Month: October 2016
This is a great article on recognizing sexual addiction:
When people usually think about addiction, they typically picture someone who drinks to excess, abuses drugs, overeats, or perhaps gambles too much. But mental health professionals understand that “addiction” can be any activity that a person compulsively engages in to the point that it negatively affects their life.
Sexual addiction goes far beyond enjoying sex or pornography. It means that your desires and your actions have gone beyond your control and are now hurting other areas of your life.
What Are Some Problems Caused by Sexual Addiction?
Sex addiction can take up so much of a person’s time and energy that it makes their life unmanageable, resulting in such things as:
- Broken trust
- Destroyed relationships
- Health issues
- Problems at work
- Legal difficulties
- Disinterest in anything non-sexual
So what is the cut-off point? How do you know when you have crossed the line from a healthy interest in sex to an addiction?
Sign #1 That You Might Be a Sex Addict– You Can’t Control Your Actions
One of the biggest signs of sexual addiction is when you engage in activity even when you don’t really want to or know you shouldn’t. Some examples of compulsive sexual behavior might include:
- Continually cheating on your spouse/partner
- Having sex/masturbating in inappropriate or dangerous places – at work, in public, etc.
- Sleeping with someone who you’re not attracted to
- Not using protection, especially if you have already contracted an STD
- Visiting prostitutes or illicit massage parlors
Sign #2 That You Might Be a Sex Addict – You’re Leading a Double Life
Everyone wants their sex life be private, but there is a difference between discretion and secrecy. If you feel that you have to lie about or actively hide your sexual behaviors and desires, you might have a problem.
Sign #3 That You Might Be a Sex Addict – You’re Obsessed with Sexual Material
Sexual addiction is more than simply enjoying pornography occasionally. It crosses the line into addiction when you are excessively preoccupied with sexual images and material to the exclusion of other interests and activities. The following are examples of “obsessive” behaviors:
- Spending an inordinate amount of time online searching for and viewing pornography
- Blowing your budget on phone sex lines, website subscriptions, or in adult shops
- Having profiles on multiple dating or sex websites – especially if you are in a committed relationship
Sign #4 That You Might Be a Sex Addict –You’re Constantly Looking for “More”
One of the hallmarks of addiction is a loss of interest or enjoyment in formally pleasurable activities. For sex addicts, there is always that next bigger thrill – more explicit, more outside-the-norm, and sometimes, more dangerous.
Wanting variety occasionally is one thing, but NEVER being satisfied with a regular lovemaking session with your spouse or partner could mean that your desires are out of control.
Sign #5 That You Might Be a Sex Addict –You’re Getting in Trouble at Work or with the Law
Having such a profound inability to control your sexual behaviors that you engage in activities that could get you arrested for cause you to lose your job definitely points to an addiction. These behaviors include, but are not limited to:
- Visiting prostitutes
- Going to illegal “massage” partners
- Having sex or “sexting” with minors
- Possessing child pornography
- Using your work computer or phone to view sexual material
- Having sex or masturbating at work
Sign #6 That You Might Be a Sex Addict – It’s Affecting Your Personal Relationships
Engaging in any sex-oriented behavior that you engage in that you have to hide from your partner or that could seriously damage your relationship could be signs of an addiction–especially if you have been caught before and are unable to stop yourself, despite the consequences.
Yes, it usually means being unfaithful, but anything that damages trust between you and your partner is “cheating”. The key is if you are having to do these things in secret, such as:
- Visiting strip clubs
- Going to adult theaters
- Calling phone sex lines
- Pressuring your partner sexually
Sign #7 That You Might Be a Sex Addict –Even YOU Are Worried about Your Behaviors
Sexual addiction is just like other addictions – irresistible compulsions make you behave in ways you never thought possible and afterwards, you are consumed by negative feelings:
- Suicidal ideation*
*Thoughts of suicide, including how to go through with it are serious. NEVER let these thoughts “lie around” in your head. If you are considering suicide, reach out NOW to someone you trust or call a suicide hotline. Suicide is a permanent “solution” to what is so often a “temporary” feeling or situation.
The following is a post from David Platt’s blog, “Radical.”
What do our own habits related to sexual purity have to do with the massive sex trafficking industry? More than you might think. In his most recent book, Counter Culture, David Platt addresses the hypocrisy of fighting sex slavery while indulging in pornography:
Survey’s consistently show that over half of men and increasing numbers of women in churches are actively viewing pornography. Remarkably (but when you think about it, not necessarily surprisingly), statistics are similar for the pastors who lead these churches.
Such pornography is a severe problem on a number of levels but don’t miss its connection to sex trafficking. Research continually demonstrates a clear link between sex trafficking and the production of pornography. Federal legislation has acknowledged this, participants in the production of pornography have confirmed this, and while exact figures are hard to pin down, one anti-trafficking center reports that at least a third of victims trafficked for sex are used in the production of pornography.
Yet the cycle is even more vicious than that. For the more people watch pornography, the more they desire sexual fulfillment through prostitution. Such desire drives men (and women) to engage in physical prostitution or even virtual prostitution as “every home computer [becomes] a potential red light district.” Pornography thus feeds prostitution, again increasing the demand for sex trafficking.
Do we realize what we are doing? Every time a man or woman views pornography online, we are contributing to a cycle of sex slavery from the privacy of our own computers. We are fueling an industry that enslaves people for sex in order to satisfy selfish pleasures in our living rooms, our offices, and on our mobile phones.
The hypocrisy is staggering, and the conclusion is clear. No matter how many red X’s we write on our hands to end slavery, as long as these same hands are clicking on pornographic websites and scrolling through sexual pictures and videos, we are frauds to the core.
Any and every time we indulge in pornography, we deny the precious gospel truth that every man and woman possesses inherent dignity, not to be solicited and sold for sex, but to be valued and treasured as excellent in the eyes of God. People are not inferior objects to be used and abused for selfish, sexual, sensual pleasure; they are equal image bearers of the God who loves and cares for them. We may scoff at how pre-Civil War churchgoers justified slaves in their backyards, but aren’t we dangerously like them when we participate in pornography (and promote the sex slavery to which it is inextricably tied) in our own homes?
First steps to counter the culture of pornography and sex trafficking:
Ask God to:
- Intervene and rescue individuals around the world who are being used as sex slaves.
- Open the eyes of Christians and churches to the issues of pornography and the plight of sexual slavery
- Redeem the perpetrators of sex slavery or otherwise execute justice in light of their sin
Prayerfully consider taking these steps:
- Support a ministry that addresses the problem of sex slavery and consider ways you can be involved in their work.
- Make fellow church members or church leaders aware of these issues so that you can pray for the victims of pornography and sex slavery and strategize how to help them.
- Call and write your government representatives urging them to oppose sex trafficking as well as the pornography industry.
Consider the following truths from Scripture:
- Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.”
- Pslam 82:4 “Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
- Psalm 7:11 “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.”
I found this article recently on XXXChurch.com (a ministry taking a stand against porn). I wanted to share it here:
“I don’t understand,” Tim said to his wife as they sat across from me during their first counseling session. “I didn’t sleep with anyone. I was watching porn. Since when is that considered adultery?”
He shot me a look seeking my support in confirming his belief that Cheryl was overreacting to his behavior.
Unfortunately for Tim, such support was not to be found, at least not in my counseling office.
Just as I asked Tim to do, let’s take a moment and look at what’s involved with pornography and what could be the rationale that leaves Cheryl and many other women to believe it’s a form of cheating.
Is looking at porn the same thing as cheating?
Let’s think about three things we’re really doing when we’re watching porn:
1) We’re lusting.
We are becoming aroused as we watch other individuals engaging in sexual acts. When we commit adultery what are we engaging in? Lust. When we make a commitment to another person to be involved in a serious relationship or marry, we are promising to not lust after others.
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman. For what has God above chosen for us? What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high? Isn’t it calamity for the wicked and misfortune for those who do evil?” Job 31:1-3
We accept the duty to honor our partner by not allowing our sexual desires to wander beyond the relationship. When we view pornography, we are wandering sexually and dishonoring our partner.
2) We’re planting seeds of doubt in our partner’s mind.
In a large majority of cases, when a woman discovers her partner watching pornography – whether she expresses it or not – she feels a sense of unworthiness. Our pornography use crushes their self-worth. She believes she can’t compete or measure up to the fantasy women we lust after, and it creates a sense of shame within her. The women we betray begin comparing themselves to the graphic images and feel they are “not enough for us.” Our pornography usage creates self-doubt in their ability to mentally and physically satisfy us. This ultimately creates a wedge in our relationship.
3) We’re engaging in solo sex.
There is no denying masturbation is heavily involved with pornography watching.
But when we do that, we are robbing our wives and our relationships of the opportunity for both emotional and physical intimacy.
Our bodies are not our own, and our desire to engage in sexual pleasure was meant to be shared with our wives and not in isolation.
“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:3-4
We can attempt to justify our pornography use by claiming it’s harmless and that we can do what we wish with our own bodies.
Is looking at porn the same thing as cheating? The truth is: pornography is a betrayal that objectifies and dishonors women, so yes, it’s a form of cheating. And our partners deserve better than that from us.
Author: Eddie Capparucci on July 15th, 2016
Great post that I read recently.. had to share:
I spend a fair amount of time on Reddit and other online communities interacting with people who are trying to find freedom from porn. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is there seems to be a tendency for folks to come down hard on themselves when they relapse.
“I looked at porn again after 30 days clean. God must be so mad at me.”
“I screwed up and masturbated last night, why am I such a horrible person?”
“Why can’t I fix myself? I suck at being a Christian.”
You get the idea.
I wish I had the time to respond to every one of these posts and let them know that God isn’t mad at them. Seriously. In fact, this whole idea that God becomes angry with us when we fall is likely one of the major factors in their ongoing struggle to find freedom from porn.
It’s easy for us to see all the crap in our lives as a huge pile of trash, with us on one side and God on the other. We think we need to clean it up before we can get anywhere close to the Father. But the more we try to shovel it down, the more we realize we’re just adding more to it every day.
If you look closer at the Gospels, though, you’ll realize that’s not a very good description of how God actually views you. The truth is He sent Jesus to walk around that pile of trash, put His arm on your shoulder, and offer to clean it up for you. Better yet, Jesus promises to stand with you at all times to make sure any additional trash that gets dumped on the pile is immediately removed as well—which includes those times you still look at porn.
That’s what Jesus meant when He said “It is Finished.”
Not “It was finished, but now you went and screwed it up by looking at porn again.”
“It is finished.”
All your sin, past, present, and even future sin, has been paid for on the cross. Your entire pile of junk was removed giving you a clear path to the Father. (Think about it, how much of your sin was future sin when Jesus was on the cross? All of it!)
So instead of feeling like you need to hide from God, clean up your life, or worse yet, beat yourself up when you look at porn, I’d encourage you to run back to God, knowing that He is a loving and approachable Father.
In the same way the father of the prodigal son looked to the horizon daily hoping for his boy to return (knowing full well what he had done), your Father in heaven is eagerly waiting for you to come back to His embrace as well.
He doesn’t want you to “work off your debt.”
He doesn’t need to hear your well-thought-out excuses.
He won’t require you to earn your place back starting as a hired servant.
He doesn’t think you suck, or that you’re a horrible person.
He loves you, and all He wants to do is throw a party to celebrate your return, because there is always a place for you at His table, regardless of what you’ve done.
Author: Stephen Kuhn on July 1st, 2016