If you are a woman that has participated in or is currently a part of the sex industry, please let me first say to you that I am in no way judging you. You are one of the biggest reasons I started this blog. In many ways, I am you. I do not believe that the sex industry is God-honoring or empowering to women in any way, and for those reasons I would urge you to get out of it. I want you to know, most of all, that you are deeply loved by God and that I care about you. You are worthy of love.
As a child, I was constantly chasing after my father's attention. Unfortunately, through loose sexual boundaries and an environment of patriarchal domination and control, when I came of age, I found myself lusting after much older men. This led to an array of sexual escapades, embarrassing to me now as I look back on them. I was sexually assaulted. I engaged in extramarital affairs, I had sexual relations with people that I didn't even really like, just to get the approval I never got (appropriately) from my father.
I used to think if I used my attractiveness, if I showed off my body, that I would feel in control and powerful in a very imbalanced society. My value as a person was totally wrapped up in men chasing me or engaging in sexual relations with me if they were in a forbidden situation; that made me feel "special."
Through working the twelve steps and through a deep spiritual connection with my Lord, I recognized that I have worth just because I am me. I don't need the approval of men, or of anybody else, except for my God and myself. What I began to realize over time was that the more I kept myself covered, the more I could focus on aspects of myself that were going to help me meet my personal goals and dreams, that were going to keep me in a strong and healthy relationship with my Higher Power, and were going to help me start working from the worldview that if I was being true to myself, then I could be truly happy. I am not in anyway saying that looking attractive is not ok nor am I saying that the atrocities of sexual violence are a woman's fault. I absolutely enjoy showing off for my husband, but that is it. My husband.
Men and women alike, when they are acting out sexually, are like a horse with blinders on. They are behaving from core beliefs about themselves and a distorted worldview, again all based on the lies of Satan. We don't stop to think about the consequences our actions are placing on us, on our families, on other peoples' families or on relationships we may enter into in the future.
The sex industry whether it be strip clubs or pornographic magazines, porn on the internet, movies, whatever, is set up to degrade females. You are better than that and you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. And the truth is, when you put yourself out there, it is not the attention of men who want to engage in intimate conversations about how special you are or who would defend your honor or who want anything more from you than just cheap, un-complicated sex that you are attracting. That is not who you need or want in your life!
Dancing, prostitution, modeling for pornography, none of these are "victimless" behaviors. Sexual sin has a devastating snowball effect that leads to catastrophic consequences for all involved. If we are revealing our beauty to gain the attention of men, we have to think about the fact that many of those men are husbands and they are fathers. The wives and girlfriends of men who view pornography experience great pain and shame, and many times, their family is broken because of it. If you put yourself out there, men are going to look, and you cannot control who looks. You cannot control that what you show of yourself may lead that man to relapse into a sexual addiction that he hates as much as his wife does. I know this because I am also the wife of a recovering sexaholic. Not only have I been the sought after, I have been the victim. And it is a pain beyond comparison. Finding out about my husband's addiction caused me to return to that place in my wounded childhood that I was acting from before I was in recovery myself. I experienced PTSD all over again. I continue to be triggered by pictures of Kate Upton and the Victoria Secret Angels on commercials, because these images are continuing the ideology that women are no more than body parts, and I do mean just parts. My son has to sit through these commercials. Magazines which are supposed to be innocuous trigger my husband on a daily basis, and therefore trigger me. I can't drive by Hooters without wanting to drop a match.
As a wife I can tell you it truly sucks to still be quite young but to have your beloved partner in life fantasizing about "barely legals." You may be there one day. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I thank God that today we are experiencing peace and joy because this problem was brought into the open and we have both committed ourselves to communicating and working our individual programs. We value each other, and we value our relationship and our family. And, we value you. That is why we both have our own ways of educating and reaching out to others. It is our calling.
Guys and gals, do not buy into the lies. Join me in being a part of the solution. I wish for you a relationship with your God, a celebration of everyday as yourself, and a relationship with a significant other that brings you honor and happiness.
If you are reading my posts, you understand by now that sexual degradation is such a multi-layered problem, and men and women both work at tearing each other and themselves down, but there is help to get out and reclaim your life. You're worth it!