Tag Archiv: Playboy

Pamela Anderson: The New Mary Magdalene?

Pamela Anderson: The New Mary Magdalene?

A preface to this post: I remember as a teenager how both the Internet and my hormones were exploding. I spent many a nights using dial up modems lusting after the latest digital pin-up.

Front and center in my quest was the blond bombshell named Pamela Anderson. During the 90s, she was the crown jewel of all my pornographic pursuits. My first exposure to Ms. Anderson was during Baywatch, where her red one-piece swimsuit would continually turn my head. My attraction to her would grow as I would see her in Playboy, of which she would go on to grace the cover of the now non-nude magazine 15 times. 

Such fantasies kept me bound for 12 years from being able to truly perceive reality. I was bound in my lust, unable to see women for who they are. A woman (just like a man) is way more than any video or image can capture. She has thoughts, feeling, and gifts to offer to the world that go way beyond mere sex-appeal, even if she cannot see it herself. It is the job of every man to help every woman be aware of their God-given dignity. For a man not attempt such a mission is an abject failure of masculinity.

I write this post as a public apology to Ms. Anderson and repent of my years of using her with my mind. I would like to make amends, and I hope this writing is a small of token of this desire.

Recently, Ms. Anderson co-wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal with Rabbi Scmuley Boteach. While prompted by the ongoing saga of Anthony Weiner and his compulsive behavior, their writing was a larger commentary on the inherent destructive nature of pornography and how it is affecting all segments of the population.

To see her name attached to this editorial was nothing less than shocking. Was this just another way to keep herself relevant as she continues to age? Or is she really experiencing a conversion from a lifestyle that many other pornographers have witnessed to its destructive nature?

Is this a turning point for Ms. Anderson? I believe so. Like all women who enter the pornography industry, she did not start out as a libido-obsessed maniac (as the false narrative of pornography describe) but instead as a young girl with hopes and dreams like any of us. The desire to be wanted for who we are can be intoxicating, and if a girl is not surrounded by men who want her best, if she fits the pornographic body-type, she may be coaxed into doing something contrary to her true desires. We can only be lied to for so long until we either despair into destructive behavior or instead make a radical U-turn.

For someone who has taken her clothes off in public for many decades, I believe Ms. Anderson is getting naked here – but in a very good way; she is unveiling her heart. She is letting us know what her deepest desires are, specifically in stating we need a “sensual revolution”:

The ubiquity of porn is an outgrowth of the sexual revolution that began a half-century ago and which, with gender rights and freedoms now having been established, has arguably run its course. Now is the time for an epochal shift in our private and public lives. Call it a “sensual revolution.”

The sensual revolution would replace pornography with eroticism – the alloying of sex with love, of physicality with personality, of the body’s mechanics with imagination, of orgasmic release with binding relationships.

Ms. Anderson added to this on her blog:

A healthy, loving sexual experience demands both intimacy and respect, both of which pornography addiction destroys, and I am committed to raising this fundamental awareness and protecting the vulnerable enslaved in the sex industry and abusive relationships.

Reading between these lines, we can see that in all of her pornographic displays and broken relationships with broken men has been a search for what most of us long for: someone who will love us for who we really are, to see us as the person God has created us to be, and to be united in a permanent and exclusive relationship open to what the sexual act most often leads to: children.

Pamela Anderson horizon light

Ms. Anderson finally seeing the light

To spell it out: Ms. Anderson is saying that she wants marriage and a family, one not based on the lies that pornography promotes – that one must have a “perfect” body, be sexually available at anytime, and not be tied down to anything that reduces our pleasure – but instead to give and receive everything from another where she knows the other person is with her through good times and bad. 

I do not know what Ms. Anderson’s relationship with Jesus Christ is, or if she even has a positive view of Christianity. However, with all of the above compelling evidence, I must ask: Is Pamela Anderson be the new Mary Magdalen?

If we recall, Mary Magdalen (who many Early Church Fathers believed to be the same woman caught in the act of adultery (John 7:53-8:11)) had lived a life of pleasure seeking, not because she was intentionally seeking evil for evil’s sake, but instead was looking for intimacy in a way that sexual acts outside of a loving marriage can never provide. In her darkest moment, the Person of Love appeared. Instead of condemning her, He called her to embrace her own greatness. She responded to that call, and the Catholic Church now honors her as a Saint.

In a similar manner, Ms. Anderson is revealing that the Playboy lifestyle is full of emptiness and pain. She knows what its like to be used, and it seems as though she is be waking up to reality: namely, that men and women are never meant to be used, but instead are the type of creatures that are to be loved for their own sake (Cf. Gaudium et Spes 24). To violate this inalienable law is to do violence to the human person.

I’m not saying she is completely converted to the Love Who alone can satisfy. She probably has a very skewed notion about what “gender rights” and “freedom” really mean. Like all of those who have failed to live their sexuality in accord with their worth, there is probably a lot of regret and shame, and she needs to experience the healing that only God can provide.

That being said, Ms. Anderson is to be applauded for ability to see the septic tank of the pornography industry for what it is and her courageous action of using her public profile to alert others of its destructiveness. Our response must not be  not condemn her for past actions, but instead help her see that her desires for marriage and family are not mere fantasy, but can be fulfilled, ultimately on the other side of eternity. Let us pray for her, that she may come to know deeply the Intimacy of Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, the One who alone can satisfy her longings to be seen as beautiful, lovely, and cherished.

Steve Pokorny is the Founder of Freedom Coaching, a one-on-one mentoring system designed to break the power of pornified images. His book, Redeemed Vision: Setting the Blind Free from the Pornified Culture is coming soon. 

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.