You Can’t Show That!

I was once teaching a year 9 (about 14 – 15-year-old) Religion Class. It may surprise you to know I am actually fully qualified to teach this subject which, at our school, is an academically oriented subject. So, I was teaching this class, we were doing a unit about the Reformation which involved a look at how art was largely controlled by the Church until the Renaissance which in some ways triggered the Reformation. I showed this painting as an example of Church influenced art to which a girl called out “You can’t show that it is pornography!” Her reason for thinking it was pornographic; Adam’s penis is visible.

It triggered an interesting discussion, punctuated by the ridiculous behaviour of a bunch of 14 – 15-year-olds who can’t really cope with an open and frank discussion about sex in any setting, let alone a classroom.  I was intrigued by the attitude of my student that nudity = porn. The discussion focussed on the idea that nudity is not always sexual in nature. This painting is an example of this. Man is in fact created naked, clothing is a human contrivance with multiple purposes ranging from, comfort to control.

I can understand why these teenagers think nudity is purely sexual. Many of them grow up being told to cover up so that their nudity is not displayed. The reason for not displaying nudity is purely sexual and related to the ridiculous idea of keeping girls virginal. As teenagers girls display their bodies in suggestive ways to entice boys. This display is often a rebellion against their parents urging them to cover up as younger children.

It was difficult for me to make my point in this class. I was not prepared for this discussion and I was painfully aware of my situation. I teach in a Catholic school; I was in a religion classroom. The topics on my syllabus didn’t even remotely link to explanations about the difference between displaying the human form as art and using nudity for sexual arousal and gratification. And here I was trying to explain this idea using language that was unemotional and formal. In addition, as I was navigating this incredibly awkward situation in a way that would not result in me getting grilled by my principal, I found myself asking the question. Where does art end and porn start? defines porn as “sexually explicit videos, photographs, writings or the like, produced to elicit sexual arousal.”

I have read enough to know that many things can elicit sexual arousal in one person while seeming to be completely unsexual to another. In our modern age something like “The Creation of Adam” seems very tame when compared to some of the advertising we see, or the attire that the characters of the latest superhero movie parade around in. But at the time it was painted? Who knows? Perhaps there are some weirdo priests who sit in the Sistine Chapel after hours and gaze upwards with a massive erection.

I have stated before that porn is not really something I peruse. I like reality. Watching people in the flesh have sex is arousing to me. Much more than contrived encounters depicted in standard porno movies. Watching a woman with ridiculous fake nails pretend to enjoy sex with a well-endowed man doesn’t cut it for me. Real people with real flaws pushing past their boundaries and living in the moment are incredibly stimulating. Men that I find attractive masturbating is also stimulating for me. I love the sound of a man cumming. I had a video I took of a friend while I was sucking his cock that I listened to on repeat for months. The sound of his orgasm never failed to cause a throb in my groin. I had, in the spur of the moment, created my own personal porno that was tailored entirely to me and my likings.

I have a friend who likes to see little videos of me when I am playing. He particularly likes to watch my boobs jiggle but any kind of action is welcomed. This man is a FIFO meaning he spends a lot of time in his tiny room alone with his hand. My images have accompanied many a session I am sure. I guess in a way I am his personal porn star. Which is flattering. He is the only man I share this kind of thing with. He is my own personal porn fan. We have only ever met in real life once and never had sex. But you never know what the future holds. For us the line between porn and reality is very blurred.

Where does art end and porn start? I don’t think there is a definitive point. Where does nudity become porn and not art? I don’t think there is a definitive point for that spectrum either. My take home from that situation was that conversations about sex need to become more normal. We need to be more open about sex with teenagers and children. Nudity needs to be debunked. Being nude because it feels good to walk around as we were created is not dirty or illicit. It is natural and normal and it does not always have to be about sex.

This post is part of 4 Thoughts or Fiction prompt #168. Click on the image below to see who else is turned on by Porn

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10 thoughts on “You Can’t Show That!

  1. One of the things I like about the discussions here is learning how others are trying to help educate others about what is different. What some people see as porn others see as art. And even the definition of art is tough. Abstract and multimedia pieces are often challenged for not being “Art”.

    Why does sexuality and sensuality have to be painted as bad? Thanks for speaking up and helping teach.


  2. It’s food for thought, for sure. I used to be a naturist and there were definitely times that I felt confident, and in return, sexy because I felt confident. Is that then more into the realms of exhibitionism? It’s a hard one to argue. I think sometimes, maybe the only way we can really know is to know our intentions. Are our intentions to be naked and confident? They that’s naturism. Are our intentions to be seen, and to be sexually stimulated from being seen? Then it’s exhibitionism. Those are just my thoughts, of course.

    I think you’re completely right in teaching that nudity is not necessarily pornographic. The more we allow our bodies to be shamed and covered, the more stigma we create about what can and can’t be seen. Penises and vaginas aren’t the only body parts that are perfectly normal, that we shouldn’t be ashamed of having. Acne, scars and stretch marks are normal, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant post Mrs Jones and interesting topic – the art and religion. I know a little about this having attended a convent school as a kid and all that catholic stuff.
    I too don’t like that fake porn but love watching say – my man wank. I could have a video of that and get off to it every time.
    The question of – at what point does art become porn – is an interesting one. Some art IMO is incredibly sexy while porn, I can really just leave it.
    I do agree with your points about nudity and feel a little sad on this matter regarding my own kids. I was abused as a child so would always get my 2 girls to cover up when we had people over or went out to socialize with outer families. I was scared it would happen to them.
    May x


    • I am sad that you had that experience as a child. There are social conventions that we have to teach our children even if they are misguided. wearing clothes is one of them unfortunately. I agree with the art comment. Sexy is often in the eye of the beholder.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great topic Mrs Jones. I agree with you however may I add that anything can become porn if looked at for stimulation. Feet for example…an innocent photo maybe highly erotic for some. For them its porn but for others they’re just feet. xox

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree with you so much, nudity doesn’t have to be about sex, and people should be able to walk around naked without being seen as sexual objects. I grew up with a mom who sunbathed naked, but I never saw my father naked, and I never followed my mom’s example. I don’t know why, maybe because my parents told me not to? I was 18 when I went to a nude farm with my mom, and I felt so awkward between all the nude people. I wish I had learned at a younger age to be more comfortable with being naked.
    ~ Marie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marie , I remember a vivid breakthrough momment for me as a early 20s boy who saw bare tits as an invitation. I was swimming with 2 other churchie looking guys away from crowds at the beach. A topless model blonde girl joined us! At first we were excited and looking sideways at her perfect breasts and hard cold nipples but she faced us and asked if it was okay to swim with us because she just wanted to swim without getting hit on. It took a few minutes of looking straight at her breasts but finaly we woke up and said ‘sure’, then spent an hour bodysurfing and chatting as if she were one of the guys. After she left I realized that most of the time I was looking at her face when she spoke!
      I admired that girl as she showed me being naked isn’t always about sex.
      Love Howie xox

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Porn ~ Learning and now Earning - SEX MATTERS

  7. This was indeed interesting and thought provoking. I love these sorts of discussions, but I can see how you felt in the hot spot discussing it at school when it wasn’t on the curriculum & you hadn’t prepared.
    My parents were very relaxed about nudity but I was quite prudish and shy. Not so much now, of course. I tried to allow my children privacy if they wanted it, without making nakedness feel shameful.


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