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Arts 5

Published on October 13th, 2005 | by Greg

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God, Porn, and “Missionary Positions”

Billed the #1 Christian porn site, XXXchurch seems like it could be a joke. The same goes for Missionary Positions, a documentary about the trials and tribulations of two nice, cute pastors who make it their mission to help people who have been caught up in porn. From Amsterdam to a porn studio, from puppet shows to Sin City, they travel the US speaking, praying, and working on their website.

I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn’t a joke, a FARK prank, or a publicity stunt. Screened at GirlFest Hawaii, “Missionary Positions” winds up somewhere between a documentary about two guys with a mission (a la American Movie) and a documentary about a social ill (a la Michael Moore or Super Size Me). It can’t seem to choose, and though it manages to keep both threads moving, it suffers from a desire to do and show too much.

Parts of the film were hilarious (the Adult Expo in Las Vegas), and parts were fairly discomforting (the porn director’s explanation and discussion of why “hardcore” sexual acts are becoming ever more “hardcore”)- and a few parts were unnecessary (the Pornmobile). It avoided becoming preachy, but also lacked the power of a strong message or any in-depth look at the history or psychology of adult material.

The topics that the film broaches though are totally worthy of exploration and discussion. Sex and pornography addictions are poorly understood, ignored by media, and relatively unstudied. Through a Prayer Wall (a forum/bulletin board), a free software program that encourages personal accountability, and the creation of Porn Sunday (which isn’t likely to be a national holiday anytime soon), the two pastors are continuing the work shown in the film. It’s far too easy to joke about how “passionate” they are, and certainly the website flirts with innuendo (Dirty Little Secrets, Save the Kittens, the Noho Zone) but no one can deny that a lot of the material is pretty serious. There are hundreds of thousands of posts on their message board, and the vast majority appear to be earnest individuals who are having problems- some of whom have had their marriages or relationships damaged or destroyed by their addictions to porn, or just their unrealistic expectations.

While their advice isn’t all that helpful (turn to God being the primary tip), they are at least addressing the topic. There are sections aimed at women, others for men, and even a blog which quickly dispels any notion that these are anything but fairly normal guys.

“Missionary Positions”, XXXchurch, and Porn Sunday might not be able to stop porn from working its way onto most of our computers- but they may force us to take a second look at the effects adult materials can have on families, society, and our lives.


About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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