What did Hugh Hefner leave behind? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Last week, Hugh Hefner passed on. From reading and watching much of the media, you would have thought someone like the Pope died and we were nominating them for sainthood. By contrast, just a couple of days ago, Monty Hall from Let’s Make A Deal died and I have yet to hear the celebration of his life. Somehow, Hugh Hefner gets celebrated. Why?
Hugh Hefner was the one who started Playboy magazine. What did he do when he did this? Did he make it that men suddenly became lustful creatures? No. Men have always struggled with lust. Did he invent pornography? Of course not. There has always been pornography of some kind around. Did he make it so that the naked human female form became attractive? Not at all. It always has been all the way back to the Garden of Eden.
No. Hugh Hefner made pornography mainstream. He made it much more easily accessible. Many people (Not me actually) knew whose Dad had that stack of Playboys and where it was. I meet many young men who struggle greatly with pornography. The effects that it has one them is devastating.
The thing is, pornography is a lie. Sure, the women are definitely real women, but they’re not really interested in the men reading the magazines. When you see that image, that woman cares nothing about you. She is not trying to impress you. She will never sleep with you. All she is to you at that point is a body meant for your arousal.
Men no doubt tie their masculinity into their sexuality. Feeling aroused and sexual leaves us feeling like men. It is a very strong and powerful feeling and a woman in pornography can easily give that delusion. The man sees the image and he gets aroused and he feels like a man and that’s a great experience for him to have.
The problem is that when something like this is treated as if it’s a consumer good alone, then you always need more. You will never truly be satisfied. It requires more and more to get you aroused and at a certain point, normal women just don’t do it anymore. There are men in their 20’s today who need to take Viagra because they can’t get aroused by a real woman.
Not only that, the whole thing is a lie in its presentation. Watching pornography will not teach you the way sex really is. If I was talking to a couple getting ready to get married and the topic of sex was being discussed, which it should be, I would tell them that they need to forget what they’ve seen on TV or in the movies. That is not what sex is really like. If you go into the marriage with that assumption, it’s going to hurt.
Pornography does not teach a man how to approach a real woman. C.S. Lewis years ago talked about a man wrestling greatly with sexual desire and lust and how it was said he needs a woman. Lewis said a woman is the last thing he needs. If he met a real woman, he wouldn’t know what to do with her. He just wants pleasure and the female body is the apparatus by which he wants to get that pleasure.
You see, if you want sex really, you do have to approach a woman and you have to treat her like a woman. One doesn’t go to the woman just because they want sex, but ladies, if a guy starts getting serious with you in a relationship, rest assured sex is on his mind. It’s not because he’s a pervert or he’s using you. It’s that because for a man, sex is a powerful expression of love. He can’t imagine the thought of loving you and not wanting to have sex with you.
If you have porn though, you don’t have to make that effort to win a real woman. Instead, you can just retreat back to your fake woman regularly and you will never know the reality because you’ve been so busy chasing the illusion. If you do get to the reality, you would have damaged it greatly already. It can still be redeemed, but why would you want to risk it?
When you marry your wife, there is nothing like it. Porn will not teach you how to properly love a woman. It is no replacement for undressing your wife for the first time and having her do the same to you. It is no replacement for all the physical sensations of being able to touch each other wherever you want. It is no replacement for getting to make love together for the first time. You don’t have to have porn to do any of these things and porn will only make it worse.
By the way, it’s worth pointing out that pornography nowadays is not just a man’s problem. There are many women who struggle with porn. I encourage you to consider it from the opposite perspective. I can’t write on a firsthand approach for women obviously.
Porn will not enhance your marriage either. Men have a constant flood of images going through their heads. Why use porn and fill it with images of women other than your wife? In turn wives, keep this in mind. Let your man see you and see you often. The more he sees you, the easier it will be to deal with temptation for him. He can be thinking everytime he notices another woman, which he will, “Sorry, but I’ve got better at home.”
Once you marry men also, definitely stop porn. You know what message it gives your wife if she realizes you are watching porn? It tells her that she is inadequate. She has to compete with a woman on a screen who has had plenty of make-up and photoshop and everything else done. Why should she trust you when she realizes that you could be thinking about that other woman from earlier?
I think ultimately, Hefner’s greatest damage was that he lowered sex for everyone. He did this by making it less than sacred. There are plenty of men who would never want to look at porn because they’re good and honorable men. They suffer too. Why? Because the women in their lives have seen too many of the other type of man. How do they know that this man is different?
Dare I say it, but I don’t think we can say Hugh Hefner ever truly enjoyed sex because it’s doubtful he ever truly enjoyed a woman. Oh he got a lot of joy from their bodies no doubt, but what about the woman herself? Sheila Wray Gregoire over at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum has a saying that many people have had sex, but how many have made love? It’s a good question to ask.
Ravi Zacharias years ago said there was a Spanish proverb that said that he who loves many women has loved none. He who loves one has loved them all. The real measure of a man is not how much sex you have. The real measure is how do you treat the women in your life? If you’re married, how do you treat your wife especially?
Unfortunately, with Hefner, his legacy went far beyond the magazine. Now we have the internet making things even more accessible for men. There is even rule 34, which states that if it exists, there is porn of it on the internet. I have heard of pornography of even the most innocent things, such as Charles Schultz’s Peanuts existing on the internet. Yes. It’s out there.
In an age like this, is it any wonder that we don’t have a clue about what sex is? Men don’t really know much about how to romance women because all they often know about is getting sex. The goal is often to get her to go to bed. It’s not to be a real man for her and to get to spend the rest of your life loving and cherishing her.
Don’t think I am downing the desire for sex. I certainly am not. Don’t think I am denying at all the beauty of the human female form. I certainly am not. What I am saying is that we need an age of real men who don’t want to just pretend they are men by porn, but want to show they are men by loving real women. If you plan to marry, love a real woman by treating her life a jewel all her life. If you don’t plan to marry, honor the women around you by treating you like women and avoiding sex. If you really want sex, then marry someone you want to share it with for a lifetime. Don’t just use a woman for sex.
Hefner is gone, but sadly his legacy follows behind him. It is my hope that we can get men to rise up and throw off this legacy that does us no good. It might give us what we think is short-term gain, but the long-term results are disastrous. If you really want sex, don’t chase after the illusion of porn. Go for the reality of loving a real and actual woman and treasure her for all your life because she is a treasure.