The Problem With Pornography

WARNING: The following post is of a sensitive nature, and may offend some readers.

Let me begin by saying that my objections to pornography really aren’t based on morality.  While I am very Christian in many aspects of my life I generally don’t believe in censorship.  If all parties have consented to something, then why not?  And to be perfectly honest, sometimes porn can teach people a thing or two.

No, my problem with porn is based solely on the effects it has on relationships and on young men (and some women I suppose).

Internet pornography is like the Burger King of sexual behavior.  You can “have it your way” instantly.  A quick search or click of a mouse can get you anything you want, no matter how specific.  If you’re in the mood for a black woman dressed as a pirate in a balloon fetish video? Bingo.

This naturally becomes a problem when men (again I’m generalizing) find themselves with real-life women.  Sex is no longer a mutual give-and-take.  They simply ask for something and expect it to happen.

I don’t know about other women, but in the few intimate situations I’ve been in, I often find myself having to dispel some of the misconceptions caused by porn.  Men are convinced women look a certain way, act a certain way, and enjoy certain things:

Do you mean to tell me not all women keep their privates bare?

You mean women don’t get enjoyment just from performing oral sex?

There is also the matter of addiction.  I’ve heard of countless young men (from girlfriends) and even known a few who have developed a dependency on porn.  A man I dated could not ejaculate without pornography being involved, even if he was with a woman.

But the solution to these problems isn’t a ban on porn, but an open dialogue about it.  Guys, practice some moderation.  Ladies, if pornography is becoming an issue in your relationship don’t be scared to address it.  And parents, make sure teens are aware of the distorted view porn can give us.

 

The Last Thing I Need Right Now

If you check the time on this post you’ll see its 4 in the morning.  I know right?  What happened to all my good time management and staying on top of things this semester?

To make a long story short, I haven’t been sleeping the past couple nights.  But its not my usual insomnia or anxious thoughts keeping me awake.

Last night at around midnight I was laying in bed with the lights off when I sat up to use the restroom.  I can distinctly remember what I was thinking about (nothing important, a television show I used to watch as a kid).  It had absolutely no connection to Gil and yet he crossed my mind out of the blue.

That would be weird enough as it is, but next I got this horrible uneasy feeling.  I can’t even describe it but suddenly I had to turn the lamp on.  Its like I’d thought of a horror movie or something.

Its the same tonight.  I just feel…spooked, for lack of a better word.  I need every single light on and I can’t seem to fall asleep.  I’ve also been ridiculously tense lately, more than I usually am and thats saying a lot.

When I talked to my mom about this today she said it might just be a reaction to a traumatic experience, like PTSD.  I hate to toss around diagnoses so what do you guys think?

Either way, I could really do without this new issue.

Dear Gil,

I tried calling your father today.

Three times in fact.

But he wasn’t in.

I’m still not sure if I’ll tell him.

I wonder how much time will pass before I can think of you without crying.  Will I always scan the local news for your name?  Gaze into the face of every homeless man I pass?

 

 

Sex and Mental Illness (a personal anecdote) Part 2

WARNING: The following post is of a sensitive nature, and may offend some readers.

He still seemed agitated; no energy had been released during our brief encounter.  He turned his head to me sharply and said.

“That wasn’t good”.

I rolled my eyes immediately.

“Of course it wasn’t going to be good. Its my first time.”

He stood up and made his way over to the armchair near my bed and began putting his shoes on.  I decided he was simply being a jerk and concentrated on keeping the tears in.  That’s when he started.

“You know I’m different from you.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah I have extra teeth and bones…I’m a vampire”.

He spent the next 40 minutes talking about the angels and demons who talk to him, the prophecy he believes he must fulfill, and the small balls of purple and white light (“spirits”) he sees everywhere.  While unsure whether he’s the antichrist or the new messiah, he does know that he will save the world very soon.

Naturally for the first 2 minutes of his monologue, I thought he was joking.  I went along, sarcastically.  But his eyes kept turning towards the ceiling and it didn’t seem something a sane person could make up.  (“I have fangs that haven’t descended which is why I can breathe better”.)  The ease and pace with which he spoke was natural, as if it was the plot of a book or movie he was relaying to me.

The next 10 minutes were spent convincing myself that I was dreaming.  After all, I’d finally lost my virginity and then the guy goes on a psychotic rant?  It had to be a dream.  I willed myself to wake up.

When that didn’t happen, I realized I might die this way.  I mean there was a man talking about being a sociopath and the antichrist in front of me, and we’d just had sex (sort of).  If it were a movie, I was about to be strangled.

I slowly began to reach for my clothes, still nodding at him calmly as he spoke.  (After all if I was going to die I didn’t want my parents to know I was found naked.)  He seemed to hold his breath momentarily as I dressed.  That’s when I realized I would have to wait until he was done.  Only then would he leave, hopefully.  I surely couldn’t make it past him to the door or the block of knives in the kitchen.

At one point I reached for my phone casually.  But he began to yell.

“What are you doing?  Who are you talking to? Are you telling someone?  You can’t tell anyone any of this!”

I would ruin the prophecy if I did.  Or get him into trouble with the other vampires.

I remember turning my head to the window briefly at one point, wondering if I would need to signal for help.  He got even more upset.

“How dare you disrespect me! I’m talking to you!”

I somehow made it through 40 minutes.  He eventually wound down and decided to leave, but not before warning me again not to tell anyone.

I can’t describe to you all how this encounter has made me feel.  I’ve naturally ended contact with Gil, but am still debating whether or not I should tell a family member of his.  While I do know enough about schizophrenia to recognize this as an episode, I’m wondering about the sexual dysfunction?  Clearly he’s not on medication so that isn’t the culprit, and its never been an issue before.

Lastly I’m wondering if anyone has had an experience like this?  Or a worst “first time” than mine?  Not only do I feel traumatized by the actual event but incredibly depressed about losing Gil.  He left angry, with no intention of seeing me again.  And I imagine the only way I ever will is if he gets some treatment and then looks me up.  It’s so strange to think I’ll never see him again when I spent a year completely infatuated.  I have no idea how to get any closure?

Sex and Mental Illness (a personal anecdote) Part I

WARNING: The following post is of a sensitive nature, and may offend some readers.

To be honest, even as I’m writing this, I’m unsure if I will ever publish it publicly. Not only am I very private about these matters but also, who gives a crap? But anyway, I think it might make me feel a bit better to get this out there and maybe get some feedback. And after all, it’s a pretty amazing story.

As always, before diving in, we need some background. As you may or may not know, I’m 21 years old, a college student and a virgin. This started out as a choice. While all my friends were having sex in high school, I vowed I wouldn’t subject myself to immature partners or the horrible gossip that always made its way around. And besides no one was worthy of me or my body, right?

By the time college rolled around, this smart choice had turned into a bit of a phobia. While I dated and overall was very healthy in my sexual desires and expression, actual intercourse terrified me. I feared the pain, the emotional repercussions, being left by my partner, and losing my special virgin status.

Then about a year ago, I met someone. We’ll call him Gil. Certainly, not the nicest guy in the world, I gave up on dating him after a few months but couldn’t seem to stay away. He was completely brilliant, beautiful, and experienced in the bedroom (capable of performing for hours). So while I didn’t know much about him, we maintained a “hook up” type relationship for a year on and off. I know, not my proudest moment.

A couple of months ago is when I made, what I considered, my most important decision to date. I would sleep with Gil. It’s the 21st century, I’m mature, knowledgeable about sex, and comfortable with my own body (which is more than I can say for most of the sexually active women I know). I knew he would be an amazing partner and if I didn’t do it now it would probably be years down the road before I would pluck up the courage again.

Now, Gil had been obsessing about my virginity (literally) and badgering me for the past year so when I finally said I was ready he quickly agreed. I was incredibly nervous but admittedly also a bit excited. Little did I know what a bizarre experience it would be.

The minute he walked in, I realized something was wrong. While he would normally stand in my doorway, smile for a moment, then give me a kiss hello, this time he sped-walked in as though he were trying to catch a bus. Even as he kissed me I sensed something was different. I remember asking him if he was alright several times.

Things got even stranger once we undressed. Gil could not maintain an erection, even as I touched him. When he was finally able to achieve one for more than a few seconds, he ejaculated soon after. But naturally, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

But as that special moment approached, the same thing was happening. I felt a burning sensation for about a moment, and it was over yet again. Gil quickly dressed (which was also out of character), leaving me wondering if I was still a virgin. I certainly still felt like one.

(to be continued…)

Note from a “Shiksa”

star-of-david-534x620Disclaimer:  I do not wish to offend anyone with this post.  If you’d like to discuss it or leave a comment please do so respectfully.  

Today I was grabbing a latte at a charming little coffee shop near campus.  While waiting for my drink I overheard a conversation between a young woman and a man who I assume was her rabbi, or some sort of advisor/mentor.  They were discussing intermarriage within Judaism.

Now I’m sure most people wouldn’t have thought twice about it.  After all it’s not part of my culture, nor is it any of my business.  But with the experiences I’ve had in the past, I simply had to write something about it, for my own sake.

First of all you should know that I’ve dated a few Jewish men, two of which were rather serious relationships.  And each and every time ended for the same reason.  I’m not Jewish.

Now this isn’t a problem per say, except for the fact that you probably shouldn’t be dating me in the first place.  I also know from attending a mostly Jewish university that many young Jewish men seek the excitement and novelty of a non-Jew before settling down.  This is wrong.  Call me old-fashioned but you shouldn’t get involved with someone whom you know there’s no possible future with.

And for the record gentlemen, “shiksa goddess” is not a compliment.

Which brings me to my second issue.  I’ve been called “shiksa”, and “goy” countless times, more than once in a negative context.  Not only is it clearly insulting but also unique in the sense that a culture would have one word for “other”. I would much rather be called, “that Irish girl, Mary” or “that Hindu guy, Bob” than “that goy, Lisa”.

I find that this is an issue which interferes with friendships as well.  I was once sitting with a few girlfriends when one mentioned that a boy we knew recently started dating someone new.  One of the girls then asked, “Is she Jewish?”.  When she learned she was, the response was , “ok, good”.  How was I supposed to feel?

The reason this angers me so much is because I find that my heart has been hardened.  I entered that school and met all of those people with a completely open mind.  I did not grow up in an antisemitic culture, and my church often had us pray for “the safety of our Jewish brothers and sisters” during Passover and Hanukkah.

I do not want to feel this way at all.

Feeling restless and wretched

Let me give you a quick rundown of my weekend so far.  Thursday night was spent in one of those not fully awake therefor can’t get anything done/not able to fall asleep states.

I was however, supposed to accompany Caitlin skiing with the family she babysits for but texted her early Friday morning telling her I couldn’t make it.  She, of course, got mad at me so now I’m feeling guilty about that.  Its true I do have alot of schoolwork this weekend but if I’m being completely honest, I absolutely hate making commitments.  The idea of being obligated to do something makes me incredibly anxious.  Thats probably one of the reasons I’m terrible with my attendance.

The Iranian texted me to hang out Friday, which would have been perfect as I could let off some steam before devoting the rest of the weekend to homework.  But he canceled.

I then decided to take a sleeping pill in an attempt to get some rest and regulate my schedule.  I’ve been feeling exhausted lately but I suppose its all psychological since I have an assignment coming up.  The pill didn’t wear off for 17 hours so I slept in till about 3.

So far I’ve gotten nothing done and the idea of hanging out with the Iranian tonight just isn’t that appealing.  I have this urge to get ready and go out but the same time I want to stay in.   I feel so horribly restless and guilty and useless and lazy all at once.  I feel like the weekend has been a total failure and yet I’m not willing to do what I need to do to salvage it.  All I want to do is tear my hair out.