“Among men I was interested to find a great deal of embarrassment about the sexual themes and perspectives familiar to commercial pornography. I discovered that many, perhaps most, men purchase pornography not for the particular images of women or of sex found there, but because they enjoy the unapologetic sexual focus unique to that world.” -David Steinberg, Erotic by Nature
This is an older quote (1991), before the boom of Internet pornography, but it still has a ring of truth to it. Can it be that the allure of pornography is still the enjoyment of an unapologetically sexual focus? Would pornography be less tempting if men were taught how and given the opportunity to be unapologetically sexual within the realm of holiness?
(Note: While the focus here is on men, pornography is a concern for many women as well. See Dirty Girls Ministries for more information.)
Many men in my office do seem embarrassed about being sexual creatures, fearing they may be oversexed or a pervert for having intense sexual thoughts, desires, and fantasies. I’m sorry…I know I shouldn’t expect sex as often as I do…and I’m trying hard to want it less the thinking might go.
We often forget God is the one who designed the male sex drive. It is a picture of his passionate and unrelenting desire for each of us. This is nothing to be embarrassed about. And while sin has distorted many aspects of our sexuality, we must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Men are more likely to fall into the enemy’s trap when God’s design for their sexuality is not honored. As such, pornography is probably best seen as a symptom and not the root problem, though it can cause problems in its own right. If men are made to feel shameful or dirty about their God-given desires, they may tend to keep them hidden, even from other men. And in this darkness sin is allowed to grow.
To be sure, many men still need to grow their sexuality up, renouncing sin and learning how to use it as God intended. Having a strong sex drive does not justify or excuse sin.
At the same time, men were created with surging sexual passion to reflect something about the divine nature of God. This design is intended in part to drive men toward bringing more Life and Love into the world, which goes beyond biological procreation.
Marriages, families, communities, and the church would all benefit when men are allowed to be unapologetically sexual as God intended. And we don’t have to look far to see how much harm has been done when men, husbands, and leaders have fallen into the trap of pornography.
Let us proclaim the wisdom of God and celebrate the male sex drive!
What do you think? Men, do you ever feel embarrassed about the intensity of your sexual desires? What would be different if you could be unapologetically sexual as God intended?