Christian Anti-Porn Ministries Battle Women’s ‘Porn Addiction’

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Originally posted on Alternet. Written By Lynn Harris

These groups appear to be helpful to many women. But are they ministering to — or even perpetuating — sexual problems the Christian church has created?

Adelaide Brown (not her real name), 29, had, until recently, a big problem with porn. “I would spend every moment after work enthralled in it and stay up almost all night seeking pleasure and relief,” she says.

Hormones and curiosity raging, she wandered into chat rooms at age 13, where she found adult men to be quite generous with nude photos of themselves. That (which she now realizes was abuse) led to an increasingly ardent search for visual stimulation, which ballooned two years ago into endless sessions on PornTube — and what Brown calls full-on addiction. “I would cancel plans with friends and family just so I could be home alone and soak myself in porn,” she says. “It took away my life.”

When Brown, a single schoolteacher in Seattle who calls herself an “outside the box” Christian, tried to confess to a couple of friends, she found they were more judgmental than supportive. Seeking help from conservative Christian books and porn-addiction recovery Web sites — and there are many — made her feel even more alone. “Everywhere I looked, it was all about men. Finding resources for women was nearly impossible,” she says. “There were people who assured me that I was not alone as a woman but I didn’t believe it. I truly believed I was the only woman struggling with this. That just made me even more ashamed.”

Non-Christian resources didn’t help either. “They didn’t really see anything wrong with porn” in the first place, says Brown, who believes masturbation and sex before marriage are wrong, too. Result: “There wasn’t a lot of help out there for me.”

That was until she found XXXChurch, one of the first conservative Christian ministries for problem porn users, and one of the first to reach out specifically to women. “It was when I finally realized that I was not alone as a woman struggling with porn that I gained the confidence and strength I needed to move forward,” Adelaide says.

As the New York Times reported earlier this month, more and more porn-recovery workshops are emerging, in church basements and Web sites, to cater specifically to conservative Christian women. (Here and throughout, “Christian,” even without “conservative,” refers to Christian movements often also described as “fundamentalist” or “evangelical.”) While an easy target for secular snickering, this trend actually — narrowly speaking — may constitute a step forward: providing a haven from shame for women like Brown, for whom non-Christian help might not resonate in the first place, and representing a certain collective, overdue, Christian realization that women have sexual agency at all. But are these groups just ministering to — or even perpetuating — sexual problems the Christian church has had a hand in creating?

The notion that Christian women might, gasp, ever peek at porn is still a “Not in OUR church!” newsflash for some. As XXXChurch founder Craig Gross told the Times, “The problem is, most churches have male leadership, and if you want to pitch a [porn recovery event for women], they’ll say, ‘Our women don’t struggle with that.’” Except, of course, they do; that invisibility, as in Brown’s case, just makes the struggle worse.

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Come Out, George, Come Out

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Originally published at CounterPunch. Written by DAVID ROSEN

Click to purchase "sex Scadal America" by David Rosen

The Miami New Times recently broke the story about George Allen Rekers’ 10-day Europe vacation with a male escort, identified only as 20-year-old Lucian. The story has been picked up by the national media and turned this aging puffer into the butt of popular ridicule by Steve Colbert and Jay Leno. One can only shout: Come out George, come out of your closet!

Rekers is an upstanding, 61-year-old white Christian homophobic and has all the credentials of a great deceiver. He is a Baptist minister, was a member of the founding board of the reactionary Family Research Council and is on the board of National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

According to various reports, he has been a research fellow at Harvard University, taught at the University of South Carolina, is editor of “Handbook of Child and Adolescent Sexual Problems” and author of “Growing Up Straight: What Families Should Know About Homosexuality,” books that seek to ensure that children grow up straight, and has repeatedly testified against gay adoptions. He prides himself for his moderate stand on homosexuality, insisting on “the rights of individuals with unwanted homosexual attraction to receive effective psychological care.”
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6 Weirdest Things Men Do to Their Penises

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Originally published on Alternet. written by Andy Wright

You can’t really say the penis doesn’t get enough attention. There’s a fertility festival in Japan called Kanamara Matsuri that celebrates the appendage, there’s the Icelandic Phallological Museum, and a Chinese penis restaurant where diners can sup on the wangs of various animals. At one point, a luxury car manufacturer scrapped plans to produce an SUV upholstered in whale penis due to pressure from environmentalists.

The only place where penises seem to go overlooked is at the drugstore. While entire sections are devoted to the de-scenting and cleaning of women’s genitals (most of which do more harm than good) there’s no “masculine care” aisle. Men just aren’t expected to put as much time and thought into maintaining and modifying their junk.

But that doesn’t mean men haven’t fallen prey to unattainable standards of perfection as well, going under the knife and performing dangerous procedures at home, to attain the perfect penis. And by “perfect,” I mean huge. The majority of services available to men in the genital upkeep department promise to make their penises bigger and thicker. But while medically questionable procedures to enhance the penis abound, it’s only one of the many things men can do to their nether regions in the name of perfection.

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Women Have Lots of Casual Sex — Get Over It

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Written by Josey Vogels / My Messy Bedroom

Why is it that a woman who enjoys casual sex is pegged as “having sex like a man?” The question bugged Jocelyn Wentland, a Masters student in the Department of Family Relations and Human Development at Guelph University. “Even with all of the changes to stereotypes, as a society we continue to view sexual behaviour as belonging to either a man or a woman,” complains Wentland. “Sexual behaviour that doesn’t fit nicely into [the expected behaviour of either gender] gets viewed as ‘out of the norm.’ So women who don’t act like the ‘nice girl’ who only has sex in the context of a committed relationship get pegged as ‘acting like a man.’”

Unfortunately, most of the research on women and sex these days seems to focus on “sexual dysfunction.” There’s little research, says Wentland, on women who actually like sex, and what little there is, is hopelessly out of date and doesn’t reflect what’s actually going on out there. So she did her own.
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Cum Has 2,000 Calories!?: Sex According to Right-Wing Moralist Crusaders

This article originally appeared on Sexis. Written by LadyJ

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Thanks to the moralists entrusted with my sexual education, it wasn’t until my 20s that I understood sex could be enjoyed for reasons other than reproduction.

For many who grew up in America public Sex Education did a lot more harm than good. When you’re taught that sex is not a recreational activity—unless you’re a disease-ridden whore—and condoms don’t work (if you have sex, you WILL get pregnant). Let’s just say, it’s a lot to overcome.

A few years ago, a grad school friend and I—both educators—were swapping some personal stories. He regaled me with a memory dating back to Catholic elementary school, of an assembly to warn the kids against committing the evil sin of abortion.

When I think of all the sins a prepubescent Catholic-school-educated 9-year-old is capable of committing a few things come to mind: pilfering communion wafers, putting a frog in the holy water, hiding in the confessional, perhaps. Abortion? Not so much.

But, in any event, a panel sat on a stage before the impressionable children: half abortion rights activists, half anti-abortion nun crusaders. Tension among the panel members ran high, tempers flared and, according to my friend, at some point the conversation came to blows, as scores of horrified children looked on.

I may be taking some liberties when I imagine a sister whipping out a pair of nunchucks from her habit as a member of her posse reveals her rosary—a Chinese throwing star where the crucifix should be. Sister St. Bruce Lee takes aim at the pro-choice Jezebel, who is presently beating Mother Superior silly with her own well-seasoned ruler. And all of this in the name of sex education.
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