29 March 2008

The Big Nasty (Part One)

Fear

WARNING!
This essay contains frank discussion 

of human sexuality.

It may surprise readers of this blog to know that I sometimes watch Gay adult films. Gasp! An avowed Christian, consuming pornography? Well, it wouldn't be the first time, would it?

I'm pretty sure Christians (as well as Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and members of other faiths) comprise a substantial portion of the adult film industry's customer base and always have. We're sexual beings, just like everybody else on this planet. Some of us even consider ourselves connoisseurs of erotic art! Yet, celebration of sexuality is supposed to be anathema to us. We're reputed to exercise strict control over our carnal instincts (hypocritical televangelists notwithstanding). What's the truth about Christianity and sex? You may well ask: Is it wrong for religious folk to watch adult films, view erotic art, or in any way affirm sexuality outside the institution of marriage? My answer comes in the form of a quote from the Savior:

MARK 7:15, 16, 21-23
There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile . . . for it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: Fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride (and) folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.

Whether pornographic products have a positive or negative impact depends on the person using them, and how they're used, in my opinion. If partaking of adult entertainment leads a Christian to commit acts of sexual violence, promiscuity or adultery, the impact is clearly negative. In Mark 9: 43-48, the Savior instructed us on how to handle bad influences in our lives. He said: If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to Hell. So your behavioral response to pornographic material will determine whether it's safe for you to consume or not!

Obviously, the amount of time spent consuming a product as intoxicating as erotica should be moderated. Those who tend to become obsessed with images of nudity and lust would do well to consider abstinence. For most Christians, I suspect watching adult films amounts to no more than a harmless, occasional pastime. However, there are certain kinds of erotic film that Christians and all principled people should abstain from watching!

Films with underage performers, certainly! Films that depict adulterous relationships would fall into that category, too. Sado-masochist subject matter should be approached with caution; the more "edgy" the feature, the less likely it is to be appropriate for viewing! Often, just looking at the DVD sleeve will alert you when a particular X-rated movie goes too far. The adult entertainment industry has occasion to market some highly unsavory images, particularly where Gay sexuality is concerned. I was reminded of this just recently when I went online to buy an adult title for a friend of mine.

The DVD arrived in my mailbox, along with a catalog filled with other titles available from tlavideo.com, the retailer. I thumbed through the catalog, thinking I might find something else of interest there. I did see a handful of promising releases, but as I kept looking, I became more and more disturbed by what I saw.

Among the titles included were Men's Room 2, whose DVD jacket shows a naked man about to urinate into a toilet; Fear and Gaytanamo, "homoerotic" takeoffs on Abu Ghraib-style sexual humiliation; Fortune Nookie/Chew Manchu, an appallingly-titled double feature DVD featuring Asian-American performers; Brother Load and Brothers Should Do It, DVDs which attempt to lend an erotic appeal to incest; Black Balled 2, a film in which a savage horde of Black men rapes a lone White guy; and three volumes of an oral sex showcase called (I'm not kidding) Gag The F*g! The sleeves on this DVD series are emblazoned with a lurid teaser: Face-f*cked until they choke and even puke! As you might imagine, the jacket photos are quite disgusting.

Even more objectionable was the inclusion of several mainstream movies dealing with incarceration; I was stunned to read the recommendations tlavideo.com staff had written for these films. This blurb, which touts a 2002 feature called Lockdown, was typical:

This brutal prison movie with a largely African-American cast features plenty of shirtless hunks, butts, prison sex (of course), and a very fierce rape scene.

Special emphasis was always placed on the ferocity of a film's rape scene, with a clear implication that the more violent the scene was, the more you would want to see it! That was bad enough, but as I kept turning pages, matters went from bad to worse. I encountered such titles as Ethan Bareback, Bareback Boners, Bareback Lovers and Back To Bareback, all condom-free anal sex films. Other releases promised all manner of shocking sex thrills and sported titles like Depraved, Folsom Filth, Downright Filthy and Downright Wrong, all of which sound like excerpts from a Fundamentalist preacher's anti-Gay sermon! Evidently, this is the kind of product that tlavideo.com customers want, or at least, the kind tlavideo.com thinks they want.

"The Big Nasty" concludes with Part Two.

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