MarriageHeat but with Video?

So this is a question I’ve pondered a few times: where does the line between something like this site and porn get drawn? Is it not lust if it’s in my mind? But isn’t that also the place where all lust actually takes place? I’ve wondered what it would be like to have “sexual content” like is on this site but, instead of words, have it be video. Would that be wrong?

It’s been on my mind because I’m struggling to find the difference between erotica and porn when it comes to usage. For example, if I read a sexual story and it arouses me, and I then masturbate while fantasizing about it, how is that different from looking at a naked woman while I touched myself?

Surely there is, somewhere out there, a community of Christians who have approached this question, though my own search has ended up finding nothing.

I’m not really sure what the point of this post is other than to generate some discussion.

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33 replies
  1. Waiting Hardly says:

    Great questions! I think a lot has to do with having biblically accurate definitions of things like lust and desire. For instance in the 10 Commandments there are prohibitions on adultery and stealing. The 10th commandment adds prohibitions against desiring to steal and desiring to commit adultery. Coveting is desire with intent. I can desire a new car, but I can’t desire to have your new car! So in Matthew when Jesus says “to desire her”, he is talking about wanting an illicit relationship with that woman, not fantasy about women like her.
    The Bible nowhere condemns witnessing intentional nudity or the conjugal act as sinful. It’s no more sinful than witnessing a robbery or a murder being depicted on screen. As for erotica, the Bible itself has a book of straight up erotic literature in Song of Songs, complete with masturbation, oral sex and premarital sex. But reading that book is not a sin!
    We do ourselves an injustice and cause much unnecessary frustration by equating arousal with lust. If one has no intent to deprive their spouse of their conjugal obligations, and also isn’t looking for someone to commit adultery with, there is no sin nor lust in using a written story, an image, or a video of nudity to facilitate the release of sexual energy. We need to stop making rules “just to be safe” based on assumptions rather than sticking closely to the text.

    • southernmost says:

      Just to clarify, I think Jesus is most likely talking about married women in Matthew 5:28 because he references the command about desiring one's neighbour's property, which would have included the wife back then. I don't not think he was saying it was wrong to desire single women, otherwise how else would men and women meet other than the family planning arrangements?

  2. undeservinggrace says:

    A thought experiment: What would life be like if Genesis 3 had not happened? Would we see those things, and would it please God? Is that not how he originally made the world?

    Be careful about Bible translations. They are made by fallible people with biases. Some chosen words are vague, too broad, and in some cases just the wrong choice. I find it helpful to look at multiple translations and to dig back to the original languages.

    Many people struggle with sin even though they believe in Jesus. I think a lot of times that is because they don't really have the complete message. Repentance, belief in Jesus, baptism (immersion) in water, and receiving the Holy Spirit are all necessary, and that is all Biblical. Those who are baptized are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:3-7). I think there are many Christians who are still slaves to sin, and that leads to struggles with things that shouldn't be a problem anymore.

    Deliverance may also be needed. It was for me.

    • Realman says:

      This isn't really a place to discuss Bible translations. Not many of us read original Greek and Hebrew after all.

    • CrazyHappyLoved says:

      But for those of us who do, it's a great place to discuss what the original languages say and would have meant to the writers versus how they have been applied in later times—not necessarily to change minds but to add a layer to our understanding, or other viewpoints to consider, and to encourage compassion over judgement.

  3. King Arthur says:

    Good Question. What is the line? Where does it start? Who determines it? How is reading about it different than seeing it? Waiting Hardly has a good point. How is witnessing a robbery or murder on screen different than this? (Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not commit murder. ) What is a slave to sin? Is this adultery? Is it sin to read about it, but not watch it? What if you imagined the actors/models in porn as being married? Would that be wrong? Would that be adultery? And many more questions.

    BTW – Nice Pic. MH

    • Waiting_Romeo says:

      I think one main difference is that murder and robbery are both shown as bad things in a movie, unlike sex. Sex is almost always seen as something good, so we won’t want to go out and kill or rob someone after we watch it in a movie because we know it’s wrong and the movie also lets us know it’s wrong (unless it’s some twisted story plot which I don’t think would be smart to watch anyway) but with sex it’s viewed positively so we are more likely to want to do it.

      (Sorry for the poor writing, I’m on mobile and in a hurry)

  4. Sarge says:

    The thing about almost all pornography is that it has two, or more, people who are not married. So are we contributing to their sin if we watch it? There are sources such as the ooold Sinclair Institute films that involve only married couples; that may be the line I’d draw. Are we suggesting MH subscribers produce videos, are we using PornHub, where’s the source? I personally think that there should be a line drawn between written and visual erotica, leave something to the imagination.

    • southernmost says:

      This comment is similar to when Paul spoke about meat being sacrificed to idols. He basically said that if you didn't know that the meat was sacrificed to idols, then you could eat it because your conscience would be clear. I think his main message was: "Don't do something that will affect your conscience". So I think some porn you don't know it's source, and some you do. It's all about what you're working through in your mind. But if you see two people having sex in the video and the caption doesn't say anything remotely wrong (like cheating, incest, etc), then is it wrong to watch it?

  5. carmelsk says:

    If you have access to the post for March 24, 2021, the post and the comments that follow might be a start. Of course, the subject of the post concerns a private video, for their personal viewing only. Your question goes a step or two further.

    A couple of points (in addition to the two in the accompanying photo):

    Let’s accept for the sake of the argument that the comments by Waiting Hardly answer your question. That is, viewing a video of that model on the beach (it’s fairly easy to image she’s about to do something with the remainder of her clothing) does not necessarily mean engaging in lust.

    Some pragmatic questions.

    In the post The Watchers (June 20) (or any of the posts), the subject matter in the story might make some pretty interesting video. Where’s the video coming from. How will it be made? Who would be the subjects? And what happens to anonymity?

    The video version reduces the fantasy to one woman. The text version permits you to have your fantasy and the next person their fantasy.

    A lot of movies are judged as not being nearly as good as the book.

    Consider the photo the goes with this post.
    A written comment (I couldn’t pull my eyes away from the nude on the beach. Her breasts were intoxicating.), by analogy might be considered beer. The still photo might be comparable to wine. A video of the same model, slowly removing the remaining clothing would be hard liquor. Any implications here?

    In simple terms, this is topless model on beach. It provides no information about the subject, why she’s on the beach, why she’s topless, no information about the viewer nor the viewer’s response or reaction. Now put into writing your reactions to walking down the beach and seeing this same model. You’re likely to write (and do) something more than “saw a topless model on the beach.” How easy or hard will it be to translate what you write on to film and still communicate to the audience what you want them to experience?

  6. "Beauty's" Man says:

    The question is a good one posed by that person presented it. It seems that there is more of an interest in the female body than that of a man's. So as in this picture, that is what is put on display. Don't get me wrong; like any other man that finds the female body of great interest (my wife's first and foremost) I'm not objecting to a more revealing policy being adopted here. But I do think we do need to remember that not everyone may find it fair to single out a woman and put them on display. As far as difference between reading and viewing, I would think and do believe that any thing along the lines of a married couple putting, by their own choice, their erotic encounters for viewing in a video does not really differ from them putting forth those same acts of married sexual encounters in writing. The reading of such stories (if well written) put visions in the readers' minds' of what has been written. I would think that delivering them in video form would be no different.

    • Waiting Hardly says:

      I, for one, would not object to pictures of a couple walking nude down the beach or through the forest. But again, I think it comes down to desire with intent. If we don’t intend to have illicit sex with the person, it’s not lust . Personally, the scenes in my imagination from written erotica like Song of Songs or some stories on MH are probably more graphic than ones from a picture.

  7. Fearless Lunk says:

    I think if we are asking “is X a sin or not a sin” we are asking the wrong questions. Romans 5, Romans 8, Galatians 1, Ephesians 2… among other places tell us of the freedom we have in Christ. We are not yoked to the Law, but rather to the Spirit.

    The Q needs to become “Is X beneficial or harmful?” In the case of porn, it is complex. It might be extremely “fun”, playful, and a wonderful benefit to an individual’s or couple’s sex life. But just like the “hard liquor” analogy above, while some couples can enjoy tequila shots in freedom, other couples might experience a spiral of damage. Porn might cause inappropriate comparisons, harmful attitudes, and (maybe the worst) addictive behaviors.

    I don’t believe it’s fair to label porn as “bad” (mostly gets that label from those who have found it more destructive personally). I don’t think it’s fair to label it “good” (mostly by those that have more of a freedom with it). I think it can be either, depending on the viewers' attitudes and sensitivities.

    I do know this much, the times are a-changing. Porn used to be an “industry” of paid sex actors. Now porn is primarily exhibitionists with cell phone cameras. Porn used to be 99% about “unmarried” sex acts. Now a lot of amateur porn is married and/or monogamous couples… or solo masturbation. Porn used to be considered an evil to be avoided (just like “hard liquor” was an evil)… and more Christian couples are opening up to the “freedom” side of porn. 25+ years ago, adult stores were to be avoided by “good Christians”… and a wife using a vibrator as a sex aide was considered by many to be an abomination. Taboos become more common and accepted as time goes on. (Even a few years ago, this website didn’t allow any references to anal sex). I think porn is still a taboo to most Christians… and it is legitimately destructive to some (and should be avoided at all costs). But I think in the years ahead, it will become more common and accepted.

    If there was a website like MH with homemade “Christian porn” by married couples and/or masturbating singles…. I would definitely join… I would be a paying member. I hope that site is created one day. Christians should have a safe place (like this site) to express themselves as voyeurs and exhibitionists.

  8. LovingMan says:

    To me, MH stories are encouraging to others to show that marriage sex can be glorious. I also think that too many Christians are overly prudish about discussing sex. And their attitude about the nude human body is also prudish. Nudity CAN be non-sexual – it’s mostly about the attitude and mindset of the viewer.

    I think we can admire the beauty of others without betraying our spouse. However, viewing pornography can be a major problem for marriages. Viewing porn by one spouse can lead to dissatisfaction with their spouse. Many users of hardcore pornography lose interest in their spouse. Excessive use of visual porn has been known to lead to infidelity and divorce.

    As has been said here, the majority of porn is unmarried people or threesomes or wife swap etc. – all of which are against God’s commandments to be faithful to your spouse and to keep sexual relationships within the marriage covenant.

    I think that instruction videos like the Sinclair Institute videos may have a place. But my opinion is that the majority of hardcore porn drives away and grieves the Holy Ghost.

    As far as a married couple making a video of their own sexual encounters for their own use… I see absolutely no problem with that. We have done many, but we never will share those erotic clips with anyone. Yet we HAVE shared sex stories we experienced here on MH. Sharing stories is to inspire others. Sharing videos just seems out of bounds to us.

  9. Tulsa says:

    It's a blurry line, no doubt about it!
    Take the picture for the post. Some would say that it's porn. Others, it's just a half naked woman, and there's nothing wrong with seeing that!
    So, change the picture, where she's completely naked. Is that porn? How about if her legs are spread, and it's from a different angle, looking right up her business? Porn, or still a nude lady.
    Change it up again. Now the pic shows her with two fingers in herself, and her other hand pulling on one of her hard nipples. Porn, or a naked lady enjoying herself?
    If it's a painting, or a sculpture named 'Ecstasy In The Sand', is it now art? Maybe it's erotica?
    Different folks, will have the line in different places…….so I guess you have to figure out where it best belongs! 🙂

    Tough question!

    • Sarge says:

      I’ve spent a great deal of time in Europe and museums in various countries. There are many an ancient religious painting or sculpture of nudity. I like what you said about the context of the photo above. I find that picture to be artistic and nor pornographic, but as you said if she were doing more than just laying there, the viewer would be the judge depending on their personal feelings and perspectives of nude depictions. Though I think most of the MH readers are advanced in their thoughts not to be bashful about that image.
      In context of sexual act depictions, I don’t think anyone in our MH community should be posting something of their own that I would consider more sacred then the written word.
      I don’t really want to see a guy beating off, but a woman might like it. I love seeing a woman Jilling off, but a woman may not. So I think intercourse videos, unless anonymous or certified as a married couple should be avoided. Married oral sex videos may be useful for those who are new to the art. Solo anonymous masturbation is fine in my view.

  10. Enjoying Gods gifts says:

    It would help greatly to think in terms of a difference between erotica and pornography (I plan to write a full article for MH sometime soon), tying into the differing Greek words. Erotica comes from the Greek word "eros" pertaining to sexual matters. Pornography comes from the Greek words "porneia" (pertaining to sexual immorality) and "graphein" (graphic portrayals of such acts). Sex is a normal bodily function created by God Himself, and can be portrayed in ways pleasing to God, whether between husband and wife (which is obviously the ultimate), or solo (if the real thing is not available in marriage). It could indeed be a valuable service for some operator to offer erotic videos carried out within the parameters of biblical principles between real husband and wife, rather than having to wade through much filth (threesomes, adultery, same-sex) on sites like Pornhub to find an occasional video of real marital sex. I would hope the operators of MarriageHeat would prayerfully consider that idea.

    • olddog56 says:

      There is a need for sex education. It is much more effective for couples to view real couples swallowing or performing oral so that others can get over their hangups, realizing that other married folks do it and seeing how they do it. Knowing it is permissible and normal would help all church members.
      Maybe education with faces masked and tattoos covered and the act in the final orgasm state, eliminating all the erotic preliminary up to orgasm elements.

  11. Hotnorthern says:

    No. Reading and watching are two totally different things. One your imagination does the work, the other one its all done for you. One you can imagine yourself in the story, the other you are stuck watching someone else. Pornography is known to have so many harms and dangers to our brain it’s not hard to find that out. You can look up Fight the New Drug or Strength to Fight. They have a lot of information there.

    Pornography is addicting and there are people who then experience ED without it and cannot perform. That’s terrible.
    Pornography also by watching
    bypasses your thinking and goes straight into your mind, unlike reading where your brain creates its own pictures. Also, you are looking at someone else’s spouse and admiring what they do instead of just reading a story and implementing it with your spouse. I recommend you stay away from seeing pictures or videos of each other. It’s dangerous ground and goes too far.

    I can read a story that has a little violence in it but I cannot watch it. My brain cannot handle it, and I’ll see it continually when I shut my eyes or have nightmares when I try to sleep. If I read it, that doesn’t happen. Watching bypasses an important area in your brain.

    • Waiting_Romeo says:

      I completely agree. It’s NEVER worth the risk of getting addicted to porn.

      Thank you for taking the time to write your answer!

  12. OldManJam says:

    I am more inclined to freedom in this topic, as long as it doesn't lead me or my wife into sin. I lean hard on personal convictions because our relationship with Jesus, and the things that trip us up, are in fact personal and do not affect every person the same way.

    For me, I can look at nudity and not be led to adultery or lust, I can in fact just appreciate the beauty of a nude human body. With that said, I would be fine watching erotic videos with my wife, as long as it led us to hot, sweaty, and sticky sex. However, what is permissible and beneficial for one couple may not be for another.

  13. PatientPassion says:

    I've thought about this question/issue too. I could probably write a whole post on it, but here are a few core differences that quickly come to mind.

    1) Written vs. visual: As Hotnorthern pointed out, a visible and audible recording of a sexual encounter is experienced as much more vivid and "real" than a written account. We experience things through vision in an instinctual and primal way. Video is very vivid and powerful, and therefore a riskier format for inspiring lust and other unhealthy desires (though it doesn't always do that). But for a story to be read, the experience has to be translated into writing, then from writing into the reader's imagination. That's at least two significant degrees of removal between the writer and reader that don't exist in a video format.

    2) Anonymous: Because of the anonymous and/or fictional nature of MarriageHeat (and much other written erotica), there's very little risk of any privacy being violated. With a visual format, anonymity is much harder to guarantee (or is basically ignored altogether), and the risk of a privacy breach increases. Of course, that's probably the responsibility of the person allowing themselves to be filmed.

    These two points mean that there is far less direct and personal engagement between the "provider" and "consumer" of the sexual content. I don't know how much of a difference that makes in God's eyes, but they seem like important factors to consider.

    I don't know all the factors that go into these things being acceptable or not, but I'm pretty sure a big deciding factor is attitude. Are you using another person's described experience or visual image as a commodity for your own pleasure? Or instead as a way to appreciate the beauty of God's creation and get inspiration for how to use God's gift of sexuality well in your own life?

    As for lust, it's still lust if it's in the mind/heart. In fact, that's exactly where the textbook definition of lust occurs according to Jesus.

    I think it's important to recognize that there's a difference between seeing sin in porn and seeing sin in real life or TV shows. For example, in life or TV, we don't typically go out of our way to watch someone get beaten or robbed. Things like that are evil parts of life that we occasionally witness or see portrayed on a screen. With porn, users specifically seek out the depiction of sexual sin with the intent to derive pleasure from it. Would we do the same with assault or robbery? It's easy to see how taking pleasure in those sins are wrong. It's the same with sexual sin: it's abhorrent to God, and should be to us as his children as well.

  14. Woods says:

    As a purely practical matter, I find when it comes to what those involved see and feel physically and emotionally, the written word communicates much more effectively and clearly than pictures alone, even video. Probably why the book is so often better than the movie. It takes a lot of hard work, thought, and talent to get the script—take note: words—to tie the cinematography (all those pictures from all those viewpoints) together so that it really tells the tale the book told in the first place.

  15. Bona says:

    God bless marriageheat, this site is a delight. I am so glad I get to enjoy my sexuality within the bounds of marriage. I am a single guy, and this is a place I turn to for a pleasure. Thanks, y'all.

  16. Faithful says:

    A lot of the discussion here is theoretical. I have to take a more pragmatic approach. I, personally, would have to stop visiting MH. Not everything posted on MH meets my needs and my wife’s; some things are more intense than we’re on-board with, at least at this point, maybe ever—and MH provides “trigger warnings” on some key aspects in an effort to help folks have some sense of what they’re getting into. But with words (aside from the many other excellent observations made already) I can evaluate and pick with more personal discretion. Images and, even more so, video, take me on a much more passive ride, and, in this space especially, that scares me.

    I come to MH when I’m in a mood or looking for indirect mentorship from a source with Judeo-Christian scruples, because it helps me be in control of the situation and keep within bounds. Video would ruin that for me and others like me—it’s just too easy to click one button and be watching two strangers (hopefully at least married) flaunt something precious in front of whoever happens to wander by— nothing to the imagination. I’m sorry, but even Solomon didn’t leave us doodles in the margin! Sacredness implies some privacy somewhere. And for me, the step into the visual, and video especially, crosses the line from objectification of the sex-act (and the people, especially the woman, involved) being *possible* to being probable. I, personally, would experience that as harmful, destroying the whole benefit of MH, which is based on the desire to help; and I think that would be true for many others, as well.

    • Fearless Lunk says:

      I don’t have the same struggle as you, but I agree that MH shouldn’t transition to a video site, for the sensitivities that you bring up. If it ever happened (99% chance it won’t), I think that the video content should be guarded… maybe behind a paywall. I think everyone is at a different spot on their acceptance of certain content… and it’s always good to think of the collective good (not just my own interests).

  17. olddog56 says:

    Let's do a quick comparison. What is the difference in seeing a woman with her breasts bare and a overweight or large chested man shirtless. Without nursing the breasts are functionally the same. In other words there is no reason a woman should be looked upon as a sex object because her breasts are bare than a man's being bare. It is only in the mind of the beholder that there is a difference. If we men can be bare chested then there is no reason for a woman not to be. Nipples are a source of pleasure for both sexes. If you haven't tried it on your man I encourage you to do so.
    In the Bible translations I have read, God does not differentiate in the kind of covering he provides the couple. Some seem to say a loin cloth, not a full tunic. Even if it is a full tunic, it was the same for both.
    So, we need to get over our hangups about seeing naked breasts in pictures, movies, and statues. It is not lust since there is no ability to plot to have sex with a picture or movie. Of course we could Biblically lust after our own wives if the picture arouses us.

    Question: why doesn't a wife viewing a totally naked man arouse them? For some, seeing their own naked live husband does not arouse them. Is that because nakedness is thought of as a sin for many in the church?

  18. stevesandy says:

    Definitely an issue worth discussing and many interesting points. There is no real line between the two, reading a story or watching a video in the context of christian couple in love. We see no real difference, we are not talking about porn, which we are both against, which can be degrading and cause all sorts of problems. This site is a safe space to explore and express our sexuality in a godly way with other believers. The purpose of this website is to inspire and encourage other couples and to be inspired and encouraged by others which in turn strengthens our own relationships. Whether this is done through reading of erotic stories or visually does not matter, there is no real line.

    The line is at lust. We are called not to lust after others, not to covet others or things. When reading an erotic story on here, we enjoy it, but at no point do we desire the people in the stories for ourselves; that is not the purpose. I am sure most of us benefit in our own relationships from this. That is why we are here with like-minded Christians. In the same way, watching a video of a married Christian couple making love is no worse and no better, just another option. The devil does not own sex, but has done a good job of confusing the world and abusing it.

    We think it is wonderful to read these erotic stories and what other couples do when deeply in love. It would be also wonderful to be able to watch videos of this as well, which can also inspire and encourage. If we are honest, we read the stories to feel inspired, encouraged and aroused. Many of us enjoy masturbating while reading, and that is healthy, as long as we are not lusting or desiring the people in these stories. We see nothing wrong with watching videos in the same way: to be inspired, to encourage us, and to masturbate to, alone or with our partners.

    Our view is that it is healthy and can be done in a godly way as we honour marriage. In saying that, anyone who thinks it is a sin, for them it is a sin. We have discussed this as a couple in-depth and have prayed about it for some time and come to peace about it.

    • Fearless Lunk says:

      I agree with all that you posted. A Christian video erotica site may NOT be for everyone, but that doesn’t make it sinful. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that all participants are being drawn into actual lust. Many couples already enjoy watching erotic videos that aren’t distinctly Christian… myself included. I sometimes fantasize that the couple we are watching are a married Christian couple (LOL!).

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