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Porn, Cyber Sex & Internet Idols: Part 1

The world might have moved beyond the era of stashing away magazines, but it has not

moved beyond the secret life formed by pornography.

Is porn actually capable of any good?

Is it life giving or life sucking?

What kind of standard does it set for women?

Is it entertainment or a new drug?

In a time where movies, music, and social media are infiltrated by pornography like never before, it's time to take a stand and take a deeper look at our what we consume. Join Renee and Anna Gray as they jump straight into the tough questions and share their own stories of hurt, betrayal, but most importantly - hope and healing - from the affects of porn.



00:00 Renee So today's topic is porn pornography, porn with a capital P. And on that note, thank you very much. What do we learn from that? What did we learn from that? And a gray. Okay. So let's talk about porn.

00:27 Anna Gray Let's talk about porn. Yes.

00:30 Renee I, okay. The deal with porn. I remember there's a couple of flashbacks that I was having when I was walking the dog, and I was thinking when the internet was new, relatively new. We had just gotten a new computer and my children were in there or they weren't even, there were twins. That was how many years ago? 20 years ago. So we got the new computer and you needed a gigantic table to put it on because it was that spread out. And it waited time, waited time. Um, and it was my great idea because one of my kids was doing a study in the white house, um, you know, they were, we were talking about the white house and the role of American government or something. So I go, Oh, let's use the internet. And I'm like, beep-bopping over to it. I typed in the URL and I didn't type in the right, url, and it should have been dot gov and I didn't do that. And when I did that, we're sitting there and I'm waiting, you know, a picture first up comes up of the Capitol. I mean, the white house, I'm like, Oh, good. We're going to learn maybe their tours or something. We, you know, who knows what history I was trying to be an interactive parent, trying to do something good with the internet. And all of a sudden all the pixels start to come together in the middle. And I'm going, what is that? I just, I look and I'm going, no, I must be seeing incorrectly. That cannot be right. Q Beethoven's fifth. And it slowly materialized into a naked woman. And my, my child screamed, I screamed and I ran away from it. And I pulled every single cord I could to stop it. I had pushed every single button and gone crazy. And then the, it had, the cord had to be pulled.

02:59 Anna Gray So was it a pornography website? And it was just, you were supposed to type in dot gov and put.com and it's a whole point of a website.

03:05 Renee It was apparently, I don't know if that's still the case. And I don't suggest checking it out. I just remember someone saying, well, no, someone said that, um, the porn sites, they were buying up all the, uh, national sites. And apparently this is, yes. And they were using it. Now, I don't know if this is true or not, but at that time, I wasn't going to test the theory nor was I going to talk to anybody about it, but I'd heard from another mother that that's what was going on because I was very, very shocked. And, and that was a very early time. And we're talking 20 years ago. I became very fearful of the internet. Like what can it do? And if you get the wrong address, this could be detrimental. Um, so I was very, very cautious after that, but you still, you know,

03:52 Anna Gray so I mean, I think now. Pornography is so easily accessed. I mean, I know we've talked a bazillion times about social media. Well, it's interesting because I was born in the late 1900s. So I remember when the internet was much more limited than it is now. iPhones did not exist. Apps didn't exist. The world of Instagram and Facebook didn't exist, but I remember the first ever time I encountered pornography, it was in someone's closet and granted. It was, I think it was, it was a calendar full of women. And it was a sports illustrated kind of a thing. So it wasn't playboy, but I remember the shock. I think I was seven years old. And I remember I opened this dark little closet in someone's house. And saw it stashed in the back. And of course it's in a closet. You know, no one's going to just display that on their countertop by the coffee pod to do their daily tasks and things. But it's interesting because even back then, even though it wasn't full front nudity, my seven year old brain quickly registered. This is not just, you know, a belt catalog with women modeling to a mare. This is obviously, and it was a man's too. So, but I think nowadays, because we have so much access, I was just having this conversation with somebody today because we were talking about, you know, the pitfalls of social media, et cetera. And just how much instant and free access we have. And I think our generation now has learned to almost not accept boredom and mundane. So we're constantly scrolling and literally everything is one click away. But the thing that, the thing that, okay, bothers me, I think the most is that. I don't want to say most people don't see it or see it the same way we do, but what I would label as soft core pornography. So much of the world doesn't. And especially with what spans my feed, like people who could be your neighbor,

06:05 Renee posting literal trash, you know, whereas back. Well, give me an example. What would, what are you talking about?

06:10 Anna Gray Oh my gosh. Bikini thongs with half of your tits falling out and your butt cheeks facing the camera, these contorted poses where it's clearly the depiction is look at my body parts. I don't want to be, you know, women saying they don't want to be seen as a piece of me yet, literally depicting themselves as a piece of me and people liking it. And men, even Christian men, because I've seen this and screenshot it with my own

06:35 Renee eyes multiple times. Well, and men doing the same thing. Yeah.

06:40 Anna Gray And it's, it's frustrating because back, back in the day you had to buy this stuff and I'm not condoning it, but it's, it could be kept a better secret, but it feels like in modern America, 2023, nobody sees it as even pornography because we're just, we're desensitized to it. We flippantly scroll and even it's not just social media either. It's, it's images everywhere. It's like literally everything. I mean the grocery store. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

07:12 Renee The magazines, you're just going really bright.

07:15 Anna Gray You know, and even like early 2k Abercrombie and Fitch, you know, the low rise jeans, the literally how they would cut off the heads of people and have just abs on their bags, you know, to shop with.

07:27 Renee Yes. So, no, I, I, I get, I get what you're saying because I mean, I remember. And just the power of being in a neighborhood in the seventies and this is in the seventies and we would go, you know, to the, the magazine was coming into the house, so it's not just necessarily technology, it's, it's publications, it's whatever. And it would be shared and you know, it would eventually get to us females and we would see it or we'd sneak up into the tree house and see all this. Um, and it was shocking. Um, but you know, the curiosity ever takes you when you look and it carries a really certain weight the rest of your life, it cannot be undone. And so the fact that it is coming in even easier on Instagram and whatnot, I mean, or anything, not just Instagram, any, I don't know about you, but I like, like something's going wrong with my phone is something's clicking on it. And these things are getting through, even though I have filters and whatnot. Like on social media or email or all of it is email. And I was going, my spam is like a pornography website and I have no idea why, how invading my phone and it's popping up and I'm going to have to show it to you later because I went to all the notifications and everything is off. And I am blocking all these people. I'm like, oh my goodness. But it's amazing how it infiltrates and it gets through. It gets through.

09:10 Anna Gray Like coming to your text messages. Oh, that's creepy.

09:15 Renee Yes. It's very creepy. So I think the deal is there's the people out there just, they're paid to figure out a way to get this in front of you. Um, and I remember back in the day at once, sometime it was probably 10 years ago, there was a statistic that 200 websites a year, I mean, day porn sites

09:36 Anna Gray are being added to the internet, you know, and I mean, wait, 200 a day a day. So people even go to access.

09:45 Renee I mean, you have the large motherships like porn hub that, oh, I don't know. I don't go to porn hub, but I mean, what is it?

09:56 Anna Gray Oh my gosh. Sex tapes.

09:58 Renee And by the way, this is a PG 13 at least. Viewer discretion advised. Yeah. Trigger warning. Yes. We will have that in the beginning. Trigger. Yeah. Yeah. So there's sites that I mean, and people know about that. Yeah.

10:13 Anna Gray And they'll use children on it too.

10:16 Renee You know, it's yeah, it's insane. Oh, okay. Well, so this, how has it affected your life? How has going into the closet? And seeing all that as a child affected your life as a whole? Cause I know how it affected me as a child.

10:36 Anna Gray Like things you kind of can't see. I would say, say that again. Yeah. The things we cannot unsee. You cannot. I mean, I think people, I will add who have been addicted to porn struggle with it. I do believe people can heal from it, but much like traumatizing experiences from the past, you still remember things, even if it doesn't carry the same kind of weight it used to, you can't necessarily just unsee it. I would say from an early age, because I was seven and that wasn't even hardcore pornography, right? I saw, gosh, I remember the next time I saw it was actually someone in the library looking at hardcore stuff on a computer, which was weird. I was around the same age to like seven or eight, but at that age, it was more of a shock kind of a thing of why would women want to pose like this and why the heck would men want to look at this stuff either? Because it felt very dirty. It felt. I, and I didn't know the word objectification when I was a seven year old, but I remember something in my spirit felt on very uneasy and grossed out by it. But I think I was affected more when I was in my earlier twenties, because there was an instance that I swung open a bedroom door and turn on the lights. And this was someone who was like very important in my life at one point. And I had no idea about what I was going to see on the wall and plus like literally plaster all over the wall. Not one or two pictures, not even, Oh, I found a stash of pictures or the magazine in their drawers was plastered with women from sports illustrated in these tiny bikinis, boobs, you know, but probably, I don't even remember how many images, but it was the other shock. I had an out of body experience, I feel like in all the wrong ways. And it's like, we both looked at it and it was, you know, it was with a guy. And we said absolutely nothing, but it's like, without saying anything, our silence said absolutely the light, the light that was flicked on and then our silence said absolutely everything. And so I think that's what it affected me more and more so I thought about the more mild cases of pornography I experienced as a child and some of the same questions, but you know, relationally it was, well, why are these women so great? Like, why do they have to be looked at in the same way? And why do women have to depict themselves like this? What is even the attraction? You know, like, because to me, pornography is all about body parts. It's not about, it's not a beautiful photo or a work of art of somebody that's really highlighting their beauty and their soul and who they are as a person. Pornography is literally like severing off someone's most tasty body parts, you know, their legs, their torso, and it's like serving it up on a bloody platter and handing it to someone. There's nothing redeeming about, there's nothing life-giving about it.

13:54 Renee It's a quick fix. Yeah.

13:55 Anna Gray It's a quick thrill. And it gives absolutely nothing in return. And I think the people who I've encountered men specifically who have, who were addicted to pornography, they were very, they had very dark sexual fetishes that were really uncomfortable to me. And to the point that it was like they were normalizing completely dark, grotesque behavior, even harmful behavior. So those are my earliest encounters with it. And it's not that it was necessarily, I wouldn't say that I was traumatized by it, but I would always find out people's secrets. That's the thing too. People keep it secret or they try to keep it so secret. If pornography for men or people who can donate, if it really weren't supposedly this terrible thing, why is that always kept a secret? You know, why do we, why isn't it out on the coffee table with the other magazines, like with Home and Garden? Why is it, you know, in closets or why are we not opening the door and we're scared to turn on the lights as we? Show you. Yeah. And these are Christian men we're talking about too. I'm not just talking about people who have no worldview or have faith. Literally this is a problem with Christian men and same on Instagram. Well, and I think like these images.

15:18 Renee And I think what you're saying too is there's a difference between fine arts and beauty and humanizing a person. When this dehumanizes a person, depersonalize them, it gives that person a quick thrill and whatever he or she needs, and then they can walk away. And I do think, I think we talked about it yesterday. Um, the difference, the huge difference, there's a lack of intimacy. And I think this is the deep, deep harm. And that's why then you, it goes darker and deeper because then you're not, if you're not having intimacy, you're not treating that person as a human. You know, that person is there just as your toy and you can do whatever you want, um, with them without, and it's, it's just there for your pleasure. I mean, I, that's how I grew up. I mean, it was the seventies. It was very wild. Um, um, because, you know, all these had come out, all these things had come home in our neighborhoods. All the boys had looked at them, all the girls had looked at them. Um, so it was rather a wild, wild west childhood in that, that regard. Um, but it does instruct you, you know, it starts, you know what it is? It's, it makes you, um, sexual before your time. Yeah, exactly.

16:48 Anna Gray Like awakening things in children and in teenagers that is not meant to be awakened at all. Yeah. We're like the kids who should be playing hide and go seek, you know, tag, making paper airplanes before they're even 13 years old. There are, and I know I bring up Instagram a lot, but it's just, this is literally the new host for free instant pornography and I think it's really sickening because it robs children of innocence and it puts even the stereotype of this is what you should look like. This is how, and it makes it, it, it tries to normalize what women should look like and men too. I know I'm saying men, but we're both women, so this is from just a woman's perspective, so I'm not pinning it that it's just, you know, women who are objectified because men are, you know, women consume pornography as well. And men also pose and model, if you can call it quote modeling, exploit themselves in the pornography industry.

17:54 Renee Well, and I think it comes in so many different forms because I remember grabbing books that were laying around the house. And so I picked it up and I thought, oh, this looks good. I would look and it was raging porno. I mean, at a very young age, before 50 shades of gray came onto the scene light years before that, we're talking, uh, 50 years, maybe slightly less, maybe 48 before, I mean, whenever shades of gray came out. Um, but I was stunned and they're very addicting. I just started reading them and they become very addicting. You just want more and more and more. But the one thing about it, when you become older and you're standing in line to buy those books, you are hiding them. You're, you make sure you put them under, you put it under the, the paper towels or whatever, and you don't want anybody to look at it. I think innately, we know there's something shameful about it and to be hidden. And so I don't know. I think the access has been around. I mean, all you have to do is look at ancient Rome and it was a pretty bad place. Yeah.

19:55 Anna Gray I think it bothers me how much people try to normalize it though, whether it's literary porn, visual porn, even in the music industry, but I'm very much a candidate that what you consume is what you become. And I think that people don't think about the long-term effects of this stuff. They also don't realize that every single person they're looking at did not necessarily sign up to do pornography, especially, I know the whole child pornography issue is a whole other issue and almost tied to like sex slavery. But, and it's not to condone pornography, even if it's consensual, but a lot of it is not, is not consensual. And so you're exploiting someone who could have possibly been forced into it. But even if that's not the case, I think it teaches people that you can never be satisfied because it always gives the crave for more. And once it escalates to so many levels, you know, it's like, what's next. And then you go into the crazy like BDSM aspect and the idea that someone should or can enjoy being harmed or harming somebody. And I don't care how consensual it is, is so twisted to me because I don't think that love is harming somebody or saying, yeah, I enjoy, you know, to me, it says there's something so psychologically darkened about this, but people try to fight it or even married people will fight and say, oh, well, it's okay to watch porn with your husband, with your wife. But I think that's absolutely just as absurd because you're still, there's someone else in the mix who's not your spouse. Yeah. And you're exploiting somebody else who's not, you know, and it teaches this constant crave versus being satisfied in your partner. But even if you're not married, even if you're in no relationship, it's creating this fetish with somebody who you have no emotional connection to. And it's literally the idea that they're only there for your sexual gratification and instant quick fix, you know, but you're still never satiated. Yeah.

22:20 Renee No, and it never ends. Yeah. You know, the interesting thing is to come out on this because, you know, we're talking to people and it sounds like we're prudes. It sounds like we're being a prude at this point in time. I mean, but we are very good. We're both single women at this time and, um, and it's okay to be a prude. Yeah, it is very, very okay. Prudes unite. But we're not advocating prudishness and marriage. We feel like they're, you know, God created sex, he created it very well. And it is to be enjoyed between a man and a woman. And it is to be truly, truly enjoyed. Um, I do think when we use extracurricular activities, you know, as a married couple, there is, you know, in the end, a person's going to feel challenged by that because, you know, things happen when you get your sixth decade or whatever, you know, things, gravity, like I said, gravity happens. Um, and you're also challenged because you can never be that perfect. We've all heard about the airbrushed image. No one can be that perfect. And we're living up to a standard that is so unreal.

23:41 Anna Gray It is, it's mind boggling. It's totally devastating to me too, because, because there are so many young children, not even just preteens, but I think the youngest child I've seen on Instagram, and I'm sure way younger is 10 or 11 years old. They're seeing these standards and it's like the world is saying, this is what you should be as a woman and also telling children that they are basically a piece of meat to be enjoyed by somebody, you know? And I think that, I think that because there's so much access to it and because it's becoming so normalized, like people don't see it, I think that we're raising an entire generation to quite literally see themselves as an object, but no one realizes it. And that's, I think my biggest question is how, how do people not see this? I don't know. I feel, and it makes me feel like a prude. And I told someone on the dating scene months and months back that I, I told them point blank. I said, I honestly probably sound like a prude and I'm really okay with that, but I'll go down into my grave single and waving my little flag of values before I will be. Yeah. Because we were talking about pornography, these kinds of things, you know, and just my values with that. And I, I said the same thing that I just felt like such a prude, but I'm okay with it.

25:10 Renee But I think there, I think what's neat, if we could somehow make morals hip again, yeah, you know, and a moral code, I mean, we're both Christians, but a moral code of respecting yourself enough in your body that you're not going to give it away this way, or you're not going to put this in your mind. Wouldn't that be interesting if that were because somehow that became an interesting idea to people. I mean, if you think about it, keep down the side, all this is respecting yourself. And then when you either engage in either side, you're either the, you know, the viewer or the, the objection, the objection, the object, the object. There's a, there's a lack of respect. I don't know. I think it would be something, I can't even imagine a world like it.

26:17 Anna Gray Well, I think it's, it's not prudent. Well, it's like culture has made it. Culture has told women that to be quote unquote free, they've given the idea that to be free, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want with absolutely zero consequences. And we buy into that. And we and I'm going back to Instagram culture again, like the endless selfies that I'm so like the Kim Kardashian kind of idea, right? Like boobs, but bikini thong, full front nudity even. And I mean, she became famous for her sex tape that was leaked, which is absolutely by her mother, right? I don't know that exactly how, but that was the beginning to the Kim Kardashian culture. But women buy into the idea that to be quote unquote liberated and free means that you can do whatever you want, even if it comes to the cost of devaluing yourself. And so we're seeing this entire generation of people, like posting and engaging in what I would consider softcore pornography, you know, and obviously there's the whole, yes, we have fine art and, you know, fine art nudes from, you know, ancient Rome, but there's a whole form and content to it that's completely different than people who whose underlying motive is to draw attention and sexualizing themselves for one other's enjoyment, you know? And so I think that because there's really the facade that, oh, well, wearing less and flaunting yourself means you're a freer woman and people who don't buy into that culture, who don't want to or feel uncomfortable with it must have some sort of block or hang up or something. When I'm thinking, shouldn't it be in the reverse? I mean, you don't have to wear a burka. And I get that the whole modesty issue is kind of culturally subjective and, you know, even swimwear and such. But the idea that I have to depict myself as a half naked piece of meat on Instagram and have men looking at this stuff, or even like, I imagine if my parents saw this, it's so like, to me, it's really awkward. And I don't, I don't understand how women can post this stuff, but especially knowing people are looking at it. I mean, unless they're really selective. And then it goes to the consumer too. Why do men and women not filter what they're looking at? Like, are we really so desensitized that we don't see what we're looking at as

29:06 Renee hypersexualized or see that it's a problem? I don't know. I'm just wondering though, the question I have for you is, can we go back? As in? Is there a way? I mean, you're talking to somebody who grew up in the 70s, who this is nothing new, you know, and then you look, you look back over the centuries, you know, you just do a quick, quick scan of some of the important literature and whatnot. Or even the pulp literature of the 1800s and 1900s. It was very, there was some very racy things. So the problem is, is how do we, I mean, obviously their cultures were more hidden about it, but we have let the cat out of the bag. How do we stuff that baby back? How do we go back?

Depression, Anxiety & Reality Brutality: Part 2

00:00 Anna Gray I think that people should be guarded and err on the side of their convictions. Have maybe even their own crisis plan written out, which like literally down to their own literally like

Depression, Anxiety & Reality Brutality: Part 1

How do we navigate depression and anxiety when they interrupt as unwanted visitors? We cannot always control what happens to us, but we can control how we move forward. The multi-gen duo gets personal

Porn, Cyber Sex & Internet Idols: Part 2

Part 2 of Moral Tea's series on porn and cyber sex. Is porn actually capable of any good? Is it life giving or life sucking? What kind of standard does it set for women? Is it entertainment or a new d

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