At my last Confession, I talked with my priest about pornography. He brought up the concept the Church uses of an “unhealthy” curiosity. So I looked at my curiosity and assessed whether it is, or was, unhealthy.

When I was planning my life around when I could view or read sexually explicit material, I can honestly say that such a curiosity was unhealthy. What has begun is a continuing process of letting go, of taking the mystique and appeal out of the sexually explicit. The door that opened for me in this process is to look for the person behind the image. I start with the eyes and the face. The nudity then becomes secondary. The allure then deepens.

It is a very disturbing thought that human beings can eroticize almost anything, that we can turn our desires, feelings, and our curiosity into a prison we can never leave. Our fetishes then define us. Hugh Hefner, in the Playboy heyday, managed to turn the female body into a fetish object at a truly bizarre and pathological level. He managed to force out beauty in his pursuit of beauty. We began to pursue relationships on the basis of such a superficial concept of attraction.

We must acknowledge our universal need for love, love that goes beyond sexual release. That our bodies are intrinsically good is a truth that takes a while to accept; from our bodies come life itself. By that I don’t mean that we all have to become parents. But that our physical being is what perpetuates humanity.