Friday, April 30, 2010

John Mayer on Porn and Relationships

A couple of months ago, a Playboy magazine interview with musical artist John Mayer caused a bit of controversy as Mayer shared his thoughts on sex, former girlfriend Jessica Simpson and African American women. Since I don't read Playboy (or look at the pictures), I haven't read the complete article. But several news sources have published excerpts from the full interview.

In addition to demonstrating a generally low view of women, Mayer unwittingly sheds light on the unintended consequences of "innocent" use of pornography. Craig Gross of XXX.com, a Christian ministry designed to help those struggling with addiction to pornography, has posted some of the interview as Mayer explains his porn use and the affect it has on him.

Disclaimer: The article excerpt is quite telling but it is somewhat frank in its language so you may want to stop reading if this sort of topic may offend you. I am writing about it because too many of the Christian students that I work with are struggling with this issue and it is rare that Christian ministers choose to address this relevant, albeit uncomfortable, topic.*

Here is a portion of Mayer's interview:
MAYER: I’m a self-soother. The Internet, DVR, Netflix, Twitter—all these things are moments in time throughout your day when you’re able to soothe yourself. We have an autonomy of comfort and pleasure. By the way, pornography? It’s a new synaptic pathway. You wake up in the morning, open a thumbnail page, and it leads to a Pandora’s box of visuals. There have probably been days when I saw 300 [naked girls] before I got out of bed.

PLAYBOY: What’s your point about porn and relationships?

MAYER: Internet pornography has absolutely changed my generation’s expectations. How could you be constantly synthesizing an orgasm based on dozens of shots? You’re looking for the one photo out of 100 you swear is going to be the one you finish to, and you still don’t finish. Twenty seconds ago you thought that photo was the hottest thing you ever saw, but you throw it back and continue your shot hunt and continue to make yourself late for work. How does that (porn) not affect the psychology of having a relationship with somebody? It’s got to. [emphasis mine]

PLAYBOY: You seem very fond of pornography.

MAYER: When I watch porn, if it’s not hot enough, I’ll make up backstories in my mind. My biggest dream is to write pornography.

PLAYBOY: Masturbation for you is as good as sex?

MAYER: Absolutely, because during sex, I’m just going to run a filmstrip. I’m still masturbating. That’s what you do when you’re 30, 31, 32. This is my problem now: Rather than meet somebody new, I would rather go home and replay the amazing experiences I’ve already had.
Here you've got an individual that has sold millions of records and has won multiple Grammy awards. He's worshipped by many as a guitar god and has dated some of Hollywood's most attractive women. But when it comes down to it, he'd rather masturbate to imaginary fantasies than to enjoy sex as God intended with one woman within the blessed union of marriage. He may be rich and famous and have 3 million followers on Twitter, but I feel sorry for him that he'll never experience the true love of a woman until he begins to live in reality and not fantasy.

Like all of us are prone to do, Mayer seeks to fill the void in his heart with something that can never fill the emptiness that he is experiencing. For Mayer his drug of choice is related to sex. For others of us it may be narcotics, alcohol, food, work or any other number of things. As French philosopher Blaine Pascal said,
"There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus."
As long as we run to other things than God to medicate us, we'll never fully be satisfied. A personal relationship with God introduces us to what real relationship is like and demonstrates how we can have healthy, intimate friendships with others without guilt, remorse or shame. Unfortunately, John Mayer is not alone. There are millions of men and women (including many Christians) that turn to porn instead of God to deal with the pain, emptiness, hurt and disappointment in their lives. But porn is not the answer. Jesus is. Turn to Christ since He has the power to change us in a way that airbrushed, impersonal photos never will.

*For a more in-depth discussion on pornography, you can read a previous post that I've written on the topic here.

1 comment:

David, justopenthebook.com said...

This is so sad. It's so true that the internet and the quick and easy access to porn is damaging those who use it and those relating to them in such a dramatic way. A great resource for anyone struggling to break free of the bondage of porn is www.settingcaptivesfree.com.