Sexting, Virtual Relationships, and the Erosion of Connectivity

Jeez, do we have a problem in the Good Ole UsofA! It used to be understood that there was not a family in our prosperous country not affected in some way by divorce–the erosion of the traditional nuclear family consisting of mother, father, and some “young uns.” It is no longer a stretch to say that most families in America have been affected by sexting, virtual relationships, and Internet pornography.

Pontificus always tries to be above board and up front regarding his own peccadilloes; to do otherwise would be disingenuous and hypocritical. He readily admits that he has over the years periodically “lost his mind” when tempted by a powerful visual image of a woman who rarely exists in the fine airbrushed state in which she is presented. Interpretation: “I have in the past gone to websites where I had no business going. I always felt sleazy afterwards and it always caused me great consternation.

The preponderance of websites and the easy availability of free images and videos are staggering. Who has not received an email promising the recipients that a simple pill can change the length of a man’s penis? How many teenagers and adults carry around with them mobile devices loaded with pictures that remain barely hidden from public purview?

So, Pontificus, what say ye, why is it wrong to see images of completely naked people–Poor William, Pontificus’s more worldly sibling, was not seen as completely naked in the snow in his spoof of a role as Mr. January, though his privates felt a shudder–in revealing and tempting poses, and why are sexting–the act of sending and receiving sexually explicit photos and messages via mobile devices, along with virtual relationships considered aberrant and harmful?

The reasons are legion, but several to pontificate on are as follows:

The images are not real; they are merely images and facsimiles requiring nothing of the viewer. They are made up of pixels and constructed largely in binary code. The persons represented as well as the voyeurs do not have to relate to anybody. Looking good is easy with modern photo-editing programs like Photoshop.

Traditionally, it has been thought that men were much more visually oriented than females, but the proliferation of television and the Internet has changed this dynamic. Women today are much more visually stimulated than they were one-to-two generations ago.

Pontificus finds no fault with observing and admiring beauty, but when it crosses into the prurient, puerile, and obsessive, it becomes a problem. It is too easy in our Internet savvy generation to find sexual gratification and release through masturbating to images where one does not have to seek the gratification of another.

God-ordained sex is about mutual pleasure and it is designed by God to be a give-and-take activity, whereby both partners in a monogamous relationship attempt to please the other one. Healthy sex is not designed to be a selfish endeavor; both parties should give and receive gratification. It is too easy in our modern, wired society to seek one’s own gratification and not have to attempt or be troubled with seeking another’s contentment.

What man or woman can live up to the image of beautiful people, who have been enhanced physically through surgery or editing? If a man or woman is constantly viewing and lusting after images of folks who do not represent reality, then they will likely not ever be satisfied with even a truly beautiful person who cannot attain the perfection presented in a photograph. We love what we focus on, so let’s focus on those we love and those we should love.

If Pontificus’s wife spent all day looking at Fabio’s pecs, then likely she would be somewhat nauseous gazing upon her husband’s man-breasts. Expectations can so easily become skewed. How many women can look as physically attractive as Heidi Klum?

If a woman’s significant other spends an inordinate amount of time looking at pictures and videos of the few women in the world who look like Heidi–even Heidi doesn’t look like Heidi–then she will likely never measure up to his expectations, and neither partner will be pleased with the other one or themselves.

Too many folks who rely on cyber-sex and pornography to meet their sexual needs become unable to be aroused by even extremely attractive people. They can only be aroused and climax when viewing ever-increasing deviant material.

If one is in a relationship and they are spending time in virtual relationships with others, then they too often become double-minded and do not focus on the needs of their partner.

Once one is gratified sexually in a one-sided encounter, he or she does not have to relate to anyone. In fact, there are no relations before, during, or after the solo-sex act. The person engaging in this type of “sex” becomes selfish and when he or she does have sexual relations with another, they are rarely focused or capable of focusing on the other’s pleasure.

Sexting, while seemingly harmless if transmitted between two consenting adults, too often allows for sexually charged photos and info to get into the hands of those it was not intended. Look at recent examples of football great Brett Favre and New York Congressmen Chris Lee and Anthony Weiner. But, it not just the getting into the hands of the non-intended; another problem is the time and energy these folks spend “relating” in a virtual way with folks they have no business relating to.

Sadly, though Americans are a generous, other-centered society in general, we have become too consumed with our own pleasure and in activities that do not require us to rub shoulders with others. We leave work, come home and park inside our garages, which do not require us to even know our neighbors names, then we flip on the television or get on the computer and spend our evenings not meeting other people’s real-life needs. Shame on us!

All connectivity brought about in our Internet generation is not bad, but all in all, communication at the speed of light has eroded our ability and desire to eyeball others while attempting to connect on deeper levels.

My sibling, Poor William, a bit looser than I, told me he agrees with my suppositions, but at least back in the day when a man looked at what was considered pornography in an old-school Playboy or Hustler that it didn’t diminish his desire to have non-virtual sex, in fact, it increased it. My writing this in no way lauds Poor William’s observation as wholesome, holy, or even okay, but he does have a point.

When a fellow or girl can no longer perform sexually with a real person, even if he or she is acknowledged as eye candy, then there is some serious wiring messed up in that person’s brain.

If we keep going down this path then the number of men addicted to virtual relationships, sexting, and cybersex will continue to increase. As a society, we run the risk of men becoming increasingly more effete and feminine, and that is not good for the human race.

It would behoove all of us to love the one we are with and find ways to meet the needs of those we love in a monogamous, god-fearing, relationship–tough in today’s virtual world, but worth the effort for all of us.



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  1. Lil John says:

    In the words of Kramer, “I’m out”

    True words PM. Will heed your words. I hope that I can try to cultivate in my children a more mature view of sex than I developed. I will wait a while before I give them your article, but I will. My feeble attempt at parenthood now consists of this to my daughter: “See that dog lying in the road licking himself? That’s a man, ALL men.”

  2. Lazarus says:

    I quit looking at dirty pictures for the same reason I quit looking at National Geographic and The Travel Channel. There is absolutely no reason to look at pictures of places that you can’t visit. Pornographic images can’t talk to you when you are lonely. They can’t hug you when you’ve had bad day. They can’t hold your hand, just because they enjoy your company. They can’t hold you when you are crying, because your Daddy has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Gimme the real thing!

  3. Heavy stuff P.M. Just think! One of our parents greatest fears were that we may turn into “The Beatles” or even worse, “A Long Haired Hippie”.

  4. Well said – anything worth having is worth working at (i.e. your relationships) and you never respect things that come easy (no pun intended!)

  5. A very good say on the PM. Here’s the deal: the brain, as an organ, is constantly evolving, depending on what we put into it… images, sounds, experiences, thoughts. We literally rewire ourselves over a period of time. When we pollute our brain, we corrupt our heart. When we corrupt our heart, we express the filth. It is the way our Creator made us, to have this choice. What goes in does not stay in; it comes out in some form…abuse, sadism, rape, violence, perversion. It dehumanizes and makes us weird. Bad dogs!!! the Word says to transform ourselves by the renewing of our mind. What you described is the flip side.

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