Recently, I was away from home for about three nights. One night in my hotel, I came across a documentary on pornography and I was drawn in. What was most telling was how the women were trying to convince themselves and others that porn was a legitimate industry and it was similar to any other job. Then there was the couple who had taken to filming their sex life and was now making more money than when they were both school teachers.
After watching, I felt disturbed and dirty.
Then I read Exposed by Ashley Weiss. Its a story about how porn affects a marriage, told through the wife and the porn star's eyes. In this story, once the wife found out about her husband's addiction she really struggled with her self worth. She had these issues before, but her husband's addiction brought them to a head. She questioned her looks, her body, her reasons for being married, infertility, everything. Ironically, she is a Christian Marriage Counselor, and is now unable to provide counsel based on what she's going through in her own marriage. She had an idealized view of marriage and her marriage no longer fell in to it.
The porn star also struggled with her self worth; because of her lack of self worth she inadvertently becomes a porn star. She never thought she was pretty or had anything to offer anyone; also she didn't come from a stable home. Unsure about what to do with her life after graduating from high school, she responded to a modeling ad that would pay $500/day. The recruiter (who eventually becomes her pimp) thought she was beautiful and started taking pictures of her. She lost her virginity in her first film, and after that became deadened to most things around her and what was happening to her body. Ultimately she gets pregnant, but what happens after she gives birth, will make you believe in redemption. Every life, no matter how dirty and used, can be redeemed.
There's lots of twist and turns in this story, but the author humanizes the porn star's reality. Contrary to the documentary, I did not feel dirty after reading this book. The author took great pains in presenting a palatable version of the porn star's life, a side we often don't think about.
From the Author
This is the story of my own journey, but not completely. While I wrote much of this book based off of my own life, Ally and Jessie's story is a lot different than mine. Ally tends to be a little nicer than I was during this trial in our marriage. Honestly, I relate more to Taylor, the porn star, in this book. Some people may think Taylor is the cliche porn star story, but her story was based off of many actual porn stars and ex-porn stars I met throughout this journey. While Ally is obviously closer to my heart in many ways, Taylor isn't far from the girl I used to be either. I think that's the biggest theme I want people to come away from when reading Exposed... that we are not very different from each other at all. As women, our hearts carry the same tune. I realized this while writing Exposed, and I hope my readers find this while reading it.
Women have bought in to the false reality that they're the ones in control within the industry and control the shots. This power comes at a high cost as it perverts sexuality, deadens you to what's real and gives you a warped view of yourself.
My brother and I had a very interesting and awkward conversation around this issue. Many men are affected by pornography. There's another book out there that deals with this issue - Every Man's Battle. (We'll discuss at another time).
Understand the things that make you prone to sin and remove them - And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Mark 9:47
Have you ever been affected by pornography? Has it affected your marriage? Do you talk about this with your spouse?