Tag Archiv: lust

No Nudes is Not Good News

By Steve Pokorny

The impossible happened. Playboy is giving up nudity. At least, at first glance that’s what it looks like.

From their press release: “A reimagined Playboy magazine will include a completely modern editorial and design approach, and, for the first time in its history, will no longer feature nudity in its pages.”1 They’ve decided to go anti-au naturale in the same print magazine that gave Americans an entirely different view of Marilyn Monroe.

This is partly a business decision, aPlayboy bunnys the circulation currently stands at 800,000, down from 5.6 million in 1975.2 It seems that it’s about trimming the fat, as it’s costly to pay the women who are featured in the buff. If readers aren’t buying, then they have to to change course in order to cut their losses and stay competitive in the marketplace.

This is not the first time Playboy has stripped nudity from their products. Playboy.com has been nudity free since August of 2014,3 What‘s fascinating is that when they did this, “Playboy executives said, the average age of its reader dropped from 47 to just over 30, and its web traffic jumped to about 16 million from about four million unique users per month.”4

Maybe they’re onto something, and maybe this is a good thing for society in general. In the course of trying to increase their revenue streams, it appears they’re creating one less avenue for pornography access.

However, I believe theres something else going on here. Three thoughts:

First thought: I was intrigued upon hearing that Playboy.com had no nudity. So I logged on myself and as stated in their press release, while there were articles discussing sex and relationships, the site has been scrubbed of nudes.

According to Complex.com, “Playboy chief executive Scott Flanders told the New York Times, ‘You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.'”5 Taken at face value, this means that because porn can be found anywhere, they just can’t compete financially with other pornographers.

However, upon digging a little deeper, I found that this latest move is simply part of a larger inbound marketing schema to drive viewers to Playboy Plus (a pay-to-play site), where plenty of skin is shown. Thus, like Playboy from the beginning, they’re using false motives to push their product. The magazine will encourage readers (yes, you can actually say now that you read Playboy for the articles!) to check out the website, which will filter viewers over to their more graphic image sites.

As for porn being “Passé” – Pa-lease. Porn is everywhere, and business has never been better. The execs at Playboy know what they’re doing. They would not be where they are in the market and a driving force in the culture without being business savvy. Instead of being truly philanthropic, this announcement is a PR stunt to draw attention to the Playboy brand.

Second thought: As stated in their press release, “Playboy has effectively accomplished its founding goal of normalizing the female body by introducing women to the world in their au naturel state, the magazine’s mission has been accomplished.”6

From the very beginning of it’s launch, while Hugh Hefner may have had a legitimate goal, the way he went about it did the complete opposite of “normalizing the female body.” Instead of revealing and uplifting the dignity and worth of women where all aspects of her personhood are appreciated, women as a whole have been devalued, where now ordinary women are accepted or rejected on the basis of their “sex appeal.”

Never has Playboy valued what is truly important to most women: Real love, chaste intimacy, solid marriages where their gifts and talents are nurtured and given a place to flourish, a correct understanding (let alone acknowledgement) of her fertility, not as a disease to be discarded, but as part of her “genius” (from the phrase coined by St. John Paul the Great). In the fight for women’s liberation, Playboy has been nothing but a slave trader, selling a woman’s worth for the basest of desires.

Third thought: From their press release [http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/13/playboy-covers-up/], “It promised to “continue to publish sexy, seductive pictorials of the world’s most beautiful women, including its iconic Playmates, all shot by some of today’s most renowned photographers.” In essence, Playboy is going GQ.

Upon seeing this announcement, I’m sure some, including Christians, celebrated this as a good thing. But it begs the question: Is this move really a good thing? Is it really reducing the amount of porn available?

While there will be less nudity in the pages of the most prolific pilfering pornographic printed periodical, in a very real sense, this will only further entrench pornography in our culture. Playboy has always been synonymous with inspiring lust, and we shouldn’t expect this trend to change. Just because the models will have more stitches of clothing on doesn’t mean that they’re going to be viewed with more respect.

Playboy has always been about mainstreaming pornography, making people think that looking with lust at others (“NOW with more clothing on!” is an improvement) is as American as eating bacon, drinking beer, and driving up debt on your credit card. Everybody does it, so the notion goes, and so should you. Looking at porn is “normal,” a rite of passage, and we should just fall in line.

Like the first launch, this redesigned launch of Playboy Magazine will not satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts. We should be focused not on new ways to exploit women, but instead work to bring about a true sexual revolution, where the whole person, not just their sex appeal, will both men and women’s dignity be upheld and revealed.

What do you think about Playboy’s new policy?  Leave your thoughts in the box below.

1 Ryan Gajewski.Playboy to No Longer Feature Nude Women” http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/playboy-no-longer-feature-nude-831575.

2 Ibid.

3 Ryan Gajewski.Playboy to No Longer Feature Nude Women,”  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/playboy-no-longer-feature-nude-831575.

5 CRISSY MILAZZO, “Playboy Magazine Will No Longer Publish Fully Nude Photos,” http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2015/10/playboy-stops-publishing-nudes-photos. [Date Accessed: October 14, 2015]

6 Bryan Logan, “Playboy will no longer feature nude women in its print edition,” http://www.businessinsider.com/playboy-magazine-will-no-longer-feature-nude-women-in-its-print-edition-2015-10 [Date Accessed: October 17, 2015]  

Steve Pokorny is the founder of Freedom Coaching, a one-on-one mentoring program designed to break the power of an attraction to lust and pornography. After 12 years of being enslaved, Steve has been granted the grace of freedom and offers a path for others to have their chains broken. He can be reached at steve@freedom-coaching.net. 

Do you have Porn Spirit?

Myley Cirus

By Steve Pokorny

Recently I was having a conversation with one of my friends and he shared that he wanted to be poor in spirit. However, that’s not the way it came out. He mumbled, saying, “I want Porn Spirit.”

Obviously, that’s not what he meant to say. But it’s a curious phrase, and I believe it accurately sums up the state of our culture. What do I mean?

Porn Spirit is what permeates our world today. We see Porn Spirit in the constant ways women (and an increasing number of men) are portrayed in movies, television shows, supermarket checkout lanes, billboards, and on the net. Porn Spirit is what inspires people to lust and makes us think using people—usually in an eroticized way—is normal. It takes what’s designed to be a beautiful foretaste of the infinite and reduces that great burning desire into something inherently ugly. If you live in the Western world, you’ve been influenced by Porn Spirit and it’s really easy to become possessed.

Billy Ray's Daughter

Billy Ray’s Daughter

To illustrate my point, story #1: On the elevator ride up to to work, another friend we’ll call Xavier was riding with 4 other people who were intently looking at their smartphones. One woman was raving about Miley Cirus’ “Wreckingball” video. Others exclaimed, “Oh, I need to see it!” The woman who was carrying on turned to Xavier and asked excitedly, “Have you seen it?” Tobin’s response, “Oh, no thanks. I don’t watch child porn.”

Ding ding ding. Game on.

As you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with the woman. She defensively said, “It’s not child porn!” The others chimed in likewise. Xavier retorted, “If that was my daughter in that video, I would put a serious beating on those who allowed her to appear in the video.” Nothing more that was said after that.

Story #2: I help out at a local parish for Life Teen on Sunday night, and recently I was sitting next to a youth we’ll call Andy. During the teaching time, he pulled out his phone to look something up online. As he began that process, I glanced over and noticed that Andy’s wallpaper was some bikini-not-so-clad woman posing seductively.

Afterward, I pulled Andy aside privately and asked him to show me his phone. As the screen came on, he tried to quickly move to his browser window. “What was that?” I asked him. “Uh…nothing.” He obviously felt uncomfortable, yet I knew I needed to press the issue. When I asked why he had that image, he made some lame excuse like he was honoring (honoring!?!) her. When I mentioned it’s images like that which inspire the sex trade [LINK], he was shocked—actually, he had no clue slavery like this exists today, let alone any slavery (ah, to be young and naive again….).

Don’t get me wrong: Andy’s a good looking kid—an athlete in fact—who had just the previous week tried fasting for the first time. I was proud of him for taking on such a challenge.

Thus I put our discussion in terms of another challenge: Find another image. Heck, there are millions upon millions of beautiful images, yet the one on his phone is anything but beautiful. If you have to have a woman for your wallpaper, find one who’s depicted wearing clothes. Not because the body is bad, but because the way she’s dressed and posing is actually distorting her true beauty.

Then I got him to really think: I told him to take a good look at her and answer me, “What’s she saying with her body? Is she trying to reveal who she is as a person or instead is she saying, ‘Seduce me?’” After some hemming and hawing, Andy agreed maybe his phone could use a wallpaper lift.

Both above situations illustrate just what’s so wrong in our culture. We’re so submerged in porn that many of us don’t know what porn is anymore. We’ve been blinded by our lusts and think this is normal.

Let me be very clear: The problem isn’t porn, per se – even though porn is intrinsically a problem. Pornography is merely a symptom of a much larger problem. The problem is that as a culture we’ve accepted the chains of lust. We’ve accepted that “this is just how men see women” and “this is just how we’re designed to react to sexual stimulus.” It’s not even that we’ve normalized porn. We’ve normalized lust. The only reason porn sells is because we’ve already made a deep peace with lust.

Love lust

If you can’t tell the difference clearly between love and lust, it’s a sure sign you’ve been infested by Porn Spirit.

But porn isn’t normal. It’s so far removed from living out a healthy expression of our sexuality, but far too many people are blind to get this. In fact, they’re clueless, and have no clue why their relationships are all screwed up and they aren’t finding what will really make them happy. They’re blind to the fact that we were never intended to use, abuse, and then discard others.

Think about it: if porn were normal, we shouldn’t feel as if it’s something we should hide. Yes, there are some pornographers who like to revel in their “work,” but for a vast majority of people (even the porn stars themselves), porn is the dirty, little secret that they would DIE! if anyone found out. I know this to be true for all my years of being held captive by these chains.

The point is: our vision is all screwed up. Just as a demon hates God’s children and wants to see them suffer, Porn Spirit is destroying the lives of others. This Spirit is what influences the anti-culture in which we find ourselves, for anytime lust is normalized, then somebody’s going to get hurt…or worse. We’re in serious need of an exorcism, to have Porn Spirit cast out from our lives, and to learn how to see others in a truly human way.

Diagnosing the disease, getting to the root, and providing some substantial answers is going to take some work. That’s why the mission and project of Redeemed Vision exists. It’s going to take some serious diagnosing, but with an injection of grace, we can begin to experience profound healing.

Thanks for reading. I’m glad you’re here. Until next time.

What ways do you see Porn Spirit at work?  Leave your thoughts in the box below.

Steve Pokorny is the founder of Freedom Coaching, a one-on-one mentoring program designed to break the power of an attraction to lust and pornography. After 12 years of being enslaved, Steve has been granted the grace of freedom and offers a path for others to have their chains broken. He can be reached at steve@freedom-coaching.net.