PulsePorn (What is it good for?) Author talks desire

Catholic Student Group brings speaker, considers effects of pornography
Kara KillingerFebruary 13, 20202333 min
https://149362186.v2.pressablecdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/loveinaculture_Nuelle-5-1-2-1280x853.jpg

Photo by Kate Nuelle

Can pornography destroy love?

At a lecture in Northrup 040 on Wednesday, Feb. 12, Catholic author, speaker and life coach Steve Pokorny argued that it can. The lecture, entitled “How to Experience Real Love in a Pornified Culture,” was hosted by the Catholic Student Group (CSG). Free pizza was provided for the approximately 30 audience members.

CSG president senior Alex Jacobs introduced Pokorny. Jacobs was also the one to suggest bringing Pokorny to campus.

“We decided to bring Steve so that [the issue of pornography] could be brought to light, because it’s something that doesn’t really get spoken about very much,” Jacobs said in an interview before the lecture. “It’s something that maybe people talk about, but kind of maybe as a joke, but not in a serious way, because maybe they’re afraid.”

Though Steve Pokorny’s lecture was open to anyone, he approached the topics of pornography and love from a Catholic perspective. Pokorny opened and closed his lecture with a prayer and asserted that one should know Jesus in order to understand love.

“That’s one of my challenges to you tonight: to come to know this guy, because it helps to make sense of reality in a very important way,” Pokorny said.

Pokorny began his lecture by establishing that all of us desire love. He said that men and women often get hurt in romantic situations and end up closing their hearts.

“If you’ve got one half of humanity closing their heart, and the other half of humanity closing their heart, what kind of world is that going to be? It’s the world we live in now,” Pokorny said.

Pokorny outlined reasons he believes we accept “counterfeit” or incomplete types of love. He painted a picture of a broken society, asserting that our culture poisons us with appealing but incorrect ideas about the body.

“That’s this notion going around on a lot of college campuses that believes this: person’s here, body’s here. So I can do whatever I want with my body, and it won’t affect my personhood,” Pokorny said.

The second half of Pokorny’s lecture focused on potential negative effects of pornography. According to Pokorny, the overstimulation that pornography provides can lead to desensitization, and the dopamine hit porn provides leads to the compulsion to keep viewing it. He alluded to several people he has worked with as a life coach who developed extreme pornography addictions.

“Pornography makes us stupid,” Pokorny said. “‘Maybe it’s OK to look at porn in my cubicle when people are walking by or to masturbate in my second period class.’ I’ve had both those clients.”

Pokorny also suggested a relationship between rape culture and pornography.

“Those dopamine receptors have shrunk, right? They need to [find] harder and harder stuff,” Pokorny said. “It’s creating a world of violence against women. If you’re concerned about a rape culture, perhaps on campus here, where does that activity come from?”

Pokorny also pointed out the link between pornography and sex trafficking. He cited a statistic from the advocacy group Thorn, which said that nearly half of sex trafficking victims report that pornography was made of them while they were in bondage.

“You don’t know what happened to those people. You don’t know if they’re dead. Guys might be masturbating in a dorm room to a dead person,” Pokorny said.

Throughout his lecture, Pokorny focused more on the objectification of women than of men. At one point, he pulled up pictures of women on the screen behind him, and made up a story about one of them, as an example of how to keep oneself from objectifying a person in an image.

“I give her a name. Tell a story about her. And don’t just go the positive — I’m going to give something that maybe she’s struggling with,” Pokorny said. “So, this is Jeniqua. Jeniqua likes big hair and big rings. She works at the mall. But she just broke up with her boyfriend. She has two kids, and she’s trying to make it through the day.”

Pokorny concluded his lecture by telling his own story. His father was distant and mentally challenged, which was one of the factors that led to his own pornography habit. Korinsky said he eventually found peace through God.

“I experienced … this tangible desire not to use my sisters but to want to serve them,” Pokorny said.

Sophomore Bernadette Weigman, vice president of CSG, said she appreciated the lecture.

“I thought his talk was really beautiful, and I think the fact that he got really personal was helpful,” Weigman said.

Alex Jacobs expressed the hope that others would consider their relationship to pornography, even if they were not able to attend the lecture.

“I think a lot of people — at Trinity, but not just at Trinity, in society overall — struggle with the issue of pornography. They don’t view it as a helpful aspect of their life but rather something that is maybe a need that needs to be fulfilled or even something just that they wish that wasn’t part of their life,” Jacobs said.

Kara Killinger

| Class of 2020 | Major: English | Minor: Creative Writing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.