Since this blog gets a lot of inquiries about pornography and porn addiction, I have tried to include information about this problem in addressing through this blog the overall problem of addiction. In the modern world, addiction has spread far beyond the drunk farmer or the inner-city heroin junkie.
It has gotten 'hentai'. That is Japanese slang for 'kinky.' However, Japanese kinky is so over the top that Americans have borrowed the word without bothering to translate it. It is now its own word in English.
Pornography in Japan has been legal for centuries. Yes, I said centuries. Back in the days of woodblock prints, the Japanese were making 'floating world' prints often depicting sexual activity along with other dramatized depictions of hedonistic conduct. As a style of art, 'Ukiyo' is unparalleled. However, its subject matter was often troubling from our perspective.
The Japanese looked at sex much the way ancient Romans did, and held many of the practices. However, traditional Japanese culture has been 'interrupted' by its interface with the West. After World War II, Japan became the source of cheap manufacturing for the US, and got into Western style children's toys and clothing for sale in America. This became the springboard for the 'kawaii culture' of 'hyper-cuteness' for adult women in Japan.
This eventually became fused with Japan's permissive sexual culture, and what you began to have was a bizarre fusion of adults posing as children in pornography. Now, adults are not the only actors: children are now openly featured in Japan's pornography industry as it struggles to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for more over-the-top materials as viewers gradually become 'tolerant' of the 'old-fashioned' straight, heterosexual porn.
Right now, Japan is experiencing a social catastrophe: Japanese young people are not only not marrying, they are not having children at all... and many have stopped having sex altogether. Now, if you are some kind of weird Platonist or extreme Augustinian, you may wonder what the problem is. But, as Christians, this is very, very troubling.
Sexual desires are from God, and they are not bad. However, like other appetites, they have to be guided and used according to the created order. What is happening in Japan is that excess has led to the opposite extreme of repression. Normal sexual desires for another person have been replaced by porn, and in turn this allows people to avoid normal sexual relationships.
And, when you have spent years watching hentai porn, your appetites for the normal are almost completely distorted as to be unrecognizable.
On top of that, when Japan pushes women into education, and then pushes them into non-employment (all cultures push people... it is kind of the purpose of having a culture), Japanese men and women feel pushed into conflicts that ultimately leave them feeling totally alienated from their society:
Aoyama says the sexes, especially in Japan's giant cities, are "spiraling away from each other". Lacking long-term shared goals, many are turning to what she terms "Pot Noodle love" – easy or instant gratification, in the form of casual sex, short-term trysts and the usual technological suspects: online porn, virtual-reality "girlfriends", anime cartoons. Or else they're opting out altogether and replacing love and sex with other urban pastimes.
Some of Aoyama's clients are among the small minority who have taken social withdrawal to a pathological extreme. They are recovering hikikomori ("shut-ins" or recluses) taking the first steps to rejoining the outside world, otaku (geeks), and long-term parasaito shingurus (parasite singles) who have reached their mid-30s without managing to move out of home. (Of the estimated 13 million unmarried people in Japan who currently live with their parents, around three million are over the age of 35.) "A few people can't relate to the opposite sex physically or in any other way. They flinch if I touch them," she says. "Most are men, but I'm starting to see more women."
It is indeed a tragedy to see an ancient culture like that of Japan gradually die out. Yet, I believe that this is an important lesson for all modern cultures.
How much different are Japanese attitudes towards marriage and family life from their European counterparts? Birthrates are plummeting throughout the developed world... the Japanese are just doing it better than everyone else.
When people talk about pornography being a 'victimless crime,' that is plain wrong on many levels. Not only are the 'actors' in porn victims of degradation, but all of society suffers from the objectification of humanity.
It is strange to say this, but it appears to be true: too much sex leads to no sex at all. There comes a point where all the hentai material and ED drugs can't arouse a burnt-out sex drive.