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A Strategic Defense against accidental exposure to Nudity and Porn

This post was updated on Thursday, November 5th, 2020

On July 25th, 1911 Bobby Leach suffered two broken knee caps and a fractured jaw when he went over the Niagara Falls in a Barrel. However, it’s not the injuries sustained from going over the Niagara Falls that killed him. In the year 1926 Leach injured his leg when he slipped on an orange peel. The leg became infected, and eventually, gangrene necessitated the amputation of the leg. Leach died of complications two months later.

A preacher once said ‘People don’t fall into temptation. They slip into temptation, especially sexual temptations.’ There are two ways by which people get exposed to pornography and nudity. First, there is intentional exposure which happens when you access porn consciously and willfully, (Proverbs 6:18). Secondly, there is accidental exposure which happens without your intervention, (1 Corinthians 10:12). There are at least six ways you could become a victim of accidental exposure.

Films – A supposedly harmless title you pick up from the movie store or stream from a streaming service can feature nudity or sex-oriented scenes.

Social Media – You could stumble upon the Fan Page of a Porn Star on Facebook or the profile of one on Instagram.

Search Engine Results – A typo in a search engine query can return inappropriate results that feature porn and nudity.

Software – A supposedly harmless computer game can contain graphic porn, nudity or dialogues that encourage the player to visit a porn website.

Malware – A PC infected with Malware can display inappropriate popup ads in the web browser.

Fitness Centers – If you need an explanation, then you’ve never been a guy going to a gym where girls are in workout clothes.

In this blog post, I want to share a strategy to defend yourself against accidental exposure. First a brief explanation on how humans respond to pornography.

Pornography in the realm of Human Biology

We often tend to spiritualize everything. It’s not wrong provided that we are spiritual beings but spiritualizing every problem is not helpful because all problems are not exclusively spiritual. Porn addiction and indulgence in nudity are like that. Let’s look at the biological principles that shape our attitude towards pornography or nudity. After all, sex is mostly biological, (Genesis 9:7).

Science has discovered that the masculine brain responds to visual stimulation in a very strong manner. During puberty, it further improves itself and becomes cued into sexual maturity. Once this process is complete the brain’s response to visual stimulation gets stronger.

Hence when a man looks at nudity or porn the visual part of his brain reacts much faster than it does under normal circumstances drawing and taking a hold of the viewer reflexively. How this happens remains a mystery because science has not been able to discover the reason.

Pornography, Biology and the Spiritual Realm

Now that I explained the biological aspect of pornography let’s look at the spiritual aspect of the problem. Unlike most of us think it is, salvation is not an overnight experience. It is progressive, (Philippians 3:14). Our salvation shall not see its perfection until Christ returns to rapture us to be with him for eternity. Therefore, we have the nature of the fallen man and the nature of Christ in us wrestling against one another, (Romans 7:14-25). While the things of the spirit appeal to appease the Christ-like nature things of the flesh such as porn appeals to appease the fallen nature, (Galatians 5:17). Addiction happens when our fallen nature becomes hooked into porn and nudity.

Science doesn’t know how addiction works because it happens in the spirit realm. Science deals exclusively with the natural realm, not supernatural phenomena. Therefore, it’s logically impossible for science to throw out a hypothesis that lies outside its grasp.

The Strategy and the Defense

We need to be intentional in defending our selves because we are living in a sexually saturated culture where the risk of accidental exposure is very high, (1 Peter 5:8). Below I have provided a strategy for defending yourself from each one of the six areas I mentioned before.

1. Check the Content Maturity Rating

As films are becoming more sex-saturated, knowing whether a particular movie has sexual or nude scenes can help you avoid the risk of accidental exposure. There are many film rating websites, but only a handful are helpful. Kids-In-Mind is one of those reliable websites. Its database features straight forward detailed maturity ratings for numerous film titles. The database, however, doesn’t seem to cover Netflix titles.

At the moment, as far as my knowledge permits, you cannot check the maturity ratings for Netflix titles outside the app or the official website. Netflix displays gradings for each title right under the title. Refer to this section of the Netflix website to understand maturity ratings for your country. By the way, you can filter content account-wide by setting the maturity rating. Click here to learn how.

There is a lot of streaming services and there are at least ten most popular networks. Unfortunately, I cannot include all of them in this blog post. Please refer to their respective websites for instructions to learn how to find out maturity ratings for their content.

2. Watch out for Porn in Social Media

Social media is an effective marketing tool. Pornographers use the popular Social media platforms Facebook and Instagram to push their content to our smartphone screens. Tumbler the microblogging platform was a haven for pornographic content creators until porn was prohibited in the year 2018. You can read my post here to learn more about the presence of pornography on Social media and protecting yourself.

3. Confirm SafeSearch is turned On

Search engines rely on human-made ‘algorithms’ a process or formula by which search results are generated and presented to you. These algorithms while effective are not always smart. For example, Google Image Search returns inappropriate results for the search term ‘hot’ because the algorithm misinterprets the query. Simple typos in search queries also can mislead search algorithms to generate undesirable results.

There are also non-search engine websites such as Stock Photo websites with micro search engines built into them to help us locate content faster. Stock Photo websites always contain nude portraits and a standard search will always return those images in the search results.

The solution to this problem is to switch on the ‘SafeSearch feature’. To do this in Google go to Settings > Search Settings > Search Results and tick the ‘Turn on SafeSearch’ check box. In Bing click Menu in the upper right corner of the Bing.com window. Select Settings, and then select More. Choose your preferred SafeSearch mode: Strict or Moderate and press Save at the bottom of the menu. In Yahoo make sure you’re signed in. From a search results page, click the ‘apps’ icon and then click Settings. Click Preferences. Select your SafeSearch mode from the drop-down menu. (I am disappointed! You shouldn’t have to sign in to enable SafeSearch because once you sign out SafeSearch will turn off. Also, you should be able to turn on SafeSearch before a search)

Now let’s see how to set SafeSearch to on in some of the stock photo websites. In Flickr, SafeSearch is always on unless you change it to off. In iStock initiate the search and click ‘Refine’ on the left. Then toggle the ‘Exclude nudity’ option at the bottom. In Pixabay you do this by initiating a search and then ticking the SafeSearch tick box in the right-hand side. Pexels and Unsplash don’t support SafeSearch unfortunately.

4. Check Parental Guide for Details

Although I am not a fan of computer games, I know there are at least three major gaming platforms. Steam, Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation. While many games are not inappropriate on these platforms there are just as many that show sexual content. Fortunately, we can use filters to stay safe while using them. In Steam, you activate filters by clicking your name at the top right corner of the Steam client and then selecting “Store Preferences.” Then under Mature Content uncheck General Mature Content, Nudity or Sexual Content and Adult Only Sexual Content. You can find instructions for setting up filters for Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation here and here respectively.

5. Install an Antivirus Software

Now that you know how to filter content in the major gaming platforms let’s turn to malware. Malware can expose you to porn by displaying pop-up ads and redirecting your legitimate browser requests to porn websites among other things. The best solution for this problem is to install reliable antivirus software. If you don’t want to pay for commercial antivirus software or cannot afford one Avast has a free basic edition.

In the event, antivirus software doesn’t fix the problem you have to wipe out the entire hard disk which we call a ‘clean format’ and install Windows (Linux and iOS are very unlikely to affect by malware) and any other software applications from scratch. Hire a professional technician if you are not sure how to do this.

6. Think Smart and act Wisely

Immodesty can be a stumbling block to some men, especially at fitness centres. Clothes worn by certain women working out can be very revealing if not suggestive sometimes. Unfortunately, you can’t change the way women dress no matter how righteous you want to be. However, there are a few things you can do to guard yourself if you think smart and act wisely.

You can check the clothing policy when choosing a fitness centre. There are many family-friendly Fitness Centres such as Lord’s Gym, Lord’s Gym Oroville, YMCA Fitness Centres, Trinity Fitness to name a few. In case you don’t have access to a family-friendly fitness centre consider choosing a timeslot where women are least present.

If none of the above is an option the old-fashioned way of resisting temptation mentioned in Philippians 4:8 works all the time. In other words, look away and change your focus. Sexual temptation begins with our inner thoughts. Hence, we can defend our hearts by changing our thoughts. We need to change the way we think. Change our attention. Focus your mind on the goodness of God because the more you fight a feeling the more it grabs you. Don’t focus on what you should not do but on what you should do. When you see a scantily clad woman, you can’t stop Satan from putting thoughts in your mind, but you can reject them and look away and change the focus of your mind.

Refocusing works everywhere not just in the fitness centre. We must master it because thanks to movements like ‘Topfreedom‘ (warning: images featuring Indecent exposure) walking around topless is becoming the latest definition of gender equality. I don’t endorse indecency but as men, we are responsible for guarding our hearts because we are accountable for our actions, (Proverbs 4:23; Romans 14:12). After all, we can’t change the way women dress but we can change our hearts.

Conclusion

If you have recurrent urges to view pornography holding yourself accountable to a spiritual leader is an indispensable part of a good strategy, (James 5:16). People use various methods to hold themselves accountable. In this age of the internet, it makes sense to hold yourself accountable to someone concerning the websites you visit. X3Watch helps you do just that. The basic edition is free and covers PCs as well as mobile devices. You can learn more about it in the post here.

If you are already obsessed with porn the strategy I outlined here cannot help much. You need to reach out to a mature spiritual leader for further counselling. Martin Luther said, ‘You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from making a nest in your hair.’ We cannot stop the devil from tempting us but we can watch our step so that we don’t slip into temptation.

If this blog post was helpful to you, please consider leaving your feedback in the comments section at the bottom. It would be a great encouragement to me personally.

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