This past year and a half has had more information about the sex life of the President than I imagine of all other 44 Presidents combined (although Bill Clinton’s sexual assault of an intern is no less grievous).
From President Trump’s boasts about sexually assaulting women, to the grotesque details about his many alleged affairs with models and porn actresses like Stormy Daniels, we’ve heard it all and then some. He’s walked in on nude contestants in Miss Teen USA Pageants he’s hosted, been on the cover of Playboy in 1990, been accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women, bragged to Howard Stern about his ability to ‘nail’ women like the then recently deceased Princess Di while also criticizing the looks of her and others. His wife Melanie posed for pornographic pictures in 1995. His son Donald Jr.’s wife recently filed for divorce, due in part to his alleged affair with Aubrey O’Day. The list could easily go on.
Donald Trump seems to be the embodiment of our pornified culture.
Sex has long been on a trajectory towards becoming nothing more than a transaction. Sex is cheap (except for the hush money pay-outs) and seems to mean little more than a pleasure exchange, similar to asking someone to bring you a pint of ice cream or a cold beer. Sex and pornography are indistinguishable for many.
This pornifying of sex makes a mockery of intimacy. Rather than sex being a place where people can be vulnerable, pornified sex requires emotional walls as one or both participants seeks power over the other. Instead of offering something intimate, pornified sex seeks only to take, and only gives when it’s necessary to get. The goal is to get more than you give, much like trading stock. Pornified sex treats the other as an object to be used and dismissed, like a grocery shopper buying a case of soda and throwing away the cans when they’re empty.
Healthy sex, on the other hand, builds another up by vulnerably offering oneself for the good of the other. Healthy sex is rooted in whole intimacy, where one connects emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically as well as connecting sexually. Healthy sex cannot be separated from whole intimacy just as pornified sex cannot nurture whole-hearted intimacy.
Alexandra Katehakis, author of Erotic Intelligence, puts it this way: “When you are secure in yourself, know what turns you on, and enjoy watching your partner watch you experience sexual pleasure, you have a highly novel relationship grounded in love…It’s relational sex, not the old pornographic sex of past addictions.” Sex ought to lead to deeper empathy, greater vulnerability, secure love and enduring relationship. Healthy sex takes work, diligence and patience, there is nothing cheap about it.
Don’t settle for the pornified sexuality of Donald Trump. Aim for something better, something whole, something intimate.