Pornography and Spirituality

There was a story in the papers today about how a study on young men’s porn habits was incapable of finding any guys under the age of 20 who had never seen it. It was just a small story so I don’t know if the study looked at guys from religious backgrounds, but it struck me nevertheless as surprising… I guess we have finally reached that point in our civilization where nobody is immune to porn.

I’ve had an old friend visiting us for the past week who is very spiritual and negative about porn. To him, it sucks away your energy and disposition to do anything else. But, because he’s a straight guy, I wonder if the same can be said about gay men. For myself, I do think it takes away from my focus on other things (e.g. writing fiction) but I’m very far from being a serious addict. However, he’s given me plenty to think about – especially about my own spirituality – to wonder about removing porn completely from my life.

Right now, for example, I’m watching some porn on the corner of the screen as I write this. I go to it like a fly to honey – I’m incapable of resisting when the opportunity arises. I’d love to know other boys’ porn habits: how often, how much, when, where, with who, etc. I’d like to think more about the connection of porn with our spiritual selves – is it necessary for the identity of a gay man? Do we as a group need to overcome it in order to evolve? Do we learn more about ourselves by perfecting its creation and dissemination?

I look to Buddhism and mediation for an answer at the moment. I look to my friends’ examples and to more love with my partner (more time with him means less time here.) I hope to get answers soon.

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