Hotels Remove Porn

Hotel Entertainment

Historically, hotels have always been one of the biggest beneficiaries from the porn industry. Hotels have been providing adult films via pay-per-view to weary and lonely travelers for decades. An article appearing in the New York Times in 1987 cites that pay-per-view movies were available in 47 percent of hotel rooms. In a blasé matter of fact tone, the article discusses the newest “amenity”, and how it is beneficial to those on the road. However, next time you find yourself staying at your favorite hotel, the only entertainment option may be to cue up Bob Dylan because “The times they are a-changin”. Due to outside pressure from organizations like the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and an increasingly negative attitude towards pornography, hotels have begun to remove this once iconic feature.

Due to outside pressure from organizations like the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and an increasingly negative attitude towards pornography, hotels have begun to remove this once iconic feature.

Omni’s Bold Choice

In 1999, Dallas-based Omni Hotels became the first chain to remove pornographic pay-per-view films from its rooms. Owner Robert Rowling claimed a support for family values as the reason for the decision.  It wasn’t until 2011 that Marriott would be the second chain to follow suit, creating a domino effect on the rest of the industry. With increased pressure, Hilton and Hyatt both announced the removal of porn from in-room entertainment systems in 2015. In 2016, the latest chain to opt for family-friendly programming is the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) whose brands include Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza.

There has been debate over the true reason for the removal of these films. While all companies have claimed family values, it seems that the real reasons may be more political and business related. An NBC news article reveals this suspicion in a quote by Glenn Houssman, “Marriott sees porn as a rapidly declining source of income, so they [figure they] might as well get ahead of the competition and make this a good PR message”. Other critics have pointed out that increasing accessibility of pornographic content on the internet decreases the need for hotels to provide adult films. The Omni chain, however, has never received much questioning regarding their motives. Removing porn from hotel rooms cost these early adopters an estimated 4 million dollars. This figure included the cost of new televisions, a new service provider, and an estimated loss of revenue.

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Sustainable Difference

While it is a good thing that other hotel chains have decided to remove adult films as an in-room amenity, the motives behind the decision still play a role. They make the difference between applause for choosing something you believe in, or a public eye roll for jumping on the latest social trend. In the same way, this can be applied to our personal lives. There are many diplomatic reasons to remove porn from your life. These ideas range from:

It’s hurtful to my spouse
I don’t want my kids to see that
It’s degrading to women
It skews my attitude towards sex

These are all great reasons to quit watching porn, but they aren’t sustainable. They all leave room for temptation. What happens when your wife is out of town, the kids have a sleepover, or the socially conscious trend has passed? Every day there are little openings that allow sin to creep back in and drag you down. However, there is another way, a sustainable and life giving option. True change comes from the transforming love of Jesus Christ. If you look to Christ and seek to change your heart you can begin to find true freedom from sin. As 1st Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

What happens when your wife is out of town, the kids have a sleepover, or the socially conscious trend has passed?

Through the grace of God and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to cover our sins, we can leave behind our old identities. We become sons and daughters of the King, no longer bound by fleeting temptations of this world. In this new identity, there can be a permanent removal from porn in your life.

If adult films begin making money again, and social pressure lightens, certain chains would probably reintegrate pornography to their hotel experience. Yet, Omni Hotels most likely would not be among them. The organization Omni chose to redefine part of their identity during the peak of pay-per-view pornography. Likewise, if your reason to avoid porn is to simply be a better person will that conviction hold fast in an increasingly sexualized culture? Or will you seek an identity in Christ and be set free?

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Jason Deutsch

Jason Deutsch

Jason Deutsch has worked with various non-profit ministries over the last few years. He is an adventure enthusiast, musician on the side, and is passionate about seeing Christ-like change in people across the globe. He is happily married and loves hanging out with his Golden Retriever, Skye.

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