Wasteland Kings

In case you missed it, Playboy recently chose to stop running fully nude women in their magazines. I don’t know the full details of the decision, but I’ve seen the headlines and discussed the matter with friends. I haven’t done what most would call research because alcoholics shouldn’t go to bars and I shouldn’t research Playboy.

This shift from nudity to just promiscuity is not a good sign; it’s a negative indicator of our culture’s health.

While this seems like this is a mature move by the magazine into a more tame product, I doubt it has anything to do with maturity. The company is simply adapting to a marketplace which is no longer willing to pay money for their product.

When the magazine first came onto the scene, men didn’t have access to the internet and an endless amount of free pornography. All that has changed and a Google search can find guys almost anything they want. Why would anyone pay money for something they can get with a few taps on the keyboard.

Furthermore, the demand just for pictures of women has probably dropped through the floor. The access to more dramatic and powerful doses of pornography makes simple pictures seem trivial. Do you know any guys who prefer lighting a candle to starting a bonfire?

While I don’t have statistical data to back this up, I have years of experience as a consumer. I am not proud to say that at one point in my life I was a consumer of Playboy. I gave them money in exchange for one of my favorite drugs.

That wasn’t the case throughout all the years I was enslaved to porn though. Eventually, I moved on to more powerful doses of the drug. I doubt my fellow addicts have experienced a different journey in their consumption.

The power of novelty and our minds growing desire for more of the chemicals which result from porn makes us want more variety and bigger hits of the drug. Playboy’s decision to shift away from nudity isn’t a move towards less objectification and more purity in our culture. It’s the replacement of your local weed dealer with a heroine dealer.

This is bad news because the more powerful forms of pornography create more powerful chemical dependencies and leave bigger scars in our hearts.

If you offered me to look at pictures of naked women, I would laugh because I know without a sliver of doubt they aren’t worth the trouble. Some of the more powerful forms of porn are a different story. My mind still has strong associations and connections with those because they offered way more than just pictures. I still need God’s truth, accountability, prayer, and filtering software to help me battle those.

Simple pictures require a shake of the head and a shrug. The depths of my depravity call for a platoon of resources to fight. Playboy’s shift shows how their consumer base moved on from their magazine to something akin to the darker parts of my addiction.

Let me make this abundantly clear, the power of porn has a direct correlation to the perversity and darkness of it. Back in the day, the prideful and self-righteous part of me wanted me to be a ‘light’ porn consumer who didn’t look at anything ‘too bad’. As I looked at more though, I needed a stronger dose of the drug and that initiative failed completely.

I ended up looking at and hooked on things so much worse than pictures of naked women.

The same thing has happened to at least most of the porn users and addicts. This should wake you up to how big of a problem we’re facing. This monster we’ve fed for so long has grown so big that it’s shaken off one of it’s original caretakers.

Hugh Hefner’s has been kicked out of the party he helped start because the ‘freedom’ he brought to the world has enslaved us to things much more sinister than pictures of women. His part in this mess has not diminished though. The product he now plans to sell us will still bring plenty of destruction.

Covering up the most private parts of a woman does not cause a man to transition from objectifying a woman to honoring them. Those promiscuous pictures will now lead the way to the viewing of powerful porn instead of being passed over for it. I also know this from experience.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition was my gateway drug of choice for years. Looking at those pictures online or in the magazine would feel like an ‘okay’ thing to do and within an hour I would find myself knee deep in the depths of my addiction. One of the worst parts of the swimsuit edition is it’s acceptance or silence it meets in our culture.

At best, people debated whether it was sin or not and at worst people accepted it as okay. The fact that it’s sold in the checkout line of grocery stores is forever burned into my brain. It’s position there might as well be a loudspeaker blaring people’s acceptance of it.

The gossip magazines receive more ridicule and I assume they rarely lead to a porn addiction. As porn addicts, it makes a difference when our mothers, fathers, mentors, and friends walk right by one of the perpetrators in our life consuming addiction and say nothing. Your silence is screaming in our ears when we’re alone at our computers. 

Playboy’s decision is a sign of regression in our fight against pornography. How we respond to the new form of the magazine will play a major role in the coming battles. Celebrating the move or accepting the new format as progress will lead to greater destruction in the hearts and minds of those who suffer from a problem with porn.

What do you think is the size and seriousness of the pornography problem? Where do you think the problem starts? What do you think is the best way to fight it?


Image Copyright: vaticanus

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Light in the Dark
Old Manna

Matthew Rial