OPINION: Shame aggravates sex addictions
Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 8, 2012 12:11
All over the school sidewalks and concrete staircases are messages written in chalk promising good times and Aggie ice cream if students will attend “Fight Night” for the new anti-pornography group Fight the New Drug.
As I walked over the advertising for Fight Night over and over again today, it seemed like with each bit of chalk that rubbed off on my shoe I got a little angrier. It wasn’t because of the irony that Fight the New Drug is offering Aggie ice cream, after comparing pornography to sugary food addiction. It wasn’t because this group deceitfully compares adult pornography to child pornography. It wasn’t even because I hate chalk and love porn.
My anger stems from having to watch yet another group of people in Utah trying to get into others’ lives and bedrooms and tell them what to do — or don’t do.
America is well-known for its strange deference to all things sexual. But Utah exhibits an even more radical form of sexual suppression. The prevalent culture in our state makes it difficult for young adults and teens to have healthy sexual relationships with themselves and others. And it’s not because sex just isn’t talked about, although sex education in Utah is comprehensive only, and teachers are not allowed to discuss homosexual matters with students.
It’s because of the avidly anti-sex sentiments our state possesses. Pre-marital sexual relations are damnable, and deserving of social ostracism. Right here in Logan, signs on buses promise success only if marriage comes before sex. Every day, young men and women meet with their bishops and pastors who actually ask them if they masturbate, and then are spiritually and emotionally punished if they do.
Pregnant teens are forced to transfer schools, or drop out because of the humiliation. Rumors of “slutty” behavior abound around those who kiss — they don’t even have to tell. Parents separate children from their lovers if they’re under 18, and woe betide the teen who asks for a trip to Planned Parenthood.
This isn’t normal. In fact, it’s just plain bizarre — and it has serious consequences. Our friends at Fight the New Drug are the perfect example of this; they can tell you better than anyone that pornography addiction runs rampant in Utah. But rather than treat pornography like another urge that needs to be dealt with in a healthy way, they continually kick the pricks of evolution and insist that these sexual urges, expressed outside of a stereotypical relationship, are bad. Their website is rampant with religious paraphernalia that encourages the shame that causes the addiction in the first place.
Don’t watch porn. Don’t have sex. Don’t masturbate. Don’t lust. Don’t, don’t don’t — it adds up quickly and it has devastating consequences.