I have a half-finished post briefly outlining that men bringing pornography consumption into their marriages has been part of American married life since World War II. This of course goes against the narrative that men are “driven” to seek out pornography because mean mean wives are withholding sex as a tool of control and dominance. But the historical evidence is on the side of the man bringing the habit into the marriage and retroactively blaming the wife when the sex life goes awry.
“Missing Stair” is a reference from a promoter of deviant sexuality discussing the shocking fact that when you devote your free time to obsessively pursuing a sexual fetish, the subculture you create attracts predators and abusers like flies to fresh manure. The missing stair is the way that the subculture coalesces around the abusers to work around their abusive tendencies and still keep pursuing the other forms of deviance as a group.
This working around a bad actor can occur outside the world of sexually deviant subcultures, and it does occur in settings that are not themselves “missing stairs” to the culture at large.
Which brings me to this post. Pornography is a huge elephant in the room regarding sexual marriage dynamics and pretending it’s harmless or trivial because “it’s just pictures/video” illustrates just how deep the corruption and protection of evil to feed unrepentant depravity goes.
One of the issues with 2016 marriages is that they involve men and women who came of age just as pre-teen pornography exposure became something that was easy to do accidentally and very easy to do intentionally.
From the male side, when men are exposed from age 9 or 10 to frequent graphic sexual imagery of women, it’s disorienting at best for them to step outside and go to a shop. The female store clerk isn’t…behaving correctly. Neither are the women chatting to each other by the cereal aisle wearing the…right clothing. Or…behaving correctly. And forget talking to a girl, it’s almost offputting because she just isn’t behaving according to what you are used to women doing constantly for hours per day in multiple browser windows and screens.
And this is at best. Many men respond to this disorientation by resenting or even hating regular women for not acting like erotic automata.
Christian ministries around pornography are trying to grapple with something that is in some ways more serious than regular brothel visits or having a mistress. The ladies in the brothel and the mistresses are, after all, actual women who will slip up and act normally sometimes in the course of things.
The missing stair here is of course the idea that the plastic unreality of the porn women is safer, less sinful, perhaps even not a sin within a marriage. I certainly hope one might see the problem with this reasoning. Women doing that sort of thing are at best having natural feminine impulses distorted all out of human recognition and reduced to strange and increasingly perverse transactional assaults on the senses. And at worst they’re being drugged and physically coerced into participation.
Any Christian man saying that some women should exist in this plastic evil world so some men can pretend their wives are the obstacle to an ordered and chaste married sex life is promoting sin and evil and maneuvering around an entire missing staircase of sin.