"You'll Never Be As Good As My Porn"

That's what her boyfriend told her. "You'll never be as good as my porn, so we're done." 

I had just finished performing for a high-school group in North Dakota when I felt like I needed to tell the students that the point of my sharing poems like Pretty In Pornography, Kaleidoscope and Resentment is not so that I can be the edgy speaker who shocks kids at a fall camp and leaves youth pastors afraid of talking to parents when they get home. The point was that, perhaps, they would find the courage to experience freedom in confession and repentance. So, I sat back down, and the first response to that call was from a young woman who had been told by her boyfriend that she would never be as satisfying to him as the porn he was addicted to, so there was no point in trying. Since then, the girl has wrestled with self-hatred, eating disorders, and a general hopelessness regarding the male race. My hope is that she was able to receive Jesus' rest in exchange for her deeply, devastatingly premature burdens that night.

I've posted a couple of different articles that I have read recently on pornography, social media and the increasing sexualization of young people in today's technological era. One of which was written by former Loaded Magazine editor Martin Daubney  The other, a Vanity Fair writeup on what the issues at hand are doing to America's teenage girls. Both articles are relatively mature (so consider yourselves forewarned), but I think that both articles were valuable as a man who is continually seeking to walk in the light regarding these issues, and as someone who is hoping to serve others here, specifically. For youth leaders, pastors, parents, teachers, and missionaries to student culture, etc, it is so important to understand what you are walking into, and these articles give us a pretty colorful picture of the current climate. For some people, it will be old news, for others, you'll feel like you've been walking in the dark. 

In 2008, I spent four months interning at HM Magazine in Austin, TX. During that time, I participated in a small group with the editor's family, and one of the questions that was posed was, "What is a dream that you would like see come into fruition?" I had all kinds of aspirations, and I don't guess I remember all of them, but one was that the Lord would redeem my past by allowing me to serve others with my future, specifically in relation to pornography. Thinking back on it now, I'm amazed, and it's a good thing to keep in perspective, too, because I'll be honest, it's a pretty tiring subject to keep coming back to. Five years in, though, Pretty In Pornography, despite all its potential to irritate and polarize, remains the main request among those that have followed this project. I realize that I am watching the Lord answer my prayers daily, before my very eyes, far above and beyond anything I'd envisioned six years ago on a ranch in the middle of Texas. 

Many of you regularly ask me questions about porn. Not for one second am I going to act like an expert on the subject, but I do have a story, and I believe in Jesus' truth, and I have written relatively extensively about what it has looked like as Jesus' truth continues to invade and redeem my story. Many of you may not know that I also blog and speak for XXXChurch.com, which is where the majority of this writing is posted, because although "Levi The Poet", as a project, includes this conversation, it isn't the focal point, here. Below, in an effort to direct you both to some of my personal writing on the subject and to the greatly resourceful community which has hosted it, I've listed a number of posts for you to check out. 

Lastly, for the time being, pray for me? For fidelity. For purity. For endurance. And for a lifetime of it. I know that I am not always able to respond to everyone, but know that I pray the same for you. 

 

Levi's XXXChurch.com Student's Blog:

Bands on Porn (Vol. 1)

Creatures of Habit

Marital Love Is Like Death

Even Ryan Gosling Can Learn: Crazy. Stupid. Purity.

God's Character In Relation To Steamy Sexy Sex

First Timers: How I Learned About Sex

Masturbation: Good Or Bad?

Feeling The Shame

Growing In Maturity

Getting To The Root of the Issue

What Can Leaders In Your Life Do To Help You Stay Pure

Sharing Your Struggles With Others

How Well Do You Know Yourself?

How Can I Be A Leader

 

Your turn: What has your experience with pornography been? What is your opinion of it? Are there ways in which social networking and technology have accelerated or accentuated its presence in your life, the way it has in the lives of those linked into the Vanity Fair story above?


Many of you submit daily questions about life, death, and everything in between. This is the first in a new series of blogs in which I hope to respond to the most common of them. Search through and submit your own using #AskLTP.