What's Wrong With Christian Pop Culture (Part Four)
I’m going to call him “Frank” because that’s not his name.
I’ve known “Frank” for a couple of decades now, and can attest he’s a nice guy, a decent human being, a straight-shooter, and a man of principle. He’s knowledgeable in media matters, and when he voices an opinion on something, he’s usually worth listening to, even if one doesn’t agree with him.
This time, however, he’s about as wrong as he can be -- factually wrong, in error wrong, not evil wrong (though there are people who will use his conclusions and those of a similar mind set for evil purposes, but more on that below).
So to protect the innocent and confound the guilty, I’m not using “Frank’s” real name because I don’t want this misconstrued as anything personal.
But, boy howdy, am I gonna rip his conclusions a brand new one…
First off, full disclosure on my bona fides:
I am a former professional pornographer, an editor at Penthouse Comix during their brief, spectacular-for-all-the-wrong-reasons existence.
I am also the creator of the Christian manga category in Christian publishing, having created the best selling Serenity Christian manga series along with other titles in the field.
Having been employed professionally on several sides of this issue, I know whereof I speak.
Let’s look at “Frank’s” post:
“One of the surprising things about the #MeToo movement is how little has been said about pornography…one can find very little being discussed about the incredible threat of online porn.”
First off, we need to define terms. What do we mean when we say “pornography”?
I know what I mean (more on that below), but what do you mean? What does “Frank” mean?
There was a time not too long ago when mothers would go through the Sears and Roebuck catalog and carefully tear out all the pictures of ladies in long johns so as not to pervert their little children’s minds.
This is the same era when these same parents would gleefully organize kissing games for those same children at parties in order to carefully nurture and steer their interest in the opposite sex through carefully supervised socially approved experimentation.
“I know it when I see it” is the old definition of pornography, and that’s about as helpful as damon knight’s dictum “Science fiction is what you find on the shelves in the library marked science fiction.”
Another friend of mine once described porn (visual porn, at least; there is a multitude of forms) as anything with “the maximum hydraulic” if you know what he means and I think you do.
The problem with that definition is there are explicit depictions of coitus that serve evidentiary and educational purposes and have nothing to do with porn, and there’s an enormous amount of porn that concentrates on costuming to the exclusion of everything else.
I would describe porn as anything that focuses on the money shot.
For those not familiar with the term, I’ll be as circumspect as possible and say “the money shot” is a term used in the porn industry to refer to a male’s sexual climax.
As a metaphor, “the money shot” can mean a pay off divorced from the build up.
When we read people using terms like “home decor porn” or “gun porn” they’re probably not using it in the context of sexually explicit material, but rather an article or post that focuses entirely on results as opposed to process.
In that broader context -- which will be useful when we bring things back into focus re sexually explicit material -- it’s anything that depicts just “the good parts” at the expense of any sort of context that puts those “good parts” back in proportion (“good” here being relative, of course; “most exciting” might be better).
To return to sexually oriented material, “the money shot” is all too typically literally that, the moment in which a male achieves their pleasure.
It is not about the scope of a relationship between two people, or how they come to decide to engage in sex.
It’s often not even the sexual relations themselves.
It’s simply the pay off.
Now again, not every piece of porn is literally a “money shot”, but what porn (both sexual and other metaphorical forms) does do is focus on what is pleasurable to the viewer at the expense of the context of what that moment means in a broader sense.
Which is why phrases like “the incredible threat of online porn” are ironically “money shots” in their own right.
They convey no useful context, they put nothing in a broader scope, they define no terms or conditions.
They’re simply word salads tossed out to please the readers, in this case people already predisposed to dislike the very idea of sexually explicit material.
© Buzz Dixon