Reader be warned: This post contains mature subject matter.
On the porn front
Nudity, art, beauty & truth
These past few days were emotionally taxing because of my revelation in my previous Winds of Change post. In that post, I confessed to looking for photos that involved innocent nudity in an aesthetically pleasing way–not the pornographic trash I craved in the past. The searches I performed upset my moral compass and were filled with a lot of ambiguity because I learned that you can look at pictures of naked (preferably NOT frontal nudity) without lust or being driven by lust. My intentions were sound, I believe, but what I did was filled with a lot of ambiguity which made it difficult to judge where I was in the great continuum of grey areas and morality.
Let me explain. One of my triggers for looking at pornography or reading things involving sexuality was, and is, stress. (You can read my list of triggers here.) For the past couple of weeks, I was under a lot of stress. In the course of time, I found that when I am stressed pictures of waterfalls, lakes, seas, beaches, swimming holes and people swimming at these places calm me down. That is why I searched for those pictures. With the affirmation I got from my accountability partner that the nudes I liked in the 10 Flickr Favourites post, I searched for such pictures to my hearts content averting my eyes when I saw stuff I hate to see. The kind of joy and excitement I experienced was the same as when a moderator on a Christian porn recovery forum showed me that shaving one’s pubic is morally neutral.
But, the ferocity with which I conducted those searches made me question my motives and made me uncomfortable. Hence my resolve to not Google stuff with the terms “nude” and “naked” and their derivatives. There is a verse that says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 KJV.
A human anatomy book for artists I ordered arrived on Friday and I spent some time browsing through it. It had plates of male and female nude models to be used by the student to identify muscle groups, fat deposits and bones. And, yes, I studied those photos seeking to identify the bones, muscles groups and fat deposits I learned about. My chest tightened as I studied the figures. And I wondered whether art students had the same nervous response during their first figure drawing class. (Anyone care to answer?)
When I listened to a sermon on Saturday, I decided that I’m content with sculpting trees and animals. I like studying the form and shape of trees. They are beautiful specimens. And I am sure that God will direct me as to when I am ready to sculpt human figures if ever. I just don’t want to deal with the ambiguity of studying the human figure in the midst of the stress I am experiencing now.
Maybe I am lying to myself? Maybe I’m in denial? Maybe I’m still using porn and I’m just coming up with all sorts of rationalisations to allow me to look and secretly lust after people? In all honesty, I don’t know and I don’t want to know. If I am doing these things for those reasons, then the truth would crush me and send me into the worst kind of depression that will be VERY difficult to get out of. For a long time I believed the worst about myself which fuelled my addictions to pornography and masturbation. When I decided to have a better opinion about myself and my motives, my attitude changed and my circumstances changed too. Ultimately, God will prove me right or wrong. God is my judge. And I know that I cannot deal with the ambiguity of nudity in art at this point in time, so I will just put it on ice. Whether I get to sculpt the Bible scenes and my master piece I want, only time will tell. The most important thing to me is to sculpt.
By the way, I had a wet dream on Sunday morning.