Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Voice of Reason and Truth!

The Naturist Living Podcast has been around for a while. I’ve listened to a few of them. They’re good and informative. But this time, Stéphane Deschênes, the creator of the podcast, produced a masterpiece. (Stéphane Deschênes is owner of the Bare Oaks Naturist Family Naturist Park, and President of Federation of Canadian Naturists)

His topic for Episode #27 was Pornography.

Most non-naturists think that pornography is really just about nudity… consequently, the practice of naturism is presumed to be “live pornography.” Those who participate in naturism, it is assumed, are voyeurs and exhibitionists. Ultimately, if people are naked with other naked people, it will invariably result in an orgiastic frenzy… or so goes the fantasy.

That is a fantasy that the porn industry is delighted that people believe. If people really understood the truth, they would be embracing naturism as the best practical antidote to pornography available to us today!

As Mr. Deschênes so aptly points out in the podcast, Naturism is the antithesis of pornography!

I can think of several ways that this is true…

  • Pornography degrades and objectifies women and their bodies;
    • Naturism honors the goodness of the entire woman… including her body, and refuses to sexually objectify any body part!
  • Pornography promotes a man’s unrestrained conquest of a woman’s sexuality;
    • Naturism demands a man’s conquest of himself and his own sexuality (also called “self-control”… a fruit of the Spirit!).
  • Pornography exhibits that which is perverse and unnatural (some of it is unspeakably degrading);
    • Naturism experiences that which is utterly natural (sun, wind, and water caressing the naturally unadorned human body).
  • Pornography inhibits and damages relationships;
    • Naturism fosters openness and relational unity.
  • Pornography tells lies about the body and sexuality;
    • Naturism lives the truth of who we really are as human beings.

The best antidote to pornography is not the judicious covering of parts of our bodies, but the frank and natural exposure of our bodies in non-sexual, mixed-gender contexts. How else will young men learn that the female body is actually the embodiment of a real person? How else will the young woman really and truly understand that her body is fine the way it is… and that the objectifying treatment she receives from men is not “just the way guys are,” but actually the rejection of her true dignity as a young woman?

Mr. Deschênes also makes another claim that I’ve been trying very hard to communicate… that the real basis for sexual arousal is relational rather than visual… even for men!!! The believe that men are “visually aroused” is a conditioned response that has been unwittingly planted and cultivated by the historical church’s prudery, then fertilized, watered, and harvested by the porn industry.

It has been disheartening to me how pervasive this lie is in our culture. Sadly… it’s still believed even by many naturists, despite the fact that their naturist experiences argue powerfully against it.

The best antidote to this lie is not to limit nudity to contexts where sex is the expected activity, but the frank and natural exposure of our bodies in non-sexual, mixed-gender contexts. How else will the nudity/sex conditioning be broken?

Tragically, in our culture today, the very best solution to the porn problem is so closely linked to pornography in people’s minds that they never even consider it as a solution! I have no admiration for the enemy of our souls, but I have to acknowledge the wild success of this, his strategy to keep people bound to the lies of pornography.

It’s good to hear another voice speaking the truth in the face of porn’s lies.

I encourage you to go to the Naturist Living website and listen to the podcast. Or, if you want to download the audio, you can find it here: Naturist Living Podcast #27 - Pornography (mp3 format).

Several of my previous posts speak directly to the issues raised by Mr. Deschênes. You might want to review these articles:

Thank you again, Mr. Deschênes.

— Matthew Neal

1 comment:

stringsinger said...

Great post Matthew. I have been arguing this same point, from a theological anthropology perspective, about Naturism being an antidote for pornography for a number of years. (see my blog at: http://bit.ly/c4eQOx
) I'm glad to see it being more widely discussed. It is a truth that Christians need to understand, and perhaps the greatest contribution that naturists have to offer the body of Christ.

Gregg Gatewood