In his powerfully profound book Human Intimacy Victor Brown describes the tendency many have to confuse love an intimacy with sex. While sex is a component of the most sacred and purest intimacy that can be enjoyed by husband and wide, it is definitely not synonymous with love or intimacy.
“Sex addict” is a term used to describe those who have come to find they cannot resist or live without sex. Because there is often a void they are seeking to fill, a loving relationship, the term “love addict” also is used at times. While I disagree with calling people addicts, I do know first had the power of addiction.
When a person becomes trapped by their sexuality, a prison like no other is formed. When someone is addicted to heroin they can go somewhere where there is none and detox. Sexual addictions can be one of the hardest to break because we carry with us at all times the “drug of choice.” All one needs is a moment to fantasize and the chemicals are released into the brain. And when others are involved with the “addict” it becomes a trap that deadens and destroys relationships.
“Bridle your passions that you may be filled with love,” is a wise statement on so many levels. Imagine your passion and drive for sex to be a horse. Which scenario delivers the freedom you desire – A bucking bronco with the rope tied at his groin or the tamed and broken stallion with the rope attached to a harness, giving you direction and control of his movements?
Are you or someone you know addicted to sex? You’re not alone. Wherever you find people you’ll find others trying to exploit those base desires. But you always have a choice and can overcome if you you’ve found yourself addicted to sex or love. There IS hope! Many others have found themselves addicted and have also found their way out. You can too!
In the 12 step programs there is a phrase often tossed around that I quite disagree with. The statement is usually something like, “once an addict, always an addict.” While I understand that there’s always a need in everyone’s life to be cautious of falling into dark patterns of behavior, I also know the human brain has an amazing plasticity or ability to change. One should not underestimate the capacity of the human spirit to exert change when it sets its will to do so and for that change to become permanent, a very part of their nature.
With this initial premise in place I wish to talk briefly to those who may consider themselves or be considered by others to be a masturbation addict. Masturbation or self-stimulation is nothing new. Sexual tendencies lie within all of us & they have been exploited in many ways as long as humans have been around.
Quite often those who compulsively masturbate also have incorporated into their belief system false ideas which do them great disservice. These beliefs can lead them to engage in the illusion of intimacy while avoiding the heart of it. While seeing a professional therapist may be appropriate there is much headway one can make on their own to understand & correct those core beliefs.
Each of us has an inner voice that when paid attention to can help us understand great things about ourselves, including the reasons we may have turned to masturbation in the first place.
Even though masturbation is quite common it is not a proper means of expressing the sexual desires we have had placed inside of us by a loving Heavenly Father. Masturbation has been used to condition people to become stimulated by deviant behavior (Human Intimacy, Victor L. Brown). This is one thing that makes masturbation such a problem to those seeking real human intimacy, that deep & meaningful connection with others.
Chemicals released during sexual intercourse help join man & woman together in a committed, loving relationship while masturbation mimics the chemical release but provides not those things that a real relationship can. It also forms a bond to the object of attention.
Pornography addiction for example is a bond often formed by the means of masturbation. A connection to pictures or videos rather than a spouse can lead to wedges driven into what otherwise may have been a beautiful & rewarding relationship.
For the “masturbation addict” it’s important to know first and foremost that you are a child of God with unlimited potential divinely placed inside of you! You have great power to change. There IS hope! Learn to listen to that voice within as you turn your heart to that voice from above. Follow the impressions you get to move towards good, they will not fail you.
Along the way, learning of how your brain can pull you down into an addiction is very important. To begin your journey sign up for the free mini-course to the right that will give you help with porn addiction, masturbation & other sexual behaviors.
Recovery from pornography addiction can be a tricky endeavor. There are so many voices these days who claim that there is nothing wrong with viewing porn and some psychologists even use it to “enhance marital intimacy.”
While there are so many who justify its use there is a voice inside each one of us which, if listened to, tells us that there is something noble and uplifting about modesty, something virtuous about waiting to give that part of ourselves until the whole self can be given in marriage & something profoundly powerful about sexual purity until that is achieved.
There are powerful mechanisms in the brain that help lock into place the desire to view porn once it has already been viewed. If you’ve found yourself caught in this rut, don’t get down on yourself. Shame most likely will not lead you to overcome this struggle.
While there are ideal sexual conditions, there are many who have stumbled for whatever reason upon the many false portrayals of human intimacy that promise, but can never deliver true joy.
Pornography addiction recovery is possible and is one of the best things that one who’s addicted can do for themselves and for others in their life. There IS hope if you’ve fallen into despair. There IS a reason to break free if you’ve been caught up in the illusion of porn. There is true beauty to be had again & confidence to be restored.
If you or someone you know is seeking freedom from porn addiction there are several directions you could take, but know that each one requires a sincere commitment, even if it just begins as a commitment to simply learn a bit about the addiction & behavior.
Take a deep breath, imagine where you want to be & let that feeling build in you. When you are ready to take the 1st step, sign up at the right for a free mini-course that will help you learn the skills that thousands have now learned and used to successfully overcome pornography & other sexual addictions. You have great strengths, but they’re being used you. Learn how to turn the tables!
Believers in Christ are not exempt from experiencing temptation. As human beings we all experience the natural and wonderfully divine urges that draw man and women close to one another. There is a very beautiful reason for these sexual feelings. They were placed inside of us by a loving Father in Heaven.
As Christians learn at some point, we are all members of a great eternal family and on earth we have the grand opportunity to seek out loving relationships & to bind them in an unique and powerful way through marriage. Within the bonds of marriage we can find the true purpose for those sexual urges within us.
Sometimes Christians are falsely taught that sex is evil and that their bodies are wicked and thus their sexual desires are as well. This is most definitely not true, but if believed can lead to distorted efforts to seek out sexual expression through the means of masturbation, porn & other sexual behaviors that lie outside the limits that their Father in heaven has set.
Expression of this sort is has been forbidden by Him, not for a cruel punishment, but as a loving guideline to prevent the unhappiness that comes from these deceptively pleasing, but utterly selfish expressions of the sexual drive within each one of us.
One of the sad outcomes of engaging in these behaviors can be addiction of an image of intimacy as opposed to the powerfully fulfilling “real thing.” Victor L. Brown in his powerful book Human Intimacy tells how intimacy occurs on many levels & is not equal to mere sexual encounters.
Porn addiction in Christians is truly a sad thing. If you are Christian & have a porn or sex addiction, know first that you are not alone. Many struggle with this temptation & many heal.
Know too that your Father in Heaven ALWAYS loves you and is eager to hear from you your heartaches & to help you experience true joy, freedom from porn addiction.
Put your name & email in the form on the right to receive a powerful mini-course that helps you understand your addiction & how to harness your natural abilities to escape.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what’s most important in life and why. It seems to me that knowing this would add meaning & power to my healing & recovery from pornography addiction. Again and again in small and simple, yet profound ways the answer has come to me: People matter most. How I interact with others determines the quality of my life.
There is a great teaching in many religions that can be summarized by the simple words of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Ghandi said it this way, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” These sayings invite us to look inward and to focus on changing our own behavior. How wise indeed, for no man can change the habits of another unless he inspires action through the power of his own right conduct. We can only change ourselves.
Treating others with kindness because it’s how we’d like to be treated is a great reason to live a life of service. Looking deeper we can find that the reason these teachings exist is because our very understanding of life’s deepest truths can only be fully understood as we give ourselves to the aid of others.
Last week as I got ready for my day I had the strong impression that “we need each other.” The thought came seemingly out of the blue although it was preceeded by a smile and quick memory about my girlfriend. The thought however of us all needing each other sunk in deep during the moments that followed.
I recalled times where I had felt like I wanted escape being around others or that I could understand life without the help of others. I even felt that I could overcome my pornography addiction without the others, just me and God, that’s all I needed. Ironically, I often came to those feelings while reading books…written by, yup, others. I also would feel this superman-like determination after a relapse and because I was embarrassed to tell anyone of what I had done.
The power of connecting emotionally with others allows love flow freely as we give our energies; our time, our thoughts and prayers, our skills and passions, our laughter and our true understanding gained through lives experiences – to those around us. Indeed, it is ONLY through these, often difficult efforts, that any lasting connection can be made. Victor Brown said in his powerful book Human Intimacy: Illusion & Reality, “marriage (and for that matter, all relationships) is not for emotional weaklings.”
It’s so easy to overlook the debt which we owe to our fellow man…for just about EVERYTHING. I love to play the guitar. However, my enjoyment of this hobby would have been severely limited without the efforts of the thousands who came before me; those who studied acoustics, those that build prototypes who failed and tried again, those that diligently observed and documented the relationships between notes, those who sored to great musical heights and inspire greatness and those who took incentive to finance and manufacture the creation of affordable guitars. My enjoyment has been developed over centuries and I am the beneficiary. I owe those people a debt of gratitude.
When we truly see and feel the connection we have to others – that they are part of us, our brothers and sisters – we can open up and fully give of ourselves to them and in so doing know that all we give will be returned to us. In fact, we cannot fully receive that which we do not also give. Kindness is repaid with kindness. The healing of forgiveness is obtained when we afford it to others. We help others and in doing so we only help ourselves. This was beautifully illustrated in The Celestine Prophecy, a novel by James Redfield made motion picture in 2006 (watch through about 4:15)
Perhaps this is why the final step in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step Program is to give back and to share your story with others. We share our experiences to learn of ourselves. We gain freedom and hope as we share freedom and hope with others. Because love is such a powerful key to avoiding the pitfalls of pornography addiction it’s essential to learn to give love and to serve.
Shedding light on the truths of pornography use, instilling hope in those that are caught in the darkness of addiction, inspiring action and providing tips & tools to help facilitate the success that will come to all those who wish it.