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Myth: To Be Anti-Porn Is to Be Anti-Sex

Last Updated: November 4, 2020

Matt Fradd

Matt Fradd is the author of Delivered: True Stories of Men and Woman Who Turned from Porn to Purity. After experiencing a profound conversion at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, Matt has worked through full-time lay ministry in Australia, Ireland, Canada, and Texas. He has served as an apologist for Catholic Answers and has traveled all over the world, speaking to tens of thousands of teens and young adults. He and his wife Cameron have four children and live in North Georgia.

It is not uncommon today to hear people say they are for pornography, not necessarily because they consume it or like it themselves, but because it’s a free expression of sexuality. In some way, to discourage it or speak against it is to be anti-sex.

Several decades ago the term “sex-positive feminism” was coined. Many feminists at the time were saying pornography was an example of violence against women, but the so-called sex-positive feminists replied saying, “When porn portrays a woman who enjoys sex, why is this a bad thing? Don’t get trapped in this Victorian idea that sex is just a man’s thing. Women enjoy sex too, and pornography a positive expression of this reality.”

A great example of this mentality is the so-called Duke University porn star, Belle Knox. Ms. Knox has actually said that to be against porn is sex-negative, but she says, “sexual liberation is paramount to achieving progress and equality.”

Related: Becoming Belle Knox–Behind-the-Scenes Life of a Porn Star

Here’s the problem with all of this. The problem is not Ms. Knox personal sexual tastes vs. mine vs. anyone else’s. The debate is whether someone can rightly speak out against pornography and not be anti-sex, and I think the more you actually look at the nature of modern pornography, the answer is clear.

Are so-called sex-positive feminists fighting against a sexually repressive patriarchy by endorsing millions of men masturbating to films of men treating women as objects? No, of course not.

Saying we need porn to avoid sexual repression is like saying we need obesity to avoid anorexia. Pornography is as much a celebration of sex as gluttony is a celebration of food.

By ripping sex out of the context of genuine intimacy and putting it on screen, we are not celebrating sex, we are producing industrialized, commercialized, commodified sex. This does not celebrate sex at all. It cheapens it.

A study was done looking at the top-selling pornography in the world: the stuff the makes the biggest splash, the biggest bucks. Researchers actually sat down and watched, scene by scene, the top-selling adult films. After analyzing 304 distinct scenes…

  • They found more than 3300 acts of verbal and physical aggression—that’s an act of aggression every 90 seconds, on average.
  • About 90% of the scenes contained at least one act of physical aggression, and in 73% of the scenarios, men were the aggressors.
  • Moreover, when women were the aggressors, by in large they were aggressive to other women.

So what makes the big bucks in porn? Scenes where women are called names, slapped, hit, punched, and choked.

Related: Should porn be used to spice up the bedroom?

This goes to show: pornography as a commercial product is going to follow the consumer’s dollars, and when the consumers are demanding more misogynist, violent, women-hurting porn, we’re right to stand against it and say, “Something isn’t right about this.”

Don’t be fooled. To be against porn is not to be anti-sex anymore than being against fast food is anti-eating. Real sex positivity is one that celebrates the human person as someone to be cherished, not a thing to be used.

  • Comments on: Myth: To Be Anti-Porn Is to Be Anti-Sex
    1. Tara on

      I have a problem with people saying it’s natural it’s normal God made men this way if he didn’t enjoy port and break his neck every time an attractive woman walks by then he must be homosexual. Then I get told I’m treating him like a child if I refuse to tolerate it or if I ask to view his phone and Internet history.Not only am I treating him like a child but now invading his privacy which everyone is in titled to. How do I or what are the right words or actions to rebuke against those and him who throw that at me trying to make me feel quilty. I’m not a prude but I feel that is not why God gave us the desire and yes the desire is there to bring two people in love together in an intimate way close than any other way but not to be shared and viewed by others. Then I made wrong choice I retaliated and made a profile of myself on one of his adult xxx dating sites in hopes of he found it an he did. he acts as if it upset him cause everyone could see my nude flesh I asked what’s the difference your viewing other woman’s nude flesh and interacting but at least their viewing me and it’s not me wanting to view them cause I’m no longer attracted to you :( but now he uses that as a reason to be on the sites is he looking for me and my possible infitalities but I know he knows that’s not me.And why do I feel quilt for not wanting to watch porn with him he makes me embarrassed when guys or other couples talk about it and he says oh I’m not aloud to do that Tara don’t allow it. I’ve been married 21 years and my biggest dream is to grow old with my husband but I can’t live with wondering what’s taking so long in bathroom why does he lick and guard his phone with his life

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hi Tara. I’m sorry things are so difficult and confusing in your marriage right now. I’d really encourage you to read up on the topic of boundaries, here and here. Make sure that you are taking responsibility for yourself, that you are behaving in ways that are healthy and honest. You can’t control him, but you can control YOU. That is really all you can do: be responsible for you. If he’s going to recover, he will have to learn to take responsibility for himself as well. You might find a group like S Anon, Celebrate Recovery, Pure Desire, or xxxChurch to be really helpful as you think these things through. Blessings, Kay

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