Monday, March 05, 2007

The duplicitous guy

I remember being at a friend's house when a movie was on that had an extended nude scene. I excused myself (in, I think, a completely non-self-righteous way) and walked home with my brother. I felt good about being the "good" kid, but I knew that I really had wanted to watch that scene. If only there hadn't been all those other people there that I had to be example for, I subconsciously thought, I could have had a look.

The same scenario played out in other situations. Our family would be watching a movie, and I would support the decision to fast-forward a sex scene or tut disparagingly at a nude scene... unless I was alone. When I was alone I could indulge my curiosity.

I tried not to look into the lockers in middle school where I knew kids had nasty Vanna White pinups... but I flipped through medical books and National Geographic mags to have a look at nudies as long as nobody was watching.

I think this duplicitous nature was directly caused by always trying to appear the "good" boy for my folks. They rewarded me with praise and love for all my good choices, so it seemed (however incorrectly) that I had to keep up appearances. I even excused myself for the show of righteousness because I knew my parents were having trouble with my brothers and sisters and would congratulate me for the good decisions I had made. I didn't want to disturb them more than they were, I thought.

It's easy to imagine how a kid who would never look at porn when anyone was around could suddenly be way over his head once the Internet solved the privacy and access problems for me. I ended up becoming very skilled at covering my tracks on the computer. I was enlisted to monitor others' use and once discovering a fellow RA had viewed porn on our office computer and once caught the Elders' Quorum president at it in the library. I was keenly aware of my hypocrisy, but I wasn't going to volunteer a confession either.

Even now I think the privacy issue and the trap of easy access are key to my addiction and recovery.


Marmoreal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beck said...

It's easy to be "the good one" when you have no interest in the porn your peers are indulging in secretly in the tent at scout camp. It's easy to be "the good one" when you have no interest in the nude scene in the movie that your fellow peers are watching on a navy ship with crude and wild navy officers. It's easy to be considered the "good one" and being praised by your bishop and other priesthood leaders for your "resolve" to resist what seems to be a problem with all the other priests - but in reality, the duplicity comes when you're interested - yeah, you really are interested - just not in the same images the rest are. No one suspects the gay-card and so your duplicitous nature of being "good" but desiring what no one imagines and no one suspects... begins.

SG said...

I've always believed that we men are particularly good at compartmentalizing our behaviors. For me, viewing pornography wasn't that bad because I only did it occasionally and I wasn't viewing really hardcore stuff. I justified it by looking at amateur pictures (how distorted is that thinking?) and only for a few minutes at a time.

But other men (everyone besides me) were wicked if they viewed pornography at all, especially if it was straight (which didn't interest me) or used professional models (which also didn't interest me).

In other words, it was evil if it didn't fit in my box of acceptability.

Pretty messed up, huh? Part of the sickness of addiction.

Loyalist (with defects) said...

I find it interesting how easy it has been to lie to myself over the years. I even gave it a name - The Art of Camoflage.

At a young age I came to understand the duplicitous nature of (some in the) Mormon community. In the end I used it to justify my own actions through comparing my own action to the actions of others (especially those who's actions actually hurt others). Since my action involved only me and I was a willing participant then it was justified (in my mind).

it is extreamly difficult to take down those barriers though, even now. I don't like discussing my sexuality with my own wife. but i am willing to discuss many other topics so long as it doesn't range near the "my feelings" area.

Master Fob said...

Wait. Vanna White? She's appeared in nasty pinups? Man, who will I look up to now?