Our society seems to think pornography is harmless. Surprisingly enough, I've heard numerous Christians say the same thing. But having produced porn for nine years and having recruited more than 500 people into the business, and having watched what it did in the lives of so many, I can tell you otherwise.
Pornography ruins lives, period. It doesn't even need to be hardcore in nature. Softcore porn is just as destructive.
When I talk about "softcore" porn, I simply mean porn in which the model is posing alone. She isn’t touching anyone else. For those who think porn doesn’t hurt anyone, it couldn’t get less harmful than softcore porn, right?
In September of 2007, just a year after I left the adult entertainment business, I received the following letter from one of the girls I recruited, who had only done softcore photos for websites. What follows is word-for-word what she sent, including capitalizations and/or lack thereof:
I have a HUGE problem. I’m getting married in a month, and my fiancé FOUND MY PICTURES on the internet. He is beside himself. He is hurt and shocked and being that we are supposed to tie the knot in less than a month, I’m freakin suicidal!!! Freakin sick over this….throwing up, cannot sleep at all…I never thought in a million years that would ever happen. How long do those pictures circulate?? I am seriously pissed.
I know I did those pics and yes it was my fault, I want to get them OFF the internet. Is there any way possible to do that ASAP? I will pay you the money back, whatever it takes. This will and is ruining my life. I am fearful that his friends will see and torture him about it, or the people I work with in the military. (they are all men) I am absolutely SICK over this. I can’t eat or sleep and I honestly don’t know what to do. I swear to you, I never thought this would happen. I mean, there are a million girls on the freakin internet….why me?! and because you are supposed to be a changed man? into God and everything? please…I need to know that you understand my situation, and find it in your heart to help me. This is destroying me. I know I am 100% responsible for taking the pictures, it’s my fault. But it was a long time ago, and I was single and I needed the money. But isn’t there anything you can do to please help me now??? This was like 2 or 3 years ago? Why are my pics still on the damned internet???
My military career and soon to be marriage (if he still will) is riding on this. Don’t my pictures expire after a certain time? and you just put new ones up? or sell new ones to companies to flush out old girls? I think you can read the desperation in this email.
I am completely desperate (again) at this point Donny and need your help. Can you help me? Please. I need EVERYTHING removed. What can we do? I’ll pay you money, anything. PLEASE say you can help me. PLEASE.
Does this young lady's email give you the impression that porn is harmless? I’ve received many emails and phone calls from models over the years, asking that their content be removed from the Internet. The problem is that porn companies will not remove it. If they removed the content of every model who regretted her decision, very little would be left to sell.
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The young lady who sent this email modeled for me for a very short time in 2005. But because of the release she signed, and the photographer’s agreements I signed when I was doing business with the companies who purchased her content, I can’t do anything to get her photos off the Internet. They will be online, or on other people’s computers, somewhere, until long after her grandchildren have grandchildren.
The personal costs were very large in numerous ways, one of which is the fact that her fiancé decided not to marry her. The realization that his buddies, neighbors and any random person could find his wife showing so much of herself online was more than he was willing to bear.
From those of us who consume it to those of us who have worked in the business, we all play a part in the supply and demand circle that drives pornography. I'm often asked how to fight pornography. My advice is to start with these three words:
Any attempt to fight pornography by going after those who produce it are hypocritical while the person “fighting” porn remains a consumer of pornography. Both consumer and producer need each other. When we try to clean someone else's house before we've cleaned our own, we’re essentially saying that their sin is greater than our own.
Let me share an example that illustrates why this type of thinking is flawed:
Imagine that you have three daughters and all three of them are married.
Let's say your first daughter's husband cheated on her by taking one of his former flames out to dinner and a movie, and ended up making out with her. The husband of your second daughter cheated on her as well, going a little bit further: he performed an act with another woman that was sexual in nature, but didn't "go all the way." And your third daughter's husband... well, he "went all the way" with someone else.
Are you going to be happy with any one of these men? Let me know if you'd be willing to overlook the transgressions of any of them if they came to you and said something like, "Well, I sinned against your daughter but I definitely didn't do so to the extent that your other son-in-law did, so surely I'm in a better moral position, and you should judge the other two guys more harshly than me."
Such an attitude wouldn't fly very well, would it? Because what they actually did matters less than the fact that they broke the vows they made to your daughter. It's a heart condition, isn't it? None of the three men in my example are truly giving their full heart.
When we sin, we are literally cheating on God by choosing to follow the temptations set before us by His greatest enemy rather than being faithful to Him. He can't look upon sin at all because it's not a matter of WHAT we've done, but where our heart happens to be.
This is also why God can have a relationship with repentant murderers (He called King David a "man after His own heart" and used Paul to change the world) just as easily as He can have a relationship with a repentant liar (and we have ALL lied): the cheating heart has been changed, and it's the condition of that heart that matters to him.
No "recovering sinner" has a moral high ground on any other recovering sinner. We're all in the same boat, in need of a savior to rescue us from the mess we've made of our lives. And while I get the need to rid the world of the scourge of pornography, I'd like to propose that we start by eliminating its use within the church. Let's clean our own house before we try to clean that of our neighbors. Anything else is simply hypocritical.
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