Saturday, August 04, 2007

Feminist: When sex is sacred, sex is powerful

Every now and then, a secular person figures out on his or her own what religious people have already known. has blogged about an article written by Naomi Wolfe (published in 2003) in which the acclaimed feminist says that porn devalues sex, kills male libido, creates impossible standards for women, and does not lead to more intimacy.

Well, duh.

But hey, at least she got it. Most people think that moral rules that are rooted in religion are entirely arbitrary and without foundation. While it's plausible that some religions have some arbitrary rules, the fact that so many have similar rules suggests that people of different cultures have come to the same conclusion through observation. A prohibition against pornography is a fairly common moral rule, because modesty is favourable to human relations in so many ways. But don't tell secular humanists that!

This is one of my favourite passages in the article:

After all, pornography works in the most basic of ways on the brain: It is Pavlovian. An orgasm is one of the biggest reinforcers imaginable. If you associate orgasm with your wife, a kiss, a scent, a body, that is what, over time, will turn you on; if you open your focus to an endless stream of ever-more-transgressive images of cybersex slaves, that is what it will take to turn you on. The ubiquity of sexual images does not free eros but dilutes it.

And that is one reason, among many, to wait until marriage to have sex.

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