The problem with porn culture – Michelle Sparkes

The problem with porn culture

Grace, a podcast listener asks, “Do you have any insight on the impacts of not only the media, but porn as well. For the folks in relationships (I am married, second time around) is it such an issue for most people with ED?  I recently found a great deal of it on a computer history and I’m having a really hard time not feeling good enough. I didn’t eat for a week the last time I saw it, talked to my spouse about it but it’s apparent that he’s a typical guy who likes to look at other women in that context. He doesn’t understand. My rational mind knows it’s ridiculous, but the disorder tells me to try harder. Be thinner. Be better. It hits on every trigger. Maybe a podcast topic someday?”

It is a layered subject and can be very touchy (‘scuse the pun) because it’s an issue that affects us all in some way and I think the marketers have done a great job in targeting our natural desire for intimacy and sexual expression without supplying the bigger picture and context. Porn is big business but I submit that anything that objectifies a person devalues them and is helpful to NObody and is in fact harmful to authentic relationships and the creation of real intimacy.

For my podcast listener Grace, I submit the following (with a fuller response available in the 14 minute podcast here).

Dear Grace

I think the “pornification” of our culture is a huge player in the ongoing and escalating OBJECT-ification of everyBODY and helpful to NObody…including your husband.

Intimacy in relationships exists between people and is based upon respect and valuing of one another so when bodies are treated as objects (as they are in porn), people are easily used, abused, exploited (and dismissed when their use has passed), and this can certainly give rise to insecurity. This isn’t the way I believe human beings are designed or wired to function well.

Is the issue more prevalent (triggering) to ED sufferers? It’s a good question.

My thought is that because EDs are a battle to overcome self rejection (to find, consolidate and rest in a place of healthy SELF-ACCEPTANCE), this issue could be particularly challenging to any unhealed, or healed and getting stronger  interior places (beliefs/attitudes) about our worth and value.

You deserve respect. What you think, feel, believe and desire (in this and any other issue impacting upon you and your relationship) is as important as what your husband thinks, feels, believes and desires, and is worthy of his time and attention.

Mutual respect is key (and porn does not promote this); being mature enough to dialogue around, and do the hard yards involved in, understanding what is consensual, uplifting and life-affirming for the person we profess to love.

More in the podcast. Hope it helps. Happy to hear more.

Travel well,

Michelle

About the Author

Michelle is a physiotherapist and professional counsellor with lived experience of anorexia, EDNOS and binge-eating in her teen and early adult years. Founder of Women Worth their Weight, and author of Illuminating Anorexia Michelle is passionate about helping people recover from these health and life consuming problems.