)

By: wheatmeister
October 19, 2013

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What exactly is pornography?  Can it only be known by the response it creates in people or is it able to be defined in and of itself?

What is pornography? (Choose all that apply)

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Discuss.

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21 Responses to “I Know It When I See It” (Weekend Poll)

  1. dba.brotherp on October 19, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    I think that p*rnography is one of those ambiguous terms that has a lot to do with context. For example, say that I am having marital relationships. Is that p*rn? Now lets say that my marital relationships were recorded and viewed by other people. Is it now p*rn? Now lets say that recording was viewed by other people but the other people were the police because the recording was “unauthorized”. Are the police viewing p*rn? . All all those situations the “p*rn” was the same act. So I think that p*rn is not just an act it also depends on context. (I hope this gets through the filter) :)

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  2. Howard on October 19, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Pornography as used by the church is an overly broad term that covers everything from scantally clad to anything goes and is it binomally considered to be evil. But doing so completely misses the main problems with porn which are it very potently self teaches us to crave fantasy disconnected sex and competes with our real relationships. The fact that it has been stigmatized and driven underground heightens this isolation.

    Fetishes which are catered to in porn are typically innocently born during childhood and seared into one’s mind at an early age by a well meaning but overreacting parent where the remain until the connection of adult sexual compulsion to act them out is consciously made with the original “sin”. Since fetishes are stigmatized they are shameful to admit and tend to remain hurried but the exposer, public masterbater or panty bandit etc. are all innocent and far less sick than those without fetishes might suppose but they must work through the shame imposed on them by their well intended parent.

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  3. Howard on October 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    buried not hurried

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  4. Howard on October 19, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    If the church were serious about doing something about the porn problem instead of guilting and shaming they would create the LDS Couples Sex channel that shows loving couples making love (not f*ing). Then when Molly finds Peter playing with his little factory while watching porn she will think let’s watch the LDS channel together instead of let’s get divorced.

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  5. hawkgrrrl on October 19, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Apparently our filter likes the full term “pornography.” Commenters, take note.

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  6. nate on October 19, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    I would define it as eroticism which breeds covetousness or lust. Eroticism itself is an everyday characteristic of our interactions with people and media. Not in and of itself bad.

    But when we use it to gratify our own lusts, it becomes pornography.

    If I see a sexy girl, I think it is good to recognize and even enjoy it as part of the beauty and abundance of life. But because it often incites lust and covetousness in those who are not pure in heart like myself, I must refrain.

    God is pure in heart and delights in the sexuality and procreative acts of all His creations. I think if eroticism did not incite lust, covetousness, and addiction, pornography would be beautiful and harmless, as it is to God. But as we are fallen, we must surround ourselves with taboos, and tie ourselves to the mast as did Odyssus.

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  7. Just Me on October 19, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    I agree with Nate, though in practical terms for me, it’s just about anything I wouldn’t feel comfortable with reading, viewing and discussing with my 10 year old son or daughter.

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  8. Will on October 19, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    The Savior defined it best “whoso looketh upon a woman to lust…”

    Nudity is not necessarily lust. The fat, ugly, old, or really young if they were nude would not create lustful thoughts for me. Fortunately, looking at my wife does create these thoughts and looking upon her is healthy. What is not healthy is looking upon other women that generate lustful desires. This is what The Lord and his church counsel against.

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  9. Howard on October 19, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    I wonder if there is a difference between having lust for a woman and lusting afrer her.

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  10. Will on October 19, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Howard,

    Hmmm.. Interesting last comment. What do you mean?

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  11. Howard on October 19, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    I’m not sure Will but lusting after modifies lust in a way that suggests taking action not just lusting passivly. Does it mean to persue her with lust? That would go much futher than than lustfully desiring her.

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  12. nate on October 19, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Howard I would modify your question as: what is the difference between desire and lust? “Lust” in the KJV would be better translated as “covet.” “Whoso covets a woman has committed adultery in his heart.” Desire is instinctual, human, and beyond our ability to control. However covetousness deals with our dissatisfaction with our given state, and our resentment at what others have, which we nurture, either through turning away from the object of our lust in heroic discipline, or through indulgence in unreal fantasy. Both display covetousness.

    Herman Hesse gave an alternative approach saying, “Young woman, fresh face, I don’t want to know your name. I don’t want to cherish and fatten my love for you. You aren’t the end of my love, but its awakening, its beginning. I give this love away, to the flowers along the path, to the glitter of sunlight in my wine glass. You make it possible for me to love the world.”

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  13. Howard on October 19, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Nate,
    I like your comment, I think there are three increasing levels: desire, lust and to lust after. In other words I think Mathew 5:28 is addressing something beyond simple lust.

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  14. Geoff - A on October 19, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    see more pornography in many music videos than I do in a nudist colony. To me it is not about dress but about actions.

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  15. Will on October 19, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Nate,

    That last comment was awesome

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  16. Jace on October 19, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    When getting into the “grey area” of the “definition” of what pornography is, I think the story of the people of Ammon is applicable. The people of Ammon were previously a bloodthirsty people who delighted in killing and when they converted, they buried their weapons of war because they feared to return to sinning (even to the point of death). However, years later, they thought it was fine to have their sons go and fight instead of them.

    I think that barring blatant pornography, each person needs to make a decision about what pornography is to them. As a recovered pornography addict myself, the standards I set for myself are more strict than they are for other people. I do that because I do not want to return to my old ways. However, I don’t hold other people to that standard because it is personal.

    So when it comes to teaching pornography, I feel it is important to teach listening to the Spirit and being honest with oneself about the differences between innocuous and dangerous material. Different people can react differently to the same materials; I don’t think it is as such a cut-and-dry definition as some would think (or like) it to be. So like the people of Ammon, each person just needs to do what s/he honestly would be the best for their discipleship and worship.

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  17. Howard on October 20, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    I was once hooked on porn and got off of it for years by abstanance, it works but it tends to make you hyper sensitive and overly critical of almost anything the least bit sexual. Later I went back to porn and worked my way through it by emerging myself in it and introspectively analyzing my attractions to it, it took several years but I am no longer hooked. Abstanace is discipline without personal growth, emersion and introspection provided personal growth eventually putting me in control of not only my body but also my thoughts and emotions in a way that allows me to visually engage sexuality without being controlled by it and in a way that pared love and lovemaking in place of lust and f*ing. If you’re not hooked I wouldn’t recommend trying emersion but if you are hooked and abstanance isn’t working emersion and introspection is a possible path to transcend your addiction.

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  18. Will on October 20, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Jace,

    I like your analogy and relation to the stripling warriors. My good friend who is a Bishop made the same comparison. He went on to say this is the battle of our day and like the stripling warriors “all have been wounded”

    When we were young, porn was hard to come by. We all knew the house or fort it was at, but it required an effort to find it. Now it is almost impossible to avoid; thus, his comment “all have been wounded”

    Both you and Howard are honest about it and will be fine as a result. It is those that conceal their wounds that will get infected and perish.

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  19. Douglas on October 20, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Porn, IMHO, is a tremendous waste of time. Since the Savior metaphorically declared that if a man “looked upon a woman with lust in his heart” that it was the same as if he actually nailed her, then I say either behave or just get your freak on. None of that halfway crap. “I would that thou were HOT or COLD…but b/c thou are lukewarm, I will spue thee out of my mouth!” (Rev. 3:15-16). Either be morally clean or be a fornicatin’ sonofagun, but decide.
    I only picked the top two voted b/c the intent (to indulge sexual gratification) is clear. Most certainly nudity of itself is NOT pornographic; the human body is Heavenly Father’s handiwork (I won’t speculate Heavenly Mother’s role but won’t deny her involvement). It’s the USE thereof that makes it “dirty” or not. Else the temple film would, at least in the first bit, be the Church’s “porno”, even if Adam and Eve are strategically positioned behind the shrubbery. Of course, If you could get worked up in THAT display, you’ve got a problem…

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  20. Douglas on October 20, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    #18 – yeah, Will, these darned whipper-snappers, they’ve got it too “easy”. In my day, you had to get the National GeoGRAPHIC (LoL), or if you got your hands on a contraband Playboy or Penthouse, you had to hide it in the crawl space along with the snuck beers. Now the crapola is just a few mouse clicks away. It’s not just morally unsettling, it’s downright unfair.
    I have heard that about 1/4 of all Internet traffic is due to porn and/or “adult activity”. Sheesh. Imagine if the same portion were instead spent in preaching the Gospel or at least in uplifting education. Free Agency, it’s a “witch with a capital ‘B’ “. Of course, I can imagine the sermonizing about ‘dirty lithiographs’ in Joseph Smith’s day. And ever been to Pompeii? When I was on my mission to Italy the elders were specifically prohibited from going there, it’s status as an archaeological site notwithstanding. This stems, from what I was told, that Spencer and Camellia Kimball saw while vacationing in the Sixties. Elder Kimball was so revolted at the “advertisements” from 79 A.D. that had survived (it was Vegas and Amsterdam of its day) that he declared that missionaries would not ever be allowed there. To my best knowledge, this prohibition is still in effect. I have since seen pics of what the Kimballs likely saw. Yo.

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  21. Howard on October 21, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    I say either behave or just get your freak on. None of that halfway crap. “I would that thou were HOT or COLD…but b/c thou are lukewarm, I will spue thee out of my mouth!”

    Sure Douglas but there’s a scripture for every occation: Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me but is against me; therefore he is not of my church. so careful not to exaggerate!

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