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Erin Andrews, Terry Crews, and the demand for porn

Sportscaster and television host Erin Andrews, center, stands with attorney Scott Carr, left, as the jury leaves the courtroom Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. Andrews has filed a $75 million lawsuit against the franchise owner and manager of a luxury hotel and a man who admitted to making secret nude recordings of her in 2008. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, Pool)Acclaimed writer Henry David Thoreau once remarked that "most men live lives of quiet desperation." Similar to a volcano, men give the appearance of calmness on the exterior, all the while deep yearnings for something more boil within. Eruptions can be beautiful to watch from afar, but tragedy too often results.

This week, former ESPN reporter Erin Andrews relived such a tragic instance. She took the stand and tearfully testified against the Nashville hotel where she was videotaped undressing through her hotel room peephole. Michael David Barrett, who served two and a half years in federal prison after pleading guilty to interstate stalking, followed Andrews for months as he sought to invade her privacy for his benefit.

Andrews shared that ever since she was little, she wanted to be a sportscaster, but now she is taunted and shamed doing the very thing she loves. "I wanted to be the girl next door who loved sports, and now I'm the girl with a hotel scandal," she said.

Her mother took to the stand, saying that the incident has changed Erin. She described how Erin used to be easy-going and loved talking with fellow sports fans before the games. "And now, unless there's somebody to protect her, she does not interact," Paula Andrews testified. "She's very, very frightened." Her interaction with fans is not the only thing that has changed. When she arrives at hotels, she immediately asks to change rooms, refuses to let anyone inside, and combs the room for cameras and "booby traps."

Bernard Jansen, a professor from Penn State, told jurors that at least 16.8 million people have viewed the secretly shot footage. "Every minute, 1.5 people are watching that video. . . . Right now, someone is watching that video." Clinical psychologist Karen Stewart told ABC News that "nine out of ten college-age males and over a third of college-age females are looking at pornography on a regular basis."

But the porn problem is not limited to college co-eds.

Last week, Terry Crews, star of the Fox TV series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and the new host of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?," confessed to his secret porn addiction. In a series of videos posted on his Facebook, Crews spoke about how he found comfort in watching pornographic films in his uncle's basement at a young age.

Porn was like an "intimacy killing" wall in Crews life. "Every time I watched it, I was walled off. It was like another brick that came between me and my wife." The tragically ironic truth was that Crews looked to porn for intimacy, but porn was the very thing that was robbing Crews of what he sought.

Every second, 28,258 users are watching pornography on the Internet. According to the BBC, thirty-seven percent of the internet is pornographic. At least 20,000 American adults visit internet sex sites at least eleven hours per week. With such a great demand, an incessant supply follows—hence Erin Andrews.

Unfortunately, Erin's case is but one instance of an ever-increasing trend known as revenge porn. Revenge porn is "the distribution of sexually graphic images of individuals without their consent. This includes both images originally obtained without consent (e.g. by using hidden cameras, hacking phones, or recording sexual assaults) as well as images consensually obtained within the context of an intimate relationship." This is growing increasingly more prevalent in high schools around the country.

The desire for intimacy cannot be satiated by porn. Porn creates a demand that it inevitably cannot fulfill. Thus, habitual porn users go to greater lengths and sink to further depths, all in an effort to find satisfaction.

The pervasiveness of pornography shows the depth of human depravity. But it also demonstrates the depth of human need for intimacy. Porn gives the illusion of intimacy but leaves the victim still lonely.

Thoreau was right that most men live lives of quiet desperation. And when it comes to men who habitually look at porn, tragedy inevitably follows where people are hurt. However, some men's quiet desperation leads them to make public proclamations that enough is enough. People are not objects to be used, but individuals to be loved and befriended. Instead of using people like objects, they love people like Jesus. May there be more of the latter than the former.

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