PG in an Erotica World   10 comments

This week’s blog hop discussion asks me “How do I feel about all the sex and sexual innuendo in the world? And how do I deal with it?”

Before we get started, Stevie Turner is discussing this subject over on her blog too. While you’re there, check out her books. Hit the link below if you want to check out others in the hop … or join us if you are a writer with something to say on the subject.

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I’m an evangelical Christian who thinks monogamy is a God-mandate for Christians. Christian spouses are directed to not only keep themselves physically clean of adultery, but also mentally clean. Porn for men and erotica for women serve the same purpose — a type of mental adultery that Christians should not participate in. I further believe that single Christians should remain chaste or find a willing spouse. Better to marry than to burn, as Paul said.

So, yes, the United States is a challenging culture to the practice of those beliefs. Sex is everywhere — movies, music, television, books, magazines, advertisements … literally everywhere. It is impossible to avoid, so practice of my beliefs requires something different.

Believe it or not, I have a very pragmatic view of sex, and especially the tenderloin trade, because I grew up in Fairbanks Alaska, where many of the ladies of society had been Fourth Avenue Line girls. Hey, don’t knock it! They made more money than the miners they married and that made them business people in their own rights. Alaskans are extremely pragmatic people that way. One of my mom’s best friends was a former “line” girl and retired madam. My parents owned a cafe between a bar and a strip club. During the Pipeline boom in the 1970s, there were prostitutes walking up and down 2nd Avenue (our cafe was on the same block on 1st) and I regularly turned down $300 an hour on my way home from junior high school.

I like sex and prostitutes and strippers can be entertaining to talk to. I’m no prude, but I think the sexual relationship between a Christian husband and wife is a metaphor for Jesus’ relationship with the churches and I have an obligation to interact with my culture in a way that is blameless by Biblical definition.

I don’t read erotica. No, I’m not a prude. If you want to read erotica, go for it. I don’t read erotica because I feel the images it conjures in my brain constitutes cheating on my husband. If you don’t attend my church, I don’t care what you do. I care what I do.

On the other hand, I read Song of Ice and Fire novels. Yeah, there’s some salacious sex in there, but I know when it’s coming (Martin is kind of obvious) and I just skip it. I don’t dwell on it and therefore, I don’t carry it with me into my life.

Brad and I like to watch television in our time together, but we have to be selective these days. We pretty much ignore the occasional innuendo and even the inevitable sex scene, but there are television shows we don’t watch because they seem focused on sex. Sense8 lost us on the third scene of the pilot. It looks like a great sci-fi series, but we’re not going to wade through salacious sex scenes to the good parts. I’ll never find out if the lesbian dildo scene was just an outlier because I’ll never watch the series again. We both felt assaulted by this unnecessarily lewd scene in a show that didn’t seem to be about that.

Brad used to really love Orange is the New Black, but the latest season to go up on Netflix lost him because of the sex. He was okay with the occasional innuendo and women kissing (we used to work in prison ministries, we know what goes on), but apparently this last season goes where he is not willing to follow, so he’s stopped watching it.

On the other hand, a show that has a fairly tame sex scene halfway through the first season doesn’t lose our fandom just because of a montage of people rolling around in the sheets. Yeah, we know they’re supposed to be having sex. It’s not sex we have an issue with. It’s in-your-face sexual content that we want to avoid and if that is what a show is dishing, then we don’t need to watch it.

Right now, the world we live in is sex-obsessed. Somehow we’ve gotten the idea that this is normal and healthy and every show and half the books must have sex featured prominently, preferably the kinkier the better. I have it on good authority from the God of the Universe that this cultural obsession is psychologically unhealthy and destructive of marriage. He speaks to me through the apostle Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, that city being a highly sexualized city not terribly unlike the society we live in today. Taking the apostle Paul’s advice, I’m not fighting secular society on the subject because I don’t think it would do any good and I have better things to do with my time than waste it.

I do think Christians need to wake up and smell God’s coffee brewing on this subject. This is what we were told in the New Testament. We damage His message when we don’t stand out from the world on some subjects and since Jesus used the marriage relationship as a metaphor for His relationship with Christians, that’s a good place where Christians ought to stand out. Just hit pause on Netflix, open your Bible and see what God has to say about it. I am only talking to Christians here. The rest of the world is not my concern.

People can say I’m sexually repressed if they want. They’re wrong. I’m not going to invite them into our bedroom to prove otherwise. People have been wrong about Christians a lot over the centuries. That’s okay. I’d rather be right with my Savior than right with my culture. And ultimately, I’ve been married to the same man for 30 years next month and a lot of the folks who would criticize my view can’t stay married for weeks, let alone decades, so I think my views rather vindicate themselves.

10 responses to “PG in an Erotica World

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  1. While our views are very different on sex, I wholeheartedly agree that it’s none of my business what other people do! As long as no one is getting hurt or forced into something, I stay out of it and respect others’ beliefs. And I’m impressed with 30 years of marriage! My husband and I have been together six years and we don’t see an end in sight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think marriage needs more than hoping to make it work long-term. It’s definitely a work in progress, whether it’s six years on or 30 years. The two things that break marriages up (statistically) are money and sex.

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      • Oh, we’ve put in lots of work! Thankfully we’ve learned that communication is the key to a strong relationship…when we got together after 14 years apart (we dated in high school) we kind of expected everything to just fall into place. Now we know each other better and keep getting stronger. Sometimes it’s not easy but our marriage is worth the work!

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  2. Well done. You and I have more or less the same views.

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  3. Nice post Lela and definitely food for thought. While are views are basically similar, they are also different. We watch Orange is the New Black and while I agree there is a lot of in your face sex that simply doesn’t need to be there, I look at it from the point of view, that this is probably what it’s like in a women’s prison. I hope to never find out personally about that, the write of the show is Piper Kermit and this is her story. So, while I may not like it or think it’s necessary, it may just be “real life” in a sense and I like knowing about all people and situations (gives me food for my books).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I grew up in a town with a very active tenderloin trade, so I have plenty of food for my books without watching television. Characters have sex in my books because people have sex in real life. I reference it. I don’t describe it.

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  4. I so appreciate your non-judgement of sex workers. That’s a really hard life and we’re not here to make things harder on each other, but better. I wish they didn’t have to do it, but if they fall into it or choose that life, then they should be safe and protected. I bet they are fun to talk to. To this day, I am so naive, I can’t identify them on the streets of NYC.

    Totally in agreement with the shows. I am so tired of the graphic sex. I feel it spoils the show. I pushed through quite a few shows, as a screenwriter and student of film. Unfortunately, the majority are not watching from an educated, artistic and mature perspective. Salacious is a good word here. I weep for humanity–a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I admire the strength of your convictions, and that fact you don’t judge. Well said!

    Liked by 2 people

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