Nudity, Erotica and Porn
When masturbation or fantasizing is mentioned some immediately think “porn.” For them it is all the same. But personally, I differentiate between nudity, erotica, and porn.
Nudity can just be a depiction of “the image of God.” Whether it depicts the male or female body, it has a beauty all its own.
It would be good to get over the Christian cultural fear of seeing it in film or in print. The statue of Michelangelo’s statue of King David shows him in all of his glory, and it is a spiritually edifying masterpiece, naked penis, testicles, and all.
Female nudity in art and film is also just a thing of beauty, and nothing to be feared. And yes, I know by pleasant personal experience that for a hormonally charged teenage boy almost any nudity is just plain sexual and results in instant stimulation. But a pretty adolescent girl walking down the street can have the same effect. And the simple fact is that sexual arousal is really not a problem to the Christian. It is pure, healthy, and the way God intended it to be. Even in old age it is one of the delightful things that makes us human, and fully alive.
Erotica takes nudity a step further and intentionally adds a sensual element for the purpose of sexual stimulation. For some this is shockingly sinful. But we need to ask the question, “What does God think?”
And porn . . . well, I think porn is simply disgusting. It takes what is good and godly and most often depicts it in a way that is demeaning and degrading. Rather than show the beauty and glory of human sexuality it lowers it to a beastly act between two rutting animals. It shows sexual acts done in a way that focuses not on the beauty of the male and female form, nor on the God given joy of lovemaking, but on base animal mechanics. There is no beauty of sensuality; it is all just raw physical sex. Penis in vagina, or mouth, or rectum; get it up, put it in, and get it off; do so in preferably as impersonal and degrading a way as possible; graphic depictions of men using women simply as pieces of available flesh with breasts, butts, and vaginas with which to gratify their fleshly instincts; often depicting people doing what people who love each other would never do. Loving couples have fun during lovemaking; it is not pain, or degradation - it is pleasure.
Porn vs. Eroticism
For some folks any depiction of nudity or sexual activity is porn, and they may be right. However, I have seen some sexual scenes that left little to the imagination, yet were both beautiful and respectful. They definitely did not seem to be pornographic.
I think the difference between porn and eroticism (erotically stimulating materials) is not so much in how much they show but how they show it. It is a matter of attitude and approach, not appearance. Porn manages to do what I thought could never be done; make sex something ugly, degrading, mechanical, and boring.
If you do feel at liberty to enjoy nudity and eroticism and make it a part of your life then by all means make sure it really is just that. Anything that depicts sexuality as less than the wonderful mutually enjoyable gift with which God has blessed men and women is to be avoided at all costs.
Many in the church are morbidly afraid of any form of nudity (even though there is lots in Scripture) or eroticism (read the Song of Solomon) and regard our sexuality, especially that of singles, as more of a problem to be solved than a pleasure to be privately enjoyed. This is an important subject and this site is not the place to explore it fully. All I am really trying to say is that the subject needs some clear fresh thinking. Thinking that is not afraid to logically examine the issue, and the possibilities.