The Pornification of Marriage
So, what's the deal with Christian women and stripper poles? Apparently, Christian women learning to pole dance is no big deal because, you know, it's "good exercise."
I mean, seriously. Has pornography so infiltrated every corner of society that now even Christian women think pole dancing is a cute, fun way to "spice-up" their exercise routine?
The other day I saw a young girl proudly sporting a glittery Playboy bunny T-shirt as if it were somehow a symbol of her female empowerment. And my heart just broke. You know pornography is winning when little girls start wearing pornographic merchandise.
And that's our fault. When adult women refuse to decry the objectification of women and instead normalize it by calling pole-dancing "good exercise," we send the message to our daughters that pornographic behavior is OK. No wonder our little girls are confused!
As the womanizing character from the movie "Crazy, Stupid Love" said: "Men won the battle of the sexes as soon as women started doing pole dancing as exercise."
So, where did this come from? How did pornographic ideas about sex manage to infiltrate Christianity? I have an theory about this:
It comes from pastors who preach that sex is primarily recreational.
Here's what I mean: I've heard pastors preach that since the "marriage bed is undefiled" any sexual act is permissible and sanctified within marriage. In other words, as long as it happens within the context of marriage, ANYTHING goes.
By preaching that "anything goes," a pastor unwittingly promotes pornographic ideas about sex; ie. that it should be available 24/7, that a wife should strive to present herself as a fantasy-mate, that sex is utterly detached from its life-giving, soul-creating power.
Is that what that what "the marriage bed is undefiled" really means? Because I'm not sure that verse is license for installing a stripper pole in your bedroom.
Could the marriage bed being undefiled mean that since it is undefiled, Christians ought not defile it by dragging in a bunch of pornified ideas about sex?
I think Christians should always be on guard when the "spice-up-your-marriage-advice" takes its cue from our porn-ified culture.
My guess is that many Christians have bought into the idea that the purpose of sex is primarily recreational. When sex is primarily recreational, it's really quite easy to start justifying any lustful urge--as if the fact that it happens within marriage somehow sanctifies it.
Here's the thing, if my husband wanted me to do a stripper-pole routine for him (which he never would), I'd say no. Why? Because the stripper pole is a symbol of female objectification and I fail to see how that changes just because we haul it into a Christian bedroom.
Sure, I want to remain beautiful and attractive for my husband but I refuse to believe that that somehow means I have to degrade myself by adhering to a standard set by strippers and prostitutes. Just because Jesus dined with prostitutes and tax-collectors doesn't mean He started acting like them!
When pastors preach that ANYTHING goes in the marriage bed, I feel like this is an interpretation shaped by pornography and not by kingdom values. It's a sad irony that we Christians bristle at the suggestion of letting God into our sex lives, but we gladly fling open the door to pornographic ideas about sex.
I guess I thought the general consensus among Christians was that purity within marriage was an obvious requirement. Has this changed?
Should there be boundaries for Christians seeking to "spice up" their marriage? Or is EVERYTHING permissible?
See also: Don't Call Me a MILF.